New You Tube Content Channels: A Clearer Picture For Video Marketing

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You Tube Content Channels:

You Tube Content Channels

Remember when You Tube content used to be the exclusive domain of singing cats, laughing babies, exploding plastic Coke bottles and a 7-year-old named David who, after dental surgery and its accompanying drugs, was wondering, “Is this real life?”

It is now, David. Google, owners of YouTube since 2006, has slowly been making the world’s top website for watching online videos more presentable for bigger audiences and better-paying advertisers. The transformation became official late last week when YouTube announced that user-generated videos like David After Dentist and Charlie Bit My Finger are about to get some mainstream-media, professionally-produced company in the form of 96 new original content channels.

The list of those providing the content is an eclectic one: Madonna, The Onion, Jay-Z, “The Office’s” Rainn Wilson, “Parks and Recreation’s” Amy Poehler, the Wall Street Journal, Tony Hawk, “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker, comics legend Stan Lee and Car and Driver Magazine, to name just a handful.

“Today we’re announcing that even more talented creators and original entertainment will soon join YouTube’s existing channel lineup,” announced YouTube’s content partnership chief Robert Kyncl on the YouTube blog, “including channels created by well-known personalities and content producers from the TV, film, music, news, and sports fields, as well as some of the most innovative up-and-coming media companies in the world and some of YouTube’s own existing partners. These channels will have something for everyone, whether you’re a mom, a comedy fan, a sports nut, a music lover or a pop-culture maven.”‘

Sounds impressive. But what if I’m a business-to-business company and I’m thinking about my own YouTube page to generate sales leads and position myself as the expert in my industry? What does YouTube’s new content direction mean for me? What if I offer something directly to consumers – beauty products, health foods, aluminum siding, pediatric dentistry (are you listening, David?)

What this all means is validation for video marketing as a viable option for your business – and confirmation that YouTube is indeed a clean, well-lit place for offering up that video content.

Go back in time before David’s high-as-a-kite dental aftermath, before Bed Intruder songs and Pachelbel’s “Canon” on electric guitar. YouTube was kind of a scary place, a darker neighborhood where the user-generated gems were sandwiched next to uploads from personal porn collections, “screamer” videos and copyright violations. For the past five years, Google has been scrubbing YouTube down from top to bottom, settling lawsuits, making deals and morphing the site into a business-friendly environment.

The arrival of more technically-polished productions probably won’t signal an end to all user-generated video charms. But it will expand a higher-quality viewing aesthetic that will trump do-it-yourself Flip Cam and iPhone video for business purposes. Better video production values equal more credibility and trust. And if your business has a product or service that caters to the aforementioned moms/comedy fans/sports nuts/music lovers or pop-culture mavens, then you’re suddenly in very good company with the likes of “Dancing With The Stars’” Brooke Burke, the sports musings of Bleacher Report or health/wellness seeker of truths Deepak Chopra.

The details on the new content channels are still being filled in, but YouTube’s announcement should be one more reason to commit to video marketing as a big part of a company’s content strategy. If it’s good enough for a loopy 7-year-old with a FlipCam-enabled father, then it’s certainly good enough for a business.

If you’re excited to expand the influence of your company and achieve greater financial success through social media, now is the time to find out your current social media grade! Keep up with Splash Media on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also find our YouTube channel and read our blog for the latest updates.

Scaring Up Social Media Marketing Halloween Treats, and Stories You May Have Missed

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In the world of social media, every holiday presents a special marketing opportunity – a special theme used to push or launch a product or service, a chance to offer exclusive content, another shot at goosing the conversation between customer and company.

Okay, so Halloween isn’t an official holiday, unless you manage a Party City; then it turns into an early Christmas. But it is an unofficial celebration of pop culture and memories of our youth, along with our innate desire to be taken to the brink of fear and then pulled safely back (like riding your favorite theme-park roller coaster, or attending the latest “Paranormal Activity” movie.)

More brands are taking to social media to make those scary connections, and some are doing it better than others. Audi makes smart use of the #halloween Twitter hashtag, and the social network’s Promoted Tweets feature, to push its thermal imaging cameras in its newer models:

social media marketing halloween

Social Media Marketing Halloween

On Facebook, the hit AMC horror series The Walking Dead offers up a bloody bucketful of behind-the-scenes material and extra content on its FB fan page; a must-click for fans of a genre show that does the best job yet of mixing gore and terrors with solid character development. And its production and makeup geniuses have some helpful hints for those who still don’t have any costume ideas for All Hallow’s Eve:

The scariest thing I’ve seen lately via social media, however, started catching some viral buzz about a week ago. It’s the Take This Lollipop Facebook app, an extraordinarily creepy way to make a point about privacy. Giving the app access to your Facebook account presents you with a two-minute horror movie where you and your friends are the stars; your status updates, photos and other content appear on the computer screen in the basement of a sweaty-looking guy in a wife-beater T-shirt – he’s right out of Central Casting for the role of Internet Stalker. He mutters, screams and types away as he looks in on your life, digs up your address on Google Maps, and then gets into a car and drives off – presumably to meet you face to face.

Frightening to be sure, but as Joe Berkowitzaptly points out in a Fast Company article Take This Lollipop also may have unwittingly put a spotlight on the technology that enables this kind of instant interactivity, and how it might be used in more productive, business-friendly ways other than scaring people.

Have you seen any recent clever tie-ins of Halloween and social media marketing? If so, please share with us in our Comments section below, and check out some advice and best practices from the week:

There’s Always Room For Jello…Brains?

