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Social Media Marketing Secret Step-by-Step Strategies for Marketing and Advertising Your Business to Millions on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter, While Branding Yourself or Your Business as an Influencer in 2019 and Beyond By Gary Clyne Table of Contents Introduction The Importance of Social Media Statistics Don’t Lie Why My Business Needs Social Media? Web Traffic Connecting with Customers Improving Your Brand’s Image Getting Started With Social Media Marketing Making Your Social Media Marketing Plan The Best 5 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Increase Productivity Killer Content is the Key Facebook Creating Your Facebook Page Getting Your Fans Posting Like a Pro Optimizing for SEO The Right Marketing Strategy Social Media Content Calendar Scheduling Your Posts When to Post and How Often? Facebook Bots Generating Leads Tracking Your Results Advertising on Facebook Facebook Ad Campaign The Ad-Sets Creating the Ad Tips for Successful Advertising The Boost Post YouTube Creating Your Business Profile Optimizing for SEO Making the Videos Type of YouTube Videos The Script of Your Videos Shooting a High-Quality Video Editing Your Video Marketing the Videos Getting a Handle on YouTube Analytics Advertising on YouTube Types of YouTube Ads Creating Your Ad Campaign Instagram Setting Up Your Instagram Business Account Types of Insta Posts Images Videos Instagram Stories Writing Eye-Catching Captions Their Majesty, the #Hashtags Marketing Your Brand Attracting Followers Turning Followers into Customers What About Analytics? Advertising on Instagram Twitter How is Twitter Different? Creating Your Twitter Profile The Right Marketing Strategy Measuring the Results Advertising on Twitter Type of Twitter Ads Creating Your Ad Campaign LinkedIn Setting Up Your LinkedIn Company Page The Perfect Strategy Advertising on LinkedIn Is Your Marketing Strategy Working? Pinterest Using Pinterest for Business Creating Your Business Pinterest Acc; ount Your Pinterest Boards The Pinning Your Pinterest Strategy Advertising on Pinterest Pinterest Analytics Conclusion Introduction Social Media Marketing is currently the most powerful tool that can help businesses (whether small or not) to reach customers and prospects. But with over 88 percent of all the companies marketing their businesses on at least one social media platform, you can see how easy can be for your brand to get lost in all that noise. In order for your business social media pages to gain more organic exposure, reach to engaged brand advocates, and even drive more sales and leads, you will need a concise marketing strategy to rise to the top. Luckily for you, this book offers just that. Peeling through the layers of the most popular social media platforms to get to the core of what makes an online marketing strategy successful, this book will teach you just how to promote your brand on social media. Whether you are already active on social media or have never had a Facebook account, this book will guide your social media marketing plan every step of the way – from the creation of your account and optimizing your profile, through posting content that your audience will want to engage with, and all the way to advertising and promoting your brand for more traffic and followers. Covering Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, this guide will show you that social media marketing can bring success to your business, despite the fierce competition. A strong social media presence is something your business cannot afford to miss out on. Read on to see how to create a killer social media marketing plan that will instantly drive thousands of followers to your profile. The Importance of Social Media Unless you have been living under a rock, chances are, you are more than familiar with the term social media. In fact, you probably have an active account on at least one of the popular social media platforms. For the sake of your time, I will not go into defining social media or bore you with its early rise. Instead, let’s look at why is that social media is so important and how to take advantage of its popularity. Easy and convenient connecting with friends and family aside, social media offers many other advantages that people in the past couldn’t enjoy. From getting to know people from all over the world, to staying updated with the latest news, sharing your opinion, and discovering new things, products, and services, social media has become an inevitable part of the modern society of today. Growing with an insanely fast pace, the social networks are now one of the fastest growing industries in the world. It is no doubt that many businesses have taken advantage of the activity on social media and managed to increase their conversion. If you think of social media as nothing but a trend that is doomed to fade away, you cannot be more wrong. With more and more people joining every day and using the social media platforms efficiently for various purposes, it is safe to say that the social media industry is definitely at its peak and will only grow bigger in the years to come. If you want for your business to evolve, then forget about newspapers or TV ads, because right now, social media is the ticket for expanding your company. Statistics Don’t Lie If I still haven’t managed to convince you that marketing your business on the most popular social media platforms is the best business strategy for your product/service today, then perhaps these statistics will cast some light and help you realize that presenting your business on social media is the best way to reach your target audience. As of 2019, there are 7.7 billion people in the world today. It is interesting to know that 4.2 billion of these people are internet users, but what’s even more fascinating is the fact that more than 2.7 billion of the internet users are active on social media. That means that over 64% of the people that surf the internet spend some efficient time on social media. In fact, according to many studies done in the past few years, the average time that people -spend on social media is nearly 2 hours, or more precisely, 117 minutes. No wonder why most of the small businesses that are active on social media post daily. Since statistics also say that there is a new social media user practically every 10 seconds, it is pretty obvious why signing up your business for some social media activity can turn out to be highly profitable. Read on to see what social media marketing can throw your way as well as to find out how to successfully jumpstart the whole process. Why My Business Needs Social Media? At this point, not being present on social media is like flipping through a telephone book to find the number of your hairdresser. Or still owning a Nokia 3310. And while there is nothing wrong with using a two-decade-old cell phone model or keeping it old-school with hand-written telephone books, one thing is certain – those people miss out on the perks of today’s technology. And that’s perfectly fine. If you are just a guy who has a no-modern-technology principle, that is. But if you are a business that is looking for a way to increase the conversion and reap as many benefits as possible, then being present online is a must. For many people social media is the internet, so they spend their hours scrolling down their social media platforms. Why? Because there is no reason to leave, actually. From chatting with people, to being up-to-date with news and finding and buying products and services, the social networks literally have it all. If you want your business to be successful, then having a strong social media presence is of great essence. If your business is still not active on social media, then that is definitely the missing link that can strengthen the connection between your product/service and your customers. Still not sure whether it is worth the time and effort? Here are the benefits of being present on the social networks: Web Traffic Marketing your business on social media is a crucial part for your web traffic: Posting on Social Media Drives Your Targeted Audience Of course you want your business to be the first thing people will see when surfing the internet for similar products/services. But is that really possible if you are not active online? Posting regularly on social media will help you take domination over the first search page which will, in turn, increase your profits. These social media posts are extremely valuable for increasing web traffic. For instance, think about what happens when you update your website. It surely takes a while for it to get traction with the search engines, right? That means that the number of customers that will be aware of your new content will be limited. Posting on social media will help your potential customers find your new content easily and then be re-directed to your website. This means that you don’t have to wait for a customer to click on your website to find out your updates. Social media allows you to reach potential customers even if they are not looking to buy at that exact moment, Social Media Posts Boosts the SEO Search engine optimization is of great importance for your online presence and overall business. Don’t be fooled that this is not that important. SEO experts know which sites have constant traffic and which sits lonely and forgotten. A great content strategy can obviously skyrocket your search rankings, however, social media posts also have the power to drive more traffic to your site. By re-sharing popular content you can easily optimize your page and lure existing and potential customers to take a peek. The boosted traffic will then lead to inbound clicks and will have a significant impact on your prominence in Google rankings. Quoting Can Make You More Reachable Sometimes, a simple quote can throw more traffic your way. Whether you have used a PR tool such as HARO to find experts for your site or you simply want to quote an expert with a strong influence on social media, this can surely help your business. Chances are, by quoting (and tagging!) an expert in your tweet or Facebook post, that person will most likely share or retweet your post which will help you reach potential customers from their list of followers and increase your site’s traffic. Connecting with Customers Being the bridge that can connect the gap between you and your customers, social media is definitely the shortcut you need to take in order to reach your audience the fastest way possible. Reaching Customers Social media is perhaps the only tool that can help you reach customers from all age groups at once. These networks are not just for teenagers searching for entertainment. The social media platforms are actively used by more than 2.7 billion people, so it is safe to say that whatever your target audience is, your potential customers are spending some efficient time on social media already. In fact, a study has actually found that 37% of all the Americans over 65 years of age are social media users. Whether you want to reach young adults, housewives, or retirees, social media is the best place to introduce your product/service to them. Besides, advertising on social media allows targeting and retargeting your audience which can play a crucial role in your marketing strategy. For instance, the ads on Facebook can be filtered around the needs of your customers and target only the age, location, industry, etc. of the audience that you are trying to reach. Learning about Your Target Audience Perhaps the biggest reason why social media marketing is so game-changing for businesses is the fact that these networks actually allow you to have a real interaction with your existing and potential customers. This creates an incredible opportunity to peek inside your audience’s lives and learn about the customer behaviors first-hand. By reading posts and tweets, you can easily find the answers to the questions that every business is mostly concerned with: - What product/services do people want to buy and why? - What kind of websites do people mostly visit? - What are the biggest hobbies nowadays and how can my product/service help? - What types of posts do people share the most? Finding the answers to these questions will help you understand your customers and allow you to write compelling posts and tweets that people will find appealing. By retweeting and sharing, you will not only increase the traffic and eventually profits, but also pinpoint what are the disappointments of the customers and how to refine your product/service in order to increase