Tag Archives: Video

The Power of Online Video for SEO and Brand Trust

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Power Of Online Video For SEO Brand Trust - Eminent SEO
There is some truth to the phrase “seeing is believing.” And in today’s world, skepticism isn’t just for the paranoid. Business owners and clients believe they aren’t as gullible as they used to be, thanks to Snopes.com, E-Verify and a social culture that’s never heard of doing business on a handshake.

To provide a visual of what the initial interaction with a potential customer looks like, picture a stone-faced man or woman seated with arms crossed on the chest, void of emotion, waiting for the next round of B.S. to present itself.

Think about most of the marketing pitches you get online, whether through organic search or pay per click. Expecting a bait and switch? How often is that delivered? Right. No wonder we’re so distrustful.

Marketing Without Video Is as Reliable as Online Dating

YouTube Second Largest Search Engine Behind Google - Eminent SEOWith much of our business-to-business and business-to-consumer relationships made across local, regional and national borders, any opportunity to engage in face-to-face communication is essential to building trust.

Remember when the idea of having your photo on your email signature was introduced? The reason behind it is the same. But it’s anticlimactic to have a conversation with a photo.

If you’ve ever engaged in the online dating process, it’s easy to get the message about why marketing with online video is such a powerful tool. You begin by conversing online with photos being the visual that entices.

You have no idea what these people sound like, how their mannerisms dictate the way they move, how they react to the unexpected or what drives them as human beings. And yes, you really can’t authenticate whether that photo is really him (or her).

Apply this to your business. If your online presence only includes the use of static imagery, there is no dimension to your brand and you’re missing a key opportunity to increase the reach of your SEO.

Every Business Is in the Business of Telling Stories

Now that social media has superseded print and physical collateral for marketing agency and business owner spends, as well as footing heavy competition for the television space, how your company represents itself is dictated by the stories it tells.

Breaking Down the Art of Storytelling

Whether you are a brick-and-mortar operation or solely online, the moment customers enter your facility or website, they are expecting a story. The visuals need to speak to them. The words need to engage emotion so that they stay long enough to purchase or at least remember who you are and why they should come back and/or share the experience with the people they know.

This is relationship marketing; it’s based on the ability to create a story that has dimension and depth. Nothing does that for you better than online video.

Salespeople Are the Biggest Storytellers of All

Business Video Marketing Spend 2018 Statistic - Eminent SEOThere remains an ongoing, friendly feud between creative marketers and salespeople. Salespeople generally have a disdain for marketers and believe that marketing content is nothing but fluff.

On the other hand, marketers know that a good story is needed before a salesperson ever gets the chance to tell their own story.

Marketers and salespeople aren’t that different. Here’s why:

  • Marketers – Devise a story, direct or indirect, meant to get the attention of a prospect and lead them to the sales department or immediately convert a sale.
  • Salespeople – Listen to the prospect and, based on what they hear, create a story that will resonate to convert a sale.

Online video supports marketing and sales initiatives because the story can be retold over and over again. Just hit play.

Video: The Next Best Thing to Being There

Marketing in motion (that’s what video is) provides a unique layering of flexibility to your creative campaigns. You can adjust the tone, the language, the lighting and effects on the fly. If it’s realism you want to convey to your audience, this is how it’s done.

For a more polished look, high-end equipment and professional videographers are the way to go as they better understand the mechanics behind the machinery and how to maximize the production to get better results. Make sure to create your own YouTube channel to post the videos, and incorporate keywords to help boost views and increase organic rankings.

Remember that Google sometimes chooses to show videos on page one of a user’s search, and that YouTube itself is the second-largest search engine on the web. Leverage your videos accordingly.

Why Video Is Business Marketing Royalty

According to a 2017 video marketing survey by Wyzowl,

  • On average, 90 minutes per day are spent watching online video.
  • 15% of those who watch online video do so for three hours or more daily.
  • 99% of businesses who already use video will continue this year.
  • 82% of businesses plan to increase their marketing spend on video in 2018.
  • Two out of three businesses that do not have an online video presence will start in 2018.

Where does your business stand? How are you capturing audience, brand awareness, SEO and conversions? If you’re not doing video (or creating the right kind of video), you virtually don’t exist.

What Does Online Video for SEO Do for Your Business?

Nothing creates a sense of believability and credibility to online users like video. It allows you to craft a message and deliver it in a way that keeps you in control.

If you like the response it generates, you can build other videos around it for a full-bodied campaign. If the response is not what you’d hoped for, you can repurpose some of the content, add new footage to shift direction and monitor audience reception from there.

Remember these numbers when it comes to video marketing:

  • 57% of online viewers feel more confident about purchasing a product or service after watching a video.
  • 74% purchased a product after seeing a tutorial video.
  • 78% of businesses who use online video realized positive ROI.

Love it or hate it, Google runs the online SEO show. Might as well make friends with the virtual giant. By the way, Google adores video. If your website doesn’t have an embedded video on it, you’re missing out on a 53 times greater chance of showing up on the first page of search results, according to Moovly.

Optimize Your Optimization

If you already have a strong online video presence, your business no doubt is already receiving the benefits it brings. But if the back end isn’t working just as hard, your videos aren’t reigning in what you justly deserve. The right long-tail keyword phrases, headlines and descriptions also add value to your SEO positioning.

If you want (no, you need) to learn more about how the right online video marketing strategy can bring big changes to your business, ask the experts in digital marketing and brand strategy: Eminent SEO.

Read More About Refining Your Content Marketing Strategy for 2018

Keep Your Content Marketing Fresh

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Melanie Stern

Looking at the world through word-colored glasses, I am continuously in awe of how we evolve as people in business. We strive to communicate in a direct approach and, when we see fit, through subliminal channels. As a content strategist, I look forward to sharing all perspectives to help entertain, enlighten and engage more in others.

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Beware Boredom: Keeping Your Content Marketing Strategy Fresh in 2018

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Keep Content Marketing Strategy Fresh For 2018 - Eminent SEO

For years you’ve been hearing about the importance of developing higher quality content and making that content a central part of your overall marketing strategy.

Don’t count on that thinking to go away anytime soon. That’s because long-term content marketing strategies across every industry are bearing fruit and helping brands to significantly expand their reach.

Revealing Study

A study performed by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs revealed that 2017 was a big year for content marketing. The survey of more than 1,000 American companies representing a vast range of industries – ranging from technology and consulting to health care and publishing – found that investments in content marketing have produced promising returns.

Here are some of the most notable takeaways from the study:

  • 89% of B2B marketers are using content marketing in 2017.
  • 63% of respondents are “very committed” to content marketing.
  • 85% of companies said that improving content quality had considerable benefits.
  • 88% of respondents agreed that content marketing was the most important part of their marketing strategy.

It’s clear that content marketing has been just as effective as promised, and that means more and more companies are going to be jumping onto the trend in 2018. The pressure is even higher on individual brands to develop fresh, relevant copy that drives sales and social media engagement.

So how do you plan to stand out next year now that thousands of companies are dedicating serious resources to content?

