10,000 Namarketer by the Numbers

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If you are still thinking of YouTube as the place where mega-audience viral videos launch huge brand identity campaigns, then you need to catch up. It’s become much more democratic. Today, it as much for the local pizzeria, the regional salon or the district franchise as it has been for the Madison Avenue types.

But to play in this space profitably, you need to have a plan. Are you there to educate or entertain? Are you looking to increase subscribers or attract new visitors to your website?

In any event, you need to understand that today, YouTube values (gives higher search results to) videos and channels where users view the entire video. 

What does this mean to those producing a video? Don’t be sneaky or tricky with your headlines or teasers; as soon as a viewer sees she is not getting what was suggested, she will abandon the video and you miss your message. The impression it leaves can even do damage to your brand.

It’s all about the viewer

Viewers decide within the first 15 seconds of a video whether they are going to keep watching or not. To quickly engage viewers, you must:

  • Gain the trust with a simple and quick introduction.
  • Make the viewer curious about what is coming next.
  • Be clear about what is going to be in the video from the very start to keep them engaged throughout your video.

Call them to action 

To be successful, you must create clear and concise calls to action. There is no secret to where to put this in the video–you can use the beginning, middle, or end to direct the actions of your viewers. But having too many prompts can cause confusion, so keep them few and brief, such as:

  • Subscribe Now: giving them a reason to subscribe (e.g., new content every week or special episodes they don’t want to miss).
  • Like / Add to Favorites / Share: Asking your viewers to “like,” “favorite,” and “share” the video will make them appear in more places throughout YouTube. Simply asking viewers to do this will yield surprising results.
  • Comments: Encourage your audience to engage with you by asking a question or requesting a topic they want to see covered.
  • Point to your website: End each video with your web address (URL), logo, and anything of primary importance to your brand and message.

Do it again

This is most important. You can’t water a plant once and expect growth. Build an audience by consistently updating your channel with new content. The right frequency of content depends on your audience, your goals, and your content, but posting less than a few times a month certainly lacks commitment.

(Hint: produce short videos. Choose a topic and post bite-size videos weekly to keep your audience engaged and looking for more.)

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Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content and social media to businesses in New York and New Jersey and internationally.

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Posted in Advertising, Brand, By the Numbers, Consumers, Content, Customers, Social Media, Technology, Uncategorized, video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Z is for Zaitech: Namarketing A to Z

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From around 1960 to the late 1980s, Japan had one of the highest economic growth rates in the world. Their stock market bubble was fueled by a Japanese corporate invention, known as “zaitech,” or “Financial Engineering”– after obtaining low-interest loans, corporations were easily able to raise funds on the markets, which were often recycled into further speculative market activities again and again.

The Japanese stock market zoomed higher and corporations reported their speculative profits as increased earnings. Of course, investors purchased more stock, driving prices higher still, providing more funds for the continued speculative success.

By the end of the decade, it was estimated that up to 50% of total reported profits from Japan’s largest corporations were derived from “zaitech”. Inevitably, the stock market fell and crashed. Throughout the 1990s, Japan paid the price; it experienced slower growth than any other major industrial nation.

For many businesses today, social media has become a similar false goal. Companies pay for, ply, finnagle and pad their social media totals in a vain attempt to appear cool, desirable or popular. It’s an empty effort that will ultimately fail. Being voted ‘Most Popular’ offers little substance to those who wish to be your friend, and it’s an empty title when perpetrated through pay or leverage.

Great content delivered in the proper context still delivers reach and frequency in whatever channels you pursue, including digital. If done right it can lead to unprecedented reach and success in an increasingly social online world.

But be cautious. Your name, your brand, your reputation is, as Socrates said, “like fire; when once you have kindled it you may easily preserve it, but if you once extinguish it, you will find it an arduous task to rekindle it again. The way to a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”

Happy 2014.

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Y is for ‘Your money of your life’: Namarketng A to Z

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Throughout the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, highway robbery was viewed as a particularly serious crime, not only because it looted goods from innocent citizens, but because it interfered with freedom of movement (and trade), which was considered a fundamental right, and neccessary for the economic success of any state.

The common call to “Stand and Deliver!” was often accompanied by the threat “Your money or your life.”

It was clear: pay up of suffer the most extreme consequences.

Today, there is a level of business-minded indivuduals who consider the price to pay for marketing their business akin to highway robbery.

