Content Marketing Strategy: Choosing Topics to Create Content About
“Success is one percent inspiration, ninety eight percent perspiration and two percent attention to detail”
~ Phil Dunphy, Philsosophy
First off, there are many types of online marketing strategies but there are not many that achieve a higher ROI than content marketing. Now, before you get all worked up with fear, let me just say that creating content for your site will probably one of the easiest things that you have to do for your business.
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Here’s our roundup for the best SEO tips and tricks that we’ve come across this week. If you read nothing else, read these articles:
It’s Time To Treat Content As Part Of The User Experience by Ian Lurie on Moz.com
I don’t know why but it seems that every site owner treats their content like it’s a separate part of their business. I’ve never understood this thinking but I think every aspect of every site (whether it’s off page SEO, developing a SEO checklist, etc) is integral to
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7. Don’t Stop At Youtube With Your Website Video Production
Too often, our new clients have dozens of videos posted on Youtube but they don’t embed the videos on their sites.
Look, you created the video to drum up business, right?
Well, if you don’t post the video on your site then you run the risk of your visitors hopping over to Youtube and getting distracted by funny cat videos. Don’t force them to leave your site to get the info they want.
Always embed your Youtube videos on you site so you don’t lose visitors
IMPORTANT: For proper website video production don’t just embed the video on your site by itself. Google can’t read videos so it has no idea what it’s about. So you need to make sure that you either surround the video with related content or even a transcript of the video.
And don’t just post your videos to Youtube. Sure, Youtube gets the most visitors be far so you definitely need to post your videos on Youtube. However, there are a lot of people that prefer other sites like Vimeo and DailyMotion.
For instance, I have a crazy friend that absolutely won’t do business with a large company. He’s says that he’s just helping the little guy but why do you go to Whole Foods Greg? Why do you go to Whole Foods?
OK, got a little off topic there.
My point is that it doesn’t matter why people go to sites other than Youtube. It only matters that if you don’t publish there as well then you’re losing out a good portion of the market. Plus, if there is a video site where most of you clients hang out, you’d be insane to not post there as well.
8. Break Longer Videos Down Into A Campaign Of Shorter, More Targeted Videos And You’ll Get A Lot More Views Out Of Them.
For example, every other Tuesday I conduct SEO webinars that range in length from 1-3 hours and cover many different SEO topics during each webinar. And I always post the entire webinar on Youtube for my viewers to review and attract new clients but I also take it a step further.
You see, when you post one long view, you still only get one title to tell the viewer what it’s about and that video can only show up once in the SERPs. But when you break the video down into much shorter segments, you get a whole lot more exposure.
Check this out. The last webinar I did was about three hours long and was mainly about backlinking. Then I broke it down into 13 videos that ranged from keyword research to content creation to backlinking. And, whereas, the long video scares off a lot of viewers because of its sheer length (it also converts a lot of highly targeted viewers), the shorter videos attract a ton of viewers that simply would never watch the longer video.
Plus, I can now show up multiple times in the SERPS for multiple keywords!
9. This One Is Really Simple… Always Include A Call To Action!
If you don’t include a call to action then your visitors won’t do what you want them to do
People aren’t stupid but they certainly act that way when they watch videos because they get sent into a sort of trance. The good thing is that you can use this trance to your advantage throughout all of your website video production. All you have to do, is tell them exactly what you want them to without breaking them out of the trace.
You’ve probably experienced this more than once. You’re watching a video and then ten minutes later your on the video producer’s site getting more information and you don’t even remember making a conscious choice to visit the site. Sucker!
With website video production one of the best things you can do to build your business is to create a call to action to grow your email list. You can either grease the wheels with a freebie to get them to sign up or you can just tell them to sign up for advice and updates.
10. And this one is critical to the success of #9… never make a sales pitch!
Youtube and the rest of the Internet is flooded with sales letters and videos that don’t provide any real value. That’s why you always want to make sure that you provide value every single time you post a video. When you do this, people will contact you because you’ll stand out amongst all of the videos that are just sales pitches.