Fine-Tune Your Content Marketing Strategy

The following strategies outline a few ways to keep your content marketing strategy as unique and engaging as possible:

1. Next Level Content Marketing: Going Beyond the Blog

Content Marketing Straining To Reach Next Level - Eminent SEOToday, blogging is the go-to strategy when it comes to content generation. This straightforward medium can become quite dynamic in the right hands.

As studies have shown, more brands are becoming adept at developing blog posts that communicate the right message to their customers. That means your company will need to start thinking about new options for content generation beyond the traditional methods as you head into 2018.

Yes, you’ve put a lot of time and resources into mastering social media, blogging, newsletters and whitepapers. Taking your content to the next level does not mean abandoning these efforts; you’ll still want to keep generating dynamic blog and social content.

However, it’s equally important that your company start devising new ways to leverage these skills to stand out from your competition.

For example, some companies have elevated their blog and email newsletters into something more akin to a full-blown publication. Food Processing and Food 52 are two instances of publishers that have transformed their newsletters to have the look and feel of a magazine, rather than just another disposable email message.

By leveraging subject matter experts in your network, dedicating time to developing regular featured content and your knowledge of customer pain points, your brand could create consistent resources that provide audiences with in-depth information about your industry and your business.

These are just a few of the many ways your company can elevate its content creation strategy in 2018. The sooner your team starts brainstorming a new approach, the better.

2. Leverage Transparency: Kill Two Birds with One Stone

Max Breaking The Fourth Wall Shattering Glass - Eminent SEOWith data breaches and digital scams in the news on a regular basis, today’s clients want to feel like they can trust the brands they work with. One of the easiest ways to establish a connection with potential customers is to let them peek behind the curtain.

Transparency is more important to customers than ever. The companies that are able to provide the inside look that clients are looking for will be more effective in building important, long-term connections with those same customers.

Now, what does that have to with your content strategy for 2018? If you’re willing to think outside the box, the push for transparency could very well be the solution your brand needs.

First, develop a long-term strategy for increasing transparency across the company, both between the brand and customers and between leadership and the rest of the employees.

Next, start documenting the progress of these transparency efforts. Not only does this approach help your staff stay accountable, it also generates a bevy of material that can be turned into eye-catching content.

Here are a few more ways your transparency implementation can double as trust-building content for your customers:

  • Host digital Q&A sessions that answer customer questions and address any ethical concerns.
  • Develop a series of blog posts that track, describe and discuss the results of new transparency initiatives.
  • Develop a case study that analyzes and reviews company-wide transparency efforts.

3. Copy and Video: Hire a Specialist Who Does Both

Copy Writer And Video Specialist Who Can Do Both - Eminent SEOIn 2018, everyone will looking for ways to implement video into their content marketing strategy. Few, however, will find an effective way to integrate video into their content strategy.

The difference? Consider the advantage of posting video content that relates to or even directly refers to the written content on the same page.

YouTube personalities have become adept at breaking the fourth wall on the Internet, physically gesturing in their videos toward buttons and special offers that exist on the page. They also dedicate time to verbal calls to action that encourage viewers to follow certain links once the video has ended. Why can’t you pull off the same tricks with your content?

The most efficient way to get this type of project off the ground would be to have the same writer develop copy and related scripts. This way, there should be cohesive tone and messaging from one medium to another.

Placing irrelevant videos on content pages can just end up distracting your viewers, after all.

The possibilities for leveraging video and content together are endless. Ultimately, your goal is to provide visitors with content and engagement they’ve never seen before. If you can execute uniquely exciting video, visual and written content, you put yourself at a major advantage going into next year.

Think Bigger than Your Competition

2018 is all about thinking outside the box and utilizing the content marketing strategies you’ve learned to subvert expectations. The longer the content marketing game plays out, the better everyone is going to get at it. So keep mastering new moves!

Enjoy what you just read and want to keep learning? Check out a few more of the entertaining and insightful content marketing blog articles that Eminent SEO has to offer. Remember, the quickest way to innovate is to continue absorbing solutions and strategic tips like these.

Feel Free to Comment Below:
What Are Your New Plans for Content Marketing in 2018?

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Remy Albillar

As a content writer at Eminent SEO, I specialize in producing high-quality copy for a long list of digital mediums, including websites, emails, blogs and social media. I got my career started right out of college producing SEO-driven content for a marketing agency based in Tucson, AZ. I’ve since worked as a copywriter within numerous industries. I’ve written the first half of a personal memoir and earned my master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College in Boston, MA.

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What Marketers Can Learn from the Top 5 Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016

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Top 5 Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016 - Eminent SEO

Just a little over year ago, Facebook Live went viral.

The service allows users to broadcast video from their phone where it can be viewed and commented on in real time by friends on Facebook. After the live recording is complete, the video can be viewed, liked and commented on – just like regular videos posted on the platform.

When Facebook Live initially came out in August 2015, it was limited to use by celebrities. Then in January 2016, Facebook started making the service available to all users. At first, it was mostly utilized by large media outlets.

In April 2016, BuzzFeed hosted the first Facebook Live video that went viral, which answers that burning question that keeps us all up at night: How many rubber bands does it take to make a watermelon explode? (If you need to know the answer, or just want to see a watermelon blow up, you can view the video here.)

While the exploding watermelon video garnered a respectable 11-plus million views, it was soon surpassed by Candace Payne’s “Chewbacca Mom” video in May 2016, which marked the first viral video by an everyday user. Soon, other videos followed – some silly, some serious – garnering millions of views in the U.S. and worldwide.

In honor of the first anniversary of Facebook Live going viral, let’s examine the top five viral Facebook Live videos of the past year.

The Top Five Viral Facebook Live Videos of 2016

In order of views, here are the top five Facebook Live videos of last year.

1. Candace Payne: Chewbacca Mom

Chewbacca Mom Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: Candace Payne

Live Date: 5/19/2016

Views: 166 million

The video in a nutshell: Sitting in her car at a Kohl’s parking lot, Candace shows off the purchase she just made: a Star Wars Chewbacca mask. She demonstrates the sound effects of the mask, which she finds absolutely hilarious, and her humor is contagious.

What we can learn: Authentic silliness is still a top driver in viral videos. Others could have demonstrated this same product and it might be interesting for about 2 seconds, but Candace’s genuine humor and her complete openness about what she’s thinking and feeling comes through so strongly that you can’t help but laugh along with her, even as your logical mind does an eye roll at the silliness of it all.

In fact, taking such a trivial thing and making it a high point of one’s day is what makes it so charming. Candace’s comment with the video says, “It’s the simple joys in life…” This pretty much sums up the appeal of this video. In a world full very serious happenings, there is a certain satisfaction in sharing the little things that make people smile.

2. Ted Yoder: Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on Hammered Dulcimer

Tears For Fears Hammered Dulcimer Facebook Video - ESEO

Facebook Video: Ted Yoder

Live Date: 8/24/2016

Views: 94 million

The video in a nutshell: Musician Ted Yoder plays the classic ‘80s Tears for Fears song “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on hammered dulcimer, live in his backyard with family and friends looking on. If you’ve never heard of that instrument before, you’re probably not alone.