While Fortune 500 companies understand and appreacite marketing (Coca-Cola, already one of the most recognized brands in the world, will nevertheless spend billions of dollars next year on marketing). And on the other side of the spectrum, startups and micro-businesses clearly see marketing as a matter of survival. They know their business will disappear without it.

In between, however, there are many companies who shun investing in marketing. For them, it’s tempting to let things slide. Their business is doing O.K. and they decide not to ‘waste’ the money, the effort or the time.

Successful companies never stop marketing, and for three good reasons:

  • Choices. Marketing creates demand, giving you the choice of which customers to pursue (and which profits to wreap).
  • Freshness. Marketing keeps your message, and your reputation, “new.” Ever visit a website that still has their “Celebrating Ten Years of Business, 1998-2008” on their home page? Doesn’t instill confidence that they are on the ball, does it?
  • Growth. Marketing is the seeds you plant today for the growth and success of your business in the future.

So next time you are deciding whether or not to part with the funds required for marketing success, decide whether it will be …your money…or the life of your business?

 

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Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content to businesses in New York and New Jersey and internationally.

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X is for Xenolithic: Namarketing A to Z

Xenolith means, literally, “foreign rock”. It comes from the Greek  “xenos” (foreign) and “lithos” (stone). A xenolith is a fragment of foreign rock within a host rock. And just like that piece of foreign rock within, you may be overlooking a small, but enormously important bit as you use continue to hammer away with that stone tool to market yourself through your conventional ads, flyers, PowerPoint slides and other pedantic pieces of public promotion.

Video.

You say you’ve gotten along without video so far?  You say the current mix of tools has been doing ok?

Well, maybe but….

 

CRUSH KILL DESTROY

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You should know that video crushes conventional ads. It murders email. It petrifies postcards and eviscerates Val-Pak. It’s been called the ‘Ultimate Marketing Tool’ by some experts. Little wonder why:It is here to stay. Words with pictures. People talking to you. It’s primal, and effective. YouTube tracks on average 2 billion views each day.

It is cost effective. You don’t need a production team or even a high-end camera to produce your videos. Believe it or not, your iPhone or something similar will do.

It is sought after. The market, yes even your market for niche b2b widgets, is eating up video at a record pace. Show Me. Tell Me. Show Me.

Video brings traffic.  Create your channel on YouTube. Post videos regularly. Create a demand for more. Joila!

It’s the new cost of doing business. Not doing video is on par with not having a website…or a phone number.

Maybe your competition hasn’t jumped on the video bandwagon yet. Perfect time to become a leader in your industry.

By incorporating video into your campaign–xenolithically– you will not only stay ahead of your competition, but you are likely to see improvements in your bottom line.

If video has been the foreign fragment in your stone, get to know it. And Rock It.

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Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content to businesses in New York, New Jersey and internationally.

Posted in Advertising, Brand, Consumers, Content, Customers, Marketing A-Z, Social Media, Technology, video | Leave a comment

The future is in the past for cause marketing

Cause marketing has long been another tool in the work belt of advertising and public relations professionals. Everything from Breast Cancer Awareness to Crone’s Disease has been co-opted and utilized as a marketing ploy to get consumers to buy, switch, or upgrade, just to build a brand.

So much helping-hands-to-help-me is prevalent that there is more than a serious risk that we have desensitized consumers to helping a good cause for good, just because.

There is another way. Perhaps a brand could make a real impact by embracing the cause in ’cause marketing’ and letting the marketing follow. I know it is revolutionary and contrary to modern marketing concepts, but think about it. You gotta zag when the others are zigging.

Imagine a company-corporation-business just doing the right thing. Helping for the sake of providing help; doing good works. And when the consumer tries to look behind the curtain for the motive? “Just doing good here.”. Then you let your brand journalists loose to report on it for you. But no gimmicks; no ‘a portion of every sale up to a preset amount we have already budgeted and paid goes to the cause’; no ‘just buy our specially tagged-colored-packaged item at an inflated price and show your friends you cared enough about a cause to buy our product instead of helping the cause directly on your own’. Nope. None of that. Give it up. Stop being so convoluted.

Just help.

OK, I’ll go… In my part of the world there is an historic piece of architecture –the Kirkbride Building–what had been a main building at the closed Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany, NJ.

 

Designed a few years after the Civil War by Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan, it is a French Renaissance/Second Empire style building.  In the 1800s, Dr. Kirkbride for whom it was named, was seeking to create benevolent settings for patients. Every window in the Sloan design had a view of the surrounding pastoral countryside.