It’s not overly complicated. Simply educate your audience by answering questions that you know they have. Even a two or three minute video can be a powerful thing.
Or maybe you know people would be interested in a review of a product or service that you just bought. That could be a very valuable little video that could even leads to some affiliate commissions.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can tell people about a special offer or one of your products. It simply means that your video should be at least 90% value and 10% “sales notification” and not some hypey pitch.
11. Optimize Your Videos By Including Your Keyword In The Title, Description And Tags And Add Related Keywords In The Description And Tags.
Plus, one trick that most people don’t know about is that you should name the video file on your computer as the keyword before you upload it. Google hasn’t confirmed this but there’s a lot of proof that they file name has a big effect.
To test the theory, I created two identical videos (for a relatively easy-to-rank-for keyword) with the same title, description and tags. The only difference was that I chose a random file name for one and used the keyword as the file name on the other.
Without any backlinks, the video with the keyword as the file name was ranked on the first page whereas the other video was on page three of Google’s video search function (it wasn’t even within the first ten pages of the regular results.)
12. Pick Your Topics And Then Do One Or More Of The Following…
Educate… Ask and answer questions… Review products… Provide case studies… Tell a story… Expose lies… Go “behind the scenes”…
The opportunities are endless for your website video production.
One of my favorite ways of creating videos is to just record work that I’m doing for my clients with Camtasia Studio. Of course, most of the stuff that I record is worthless and gets deleted but at least once a day, I uncover a little gem that I convert into a video.
13. Using Rich Snippets
So, your visitor is on Google and they see this:
Which of these search results stand out to you?
Would you believe that the #2 result gets more traffic than the #1 spot?
I can’t definitely prove it because I’m not the webmaster for Wikipedia or Table for Two Blog but, in my experience, search results with the images from the rich snippets outperform listings above them that don’t have rich snippets.
Therefore, it’s very important to use rich snippets on all of you posts that would benefit from them like videos, recipes and image pages.
However, Google recently changed their algorithm within their algorithm which emphasizes the quality of pages that have rich snippets embedded because they wanted to clean up their SERPs. So, as always, it’s critically important to focus on the quality of your video’s page.
According to Forrester Research, videos are over 50 times as likely to land on the first page of Google than any other form of content. So you really can’t afford to ignore proper website video production.
Like other forms of online content, a major benefit of video is that it can be “ever green” meaning that you produce and post the video and it continues to bring you traffic and new clients year after year…
But only if you do it correctly!
You don’t have to be as good as this guy!
You Don’t Have To Be Steven Spielberg When It Comes To Website Video Production
Don’t worry about the video looking like Lawrence of Arabia or The Shawshank Redemption. Unless you’re running a business for which people are coming to you for something visual, “down and dirty” works just fine and often does better than more professional-looking videos.
Honestly, that was probably the #1 point I had to have drilled into my head because I used to work in the film industry as a cinematographer before I was diagnosed with a severe eye disease. I would spend way too much time perfecting everything and then get frustrated when nobody watched the videos.
Kill The Perfectionist In You
When it comes to online videos, you need quantity and quality but not necessarily high “visual” quality. Think “Krispy Kreme” instead of Cronuts.
You need high quality content and a lot of it!
For example, a realtor client of mine used to hire a little film crew to shoot a video for every new house that he put on the market. Each video cost him about $500 to shoot and while it brought in some traffic, they never brought in any new clients.
A simple GroPro video like this one work well
I suggested that he simply buy a GoPro, attach it to himself and walk around each house showing off the details. For less than the cost of one video, he’s now able to create a video for each house. Granted, the videos still don’t get a whole lot of views because they’re highly localized but, here’s the important part, they lead to a lot of new clients because they said they found him “trustworthy” instead of “slick”.
