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Personal Branding: How to Successfully Build Your Brand

This may be of some interest.

Do you want to build a personal brand? Wondering how to create a viable business around your personal brand? To explore what marketers need to know about building a personal brand, I interview Rory Vaden on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. Rory co-founded the Brand Builders Group and is the host of the Influential Personal Brand […]

The post Personal Branding: How to Successfully Build Your Brand appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Thank you for reading.

Lingo Blaster Review

Lingo Blaster Review – How to tap into the 75% of potential customer currently IGNORING you? 

 

Name: Lingo Blaster

Product Owner: Ali G, Stoica & Vlad 

Website: Click Here 

Price: $37 

 

 

In a nutshell, what is Lingo Blaster? 

As English speakers, it’s natural to concentrate our marketing efforts in English. But did you know, only 25% of online searches are made in English? Lingo Blaster is a unique software platform that translates any of your videos into over 100 foreign languages, and then publishes them directly to your YouTube account. Not only that, it will add local keywords, so your videos start ranking in all the top foreign languages, in just 3 clicks. Think about it; it’s 100 times easier to rank for, let’s say, “Samsung phone review” in German, than in English…or in Bulgarian, Spanish, Portuguese, Cantonese, or in any of the other 100 languages featured – Lingo Blaster will rank you and bring in targeted traffic at will. 

Who is Lingo Blaster for? 

Lingo Blaster is very simple to use, so from that point of view, it is newbie-friendly. However, it assumes you’re already using videos, which assumes you’ve already started an online business of some sort. From that point of view, it is aimed at slightly above newbie-level and beyond. Basically, anyone using videos to generate traffic and sales can benefit from accessing the 75% of the world market they’ve been accidentally ignoring by just focusing on the English language: 

  • Affiliate marketers  
  • CPA Marketers 
  • Digital Marketers 
  • Bloggers 
  • Website owners 
  • Video marketers

 

3 things I love about Lingo Blaster: 

  1. I love the simplicity of uploading a video, and within 3 clicks, it’s translated into several world languages, as well as finding the best foreign keywords. Think of how much it would cost for you to hire a translator to just translate one video into one or two languages… this software pretty much pays for itself after just one translation! 
  2. It completely bypasses all the tedious things that bore experienced marketers, and frustrate newbies, such as SEO and backlinks. While other marketers are competing in the ultra-competitive English-speaking world, you’re making massive in-roads into the other untapped 75% of the audience. Your video will stand out from your competitors because you will be the only one who addresses your viewers in their native languages… and because of that, your traffic will convert 10 times better, without knowing a thing about backlinks and SEO. 
  3. It allows you to resuscitate your old videos, bringing them back to life. If you’ve been making money online for even just a few months, I bet you’ve uploaded a bunch of videos, many of which have lost traction. Now, you can resuscitate every single one of your old videos, with just 3 clicks, and get an avalanche of traffic to your offers. Just imagine what would happen if all the videos that you uploaded in the past would instantly start bringing you traffic, even the oldest ones. 

 

What will I get inside Lingo Blaster? 

You get the full, intuitive Lingo Blaster software platform, which includes: 

  • Auto-translation of any video into over 100 foreign languages 
  • Translate a video into multiple languages at once, to generate several versions 
  • Rankerizer – helps you rank your video with local keywords 
  • Upload several versions of a video at once to your YouTube account – no need to upload videos, one by one.

 

Any drawbacks to Lingo Blaster? 

The only drawback is that you must already be doing something online with videos to get the most out of Lingo Blaster. Perhaps you’ve already created a few review videos as an affiliate, or created videos for your blog? If you’re a complete newbie, who has no idea of what avenue to pursue to make money online, Lingo Blaster is not for you. However, if you’ve already started making money online using videos in some capacity, translating your videos into over 100 different languages will quadruple your traffic, conversions and sales as you tap into the missing 75% of the world market. 

 

Do I get any bonuses with Lingo Blaster 

Yes, you get two: 

  1. 30 Minutes Ranking Machine – get the shortcut method that will allow you, in 30 minutes, to have your videos created and ranked. You’ll be shown how to create your first video created from scratch, upload and rank it on the first page of YouTube, guaranteed. 
  2. VIP invite to Private Live Training Lesson – this live training will show you how to put your Lingo Blaster rankings on steroids, with the secret sauce to ranking higher & faster. 

 

Final thoughts on Lingo Blaster: 

Every so often a product comes out that makes you think, “Why didn’t I think of that??” Lingo Blaster is one of them. It never occurred to me that us English speaking folk were ignoring the other 75% of our potential customers and sales. That means we’re only making 1 out of 4 sales we should be making…or another way of looking at it is that we’re just making a quarter of our profits!  Lingo Blaster provides a neat, easy solution to this, and without having to worry about boring things like SEO and backlinks. A must for any English-speaking video creator, no matter what niche you’re in. 

 

==> DOWNLOAD LINGO BLASTER NOW & GET STARTED 

 

VideoPal Review

VideoPal Review – Exit Pop-Ups, Overlays & old CTAs are Extinct – Here’s What To Do Instead! 

 

Name: VideoPal 

Product Owner: Todd Gross & Paul Ponna 

Website: Click Here 

Price: $39 

 

In a nutshell, what is VideoPal? 

Pop-ups, exits pops, overlays, floating forms… The might have worked in 2010, they don’t work now. Why? Because people have seen them so many times, they don’t grab their attention any more. VideoPal is a ground-breaking software that uses tiny “walking-talking” video 2D or 3D animated character, which speak and engage with your visitors (using a choice of pre-recorded voices, or even your own voice) and help to convert your traffic into massive sales. Not only that; it can also translate your English instructions and messages in 24 different languages, allowing you to tap into the often forgotten non-English speaking audience.   

Who is VideoPal for? 

VideoPal is ultra-simple to use, so from that point of view, it is beginner friendly. Creating video avatars may sound complex, but VideoPal makes it easy, and you don’t need to know a thing about code. However, VideoPal is not a course that shows you a business plan, or how to make money. It assumes you are already making money online (or at least have chosen what you want to do online). From that point of view, it is aimed at slightly above newbie-level and beyond.  

Basically, anyone who has websites, sales pages, landing pages etc., and want to increase their sales conversions will benefit:  

  • Social media marketer 
  • Ecom store owners 
  • Local brick-and-mortar business  
  • Product creator 
  • Blogger / Author 
  • Affiliate marketer 

 

3 things I love about VideoPal: 

  1. Your video avatars are 100% cloud-based. One major issue I thought of when I first heard about VideoPal was that it would take up a lot of storage space and slow down a website, particularly WordPress, which is the main website that most online business owners start with. VideoPal hosts all your avatars on Google’s cloud storage for you. All you have to do is generate an avatar on their cloud-based software, and then paste the code snippet into your website. This means no problem with slowdown of website. 
  2. You get a whole host of 2D and 3D avatars you can use, but what is truly unbelievable is how you can film yourself on a green screen background, and turn yourself into an avatar! It’s easy to think this is a gimmick, but seriously, how attention-grabbing would it be if you go to a site and see a real human avatar speaking to you, telling you how to navigate around the site, or telling you where to click, what else to add to cart etc.? That’s the power of VideoPal. Once you have it on your pages and sites, you’ll start hating ugly sign up forms and popups…I know I do. 
  3. Another major problem I thought of was how these avatars would work on different devices. Remember, more people search on smartphones now than on desktop. But I had no need to worry. Todd and Paul have thought of this too, and made sure VideoPal avatars work perfectly on any device, not matter how small or big. 

 

What will I get inside VideoPal? 

You get the full, easy-to-use software platform, including: 

  • Full video creation and rendering: VideoPal handles all the video creation and renders your avatars on the fly, you don’t need pricey video creation software or an expensive video editor. 
  • Professional Human Avatars: These actors and actresses have proven audience appeal, and are proven to increase conversion rates. Choose from pre-selected male and female actors to be your avatar. Use them to engage with your audience and entice them with offers. 
  • Make yourself into an avatar function: You can add your own videos with any green screen or “solid background” and convert them to stunning Video Pal’s with invisible background that will play on all websites. 
  • Life-Like 3D Animated Avatars: There are incredibly human-like (male and female) avatars that you can use to convey your message to your visitors in an eye-catching way.  
  • Stunning 2D Animated Avatars: These characters are vector-based animated characters that you can use to engage your visitors.  
  • State-of-the-art, life-like text-to-speech technology: Proprietary text-to-speech engine can easily record your own voice, or upload any pre-recorded voice/video track. Also customize your scripts, or use one of our pre-written scripts, with the voice and customizations that you choose. You have a wide variety of options, and a selection of over 47 male and female voices. 
  • Global Accessibility: Targeting a specific country or language? VideoPal allows you to create your avatar to speak in any of 24 languages! You can use the built-in auto-translation system to convert your script cleanly and professionally. Your avatars will speak to your audience in their own native language. 
  • A powerful array of conversion tools to add to your VideoPal avatars: These include customizable call-to-action buttons, easy opt-in tools that interface directly with Aweber, GetResponse, and any other autoresponder, coupon codes and more. 
  • Works on any device or browser: Whether you’re on a desktop PC, tablet or even a smartphone, you can create and manage your avatars quickly and easily, with no software installation needed. Just copy and paste the code snippet generated by the app into your website and you’re done. And the avatars themselves work beautifully on any device. 
  • Lifetime cloud hosting for your avatars: VideoPal’s lightning-fast, high-performance cloud hosting on Google’s award-winning network eliminates the need for expensive video hosting. 

 

Any drawbacks to VideoPal? 

It’s difficult to find a drawback here, because this technology really is amazing. The only thing I can think of is that it’s not newbie-friendly. Let me make this clear. It IS beginner friendly, as in, if you’ve never created videos before, this software will walk you through everything. However, if you’re not already making money in the online sphere, then this is not a course that tells you how to make money. It assumes you have web pages and sites, and are possibly already using things like popups and forms, but have seen a drop in conversions over the last year or so because people are tired of them. 

If you’re a complete beginner, who has no idea what avenue to pursue to make money online, then VideoPal is not for you. However, if you’ve already started making money online in some capacity, with your own sites, pages etc. then VideoPal will explode your sales and signup conversions.

 

Watch VideoPal in action here

 

Do I get any bonuses with VideoPal 

Yes, you get 5 bonuses in total: 

  1. Two highly engaging ‘niche friendly’ video avatars: To create just one highly engaging video avatar would cost you anywhere from $300 to $500. Here you get 2 completely free. 
  2. Real world video pal customer case studies: Get a sneak-peek into real-world case studies of VideoPal customers who are using video avatars on their sites to make profits. 
  3. FIVE additional human video avatars: Hiring an actor to do the videos for you would cost you $100 or more per video. Professional onscreen actors who know their craft and engage your audiences are very rare. You will get access to five done-for-you ‘call to action’ videos that you can use as avatars on your site using VideoPal. 
  4. Six additional cartoon style avatar videos: You will also get six additional ‘cartoon style’ video avatars that you can place on your websites, blogs, affiliate pages and more in seconds.  
  5. Two professional recorded ‘call to action’ voice overs to add to your avatars: Get instant access to professionally recorded voiceover templates that you can instantly add to your avatars and convert them into “optimized” sales machines that grab your visitor’s attention and convert them into sales 

 

Final thoughts on VideoPal: 

If you haven’t already worked it out yourself, the old website call-to-actions no longer work. Pop-ups, forms, traditional overlays …they’re extinct, and it’s costing your business 3 times the leads, sales, and profits. VideoPal is the newest and most effective way to engage your web visitors. The more visitors you get to interact with your site rather than click away, the more leads you get. That means ultimately more customers, more sales and more money! 

 

==>> DOWNLOAD VIDEOPAL NOW & GET STARTED 

 

Sense Drill Review

Sense Drill Review – 22 Year Old College Dropout Found A Sneaky FB Ad Twist And Pulled In $9K Last Month 

 

Name: Sense Drill 

Product Owner: Vaibhav Goel, Ivana Bosnjak and Ram Rawat 

Website: Click Here 

Price: $16.41 

 

In a nutshell, what is Sense Drill? 

This is a step-by-step course that shows you how a college dropout accidentally stumbled upon a really unique way of combining Facebook ads (with a ‘twist’) with AdSense, to make him $132,747.50 in 2017. This course will go through everything he did so you can replicate his success. 

Who is Sense Drill for? 

Bearing in mind that this course was created by a college dropout who had little money and experience, it’s obvious this course is newbie friendly. But the great news is, even if you’re already doing something online, and have a website, Sense Drill shows you a great way to generate traffic from Facebook for dirt cheap, which gets more eyeballs on your offers and products. This means the techniques in Sense Drill can be used by all types of marketers, including: 

  • Affiliate marketers 
  • CPA marketers 
  • Digital marketers 
  • Ecom store owners 
  • Bloggers 

 

3 things I love about Sense Drill: 

  1. This is a no-fluff, to the point, case study based course, which shows you everything Vaibhab did to generate $132,747.50 in 2017. I love case studies because it’s not just theory; you get to see exactly how something works in practice, making it easier for you to replicate. 
  2. I genuinely thought AdSense was dead (most people still do). But this course proves that I shouldn’t have written AdSense off. The truth is, trying to generate an income with AdSense using SEO tactics and backlinks is dead. But Vaibhav’s eye-opening FB ads tactic means you can now wave goodbye to slow, tedious optimization, and shortcut yourself to the profits. 
  3. You’ll be blown away by the simplicity of it all. Most courses require you to spend at least a few days studying material. This course can be done in one day, and you’ll have the exact steps you need to get started, even if you’ve never previously made a cent online. 

 

What will I get inside Sense Drill? 

You get the full, step-by-step video training and PDF guide, which includes: 

  • How to quickly set up a WordPress site, even if you’ve never set up a website before in your life. 
  • How to choose a hot, profit generating niche – get the 5 main niches which are trending hot right now, specifically for AdSense adverts. 
  • How to get approved by Google for AdSense – how to get your AdSense account set up so you get approved by Google fast. 
  • How to set up your first Facebook ad – how to access this secret backdoor to Facebook that allows you to run ads that cost just $0.0018 per click. 
  • How to scale up without risking a dime – a complete case study where you will see Vaibhav go from a standing still position to 6 figures, scaling up by simply using his profits (in other words, risk free scale-as-you-earn). 