conversion. Getting Noticed Easily Imagine that you are hosting an event. A decent promotion is kind of required, right? What best way to do it than to have an active social media presence? Social media platforms will help you spread the word which will not only bring more guests, but can also throw a few big perks your way such as finding donors that are eager to participate. Improving Your Brand’s Image Marketing your product/service on social media can help you thrive as a company, increase the exposure of your brand, and make its image recognizable and trustworthy. The Best Customer Service Tool Building a great image for your brand starts with keeping your customers happy and content. Many studies have shown that customers mostly reward those companies that take the time to quickly respond to their inquiries. But quickly responding to complaints isn’t what it used to be. If there is a customer request pending, they are expecting for the issue to be solved right away. Social media helps you offer customer service that is quick, helpful, and proactive, and gives you the opportunity to reach and help your customers before they get the chance to call your call center. This little trick just saved British Telecom over 2 million pounds in customer service costs, so just let that sink in for a second. Building Up the Loyalty of Your Brand This is actually pretty self-explanatory, but it would be remiss not to mention it. By taking the time to engage with your customers actively and provide them with beneficial info, help with inquiries, and keep them entertained without asking a thing in return, your brand’s loyalty is actually enhanced. The right social media presence can bring value to the customers and show them that you are not looking to empty their pockets, but that you actually care whether they are satisfied with your product/service or not. Getting Started With Social Media Marketing Posting family pictures and restaurant check-ins, does not actually make you a social media guru. Even if you have an active account that you use regularly, there are a lot more angles that need to be considered when looking to use social networks as a strong marketing tool. You need to stop looking at social media as a user, but as someone who is trying to reach all users. Did you know that Instagram has its highest traffic between 9 and 11 am? Or that you can actually communicate on Twitter in six different ways? Do not skip this chapter thinking you are expert on social media, but read on to see how you can scratch the surface and find the best way to start your social media marketing. Making Your Social Media Marketing Plan In order to slay the competition and help your business thrive on social media, good planning ahead is indeed required. Your approach to social media marketing must take into consideration the real picture of the market, the needs of your target audience, but also the wants and needs of your business. If you don’t know where to start and how to craft your ideal strategy, these steps will most likely help you design a decent plan: #1: Check Your Social Media Presence If you are not just starting out, then chances are your business is already present on some of the social media platforms. Before you create a strategy and head somewhere, take a good look at your networks and review where you are currently standing: - Which platforms are you present on? - Are your profiles optimized? - Is some network bringing you value already? - What do your profiles look like when compared to the competition? If you are not present on social media, the next chapters will help you create killer accounts. But before you do that, peek into the competitors’ profiles to see what they are currently offering. #2: Define Your Ideal Customer Someone said that the main goal of marketing is to know exactly what your customers need in order for the product to practically sells itself. Keep that in mind when thinking about your ideal customers. You will need to get pretty specific if you want to avoid marketing to the wrong kind of audience. Before you actually start marketing, you will need to know exactly who your customer is. Here is a great example of how your customers should be defined: A stay-at-home mom between 25 and 40 years of age who lives in the United States, lives in a house in the suburbs, primarily uses Instagram and has a thing for crafting activities. To define the buyer persona that your product/service is created for, answer the following questions: - Age - Location - Job Title and Income - Interests - Pain Points (that can be solved by the usage of your product/service) - Most Used Social Network #3: Have a Social Media Marketing Mission Line This may seem silly to some, but having a mission statement can help you stay focused and keep your eye on the ball at all times. This is what will actually drive all of your actions, so make sure that you come up with a good one. A great mission line should explain what your primary goal is, and what you are hoping to get out of social media marketing. For instance, a good social media marketing mission statement should say: “To use the social media platforms to help people learn about healthy eating, offer healthy and nutritious free recipes, and promote my new books.” Of course, this is just an example. Your mission statement can be whatever you are trying to achieve through marketing. The main point is to make sure that all of your posts and tweets align with that statement. If you post randomly and without any guiding goal, your marketing strategy will be doomed to fail. #4: Decide on Your Metrics For your social media marketing to be successful, you will have to have a decent measuring strategy. If you don’t measure your posts the right way, you will fail to improve your marketing, and may even end up losing customers. That’s why a good measuring plan is important. How will you decide whether your social media marketing strategies are successful? What will the key success metrics be? What is important to you? Here are some metrics that can help you whether you are marketing your products/servicer the right way: Total Shares Conversion Rate Total Mentions of Your Brand Time Spent on Your Website Reach Sentiment #5: Think About Investing in Social Media Management If you are planning on marketing on various platforms and be super-active on social media in order to reap the benefits, then chances are that you will be crunched for time. That means that you might not be able to measure and track the progress of your social media marketing strategies. In order for you to stay up-to-date with the things that your customers like the most (as well as what they don’t appreciate) so you can improve and provide more value, you need to have a social media management tool to increase your productivity. Depending on your needs, there are various tools to choose from. https://hootsuite.com/, https://sproutsocial.com/ and https://buffer.com/ offer some great options. Choose the right pricing and plan your investment in these tools accordingly. The Best 5 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Increase Productivity Whether you call them strategies, habits, or just a way of marketing on social media, there are some things that you need to take care of in order to dust off your lonely business social channel. Or develop a successful routine, in case your business is new to the social media world, that is. Strategy #1: Set Your Scheme and Stick to It If you do not have a thought out strategy, your posts and tweets will probably just go unnoticed. Besides your objectives, which should already be firmly set, you also need to have a good course of action about how you will actually get to your primarily goal. Choosing what and when to post is a good example of an organized scheme. You should have a set limit of how many posts you think about publishing daily. Decide on your strategy, and stick to it. Of course, you will adjust this on the go, but the most important thing is to keep yourself organized and punctual. Scheduling posts is, obviously, just one example. In the following chapters you will come across many schemes for successful social media marketing that you should take advantage of. Strategy #2: Post Regularly and Be Consistent In order to keep your customers interested in your product or service, you will have to have a good posting strategy. Providing regular content is a great marketing strategy as it helps your customers stay updated, plus it shows that you are always looking for ways to improve and provide even more value. However, as important as regular content is, it will be pretty useless if you do not have a consistent approach. The best way to provide regular content and to maintain its consistency is if you know exactly what your audience is looking for. Do your homework well before hitting the “share” button. Strategy #3: Approach Your Social Media Channels Differently Despite the fact that you are marketing the same product/service, you need to keep in mind that you are actually doing it on different social media platforms. What does that mean? That means that you cannot simply copy and paste your posts. Why? Because different platforms usually means different audience. Many of Instagram followers will not be LinkedIn users and vice versa. For instance, LinkedIn is more business-oriented and its content is a bit more serious and educational than, for example, Instagram, which it has users who are mostly looking for appealing and vivid visual posts. Treat your social media channels as different entities and keep the post separated and, most importantly, unique. Even if you are looking to spread the same message, make sure you adjust it for the different types of audience. Strategy #4: Stay Engaged Engagement is all that social media is about. It is a process of keeping in touch, listening, and painting the picture that your audience actually want to see. Social media marketing is not marketing if you are not 100% engaged. And not only with your posts and shares, but with answering, retweeting, and responding to complaints, as well. Your customers need to know that you care about them, and if you are not engaged, well, your other strategies will also be pretty useless. The best way to make the audience notice your engagement is to keep them involved at all times. Ask for their opinion, make questionnaires, come up with unique competitions, offer rewards, discounts, etc. Keeping your business connected to your customers is the secret behind every successful marketing strategy. Strategy #5: Act like a Human Social media is all about the human interaction, not pitches and logos. This can be somewhat tricky when you are just starting your social media marketing journey as most companies make their initial approach a hard selling point. Avoid putting off potential and existing customers with customer reviews, product introductions, and purchasing codes. Instead, make your approach as friendly as possible. But do not implement this only in the beginning. Your business should find a way to always act like a person (to some degree, of course), not to approach customers as an entity. Killer Content is the Key Like any other marketing strategy, if your social media marketing doesn’t have any returns, then you are investing the wrong way. And your investment on social media is the content you post. Your customers expect you to bring value. If your posts are not valuable then it is pretty impossible to keep the audience engaged. After all, it is the content that drives traffic to your page. In order for your social media marketing to turn out beneficial, you will need to know exactly what types of content to share and why. And yes, there is more than one way of sharing. User-Generated Content The content that is produced by unpaid contributors is called user-generated content. This makes perfect sense if you think about it, since it is in our nature to try new products/services based on other people’s recommendations in order to avoid making mistakes or disappointing ourselves. There are more chances that we will respond positively to a photo shared by a friend than a photo shared by a brand. This type of content will not only bring authenticity to your brand, but it will also connect your company to your customers in a more human way. GIFS GIF is a very popular image type that supports both, static and animated images. This image type is especially attractive to younger population thanks to its interesting visual elements. Choosing to add GIFs to your page will give a message to your audience (whatever age group they