There Are Always Exceptions To The Rule And “Explainer” Videos Are One Of Those Exceptions
Whereas my realtor client could get away with creating down and dirty videos because viewers know that he has to create a new video for each house he puts on the market, these videos don’t work for product launches or as “explainer videos”. Website video production is drastically different for explainer videos.
Now doubt, you’ve seen these videos before but if you haven’t, here’s a great example that actually draws in an additional $21K per month:
And there are special rules for these videos.
Rule #1: It all begins with the script
When I was in film school at USC, the first thing they drilled into our heads was that “If it ain’t on the page then it ain’t on the stage!” Which means that if it’s not in the script, it not in the movie.
You see, an experienced film crew can take a great script and make a bad movie. It happens all the time.
However, they can’t take a bad script and make a great movie. It NEVER happens and never will because the script is the most important part of any movie… to bad the screenwriter doesn’t get paid what Hollywood stars make.
In your case, to produce a great “explainer video”, you have to write a powerful script. If you’re not sure that it’s perfect then don’t start to shoot the video. If you can’t perfect it, you’d be better off scraping it and starting over. The script is that critical to your success.
The Steps I Used To Take To Write Powerful Sales Scripts
Up to a couple of months ago, I went through this whole process step-by-step so you should read through it to understand how it works. However, below the steps, you’ll discover a new service that helps me cut the entire time it takes me to create these sales letters by at least 90%.
Ask my visitors what they want to know about my product or service.
What concerns do you have?
What’s stopping you from buying?
Is anything confusing you?
Make it as long as it has to be but keep it as short as possible and include the following:
Ask a question to determine whether they are currently experiencing the problem that your product solves.
Contrary to popular belief, you shouldn’t write your sales letter to appeal to everyone.
Instead, you should aim to filter out the people who have no interest in your product and focus on communicating with your specific target audience.
The people who can relate to the problem you describe in this section will be much more likely to engage with your sales message and ultimately purchase your product.
These are the only people you should be thinking about as you write your sales message.
Connect with the viewer.
You should now choose a transitional statement that lets the viewer know that you can relate to the situation they are currently in.
This helps convey empathy and makes the viewer feel like you understand the situation they are currently facing.
Agitate the problem
In this section you should agitate the problem by describing some specific experiences and examples that your viewer can relate to.
Try to use examples that are vivid and compelling.
By the end of this section, your viewer should be nodding their head and thinking, “That’s exactly the situation I’m in right now!”
Agitate with feelings
Having described the problem using specific experiences you should now increase the sense of agitation by tapping into the specific FEELINGS that your viewer is experiencing as a result of facing this problem.
Describe existing solutions in your website video production
In this section you should make reference to other solutions that exist for solving the problem that your viewer is currently dealing with.
For example, if your product helps people set goals you might mention solutions such as buying home study courses, attending seminars or hiring a life coach.
Identifying problems with existing solutions
You should now point out the downsides of the existing solutions in a way that positions your product as the superior and obvious choice.
One option is to point out that the existing solutions are more expensive or harder to obtain than your product is.
This helps position your product as the best value solution to the problem your viewer is trying to solve.
Reveal your new solution
It’s now time to reveal your product and position it as the best solution to the problem that your viewer is currently facing.
Introduce yourself and establish authority
In this section you should introduce yourself and include a sentence or two that explains why your viewer should listen to you.
A good way to do this is to briefly mention your qualifications, your position or your biggest achievements.
Be sure to keep this brief and do not make the mistake of talking about yourself too much.
Describe your product
In this section you should provide the viewer with a summary of your product and an overview of what it can do for them.
Describe what makes your product unique
This paragraph should highlight what makes your product different and better than similar products on the market.
If you are selling a product that you need to demonstrate such as a software program, an app or a physical product now’s the time to show your viewer exactly how it works.
The best way to do this is to demonstrate how your product quickly and easily delivers the main benefit that your viewer is trying to obtain.