Sloan was no one-hit wonder. He also designed the North Carolina Executive Mansion, the official residence of the Governor of North Carolina and family, and the The Asa Packer Mansion, home of railroad magnate and founder of Lehigh University.

Everything old is new again must be demolished

The 678,000-square-foot Kirkbride Building, constructed in 1876 and closed in 2008 when a new, modern hospital opened nearby is slated for demolition by the state (Governor Christie). Meanwhile Preserve Greystone (preservegreystone.org) — made up of preservationists, historians, environmentalists and interested local residents– is trying to salvage it; not as an empty monument. They are working to put it in the hands of people who could create something out of it– new uses for the building instead of demolition of a storied piece of the state’s history

Richard Upjohn, a Sloan contemporary and then president of the Institute of Architects mourned back in the 1800s that so few early colonial buildings remained and that if the Institute should be able by its influence to preserve these kind of  “interesting fabrics from demolition, it will be doing a good work.”

On the destruction of a great building back in the 1870s, Sloan wrote: “Architecture and the art of building have not arrived at so much perfection in America that the loss of such an example can be afforded…”

Preserve Greystone (preservegreystone.org) is dedicated to protecting the open space and historic buildings on the former Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital property in Morris County, NJ.   Please consider signing the petition on their website to keep it in our midst. You’ll be doing good.

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Are you ready to get your business’s marketing in gear? Let’s talk.    Namarketer.com

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W is for words: Namarketing A to Z

Marketing with content more often than not requires a reliance on words, and certain words are more powerful when it come to helping attract attention, drive sales, or deliver a message. There are thousands to choose from, but here are six tried and true, powerful words to weave, or flag your content.

because now free how

(ok, so that was really two words)easy new

Here’s how to make your business successful. Use these pathfinders as an easy way to alert your prospects and customers, divine new content, or refresh previously published material. Because they are worth your time and effort. Act now. They’re free.

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Bob Namar is the Namarketer, a professional writer, editor and Internet marketer providing promotions and marketing via custom content to businesses in New York and New Jersey.

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V is for Video: Namarketing A to Z

Video. Not only is everyone in marketing discussing it, but online video is now the dominant medium for getting your message heard. The big brands and top agencies are there, and to be sure, your audience is too.

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You may not be able to create a viral video, –please don’t even try– but you can still maximize the impact of a video, no matter if you’re a brand marketer, B2B marketer, agency or anyone who wants to deliver a message.

I ran into Rob Ciampa, VP of Marketing at Pixability, at the Custom Content Council’s Content Strategy Exchange in New York City this summer. He has five tips he shared for getting started with video marketing. They are:

  1. Video content is king. 87% of marketers are now using video as their primary  source of content. They’ve discovered the impressive results video produces compared to other types of content.
  2. Don’t be afraid to use YouTube. The YouTube community is massive, and the  service is the second largest search engine on the Internet. If you’re seen on YouTube, you’ll be seen on the Internet.
  3. Don’t get hung up on production. High production values do not mean a high return on investment. Even big brands like Dell have found success with uncomplicated employee demos.
  4. Video marketing matters. Your work doesn’t end with production; you need to  ut at least as much effort into your promotional efforts. Proper video marketing delivers a ten-fold increase in clickthroughs.
  5. Social media and video work together. Video drives your social media to work better because it enhances the two-way dialog that is crucial to social media success.

What you need to know above all is, when organizations do YouTube right, they get incredible results. When they don’t, they stink.

How do you ‘get it right?’ It’s not too hard, really.​

  1. Make lots of video content: be a consistent video content machine
  2. Practice good video SEO: take video optimization and YouTube channel architecture seriously
  3. Use different videos for multiple touch-points: Don’t get caught in the overproduction trap. Lesser quality video works well.
  4. Link your video to marketing initiatives: apply the “always on” strategy to video marketing
  5. Ensure your video has branding: apply it consistently, intelligently and methodically
  6. Content vs. channels: adding more content is more important than adding more channels
  7. Engage your community via social media: audience is everything on YouTube

Good Luck. Roll’em!​

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U is for Use Your Blog: Namarketing A to Z

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Every business, big or small, has the opportunity to be showcasing its expertise. For larger businesses, you may already have a blog installed (though have you developed a strategy and are you a regular publisher?). Smaller business may have been dragging their feet, but they should not. You can embed one in your site for little more than the cost of assigning an editor to it; or even if you do not have a web site for your business, you can still promote yourself by creating one for free.