belong to) that you follow recent trends and that you actually listen. If you want to keep your customers captivated and stimulated visually, then adding GIFs is the right choice. Infographics If you have to discuss a more complex subject but don’t want to bore your customers with heavy and dull reading, then graphics are the perfect decision. Properly designed graphics cannot only simplify a complicated topic, but will also attract the customer’s eye, even if they are not really interested in the particular subject. Infographics are an extremely valuable tool for your social media marketing, so make sure to incorporate them whenever you get the chance. Concept Visualization Infographics are great and super effective, but only if you are not trying to tell a really long story. Otherwise, it is pretty hard to design them in a way that will cover enough info and keep the customer’s attention. Another powerful tool for simplifying complex topics is concept visualization. Concept visualization are all those graphs, charts, and visuals that are basically self-explanatory. Here, by illustrating a single idea you can present your story in a smaller, fun, and a much more absorbable way. Besides, they are more shareable than infographics which makes them perfect for your social media marketing. Live Streaming Live streaming is a great way to lure traffic into your page, but that is not the only reason. While you are streaming and gaining more views, you can also add additional info about your service or product and actually know that people are reading it. Besides, live streaming is also great for interacting with your customers through some Q&As and learning about what they want first hand. Facebook Assuming that you already know how big Facebook is, I will not try to convince you why you need to open a Facebook account. Besides, when you say it like that, your business needs a Facebook page, it sounds like a pretty obvious understatement. But I will give you a taste of the newest statistics and make you understand why having a decent marketing strategy on Facebook can be of huge importance for your overall business. Although Facebook has been a big deal practically since the day it was invented, its marketing side now offers tools that we didn’t think were even possible 10 years ago. From selling services via your chatbot and promoting your product in a 360-degree video, Facebook marketing is a standard that all businesses must meet. The fact that Facebook has 2.27 billion active users, from which 1.49 billion use this platform actively on daily basis, is a pretty good reason why you should seriously invest in marketing your brand on Facebook. When the average person spends 50 minutes per day on this platform, you can only imagine how huge of a marketplace this network can be. And while it is true that Facebook is one crowded marketplace, not taking advantage of the tools that it offers can be a terrible mistake for your business. Being as huge as it is, the odds are, your competition is already out there, promoting their products on this platform. Sitting this out is simply not something that your business can afford. It may seem scary, but if done correctly and with just the right amount of effort, you too could have amazing returns. Let this chapter guide your way for a successful marketing journey. Creating Your Facebook Page First things first, in order to market on Facebook, you must have a Facebook page up and running. By doing that, you will be joining 60 million businesses from all over the world that are promoting their brands on this platform. It sounds intimidating, I know, but that’s why this step is so important. Creating a killer page can really make a huge difference in the whole marketing process. Before you start posting quality content, you need to have a personalized page, first. If you already have a personal account, then you probably know how this works. Pages for businesses are what profile pages are for people. People connect with people by ‘adding’ them as friends, and follow businesses by ‘liking’ their pages. Why am I mentioning this? If you, by any chance, decide to open a profile for your business instead of a page, Facebook may shut it down permanently since it’s against their rules. To start this process, go to https://www.facebook.com/pages/creation/. There, you will see two different categories to choose from: Business or Brand Community or Public Figure Assuming you are a business, click on ‘Get Started’ under ‘Business or Brand’ to start the process. The first thing you will need to do is enter the name of the Page. Think about this carefully as it is the name that people will see. There should be an option for you to change the URL, but nevertheless, choose wisely. After you’ve chosen your name, you should choose the category that your business falls under. Fill out the details such as address, phone number, etc. and click on ‘Continue’. As simple as that, you will be redirected to your new page. Follow Facebook’s tips for customizing your page. Profile Picture The first step you need to take care of is to add a profile picture for your business. Think of this picture as your business’ identity and make sure it is something that represents your company well, like a well-designed logo. Your profile picture is the first impression that your business gives on Facebook, so make sure it is recognizable. It is recommended to upload a photo with 180 x 180 pixels, but do not worry if you don’t have a square photo. Facebook will suggest cropping, but the important thing is that your entire logo (if uploading a logo) fits into the cropped picture. Cover Photo Your cover photo, the horizontal image that is found on the top of your page, in addition to your profile picture, is what gives personality to your page. Businesses usually use this photo to promote special offerings, discounts, etc. To upload your cover photo just click the ‘Add a cover photo’ button from your welcome menu. The best dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels, but again, you can adjust your photo directly on Facebook. You can (and should!) update your cover photo on regular basis. To do so, just click the ‘Change Cover’ button found in the lower corner on the right of your current cover. Description To let people know what your business is all about, you will need a thoughtfully-written couple of sentences to introduce your brand. Facebook allows the maximum of 155 characters so choose your words carefully. Keep in mind that this description will also appear in the search results so make sure it is creatively descriptive. Username The username is the name that appears in your Facebook URL so help customers find you more easily. You have only 50 characters for your username; make sure to use them for something unique that is not already being used by other companies. Setting Up the Roles Now that the foundation of your page has been completed, it is time to set up the roles. The best thing about business pages is that they are kept completely separate from your personal Facebook account. That means that you are not the only person who can edit the page. Other people from your organization can also maintain the page without having to log in through your personal account. However, it is up to you to assign the roles. Admin. The admin of the page manages pretty much everything. From sending messages, responding to comments, publishing and deleting posts, to advertising and even assigning the roles. This person should be someone you trust the most, so choose carefully. Editor. Pretty much all permission as the admin, without the ability to assign roles. Moderator. Moderators can respond and delete comments, but do not have the permission to post on the page. They are permitted to advertise on Facebook, though. Advertiser. As the name suggests, the advertiser is only in charge of the advertising part. Analyst. They are only allowed to track the posts and see which admin published what. Live Contributor. The live contributor is someone that can go live (when live streaming), but does not have the permission to publish or respond to comments. Call-to-Action Call to action is a great benefit that Facebook provides. As of December 2014, Facebook allows Pages to include a CTA button, which is a very convenient way for customers to take action with your business. Click on ‘Add a Button’ found above your cover and choose what the button should allow customers to do: get in touch, download an app, purchase a product, donate, book your services, etc. then add a link to direct them to your website, video, or another landing page. Page Tabs In order for you to organize the content that customers will see on your Page, it is recommended that you add custom tabs. That way your audience will have the chance to see your photos, check for open jobs, go to your website, visit your Pinterest, etc. In your left navigation, there is a ‘Manage Tabs’ button. Click on it to change your tabs. Verify Customers do not trust unverified pages, it’s as simple as that. This is not absolutely required, but if you want to add more value to your page and include a degree of authority, it is recommended. Go to ‘Settings’ ‘General’ ‘Page Verification’ to enter your phone number, country, etc. You will get a Facebook verification code to enter. Getting Your Fans Now that your Page is up and running, it is time for you to get your first likes. Getting a ‘like’ from a customer is them saying they are interested in what you are selling and that they want to keep in touch with your products/services and promotions. As the most successful business have millions of likes, your goal is to strive to get as many of those ‘thumbs-ups’ as possible. Why Not Just Buy Likes? It seems easier and more convenient, right? If you type “buying Facebook likes” on Google, you will be redirected to sites upon sites all selling packages of likes for a fixed price. You may be tricked into thinking that this will make your business look more successful and credible, but those likes are nothing but thin air. These so-called companies that sell these types of likes use fake or compromised accounts and click farms. You will not be getting actual likes from an audience that is interested in your product/service. It is really unlikely that any of them with engage with your content, so the only thing that buying them will get you is empty likes. Promoting On Facebook In order to get your likes, you need to make sure that you are actually promoting your Page on Facebook the right way. Here are some tips that will help you gain likes: - Make sure your username and Page name is clear - Go through the ‘About’ section and optimize. Include relevant keywords that will help people find you easier on Google and other search engines - Share your Page with your friends and get them to like it - Finally, be active and interact with the fans that you already have, as they will drive more traffic to your page Promoting Through Your Website If you are new to Facebook but have a website that already has a group of customers, do not forget to spread the word and promote your Facebook page there. You don’t have to convince them to do so; adding a page plugin on your website with built-in Facebook iframe code will allow your audience to like or even share your page without actually leaving your website. Promoting Directly to Your Customers Another great way of promoting your Facebook page is directly to your customers. Have a store? Design a fabulous Facebook sticker with your logo on it to know people you are online. When sending emails to your customers, include your page’s URL at the top corner of the message. You can also include the URL on your receipts. Want to get even more creative? Why not announce a promotion where you will offer discounted prices in return for a like on the spot. Posting Like a Pro We have already discussed the importance of quality posts. Your content is the core of social media marketing and as such, it should be posted regularly. Think of the posts as food for your Page. The more you feed it, the bigger it grows. But just as the food you eat, your posts should also be of high quality and carefully selected. Besides the different types of content that we talked about earlier, there are also different ways to post on social media. Here are the different ways in which you can share your content with the world via Facebook: Facebook Images Studies have shown that Facebook image posts are 2.3 times more appealing and engaging to the audience, so that’s a pretty good reason why you should share some quality images with your