Social Networking – How to Use Social Networks For Interactive Customer Support

Social networking allows a customer to have the feeling of being in control versus a site where it just tells you facts and allows no feedback from the customer. This can provide an unsatisfied customer with the feeling that the company has no room for change which can lead in a decrease in retention rates. When discussing interactive customer support sites, having an interactive support forum may not save a company, but it will give you a happier customer base and higher brand awareness.

Meaning in a whole this can bring about a more successful business when the customer is happy because it will increase their likelihood of staying with the company. In the environment social networking plays a huge part. Technology has come so far that not having a computer is mediocre especially in a business environment. In the environment even not having a computer at home can hinder from going forth with furthering careers or education, news or even entertainment. It is said that the web is the window for all types of opportunity especially for growing businesses, job search, and shopping. Even though the people in the environment have become more technology savvy individuals have also become more lazy. With society more reliant on Internet services it proves one of the reasons for laziness in the United States.

Community portals have also improved which are commonly used by consumers. Community portals help consumers have access to what many can call a global community, because you will have a lot of access to outside sources within a customer’s own home which allows the option for consumers to view information about products and services that businesses put out. This type of portal allows consumers to discuss their satisfaction interactively about those same products and services that they used. It is been discovered that in the networking community the more appealing that businesses make their companies whether it be pictures, videos, or audio the more appealing it becomes to the customer.

If you are out to attract prospective customers and develop your online presence and exposure, you owe it to yourself and the financial future of your business to learn everything you can about Internet marketing and social networking.

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How to Use Web Video and Playlist to Showcase Your Products Online

Various social media analysis companies and organizations have reported the increasing popularity of embedding online videos in websites, blogs and other online portals.

The reason is very clear as website visitors often prefer the high interactivity that online video players provide in getting information about product and services.

Just take the booming popularity of YouTube (which is now a Google company) for example. The staggering popularity of video sites such as YouTube as well as its impact on social media networks like MySpace or Facebook is a clear indication of the power of video marketing. Millions of video clips are watched on a daily basis — from self-made, boring home video images of someone feeding his pets to commercial quality product presentations, advertisements and movie trail.

Video is a compelling and effective medium to use to showcase any product or service. It would be to a webmasters advantage if they have some form of video players that could run automatically while the site uploads, or engage customers with an interactive thumbnail playlist allowing them the option to choose which particular video they would like to view. Videos can be set-up as viral, meaning viewers can share them to friends or their networks. This would be a great way to share information about your product, at very minimal cost, to an almost unlimited number of potential viewers and customers.

Products and services can be presented more efficiently through a video player much better than any write ups can portray. Given the option, most web visitors would most likely be attracted and view a video presentation rather than reading through a lengthy article that contains the same information. The compelling images, music and other audio elements can engage any viewer, making them want to know more about a product — and eventually convert them into paying customers.

There are two ways how you can put up a video on your website: hosting the video on your own server (self-hosted) or embed a link to the video to a third-party host such as YouTube. There are pros and cons in using any of these resources and it would depend on the how your website is set-up, and how you would like to showcase your product. For many, combining elements of these two options would be the best way.

Many website owners embed videos on their website as hosted from another video site such as YouTube. The problem with such arrangement is that people would usually follow the link going to YouTube and watch the video from there — not on your website where they can gain more information about your product and services.

It would be more effective however, to have a lite version or a teaser of your video on a 3rd party video platform and have it linked back to your own website where the full length, high-quality video is hosted and watched in its entirety. Coupled with a thumbnail playlist, such set-up can create a compelling and interactive user experience — that they would want to know more about your services or products, and stay on your own website longer.

The following are some tips and tricks on how you can effectively embed self-hosted video on your website.

Firstly, keep your videos short. The attention span of most people are short and would usually drop watching videos if it’s too dragging or would take too much of their time. Three minutes is the ideal time length and would depend on the type of content you have.

Secondly, be original and authentic. Avoid using advertisement style presentations that many people just shun. Keep it simple and viral, showcasing your product in its most compelling essence — how it can benefit the customer.

Last but not least, add a call to action. Your video would be useless if it does not compel the viewer to take action, either to inquire more about the product, or make them contact you for potential business.

Clearly, having a flash video player and a corresponding thumbnail playlist can do wonders in making a more effective presentation for your product or service. There are various tools available at your disposal and it would be very wise to try them out and see which would be best to use for your website — and take it to the next level.

How to Promote Your Company Using Video and YouTube

As some people may or may not know, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. Does your business have a YouTube presence? Every minute over 100 hours of video content is uploaded. With this in mind it can be difficult to get your video noticed. Below I have outlined some tips to make this process a bit easier and hopefully to provide a more comprehensive approach to using YouTube for video promotion.

There are no rights or wrongs to video promotion. What I mean by that is that your video objectives and budget will determine what style of video you can produce. There is nothing to say that a simple piece to the camera cannot be as effective a slickly produced video featuring a major celebrity. It might mean you have to work a bit harder to get it noticed.

Your video

The video itself is obviously the most important part of video promotion. You need to quickly grasp what the objectives of the video are, which people will want to watch it, what is the pertinent content required for the video and what people will want to see. Spend some time understanding these important aspects, as it is the key element to any video production. What type of video will it be? Company Profile, product video, with a voice over or presenter? How does the chosen type of video tie in with your overall objectives?

Creating a YouTube channel

So you have your video produced and it is ready to be shown to the world. The next stage should be to create a YouTube channel. Until recently there were quite a few options to brand your channel with your company’s imagery and information. This for some bizarre reason has been restricted, but there are still options out there for you brand the channel properly. You can add your website link, create a logo image and also a main banner image. Make sure you do these simple steps; otherwise the lack of effort will show through to potential customers. There is also the option to produce a channel trailer, but this option is more suited to a channel that is home to several videos.

Title/Description/Tagging

I can not tell you how many clients that I have given our expertly produced web video to, instructed them how to promote the video properly, for them to just upload the video and nothing else. I have one of many examples where the same video uploaded on our YouTube channels has had a lot more views than the client’s example. Simply spend a bit of time tagging your videos properly to gain maximum exposure for your video. Give the video a title that people will look for. What words describe the video accurately within the shortest amount of words? So instead of “ipad video.mov”, why not use “Advanced iPad video showing its unique features”.

The description section allows for a more detailed look at the video. Write a short paragraph explaining the video and include links to your website and other social media platforms so that the viewers can see other aspects of your work and have a call to action to work with. Tagging is extremely important, take some time to explore the most important tags, what tags do your competitors use? This is unlimited so use the available space but keep it in-line with the video’s message

Enhancing your website

As many people will embed their YouTube video onto their website, it presents an opportunity to further enhance your video. Don’t just leave your video on some obscure page. Maybe make a special banner with “come and watch our video” or something similar.

YouTube is notoriously bad for creating the image that you can use as the main picture for the video. This has changed recently but this is still really only an option for channels with a certain number of views. I have this option but initially I got around this on my website by placing an image over the top of the YouTube player. The image would disappear when clicked and the video would play as normal. This allows for the best quality imagery to be used and also added an element of SEO within the Alt Tag for the image. It also provides a short description below the video that can give the potential viewer a quick understanding of what they are about to watch. You could brand the image to give the viewer more information about your business and the video itself. An absolute must is if you are selling a product with the video embedded on your website, is to have the product video next to your selling portal.

Promoting using other platforms

There are so many other promotional platforms that you can use the video augmented by your YouTube. You will need to undertake a scoping exercise to see what is available to your business. These can range from something as simple as having a link to the video on your email sign-off to actively pursuing other suitable organisations to embed your video.

Interact with your potential customers

An important aspect of your YouTube video is to interact with the viewer’s comments. If the comments are good or bad, talk with the audience, provide them with more information that can give them a better understanding of your product or service and this should inform the customer’s buying behaviour. Remember you can turn around negative comments to produce a plus for you and the customer.

4 Video Marketing Ideas to Boost Product Sales and Promote Your Website

With the explosion of video sharing and viral videos, there are a variety of video marketing ideas available but not all are applicable to every type of business. The following ideas discuss developing content for businesses that sell products and to some extent can be modified to work for some services.

1) Product Demonstrations

Product demo videos usually are made to demonstrate how your product works ( the step-by-step instructions) and highlights the features that differentiate your product from that of your competitors. However, you should make sure that you weave in the benefits of your product on your video script. Software screen captures, such as those taken by Camtasia or Screenflow, or a high impact demo by a presenter are all excellent ways of showing how your product or service works. In business to consumer marketing, these would be targeted at buyers of larger ticket items who want additional, detailed information about your product.

A popular example of this type of video is Blendtec’s blender ad campaign on YouTube.

2) Product Presentations

Product (or service) presentation videos are usually beneficial early in the buying cycle. Product or service presentations focus on benefits of your product from your customer’s perspective. This type of video should speak clearly to the specific reasons why your product solves a specific business or personal problem. They are used to help your customers and prospects showcase the benefits of your products and services, provide your customer your unique selling proposition and help differentiate your product from those of your competitors.

3) Product Reviews

Ideally, your business would benefit by product reviews that are provided by a trusted third party. However, customer product reviews can really work as well. Using a variety of search terms on Google, or another search engine, you can find third party video reviews from sites like YouTube, Facebook and various business portals. Only link to these sites if they provide credible video content about your product or service. You can also partner or joint venture with trusted third parties to create video product reviews for your own products.

4) Visual Stories

Quickly rising in popularity, visual stories employ illustrations, animations, Flash animations and motion graphics with a voice-over to explain complex products or services in a simple and compelling manner. These type of videos are developed to give additional information to customers who have already decided to purchase from you but need additional detail to finalize their decision. These types of interactive ads tend to be more expensive and are therefore appropriate for companies with larger marketing budgets.