But your blog has to be used and used well. To serve up content that will drive business, I suggest you P-L-A-T-E it:

  • Provide a call to action. Tell readers what they should do with information you just shared. Read more about the product or service, click to ask a question, visit the online Q&A, or another meaningful activity. Get them moving.
  • Link to other sources for your customers. Industry associations, news sites, experts, even other blogs that support your vision, all serve to educate, motivate and engage your readers.
  • Aggregate content for your visitors. That means bring information from other sites to yours. Putting a lot of good content in one place is convenient for your readers, projects authority as your readers see you can recognize good content, and can create a spring board from which ideas can grow. You can find some help here.
  • Target your community, and by that I mean your customers and prospects. This isn’t a forum for your political or social beliefs, or your personal complaint department. You’re doing this to be a leader and to attract people who want to do business with you.
  • Embed visuals. It’s eye candy and makes your posts more interesting. Use charts, product pics, photos of your staff and operation, events and tradeshows, etc. Show AND tell. ‘Nuff said.

If you aren’t already blogging about your business, dive in. If you are, make sure you’re doing it well and have a qualified editor putting it together for you (this is not an intern project). PLATE it, and you’ll be serving a new wave of customers sooner than you think. It’s your blog…Use it.

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Bob Namar is president of Namarketer, a content marketing, publicity and promotion agency in the NY-NJ metropolitan area. Visit Namarketer.com.

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T is for Top Ten: Namarketing A to Z

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There are many who favor lists as a way to attract an audience or eyeballs to a website. Similarly, there are many who find them contrived, overused and dull.

It’s all about what you have to say and how you say it. Lists are easily digestible and eye-catching; nothing wrong with either of those.

So why top tens? Here’s a double-handful of reasons to go with lists:

1. Eye catching. People respond
2. Easily digestible. Readers can get to the points quickly and time is money.
3. Promise and deliver. Any headline that lists a number of reasons, secrets, types, or ways makes a very specific promise of what’s in store for the reader.
4. They build your authority. Lists demonstrate a mastery of your area of expertise.
5. Easy to share. Need I explain?
6. Headlines containing numbers receive higher responses.
7. Longevity. Lists attract long-term traffic; they have a good shelf life.
8. Re-purpose. It’s easy to reuse lists in emails, newsletters, etc.
9. Food for thought. A good list gets people thinking, talking, engaged.
10. Left brain. The list format has been successful for decades with direct marketers, magazine publishers, and others because it lets readers know exactly what they’re getting, and the list format speaks to the organized left side of the brain.

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Generally, for a list to be successful it should be relevant to the brand and the product/service, though you can present it in a unique way. Just be sure to elaborate sufficiently to bring value to the reader.

Oh, and lists of ten are over abundant. Maybe make yours 6, or 9 or 13.

How do you feel about list stories?

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S is for Social Media: Namarketing A to Z

ImageYou do not need a social media strategy.

Collecting “Likes” or Followers nets you nothing in and of itself. And chasing those will frustrate you waste your time and money and do nothing for your business.

What you have to understand is that social media tools enable people to have conversations, and However, if you are a useful contributor of helpful information  through social media tools, you will gain trust, credibility and positive word of mouth.

So first, you must have something to say.

The bad news is, few people are saying much that is worthwhile. The good news is, if you have a business,you have plenty to say.

Truth is, customers and prospects no longer depend on traditional sources to find businesses that can solve their problems. They look for solutions to their problems online today. And your business needs to show up in the first few pages of Google to be found.

How do you get there?

I told you once.

Buying Ad Words? Very expensive.

Hire someone who bills themselves as a “search engine optimization” expert? Just remember that Google hires Ph.D. computer scientists and mathematicians by the boatload. Will your expert beat their system?

But there is one way to top the pages of a Google search– create content that Google indexes. Because Google gives a much higher score to pages that are updated frequently and contain “rich media,” meaning photos, audio, and video.

What we like to call “content”.

I bet I know where you put your content. In your blog, right? Or your What’s New page?

Meanwhile, the front door to your business, your home page, continues to be the boring, static, “welcome” with beauty shots and links to other pages. Where’s the vibrancy? Where’s the news? Why hasn’t it changed since I saw it last year, last month, last week?

Don’t you have something to say, to tell?

Go Live. Be Fresh.

Put it on your website and THEN Tweet it and post to Facebook and everything else with it. Having your story told on your website, and teasing it out there on social media gives you the steak and the sizzle. An unbeatable combination.

Oh, and then?

Produce more content.

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