If you don’t need to include a product demonstration as part of your sales message, you can skip this step.
Transition to power bullets
You should now include a short phrase that teases the viewer about what they will learn or discover when they purchase your product.
Present power bullets
A power bullet is a brief descriptive statement that describes a single benefit that your product provides.
Power bullets are one of the most effective components of any sales message.
Often a single bullet point that specifically appeals to a viewer can be enough to convince them to purchase your product.
Describe early reader response
You should now include a sentence that describes the positive feedback you’ve received from customers who have purchased or used your product.
In this section you should include short compelling testimonials about your product.
If possible, use comments from well known individuals.
Include the person’s full name and title and then their comment about your product.
If you don’t have specific endorsements for your product you can also use personal endorsements that position you as a knowledgeable, trustworthy and reliable person.
It is now time to introduce the price of your product.
In this section, you want to compare the price of your product to other higher priced alternatives.
This contrast highlights the fact that your product is genuinely a great opportunity to solve the problem they are currently facing.
Explain why you created your product
You should now explain why you created your product in the first place.
Perhaps it was to make your knowledge and expertise more readily available to people who need it.
Or maybe you’d tried all the other solutions and felt compelled to create a better quality product.
Or perhaps you stumbled upon a more effective solution and felt compelled to share it with the world.
Reveal the price
You should now reveal the price of your product and indicate that this special price is only available for a limited time.
This creates a sense of scarcity and urgency that helps the viewer to make the decision to buy now rather than coming back at a later date.
Present the first call to action
You should now let the viewer know that if they want to enjoy the main benefit that your product delivers then they should buy it now.
It is very important to be crystal clear about exactly what the viewer needs to do in order to purchase your product.
Provide a guarantee
In this section you should present the viewer with an unconditional money back guarantee that helps to address their natural skepticism.
Many people are reluctant to make a purchase because they have been ripped off in the past.
By providing a solid guarantee that you stand behind 100%, you help reduce the sense of risk associated with buying your product which in turn means more people will take action and make a purchase.
Studies have shown that companies that make a 100% guarantee make much more profit even when factoring in customers who take advantage of them by using the service to great results and still requesting their money back.
Recall the pain
In this section, you should remind the viewer of the pain they are currently experiencing because they don’t yet have access to your product.
Promise to end the pain
Having reminded the viewer of the pain they are currently experiencing you should now promise that your product is the solution they need to solve their problem and improve their lives.
Paint a picture of the future
In this section you should paint a vivid compelling picture of the future your viewer will enjoy if they purchase your product and put it to use.
Present final call to action
You should now complete your sales message by directly telling the viewer to purchase your product so that they can enjoy the benefits it delivers.
Once again, make sure you are crystal clear about what the viewer needs to do to place an order.
My Secret Weapon To Doing All Of This In Minutes And Not Days
Up until a couple of months ago, I used to spend days perfecting my sales letters and scripts that I used in my videos because it was that important.
Well, it’s still that important but now I don’t have to spend that much time writing compelling copy. Instead, I signed up for Vidsy and haven’t wasted any time. You see, Vidsy is a sales letter generator that takes you step-by-step through the sales letter writing process and within minutes you can write a sales letter that converts.
Plus, you can then take that sales letter and send it to a voice-over actor to record some audio as you simply create a video with the Powerpoint file that Vidsy automatically creates.
It’s such a sweet system that’s really affordable too. Check out Vidsy here to get a discount.
Website Video Production Secret #1: Hire a Professional to Create a Voice-Over
If you are producing an explainer video then it’s kind of important to hire a professional voice-over artists to read your script. Let’s be honest, most of us don’t have the ability to convey the proper emotion and excitement needed to touch people’s hearts and that’s what you need when creating an explainer video. It’s also why so many huge brands hire Academy Award winning actors to pitch their products.
