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April 5, 2012

Don’t Follow the Crowd – Break Out of the Box

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When it comes to breaking out of the box, it’s easy to talk the talk. But when it comes to performing the deed, few businesses are willing to walk the walk. The Internet is a prime example of this phenomenon. Chock full of cost effective technologies that can take a business to a whole new level of interactive marketing, for the most part there are few companies who truly grasp, let alone embrace, what the web has to offer.

How has SEO Changed Over the Past Few Years?

In past blogs we have talked about how SEO has changed from an injection to a process that factors in everything from your website, to such things as blogging, social networking and even YouTube. In reality, there more than 30 points of relevance that the spiders look for when searching and sorting out the most relevant sites. It is no longer sufficient to pay someone to tweak your keyword density and Meta Tags and expect to wind up on page one. To get the job done, you need to create compelling content on a regular (i.e., weekly) basis. Ignore this fact of online life and you will relegate your website to the backwaters of the major search engines. Embrace this concept and it is not only possible to generate a page 1 result on such search engines as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, but you can potentially generate multiple page 1 results.

Gone are the days when seasoned online marketers created an ubersite that was composed of numerous pages that web surfers could be expected to navigate through. Today you almost need to treat a web search as a question and the website (or landing page) as the answer. In other words, in terms of SEO viability, it is far more effective to create a number of microsites that are targeted at high value keywords. Not only is this tactic more effective at generating a page 1 result, but it is also much more effective at generating a conversion. Particularly if you include a video that answers the question posed by the keyword selected, this could jumpstart your online results in a hurry.

Why is Blogging Critical to Your Online Success?

Speaking of hurrying, a blog post properly optimized can be one of the quickest ways to jump the queue online. For example, a couple of months ago, I wrote a blog post entitled “Get Your Best Customers to Toot Your Horn.” The post extolled the virtues of employing video testimonials in order to increase credibility, as well as turning your best customers into your best salespeople. After posting this article on blogger, as well as reprinting it on linktoexpert.com, I googled the title the next day and found that both the original blog, and the repost appeared at the top of page 1. Not bad for a half hour’s work.

Creating and disseminating compelling blogs is one of the easiest ways to wind up on page one. Why? Because Google is gaga for mixed media, particularly when they own the conduit. By posting your blogs on Blogger, which Google owns and posting your videos on YouTube, which Google owns, not only will you improve your content worthiness, but you will also feed the 800lb gorilla in the room that owns and operates the most successful and profitable search engine on the planet.

How Social is Your Social Network?

This is another area where most businesses miss the boat when it comes to online success. To get a bead on how to successfully employ social networking, the first thing that you have to understand is what it is not designed to do. Just as with blogging, if you simply attempt to create and disseminate ad copy via social networking, you will quickly find yourself isolated in an ever shrinking pond of influence as your audience either ignores or you.

While social networks can be used to generate an audience and augment the bottom line, there is a right way and a wrong way to go about doing so. The best approach is to create an environment in which compelling stories, humorous insights and helpful hints about your business are produced and promoted online. The key is that unlike ad copy with is 90% pitch and 10% information, when it comes to social networking, this equation is turned on its head. In fact, the best way to turn a reader into a customer when using social networking is to show them that you are an authority who can save them time or make a problem disappear. Interacting with an ever growing audience is what social networking is all about.

What Can Video do to Revolutionize Your Marketing Results?

When it comes to breaking out of the box, online video can be your elevator to the top if employed properly. As with social networking, no one wants to watch a 60-second commercial online. What people want to see is what I refer to as “infotainment.” If you can entertain and inform your audience you will get your message across and have the opportunity build a vast audience who wait with baited breath for your next installment.

Think I’m joking? Let me share with you a story about a product called the Orabrush. Sounds like a toothbrush, doesn’t it? Well it’s not. What it is, is the world’s first tonguebrush. After spending about $40,000 developing the prototype and getting the product ready for mass production, the inventor of the Orabrush started making the rounds of big box retailers looking to score a little shelf space for his product. Care to guess at how many retailers signed on? You got it… Nada. Now, some forty kay in the hole, and panicked by the thought that his business could well go under, the inventor started googling around looking for a way to save his business from the scrap heap. To make a long story short, the owner of the Orabrush decided to pay $500 to create a couple of videos that he posted on YouTube. Had he simply talked about the merits of the Orabrush, his videos would have no doubt garnered little traffic. But that’s not the approach he took. Instead, he created a catchy, funny series of video shorts that caught the imagination of the viewers and quickly propelled his video views into the millions. After that, not only did he succeed in getting the big box retailers to rethink their opinion of his product, but he also managed to sell over a million units online. His video channel, titled Cure Bad Breath, is now the third most viewed YouTube channel after Apple Computer and Old Spice.

The moral of the story is that viral video can be one of the most effective promotional tools of all times. What most people do not realize is that YouTube is viewed by more people than all the TV networks combined. (More than 1 trillion videos were viewed in 2011 alone.) It is also a search engine and social network where video content is available on-demand 24/7. More importantly, the cost of streaming content on this online mega-station is exactly zero. So there really isn’t any reason why your company can’t start “programming” your own YouTube channel today.

Want another reason to jump on the YouTube bandwagon? Consider the fact that every video you upload on YouTube can be embedded on your website and blogs, can be linked to your social networks and newsletters, and can be used to put every piece of printed literature and advertising that your company gives out on steroids and you’ll soon wonder how you ever did without this online wonder weapon.


Carl Weiss is President of W Squared Marketing Group. Since 1995, he has helped hundreds of businesses increase their exposure and results online. He is also co-host of the BlogTalk Radio.com show Working the Web to Win, which is aired Tuesday at 4 Eastern.

2 Responses to “Don’t Follow the Crowd – Break Out of the Box

    Great sharing! SEO is so important to get traffic in. Learn a lot from your article and will start to pay a lot more attention on on page and off page SEO!

    A lot of blogs are using lots of images and videos nowadays, and I can say that the role of these materials will always be powerful to make your blog more effective in generating traffic. It all lies in the creativity of the developer and your tips here nailed it.

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