Posted by: FDMC | April 19, 2017

YouTube Channel For Your Business

Video Marketing has become increasingly important for small businessesof all sizes. And YouTube is one of the most popular platforms for posting and sharing those videos.

If you have a YouTube channel for your small business, or are thinking of starting one, here are 20 ideas for type of content you can post. Hope you enjoy them!

Video Ideas for YouTube

Product Spotlights

If your business is a product-based one, you can use YouTube as a platform for highlighting specific products such as widgets, bar glasses, Tiki patio furniture..

Product Announcements

Then when your business comes out with new products, you can create videos that offer a preview of all the new features.

Product-in-Action Videos

Video can be a great way to show your products in action. This is especially relevant for products like video games. PlayStation often posts game play videos for the games available on its device. Locally you can do the same with your proucts.

Product Explanations

If your product is something that might require a bit of an explanation, you might also consider creating videos aimed at simply explaining it to beginners. This can help them get acquainted enough with your offering to gain interest.

Product Comparisons

You can also create videos that compare multiple products to help your customers make more informed choices. An example would be if you sell air conditioners, you might show the difference of various sizes of the conditioners as to how many rooms it would cool. This would help your customers out!

Collection Videos

If your business releases collections of products, like lines of clothing or similar items, you can also create videos around those releases, Say you offer a new line of home made soap here is your chance to make it a premier star out of it.

Mini Movies

Your YouTube content can certainly be intended to inform or persuade. But don’t forget to entertain your audience as well. Lego does this with mini movies that feature some of its popular product sets. You can do it for your business as well. Having good editing software here is something I would suggest highly.

Special Offers

You can also share information about special offers or limited time promotions so that your YouTube viewers are constantly up-to-date with your offerings.

Customer Stories

To create more engagement with your customers and share content that’s relevant to your audience, you can create videos that share some of your customers’ stories through interviews or similar formats. I did this for a local insurance company and it worked out well.

Behind the Scenes Videos

You can also create videos that show some behind the scenes views of your company or products. Doing a “Meet The Staff” video or “A day In The..” with one of your route drivers is another example.

Company Milestones

When your company reaches a big milestone, or has a big accomplishment, you can create a YouTube video to celebrate and share the news!

How-to Videos

People often watch videos to learn how to accomplish certain tasks. So you can make these helpful videos in a way that includes some of your products or services.

Tips Videos

You can also create videos that offer simple tips on a particular subject. If you are a real estate person (and boy do we have real estate people all of a sudden here) you could do a video on tips on preparing your home for sale or showing. Tips such as painting or yard work. You get it.

Discussion Videos

Similar to how you might discuss various topics on a blog, you can create a video where you simply share your expertise or some thoughts on a particular topic. Let’s say you own a gym and you do a series of videos on fitness or running. This would be a great example of discussion videos.


Video can also be a great format for showing off content from your audience, especially if you can collect clips from people as part of a contest. GoPro is one example of a company that has done this well but make sure you follow all laws before doing this.

Inspirational Videos

Even if a video doesn’t directly relate to your products, it can still offer value to your target audience. Inspirational videos can sort of break up all those videos that specifically relate to your products or services. Assist a non-profit for example and shoot some video be kind and don’t make a big commercial about yourself out of it.

Regular Series

If you create enough video content regularly, you can turn it into a web series. Red Bull does this with some of the behind the scenes content it shoots with various extreme sports stars as an example.

Influencer Videos

You can also partner with influencers relevant to your audience and ask them to star in your videos as a way of creating quality content and growing your audience. Examples would be factory reps or distributor reps that you buy your products from for re-sale.

Holiday Greetings

On or around holidays, you can also make special videos intended to show some festive spirit and have some fun, We had a blast making a bunch of these for some of our customers last year. Yes, you can get them done professionally if you wish.

Funny Videos

You can also simply have some fun with your audience by posting funny commercials or other video content on your YouTube channel. Brevard County Sheriff’s Office has been getting thousands of hits and national publicity doing these while bringing up awareness on crime protection and safety.