Maybe some of the appeal of the video is the novelty of the instrument, but it’s also an outstanding performance. And for the encore performance, you get to meet his family’s pet raccoon.

What we can learn: Extraordinary talent will never go out of style. Combine that with a great song, a few eclectic features – the instrument, the raccoon – and a casual, friendly vibe, and it’s easy to see why this video is a hit: It’s got several things going for it.

Like the “Chewbacca Mom” video, this oozes authenticity. This speaks to why marketers struggle to intentionally create viral videos: What elevates something from moderately interesting to worthy of being shared is often the open and authentic nature of the event, which is extremely difficult to manufacture.

3. BuzzFeed: Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election

BuzzFeed 2020 Presidential Countdown Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: BuzzFeed

Live Date: 11/9/2016

Views: 55 million

The video in a nutshell: For those who woke up the day after the U.S. presidential election wondering, “How soon until we get a do-over?” BuzzFeed was kind enough to provide the answer in the form of a video.

The streaming video showed a (then) live countdown of the years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds until the next presidential election.

What we can learn: Humor and empathy in a simple visual form is a powerful combination. There was a lot of talk on social media the day after about the surprising and controversial results of the election, but this video managed to say what some were feeling without saying anything.

4. Atlanta Journal-Constitution: People Lining Up to Hug Police Officers in Dallas

Dallas Police Officers Hugs Facebook Live - ESEO

Facebook Video: Jennifer Brett/Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Live Date: 7/8/2016

Views: 38 million

The video in a nutshell: In the wake of an ambush attack on Dallas police officers that left five dead and nine injured, citizens turned out the next day to give hugs to Dallas police officers. Yes, the event happened in Dallas, but it was Atlanta’s most-recognized news outlet that garnered the most views on Facebook Live that day.

What we can learn: When emotions are running high, simple scenes like this one can become symbolic of what millions of people are thinking and feeling. Unlike the more lighthearted videos featured previously, this video sparked more opposing viewpoints in the comments.

5. NBC News: Election Results Electoral Map

Race To 270 Presidential Election - ESEO

Facebook Video: NBC News

Live Date: 11/8/2016

Views: 36 million

The video in a nutshell: This 4-hour video showed a map of the U.S. and was continually updated on election night as the voting results came in.

What we can learn: Being in the right place, at the right time, with the right information matters. At the time this video aired, the election was the biggest story in the country and millions of people wanted live, up-to-the-moment information on the results. The downside, however, was that the video became irrelevant as soon as the election concluded.

Some Facebook Live Videos Have More Longevity than Others

Facebook Live Video Longevity - Eminent SEO

It’s interesting to note that the first three videos on this list have continued to gain millions more views over time, whereas the last two are not generating many new views.

As you can see in the graphic immediately above, here’s the viewer count of each of the aforementioned Facebook Live videos on Dec. 8, 2016, and then compared to April 27, 2017:

1) Candace Payne: Chewbacca Mom: 162 million views then (Dec. 8) – now 166 million

2) Ted Yoder: Tears for Fears’ “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” on Hammered Dulcimer: 85 million then – now 94 million

3) BuzzFeed: Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election: 51 million then – Now 55 million

4) Atlanta Journal-Constitution: People Lining Up to Hug Dallas Police Officers: 38 million then – still 38 million

5) NBC News: Election Results Electoral Map: 36 million then – still 36 million

The last two videos on the list were based on events that were very relevant in the moment, but then become old news.

The funny and entertaining videos, however, continue to gain additional views as they are discovered and passed around by latecomers to the craze.

Interestingly, the “Countdown to the 2020 Presidential Election” video continues to gain views, perhaps providing an emotional outlet to those who are eager for the next presidential election. This reveals an important difference between the countdown video and the electoral college video: While the latter only gave us information we wanted in the moment, the former taps into an emotion that continues to be relevant long after the event that triggered it.

Summary: Evergreen Viral Video Traits

These five videos demonstrate six key traits that we see over and over again in viral videos.

  1. Authenticity and vulnerability
  2. Humor
  3. Uniqueness
  4. Talent
  5. Emotional empathy
  6. Relevancy in the moment

While it’s extremely difficult to intentionally produce a video that goes viral, marketers can hone the skill of identifying situations and moments when an opportunity exists to share something with these traits.

Showing up every day and engaging with what people are saying, and then using those interactions to understand how they’re feeling and thinking, is what builds a marketer’s instincts for what will be popular.

But, of course, engaging online on a regular basis can be time consuming, and many businesses don’t have the resources in house to keep up with it like they should. At Eminent SEO, we manage the daily social media engagement for our clients, interacting regularly with users online, and developing strategies based on popular demand.

Learn About Our Social Media Services

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Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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GIF Images Are Clever Tools in the Right Marketer’s Hands

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Beginners Guide To GIF Images In Marketing - Eminent SEO

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A Graphics Interchange Format image, better known as a GIF, consists of picture files compressed to decrease transfer rate. GIFs possess several pictures in one file to create an animated effect. GIFs are prevalent in modern day cyberspace because the images are quick to download and the animations are often entertaining. For marketers, animated GIFs can be incredibly useful for improving engagement online.

We’re not here to settle the GIF pronunciation debate: Does it sound like gift without the “t,” or should it be pronounced like the peanut butter brand Jif? Instead, we want to offer you a rundown of the types of GIFs available, how you can make your own, and the legal considerations involved in GIF sharing.

Prevalence of GIFs in Social Media

Although GIFs can be used in blog posts (such as this one) and in website content, people primarily think of these animated images in the context of social media conversations. Here’s a quick breakdown of how many GIFs are posted to different social media platforms, according to the New York Times:

  • Tumblr: An average of 23 million GIFs posted every day
  • Facebook Messenger: Roughly 5 million GIFs sent between users every day
  • Slack: More than 2 million GIFs sent between users each month
  • Twitter: More than 100 million GIFs shared in 2015

The Different Types of GIFs

Not all GIFs are created equal. Before you go attaching a GIF on a social media post or your website, it’s best to know the different types of GIF images and to make sure you’re using the right one for the right situation.

1. The Replay GIF

David Tyree Giants Super Bowl CatchThere was a time not too long ago when sports fans had only a couple  of opportunities to watch a replay of their favorite touchdown catch or slam dunk. It was either shortly after the play occurred via instant replay, or later during ESPN highlights. If you missed those windows of opportunity, your last option would have been hoping someone recorded it on VHS.

In the age of YouTube, those days are gone. GIFs, however, let fans replay highlights in a condensed format. The replay GIF changes the game by continuously looping virtually any notable footage – from last night’s game winning field goal to even a memorable scene from your favorite movie.

On Twitter, the official accounts for the NFL and NBA were recently using a high volume of Vine videos for replays. But with Vine supposedly on its way out the door, the NFL and NBA are slowly turning to GIFs and native Twitter video to highlight must-see moments.

Replay GIFs are not limited to entertainment. This style of GIFs can be helpful for the marketer who wants to share current company news or connect a current event to their business.

2. The Reaction GIF

Chris Pratt Andy Parks RecreationEmotions are studied on replay with the reaction GIF, which is arguably the most popular style on social media. Film and TV are the industries most responsible for content you’ll see in most reaction GIFs. Outside of Hollywood, reaction GIFs serve marketing industries by replacing textual replies with animations. For example, a creative GIF could be used as a social media reply.

Reaction GIFs are typically used to enhance whatever comment a user is making online. These looping images express whichever emotion the user is feeling or trying to convey at the time. No matter the emotion, reaction GIFs typically elicit a laugh out of the viewer, especially if the image is used in a clever way in reaction to a particular topic.

3. The Cinemagraph

Chicago Traffic CinemagraphThe cinemagraph is the black-tie affair GIF. More formal than its GIF relatives, the cinemagraph GIF is a still shot-animation hybrid. The viewer of this GIF doesn’t experience one event in a loop, but one event continuously progressing through time. In a cinemagraph, one element of the image is in motion while the rest stay still.

Because cinemagraph GIFs have a limited number of moving parts in the image, the viewer is left with a tranquil feeling. Travel and fashion companies gravitate toward the cinemagraph GIF because of its professional appearance and quiet tone. The visual benefits and complex consistency of the cinemagraph GIF demand advanced editing skills and usually begin with footage captured by a camera on a tripod.

4. Technical GIFs

Sea Level Pressure United StatesBrowsing through the internet for useful marketing data is no longer a painful chore thanks to technical GIFs. Technical GIFs transform boring figures into engaging content. These types of GIFs are especially useful for marketers who want to include statistics, diagrams or graphs for product summaries.

Technical GIFs are interactive, as opposed to a black-and-white graph on a PowerPoint slide. Video marketing combined with a technical GIF creates an even deeper animation experience.

5. The Perfect-Loop GIF

Max Monster Rainbow Loop - Eminent SEOWhereas the cinemagraph GIF is still and serene, the perfect-loop GIF is active and busy. This GIF consists of a seamlessly looped camcorder recording of an event. The final frame of the shot leads back to the initial frame without missing a beat. Even though the viewer relives the same 7-or-so seconds over and over, he or she can lose track of time due to the seamlessness of the GIF.

The perfect-loop GIF can be used to a company’s advantage. Since the loop is inherently nonstop, it can be used to market non-stop service. It can also be used to advertise a customer demonstration’s of a successful product.

How You Can Make GIFs Yourself

Creating a GIF doesn’t take a background in computer science, IT or engineering – nor is it limited to tech-savvy people. For example, if there’s a YouTube clip for which you can’t find a corresponding GIF, there’s an easy way to to turn that video into a looping image. Follow these simple steps:

  1. Find a YouTube clip to make a GIF out of.
  2. Type “gif” before the “youtube” portion of the URL. Press enter. This will transfer you to gifyoutube.com. You can use your originally selected YouTube video to make a new GIF.
  3. Pick the start and stop times and add a GIF title.
  4. Click “create GIF.”
  5. A preview of the GIF will appear. If pleased with the preview, use the new URL to share across the internet. If displeased with the preview, click “go back.”

If the looping image you’d like to create doesn’t have anything to do with YouTube, you can try one of these GIF-making online tools and see which one you find easiest to use:

And, of course, if you have reasonable skills in the Photoshop department, you can use that software to make a GIF out of original artwork, a series of still images, or any video file you’d like to upload into the program. Here’s Adobe’s guide on how to make GIF images with Photoshop.

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Sharing GIFs: Legal Considerations to Keep in Mind

Millions Of GIFs Posted To Slack Tumblr Facebook Messenger - ESEO

Legally, individual users are given a lot of slack when it comes to GIF creation and usage. Businesses, on the other hand, are not.

Companies must be aware of the legal restrictions of GIFs. Clashes over a GIF’s origin are judged according the doctrine of fair use. This doctrine allows copyrighted material to be edited and used for alternative purposes if the copy is derived from the original and does not compete financially for copyrighting rights.

The four factors considered in the doctrine of fair use for GIFs include:

  1. The intent of the GIF: Is it for profit or not for profit?
  2. The content of the GIF.
  3. The ratio of GIF used to copyright material.
  4. How the GIF would value the potential audience.

GIFs of well-known people – namely actors, celebrities and athletes – have strict publishing guidelines. Businesses intending to post a GIF of a celebrity should gain permission from everyone in the clip, the copyright owner, and the creator of the GIF.

If a business wishes to use an athletic GIF to show a game highlight or replay, there are high hurdles to clear. The MLB and NFL are fairly strict with their GIF policies. Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee and FIFA do not allow GIFs at all. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act protects social media sites that post GIFs if a reporting structure is in place to eliminate content suspected of copyright violation.

For marketing companies, it’s best to follow these GIF-sharing suggestions:

  1. Obtain a written release. Contact the copyright owner and actors/celebrities present in the GIF for permission to share the GIF.
  2. Provide hyperlinks. Content shared by another should have a link to the original site. This protects the company using an unoriginal GIF and places the original site with the liability responsibility. Give recognition to the creator.
  3. Make your own GIFs. Creating a GIF bypasses the legal trouble. Instead of asking others for permission and risking legal ramifications, you won’t have to ask anyone permission to create your original GIF, and you won’t be under the threat of impending legal action.

We’re not saying you can’t use existing GIFs that involve movie scenes, sports footage, etc., but you’ll run the risk of legal action if you use one of these images with your business’s name behind it, especially if you stand to profit off anything associated with that particular image. Therefore, we advise being prudent with what type of GIF image you plan to use as well as the platform on which you will use it.

GIF Images Have Staying Power on the Web

GIF Laptop Collage - Eminent SEOGIF images can be profoundly useful when used correctly. Clever use of these animations can undoubtedly help a business reach and advance its goals. These images also add a smile and a laugh to a monotonous work day.

The graphics interchange format has actually been available since the 1980s, and tech experts have continually predicted that the format will lose favor on the web soon. Yet, thanks to Twitter and other social media platforms, GIFs have only seemed to become more popular and ubiquitous in recent years.

With so many GIFs circulating the web and even making their way into other mediums, such as text messages, these looping images have been embraced as a new way to communicate. What’s your favorite particular GIF image or style of GIF?

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Gatorade’s Example: Can a Company Be Health Conscious and Sales Focused at the Same Time?

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Health-Conscious and Sales-FocusedMarketing is a tricky game: Businesses must convince consumers to buy their product, even when both the consumer and the business are aware of certain product drawbacks. No product can be everything to all people, though.

For instance, proper running shoes won’t look like Converse Chuck Taylors. What makes running shoes fly off the shelf isn’t their style, but their function. The reverse is also true: Converse can’t market their sneakers like they would athletic shoes. In this case, it’s about style over performance.

The Marketing Dilemma: Handling a Product’s Weakness

Companies in the food industry have a similar dilemma. In today’s health-conscious society, consumers are paying attention to labels. Dramatically high numbers of fat and sugar will turn off many customers.

If a business isn’t selling a health food, marketing can be tough. Most companies generally avoid pointing out unhealthy ingredients in their products and focus more on the items’ positive aspects, never addressing issues that might be considered a drawback.

Ad campaigns and marketing for these products tend to focus on taste and satisfaction. They even appeal to the bandwagon nature of people: “This celebrity likes it, so should you!” While this makes sense, acknowledging the perceived weakness of a product may be a boon to a marketing campaign.

Leverage Weakness for Better Marketing

One company is changing the game. Gatorade, the well-known sports energy drink, has a new video campaign that explicitly addresses the amount of sugar the drink contains. One 20-ounce bottle of Gatorade contains roughly 34 grams of sugar, although the specific amount can slightly vary, depending on the flavor. Sugar is often considered one of the worst ingredients in today’s diet, and people have a tendency to consume far too much.

Since the American Heart Association recommends that men cap their daily sugar consumption at 37.5 grams and women at just 25 grams, Gatorade’s high sugar content could be seen as a sales liability. Gatorade’s new campaign, however, turns this weakness into opportunity.

Gatorade’s Bold Marketing Strategy

Gatorade is addressing concerns about the amount of sugar in its product with a new video series featuring professional athletes. In the videos, professional athletes such as J.J. Watt and Karl-Anthony Towns confront ordinary people drinking Gatorade outside the context of sports or exercise.

The athletes challenge these individuals to “earn the sugar” by getting active and working up a sweat. For example, in one video Watt has one woman push a blocking sled in order to burn enough calories to “earn” a Gatorade. In another, Towns challenges a man walking calmly down the street with a Gatorade to try to dribble a basketball around the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year.

Gatorade’s head of consumer management, Kenny Mitchell, said the “Sweat It to Get It” marketing campaign was born out of a desire to address the amount of sugar in Gatorade – a key component of the product – without hurting sales. Essentially, the company wanted to make it clear their drink is intended for use by athletes who need to replace the sugar they sweat out during exercise.

An Uncommon Approach May Be Successful

The Gatorade campaign is a risky venture, but it looks like a surprisingly successful one. In addition to being used as a sports drink, Gatorade has gained popularity as a folk remedy for hangovers, as well as being popular with consumers who simply like it for the taste. The new marketing campaign, which makes it clear that Gatorade is intended for athletes, risks alienating these other consumer bases.

In contrast to the new ads from Gatorade, companies such as Coca-Cola and PepsiCo (the latter happens to own and distribute Gatorade) have been in the news for trying to protect their market share by lobbying against health bills meant to combat obesity by reducing soda consumption.

It’s a much more common strategy than Gatorade’s approach, similar to tactics big tobacco and alcohol distributors have used in years past. This approach also comes with some risks: No one wants to support a company that sacrifices their consumer’s health for profit. Gatorade’s campaign is different by showing that a company can send out positive, helpful messages to the public that address a product’s drawbacks but still encourage purchases.

Has the Health-Conscious and Sales-Focused Strategy Paid Off?

Recent sales data shows that quarterly and annual sales of Gatorade appear to be doing well. Data from the market research agency IRI shows Gatorade’s various brands of sports drinks (led by Gatorade Perform) dominated the field of sports drinks in 2015, with the overall market share rising 10 percent that year.

It’s too early to tell if Gatorade’s new campaign will result in increased revenue. However, the health-conscious campaign comes off as a legitimate branding strategy, rather than a gimmick to drum up sales.

It’s interesting to note that while Gatorade’s new approach seems to be helping its brand and sales, public consumption of sugared sodas and carbonated beverages is dropping off, in spite of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo’s lobbying efforts to protect consumers’ access to soda.

Although carbonated soft drinks still led in overall sales among convenience stores in 2015, sports drinks such as Gatorade were a much closer second than they’ve been in the past, and the product shows much greater overall growth.

Consider Other Health-Conscious Approaches

Gatorade’s new campaign makes for an interesting comparison to other efforts by brands traditionally viewed as unhealthy, which are trying to keep their sales stable in an increasingly health-conscious market. Take McDonald’s, for example. Particularly after the release of the documentary “Super Size Me” in 2004, the company has worked relentlessly to convince consumers its food isn’t all that bad for you.

McDonald’s recent “Always Working” campaign in the U.K. aimed to convince parents that they’ve made Happy Meals healthier over the last 10 years, and that parents shouldn’t feel guilty about offering them to their children.

Changing the Product vs. Changing Your Campaign

A big difference between McDonald’s and Gatorade, however, is that Gatorade hasn’t changed the product, just the marketing. McDonald’s campaign is trying to show that it is listening to its consumers and thus changing the product to make it healthier. Gatorade, on the other hand, doesn’t claim to have made any changes to the amount of sugar in their traditional drinks.

However, it’s worth noting that Gatorade recently launched a G Organic lineup of drinks. While these new products still contain a high amount of sugar, they are made with only seven ingredients, including organic cane sugar.

Gatorade’s new ads clarify that the product is meant for athletic competition and that when it’s consumed alongside exercise and sports activity, the amount of sugar isn’t overwhelming for your body. Mitchell actually states that Gatorade is proud of the sugar in their drinks and has no plans to change its formula.

Turn Weakness into Opportunity

Marketing is about explaining to your base why they want or need your product. If your product has a downside, there may be a way to leverage that perceived weakness into a strength, much like Gatorade has done.

The “Burn It to Earn It” marketing campaign shows that it’s possible for a company to stay true to itself while also responding to public health concerns, all without hurting the bottom line.

At Eminent SEO, we can evaluate your company’s brand messaging and marketing strategy for areas of weakness and potential opportunities. Give us a try! Call 800.871.4130 today.

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Like It or Not, Vertical Video is Here to Stay: How Marketers, Brands Can Adjust

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Vertical Video - Upright Or Sideways - Eminent SEO

Trying to watch an entire video that was shot vertically might be like nails on a chalkboard to a design expert or videographer. However, much to their chagrin, vertical video has expanded well beyond Snapchat and isn’t going away anytime soon.

It seems to fly in the face common of sense, but a market has emerged for vertical video. Just a few years ago, most of us were making the switch from 4:3 monitors and television sets to widescreen versions. Now, a significant amount of the media we watch and interact with is being presented vertically, not horizontally.

How did this happen? You can credit (or blame) mobile devices for this movement. As our smartphones have gotten more powerful and as most families own at least one tablet device, we are quickly moving toward a mobile-first world.

Let’s take a look at the arguments for vertical video, why the format will likely be around for years to come, and how advertising and marketing departments can capitalize on the movement. But, before we do that, let’s look at why vertical video gets the goat of so many who claim to be experts in the aesthetics of moving imagery.

Why Vertical Video Sucks

You may have thought we’re living in a widescreen world, but the vertical video movement is pushing back at that notion.