However, like I mentioned in Part 1, Vidsy is a great service to help you created the script so that at least you can save some money on the writing process.
Website Video Production Secret #2: Also Hire A Professional To Produce A Powerful Video
Now that you have the voice-over recorded, you need a filmmaker that can take it and create a story board and produce the video. However, don’t hire an expensive company because you will want to create multiple variations in the future.
Secret #2: Split-Test Your Videos
As I mentioned above, to get the best results, you have to keep creating multiple versions of the script, the voice-over and the video to achieve better and better results. Unlike with a movie which isn’t selling anything, you are selling a product or service and you need to convert more and more people into paying clients. Of course, if a company charges $25,000 per video, you won’t be able to make too many of them and remain profitable.
Secret #3: Focus On The End Result of Link Building and Social Shares
Again, you have to produce videos that are full of value but they don’t have to take a lot of time or possess fantastic production value. In fact, one of the biggest SEO sites, SEOMoz, produces simple “white board” videos every Friday that get tens of thousands of views.
Literally, the Moz videos consist only of a presenter writing on a white board. Couldn’t you do something like this? All you need is a $200 camera and a white board.
But as long as the information provided is valuable, people will share it and link back to your site. Again, it doesn’t have to pretty… it just has to be powerful.
Six More Secrets To Optimize Your Videos
One of the things you’ll learn about conducting business online is that there are certain steps that you have to take to get high rankings in the search engines. Artistic choices won’t matter if you don’t optimize your videos properly.
1. Craft An Intriguing Title
Several studies have shown that the first three and last three words of a title are the most important because they attract the eye. So, while it’s not always possible (and you shouldn’t worry about it too much), a six word title works best.
On top of the title being intriguing, it’s critical to include your focus keyword in the title as close to the front as possible.
2. Include The Keyword In The File Name If Possible
Another simple trick for website video production, especially when uploading a video to Youtube, is to rename the file to your keyword. Here’s an example:
3. Provide Amazing And Entertaining Content And NEVER, EVER Post Terrible Content
Ten or fifteen years ago you didn’t really have to worry about website video production because any video would have gotten a good share of views because there just weren’t that many videos online. Today, more than 100 hours are added to Youtube every single minute. That’s over 1,000,000 hours per week so do you think a crappy five minute video will really stand out?
And never post terrible content because it can destroy your business. Think of it this way, when people go to the movies, they’ll tell their friends if the movie was great but they’re twice as likely to tell friends if it was bad. An average video won’t stand out but it also won’t destroy your business.
4. Don’t Forget To Include Your Site’s URL In The Video
This is probably the number one mistake that online video producers make because they forget that while there’s a link on sites like Youtube under the video, there’s no link when someone embeds your video on another site. Therefore, if you don’t include your URL in the video, people that found your video helpful won’t visit your site.
You’ll also want to check out how the main site you post your video on watermarks the videos. For example, Youtube places their video in the bottom right corner. Does it make sense to place your URL there? No because it will be covered up. The upper left corner might be a better spot.
5. Brand Your Videos
The last time you went to the movies, what was the first image you saw it the beginning of the movie?
The production company’s logo.
Why? Because they want you to know how made it so that you’ll remember them the next time they make a movie. You should be doing the same thing.
First, you want to create a similar “production title” for the beginning of your videos.
Second, unlike the movies, you also need to include a watermark of your logo throughout the entire video.
6. Always, Always, Always Include An HTML Link!
If you watch a number of videos on Youtube, you’ll notice that a lot of them don’t have any HTML links to the business’ site that created the video. How freaking dumb!
Even if you use Youtube (or the like) as your primary point of contact with viewers, make sure that you link it to your site. And make sure that it’s the very first thing in the description box along with a call to action because, as you’ve probably noticed, sites like Youtube hide all but the first two lines of content in the description box. If you post the link at the end of your description, 99.9% of your viewers will never see it.
For example, I like to begin a lot of my descriptions with something similar to: