It's one thing to reach your target audience. It's another to turn them into your customers. CDG Interactive is a full-service agency specializing in web strategy that converts. Whether you need a comprehensive online strategy, an email marketing campaign, a content management solution, or simply a better way to increase your visibility online, turn to CDG and watch your conversion rate skyrocket. Contact us.

As a platform for reaching your audience, video is highly effective: by large margins, videos are watched, shared and turn up in search.

And creating videos for use in marketing has gotten easier than ever. With the launch of the Vine mobile app by Twitter and the addition of video to the Facebook-owned app (and site) Instagram, anyone with a cell phone can create very short videos—6 seconds for Vine, 15 seconds for Instagram—by just pointing and shooting.

Instagram-screen-shot-video-for-marketing

Because Vine and Instagram accounts can be connected to other social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, videos can be cross-posted, reaching your audience at multiple touch-points.

Setting up an account on these services is the easy part, of course: now you have to create video content.

Not sure what to shoot? Here’s a list of ideas:


7 Ideas for Short Form Videos to Market Your Business


  1. Behind the scenes.  Create a sense of connection with your customers by taking them behind the scenes: making a product, meeting with a client or a mini-tour of your offices.
  2. Mini testimonials. Customers may be more willing to appear in a very brief video clip than something longer that feels like a commercial. Keep it simple: ask them to provide just one word that exemplifies the business. (Or make it a contest. Ask your customers to film their own “one-word” testimonials and pick the best.)
  3. Sneak peeks. Getting ready to introduce a new product or service? Build excitement for the launch with sneak peeks of either the finished product or its creation.
  4. Staff bios. Introduce your staff and add bio videos to your About or Team page. Get creative; what’s the one thing they should share about themselves in such a short clip?
  5. Bloopers. If you’re already filming company events to post to an official YouTube channel, use Vine or Instagram for the “uncensored” oops moments.
  6. How to. Show off a unique feature of a product you offer or give a quick tutorial. Yes, it can be done in such a short time frame, especially if you use …
  7. Time lapse/stop motion. Take advantage of the apps’ functionality. Because each video can be shot 1 or 2 seconds at a time, this lends itself to using techniques like time lapse or stop motion. Although elapsed time is only 6 (or 15) seconds, you can compress more into that by combining several one- or two-second shots into a total mini-film.

At these brief lengths, you’re often aiming for more atmosphere than narrative, although you’d be surprised by some of the creative storytelling that brands and users are doing in such tiny bites. Just think how much is conveyed in TV commercials or radio spots which have historically run at 15 or 30 seconds.

Creating videos via a smartphone-friendly platform like Vine and Instagram is also smart mobile marketing; more than 9 in 10 mobile phone customers share mobile video content.


Resources for Learning More About Vine and Instagram Video Marketing


Vexed by video? Stymied by social media? Talk to the marketing experts at CDG Interactive. From a complete digital strategy to hands-on training in social media, we’ll get you on the path to marketing success that you can measure.

As a platform for reaching your audience, video is highly effective: by large margins, videos are watched, shared and turn up in search.

And creating videos for use in marketing has gotten easier than ever. With the launch of the Vine mobile app by Twitter and the addition of video to the Facebook-owned app (and site) Instagram, anyone with a cell phone can create very short videos—6 seconds for Vine, 15 seconds for Instagram—by just pointing and shooting.

Instagram-screen-shot-video-for-marketing

Because Vine and Instagram accounts can be connected to other social media platforms, like Twitter and Facebook, videos can be cross-posted, reaching your audience at multiple touch-points.

Setting up an account on these services is the easy part, of course: now you have to create video content.

Not sure what to shoot? Here’s a list of ideas:


7 Ideas for Short Form Videos to Market Your Business


  1. Behind the scenes.  Create a sense of connection with your customers by taking them behind the scenes: making a product, meeting with a client or a mini-tour of your offices.
  2. Mini testimonials. Customers may be more willing to appear in a very brief video clip than something longer that feels like a commercial. Keep it simple: ask them to provide just one word that exemplifies the business. (Or make it a contest. Ask your customers to film their own “one-word” testimonials and pick the best.)
  3. Sneak peeks. Getting ready to introduce a new product or service? Build excitement for the launch with sneak peeks of either the finished product or its creation.
  4. Staff bios. Introduce your staff and add bio videos to your About or Team page. Get creative; what’s the one thing they should share about themselves in such a short clip?
  5. Bloopers. If you’re already filming company events to post to an official YouTube channel, use Vine or Instagram for the “uncensored” oops moments.
  6. How to. Show off a unique feature of a product you offer or give a quick tutorial. Yes, it can be done in such a short time frame, especially if you use …
  7. Time lapse/stop motion. Take advantage of the apps’ functionality. Because each video can be shot 1 or 2 seconds at a time, this lends itself to using techniques like time lapse or stop motion. Although elapsed time is only 6 (or 15) seconds, you can compress more into that by combining several one- or two-second shots into a total mini-film.