I hope you enjoy these tips and if our company can be of any assistance to you in getting you started, please call or email us. We are YouTube certified partners and we can help you with that next video project as well.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

Consumers know what they want, and when it comes to visiting a small business’ website, they expect the same experience they would get from a larger chain.

If website visitors don’t get that experience—whether because the site doesn’t provide simple information like an address or business hours, or because it has a poor mobile experience—then they are left with a bad impression.

March 2017 research from Vistaprint Digital found that roughly half of US internet users surveyed said they would most likely be left with a bad impression if a small-business website had outdated contact information.

And almost as many respondents said they would have a bad impression of a site that provided no address, directions or business hours.

A poor mobile user interface, difficult fonts and an unprofessional design were other factors cited by respondents.

Surprisingly, some small-business websites are still not mobile.

A separate survey from Yodle, conducted by Research Now, found that four in 10 US small businesses don’t have a mobile-optimized site.

Ultimately, a bad impression—like that from a poor mobile site—can affect whether or not consumers make a purchase.

In fact, nearly 60% of respondents surveyed by Vistaprint said they would be less likely to purchase something from a small business based on a bad impression of its website.

If you are a small business and need help with your website, feel free to reach out to us!

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | April 5, 2017

Facebook and Video. A Hot Commodity Right Now!

Over the last few years, Facebook has quickly risen to become a powerhouse video destination, with its top ten publishers pulling in billions of viewers each month but just exactly why is that the case? Scientifically, is there a reason Facebook users, and even Instagram users, are attracted to video content when they’re on the site?

Facebook IQ recently conducted a study with some overseas users and found that they watched video content 5X more than any other content posted. Facebook’s study derives from a lab experiment where people’s eye movements and facial expressions were tracked as they scrolled through their personal feeds; this was followed up by interviews about the role video played in each participant’s’ life. The 114 participants were aged 18-30 and watched short-form (under ten minutes) online video content and ads at least once a month. Facebook IQ also enlisted Kantar Media to conduct a study of 1,999 people from two overseas countries who were over 18 years of age and who watched short-form video content monthly. The goal of this study was to try to gauge the content consumption of the participants and analyze related viewing trends.

  • 77% of respondents preferred videos under ten minutes, with 67% of millennials claim it’s easier to focus via mobile viewing than via desktop
  • 65% of millennials watched several videos in a row, with 60% of them saying they don’t even realize they’re doing so.

Next Steps for Video Marketers and Publishers

Facebook claims five key factors have attributed to the increased popularity of online video viewing, which include “smartphones, shorter attention spans, binge-watching, the importance of context, and the thrill of novelty.” Taking all these into consideration, video publishers on the social platform (and its related photo- and video-sharing app Instagram) should consider the following strategies if they want to reach video watchers.

Focus on mobile content.

Most of the millennials in Facebook’s study prefer watching video content on mobile instead of on a desktop. Cater to this preference by developing mobile-optimized clips which users won’t be able to resist clicking on when the content shows up in their feeds.

Harness the power of Instagram.

Facebook IQ discovered that across all surveyed, video on Instagram resulted in 1.80x higher levels of joy than the same content posted on other platforms. Video publishers who want to incite action and brand loyalty should therefore consider posting more clips to their Instagram accounts.

Keep content short.

With shorter attention spans contributing to the rise of online video, video publishers need to make sure their own content on Facebook and Instagram is digestible and impactful, so that it not only captures the attention of users as they scroll through their feeds but also relays brand messaging or key points at the very beginning of the video.

Try new video formats.

Based on the idea that novelty is a key factor to online video’s growth and success, Facebook IQ suggests publishers experiment with new video formats. For example, the recent study of the overseas participants were found to look at 360-degree video 40% longer than regular video content; these respondents also reported a level of joy 1.40x higher than joy from standard video.

Posted by: FDMC | March 29, 2017

Use Inbound Marketing To Save Time & Money!

here’s no doubt that the world of inbound marketing  has fundamentally changed demand generation.

The strategy of attracting prospects through content, social media, search engine optimization, and more has taken over the B2B world and for good reason: inbound marketing costs less  than traditional advertising and produces 54% more leads than outbound marketing. Your prospects and customers don’t want to be targeted with disruptive and annoying advertisements. They want to engage with quality content that educates, entertains, or inspires them.