How did this happen? A common complaint about trying to watch a video in this format goes to the effect of, “My eyes aren’t stacked vertically on my head!”

Yes, we naturally see the world horizontally. We generally like to see the full context and background of whatever subject on which we happen to currently have our focus. This explains why television screens and computer monitors have evolved to replicate, as closely as possible, our natural field of vision.

Yet, more and more people are serving up video in a vertical format. You can thank apps like Snapchat and Periscope for this phenomenon, or maybe just blame the orientation of smartphones and perhaps sheer laziness by their owners.

Vertical video has been getting on consumers’ nerves for several years now. Some even claim that the format is evidence of a rise of narcissism in society, since it’s usually one person filming themselves. In 2012, a popular video was released that claims to be a public service announcement on “Vertical Video Syndrome.”

“Vertical videos happen when you hold your camera the wrong way,” the lighthearted, humorous video says. “Your video will end up looking like crap,” it adds.

This so-called PSA came out about a year after the creation of Snapchat. Even then, its creators recognized that too many smartphone users were forgoing turning their devices sideways when shooting video. Today, vertical video is even more prominent, and many former horizontal advocates are finally giving in.

Perhaps the reason vertical video gets on the nerves of so many is quite a few of us think in terms of YouTube when consuming and producing visual content. A vertical video might play well on a phone, but once if it gets uploaded to YouTube, an excessive amount of pillarboxing (empty, black bars on the left and right) accompanies the footage inside the video player.

Why Vertical Video Does Not Suck

Let’s put aside any personal distaste for vertical video for a moment and take a level-headed look at why the format is excelling and why it legitimately has a place in today’s digital world.

Cellphones are getting larger and larger, and they’re getting harder to hold steadily in one hand, even for those of us with large hands. Turning the phone sideways to shoot video almost always takes two hands to operate the device, and there are certain times where that’s a luxury some users just don’t have. Shooting a video with the phone held upright can usually be accomplished with one hand, so there’s little reason to fault people for not being gung-ho about turning the phone horizontally.

Also, sometimes framing a video vertically just makes sense. It works for certain photos, after all. If you really want to get a tight focus on a single subject – a person or an object – then a vertical orientation could work really well. And it’s not just that it can work really well, it is working really well in the current smartphone- and tablet-laden environment, as more and more users are feeling comfortable with watching and shooting such videos.

This tweet sums up the best situations in which to shoot a vertical video:

Several Signs that Vertical Video Is a Legit Movement

You don’t have to look too far to see that vertical video is a viable movement and isn’t going away any time soon. Here are a few examples that extend beyond the realms of Snapchat, Periscope, Meerkat, etc.:

Vervid

Vervid is a website and iPhone app that allows users to create and share short videos with an aspect ratio of 9:16 (as opposed to the widescreen dimensions of 16:9). This company appears to be on a mission to make vertical video a mainstay.

Verly

Verly is an online marketplace for stock vertical imagery, with video clips available across 30 different categories and ranging in price from $15 to $79.

Verly Vertical Video Screenshot

Vimeo

You will see pillarboxing around a vertically-shot video on the desktop version of Vimeo, but the video controls actually fit inside the narrow frame with the actual footage, rather than spread across the entire media player, as seen on YouTube.

Vimeo Vertical Video Screenshot

Vertical Film Festival

The Vertical Film Festival takes place in Austrailia and features short, 9:16 submissions. The festival is actually coming up on its second annual celebration, which will take place on May 21, 2016.

Vertical Film Festival Australia

Photo from the 1st annual Vertical Film Festival in Australia. (Facebook Photo/Vertical Film Festival)

Vertical Video Trailers

A YouTube account named “Vertical Video Trailers” has emerged, where it appears the account creator has just taken the traditional trailers of movies and cropped them to fit a vertically oriented device. These clips will have pillarboxing when viewed on a desktop, but if you take them full screen on your phone, they will fill out the available space.

The Stats Back it Up

If the above examples are a little too anecdotal to convince you of vertical video’s newfound prominence, let take a look at a few statistics provided by Snapchat and Verly:

  • Vertical video ads are watched all the way through 9 times more than horizontal video ads on Snapchat.
  • Smartphone users hold their phones vertically about 94 percent of the time.
  • Brands that are producing vertical video are seeing a 73 percent average completion rate.
  • Viewing of vertical content has jumped 600 percent over the last five years.
  • More than 7 billion video clips are viewed daily on Snapchat, a majority of which are vertically filmed.
  • Consumers use vertically oriented devices 30 percent of the time, up from just 5 percent in 2010. This means desktop, laptop and television screens aren’t dominating consumers’ attention the way they used to.

What About YouTube?

Last year, a Business Insider video producer created a vertical video about vertical video and embedded the YouTube version on his company’s website without any pillarbox showing.

Business Insider YouTube Vertical VideoHowever, if you click to see the video directly in YouTube, a significant amount of pillarboxing fills the widescreen frame.

This indicates that Business Insider must have adjusted the video embed code so the clip shows up perfectly on the page with its accompanying article. In fact, if I dig into the source code of the page, it looks like the width of the video player was changed to 400 pixels and the height changed to 711.

So, while you can manipulate the code of a vertical YouTube video to display correctly on your own site, it won’t look all too great on the popular video platform itself unless you’re viewing it on a phone and you make it full screen. If vertical video creators can eventually convince YouTube to fully cater to their 9:16 content, there’s no telling how far the format will continue to go. But, so far, YouTube is still a little behind the curve, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

How Advertisers, Marketers Can Capitalize on Vertical Video’s Success

Although you can certainly find examples of vertically-shot video and content pre-2010, the format’s viability is currently undeniable in today’s digital climate.

It’s still a rather fresh trend, so brands are still trying to figure out how to capitalize on the format’s success. If you’re in advertising or marketing, keep reading for a few ideas on how to get you started with creating and leveraging vertical video.

Leveraging Snapchat

Many media companies are on Snapchat Discover to provide video and photo content for users on this platform. Your company can try to get on Snapchat Discover, or if you’re a smaller business, you’ll just make a pleas for your Facebook or Twitter followers to find your Snapchat business account. Be sure to hide your phone number, as it will likely be one person whose personal phone will be logged in as the business.

However, make sure your business’s Snapchat Stories can be viewed by the public, not just “friends” of the company. If you can see Stories and individual snaps by users who have friended the company, feel free to interact appropriately and keep your brand on the mind of these users.

Shooting Other Vertical Content

Perhaps, your company periodically shares video to its social accounts, just maybe not vertically oriented clips. You can start changing that today.

Videos shot vertically will play well in Facebook, Twitter and now Instagram. You don’t always have to shoot such videos with a phone, either. You can use a higher-powered camcorder and just turn the device 90 degrees, or find a tripod where the camera mount can tilt and still hold the device sideways.

Better yet, use your camcorder to shoot a video with a landscape orientation. And when you have a single subject within a certain shot, just keep it in the focal point in the middle of the frame. This way, you can always crop the footage to a vertical orientation using video-editing software.