 

Any drawbacks to Sense Drill? 

The only drawback is that you do need a little budget to get started, as it is not free traffic. Vaibhav shows you how to set up FB ads for as little as $0.0018 per click, so you can literally start with a $5 budget, and then reinvest profits. Also, you will need a website, so that will have upfront costs involved, such as domain registration and hosting. But honestly, if you’re really wanting to make money online with any method, chances are, you’ll need a basic website. 

 

Do I get any bonuses with Sense Drill 

Yes. You get 3 bonuses: 

  1. Sense Drill Checklist – a handy checklist so, at any point in your Sense Drill journey, you can see exactly where you are, and what you still need to implement, so you follow the steps exactly in the right order for optimal results. 
  2. Sense Drill Outsourcing Rolodex – this shows you how to, once you’ve started making some serious AdSense revenue, outsource out some or all of the Sense Drill stages, so you literally work for less than an hour a day. 
  3. 5 Steps To Massive Free Viral Traffic – this is a covert way to get a load of viral traffic from Facebook for free. This is slower than using Vaibhav’s FB ads tactic, but great for people who literally have no money at all to spend on ads. 

 

Final thoughts on Sense Drill: 

The best thing about Sense Drill is the simplicity of it all. There are only 3 stages to the Sense Drill Strategy; set up a WordPress site, get approved by Google for AdSense, and unleash dirt cheap traffic from Facebook. This is one of the fastest courses I’ve seen when it comes to consuming and understanding the content, as well as one of the fastest courses to actually implement and see returns. This is ideal for all those people who don’t have the patience to become an expert on something, or sit through long videos, and who want to see results almost immediately. 

 

==>> DOWNLOAD SENSE DRILL NOW & GET STARTED 

 

5 Ways to Measure Your Instagram Marketing Results

This may be of some interest.

Do you need a better way to report on your Instagram marketing results? Are you looking for ways to measure your Instagram posts and stories? In this article, you’ll learn how to combine data from Instagram Insights and other third-party tools to get a complete picture of your Instagram marketing activities. #1: Compare Your Instagram […]

The post 5 Ways to Measure Your Instagram Marketing Results appeared first on Social Media Marketing | Social Media Examiner.

Thank you for reading.

Google’s New Link Building Guidelines

This may be of some interest.

In case you missed it, Google has just changed up the rules for link building.

It used to be that when people link to you, the link would either be a dofollow link or a nofollow link.

Well, that’s now changed.

They are now introducing 2 more link types that will affect
SEOs.

Now before we get into the 2 new link types, make sure you read the whole post. Because not only will I explain Google’s requirements, but I will break down what this means for SEOs.

The current landscape

The current SEO landscape is simple… especially when it comes to link building.

The more dofollow (regular links) links you can get the better your search rankings.

If you are unsure of the number of links you have or the type, just go here and enter in your domain.

You’ll see a count of total backlinks along with the total amount of nofollow links pointing to your site.

Now, when you are link building, if you are paying for links or leveraging tactics like guest posting, Google wants you to nofollow those links because they don’t think you should be leveraging tactics like guest posting to manipulate rankings.

And as for buying links, you shouldn’t do that as it is a simple way to get penalized or banned from Google.

So don’t send emails like this if you are trying to build links… it’s a big no, no.

How does Google look
at links?

Google’s algorithm is smart. Sure, they ideally want you to nofollow links if they are bought or not naturally earned (such as from guest posts), but many SEOs break the rules.

They aren’t going to say it publicly but they do these things. And because Google isn’t dumb, they also know.

Google can easily
identify when a post on these big news sites aren’t earned because many of them
have signs all over them that Google can detect.

For example, here is
an example of a guest
post from me
.

Forbes, of course, uses nofollows links, but it wasn’t always that way.

Google can easily detect it is a guest post through verbiage on the page like “former contributor” or “guest contributor”.

And even if they didn’t label me as a guest contributor, Google can use other signals to figure out that this link shouldn’t be given much weight when it comes to SEO just by reading the URL structure of that article on Forbes.

Let’s take a closer
look at the URL

//www.forbes.com/sites/neilpatel/2016/12/26/my-biggest-regret-in-life-going-to-college/#5f74f3a91ac7

Do you see the big
issue with the URL?

It’s clear that an author can have their own subsection on Forbes through the “site” folder structure. Now that doesn’t mean all “Forbes sites” are bad, but they clearly know which one is from staff writers because they are clearly marked.

Those signals (among others) that Google probably won’t disclose (nor should they) make it easy for Google to determine if a link is natural or earned.

If Google doesn’t want to count a link from a specific author, they can just ignore it on their end.

So, whether it is nofollowed or followed, on their end they can systematically control whether a link should help your rankings or if it shouldn’t.

As John Mueller from Google once said, in the context of bad links…

If we recognize them, we can just ignore them – no need to have you do anything in most cases.

Now keeping that in
mind, here are the changes Google wants webmasters to make.

Google’s new link
policy

If someone pays you
for a link or you are buying a link, Google now wants you to mark it as sponsored.
Not just in the text of the site, but more so through the link attribute:

Rel=”sponsored”

And if you build links through user-generated content, they want you to mark the links with the attribute:

Rel=”ugc”

The same goes for site owners. For example, if you have a forum on your site because the content is user generated, the links that people place should contain a rel=”ugc”.

You can still use the nofollow attribute or if you want you can use a combination of the above. For example, if you have a paid link you can use:

Rel=”nofollow sponsored”

So, what’s the
purpose of this change?

Well, here is how
Google puts it:

All the link attributes — sponsored, UGC and nofollow — are treated as hints about which links to consider or exclude within Search. We’ll use these hints — along with other signals — as a way to better understand how to appropriately analyze and use links within our systems.

Now if you are wondering what that means, Google is pretty much saying that adding these attributes will give them a better idea on if they should crawl the link or not. Or how they should analyze the link when it comes to indexing or SEO.

This change goes into effect March 1, 2020, and don’t worry because you don’t have to make modifications to your old links. The ones that were nofollow can just be left as nofollow.

And even in the future, if you decide to just use nofollow instead of “sponsored”, you’ll be fine.

What does all of this mean for SEOs?

As I mentioned
earlier, I would provide my own insights and opinions on why Google is doing this.

We all know their algorithm is sophisticated and hard to game. But, just like any other algorithm or computer, it isn’t perfect.

By webmasters and SEOs labeling the type of links they are building and the purpose of them, it will make it easier for Google to learn how we use different link types and it will help their algorithms more quickly and easily identify link types and the context they are used in.

For example, if thousands of people use rel=”ugc” for links generated through guest posts, it may help train Google’s algorithm that these links were actually created by random people instead of the webmaster and they should be discounted.

Of course, Google already can identify wikis, forum, and other types of user-generated content, but this helps them tighten things up and make things more accurate.