At these brief lengths, you’re often aiming for more atmosphere than narrative, although you’d be surprised by some of the creative storytelling that brands and users are doing in such tiny bites. Just think how much is conveyed in TV commercials or radio spots which have historically run at 15 or 30 seconds.

Creating videos via a smartphone-friendly platform like Vine and Instagram is also smart mobile marketing; more than 9 in 10 mobile phone customers share mobile video content.


Resources for Learning More About Vine and Instagram Video Marketing


Vexed by video? Stymied by social media? Talk to the marketing experts at CDG Interactive. From a complete digital strategy to hands-on training in social media, we’ll get you on the path to marketing success that you can measure.

A report released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 72% of adults are on social networking sites. Not so shocking, I know. But the figure that really caught my eye was the rise in the number of older Americans and senior citizens who are on social media. The report claims “Six out of ten internet users ages 50-64 are social networking site users, as are 43% of those ages 65 and older.”

In the 65+ group, social media usage has tripled in the last four years. That’s a rising demographic that’s not usually represented in our thinking about how to use—and who to target with—social networking sites. The report doesn’t isolate statistics for any one social media site, except Twitter (used by a paltry 13% of  50 – 64 year olds and just 5% of those over 65). It’s safe to assume, though, that Facebook has the lion’s share of these plugged-in seniors.

Pew_chart
As social media and its audience matures, any business that counts seniors in its target demographic would do well to start reaching out to an older audience and figuring out which messages and calls to action resonate on a social platform. First, check your demographics in Insights and find out how many seniors are already in your audience. You may be surprised. 

Next, start revising your user profiles, refining your messages, and testing, testing, testing to see how you can engage seniors that are reachable via social media, and ultimately get them to take action.

Put some effort into cultivating an older audience. They’re not all there just to see photos of the grandkids!

Need help reaching the right people with social media? Contact CDG.

A report released today by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 72% of adults are on social networking sites. Not so shocking, I know. But the figure that really caught my eye was the rise in the number of older Americans and senior citizens who are on social media. The report claims “Six out of ten internet users ages 50-64 are social networking site users, as are 43% of those ages 65 and older.”

In the 65+ group, social media usage has tripled in the last four years. That’s a rising demographic that’s not usually represented in our thinking about how to use—and who to target with—social networking sites. The report doesn’t isolate statistics for any one social media site, except Twitter (used by a paltry 13% of  50 – 64 year olds and just 5% of those over 65). It’s safe to assume, though, that Facebook has the lion’s share of these plugged-in seniors.

Pew_chart
As social media and its audience matures, any business that counts seniors in its target demographic would do well to start reaching out to an older audience and figuring out which messages and calls to action resonate on a social platform. First, check your demographics in Insights and find out how many seniors are already in your audience. You may be surprised. 

Next, start revising your user profiles, refining your messages, and testing, testing, testing to see how you can engage seniors that are reachable via social media, and ultimately get them to take action.

Put some effort into cultivating an older audience. They’re not all there just to see photos of the grandkids!

Need help reaching the right people with social media? Contact CDG.

You’ve done everything right. You’ve researched your keywords (and those of your competitors), you’ve beefed up your meta tags, you’ve created highly optimized and compelling content, you’ve optimized for local search  . . . heck, you’ve even optimized the file names of the images you’re using! You take a deep breath, look and log in to view your analytics, and, drum roll . . . traffic is static? Or worse, it’s a little down? What could have gone wrong?

Actually, something may have gone very right. If you’ve done a thorough job with SEO, you may have met the needs of your users so well that they don’t even need to click through to your site. “Come again,” you say?

Here’s the thing: depending on the nature of your business, customers may not need to get to your site once they see you in search results. This is exactly what happened to one of our clients, a surfing company in Hawaii. We optimized its site heavily for local search, and as a result, users now see the business name, address, website and phone number near the very top of the results for "Surf lessons in Waikiki."

SEO_optimized_local_listing

At that point, it's just as people to call up and ask about lessons and tours as it is to visit the site (this is doubly true if the person is searching on a smartphone).

If a lot of users bypass your website but call instead, then you won’t see a bump in traffic. But you should—like Big Wave Dave—see a bump in sales. And if sales are up, then your SEO has paid off—literally!

You’ve done everything right. You’ve researched your keywords (and those of your competitors), you’ve beefed up your meta tags, you’ve created highly optimized and compelling content, you’ve optimized for local search  . . . heck, you’ve even optimized the file names of the images you’re using! You take a deep breath, look and log in to view your analytics, and, drum roll . . . traffic is static? Or worse, it’s a little down? What could have gone wrong?

Actually, something may have gone very right. If you’ve done a thorough job with SEO, you may have met the needs of your users so well that they don’t even need to click through to your site. “Come again,” you say?

Here’s the thing: depending on the nature of your business, customers may not need to get to your site once they see you in search results. This is exactly what happened to one of our clients, a surfing company in Hawaii. We optimized its site heavily for local search, and as a result, users now see the business name, address, website and phone number near the very top of the results for "Surf lessons in Waikiki."