Yes, another Halloween-related marketing campaign, this one from Kraft Foods. But as reported by Karlene Lukovitz of MediaPost Marketing Daily, Kraft’s efforts aren’t so much about a simple theme tie-in as they are about the company’s clever mix of all its social media and web platforms – including mobile – and its multiple family-friendly brands.

Content Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got Worth Sharing

Marcus Taylor of SEOptimize writes at Logic + Emotion about the kinds of content that gets passed along by customers and comes up with his own grading scale for determining how shareworthy a blog post or social media status update can be.

That’s all for this week. Have a great weekend; here’s hoping your Halloween scares are all of the “it’s-only-a-movie” kind, and watch out for those trick-or-treatin’ kiddos on Monday night!

Life Is Too Short To Play It Safe

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Parkinson's ResearchI love the work that I do and, in my opinion, I’m extremely good at it.  I am fascinated by the Internet, enjoy social media as my job, and enjoy helping clients grow their businesses and companies on a daily basis.

However, my father has lived a far different life than me.  He was raised with a family that had little to nothing, graduated high school early at the age of 16, was called up by JFK and became a Commander in the U.S. Air Force, achieved his MBA by his early twenties, was the first person at IBM to contract a $1 million sales deal, was on the signing board when Ernst & Whinney merged with Arthur Young to form a little accounting firm called Ernst & Young, and is hands down the most humble, honest, successful, and caring man I have ever had the privilege of knowing.

I pray that one day I can achieve half the success that he did over the course of my life.

Unfortunately, over a decade ago he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, something I would not wish upon my worst enemy.  It is a degenerative disease that literally kills your mind and soul as each day slowly drifts by.  And yesterday, the doctor informed us that he would most likely not live through the weekend.  This next week should be great.

As I have been reflecting on my dad’s life – everything he is and everything he’s done – I imagined what he could have accomplished if he had had the Internet and social media at his fingertips.  Would he have graduated high school even earlier than age 16?  Would he have been able to contact his family and friends from the Air Force base to let them know he was safe and sound?  Would he have been able to secure a contract for IBM bigger than $1 million?  Would he have turned Ernst & Young into something even bigger than it is today?  What could he have done?

Our generation has this amazing blessing at our fingertips that we really take for granted.  We should be able to turn molehills into mountains and build extravagant castles beyond our wildest dreams.  What is holding us back?  Honestly, I believe it is a pure lack of motivation and willpower.  We expect life to come to us easy, but it doesn’t.  If you truly want to succeed you have to work hard, dig deep, and quit complaining about your struggles and pain.  Everybody has struggles and pain.  Everybody.

Take a step back and think.  Think about your business, your family, your friends, and more importantly, your life.  Think about the goals you have and what you need to do to achieve them.  Are you happy with where you are right now or do you want more?  Are you satisfied with going home every night and watching TV or a random movie, only to repeat the same exact thing the next night?

Throughout my entire life I never remember my father once having a single TV show that he watched on a regular basis besides maybe sports on the weekends.  I only wish I could say the same.  He was constantly working, trying to achieve amazing new and innovative things, and thrived off success and perfection in his work and life.

We can achieve those same things.  We have more tools at our disposal with the Internet and social media than we have ever had before, but we don’t use them the way they should be used.  Don’t accept where you are or what you do.  Everything in this world is a seed that has the potential to grow, but it’s what you do with that seed that turns it into something amazing.

Some of you may be satisfied and content with being average, but that’s just playing life safe.  Dream big, live big, and never look back.  And do me a favor – tell a family member or friend that you haven’t talked to in a while that you love them just because.  Life is too short to play it safe.

SplashCast: YouTube Video Tactics for Businesses

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It’s becoming one of the more popular search engines, even though most people probaby wouldn’t view YouTube as a “search engine.” It’s just a place to watch videos, right?

But businesses and those who do the marketing for them should know the tactics that can help their videos – and their companies – rank high on search results pages. That’s the focus of this week’s SplashCast, as Splash Media social media manager Matt Anderson, a YouTube specialist, tells host Renay San Miguel about tips like using videos as responses to other videos, along with the proper use of annotations and keywords.

To watch more SplashCasts, visit our YouTube channel.

Social Media Help Desk: Giving Voice to Your Company Blog

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Social Media Help Desk:

Social Media Help

Social Media Help

As a social media marketing manager, I recommend that all of my clients have a company blog as a part of their marketing mix. The blog should be the hub for most social media activity because – when properly optimized – it ranks faster and higher in search engines. (Plus: people just love to read blogs.)

After my clients launch their blog, they often ask me what to do about the blog’s voice. Should it be cutesy? Should it be serious? Should our CEO write it?

I usually have the same answer: Your blog should represent your entire company. Whether your company voice tends to be fun or industry professional, it’s important to stay consistent.

But it’s also important to stay interesting. So I also recommend that my clients have a blog that represents their entire company, and then invite guest bloggers to keep the content fresh.

Let’s say your company specializes in kitchen hardware. Your company blog could have the voice of an industry expert on stainless steel kitchen appliances and the best way to renovate granite tabletops. To keep the content exciting, you could invite a food writer to blog about a new recipe every other Tuesday. The post would be different from the other blog content, but still relevant to your industry as a whole.

The type of guest blogger you have depends on your products. We recommend having a mix of guest writers to keep your readers engaged. Have a company executive give his or her views twice a month on the industry. Every other month, post a great customer testimonial.

No matter what content you choose, make sure that it relates to your industry, reflects your brand’s identity, and inspires your readers to come back for more.

If you’re excited to expand the influence of your company and achieve greater financial success through social media, now is the time to find out your current social media grade! Keep up with Splash Media on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can also find our YouTube channel and read our blog for the latest updates.