They can also decide to take a more relaxed stance on certain link types. For example, maybe they will decide to count UGC links when it comes to link building, but they may decide to only give it 1/3rd the weight of a naturally earned link.

In addition to that, this also provides them with more signals on if the URL linked to should be potentially crawled or ignored.

But in the long run, as their algorithm becomes more accurate, it’s safe to say that the real solution to winning is putting the user first.

Their goal isn’t to rank a site at the top that has “perfect SEO”. They want to rank the site that people love the most.

Hence, you’ll want to focus on creating an amazing user experience, building a great product/service, creating mindblowing content, and anything else your competition isn’t doing.

As for link building though, links will always be hard to come by, so they will be part of their algorithm for the foreseeable future. And as the data shows, there is a strong correlation between links and rankings.

So one thing I would recommend is that you build as many links as possible, even if they are user-generated links. As long as they are from relevant sites, the referral traffic can generate you sales or leads. And if Google starts placing some value on these user-generated links, it can help boost your rankings.

Now that doesn’t mean you should go out to forums and spam your link everywhere. It means you should go find all of the user-generated content sites, provide a ton of value, AND ONLY IF IT MAKES SENSE, add a link back to your site when it benefits the reader.

Conclusion

Over the next year or so you’ll see adjustments in how SEOs build links.

First off you’ll start seeing companies like Ahrefs and the SEMrush show you nofollow, dofollow, UGC, and sponsored backlinks. This one change will help SEOs build better links and spend their effort on the links that actually help with rankings.

Secondly, my hunch is UGC links will eventually carry some weight. Probably not a ton, but more than 0 as long as they are from relevant sites, the link is within context and it provides value to the end-user.

And lastly, most webmasters probably won’t use sponsored or UGC attributes anytime soon. It will probably take another year before they really catch on, which means for now you will just have to focus your efforts on dofollow links.

So, what do you
think about the new change?

The post Google’s New Link Building Guidelines appeared first on Neil Patel.

Thank you for reading.

These Influencers Are Computer-Generated: The Future of Marketing, or Untrustworthy Advertising?

This may be of some interest.

More likely than not, you see influencer posts on your Instagram feed daily. In many ways, they become part of your life — influencing everything from exercise classes you take, to clothes you buy.

It’s undeniable that influencer marketing is powerful. In fact, over the past five years the tactic has quickly grown into a multi-billion dollar industry.

Plenty of businesses, both large and small, use influencers across their social platforms to reach new audiences, build brand awareness, and increase sales. Examples of successful influencer marketing strategies range from Stride Gum’s partnership with DJ Khaled to Glossier’s partnership with micro-influencers and “regular women”.

And, as influencer marketing grows, it’s no longer just limited to humans — as we’ve seen with Jiff Pom, a Pomeranian with over nine million Instagram followers.

But if any human (or pet) can become an influencer, it begs the question — do influencers even need to exist in real life?

In 2019, computer-generated influencers like Miquela Sousa might argue, “No.”

For instance, let’s take a look at this post by Miquela Sousa (@lilmiquela), an influencer with 1.6 million followers:

IMG_1554-1

By all accounts, the post looks real. Miquela, a 19-year-old Brazilian American model, influencer, and singer, is posting a #sponsored post for Calvin Klein and posing with fellow model Bella Hadid.

But Miquela is a computer-generated character, introduced by Los Angeles company Brud in 2016. Each month, almost 260,000 people listen to her music on Spotify. Miquela works with major brands ranging from Prada to Samsung, and she’s even given interviews at Coachella.

All of which raises the question — why should companies pay real human influencers to promote their products, when they can create their own personal influencer from scratch?

Lil Miquela, a Chinese News Anchor, and Colonel Sanders — Are Virtual Influencers The Future of Marketing?

Before we consider the pros and cons of virtual influencers, let’s explore some examples.

First, as previously mentioned, there’s Lil Miquela. When you scan through her Instagram posts, you quickly realize her captions make her sound like a regular teenager.

In fact, in the following post, she even sounds like she has real emotions, writing, “[One of angel boi’s friends] blew up at me at lunch and stormed out as I ugly cried in front of about 50 strangers … and now he won’t respond to any of my texts”:

4Max1

While her caption is fake, her followers’ comments are real — many of Lil Miquela’s followers respond with empathy or shared experiences, comments like “This same thing happened to me once, you’ll get through it”.

And then, there are Miquela’s “friends” — Bermuda (@bermudaisbae), with 170K followers and a bio that reads “Robot/Unbothered mogul with daddy’s PIN and a flawless highlight”, and Blawko (@blawko22) a self-described “Young Robot Sex Symbol” with 141K followers.

As Miquela writes on the following post: “Me and my mains! Always getting me through the roughest, there for all the highs, ride or dies … ILU guys!”

MkDFC

While these three are the only robots currently engineered by Brud, there are other “virtual humans” out there.

For instance, Xinhua News, a Chinese media outlet, unveiled an AI news presenter in 2018 who can work 24-hours a day without breaks, reducing news production costs. As the artificial news presenter stated in his introductory video, “I’ll work tirelessly to keep you informed as texts will be typed into my system uninterrupted.”

Image Source

In another example, Balmain, a fashion label, commissioned photographer Cameron-James Wilson to create a diverse “virtual army” of models for Olivier Rousteing’s 2018 collection:

In a statement on the campaign, Balmain writes: “Anyone and everyone is always welcome to join Balmain Army’s growing ranks — they need only share our bold spirit of adventure as our new virtual icons, Margot, Shudu and Zhi who mirror the beauty, the rock style and the confident power.”

Of course, the campaign was met with mixed reviews — one follower wrote, “This is disgusting! I do not understand why they think these models are attractive”, and another commented, “As if Photoshop wasn’t enough, what’s wrong with this world?! #realpeople #realmodels please”.

And, last but certainly not least, there’s KFC’s Colonel Sanders, mocking the very trend of virtual influencers while taking part in it:

All of which is to say — are virtual influencers untrustworthy, or the future of marketing?

What Virtual Influencers Can Offer — and What’s Missing

There are some undeniable benefits to creating or hiring a virtual influencer.

For one, a virtual influencer isn’t human, meaning he or she won’t need breaks. Xinhua News, mentioned above, clearly saw the benefits of this — by using a virtual news anchor to cover breaking news 24-7, they lowered the cost of hiring real people to cover news throughout the night.

If you’re trying to work around-the-clock publishing and promoting content to raise brand awareness, then, it makes sense you’d consider using a virtual influencer, who can post and promote content without sacrificing human needs like … well, sleep.

Additionally, your virtual influencer isn’t as much of a PR liability as a real influencer is. For instance, Debra Davis, founder of NKLS — a company that researches, advises on, and invests in virtual and augmented reality — told WWD, “With a virtual influencer, so much more thought has to be put into the message. It’s not just someone with a Twitter stream. It’s more carefully constructed and thought through, and therefore can be controlled.”

Real influencers and celebrities make mistakes that could influence the public’s perception of your brand. With a virtual influencer, you don’t risk associating your brand with any negative press.