customers. To post an image on Facebook is simple, simply click on ‘Share a Photo or Video’ below the blank post space. Alternatively, you can start typing into the blank post and then click on the camera button on the left to upload your image. The size of the images you are going to post is not that important (although 1200 x 3600 pixels is recommended). What’s more important is the ratio. Make sure your ratio is 1.9:1 for best results. Facebook Links The best way to feed your Page is to share links to your products/services. Whether you are writing cooking blog posts or sell toys, your Facebook page needs to have links of your recent product/service in order for your customers to stay updated. You can post a link the same way you post a written post. Just paste the link into the blank post space, and then write a short and engaging description. But wait before hitting ‘Share’ just yet. To make your Page look more professional, avoid keeping the URLs. Once the link has been uploaded, delete the URL so that your post looks clean. Facebook Video Did you know that it is predicted that Facebook will soon be all video? That’s no surprise really since the number of daily video views is higher than 8 billion. There are over 100 million hours of Facebook videos that are watched every day. These are some powerful statistics that show us just how engaging videos are to people on Facebook. To post a video, the process is the same as posting a photo. Click the ‘Share a Photo or Video’ and then simply select the desired file from your computer. The recommended file format is MP4 and MOV. Then, add a line or two of text, describing or introducing the video to your audience. Keep in mind that Facebook plays the first 5-10 seconds automatically, which means that even if a person is not thinking about watching a video, when scrolling down their news feed, they will see the beginning of your video. Try to make the beginning as appealing as possible in order to lure people to hit the play button and watch the whole thing. Facebook Live Unlike posting pre-produced videos, Facebook live is a feature that allows you to stream live videos via your smartphone. To give this a try, open the Facebook app on your phone and go to your Page. Click the ‘Publish’ button and then choose the ‘Live Video’ option. Once you allow Facebook to access your camera and microphone, select ‘Continue’. Before you actually start streaming, you need to enter some privacy settings. You can choose whether to stream to friends, the whole public or just to yourself. Once you choose that, you should write a line or two compelling people to watch your video. The line will go alongside your streaming, so make sure it is unique and descriptive. When ready to roll, hit ‘Go Live’ and voila… You are on the air. When you are done streaming, select ‘Finish’. This will end the streaming but will keep a recording on your Page for later watching. Bu connecting with the audience this way, you show them that you care not only about making a profit, but also about their opinion and satisfaction. Engaging with your customers through Facebook Live can turn out to be a great marketing trick. Facebook Instant Articles Just like suggested in its name, Facebook Instant Articles means reading articles on the spot, without having to leave Facebook and be redirected to another site. This feature is great because it saves time and it is pretty convenient. Not all businesses can take advantage of Instant Articles, but if you happen to be a publisher, this can throw a lot of good things your way. Virtual Reality Virtual reality for Facebook is something that you absolutely have to try if you have a mesmerizing story to tell. And if you need to promote a special place or an important experience of some kind, then you really cannot afford to pass out on this feature. Facebook Virtual Reality allows you to post 360-degrees videos for a full enjoyment. This works best on mobile and it is the most appreciated if recorded with a 360-degree camera, so think about investing in a Ricoh Theta or Allie camera as a part of your killer marketing strategy. PIN YOUR POSTS Pinning your posts means choosing the order in which they will appear on your page. Facebook offers an option to pin a post to the top of your page so that your most important announcements/promotions are the first thing that attracts the customer’s eye when they visit your Page. Try this out by clicking on the arrow found on the top right corner of a post you have previously shared. Then, simply click on ‘Pin to Top of Page’. Until you pin another post, this is the post that will be shown at the top of your Page. Optimizing for SEO If you are wondering whether your Facebook Page can affect your Google ranking, stop, because it does. And I am sure it has a way bigger impact than what you can imagine. Here is the role that a successful Facebook Page can play in Search Engine Optimization (SEO): - It can drive traffic to your website - It can attract a highly relevant audience interested in what you are selling - It builds links through your Facebook shares - It can improve your visibility with the help of optimized keywords And if you are still not sure how this process works, here is an example: You post your content on Facebook (provide value) Your customers share your posts (building links) The friends of your friends notice your content (boosting visibility) The friends of your friends then click to see the content (higher click-through rates) More people visit your website (higher traffic) More people engage with your business (low bounce rate) This simple example clearly shows you the importance of Facebook Marketing for your ranking on the search engines. Keywords, Keywords, Keywords Your Facebook content can be successfully optimized by using relevant keywords. You may have noticed how Google also lists social media results when searching for keywords. For instance, if you type organic cotton clothing company, you will get results for websites and social media networks of the top organic cotton clothing companies. That is because these companies have optimized their Pages and websites and included the relevant keywords organic, cotton, clothing, and company, which is how you will actually find them online. Optimizing your content on Facebook will help people discover you and learn about your business easily. But how can you do that? There are three different ways in which you can add proper keywords and improve your business’ visibility: #1: Optimize Your URL Make sure that your Page’s URL contains the keywords that people will most likely use to search for your business online. #2: Optimize Your ‘About’ Section You may not know this, but what you write under ‘About’ on Facebook can also help people discover you online. Here is how you can ensure that your ‘About’ section is optimized: - Conduct research to see what are the most relevant keywords for your business - Choose 2 of the most relevant keywords - Write your description creatively, mentioning these keywords a few time - Make sure your Business Info is completed. Often times business’ Pages are not listed at the top of Google Results because of lack of details. Make sure to enter your exact location, phone number, website, and other important info that will help customers find you. Tip: Stay natural! Your description should contain the relevant keywords but at the same time sound warm and appealing. Do not go overboard with the keywords you find. #3: Optimize the Post You Share This is perhaps the trickiest part as the attempt to optimize your posts should be continuous and implemented on each post you think about sharing. Just like your ‘About’ section, your post should also contain relevant keywords. For instance, if you are promoting a new product, conduct research to see what the most relevant keywords for that kind of products are, and include them in your post. If you are not an SEO guru, then you should seriously think about hiring an expert to have at your disposal. The Right Marketing Strategy And now, let’s talk some real business. Now that you know what your posts should look like and how to optimize them for best results, it is time for the real challenge of Facebook marketing – finding the right strategy, or in other words, what and when to post. Assuming that you already know who your audience is, let’s move forward and talk some real strategies. If you don’t know the persona of your audience, you can use a tool called Audience Insights. This amazing tool will help you obtain behavioral, as well as demographic data of your audience, in order to determine what kind of posts people are actually looking for. Social Media Content Calendar If you are not using a social media management tool, then you absolutely need to have a content calendar for your Facebook posts. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Your content calendar can be a simple spreadsheet where you will write your posts in advance and appoint them for different times. Here are some tips for a great Social Media Content Calendar: - Have tabs for each of your platforms (This calendar is not only for Facebook but your other Social Media Networks as well) - Have a day-by-day post plan that is divided into time slots - Leave some columns for specific details such as the name of the campaign, images you wish to post alongside, the count of characters, a short note to remember, etc. - In order to keep track of large campaigns, leave room for a monthly view of your posts Scheduling Your Posts Although having a social media calendar can be a real life-saver when it comes to social media marketing, you will never be able to take a break if you do not actually schedule your posts on Facebook. If you plan on successfully marketing on this platform, you will need to be super-active and post regularly. That can be tricky if you are crunched for time and not always available. Thankfully, Facebook offers a great option that allows you to schedule your posts ahead of time. The process is pretty simple. Instead of hitting ‘Publish’ and sharing your post after it has been written, click on the arrow found next to ‘Publish’ and select ‘Schedule’ instead. Enter the time and date, and you are all set. If you have a change of hearts, do not worry, you can always reschedule or cancel. Just click on ‘Publishing Tools’ that’s found at the top of your Page and choose to Reschedule, Cancel Schedule, Backdate, or Delete. When to Post and How Often? Scheduling your posts is great, but if you do not actually know when the right time for posting is, it may not turn out to be that beneficial. So, when is the right time to post on Facebook? And how often should you share your posts? If you came here looking for a clear-cut answer that will apply to your business, let me break it to you – there isn’t one. When and how often to post on Facebook depends on many factors: whether you audience is in the same time zone, your location, your main goal, what your business is about, etc. However, there are some tricks to have up your sleeve. Stick to the Rules of Thumb WHEN TO POST: The rule of a thumb is that your posts will be seen by more people if you shoot for between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays, and between noon and 1 p.m. on the weekends. The best days for posting on Facebook are Saturday and Sunday, followed by Friday and Thursday, so save your most important posts for these days. People seem to be happier on Fridays, so save your cheerful and upbeat posts for this day. Statistics say that posting on Facebook at 3 p.m. will get you the most likes, while the 1 p.m. posts will bring you more shares, so have this in mind when posting. HOW OFTEN TO POST: When it comes to how often your posts should be, the rule of a thumb is between 1 and 2 posts per day. You may think that posting frequently will bring more engagement, but it is quite the opposite, actually. Studies have shown that frequent posts bring a decrease in audience. Another rule of a thumb is that posting more than 1-2 times a day can be beneficial only for the successful companies that have more than 10,000 followers. Posting more than 2 times a day for companies that have less than 10,000 likes can bring 60% fewer clicks, statistics show. You need to remember that quality trumps always trumps quantity, so do not obsess yourself with how frequent your posts should be. Instead, make sure that your content is well-crafted, created for the right audience, and consistent. Facebook Bots A bot is an AI program that people communicate with in order to ask for some info or automatically complete