There’s just one problem

Businesses are investing more in content marketing, which focuses on creating valuable content to guide buyers through the customer journey. Now, every marketing team worth their salt is publishing content for their audience, from blog posts, to whitepapers, webinars, ebooks, newsletter, and more. The bar has been raised and now creating more content isn’t enough. In order to get your content seen by your intended audience, you need to differentiate your brand and rise above the noise by offering value.

The New 80/20 Rule

If you were an early adopter of inbound marketing, you might have spent 80% of your time creating content and 20% of your time promoting it. With all the noise out there, the formula has flipped.  To increase engagement, you need to spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it.  Becoming more strategic in your content promotion requires taking a fresh look how you communicate with your audience and ensuring that you are providing not only the right content, but that it’s in the right spot, at the right time. Here are 4 ways to help increase your engagement with your customer or client base.

1. Promote Content Across Your Website

Your whitepapers or ebooks don’t have to be hidden away and confined to your resources page. Give them the visibility they deserve by promoting them all across your website.  It just makes sense. If a visitor is browsing your website, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in or want more information about related topics. You can provide that to them with your content. Aside from improving the user experience, it also increases conversions by making your gated assets more visible. This can be especially impactful if you are using web personal platforms to offer your known visitors the next relevant step in their content journey.

2. Promote Content in Your Email Signature

Did you know that the average office worker sends or receives 121 emails a day, according to a report by the Radicati Group? By encouraging employees to promote content in their email signature, you can take advantage of this under-utilized channel and increase the visibility of your content. While you can be scrappy and just add these to your footer or signature yourself, there are also solutions, like Sigstr and Exclaimer, that allow you to quickly change the content of email signature as needed depending on the recipient. This way, you can offer a tailored experience and different content to employees, customers, and your prospects.

3. Use Ad Retargeting

Many marketers are running retargeting campaigns to re-engage prospects who previously visited their website and drive them back to complete an action like starting a free trial or requesting a demo. It’s extremely effective because you’re only investing in qualified leads who are interested in your product or services. However, don’t be a marketer that misses the opportunity to use retargeting to drive traffic to gated content, which you can track conversions from to prove the ROI.

Using a comprehensive marketing platform, you can listen to website activity and then retarget visitors with digital ads to promote relevant content. For example, if someone browsed your website for information about your account targeting solution, you may want to serve them an ad that promotes your latest gated asset on account-based marketing.

4. Pin It to Your Twitter Profile

Last but not least, pinning a tweet to your Twitter profile is a quick (and free) way to increase the visibility of your content. While other social platforms like Facebook offer similar features, Twitter Pins are shown by default at the top of your profile page no matter how old they are. Not sure this is worth the time? You might be surprised how much traffic your pinned post gets. In fact, when Buffer pinned one of their Twitter cards, they saw 10x as many conversions. To glean insights on your own posts, use Twitter Analytics to see how people engaged with your profile and posts in a 28 day period.

With the competitive landscape of B2B marketing, getting your content to stand out is harder than ever. Have you tried any of these strategies?

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media

Posted by: FDMC | March 22, 2017

Live Stream your business Today!

Live streaming video refers to broadcasts in real time to an audience over the internet. While the concept of live streaming has been around for years, mobile-first video platforms with user-generated content have just recently begun to make serious waves thanks to improved video quality, faster broadband speeds, and enhanced mobile technology.

Online video has become a key part of the strategic business model for both brands and marketers as they seek more innovative ways to capture consumer attention. Creative live streaming video initiatives and campaigns are a way for companies to cut through the digital clutter and have emerged as the medium of choice not only for person-to-person sharing, but also for business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) communication.

Brands are increasingly using live streaming to reach audiences. Its importance has grown significantly thanks to substantial investments by social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat, and Twitter to build and enhance their live-streaming platforms.

And advertising dollars are likely to follow. 88% of agency respondents stated that they “might” or “definitely will” invest in live stream video advertising over the next six months, according to a recent Trusted Media Brands survey.

Live streaming video will further accelerate streaming videos overall share of internet traffic. Streaming video accounts for over two-thirds of all internet traffic, and this share is expected to jump to 82% by 2020, according to Cisco’s June 2016 Visual Networking Index report.