Additionally, it might cost less to hire a virtual influencer compared to a celebrity or supermodel. 

However, if your brand is considering hiring micro-influencers, you’ll more likely find a real micro-influencer for cheaper.

It’s also worth noting that much of what we see on Instagram is edited, filtered, and posed — so, really, is a real person’s highly filtered version of “real life” much different from virtual reality, anyway?

Lastly, a virtual influencer is incredibly rare and unusual, so it draws immediate attention to your brand. If your brand is trying to reach Gen-Z or a younger audience, a virtual influencer might be something that appeals to your intended demographic.

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On the flip side, there’s still something uniquely powerful and engaging about real influencers connecting with their audience through social platforms. Virtual influencers like Lil Miquela can pretend they have human emotions, but that can just as easily backfire if her audience doesn’t trust the emotion behind it.

Ultimately, influencer marketing is about engaging in authentic, meaningful connections. How is an audience ever supposed to trust a promoted post when there isn’t a real human advocating for it?

Additionally, influencer marketing is often most successful when it’s seen as real and genuine. For instance, direct-to-consumer beauty brand Glossier has become insanely successful due, in large part, to its authentic marketing strategy.

As Emily Weiss, founder and CEO, said during a live interview with Kara Swisher for the Recode Decode podcast, “At Glossier, something we’ve always stayed very true to, since pre-launch, day one, is that every single person is an influencer.”

You’ll notice Glossier adheres to this strategy on its Instagram page, which exhibits real women using Glossier products:

At the end of the day, there’s something to be said for brands that find real people to promote their products or services to other real people. Sure, there’s risk involved — but that risk is the same component that enables audiences to trust, listen to, and connect with those influencers in the first place.

Thank you for reading.

Unlock Your Hip Flexors Review

Product Description:

Unlock Your Hip Flexors has done very well for itself. Even though it addresses a topic most people are unaware of, it has become an online bestseller for the past couple of years.

Mike Westerdal and Rick Kaselj, created this guide because they believed that tight hip flexor muscles are one of the root causes for many health problems such as:
* Digestive issues
* Inability to walk without discomfort
* Joint pain in your hips, legs and back
* Lethargy
* Low libido
* Poor blood circulation
* Poor posture
* Sleep problems

By loosening your tight hip flexor muscles, not only will you keep these problems at bay, but you’ll have more energy and be able to shed the stubborn fat on your belly more easily.

Your hip flexor muscles are responsible for many movements and are engaged when you walk, run, bend, etc. Stretching them is essential to maintaining good health and balance within the body.

Mike and Rick’s guide, ‘Unlock Your Hip Flexors’ is so effective that thousands of people have benefited from it. As we age, we lose our flexibility and range of motion. Often this is due to a sedentary lifestyle.

Unlock Your Hip Flexors provides a series of simple exercises that only take a few minutes each day. Simple, yet powerful. In 3 weeks, your hip flexors will be flexible, less tight and many pain issues in your body would have decreased or disappeared.

Let’s take a closer look at why this product is so popular.


The Good Points:

1) The information is detailed and yet, it’s easy to comprehend. Everything is well-explained, and you’ll have no problem following along. No complex medical terminology is used. You’ll not be intimidated or overwhelmed by this guide.

2) Unlock Your Hip Flexors is surprisingly affordable. For an online bestseller that has sold thousands of copies and has so many positive reviews, we were expecting it to be costly… but it wasn’t. This product is within the reach of most people.

3) One excellent point about Unlock Your Hip Flexors is that you only need about 10 to 15 minutes to do the exercises. That’s about 1 percent of your day. Anybody can spare 15 minutes to improve their health. This works for even the busiest people on the planet!

4) It doesn’t matter what gender you are or what your fitness level is. The exercises in this program will benefit most people and make them more limber. Your body will be less stressed out too. You may experience a feeling of ‘lightness’ and ease that leaves you feeling good all the time.

5) Once you start doing the exercises shown in the guide, you’ll notice that your back pain and any other pain associated with your shoulders and neck starts to gradually diminish.

It may take you about 2 to 3 weeks to feel the results, but they’ll come if you stay on course. All the pain that associated with tight psoas muscles will disappear and you’ll feel immense relief.

6) The authors of Unlock Your Hip Flexors are fitness experts with impressive credentials and real-world experience. That probably explains why their information is on point and so effective.

7) Most people will be able to see results and improvement in their health within 60 days. But what happens if you don’t? No worries. This program is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. If you’re not satisfied, you can get a refund. There’s no risk here.


The Bad Points:

1) This is a holistic method of treatment and will require consistency and patience from you. You’ll need to spend a few minutes daily to do the stretches and exercises mentioned. You must do them according to the plan. You’ll also need to stick with it for about a month before you see noticeable results. It’s definitely worth the wait. So, do have patience and do not quit.

2) This product is only available online. So, you’ll need to download and print a physical copy if you want one for easy reference. If not, you can just read it online.

Should You Get It?

This is one of those products that’s so unique you won’t find it elsewhere. It addresses a problem that is sorely neglected because most people aren’t even aware that it exists.

Tight hip flexors cause many health problems as mentioned earlier. Yet, we treat the symptoms without addressing the cause. This program will increase your flexibility, loosen your tight hip flexors and improve your health.

You only need a few minutes a day to achieve good health. Unlock Your Hip Flexors is an excellent investment that will reap rewards many times over. This guide is a must buy. It gets our highest recommendation.

>>> Get “Unlock Your Hip Flexors” Now <<<

Trust Factors: Why Your Brand Should Take a Stand with Its Marketing Strategy

This may be of some interest.

Earlier this year, Salesforce made waves by announcing a policy that compelled retailers to either stop selling military-style rifles and certain accessories, or stop using its popular e-commerce software. 

For a massive brand like this to take such an emphatic stand on a divisive social issue would’ve been unthinkable not so long ago. But in today’s world at large, and consequently in the business and marketing environments, it’s becoming more common. This owes to a variety of factors, ranging from generational changes among consumers to a growing need to differentiate. 

But, like so many other trends and strategies we see emerging in digital marketing, I think it mostly comes back to one overarching thing: the trust factor.

In this installment of our Trust Factors series, we’ll explore why and how brands and corporations can take a stand on important issues, building trust and rapport with customers and potential buyers in the process.

The Business Case for Bold Stances

Executives from Salesforce might suggest that it made such a bold and provocative move simply because they felt it was the right thing to do. (CEO Marc Benioff, for instance, has been outspoken about gun control and specifically his opposition to the AR-15 rifle.) But of course, one of the 10 largest software companies in the world isn’t making these kinds of decisions without a considerable business case behind them.

Like many other modern companies, Salesforce is taking the lead in a movement that feels inevitable. As millennials come to account for an increasingly large portion of the customer population, corporate social responsibility weighs more and more heavily on marketing strategies everywhere.  

