Video Marketing, are you using it?

I read a really good article this evening about using video in your marketing on your eCommerce sites, blogs, and other online business endeavors.

What we need are tiny, specialized sites that obsess about specific industries. Is there a good video every day about how to do better real estate sales? If there isn’t, there soon will be. Or for heart surgeons? For every segment where there is currently a trade magazine, I believe there’s an opportunity to build a blog-like, woot-like, ad supported page that finds the good stuff.

What I get from this is that, in order to market our services and products most effectively online, we need to have a specific section of our website, possibly on the home page, that’s dedicated to video content. We are a “specialized site that obsesses about [put your mission statement here – what you are focused on doing with your business].” Here are some questions for thought:

“Is there a good video…about how to [make wall murals an important decoration in your home]?”

“Is there a good video…about how to [learn what are the best Japanese recipes and how to use them]?”

“Is there a good video…about how to [find the best cometic gaskets for your racecar engine]?”

“Is there a good video…about how to [keep clogging strong by selecting the right clogging shoes]”?

“Is there a good video…about how to [find the best used paperback books]”?

“Is there a good video…about how to [put your keyword phrase here]”?

The author of the blog post I read, Seth Godin, is a nationally famous public speaker and marketing genius. As I write this article, his ideas about video marketing make more and more sense to me.

How can you implement his ideas on your website?

Why is it important to Subscribe to a blog?

Have you ever seen this image:

Suscribe to http://mollermarketing.com

This is an RSS Feed. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. My new Twitter Friend Marek Wawrzyniak made a great post about getting more subscribers to your blog by making the RSS Feed image bigger. I think it’s a great idea and want to try it too. If you like what is said at Moller Marketing and want to stay up to date on new posts I make, simply click on the image and select Google Reader (that’s the one I use). Then when you go in to your Google Reader account, you will be able to see new posts I’ve made. Here’s what RSS means:

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So, if you haven’t already, subscribe to email my feed and be updated on all the new stuff at http://mollermarketing.com.You can also enter your email address in the top left corner of this page and receive an email every time I make a new post.

Is blogging really worth it?

This is a valid question to those just getting started in eCommerce. I’ve known about blogs for some time but until about eight months ago I hadn’t really done much with blogging. What a great marketing opportunity; what a great way to share ideas and learn new information; what a great way to make additional income via the internet. Wikipedia explains blogs in the following way:

A blog is a user-generated website where entries are made in journal style and displayed in a reverse chronological order. Blogs often provide commentary or news on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news; some function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of most early blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual although some focus on photographs (photoblog), sketchblog, videos (vlog), or audio (podcasting), and are part of a wider network of social media. The term “blog” is derived from “Web log.” “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. As of November 2006, blog search engine Technorati was tracking nearly 60 million blogs.

Other explanations I’ve heard about blogs include “online journal”, “digital newspaper”, and “web logs”.

So why are blogs so important when it comes to eCommerce? This is a common question too. Isn’t a blog just something else you have to work on and spend time doing? You betchya! However, the return on investment of a blog can come in a variety of ways. Here are some of my favorite things about blogging:

  1. Free (or very inexpensive) Targeted Advertising: there are many free options out there. My favorites are WordPress.com and blogger.com. I use both of them but am leaning more and more to wordpress.com because of all the functionality. Having multiple blogs, in relation to your website, can be so helpful: it’s a way to build additional quality links – ways that search engines can find your website. (ie. I have 2 blogs specifically used to promote my dance bags website: clogon.blogspot.com and bestdanceshoes.blogspot.com. I also have a new blog for my customized DVD and photography website: highlightsports.wordpress.com.) As you make posts on your blog, you can create anchor links to specific pages of your new website using keyword phrases. This is offsite advertising at it best! If you want even better recognition, purchase a domain name from GoDaddy and host it with BlueHost. That’s what I’ve done with this blog.
  2. Build Industry Credibility: the more quality information you post about products, services, and information within your industry, the more your visitors (and potential buyers) can see that you know what you’re talking about; they can trust in the products you are offering. Without content and quality information to back up buying decisions, buyers will probably look elsewhere.
  3. Affiliate Marketing Opportunities: as you can see at clogon.blogspot.com and bestdanceshoes.blogspot.com, I have a few different ways to actually make money with these blogs. The first is through Google Adsense, a pay-per-click campaign that makes money as visitors click on the advertising links. Google Adsense is free to set up and can be a great supplemental income to your business plan, at least to start. The other affiliate marketing campaigns on those blogs are the products on the side navigation. These affiliates were found through Commission Junction (www.cj.com). Sign up as a Publisher and start applying for affiliates within your industry or that compliment what you are doing. The pay may not be as good as getting products at a wholesale price and reselling at a retail price but at least you give yourself the opportunity to make money (and the cost is minimal if at all).  Before you start adding tons of ads to your blog, you should probably read about why it is not best to monetize your blog right out of the gate.

To finish up, make sure you remember the key word for effective blogging – Consistency:

  • How often you post – whether it’s once a day, week, or whatever, it’s important that you post new information on a consistent basis if you want readers to come back.
  • What you write about– if you have questions about this see my post about Focus
  • Anchor links – we don’t want to overdo the anchor links to our website, but it’s important to make keywords links to your pages
  • Product Reviews – if you are selling products on your website, it’s a good idea to do reviews from time to time – tell visitors why your products are better than the competition (use testimonials and feedback from clients)
  • Posting to other people’s blogs – find blogs you like that relate to what you are marketing and make good comments; use the Trackback tools if you have a lot to say: this can get your comment to show up on the blog you made the comment on and on your blog too.

What are your thoughts (if you can still think after all this…)?

SEO and Creative Marketing Blogs I Follow

Who needs a newspaper anymore? Especially when you can spend late nights reading about SEO, SMO, internet branding, creative advertising, and other useful strategies for eCommerce and blogging. Of course, I have to make time for Sportscenter on ESPN, but the following are some of the blogs I watch and study frequently. I’m sure there may be some I’m leaving out, but these are some of my favorites, in no particular order:

Jim Westergren

Aaron Wall’s SEO Book

SeoMoz

Jim Boykin

Marketing Pilgrim

Matt Cutts

Lee Odden

Mat Siltala

Michael Gray – Gray Wolf

What do you all read?

The Power of SMO!!

Wow, what a change in traffic! Yesterday I added a plugin for del.icio.us and digg, two of the top SMO services on the internet. I submitted a new article about Michelle Sorro from the Apprentice. Today I’ve seen a huge influx in traffic – from 25 visitors yesterday to 761 visitors and counting today! Yahoo! (literally) – most of the traffic is coming from this Yahoo site: http://apprentice.tv.yahoo.com/trump/06/index.html.

So, if you haven’t got a del.icio.us or digg account, get them and use them. Make sure you submit articles to the right categories and avoid spam. Use the links to “Socially Bookmark” your favorite pages.