·        Live video’s value comes from its unique ability to add an authentic human element to digital communications. As a result, brands are leveraging three main streaming methods to connect with their viewers: tutorials, product launches, and exclusive and behind-the-scene footage.

·        Advertisers will continue to invest heavily in online video, especially as live streaming video gains traction. Already in the US, digital video ad revenue reached $7.8 billion in 2015, up 55% from 2014, according to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau.

·        While live streaming is still in its early stages, brands are leveraging micropayments, mid-roll video ads and direct payments from social platforms, to monetize their live streaming videos.

·        The success of live streaming video hinges on brands overcoming a lack of measurement standards in the space, as well as changes in social media sites’ algorithms that affect what content users see. As of this month, live streaming is available (mostly via your smart phone or desktop) to the platforms of Twitter, You tube, Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media

Posted by: FDMC | March 15, 2017

Promoting Your Brand On Instagram!

·                  Instagram like Snapchat is becoming very popular in brand promoting. Here are some steps you will find helpful in getting your brand out on Instagram.

1. Optimize Your Instagram Account. The best brand Instagram accounts have a compelling bio, memorable profile picture and a connected website that drives to their homepage. It’s one of the first things you have to set up for your account but it’s also one of the first things people look at before deciding to follow you or not. Make your bio descriptive, compelling and don’t be afraid to use emojis.

·        2. Follow Industry Relevant Accounts. Think about the types of brands, media companies or people in your industry that are already using Instagram and go find them. Follow their accounts and interact with their last few posts by pressing like or leaving a comment. These accounts might follow you back and help you get started with your initial audience.

·        3. Find Popular Hashtags In Your Industry. Many people on Instagram use hashtags as a way of finding new photos and new people to follow.  Each day, thousands of hashtags shared on Instagram. At first glance it might seem overwhelming but Jason offers some great advice on the topic: “Look through the pictures posted by influence’s in your niche. What hashtags do they use? Write these down as potential hashtags to use.

·        4. Get Shout Outs From Others. Note that brands leverage the power of influencers to grow their account. Research the popular accounts that are relevant in your field, reach out to them to see if they’ll be willing to do an Instagram shout-out for you. As you conduct this outreach, build a spreadsheet that highlights the different accounts you’ve reached out to, their follower count and the price they’re looking to charge.

·        5. Share Your Posts On Instagram Regularly. You want to post often enough that your brand stays relevant. You also don’t want to post so frequently that you overwhelm your followers and they unfollow your account.”  One of the most frequently asked questions about Instagram is how frequently a brand should post. While many brands try to put a number on it, the reality is that what works best for one brand doesn’t always work for the next. Run your own experiments and determine the best frequency for your audience.

·        6. Use Hashtags In The Comment Section. One of the most underrated tricks in the book for Instagram market is the usage of hashtags in the comments instead of main post. Rather than stuffing your posts caption with a handful of hashtags and giving the perception of reach desperation – comment with the hashtags after pressing share. The impact is the same except your caption doesn’t look as bad!

·        7. Run Instagram Contests. A good contest can hands down be one of the best ways to drive new followers & activity on your Instagram account.Instagram has the flexibility to allow you to just run your contest on your feed, the advantage of this is that it’s easy to setup & encourages participation via Instagram. The downside to contests on Instagram is that it can be quite challenging to test. Use the link your bio as a place to send your followers and have them enter another contest. Sites like offer an easy to build contest form that will serve all your needs for a random draw with a social sharing component.

·        8. Tell Your Followers To Like Your Content. Tell People to Double Tap If They Agree. It’s a simple idea that asks your followers to tap a photo twice which results in a post like. That means the post will be shown to more people because of the Instagram Algorithm and show in the activity feed.

·        9. Build Relationships With Other Influential Accounts. The fastest way to grow an Instagram account is by engaging accounts with a larger following than you and having them promote your account. If you’re already creating great content, you might not have to pay them to give you a shout out. You might be able to get organic shout outs simply by building a quality relationship with one of those influencers.

·        10. Comment On Photos From Other Accounts. I thought it would be enough just to like other people’s pictures in order for them to follow me and like my photos. As it turned out, I got way more interaction when I commented on other users’ photos then when I merely liked them. As Instagram has grown in popularity, people have become less surprised and flattered by likes. As a result, brands who are looking to truly stand out will need to take it a step further by leaving comments.

·       11. Use Instagram Stories On The Regular. There are plenty of great ways to promote your brand with Instagram Stories. If you’re not familiar with Instagram Stories, it’s a section on Instagram where you can share temporary video clips or images that all of your followers can see but the content disappears within 24 hours. The approach is a direct spin-off of Snapchat Stories. When using Instagram stories, consider mixing static content that you may find on your camera roll with content happening in the moment. Don’t forget to also use strategies like collaborating with other Instagram accounts and taking over their stories to reach an even broader audience.

·        12. Use Both Images & Video Content. Instagram videos see twice the engagement rate of photos” showing that video content is a great investment for brands looking to catch the attention of their audience. When thinking about your Instagram video content, create clear, fun, and engaging videos that people are going to want to tag their friends in. Creating images or videos that inspire people to tag their friends is a great way to drive virality for your account. As friends tag other friends, the content officially starts to spread like wildfire and take on a life of its own!

·        13. Run Instagram Ads. One of the best parts of Instagram is the fact that it shares data with Facebook. As a result, you have the ability to use the advanced demographic targeting offered on Facebook with Instagram as well. If you want to target people who live in a specific country and follow a specific band, you can do exactly that using Facebook Ads Manager.

·        Instagram advertising offers photo based advertising in a square or vertical format and video ads in a square or landscape format. Most recently, Instagram also launched a carousel feature which offers an even more dynamic advertising experience on Instagram.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media


When budgets are tight, marketing might be the first expense you look to cut. Let me stop you right there. While traditional advertising methods are costly and hard to measure, small businesses have never had greater access to cost-effective, trackable marketing tools. But with so many digital tools available, how do you know where to start?Email marketing is the tried and true digital marketing channel with an average return of $38 for every $1 spent. Email and social media marketing are just the start. Here are ten marketing strategies that can help you market your small business on a shoestring budget.

1. Craft an elevator pitch

You should be marketing all the time — wherever you are. Therefore, you need a compelling elevator pitch. Research shows the average attention span of an adult is about six to eight seconds. That’s all the time you have to grab someone’s attention. If you successfully engage them, then you only have a little over a minute to really sell them on your product or service. Invest the time to craft a killer elevator pitch. The return on your investment will pay huge dividends in terms of creating business opportunities.

2. Leverage your community

You don’t have to think big when it comes to your marketing efforts. Think locally. What’s going on in your community? Sponsor a Little League team or a 5k charity walk/run. Print bookmarks and leave them at the local library. Get to know your ideal customer and think about how and where they spend their time. Then search for opportunities to get in front of your customer with your marketing message.

3. Collaborate

Put together a group of synergistic, non-competitive businesses in your area and agree to cross-promote. You can use coupons, fliers, reciprocal website links, bundled promotions or social media platforms. By collaborating with each other, you can expand your customer base because you’ll be reaching new people.

4. Network

I’m a huge fan of networking. I don’t think there is any better way to build a business than to get out there, shake some hands, and get to know people. Networking requires a time commitment and it doesn’t provide instant gratification, but a strong network is one of the greatest assets any business person can have.

5. Give a speech

A lot of people hate public speaking. However, there are many organizations looking for qualified, subject-matter experts who can present to their groups. Take a deep breath and volunteer. You don’t have to be a pro as long as the information you share is helpful to the audience. And the upside — the more you do it the easier it gets. Plus, it positions you as a credible authority in your field. Also consider doing a professional workshop.

6. Create buzz

I started my corporate career in the field of public relations and the business has changed significantly because of technology. Today, a small business owner can accomplish a lot without hiring a professional firm. Subscribe to Help a Reporter Out. You can respond to reporters’ queries that are looking for story ideas and resources. Some are small media opportunities, but others are major media outlets that use this service too.