SEO_optimized_local_listing

At that point, it's just as people to call up and ask about lessons and tours as it is to visit the site (this is doubly true if the person is searching on a smartphone).

If a lot of users bypass your website but call instead, then you won’t see a bump in traffic. But you should—like Big Wave Dave—see a bump in sales. And if sales are up, then your SEO has paid off—literally!

It's that time again. At CDG, we're beginning work on our fifth iAd. We've set the bar high for ourselves, and we're trying to out-do our extremely high metrics for user engagement and conversion rates. Let the concepting begin!

 

Brainstorming session for iAd

 

Above, the newest addition to CDG's design team, Marina Linderman, pitches ideas to Creative Director Matthew Snyder.

 

Capturing initial thoughts

 

Matthew records the ideas provided by the design team. At this stage in our creative process, no idea is too out-there or strange. We'll edit and refine them over the next week as we hone in on a creative concept on which to base the iAd.

It's that time again. At CDG, we're beginning work on our fifth iAd. We've set the bar high for ourselves, and we're trying to out-do our extremely high metrics for user engagement and conversion rates. Let the concepting begin!

 

Brainstorming session for iAd

 

Above, the newest addition to CDG's design team, Marina Linderman, pitches ideas to Creative Director Matthew Snyder.

 

Capturing initial thoughts

 

Matthew records the ideas provided by the design team. At this stage in our creative process, no idea is too out-there or strange. We'll edit and refine them over the next week as we hone in on a creative concept on which to base the iAd.

Perfecting search engine optimization is a bit like playing whack-a-mole. Just when you have your eye on a sure-fire SEO tactic, it becomes moot (or less effective) and another one springs up somewhere else. Anyone who tells you they have the secret to perfect SEO probably also has a very affordable bridge to sell you.

Still, there are tried and true methods to optimizing your site for search, and some are not as obvious as you might think. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on the best way to optimize copy on a page-by-page basis. This is only one part of any solid SEO strategy (we’ll tackle other pieces, like link-building later), but it’s of course one of the most essential.

While you’re creating your content, pay attention to these items:

Keywords

Obviously, keywords are at the heart of any well-optimized page, so before you start writing, do you research. Be thorough, and make sure to not only look at the keywords you’re currently planning to target, but also research the keywords for which your competitors are optimizing. Google trends is a great starting point, and it’s free. It will tell you the terms people are actually using, what’s becoming more popular, and much more. Paid tools like SpyFu  and SEMRush are handy in looking at your competitors.

Once you’ve got keywords, you’ve got to know what to do with them. Which leads us to .  .  .

Page Title (Meta):

Your page title is the first thing people will see. Think of it as the subject line for your content. Only the first 65 characters of the title will be viewable to users, so keep it short. And for best results, lead off with your key words. For example, if you’re optimizing on “car insurance quotes.”

  • Good: Get Free & Fast Car Insurance Quotes from ABC Insurance
  • Better: Car Insurance Quotes: Free & Fast at ABC Insurance

 

Example-of-page-title-optimized-for-search
Example of a well-optimized page title for the search term "budget hotels in San Francisco"

Description Tag (Meta)

Aside from the title, your description is your most important meta content, as it also shows up in search engine results and can be very effective in convincing a user to click. When you write your description, use your keywords judiciously and focus it on what the user most wants to see.  If they’re searching for the best price on a hotel room, lead with your special rates, not the fact that you’ve been open for 25 years. If you take the time to craft a descriptions that are relevant to each page, you’ll increase the odds that people will find what they expect—and that will reduce your bounce rate.  And remember: Keep those descriptions to 165 characters or less.

Images

Images can be surprisingly effective weapons in your SEO arsenal. Make sure every contextual image has a caption and alt tag peppered with keywords. The alt tag is especially important, as the first 255 characters of it will show up in the increasing powerful Google image search. Use your keywords to intelligently label and describe.

  • OK: “child on a swingset”
  • Better: “child on a swingset with a nanny from ABC Agency”
  • Best:  “A certified nanny from ABC agency plays on the swings with a child in New Jersey”

And that’s not all. You can even improve your results by using keywords in the file name (e.g. ABC-Agency-nanny-with-child.jpg).

Page Content

A well-optimized page relies primarily on the content itself. (And really, what’s the point in driving people to a page with crappy content anyway?)  When writing your content, use—but don’t overuse—your keywords. There’s no magical formula to figure out optimal keyword density, but you definitely don’t want the page to sound like it’s been optimized. If you can read it aloud and it has a natural-sounding flow, you’re probably on the right track. Equally important is the structure of your page. Make sure to use keyword-rich headers and subheads, and make sure your code uses <h1> and <h2> tags to call those out.

Et voila! Implement these five steps and on your way to the world’s most dazzlingly optimized page. That’s only the start, though. Once you’ve dealt with your own pages, you need to look beyond your own site, with link-building, blogger outreach, social media efforts, etc. But we’ll save that for another post. Check back soon for more!

Need help understanding how to optimize your site for search? Contact CDG & let our experts work with you on a comprehensive SEO strategy.

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