You can then share that video to Facebook, Twitter and such, but you have options if you want to use the widescreen version for other platforms, such as YouTube. Companies like Mashable, Vox and National Geographic are known for shooting videos horizontally but cropping some of them down to appear vertically on certain platforms.

Video Length

Vertical video seems to work best for brands when clips are short – as in 1 minute or less. If you look at the submissions to last year’s Vertical Film Festival, most of those “films” didn’t even linger past 3 minutes. While more content consumers are opening up to vertical video, the clips are still difficult for the average viewer to watch for long periods of time.

If you don’t shoot video too often, you can get started by purchasing vertical content from the aforementioned Verly and then adding graphics or a few seconds of your own footage to the mix. Producing high-quality vertical video can help your company succeed on mobile and open itself up to new audiences.

It’s Good to Have Options

Personally, I find vertical video hard to take in, other than on Snapchat and maybe Twitter. However, after digging deeper into the trend, it’s not hard to see the value and the opportunity the format provides, even though it does take some getting used to.

Are we going to start seeing tall, narrow movie theater screens, desktop monitors and TVs? Not likely, although monitors that can rotate 90 degrees may start gaining popularity.

Now that we know vertical video is viable, it’s just another tool in the arsenal when it comes to how to shoot and produce footage that can be used on social media, a company’s website, a presentation, etc. Whether a video needs to be vertical comes down to:

  1. The device you’re using,
  2. The type and number of subjects you’re recording, and
  3. How you want users to view the final product.

A general design rule applies here: If it’s the right format for the right context, it’s usually a success. User experience can go well beyond a website and now apply to the format of videos as well. Whether you personally like vertically filmed video, as marketers and video creators, it’s time to adapt or get left out of the frame.

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2015 Super Bowl Commercials: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly!

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Football fans and their uninterested family and friends unite for the Super Bowl each year, why? Well, besides chicken wings and lots of beer, even those who couldn’t care less about the game will get together to watch the commercials.

I personally fall into the second category. While I understand the love for football, it’s just not my thing. However, I LOVE the commercials and I look forward to the event every year for that very reason. Each year companies spend millions of dollars for their chance to give the public a reason to talk about their brand. Some go for humor, some go for sentiment and some even produce some serious (and often controversial) content.

This year was no different.

I took to Twitter to participate in live Tweeting related to the Super Bowl – specifically the ads (and a little other commentary). Each year the online marketing community gets involved and uses hashtags like: #BrandBowl #AdBowl and a new one (at least it’s the first time I’ve seen it) #HashtagBowl. Between the Tweets in my feed and the group I was with, I got a pretty clear picture of what commercials went over well and which ones flopped.

Here is the breakdown:

Let’s start with the bad: The Worst Super Bowl Ad of 2015

It’s pretty obvious who made the worst ad this year. The online census is clear. Sorry Nationwide but come on, do you really think that freaking out parents with childhood death was appropriate for the Super Bowl? I understand this is an important topic… but most people feel like it was in bad taste for this particular event.

Nationwide Insurance: Make Safe Happen

http://youtu.be/dKUy-tfrIHY

The comments were pretty harsh:

Other Losers:  

Although the response to most ads was somewhat mixed, it’s pretty safe to say that there were some other losers, including:

    • Victoria’s Secret: Despite the beautiful models in their underwear, this ad was a big yawn fest.
      • T-Mobile: Kim Kardashian for DataStash: Supposed to be funny, but ended up mainly as a big, ehhhhhh.
        • Mercedes-Benz: Fable: Beautiful car, but the tortoise and hare idea is a bit overplayed already, dontcha think?
          • Esurance: Say My Name: We love you Heisenberg, but most of us were left wondering “WTF?”.
            • Skittles: Settle It: Skittles has done such a great job with their ads in the past – we were all expecting something a lot better than this.
              • FIAT 500X: The Blue Pill: This one had me at first, but once that blue pill slipped into the FIAT gas tank we were all a little grossed out.

              And, finally for the good: The Best Super Bowl Ads of 2015

              The Tearjerkers:

              Every year there is at least one ad that hits our heart strings, but this year there was an overwhelmingly large amount of ads that were intended to bring on the tears. Admittedly, I am a crier. I cry when the underdog wins, when Oprah causes a celebrity to have an “ah-ha” moment and when my kids give me a homemade card that says “I love you”… so it’s no wonder that more than one commercial made ME cry. But here is what the group had to say:

              Budweiser: Lost Dog: Awwww, a cute puppy, beautiful horses and an old favorite song all in one commercial? *tear*

              Some of our kids really loved the commercial, but it’s for beer so… But, overall it got a pretty good response on the web:

              Coca-Cola: Make it Happy: I liked this ad because it A) raises a good point: there is WAY too much hate on the web and B) acts as a reminder we should all try harder to be kind to each other.

              However, others found it “cheesy” and a lot of the comments online were regarding the brand and the product itself, specifically about Coke causing obesity or something similar:

              What a stupid commercial. Keep poisoning everyone with your toxic high fructose corn syrup.”

              McDonald’s: Pay With Lovin’: The runner up for the best tearjerker of the night.

              Great message (yes, I cried) but unfortunately people still hate McDonald’s:

              “Why not show some love for the animals you confine and kill by the billions each year?  Stop pretending to be “good guys”.

              Still, fans seem to be pretty excited about the idea of free food:

              And, some of us see it for its marketing brilliance:

              “Beautiful, smart and unique concept. A table and I were even talking about it before the super bowl even aired on Saturday because we had heard about it on the radio and paper. Love that they’re continuing to do it Feb 1st – Feb 14th – Ongoing love and PR!”

              Always #LikeAGirl: The clear winner of the tearjerkers this year. If you don’t like this commercial, there’s something wrong with you. The Always marketing people did a fantastic job with a tricky product – particularly for the Super Bowl. A lot of thought went into this one:

              And, yes, as a mother of a teenage girl, I cried… in fact, this one had the biggest impact on my emotions overall. I wanted to run to my daughter and tell her how awesome it is to be a girl and that she can do ANYTHING she wants to in this world.

              Other responses:

              “I loved the #LikeAGirl one because I have 2 daughters (one of which is excelling in martial arts) and a strong woman who don’t do things in the put down way of ‘like a girl’.”

              “The minute they showed the ten year old girls unaffected by gender stereotypes, I started to cry. I started to cry because I was taught that running and throwing like a girl was a bad thing. Stopped running in marathons when I was twelve. Stopped playing softball when I was fifteen. I just thought…I don’t know what I thought. Just know this made me cry! I do remember what it was like. I don’t know why I ever listened!”

              The Funny:

              A note to big product brands: when it doubt, go funny. I get it, funny doesn’t work for everything. However, this IS the Super Bowl and it’s a family event. So, family friendly humor goes over well and doesn’t isolate.

              Bud Light: Real Life PacMan: The group at my house thought this ad was rad. It left us all wanting to play a real life PacMan game.

