YouTube vs. Vimeo: Which Is Better for B2B Content Marketing?

If you’ve been reading up on your digital marketing blogs, you’re likely to have come across the seemingly unending debate over which video host tops the online marketing totem pole. What’s most effective for B2B content marketing? What looks the best? What will provide the greatest ROI? In the end, it boils down to two major platforms – video search engine giant YouTube and contemporary up-and-comer Vimeo.

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Regardless of the platform, online video marketing is rapidly increasing its reach and influence. According to a 2015 infographic created by Hubspot, 75% of business executives watch work-related videos at least weekly. In order to maintain a competitive edge, it’s a wise strategic play for B2B companies to jump on the video marketing bandwagon.

But then, the question is: How does a B2B company decide between using YouTube or Vimeo?

 

Pros and Cons of Vimeo and YouTube for B2B Content Marketing

Each of the two video hosts has its distinct advantages and disadvantages. But first, let’s consider what every B2B marketer should be keeping in mind when designing video content and choosing the right platform. Below are three priorities that should be at the top of the checklist.

  1. Audience – To whom are you marketing your business? How can you optimize your view count? What kind of interaction would you like with your viewers? Remember you are facilitating a relationship with your audience. Simplify accessibility to your website, and keep all communication both relevant and motivating.
  • Quality – Not only is it important to promote your business with quality content, but production quality is also essential. What types of visual aids have you incorporated? Can your player handle videos of multiple types? Is high definition supported? Be sure your professionalism still comes across while you maintain a strong web aesthetic.
  • PurposeWhat is your ultimate end goal? Will your video be used as a product demo for prospects? Do you simply want to embed the video into a blog, or are you shooting for viral video status? Consider the response you are looking for and what action you would like your audience to take.

Now let’s take a good, hard look at our two competitors, YouTube and Vimeo, without losing sight of these three video marketing components. First up on the chopping block is YouTube!

Over the past decade or so since YouTube’s inception, the video host has creamed the competition in terms of viewership, having reached over a billion unique users, with over 4 billion daily views! In fact, there are 46,296 YouTube videos being viewed around the world every second. Only trailing Google itself, which acquired the website in November 2006, YouTube is now the second largest search engine on the planet.

Having become a household name through its launching of countless viral videos, YouTube has some serious potential to breed a great PR campaign. In addition, its favorable relationship with Google increases its SEO impact.

Unfortunately, what the platform boasts in audience reach and internal account customizability, it lacks in external control. Typically, viewers must subject themselves to random ads before they can even begin watching your videos. Similarly, a selection of other uploads is displayed alongside your own, and there is no solution for managing the content or quality of these adjacent files.

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YouTube’s smaller yet more fashionable challenger Vimeo has been described as a community for more artistic editors and filmmakers, deemed by some of its growing audience as the counter-cultural alternative to YouTube. The platform’s organized layout, user-friendly search, simple aesthetic, and touch of sophistication renders the site more like a professional portfolio as opposed to a compilation of stacked DVDs. Though YouTube is still the dominant go-to (for roughly 94% of marketers), about 51% of marketers deploy their content via Vimeo, as well.

Vimeo’s major strengths lie in its design and quality. The host’s more streamlined video production features and higher HD compatibility make it a great choice for more serious endeavors requiring better resolution through a sleek embedded player. The player’s design also highlights content without focusing on any sort of Vimeo branding. And what’s more, there are no limits on length of time (unlike YouTube’s 15-minute cutoff), and perhaps more importantly, viewers aren’t bombarded left and right by advertisements.

The big HOWEVER is that Vimeo only has about 100 million unique monthly visitors, lowering its viral-potential and overall reach. And though it may not be an issue for some companies, a Vimeo PRO subscription ($199/year) is required in order to upload any video content that promotes products or services. YouTube, in turn, doesn’t charge.

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So which is the better option for a B2B company with all these variables to consider? Think back to those three key factors in determining your video marketing strategy: audience, quality, and purpose.

Your audience should be as wide as possible, but B2B companies should have targets in mind – namely, other businesses. What kind of site will attract your target organizations? YouTube unquestionably provides an opportunity for broader viewership with top brands averaging 884,000 monthly views. Although Vimeo draws fewer sets of eyes, you have less competition, so it may be the more appropriate outlet, depending on your industry.

In terms of quality and production value, Vimeo may have the leg up. Its more refined vibe and approach to video hosting can be more appealing to professionals, a definite positive for B2B outreach. YouTube’s limit on video length is problematic for longer demos, but in the B2B marketing world, the average effective video lasts just 30 seconds to 3 minutes. Fully customizing your account may be more valuable than high resolution and unlimited duration.