7. Ask for referrals

Don’t be shy about asking for customer referrals. The majority of people say they are willing to provide a referral if asked, but very few take the initiative to do it on their own. Referrals make it easier to get in the door with new customers. If you aren’t asking for them, you are missing opportunities.

8. Build relationships

It is a lot less expensive to keep a customer than it is to get a new one. That’s why establishing strong relationships with your customer base is crucial. One of the ways you can do that is by keeping in touch with people through email marketing. Ask your customers or clients for their email address when they visit your store or website. Then, make your communications informative, helpful and professional — something your customers will look forward to receiving. Just don’t spam them with worthless junk and be annoying as they will dump or block you as fast as they gave you their addy.

9. Offer coupons

Coupons are a good way for many businesses to attract new customers. Research shows that people will go out of their way to use a coupon, proving that this method is successful in expanding your customer base. Coupons can also generate return visits. For example, if you give a customer a coupon for a discount to use on future business, there’s a high probability they’ll be back.

10. Give it away

If someone has the opportunity to experience your product or service, chances are they will want to purchase more. Don’t be afraid to give someone a free trial  or a sample. In today’s economy, people are more comfortable purchasing something they have been able to experience first. These ten, inexpensive marketing strategies will help you engage customers, build relationships, and ultimately keep your brand top-of-mind. It’s not always about the money you have to spend on marketing, it’s about the time and effort you put into it and above all, the relevance it has for your customers.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | February 28, 2017

One Dot Can Be Worth A Thousand Tweets!

Busy day today so for my weekly blog, I thought I would share something quick that you may be aware of. The “secret” Twitter dot. For those of you who use Twitter frequently, especially for marketing, you may not be aware of how to make sure your message gets out to all of your followers when you may be tweeting to say, just one person. Use the ol dot. Example:

You have to put something before the username to trick Twitter into thinking it’s a regular tweet for mass consumption. Perhaps you’ve seen people start their tweets with a period? Tricking Twitter is exactly what they’re doing. If you haven’t seen this before, here’s a sample:

.@rachelsklar just took at the stage at #SXSW to talk about trends for women in comedy. Any questions I should ask her?

Now this tweet will get pushed to everyone following me, regardless of whether they also follow Rachel. Pretty slick eh? You all have a good rest of week!


FDMC Social & Digital Media

Posted by: FDMC | February 22, 2017

Facebook and YouTube Videos Changing Again!

In the past week, Facebook and YouTube have both announced some changes to their video advertising formats. These changes won’t take place until later this year (or perhaps early next) but I know video marketers, too. They HATE to change things. But, with that kind of advanced warning, who can really complain?

So, what are these changes? Nothing too super radical but they are going to be noticeable. And why did Facebook, whose mantra for developers has long been “move fast and break things,” and YouTube, which changes at a rate of 33% a year, decide to alert us to these alterations in their video advertising formats several months in advance? Well from my research, here is what is coming down the pike.

New Ways to Watch Facebook Video

On Feb. 14, 2017, Facebook announced four news ways to watch Facebook video. The biggest change involves bringing sound to videos in the News Feed between now and the end of the year. As video marketers know, videos in the News Feed have played silently up to now — unless a user tapped on a video to hear the sound. But, as younger people have been watching more Snapchat videos on their smartphones, they’ve apparently come to expect sound when the volume on their device is turned on. Who knew? So, Facebook has decided – after testing sound on in its News Feed and “hearing positive feedback” – to carefully follow in Snapchat’s footsteps and slowly bring sound to more people, as well. When this update rolls out, sound will fade in and out as Facebook users scroll through videos in their News Feed.

Now, if your smartphone is set to silent, then Facebook videos won’t play with sound. And, if you never want videos to play with sound, then you can disable this feature by switching off “Videos in News Feed Start with Sound” in Settings. Facebook also says it will be showing in-product messages to tell people about the new sound on experience and controls.

In other news, Facebook also announced changes to make vertical videos look better on mobile devices. It made it possible to minimize the video you’re watching to a picture-in-picture view that keeps playing in the corner of your screen while you browse other stories in News Feed. And it announced a new Facebook video app for TV. But, these changes are less likely to ruffle anyone’s feathers.