a certain task. Facebook bots have completely taken over the Messenger and are especially important for businesses. The same way people use Messenger to chat with friends, they can also use this platform to communicate with bots in order to ask for updates, change a shipping address, ask for working hours, order items, etc. By getting rid of never-ending scrolling down the company’s page in order to find what they are looking for, communicating with bots makes the shopping experience much more convenient for customers. In fact, half of the people are interested in shopping from an artificial bot, so make sure you add a chatbot to your Facebook Page. There are a lot of platforms that can help you create a chatbot. Chatfuel.com is one of the most popular ones. Generating Leads Leads are potential customers. They are those people that have already shown interest in your product or service but are not paying customers just yet. For instance, if someone has subscribed for a free trial, have downloaded a free chapter of your eBook, or has signed up for a demo product, that person is a lead. In order for you to actually turn your leads into customers, you need to have a good strategy about how to generate leads and post content that they will find attractive: - Posting landing pages for special offers - Scheduling Facebook events for an upcoming webinar - Creating and posting videos that will advertise special lead generation offers - Posting Facebook Lives in order to remind your audience for upcoming events - Share blog posts that have already proven to generate leads Of course, you need to be careful not to overdo it. Not all of your content should be lead generation. Mix things up and come up with the right balance that works best for your business. Facebook Lead Ads can be used in order to gather Facebook lead info. This is a great feature that will grant access of your special offers to your audience, without the need to leave the Facebook app. Tracking Your Results Now that you know a few tricks that can get you more clicks, likes, and shares, it is time to learn how you can check to see if your marketing efforts really pay out. Your marketing strategy will not a proper plan for tracking the results will involve a lot of guesses and maybes, which can result in underachievement. For that purpose, Facebook has created a great tool call Facebook Insights that can help you analyze, track, and measure your success. To enter this tool, select the ‘Insights’ tab that is found at the top of your page. Once you do that you will be brought to the ‘Overview’ of your Page, which is your Page’s activity for the last week. You can take a look at this, but if you want to check out some more specific details, you will need to go through the tabs on the left. Likes. The Like section will show you how many likes you’ve received so far for each day. You will see a graph that will show your performance. There you will find the Net Likes graph, which is what you should be interested in most, and that is the number of likes minus the number of unlikes. Reach. If you want to see how people engage with your content, check out the Reach tab. There you will find a graph of post engagement that is divided into organic traffic (traffic that occurs naturally) and paid traffic (the traffic that you pay for and target directly to specific consumers through advertising). Page Views. This will not only show you the number of times your page has been visited, but also how those people got to your Page. Additionally, here, you can also learn about what people usually do after landing on your Page. Posts. This is probably the most useful option that this tool offer, as it helps you learn about when your followers are online, which can be super helpful during your process of scheduling posts. Posts show your fans reactions, comments, shares, post hides, reports or spams, engagement rate, etc. If you want a quick check of the success of your posts without having to go through Page Insights, simply click on ‘People Reached’ that is find right above the ‘Like’ button, and you can go through post details immediately. Advertising on Facebook To advertise your products or services on Facebook, you have to complete a process of three different elements: Campaign Ad Sets Ads This chapter will help you learn all about Facebook advertising and how to maximize the results with the minimum budget and effort. Facebook Ad Campaign Before you begin the process of creating an ad, Facebook will ask you to select your editor of choice, which will be Ad Manager or Power Editor. They both have their ups and downs, depending on what you are looking for. The Ad Manager is used the most as it is more versatile, but if you are a large company and looking for increased precision and control over multiple campaigns, then Power Editor may be a better fit. For this purpose, let’s imagine that you are satisfied with Ad Manager. In the right upper corner of your Page there is a drop-down menu. Click on it, and then select ‘Create Ads’. There, you will be prompted to choose an objective for your campaign. You will find 11 objectives in total, divided into 3 categories. Choose the one that suits you the most. The initial process of starting a campaign has been completed. The Ad-Sets Once the initial process is over, you should then go through the steps of defining your audience, setting the budget, and scheduling and optimizing the ad set. Audience If you have used this tool before, chances are your audience is already remembered by Facebook. If not, enter specified info like gender, age, location, and language of your target audience. After that, you can add more filters by, for instance, targeting only the audience that has liked a specific page, or something like that. Make sure that it is the ‘Automatic Placements’ selected under ‘Placements’. Budget There are two budget typed to choose from: Daily Budget – If your goal is to advertise continuously, then choose this option. Enter the amount that you are comfortable with spending on daily basis for this specific ad. Lifetime Budget – Choose this option if you have a specified amount of time that you wish to run the ad for. Here, your budget will be spread evenly for that time period. Schedule Now it’s time to schedule your ad set. You can either choose to start the advertising process immediately or schedule a start and end date for your ad. Optimization Click the ‘Show Advanced Options’ button and choose your preferred optimization. Here, you choose the option that you want your advertisement to be optimized for so that Facebook can show the add to people that will pay attention the most. If you are all set, click ‘Continue’ Creating the Ad Now it is time to select the format, text, media, and links, and create your Facebook ad: First of all, choose your desired format options. Facebook will show you suggestions (carousel, single image, slideshow, single video, etc.) so select the one that looks the most appealing to you. Now that you have selected the look of your ad, upload the assets and write a captivating ad headline. Facebook will give recommendations for the design based on the selected format. Tweak, polish, preview, and finally, finish the creation. Tips for Successful Advertising Here are some tips that can boost your advertisement process and, in turn, boost both the organic ad paid traffic: Focus on Videos Video ads bring far more clicks than the image-based ones. How-to videos, customer-testimonial videos, and tasteful product demonstration videos can help you generate a lot of business. Go for Lookalike Audience A lookalike audience is a group of people that is very similar to another group. This is a great advertisement trick, as you can actually create a list of customers (or even leads) and upload that to Facebook to create your lookalike audience. To upload this, go to your Ad Manager, open ‘Audiences’ and choose the ‘Lookalike Audience’ option. When Retargeting, Be Specific When retargeting your audience, do not just retarget them as a group, but try to get as specific as possible. Depending on what you are advertising, try to choose, for instance, only those people that have visited a specific part of your website, or purchased a specific type of product. Install the Facebook Pixel Facebook Pixel, the key tool for Facebook advertising, is a simple code that you place on your website that collects the data and enables you not only to keep a track of your conversions, but also to build audiences, optimize your ads, and even remarket. To create your Facebook Pixel, go to your ‘Facebook Events Manager’ and choose ‘Pixels’. Then, click on ‘Create a Pixel’, enter the name of your Pixel, and click on ‘Create’. To add the Pixel to your website, you will need to install some codes on your website, but that mainly depends on the platform you use. If you are using an e-commerce platform, this can be done easily as Facebook will offer you a Help article that will explain the whole process. If you are working with a developer, you can choose the option to Email Instructions to Developer. You can also choose to Manually Install the Code Yourself, in which case you will need to copy and paste the code into your website’s header code. Try the Callout Method It may sound clichéd, but calling out for people’s attention seems to be a trick that’s as old as time. But who cares as long as it works? Try to start the ad with a couple of questions that will call out your audience. For instance, if you are promoting your weight-loss book, you may want to start like this: “Tired of eating bland greens for the sake of your flat belly? Want to have both- a satisfied tummy and a lean figure? I have the perfect solution for you…” and then add a couple of words that describe your book. Another perk of this method is that it can serve as an additional tool for targeting audience. Here, for example, the target audience are those people whose diets are inefficient, who are always hungry and miserable and are looking for a better way to lose weight. Which is exactly what you are offering. Stick to the 20%-or-Less Text Rule It was a Facebook’s rule to automatically disapprove those image ads that had more than 20 percent of text. They might not be so strict anymore and sometimes even allow such ads, however, it is a fact that people respond better to the visual. Try to keep the text to a minimum by choosing the right words carefully, and make the image the star of your advertisement. The Boost Post Although not exactly an advertising strategy, the ‘Boost Post’ option that Facebook offers is another great way in which you can, well, boost your post. When to use this? Unless you are a super successful company with millions of fans, chances are you need to press the ‘Boost Post’ from time to time. When your post does not drag enough traffic to your page, it is time to use additional tools to boost your organic reach. The ‘boost post’ button will not only help you increase your organic traffic, but it will also give you the opportunity to reach a wider audience. Of course, boosting your post and promoting it on Facebook will cost you some money. But if you think that it’ll break the bank, you cannot be more wrong. Just like with Facebook ads, you get to set your own budget, so in the end, you pay the amount that you are actually comfortable with. The minimum amount is $1 per week, but keep in mind that the more money you spend, the wider your targeted audience will be. Step 1: Choose Your Post Whether it is the one you are crafting at the moment or an earlier post, choose the one you want to present to your audience and hit the ‘Boost Post’ button that is found in the lower right corner of your post of your choice. Step 2: Target Your Audience After choosing the post you wish to boost, Facebook will give you the option to choose options for targeting the right audience for you. You can easily create a custom audience by selecting the ‘Create New Audience’ option and defining it as you would like by setting the age range, location, specific interests, and other important factors. Step 3: Set Your Budget After defining your audience, you should have a pretty realistic idea of how much you need to spend for your boosted post. Again, you can spend the minimum of $1, but know that higher budget equals to higher reach. Step 4: Set the Duration You will then need to select the number of days you want your post to be boosted. The default is set for 1, 7, and 14 days, but you can also enter a specified date. Step 5: Preview the Boosted Post Now is the time for you to take a look at your ad and make sure that