Last but certainly not least, the end goal of your video marketing plan must be established in order to make a solid platform decision. YouTube’s SEO and viral video strengths may be the right choice if you are looking to mass market your content, products, or services. Vimeo’s quality design could be advantageous if you are aiming to link video content with blog posts and web pages.

Ultimately, the choice between YouTube and Vimeo is unlikely to be detrimental to your video content marketing strategy. A combination of both may turn out to be the best solution. It’s just important that B2B marketers analyze the nuances of their brands and what they are trying to achieve, and then optimize their strengths through the best channel possible. And above all, the key to successful video content marketing is to integrate it throughout your social media presence! 

This article was written by Wendy Marx from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Snapchat for Marketing?!?!

So if you’re reading this, I can probably guarantee that you’ve used Facebook, Twitter, and let’s say LinkedIn. Not sure about the last one, but for sure with Facebook and Twitter. But what about Snapchat?

I’m certain you’ve heard of it, but do you know what it is, or even how it’s used? To provide you with a quick rundown, Snapchat is basically a social media platform where people can connect and have conversations. But how does that differ from Facebook, Twitter and all the other social media platforms. The answer is pretty simple: Snapchat posts don’t stay live.

So once someone views a message, Snapchat automatically deletes it. So how the heck can marketers use Snapchat. Well thanks to this short-shelf-life functionality, Snapchat creates great real-time opportunities. So let’s take a quick look at how you can use Snapchat to grow your brand.

FUN!!!

Yes, when Snapchat was created in 2011, it was a fun way to communicate, with people posting vacation photos, meals, or anything out of the ordinary to catch people’s attention. Marketers need to keep that in mind when creating their content for Snapchat. People aren’t looking for a photo of people having a work meeting. It just doesn’t work that. Snapchat offers an outlet for businesses to connect with people on a funner level, so think of quirky, funny ways to portray your business.

Use the Time Limit to Your Advantage

Yes, the fact that the content and videos are deleted from existence in a short period of time creates problems, but there’s ways to use it your advantage. Think if you’re having a promo for a new product or a really big sale coming up. Instead of releasing all the information to the public, a quick video or a “teaser” on Snapchat can spark people’s interest. When the video goes bye bye, then people are going to head directly to your website if they want to learn more. You can also ask users to send photos of themselves using your products or services. Because photos and videos are deleted, people are more willing to share photos.

Real-Time

As I mentioned before, Snapchat creates great real-time opportunities. Let’s say you’re having a big event, like an expo, or maybe you’re surprising your 1000th customer with a big giveaway. Record the video, upload it to Snapchat and people can see it. This gives people direct access to these live events, which makes them feel like they are actually there.

Private Content

Some of the clients we work with have preferred customers who get access to private sales, coupons, etc. The problem is providing this info without their regular customers catching wind of these promotions. Snapchat is a great outlet to provide special content that won’t wind up in the wrong hands.

These are just a few strategies you can use with Snapchat. Although Snapchat content only lasts so long, the new concept is rapidly growing with the social media community, and it’s a hot commodity, so you might want to get on board and start snapping away!

 

This article was written by Eric Hammis from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


How to Make Audience Segmentation Truly Personal

Companies that use content marketing already know that the more gated content you have, the more content conversions you will get. In fact, in a recent study we ran at BrightInfo, we found out that for every 10% increase in your gated-to-free content ratio, your conversion rate will increase by 3.9%. (More data from this study will be in an eBook that’s coming.) That can mean a huge difference for your business.

But there’s a hidden problem there: companies now have way more content than premium online real estate on which to promote it. So the big question is: How do you get the right content to the right person?

The smart answer: By matching certain content items to certain audiences. When this is done on a group level it is called segmentation. When this is done on an individual level it is called personalization.

Defining “Segmentation” and “Personalization”

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Segmentation and personalization are two different aspects – and, some might say, different generations – of online marketing. Together they can help marketers deliver a very potent punch of engagement with anonymous site traffic – as they turn audience segmentation into a truly personal customer experience.

Segmentation is knowing something about a group of people – typically, it’s their tendencies or behaviors derived from observed actions, averages and means within somewhat homogeneous groups. Marketers use rule-setting to cluster people together into these groups. It is mostly effective for known leads – as you very likely know something about these people. But even for anonymous site traffic, it’s certainly better than one-size-fits-all mass advertising, and it provides a sense that the marketer is actively doing something. Those are good things. Companies who use segmentation say it increases conversion rates by up to 30%.

Put a persona under a microscope

Personalization means knowing something about a specific individual and usually involves inferring something meaningful about his or her interests in real time. This would be impossible to do by hand, but automation makes it possible, even for anonymous site traffic. But it also means that marketers have to relinquish some control to an algorithm – not an easy thing to do.