All media companies have to carefully balance what their readers, listeners, viewers, and users want with what their advertisers would like to have. Back in the 1980’s when I still had hair and “gag me with a chainsaw” was a popular catchphrase, two-thirds of the advertisers in PC/Computing (an example) wanted their ads to appear in the first third of the magazine, even though reader research showed that the most popular part was the middle of the publication where the cover story ran. Today, advertisers may prefer that their videos autoplay with the sound on, but that may or may not be welcomed by the vast majority of Facebook users. Snapchat users are used to sound because the audio they hear instantly typically comes from their friends videos. Not from advertisers.

With the advent of Facebook Live, we may see a similar response, but it’s too soon to tell. So, why would Facebook hear “positive feedback” after testing sound on in its News Feed? Well, not every Facebook user sees videos in their News Feed. The stats sate that only 500 million Facebook users even see videos, so the test may have been conducted using the most video-friendly segment of the social network’s users. And 85% of these Facebook users currently watch videos with the sound off. So, did Facebook conduct its test using the 15% that currently watch videos with the sound on? And as the social network rolls out videos that autoplay with sound, will the feedback continue to be as positive? In other words, kudos to Facebook for giving everyone a “heads up” that changes are coming down the road. For a company that just celebrated its 13th birthday, the social network is showing a lot of maturity. But, video marketers should still watch this particular change like a hawk, because sound may not be welcomed by as many Facebook users as advertisers would like. The jury is still out.

YouTube to End 30 Second Unskippable Ads

Google provided an official statement on Feb. 17, 2017, that said  YouTube will drop the unskippable ad format beginning early next year. A Google spokesman added that YouTube will “focus instead on formats that work well for both users and advertisers.” The 30-second unskippable ads were popular with advertisers. So, apparently this format didn’t work for YouTube users, who have apparently come to expect the ability to choose which video ads they want to watch – which is what TrueView video ads gave them seven years ago.  Advertisers will have until 2018 to make adjustments to their plans. And video ads that are shorter than 30-seconds, including 20-second spots, can still be made unskippable. Plus, YouTube has been touting its six-second unskippable bumper ad format since its introduction in April 2016. Again this is nice that YouTube gave consumers and advertisers a “heads up” that changes are coming down the road. For a company that just celebrated its 12th birthday, the video-sharing site is showing a lot of maturity. But, video marketers should recognize that YouTube appears to be giving its users want they want while Facebook is testing the limits of what its advertisers would like to have.

Although both video platforms and trying to balance the two competing forces that any media company feels, one is zigging, while the other is zagging. That means this isn’t a horse race where both competitors are trying to pull out ahead of each other on the same well-defined track. This is more like cross-country running where two different teams are competing in a race across open-air courses over natural terrain that is not well marked. That makes the changes to Facebook and YouTube’s video advertising formats well worth watching – even if we won’t know the outcome until next year.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social & Digital Media LLC

Posted by: FDMC | February 15, 2017

Is Your Business Using Pinterest?

On Pinterest – the social platform built on beautiful, shareable imagery – opportunities for shopping come cleverly disguised as outfit inspiration and smoothie recipes and DIY centrepieces and VW bus renovations and french bulldog puppies. These collectible, bite-sized visuals feed our human instincts to covet and hoard and categorize. For consumers, it’s a place to hunt and gather. For brands, it’s a goldmine. saying “Take my money!” Last year, Pinterest was the second largest social source for traffic (over Twitter), and resulting visits had the third highest average order value (beating Facebook). If you’re still not convinced, consider this: sales and traffic from Pins can occur long after the item is pinned. In fact, 50 percent of visits happen after 3.5 months, according to Piqora. Compared to Twitter and Facebook where the content half-life is around 5 minutes and 80 minutes, respectively, Pinterest is more bang for your social buck. As a merchant, there are several ways to maximize your efforts on Pinterest, including choosing the right content, running contests, and engaging with your community. Here are seven ideas to add to your Pinterest marketing strategies.

1. Use Rich Pins

Rich Pins are pins that contain extra information right inside the pin. Your customers can benefit from Product Pins which include real-time pricing and stock availability. Rich Pins can improve CTR and discoverability of Pins, by making them eligible for Pinterest’s own curated feeds. Another advantage of Rich Pins is price notifications. If you reduce the price of your product, customers who Repinned that product image will receive an email from Pinterest notifying them of the price drop and prompting them to buy.