everything looks good (links work, it is error-free, etc.) as this is your last chance to correct any mistakes before your post actually goes live. Step 6: Choose Your Payment Option Choose the method in which you are planning to pay for your boost posts. Fill out the details and click ‘Continue’. Step 7: Boost Finally, you are ready to boost. To check the status of the post you have boosted, you can check out the ‘Delivery’ column under ‘Ads Manager’ YouTube I am certain that everyone who has ever used the Internet is aware of how huge YouTube is. In fact, I am also pretty sure that, at some point, we have all wasted an entire lazy day watching funny YouTube videos. But what not everyone knows is that, besides its ability to entertain, this platform has also become a crucial tool for successful marketers from all over the world. With over 1.8 billion monthly users (who are actually logged-in), over 1 billion of hours of watched videos per day, and over 400 hours’ worth of video being uploaded every minute, YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine. Whatever category they might fall under, chances are, a huge chunk of your target audience is already on YouTube. Marketing your content on YouTube is a smart move that will help your brand grow by providing more value to your customers. Creating Your Business Profile Before we jump right to setting up your business YouTube Account and creating your profile, we first need to make sure that you have an active Google account. As you may know, YouTube is owned by Google, and by owning a Gmail account you can access YouTube logged-in. But wait before opening YouTube and beginning the profile creation process. Tying up your YouTube profile to your already existing mail may not be such a good idea, especially if we are talking about your business Gmail account. Sharing your access to your YouTube profile with everyone in your company who has access to your business email is not that recommended. For that purpose, it is smart to open a different Gmail account: Go to www.google.com and select the ‘Sign In’ button found in the upper right corner. Go to ‘Create’ ‘Create Account’. Fill out the details by entering your name, the name of the email, password, birthday, etc. and click on ‘Next Step’. Verify your account by entering your phone number where a code number will be sent. Type in the code and click ‘Continue’. Your new Gmail account is now up and running. Now that you have a Gmail account, it is time to set up the actual YouTube account for your brand and create its profile. To get started, simply, visit www.youtube.com. If you are logged in with your Gmail, then you are probably already logged in with YouTube. If not, click on the ‘Sign In’ button in the upper right corner and enter your Gmail and its password. Once you are in, click on the button of your Gmail account in the upper right corner, and select ‘My Channel’. You will have the option to create your channel right away, but for your purpose, choose ‘Use a Business or Other Name’ from the bottom of the page. Now, enter the name of your brand and then click ‘Create’. Keep in mind that this can be updated later from your settings menu. Channel Icon and Channel Art Now that your channel is created, it is time to customize it. Simply select the ‘Edit Layout’ and let’s get started. The first thing you need to do is to create a channel icon and art. Channel icon and channel art for YouTube are what the profile picture and cover image are for Facebook – they are the first thing that your visitors see and therefore leave the first impression. Click on the default red picture to add your channel icon. Choose a file from your computer, but keep in mind that this picture will be used on your Grail and Google+ accounts as well. 800 x 800 pixels are recommended here. Next, click on the ‘Add channel art’ button found in the center of your channel and upload your preferred image. Here, 2560 x 1440 pixels are recommended. Describing Your Brand After uploading your pictures, it is time to add some details about your business and customize the ‘About’ tab. Write a gripping and compelling description that will explain your business briefly and also let people know about the type of videos that will be uploaded on your channel. Make sure to include links to your website and other social media platforms, as well as to include your business email address. A great option that YouTube provides is the fact that you can customize your channel differently for unsubscribed and subscribed users. The best way to use this option is to add a channel trailer that will lure visitors to hit the ‘subscribed’ button. The channel trailer is a video description of your channel and it should be short (not longer than 90 seconds; 45 seconds is the best) and appealing. Its main purpose should be to welcome visitors and encourage them to subscribe. Once you make your channel trailer, it is time to upload it: Make sure that the channel customization is on. You can check this after clicking the settings icon next to ‘Subscribe’. Click ‘Customize the layout of your channel’ and then hit ‘Save’. Click on the arrow button found in the upper right corner to upload your trailer. Choose the right file from your computer and click on ‘For New Users’ once it uploads. Select ‘Channel Trailer’, choose the file you’ve uploaded, and hit ‘Save’. Once you get your first 100 subscribers, your channel is more than 30 days old, and you have a channel icon and art uploaded, your YouTube profile will become eligible for a unique and custom URL, which will give it a more professional look. Appointing the Roles Before you actually start uploading videos and begin your YouTube marketing strategy, you need to specify how many members of your team will have access to your brand’s YouTube channel and what their roles will be. Once you give them access to the Google account, there are three different role options: Owner – They will have full power meaning they can add/remove managers, respond/delete comments or reviews, edit information, etc. Manager – Managers can have all of the editing access as the owner, without the ability to add or remove other managers. Communications Manager – As the name suggests, the communications manager is mainly in charge of communicating with the audience. They can respond to comments and reviews and do some other editing options, however, they cannot upload new content, view the analytics, or use the video manager. Go to ‘Overview’ ‘Add or remove managers’ and add individuals to manage your YouTube account. Optimizing for SEO So, you’ve successfully created your YouTube business channel. Congratulations! But there is so much more to successful marketing than just creating and uploading engaging videos. For people to watch your videos, they will have to find them first. And how can they do so if you haven’t optimized the metadata of your videos? The metadata of your videos is what gives people information about the video such as its title, category, thumbnail, tags, description, subtitles, etc. and providing the right kind of metadata will help your audience discover your video easily, whether on YouTube or Google search. Title When scrolling through the results on YouTube, the first thing that people notice about a video are its title and thumbnail. The title is what hooks the viewer’s attention and therefore should be well-thought-out. Conduct a research to understand what it is that people are looking for. Then, include the relevant keywords and important information in the title, but be careful not to go overboard. If your title has more than 60 characters, it will be shown cut-off in the video result pages on YouTube, and people may not even read the whole thing. Keep it simple, clear, and extremely compelling. Description Just like your title, the description of the video should also contain relevant keywords that will help potential viewers discover your video easily. But as important as the description is, you need to keep in mind that most people do not actually bother to read it. Unless they are interested, that is. Your job is to make them interested. YouTube usually shows only the first 2-3 lines of the description. If viewers want to read the rest of it, they have to click the ‘show more’ button for the remaining content. Make sure to polish and re-polish the beginning of the description as much as it takes for it to be compelling so that your viewers would want to read the entire content. If your description contains CTAs or some important links that you want to share with your audience, make sure to include them in the beginning of the description where people will be able to see them even without clicking ‘show more’. Another thing when it comes to writing the description, it is important to always include a transcript of your video. Why? Because your video itself is filled with keywords. By writing a short transcript with these keywords you will significantly improve your SEO and eventually, your brand’s ranking. Tags Tags are great because they can associate your brand’s videos with other, similar videos on YouTube, which only widens their reach and improves your visibility. For that purpose, make sure that your important keywords are tagged. Highlighting the most relevant keywords first is a crucial part of your brand’s SEO optimization so make sure to choose your words wisely. Category Once your video is uploaded, you will need to choose the category under which it will be shown on YouTube. You can choose the video’s category under ‘Advanced settings’. You can choose from Film & Animation, Travel & Events, Entertainment, Music, Pets & Animals, Educations, Nonprofits & Activism, People & Blogs, Sports, Autos & Vehicles, How-to & Style, Science & Technology, News & Politics, and Comedy. Choosing your category carefully is very important as the categories are what group your videos with the relevant ones on YouTube. For instance, if you are selling dog shampoo and list your video under People & Blogs instead of Pets & Animals, you may not reach your target audience. Thumbnail As mentioned earlier, the thumbnail of your video is extremely important as it is, along with the title, the first thing that people see on YouTube after discovering your video. The thumbnails have a significant impact on the number of views and should be selected carefully. Although YouTube will recommend an option of a few auto-generated thumbnails after uploading, it is highly recommended to skip this option and include a custom thumbnail instead. Choose a shot that will encourage people to click and that represents your video in a good light. YouTube says that 90% of the most successful videos on YouTube actually have custom thumbnails, so you cannot be wrong with this one. SRT Files Closed captions and subtitles are extremely helpful for viewers, but that is not the only reason why your video should include them. SRT files are also a great way for you to highlight your keywords. Whether you choose to add a timed subtitles file or a transcript of your text, SRT files are a valuable SEO optimization tool that you should definitely take advantage of. To add SRT files go to ‘Video Manager’ ‘Videos’. There, choose the video to which you want to add the SRT files and select the drop-down arrow on the right. Select ‘Subtitles/CC’ and choose accordingly. End Screens and Cards Adding end screens and cards is a valuable option offered by YouTube that can help you encourage your viewers to visit your website, check out your other videos, and even to answer poll questions. Cards are the small notifications that usually appear in the upper right corner of your video. Your card can contain a poll, a link, another video, or can be used to promote another channel on YouTube. You can add up to 5 cards at the same time, but be careful as too many inquiries have the tendency to put off viewers. If you absolutely must add a few cards, make sure to space them out well so that your viewers can take several actions without feeling overwhelmed. To add a card go to ‘Video Manager’ ‘Cards’ ‘Add Card’ and choose whether you want to create a Link, Video or Playlist, Channel, or a Poll card. After creation, simply drag the card to where you want it to appear on the video. End Screens are those last seconds of the video that encourage the viewers to take further action such as subscribe to channel, visit a Facebook page, click the like button, check out another video, etc. You can add 5-20 extra seconds to your videos and ask your viewers to engage with your brand. To add an end screen go to ‘Video Manager’, click on the