Our data at BrightInfo shows that companies who use content personalization increase conversion rates by up to 80%. What makes it more effective is the fact that most people (57%) feel good about providing personal information on a website, as long as it’s for their benefit and being used in responsible ways.

Can’t We All Just Get Along and Combine the Two?

Well, we certainly can. Here’s how to do it with your content:

You are probably already using marketing personas. For example, if you’re a mortgage bank, you are likely to be dealing with first time home owners, real-estate investors and people who look to re-mortgage. Let’s use these three buyer personas, knowing that there can obviously be more.

Now, you have your pool of content – typically a weekly blog post, and 10-20 gated content items: your eBooks, webinars, etc. Let’s say your content team has 11 such items.

By using rule-setting segmentation only, we would choose a specific content item for each persona, or on each page.

By using content personalization, we would let an algorithm decide, based on textual relevance, user behavior, and conversion rates. It would be a one-to-one experience for the receiver.

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The thing is, if you’re using segmentation only, we would be deciding what specific content item to offer each persona, regardless of what the visitor wants to read or watch. Knowing how fragmented the buyer journey is nowadays, that’s not an ideal offering for the prospect. If you’re using personalization, an algorithm would be making those choices, based on the buyer’s actions, without asking you what you want to promote. Reading relevant content is good for the prospect, but not as good as reading relevant content that you wanted the prospect to read. In addition, knowing how difficult it is to attribute leads in the age of nonlinear marketing funnels, marketers like to stay on top of first-touch attribution.

But perhaps the most important thing: by combining the segmentation and personalization, we can provide a dynamic experience – not a static one.

How to Actually Connect Segmentation and Personalization

Back to the mortgage bank: what if you can give your algorithm some guidelines in how to optimize its content offers? Wouldn’t that be magical? Well here’s how to do it:

  1. Make sure you have enough content to answer the interests of each buyer persona. How much is enough? 5-7 content items to each persona should suffice. Make sure they cover the range from the “Just looking” top-of-funnel prospect, to the mid-funnel “What’s the ROI?” lead, all the way to the “I’m ready to buy but have to decide between two vendors” bottom-funnel ready-to-close lead.
  2. If you don’t have enough content for each persona at each stage, get busy writing it. Since our marketers had only 11, we did some content production planning and kept all three personas in mind to make sure the new content provides each persona with a 360-degree, multi-stage solution.
  3. Now that we are content rich – hurray! – let’s assign six content items to each persona.
  4. Let’s double-check that our content baskets are ready and aligned with those three personas.
  5. Lastly, it’s time to configure the algorithm to choose the best content from that list, and from that list only.

That’s it! Now prospects will be engaged with the most relevant content … out of the content pool that you wanted them to read. So you are achieving a good mixture of listening to their online behavior without forgetting your personas – and delivering a dynamic, personalized experience on an individual basis. 

This article was written by Asaf Rothem from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


3 Ways to Get Customers Posting More Content About Your Brand

Word of mouth has always been an important driver of successful social media marketing. When you enjoy a product or service, you tell others, who in turn, tell others – the web grows. Consumers trust in an authentic review of a product/service from their peers. Before, the average consumer was able to influence their small group of friends and perhaps create a ripple effect on the greater community, affecting dozens, even hundreds of people. But in today’s world, inundated with social media, that ripple effect has been magnified tens or even one hundred times over. A single Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube post can reach millions of people in a matter of hours.

So it comes as no surprise that brands have turned their attention to social media as a new source of marketing content. Businesses in nearly every vertical have had tremendous success marketing with the voice of their own customers by leveraging user-generated content, not just on social networks, but also on owned media.

Businesses that use customer content on their websites, mobile shopping apps, and advertising see better conversion and click-through rates, higher average order values, and increased engagement and lift.

But it only works if customers and fans are posting about brands. Without social content, there is no social word of mouth. At Pixlee, we are often asked to address this issue. “How do I get my customers and fans to post more content about my brand?”

We’ve put together three easy first steps to quickly increase the volume of social conversation, and help get customers to post more content about your brand:

1. Promote an Evergreen Hashtag

If your brand does not already have an evergreen hashtag, then go ahead and create one. An evergreen hashtag is an overarching hashtag that represents your brand as a whole. More often than not, even if you have not promoted an evergreen hashtag, your customers have already created one for you. Find the existing hashtag or create a new one, and make it a part of your social media marketing strategy both on social media and throughout your marketing and owned media.

Use your evergreen hashtag in your branded social media posts, put it on packaging, highlight it on your website; make it easy for customers interacting with your brand to discover your hashtag and join the conversation with their own content. Also make sure to track hashtags in order to obtain valuable Instagram insights about your followers.