2. Pin Smarter

Quality over quantity is a long-revered rule of thumb when it comes to, well, just about anything. With Pinterest, make it your mantra. Volume matters for the sake of consistency – pin every new product, engage frequently, keep it fresh. Knowing what types of images work best on Pinterest is even more important. When shooting and choosing photos for your product pages, make them highly Repinnable. What makes an image Pinterest-worthy? Let’s dig into the data:

·        Keep it Anonymous. Images without faces receive 23% more Repins than those with faces.

·        Use Color Wisely. Pins with multiple dominant colors are Repinned 3.25 times more than those dominated by a single color, and red images fare better than blue.

·        Size Matters. Images on your product pages should ideally be at least 600 px wide with the optimal Pin width being 736 pixels wide (the maximum display size). Taller images are more likely to be Repinned.

·        Listen. Pay attention to your analytics, either through your Pinterest business tools or via other apps like Piqora, Tailwind, or Curalate. While summer salad recipes and DIY treehouses may have high virality potential overall, be relevant – find out what resonates with your audience specifically.

·        Timing is Everything. Pin and engage when your customers are doing the same. The time periods 2-4pm and 8-11pm are roughly the best times to Pin, but it can depend on where and who your customers are. Pinterest research also suggests that certain categories perform better on specific days of the week.

·        You Need a Blog. You already know why your ecommerce site needs a blog. Use it as a place tocreate beautiful content for your Pinterest boards, too. Even if you’re not a designer or photographer, you can use easy tools to help create great content.

3. Sell the Lifestyle

Inspire your audience, don’t just sell to them. Create boards around lifestyle themes that include your products, rather than just product boards (“The Great Outdoors” vs “ABC Company Outerwear”). Great brands understand their customers and the kind of content that they crave.

4. Piggyback on the Popular

While I previously cautioned against pinning content simply based on viral potential, you can tap into the most popular pin types and search terms if they’re actually relevant to your audience. Are your customers predominantly men? Your slice of the Pinterest pie is small, so maximize your efforts. Create boards and pin content in the categories of photography, art, design, and home decor. Do you sell food or beverages? Develop easy recipes containing your products. Are your products related to fitness, health, or beauty? Pin inspirational and inspirational content with quotes. Is your ecommerce store a source for tools, craft supplies, or fabric? Use them to create DIYs and tutorials.

5. Run Pinterest Contests

Contests are a great way to increase engagement on Pinterest. Brands, however, should pay attention to Pinterest’s contest guidelines. Certain types of contests are not permitted, nor is spammy behaviour.

Done well, and within the platform’s parameters, Pinterest contests can drive sales and traffic for your ecommerce site. Jetsetter used contests to increase site traffic by 150% and saw a 1000% jump in referrals from Pinterest.

Contest tips:

·        Be Creative. Modcloth wins at contests by keeping them fun and original.

·        Make it Worth it. Forever 21 asks followers to create an entire board, but puts a $1000 gift card on the table as incentive.

·        Get Inspired. Look to other brands for contest ideas that might work for you.

·        Use an App. Apps like, Wishpond or Woobox can help organize your contest and host it on your site or Facebook.

6. Leverage the Power of Influencers

Partner up with Pinterest influencers and bloggers to give your product some clout on the social network. Many brands get access to new audiences by inviting Guest Pinners to create boards on their accounts. Often, influencers will charge a fee for this service, but social media love in exchange for your product may be possible, too. Choose to work with Pinterest users whose audiences resemble your desired customers.

7. Engage Your Community

Involve your community to help increase engagement. Group Boards can be comprised of many contributors – customersstaff, a select group of influencers – or can even be open to anyone to join. The contributors to your group boards become brand ambassadors, creating content on your behalf. Celebrate the selfie! Tap into narcissism and encourage your customers to share images of themselves with your product. This is an especially useful tactic for fashion brands to gather alternate, accessible images of products worn by real people.

Roy Garton

FDMC Social and Digital Media LLC

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