A few data points to think about:

  • Research last year by FleishmanHillard found that 61% of survey respondents believe it’s important for companies to express their views, whether or not the person agrees with them.
  • Per the same study, 66% say they have stopped using the products and services of a company because the company’s response to an issue does not support their personal view.
  • The latest global Earned Brand Report from Edelman found that 64% of people are now “belief-driven buyers,” meaning they will choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on societal issues.
  • MWWPR categorizes 35% of the adult population in the U.S. as “corpsumers,” up by two percentage points from the prior year. The term describes “a brand activist who considers a company’s values, actions and reputation to be just as important as their product or service.”
  • Corpsumers say they’re 90% more likely to patronize companies that take a stand on social and public policy matters, and 80% say they’ll even pay more for products from such brands.

(Source)

What Does It Mean to Take a Stand as a Brand?

Admittedly, the phrase is somewhat ambiguous. So let’s clear something up right now: taking a stand doesn’t necessarily mean your company needs to speak out on touchy political issues. 

When Dave Gerhart, Vice President of Marketing for Drift, gave a talk at B2BSMX last month outlining his 10 commandments for modern marketing, taking a stand was among the directives he implored. Gerhart pointed to Salesforce’s gun gambit as one precedent, but also called out a less controversial example: his own company’s crusade against the lead form. 

I think this serves as a great case in point. Lead forms aren’t a hot-button societal issue that’s going to rile people up, necessarily, but they’ve been a subject of annoyance on the consumer side for years. Drift’s decision to do away with them completely did entail some risk (to back up their stance, they had to commit to not using this proven, mainstream method for generating actionable leads) but made a big impression within their industry. Now, it’s a rallying cry for their brand

From my view, these are the trust-building ingredients, which both the Salesforce and Drift examples cover:

  • It has to matter to your customers
  • It has to be relevant to your industry or niche
  • It has to entail some sort of risk or chance-taking on behalf of the brand

Weighing that final item is the main sticking point for companies as they contemplate action on this front.

Mitigating the Risks of Taking a Stand

The potential downside of taking a controversial stand is obvious enough: “What if we piss off a bunch of our customers and our bottom line takes a hit?” Repelling certain customers is inherent to any bold stance, but obviously you’ll want the upside (i.e., affinity and loyalty built with current customers, plus positive attention drawing in new customers) to strongly outdistance the downside (i.e., existing or potential customers defecting because they disagree).

Here are some things to think about on this front.

Know Your Audience and Employees

It’s always vital for marketers to have a deep understanding of the people they serve, and in this case it’s especially key. You’ll want to have a comprehensive grasp of the priorities and attitudes of people in your target audience to ensure that a majority will agree with — or at least tolerate — your positioning. Region, age, and other demographic factors can help you reach corollary conclusions.

For example, our clients at Antea Group are adamant about the dangers of climate change. In certain circumstances this could (sadly) be a provocative and alienating message, but Antea Group serves leaders and companies focusing on sustainability, who widely recognize the reality and urgency of climate change. 

Not only that, but Antea Group also employs people who align with this vision, so embracing its importance both externally and internally leads to heightened engagement and award-winning culture

As another example, retailer Patagonia shook things up in late 2017 when it proclaimed on social media “The President Stole Your Land” after the Trump administration moved to reduce a pair of national monuments. In a way, this is potentially off-putting for the sizable chunk of its customer base that supports Trump, but given that Patagonia serves (and employs) an outdoorsy audience, the sentiment resonated and the company is thriving

Know Your Industry and Competition

On the surface, Salesforce taking a public stand on gun control seems quite audacious. The Washington Post notes that retailers like Camping World, which figured to be affected by the new policy, are major customers for the platform. What if this drives them elsewhere?

However, peer companies like Amazon and Shopify have their own gun restriction policies in place, so the move from Salesforce isn’t as “out there” as one might think. When you see your industry as a whole moving in a certain direction, it’s beneficial to get out front and position yourself as a leader rather than a follower. 

Actions Speak Louder

Empty words are destined to backfire. Taking a stand is meaningless if you can’t back it up. Analysts warn that “goodwashing” is the new form of “greenwashing,” a term that refers to companies talking a big game on eco-friendly initiatives but failing to follow up with meaningful actions.

According to MWWPR’s chief strategy officer Careen Winters (via AdWeek): “Companies that attempt to take a stand on issues but don’t really put their money where their mouth is, or what they are doing is not aligned with their track record and core values, will find themselves in a position where the corpsumers don’t believe them. Fifty-nine percent of corpsumers say they are skeptical about a brand’s motives for taking a stand on policy issues.”

Be Transparent and Authentic

One interesting aspect of the aforementioned FleishmanHillard study: 66% of respondents say they’ve stopped using the products and services of a company because the company’s response to an issue did not support their personal views; however another 43% say that if company explains WHY they have taken a position on an issue, the customer is extremely likely to keep supporting them.

(Source)

In other words, transparency is essential. If you fully explain the “why” behind a particular brand stance, you can score trust-building benefits with both those who do and do not agree. 

Where We Stand at TopRank

At TopRank Marketing, we have a few stances that we openly advocate. 

One is gender equality; our CEO Lee Odden noticed many “top marketers” lists and editorial collaborations were crowded with men, so he (and we) have made it a point to highlight many of the women leading the way in our industry, both through our content projects and Lee’s annual Women Who Rock Digital Marketing lists (10 years running!).

Another is our commitment to serving a deeper purpose as a business. Of course we want to help our clients reach their business goals, but we also love working with virtuous brands that are improving the communities around them. We strive to also do so ourselves through frequent volunteering, donations to causes, and charitable team outings. These include packing food for the hungry, renovating yards for the homeless, and our upcoming Walk for Alzheimer’s participation.

The Worst Stand You Can Take is Standing Still

Trust in marketing is growing more vital each day. It’s not enough to offer a great product or excellent customer service. Increasingly, customers want to do business with companies they like, trust, and align with. Those brands that sit on the sidelines regarding important issues are coming under greater scrutiny. Meanwhile, those with the guile to take bold but strategically sound stands are being rewarded.

To learn more about navigating these waters without diminishing trust or eroding your brand’s credibility, take a look at our post on avoiding trust fractures through authenticity, purpose-driven decision-making, and a big-picture mindset. Or check out these other entries in our “Trust Factors” series:

The post Trust Factors: Why Your Brand Should Take a Stand with Its Marketing Strategy appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

Thank you for reading.

YouTube Ads for Beginners: How to Launch & Optimize a YouTube Video Advertising Campaign

This may be of some interest.

You’ve spent months perfecting the script, storyboarding, finding the right talent, shooting, and editing. The end result? A blockbuster brand or product video.

With all that time invested, you can’t stop at just embedding the video on a homepage or sharing it on social media and hoping someone watches.

While great content is bound to be found, it’s also important to be proactive about gaining the attention of and educating prospects and those unfamiliar with your brand. Running a series of YouTube ads is one way to make sure more of your target audience finds the video content you’ve produced.

And with new formats and tracking capabilities, you can also use this information to report on its ROI.

The thing is, advertising on YouTube is very different from running a PPC or paid social campaign. There are specific creative constraints and a ton of options for this platform, and you need a base knowledge before you even scope out your next video project to make the most of the paid possibilities.