Pro Tip: Put your evergreen hashtag in all of your email signatures. Whether is be customer service emails, marketing blasts, or sales emails, make sure that when people interact with your business, they see your branded hashtag.

2. Run Contests & Incentivize Participation

This one is common and effective. One of the fastest ways to increase customer engagement on social media is through contests and campaigns.

Photo and video contests are a powerful because they give your fans and customers a reason to submit great content and share it with their own social communities. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box, and come up with clever and engaging programs. Encourage your audience to have some fun and get creative, but make sure the barrier to entry isn’t too high.

A great example of this was Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadow’s ski resorts’ #TahoeSnowDance campaign. The contest asked for fans to submit their best “snow dance” to help bring the winter snow! The idea was fun and easy for participants. The content and submissions that came in were incredibly entertaining. Here’s one of our favorite submissions that won a weekly giveaway:

Pro Tip: Give out prizes! Customers love the chance to get free swag or products and are much more likely to post high quality content when they have the chance to win a prize, no matter how small.

3. Celebrate your Customers on your Owned Media

Customers and fans love being recognized by the brands they love and support. Highlighting customer photos on your website, or reposting on your own social media is a surprisingly efficient and effective way to generate more content and conversation around your products and brand.

Create a real dialogue with consumers and join the conversation around your brand on social media. It really makes a difference to humanize your brand and generate brand affinity and loyalty. When customers see brand’s celebrating their customers and engaging with real people, it helps to validate your brand’s social presence and reach a larger audience.

A great example of this is Kenneth Cole’s #KCStyle gallery. By celebrating customers directly on their homepage, Kenneth Cole continues to see increased engagement on both social media and on their website as more customers join the community and share their content.

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Pro Tip: Find and leverage your key brand influencers. Not every customer photo is the same. By finding your top influencers and brand advocates and celebrating them in your brand’s owned media, you can dramatically increase brand awareness/lift and get the most out of those already promoting your brand organically.

 

This article was written by Andrew Higgins from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

4 Traits of the Modern Marketer

A talented marketer is not one but many things in the digital era. While team members with well developed, specific skills (design, copywriting, etc.) allows a marketing department to function at peak performance, making sure your key marketing team members are well-rounded is the best way to ensure success. Today’s marketing campaigns are much more than just putting a great ad in a well-targeted paper and hoping to gain leads. Modern marketers develop material for all stages of the sales cycle, using data and an understanding of the customer to help companies close deals. In this post are just some of the descriptions that fit a well-rounded, modern marketer.

1) The Data Scientist

Successful marketing requires the ability to collect valuable data and incorporate the data into a digestable, actionable format. Usually this means having data converted into visuals including charts and graphs which are much more easily deciphered than a raw dataset. For their clients, the modern marketer must be capable of putting together reports which show return on investment. This can be quite labor intensive, considering all of the platforms which exist today that we use to market goods and services (Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Amazon, landing pages, Twitter, the list goes on). Marketers can more quickly achieve success by using a marketing automation platform which will help compile this data.

On top of reports, however, the modern marketer must also know how to make smart decisions based on the data. For example, it is absolutely imperative to incorporate A/B testing in email marketing, using data to determine successful market segmentation and other strategies.

2) The Critic

While the modern marketer may not be a designer or an artist themselves, they must be a dutiful critic of all visual marketing materials, and be able to guide designers using data and logic to justify their opinions. The successful marketer will also be able to tell determine if typography and graphics are outdated or not ideal for a target audience (hint: avoid Times New Roman!). Today’s iconography and typography is flat, clear, and simple. But in two years, expect that to change. A good marketer stays on top of these trends, and understands the “art” as much as the science.

3) The Adaptable Copywriter

In my opinion, it is difficult to imagine a successful marketer that is not also a copywriter themselves. Writing good copy is, in its most basic form, the ability to sell using only words. This means knowing how to write for top, middle, and bottom of the funnel leads and a variety of audiences. Great copy is extremely important for developing landing pages, white papers, and other marketing materials. The successful marketer knows what information prospects need to know in order to buy.

4) The Closer

On top of developing marketing materials, the modern marketer should also be an adept salesman. This is important because marketing is about sales, and if your marketer couldn’t close a deal on his or her own, how can you know that he/she will be able to develop the best strategies and materials to lead to that all-important close?

At the same time, keep in mind that there are many types of salesmen, and not all of them have marketing finesse. Those that do will be geared more towards meeting the needs of the customer than bullying prospects into a sale. Both strategies may be effective, but only one of them is scaleable (Hint #2: meeting the needs of the customer).

 

This article was written by Corey McCarren from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.