              I personally was a little disappointed there wasn’t more to the ad after last years EPIC ad with the same premises #UpForWhatever:

              But I still want to play Real Life PacMan.

              Snickers: The Brady Bunch: The runner up for the best funny ad this year. Keeping in line with their other “hangry” commercials, this one spoke to the Brady Bunch lover in us all:

              Many thought the ad was nothing short of perfection: “I doubt we’ll see a #SuperBowl ad that tops Snickers’ with Danny Trejo in The Brady Bunch”

              And, for THE WINNER:

              Mountain Dew Kickstart: Come Alive: The full version came on before kickoff and helped get the party started. Tell me this isn’t funny:

              I don’t know what’s funnier, the guy getting low, the fluffy dog or that deer on the wall… Either way, it was nice to actually laugh out loud (and not be embarrassed to share the moment with my kids). Some comments from on-line: “Best commercial I’ve seen this year! Go ahead. Touch stuff.”

              A Few Honorable Mentions:

              • Microsoft: Braylon O’Neill: Good job, but unfortunately didn’t make the “best” list.
              • T-Mobile: Sarah Silverman & Chelsea Handler for Wi-Fi Calling: I thought it was funny.
              • mophie: All-Powerless: “When your phone dies, God knows what can happen”… Well played, mophie, well played.
              • Squarespace: Super Bowl 2015: Om: This one got mixed reviews, but one person in the office loved it: “I loved the Dreaming with Jeff Bridges by Squarespace ad…cuz I love the Dude!”
              • Dodge: Wisdom: This one also got some mixed reviews. The overall response was it was good, but most couldn’t see the ad and the brand connection.

              In case you missed the Super Bowl (or, maybe were you busy grilling and eating during some of the commercials) click here for a full list of the YouTube videos.

              So, that is it for this year’s #BrandBowl recap.

              What were your favorite and least favorite ads? Did they make our list? Share in the comments below.

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              Jenny Stradling

              Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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3 Creative Ways to Keep People Coming Back to Your Website

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Website Design Humor

You are familiar with the “standard” website. It usually contains a home page, about us, services/products, a contact page and sometimes a blog as well…

*YAWN*

A few years ago, this was enough to keep people’s attention. But fast forward to 2014 and you’ll see that this “standard” website format isn’t really enough to stand out in people’s minds anymore – and it’s certainly not enough to keep them coming back for more.

So, you have to find a way to offer your services/products while still being useful AND interesting enough to make people want to visit your website time and again.

Repeat visitors is what’s up. Trust me.

So, how do you do that? Here are a few ideas:

1.       Develop a Useful Tool

You have to be somewhat careful with tools. So many websites have them that even they are losing their novelty to some degree. However, if you can come up with something your users actually need this is a great way to create repeat visitors.

If you decide to make a tool, make sure that at minimum it does something different enough from other tools in its niche that it stands out. And, if it’s possible, create an entirely unique tool no one else has…

For example, there are tons of mortgage calculators online, but the one at Bankrate is more comprehensive than others we looked at because it allows you to calculate how much faster you can pay off your mortgage by paying additional amounts each month. And, it also gives you a precise amortization table that shows how much in interest and principal you pay each month for the entire life of the mortgage.

Website Tool

Cool.

2.       Make Your Blog (More) Interesting

Think about the standard blog article – it goes 500 words, maybe less, and you might come away with a tip or idea…

However, if you really want to take your blog to the next level, considering diving deep into a client case study, giving a step by step tutorial on how to use one of your products, provide research, statistics and references.

Check out some of the KILLER blog posts on moz.com like:

How to Use the Information Inside Google’s Ved Parameter

HOLY CRAP! Now that is a blog post!

And who doesn’t love an awesome video blog, like the well know “White Board Fridays” hosted by Rand Fishkin of Moz every Friday:

Building SEO-Focused Pages to Serve Topics & People Rather than Keywords & Rankings – Whiteboard Friday

Some people are intimated by reading (or writing) lengthy article like blog posts – but many bloggers are finding success with video blogs in place of the traditional articles. Your audience can really relate to you in a live video post and you don’t have to be a professional to make a video for your own blog. If you can operate a smartphone or a computer, you can make a video. Plus, it’s fun.

3.      Gamify Your Site and Encourage Competition

Over 70% of the Forbes Global 2000 will use gamification sometime in 2014 to increase sales and increase customer retention. What’s interesting is that Gabe Zichermann, CEO of Gamification, said the reward most customers desire the most is simply status above their peers….

Hrm. That seems easy (cheap).

But how can you apply gamification to a fairly run-of-the-mill business website? Take a look at how florist Teleflora has gamified its entire online store. Customers earn points by reviewing products and answering questions in the Q&A section, among many other actions. As they do so, they get more impressive badges and are acknowledged publicly on a leaderboard:

Gamifiy Your Website

LinkedIn also uses gamification, but in a more subtle way.  It tells you your profile strength as you fill it out more. You get different ratings as you fill it out, ending up with an “All-Star” rating once it’s complete.

LinkedIn All Star

The fun functions of your website don’t have to make sales directly. By simply having them available you increase your niche authority, keep visitors coming back and Google, in turn, will reward you with better search rankings.

And isn’t that the point?

Avatar for Jenny Stradling

Jenny Stradling

Owner and CEO at Eminent SEO in Mesa, Arizona. I started doing SEO and marketing in 2005. I'm a busy mom of four of my own and two step kids (and a grandbaby!). I owe my sanity to my partner in work and life, Chris Weatherall. I love sharing and engaging in business and marketing conversations, and I'm heavy into social media and blogging on these topics. I focus on quality, ethics, strategy, data and getting results. I work with a variety of brands and businesses with a special focus on addiction treatment marketing. I do this work because I care about making a difference.

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Google’s Auto Complete Reflects Fears [Video]

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Google Suggest Tool

While we may find entertainment and humor in Google’s suggest auto complete tool,  it also reflects, “fears, inquiries, preoccupations, obsessions and fixations of the human being at a certain age and our evolution through life,” says Marius B.

Reality is, we all are searching for similar, if not the same answers as Google clearly reveals.  Who knows how many times Google has seen these searches before? Hundreds? Thousands?

 

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Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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Sharethrough.TV Showcases Industry’s Best Branded Video Campaigns

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If you haven’t taken an opportunity to check out Sharethrough.TV – it’s definitely a must for our Marketing buffs and those looking for a bit of inspiration themselves.

Sharethrough created Sharethrough.TV,,a database of branded video content that you can browse via your favorite agency or one of the 31 industry verticals. Whether it’s inspiration you are looking for or a particular style to locate an agency for like work, Sharethrough.TV has a great portfolio of videos.

Video is quite possibly one of the most powerful storytelling mediums and is forever growing. We believe in the power of video for referral traffic and website conversions- So why not take a peek and see if you’re skills are up to par or let us know how we can assist you with your video strategy needs.

sharethrough.tv

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Team Eminent SEO

Eminent SEO provides strategic SEO campaigns with measurable results along with expert website design, development, pay per click, content and social media and organic website marketing. 800.871.4130.

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