drop-down arrow then choose ‘End Screens and Annotations’. There, you can choose which elements you want your end screen to include, just keep in mind that it is required to promote another YouTube video or a playlist, so even if you only wanted to encourage viewers to visit your website, you’d have to also encourage people to watch some other video of your brand there. Playlists You may think that creating playlists is not worth your time, but this feature is a real gem for the YouTube marketers. Why? Because it increases your visibility. By creating your playlists, you can combine videos not only from your channels but other YouTube channels as well. And the best part is that these playlists are listed and shown separately in the search results. For instance, if you make a collection of your videos and include some popular ones with similar content, you will help other people who may not have heard about your brand before, discover you. To create a playlist, click on the ‘+’ button under your video, select ‘Create new playlist’, choose the name for your playlist, and click on ‘Create’. To add more videos, simply use the same button but instead of clicking on ‘Create new playlist’ choose the already existing one to feature your videos there. Making the Videos Now that your YouTube channel is all set up and know what you have to do in order to optimize it for SEO, the next step is to learn how to make killer videos that people will actually watch. After all, those videos that are of high quality are the most important part of YouTube marketing. Your high-class strategy will not have much value if your videos are not created carefully, addressing the right audience. So let’s start enriching your channel with amazing content, shall we? Type of YouTube Videos Before you say “Action” and actually start filming, first you need to determine what the type of your video will be. There are eight types of videos that YouTube marketers usually create: 1. Customer Testimonials Customer testimonials are something that every successful brand should film at some point and upload to their YouTube channel. They are short interview-like videos where content customers are filmed to express their satisfaction with the product/service, share their positive experience with others, as well as recommend the brand to anyone who is considering their products or services. 2. Explainer Videos Explainer videos are also called tutorial videos or how-to videos and their main purpose, as the name suggests, is to explain to customers how to use a particular product or service. They are also a very detailed and thoughtful way to explain some more complex customer support questions. 3. On-Demand Demonstration Videos Demonstration videos are usually short videos filmed with the purpose to briefly demonstrate the use of a particular product or service, as well as to reveal its benefits to potential customers. 4. Case Studies and Project Reviews Whether it is the case studies of a successful campaign or the 5-star reviews of a certain product, the purpose of these videos is to recap the positive results and share them with the world in order to turn potential customers into buyers. 5. Thought Leader Interviews These videos are quality interview with experts of your niche with the sole purpose of increasing the credibility of your brand. 6. Video Blogs Video blogs or usually called vlogs are frequently posted videos (on a daily or weekly basis), documenting some events. Video blogs are popular among the YouTube marketers because they are a great way to get people to visit your website. By summarizing a certain blog post and uploading the video to your YouTube channel, you also give your customers multiple options in which they can absorb your content. 7. YouTube Live YouTube Live is a feature that allows you to broadcast live to your subscribers. This amazing feature is of extreme value for your marketing strategy because it allows you to connect with your audience live, and lets them engage in real-time discussions. 8. Event Videos Event videos are those videos that show some experience of a conference, auction, or some other event, and are a great way to share the positive reaction of the present crowd to your online viewers. The Script of Your Videos Now that you’ve chosen the type of your video, it is time to carefully craft its script. Before you start filming, there are a couple of steps that you need to take care of in order to ensure that the video will provide value. The Goal Before you turn your idea into reality, you need to determine first what that idea should accomplish. What is the goal of your video? What are you trying to achieve by uploading it to your channel? Do you want to increase the number of subscribers? Enhance your brand’s awareness? Drive more traffic to your website? Of course, you want all those things, but the key to making a successful video that will be watched, is a singular goal. Make each video with a single goal in mind. This will help you stay focused and prevent tackling different things at one time, which is the best marketing practice there is. Create the Story Now for the creative part. After determining your goal, it is time to wake up your imagination and craft a good story for your video. This should serve as a blueprint and an outline that will be followed during the shooting process. A good video storyboard should include: - A frame for each scene - A short description for each of the scenes - The lines for each of the scenes - Camera directions and details for the shooting (for instance, wide shots, tight shots, etc.) The Extra Elements If you are planning to include some additional multimedia elements in your videos such as slides or graphics, then you should plan for them in advance. Make sure that the extra content will be placed without any errors and add them to your storyboard. The Length of the Video How long will your video be? This is an important factor in the video making process so make sure to determine this as early as possible. Videos under 2 minutes have the highest degree of audience engagement on YouTube, so keep that in mind when deciding on how long it will take for you to deliver the key message. The Filming Location Depending on the type and concept of your video, you may need one, two or several filming locations. Finding the perfect shooting spot can be tricky, so you might want to involve your friends and family to help you out with this one. Whatever you choose, remember that for some locations you may need a shooting permit, so take care of this one beforehand to avoid being sued. Before shooting, visit each of the locations to determine how to adjust the scenery, take care of the lighting, pay attention to the ambient sounds, etc. Shooting a High-Quality Video Unless you are a very successful company and can afford to pay a fancy filming crew to take care of the video making process for you, chances are, you will need some pro tips that will help you make high-quality videos that will be watchable. Whether you are using your smartphone or a semi-professional camera for recording, the tips below will help you populate your channel with professional content: A Tripod Is a Must. The first impression is often the most important one, especially when trying to represent your brand and promote products/services. If your video starts with a shaky camera, no one will watch it, period. When clicking on the video, people are looking to hear the story behind it, not to be distracted by the unprofessional shooting. If your shot is static, buy a decent tripod that will hold your camera steady for a professional look. Go for Different Angles. A scene that is shot from only one angle is visually boring. To spice things up, shot each scene from a few different angles so you can edit afterward and create one appealing, expensive-like video. More is More. Make a habit to always shoot more than you need. That will only give you more material to choose from during the editing process and will cost nothing but a bit more time. After all, it is always easy to cut out what you don’t need. Going back and re-filming is not only a hassle but sometimes impossible. Choose the Manual Mode. I’ve read somewhere that real photographers use only manual mode because they get to tell the camera what they want and there are no inconvenient surprises like with automation. If your camera has that option, go for a full manual mode to get the most out of filming. That way you can easily adjust the focus and shoot a visually-appealing video. Invest in Your Microphone. If your video includes speaking, then investing in a high-quality microphone is not an option – it is a must. You don’t want to sound like you are talking to your viewers from the end of a tunnel. Even if you are using your smartphone for the video making process, you can purchase a mic that can be plugged into your device and further enhance the sound of your video. Editing Your Video After filming, it is time to edit the video material and create a compelling video of high quality to upload to your YouTube channel. Editing Tools. Chances are, your OS already has some editing software that offers basic tools for editing such as correction of color, cutting clips, or adding titles. However, if you want a video with a more professional look, then spending some money on a more advanced software such as Adobe Premier CC or Final Cut Pro X, is highly recommended. If you want to keep things pretty low-budget, YouTube also offers online editing software for that purpose. Thumbnails. As discussed earlier, video thumbnails are extremely important. The video thumbnail is what potential viewers will see in their video search results, on your YouTube channel, as well as their suggested column on their right when watching similar videos. The most successful YouTube marketers have their own custom-made thumbnails uploaded, so get creative and make one yourself. Watermarks. Want to further encourage your viewers to hit the ‘subscribe’ button? Then adding a watermark is a perfect choice. Watermarks are custom-made ‘subscribe’ buttons that are placed on your videos with the purpose of attracting the viewer’s eye and encouraging them to press conveniently and subscribe to your channel while watching your video. If you want to add a watermark, go to ‘Creator Studio’ ‘Channel’ ‘Branding’. Press ‘Add a Watermark’ and follow the uploading instructions. Sound Effects. High-quality sound effects are probably the most important factor that makes the difference between a professional-shot video and an amateur one on a low budget. But you don’t have to have a giant budget in order to include movie-like music. Now there are many ways to add a quality sound to your videos without draining your budget. YouTube itself offers a variety of sound effects of high quality to choose for your videos. But if you are not so crazy about that option, then finding royalty-free music online is perhaps your best solution. There are royalty-free sounds that you can actually download for free, but if you want to add a more professional tone to your videos, then think about investing some money and download the right music for your video for a flat price. Royalty-free means that, once you pay for the download, you are free to use the music file any way you see fit, without having to make additional payments, even if your video skyrockets on YouTube. Marketing the Videos Now that your video is filmed, beautifully edited, and successfully uploaded to your YouTube channel, the next step is to find the best marketing strategy and get people to actually click on your video and watch it. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve already covered a large chunk of YouTube marketing strategies that will help people discover and watch your videos such as: using relevant keywords, using tags, have a rich and compelling description, have the perfect thumbnail image, include descriptive transcripts, use cards and end screens, and combine your videos with popular ones in playlists. All of these, let’s call them tricks, will help you boost the organic traffic, get more views, and improve your ranking. But if you have just embarked the YouTube marketing train, it might be pretty hard to stand out and achieve your goals. The initial (and the most important!) strategy for YouTube marketing is knowing how to spread the word. Spreading the word and letting your audience know that you actually have a YouTube channel where they can check out your videos, is the first thing you need to take care of. Social Media Have a Facebook or Instagram account? Sharing your videos on other social media platforms is the best way to let your followers there know about your channel and videos and get them to engage. Fortunately, sharing YouTube videos couldn’t be easier. To share a video, simply click the ‘Share’ button found underneath the video and select the platform where you want to market the video. Another way is to copy the video URL from the address bar while the video is playing, and then paste the link on your social media page. But keep in mind that sharing the video alone is not a good marketing strategy. You are not sharing a silly cat video with your friends; you need people to watch and engage. When thinking about sharing a video, also think about why you created the video in the first place. Was it a tutorial to simplify the use and answer some customer questions? If so, the best way is to share your video as a response to that questions. Was it a part of some trend or a campaign? If that was the reason, then do not forget the important #hashtags to ensure that your video is a part of a conversation. And if you simply want to spread awareness around your company, then including the link to the video in your ‘About’ section as well can be quite beneficial. Website Your website or blog is the perfect place for you to market your YouTube channel and videos. If you have a website that is up and running, do not forget to include ‘Follow’ icons to your social media platforms. This includes YouTube as well. This will help your blog’s visitors to easily find your channel and click the ‘Subscribe’ button to stay updated with your video posts as well. A great strategy is to also create a video that will be posted as an addition to a certain review, case study, or simply your blog post. This works well both ways because it can not only help you market your videos and gain more views on YouTube, but it can also drive organic traffic to your website and other platforms as well. To post one of your YouTube videos to your website, find the embed code underneath the video, copy it, and paste it where you want it to be featured. Email The worst mistake that marketers can make is getting preoccupied with attracting a new audience and forgetting about the customers that they already have. Once your YouTube channel is packed with some videos, it is time to share the news with your existing users/customers. And what better way to do so than with an email list? Send an email newsletter with helpful information and video and encourage your customers to engage with your brand. You don’t like the idea of sending your customers links to your videos? How about inviting them to check out a certain website post where your YouTube video has already been embedded? Collaboration Sometimes the solution is in someone else’s hands. If your brand is in collaboration with another company that also has a YouTube channel, ask them to collaborate together. This will not only be fun and exciting for both companies, but it is the perfect way to join forces and expand your audience. By creating a video or even a playlist together, you may end up getting a lot of their subscribers and vice versa. The important thing to have in mind though, is that your goals are similar and that the collaboration with the other brand aligns with your strategy. Q&A Websites Have you ever visited a Q&A site? They are the perfect place to get a solution to your questions from experts and people that have experience in the field of your interest. www.quora.com is the most popular site right now. Take advantage of it. Monitor the kind of questions that people ask and provide solutions with your video content. Who knows? This might turn out to be your best marketing strategy out there. Engage, Engage, Engage! Finally, the solution can be pretty simple. Engage with your existing audience and get them to spread their satisfaction and positive experience. Answer their questions, respond to their comments in a timely manner, ask for their honest feedback, and do not forget to thank them for their support. This is the simplest but most easily forgotten task. Make sure to be there for the users so they can be there for you. Getting a Handle on YouTube Analytics Investing your time and effort into creating and uploading professional and helpful videos to your YouTube channel cannot possibly be successful if you are not measuring what you’ve achieved. Keeping a track of your success can help you pinpoint what you are doing wrong, what works best, and what needs to be improved in order to enhance the success and improve your YouTube ranking. Every YouTube channel has its YouTube Analytics that contains reports of the channel’s performance for a certain time period. Understanding exactly what those numbers and graphs mean can help you get a clear picture of whether people find your videos attractive or not. Here is a quick tutorial on how to use Analytics to measure success: Your Goal If you don’t have a clear goal in mind, you cannot possibly expect to measure your success, because you don’t have a standard for your measurements. Knowing exactly why you post your video (remember, one goal per video?) will help you imagine where you see your video to be and where it is actually standing. That way you can understand what areas need improvement and whether you should think about investing in paid ads to drive more traffic to your channel. Now that you have reminded yourself of what how you expect your videos to perform, it is time to check out whether they have delivered or not. The first thing you need to do is open your YouTube Analytics. Just go to www.youtube.com/analytics (be sure you are logged in). Once you enter you should see a performance overview of your videos for the last 28 days. You can adjust the timeframe and filter the results by the key metrics from there. Watch Time Watch time is a report that shows you the total number of minutes that your audience spent watching your content, whether in total or by video. This is an extremely important factor because it is what directly impacts the YouTube ranking. If your video has a high watch time, you should expect it to be ranked high in the video search results. Average View Duration The average view duration (retention rate) represents the average percentage that your audience watches per view. To put it simply, it is not the same if a person watches the first 10 seconds or finish watching the entire video. The higher this percentage is, the higher are the chances that your audience will watch the video until the end. Cards and end screens can help you improve this numbers, so if you haven’t already included them, go back here and take care of that. Traffic Sources This report will show you exactly how your viewers are discovering your video content online. Whether it was the YouTube search, YouTube ads, suggested video, or from an external platform (such as your website or Facebook page), this report will show you how most people landed there. This is a very valuable factor as it clearly shows you what marketing strategy works best and where you need to spend some more time and effort. Demographics The demographics report will show you a clear picture of what age group watches your videos the most. But that’s not all. You can then break down these groups into geography or gender to further understand your audience and see if your YouTube viewers match your already established buyer persona, or if you need to adjust your goals or videos to hit your target audience better. Engagement Reports These reports will show you what it is that your audience engages with the most. Here, you can pinpoint the most viewed, shared, promoted, or commented videos. Plus, this report will also show you how your cards and end screens are performing so you can further optimize your videos. Advertising on YouTube So you’ve done everything that you could and yet, the YouTube Analytics’ reports aren’t as satisfying as you hoped for. Well, I hate to break it to you, but promoting on social media and embedding on your website and crossing your fingers that someone will watch your videos won’t cut it. You need to take some serious action and foot the bill for a high YouTube ranking. That means advertising on YouTube. Types of YouTube Ads There are three different types of YouTube ads to invest in. Read on to choose the one that fits your needs and budget the most: TrueView Ads TrueView Ads are the standards and most common ads that you see on YouTube videos. You pay for TrueView ads only when the viewer watches at least 30 seconds of the ad, or if they engage with it, for instance, with clicking on a call-to-action. These ads are skippable, which means that if the viewer is not interested in watching them, they can hit the ‘Skip’ button on the right, choose not to watch the ad, and you will not pay a dime for that. These skippable ads can be anywhere from 12 seconds to 6 minutes long. There are two parts of skippable TrueView ads: #1: Video Discovery Ads Video Discovery, or previously called In-Display Ads, are those ads that show on the video search result pages, YouTube homepage, and as videos that are related. Once the viewer clicks to watch the video, on the right, a display ad banner will appear. #2: In-Stream Ads In-Stream ads are those advertisements that appear within the video and play before the viewer even get the chance to watches the selected video. Usually, viewers have the chance to skip the ad after 5 seconds of playing, if they are not interested. These ads are great for marketers because they can be easily customized with the chance of including different call-to-action buttons. Preroll Ads Although technically they are non-skippable in-stream ads, the preroll ads are those ads that the viewers cannot skip, and that appear before, after, or even mid-roll videos. These preroll ads can be from 15-20 seconds long and are most successful if they are created with CTAs in order to optimize the viewer’s attention that you have for these limited seconds. Your job here is to create a compelling ad that will encourage the viewers to click on the ad in order to receive something in return (like signing up for a demo product or some event). Bumpers The shortest type of ads on YouTube is called bumpers. They are only 6 seconds short and, to be honest, are not the best way to tell a story, however, if you are looking for a quick way to complement the launch of your new product or event, they can be of great value. Make sure to use these few seconds wisely and make sure to include only the elements that you want your viewers to actually remember. Creating Your Ad Campaign Once your marketing video is completed, the next step is to create the campaign in which you will advertise your clip on YouTube. To get started, go to Google AdWords account (sign up if you don’t have one) and let’s create the campaign: Type – Click on the ‘+ Campaign’ button and choose ‘Video’ to choose the type of your campaign. Name – Here, enter the name of your campaign. Ad Format – Choose the format of your video ad. For instance, choose ‘In-stream or video discovery ads’. Budget – Set how much money you wish to spend per day. Here, you can also select the method of delivery, meaning you can choose whether to show your video ads evenly during that day (standard delivery), or you can choose to drive views quickly (accelerated delivery). Networks – You can choose where you want your video ads to appear. You have two options: YouTube Videos: These ads will play before or mid-roll videos. YouTube Search: Your ad will appear on the YouTube homepage, the video search results, and listed in the related video column. Make sure to create different campaigns for these two networks so you can measure the success separately and more effectively. Locations – Filter the location of the users that you want the ad to be shown to, for instance, you can only choose California, United States. You also have the option to exclude some places as well. Language, Device & Mobile Bidding – This is a great option that allows you to specify the device, mobile carrier, and operating system for a more successful targeting. You can also decrease or increase your bid if the video is shown on a mobile device. Advanced Settings – In this section, you can set the start and end date of your campaign, limit the daily views, create a schedule for when the ad should be displayed, etc. This allows you to personalize your ad and get the most return. Creating the Video Ad Creative – Once you name your ad group, you can also add the link to the YouTube video that you wish the ad to play for. Then, you will choose whether you wish to di