What’s New With YouTube Advertising

In January 2017, Google announced it would make changes to AdWords to allow advertisers to reach more viewers on YouTube — especially across mobile devices, where 50% of YouTube views take place. Among the changes it rolled out, possibly the biggest announcement was that advertisers will soon be able to target viewers based on their Google search history, in addition to their viewing behaviors YouTube was already targeting.

Marketers can now target ads at people who recently searched for a certain product or service to target the video ads they’ll be served on the platform. If the content of a video ad is closely related to a search the viewer has been researching, they might be more likely to watch the entire ad or click through the ad to the website.

Keywords are relatively less expensive to target on YouTube than in traditional Google Search: Views cost an average of $0.06 per click on YouTube, compared to the average Google Search cost per click, which is estimated to be between $1-2. When YouTube targeting includes search history, it may be a more cost-effective way to target your audience with a more engaging form of content — video.

The 3 Types of YouTube Video Ads

There are three key types of video ads in which you can invest on YouTube: TrueView, Preroll, and Bumpers.

1. TrueView Ads

TrueView ads are the standard video ad type on YouTube. Advertisers only pay for TrueView ads when viewers watch or interact with their ad (for example, by clicking on a call-to-action), and videos can be easily customized to share a variety of content.

Advertisers only pay when a user watches the ad for at least 30 seconds or until the end of the video or if the viewer takes an action, such as clicking on a call-to-action. YouTube requires that skippable TrueView ads be between 12 seconds and 6 minutes in length, and that non-skippable TrueView ads be 15-20 seconds in length.

There are two types of TrueView ads with which you can optimize your YouTube channel:

Video Discovery Ads (Previously Named In-Display Ads)

Video discovery YouTube ads show up on the YouTube homepage, search results pages, and as related videos on YouTube video watch pages.

These ads appeared after performing a YouTube search:

Two TrueView Video Discovery Ads in a YouTube search result

This display ad appears as a related video on the right-hand video sidebar:

TrueView In-Display ad in YouTube's related videos sidebar

Once a user clicks on the ad, the destination video page features a spot on the right-hand column where a companion banner display ad will appear.

TrueView video ad companion banner

In-Stream Ads

TrueView in-stream ads play before someone watches the video they’ve selected on YouTube. Viewers sometimes have the option to skip the ad after watching it for five seconds. You can also make them play anywhere in the Google Display Network (GDN) — or sites that purchased Google video ad space.

In-stream ads let marketers customize video ads with different CTAs and overlay text, as highlighted in the skippable in-stream ad example below from Grammarly.

TrueView In-Stream video ad by Grammarly

Here’s what another skippable in-stream ad from Wix looks like. In this example, there’s another CTA from Wix on top of the right-hand video menu display:

in-stream ad youtube.png

What TrueView Videos Can Include

TrueView video campaigns can include people, dialogue, and music that was retrieved with permission — or is considered royalty-free. However, it’s best not to run a standard promotional commercial. Because these videos can be skipped, you need to give your audience a reason to keep watching, and product plugs historically don’t get the views you might expect.

Instead, tell a story with the time you have in this video. People love seeing case studies of those who faced a struggle that they can empathize with. It’s a source of entertainment that makes your brand memorable and less tempting to skip.

With TrueView ads, advertisers can gain a ton of information about the performance of their ads for optimization and testing purposes.

Using AdWords, YouTube account managers can collect data on an ad’s completed views, partial views, if the video drives channel subscriptions, clickthrough rates on CTAs, views sourced from a user sharing the content, and views on the brand’s other content that can be attributed to a person initially viewing a video ad.

These actions help advertisers better understand the full value of their video ad spend and where to allocate budget to increase results.

2. Preroll Ads

Some in-stream ads are non-skippable and can play before, mid-roll, or after the main video. These are called Preroll ads, and they can be 15 to 20 seconds in duration.

Here’s an example of a non-skippable video ad before the main content on YouTube:

Preroll ad on YouTube with "non-skippable" features highlighted in the video

There are also non-skippable, mid-roll video ads, which appear midway through a YouTube video that’s 10 minutes or longer in length.

Midroll preroll ad on YouTube

Source: PC Daily Tips

What Preroll Videos Can Include

Preroll ads give you just as much freedom as TrueView ads in their allotted content. You can include people, dialogue, audio, and more elements that you find best represent your brand in 15 to 20 seconds.

Because preroll ads can’t be skipped, these videos are best created with a call-to-action (CTA) so you can optimize the attention you do have from the viewer. In other words, encourage viewers to click on your ad and receive something in return. Perhaps you’ve released a new product or promoting a major event this season and are looking for signups — use this preroll ad to get those clicks. 

Keep in mind YouTube sells Preroll video space on a pay-per-click (PPC) basis. Make the click worth it.

3. Bumpers

Bumpers are the third and shortest type of YouTube video ad available to you. At just six seconds per bumper, these ad spots play before a viewer’s chosen video. 

Bumper video ads obviously can’t tell a good-enough story in just six seconds, but they make terrific complements to larger video campaigns on a new product launch or event. Just be sure to use this six seconds wisely, and include only the components of your brand you want your audience to remember.

How to Set Up & Launch a YouTube Video Advertising Campaign

Once you’ve created a marketing video you want to advertise on YouTube, it’s time to create your video ad campaign. (If you haven’t made a video yet, here’s how to get started with Animoto or Wistia, along with a few great examples.) Then, upload your video to YouTube.

YouTube creator's page prompt to select files to upload

Now, you’re ready to set up your advertising campaign. First, go to your Google AdWords account to set up your campaign.

Campaign Type

Tap the drop-down menu on the right-hand side of the red “+ Campaign” button on your Google AdWords homepage and select “video.”

launch_new_video_ad.png

Campaign Name

Enter a name for your campaign, and make sure Video has been chosen from the Type drop-down menu.

YouTube_AdWords_Step1.png

Video Ad Format

Select “In-stream or video discovery ads” to ensure your video ad will be in TrueView format (in the style of the examples outlined above).

video_ad_formats_adwords.png

Budget

Set your budget per day. You can also select a delivery method — either the standard delivery, which shows ads evenly during the day, or accelerated delivery, which drives views as quickly as possible. The latter would be useful if you want to capitalize on a trend or news item relevant to your brand’s video.

video-ad-budget-delivery.png

Networks

Decide where you want your ad to appear.

  • YouTube Search: Your video ad will appear in results for searches and will appear on the YouTube home page, channel pages, and video pages.
  • YouTube Videos: This runs TrueView ads that can appear in-display ads or in-stream ads. With this option, you can choose for your video ad to appear before or around videos shown across the Google Display Network.

You should create separate campaigns for YouTube Search and YouTube Video as this will help you to better track performance metrics. These ads are served to people performing very different activities and require a different amount of commitment from the viewer, so it’s best to monitor performance separately.

youtube-networks.png

Locations

Define the location of users whom you want the ad to be shown to. You can also exclude certain locations.

video-location.png

Language, Device & Mobile Bidding

AdWords will let you specify the operating system, device, and carrier for more advanced targeting. This is especially useful for mobile app ads, and there’s an option to increase or decrease your bid based on if the video ad is shown to someone on a mobile device.

youtube_language_ad_adjustment.png

Advanced Settings

With the advanced settings section, you can set begin and end dates for your campaign, create a custom schedule for when your video ad should be shown, and limit the daily impressions and views for users. This all helps you to get the most return for your ad spend.

