DRTV

Video – The Other Search Marketing Method

Video Marketing
Video Marketing an Upcoming #SMchat Topic

According to web metrics company comScore, YouTube was named the second-largest search engine, so it makes sense to add video to your website. Do you have videos on your website? I haven’t added any videos yet, but Gary Vaynerchuk got his start by creating a video blog on wines and has become a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author!

Here are some questions to ask before you add videos to your site the way Gary V did:

  1. What kind of videos will work best on your website? Humor? Testimonial? How-To? How important is it for the tone of your videos to match the tone of your website?
  2. How do you get the videos to play on your site? What video player should you use?
  3. Do you copyright your videos? How? Has anyone been sentenced to “copyright school”? http://politi.co/dOyh7V
  4. Is SEO a part of your video strategy? How else do you integrate video into your marketing?
  5. What video metrics should you track? How do you track it? http://bit.ly/g00kBV

We’ll be discussing these questions and more during the #SMchat session on Wednesday, April 20, 2011 from 1-2P ET. Please join us or add your insights to the comments section below.

Why Didn’t I Ask “How Did You Hear About Us?” I Already Know.

Please don't ask "How did you hear about us?"
Please don’t ask, “How did you hear about us?”

Today I participated in #CROchat, a Twitter Chat on conversion rate optimization that has become a favorite, and a discussion started about the length of qualification forms. Ion Interactive said no matter what length the form is please don’t ask, “How did you hear about us?” Several of the #CROchat participants agreed, but Carlos Del Rio wanted an explanation. Ion Interactive shared a blog post by Anna Talerico on banishing self-serving questions from your conversion process, and although I agree, I feel that’s only part of the answer.

Yes, you should definitely limit or remove questions that don’t have any value for the customer from your conversion path, especially the “How did you hear about us?” question. During my DRTV (direct response television) days, clients often wanted to have the call center ask it and we would get free-form answers like “my wife/mother/friend/boss told me to call” or “I saw it in the newspaper” (tough to do when it was a TV-only campaign). People lie, or they tell you what they think you want to hear, or they simply say, “I don’t remember” which is true more often than not.

Here’s what to do instead: Set up campaign tracking.

  • Track by medium – Online (SEO, PPC, Affiliate, Email, Social Media), TV, Radio, Print (Newspaper, Magazine), Billboard, etc.
  • Track by source – Google, Yahoo/Bing, Email Newsletter, WJZ-TV, WWMX-FM, USA Today, etc. – Be as specific as you can: is there a specific webpage, newspaper section, radio or television show?
  • Track by content – Make sure you test ads against one another. Continuous testing will optimize your media spend.
  • Track by keyword term – This is especially helpful for PPC ads, but you can also track any special phrases in your other ads.

Joe Teixeira from MoreVisibility wrote a great blog post on how to set up tracking in Google Analytics. His post’s emphasis is on paid search campaigns, but with a little ingenuity you can make it work for any other media.

There will be times, especially when dealing with offline media, when people don’t cooperate and just use the “base URL” instead of your customized version with tracking in place. Watch your analytics to see spikes in traffic where many of the users are coming from the custom URL and use your best judgment on attributing some or all of the “base” traffic to that source. If you’ve got a sophisticated analytics program like Coremetrics, you can even track your viewers by first click, last click, or distributed click attribution. Eric T. Peterson did a great white paper on appropriate attribution that might be helpful for a better understanding of that concept.

How did you hear about this blog post? Since I don’t advertise I can tell you without asking, someone saw my Tweet and either directly or through a combination of events (your mother saw my Tweet and told you to check out my post) you made it here. I can look at my analytics and tell you for sure or you can leave a comment below to let me know!

Don’t Put All of Your Eggs In One Basket

Easter Bunny says, "Don't put all of your eggs in one basket!"
The Easter Bunny says,

The topic of the first Twitter chat that I moderated was Jack of All Trades or Master of One. You can read more about it here. This past weekend was Easter, and even though the kids are growing up, the Easter Bunny was still hopping!

That combination made me start to think about the way some companies put all of their budget into one channel. During #SMchat, the focus was on individual growth rather than corporate, but the general consensus was that in order to grow you needed to have experience in more than one area of marketing. If it makes sense for the marketer to diversify, it should also work for the companies that they represent, right? That’s why it is surprising to me that so many companies don’t make use of all of the online and offline marketing venues that are available. The explanation that I’ve heard is that there is not enough money in the budget to cover all of the media channels. My response to that is you’re doing your company an injustice if you don’t test every available area of marketing. You never know what will work best for your company without testing.

Testing marketing channels can be done relatively inexpensively, and once you have proven ROI you can determine how much more you can spend in that media. For example, I have worked for several companies who felt that TV is too expensive for their budgets, but I’ve run national DRTV (direct response television) tests that cost far less than what they’re spending on PPC SEM (pay-per-click search engine marketing) campaigns and bring in more revenue for the money spent, plus have the advantage of reaching offline viewers that may not see your ads online.

Another really great marketing channel to test is affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is wonderful because there are so many options and it is the most easily tracked – you can pay for the click, the sale, or even the phone call if you convert better over the phone than online.

Email traditionally has the highest ROI of any marketing channel but you need to test email marketing to see how it works for your company, plus you need to build your email list organically in order to have email perform at the levels it is capable of producing. You won’t get those high ROI numbers on a rented list.

Social media is the “new kid” and people are having difficulty determining ROI from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and the other social media venues. I see social media as the glue that brings the company and the customer together. You need to be where your customers are – and more and more people are on social media sites than any other with the exception of Google.

Do you agree – should your marketing budget be spread across multiple channels or should you focus on one aspect of marketing in order to spend your budget wisely? Please comment below to let me know!