Advanced settings on YouTube ads.png

Creating the Video Ad Creative

Name your ad group, and then insert the YouTube link for the video you would like to run the ad for. You will then choose whether you want this to run as an in-stream ad or an in-display ad.

video_ad_creative_youtube.png

For in-display, you’ll need to include a title and short description, which is entered on two separate lines. Note: Titles are limited to 25 characters, and the description lines are limited to 35 characters each.

youtube-in-display.png

In-stream ads provide you with the option to overlap a display URL on top of the video. You should use a vanity URL that directs to another final URL to make it more memorable. You can include advanced URL tracking options. In addition, a companion banner made from images from your video will appear on the right side of the video ad.

youtube-in-stream.png

Bidding

You’ll then determine the max price you will pay for each view, which you can adjust to increase the number of projected views your video may receive.

bidding_video_ad_adwords.png

Targeting

Finally, you can further define the audience you would like the video to be shown — options include gender, age, and parental status. You can also target individuals by their interests, such as beauty mavens, cooking enthusiasts, horror movie fans, etc. Try running multiple campaigns to target different groups of users to discover who is most engaged, rather than including everyone you want to target in one campaign.

video-adwords-interests.png

Advanced Targeting

You can also target individuals by keywords, topics, or websites where you would like your video ad to appear. Keyword targeting with in-display ads can be a powerful tool for finding individuals who are looking for a visual answer to a question. Be sure to do your research, and try testing out different groups of keywords to see which leads to more views, clicks, or conversions.

Additionally, you can use AdWords video ads to remarket to people who have been in contact with your brand already. This can help you to re-engage those who are already familiar with your brand.

narrow-targeting.png

Linking Your Account

You should link your AdWords account to the YouTube channel where the video is hosted if you haven’t already. You can also click “finish” to begin running your video ad campaign.

adwords-linking-account.png

10 Tips for Optimizing Your AdWords for Video Ads

Launching a video ad campaign is a great step, but there are some things you should set up prior to starting to pay for views to make the most of your budget and to see the highest return for your client.

1. Define your metrics and goals.

When analyzing the results, there are four main categories of metrics you can track for each video. These are located under the “column” drop-down in your campaigns interface.

Views

Under the “views” category, you can better understand what percentage of the ad people viewed and understand how the ad drove earned views or views on your brand’s other videos.

views-metrics.png

Audience

This category can be used to track likes and shares for each video ad.

audience-metrics.png

Branding

The view rate should signal if the creative and message are interesting or entertaining enough for people to watch the ad. By increasing your view-through rate (VTR), you will lower your cost per view.

video-branding-metrics.png

Conversions

Conversions will help you better understand if your ad is driving leads and returning a high ROI for your brand.

conversions-metrics.png

Depending on the goals for the brand, you should determine a few goals based on these metrics and formalize a plan for optimizing creative and trying different targeting criteria to improve results. Your goals should also determine the type of content you will feature in the ad — some metrics are better for branding goals and others will drive leads and conversions.

2. Track low performing placements.

If you’re running in-display ads that will appear across the Google Display Network, you can review where the ad has appeared in by navigating to Video Targeting > Placements > Where ads were shown > Display network from your Google AdWords Campaigns dashboard. Review this list to see if any particular sites are contributing to poor performance for your desired metrics. Exclude these sites from your ad campaign moving forward to increase your average CPV.

3. Use a custom thumbnail image.

Design or use a high-quality still image from the video to entice a viewer to click on your video. Remember, this image needs to be legible by users on different devices, including mobile. If your image contains a person, make sure he or she is looking into the camera. If you are featuring a product, make sure the background isn’t distracting. 

4. Drive people to buy with cards.

A YouTube card is teased with a small “i” symbol, which the viewer can click to expand. You can time this appearance so only users engaged with the video and content will see the notification.

With cards, you can feature a product related to or featured in the video to drive product purchases. You can also use cards to drive fundraising donations, traffic to a URL, or traffic to other videos as shown in the example below from Refinery29. Each format will allow you to customize the card with text, images, and other options.

refinery29example.png

5. Create calls-to-actions.

When promoting a video on YouTube, you can include call-to-action overlays that link to a URL. You could link to a landing page, product page, information page, career page … whatever you’d like. You could also send people to a favorable report or interview featuring the brand.

Adobe highlights one of its live videos using a call-to-action overlay:

adobe_youtube_ad_CTA.png

6. Create a YouTube end slate.

Create an end screen to drive subscribers to your channel, promote your social networks, or increase interest in your brand. If someone has watched a video until the end, it’s a good sign they enjoy your content and might be interested in subscribing to your channel for future updates. The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon‘s end slate uses this screen to drive subscribers and social media fans while also highlighting other interesting topics its host has featured. Once you build the image, you will be able to annotate the end screen in YouTube’s video editor.

yeahboy_endslate.png

7. Use negative remarketing.

If you are running a campaign for a longer period of time and want to only attract new users to a brand, consider creating a list of people who your ad will not be shown to. When viewing your AdWords Campaign screen, select “Shared library” on the lower left sidebar. Then select “Video remarketing” and “+ Remarketing List”. You can stretch your campaign budget and target only unique users by selecting to not show your video ad to someone who has previously viewed the specific video, who has visited your YouTube channel, or shared, liked, or commented on any of your videos on your channel.

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8. Use close captioning to cater to viewer’s needs and wants.

This tip applies to all YouTube videos — but it’s a general best practice that’s not followed by many brands. Include a quality video transcription you’ve generated and approved. Only user-uploaded transcriptions are indexed by Google because YouTube’s automatic captioning can be less than reliable. Depending on your target audience, you may also want to include transcriptions in various other languages. You can also offer users the option to download or visit a site page with the full transcription in your video description.

9. Qualify viewers.

Sometimes, your ad will be seen by people who have no interest in your product. Encourage them to skip the ad if the content isn’t relevant so you don’t have to pay for the view and they don’t waste their time watching irrelevant advertising.

10. Consider making your ad longer.

When it comes to TrueView ads, if the ad is under 30 seconds, you pay only if a viewer watches until the end. If the ad is longer than 30 seconds, you pay if the viewer watches it for at least 30 seconds. In both cases, you pay if the viewer interacts with your ad before it’s over. Consider this when you are coming up with ideas for content for the ad. You may want to put messaging at a certain point so uninterested viewers can skip the ad, or you might provide special offers towards the end of the video.

The Future of Video is Bright

We’ve told you before: Video content is a must-have part of your content strategy. This is even truer now that YouTube lets marketers target users based on their search histories. YouTube advertising is more targeted than ever, and it’s less competitive real estate than the world of Google Search because video content is newer to the content scene and less popular than blog posts.

Stay tuned for more from us about how to make great video ads for YouTube and social media, and where we think YouTube marketing is headed next.

Thank you for reading.