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Actionable Social Media Video Tips You Can Try Today
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Let's chat about some social media video tips that you can use to help increase your reach and engagement. Break out your notepad because this post is packed with actionable tips that you can experiment with immediately. Some are short, others are more involved, but they're all useful.

As video content becomes more and more widely used, it's becoming clear that any company not using video is missing out on a really big opportunity to bring their brand to life. Video makes your brand more human, engaging, and helps to create trust because people get to meet the people that help to make your company thrive.

Today, social media is basically synonymous video. Facebook alone boasts 8 billion daily video views. Almost all mainstream social media channels have already begun to prioritize video, whether it's in their algorithm or in the various features that are now offered for brands.

So, what's the next big thing for brands on social media? Attention spans are shortening, social feeds are crowded, and ad costs are increasing.

The answer? Video, of course. It must be an integral part of all of your social media and marketing channels. And there are so much data out there to back up why this is important. For example, 64% of consumers say that watching a marketing video on Facebook has influenced a purchasing decision and 55% of people watch at least one video online per day? Your competition isn't waiting for you to catch up, so let's get into some actionable tips on how you can create some really great videos for Facebook and Instagram.

These are quick tips, but you're welcome to contact me if you need more detail on executing any of these tips. They are broken into sections to make it easier to follow along, but kicking things off right away you have to have some sort of game plan going in. Are you going to be making product videos, explainer videos, fun videos, team videos? Once you have a basic game plan for the types of videos you'd like to make, it's critical that you either have a script or a storyboard going in.


My experience has taught me that the storyboarding tip is huge. For the clients I work with and the videos that I make, I always have a general outline and script that'll help keep your video tight and increase watch time. But yeah, so let's quickly talk goals as well. You gotta have goals going in. For me, for example, I create two types of videos: Product explainer videos that help people visualize and use a product with the goal being activation and retention. I also create fun, engaging videos where the sole purpose of those is to drive views and engagement. So this gives me a lot of room to experiment.

Along with goals, I found that keeping this one simple word in mind when creating videos has helped me find continual success and that word is "edutainment." My clients have certainly heard me use this one before, but edutainment is a mix of educational and entertaining content. You can't go wrong with either one of those. So I think it's easier to create good educational content, but both work really well on social.

Last tip for video goals is to be realistic with what you'd like to accomplish. Sure, we'd all love to go viral and have a million views on our videos, but just because you're not going viral doesn't mean your videos aren't successful. The 4,000 people who watch your two-minute educational video might be much more valuable than the 100,000 people that watch your 15-second viral video. So it's all about perspective here.

Now when it comes to what sorts of videos you can and should be creating, my tip is to, first, make it relevant to your brand. You can lay the ground work for creating videos that are going to resonate deeply with your audience based on their needs and the solution that your product offers, needs and solutions being the keywords here. So remember this doesn't mean just talking about your product, a lot of the times their need is to learn or to be entertained. It is social media after all. Social is social. 

Next, and this one is great if you're fresh out of ideas for video, and that's to be topical. Now I'm not necessarily saying you should make a video to celebrate every holiday or video around whatever cultural phenomenon is happening at the time, but there's something to be said for having your finger on the pulse of what's going on in your industry specifically, and even around the world.

I've seen a lot of brands have a ton of success by just making a quick explainer video about a recent news story or a story that's happening specifically in their industry. I think a big tip from all of this is to not overthink video too much as well. You can't always know what's going to work well even after taking a multitude of aspects in a consideration, including your research. So take a risk, branch out creatively, make something that's out there. I spend so much time thinking about what video I should make that I never end up actually making the video and that's one of the things that I talk about with clients all the time. 


Next tip? Be sure to ABE, always be experimenting. I'd be embarrassed to tell you how many bad videos that I've personally made. So many embarrassing videos that I had to hire Hillary Clinton's Bleach Bit Email Destruction SWAT Team to come and erase them from my hard drive so they wouldn't even survive a congressional investigation. Well, maybe they weren't that bad, but they sure were terrible enough that I never even considered putting them on social. But, if it wasn't for constant experimentation and trying new topics and themes and formats, I certainly wouldn't be where I are with video today.


So now that we've talked video strategy and how you should be approaching video, it's time to get into some specifics. Let's talk Facebook video first. Users who log into Facebook are expecting lighthearted, entertaining content. Think about your Facebook experience. Do you go on there to watch product videos that are serious or to connect with friends and family, and maybe watch a few funny brand videos instead? So you have to adapt to the platform that you're posting videos on.

I'm sure no-one logs onto Facebook looking for product videos.

Also, know that 92% of people who use Facebook are using it via their mobile device. So this means two things: One, keep your video short and fun. Users are probably on their lunch break or commuting on the train. They don't have time to necessarily watch a five-minute in-depth video. And then number two, create videos in either square or vertical format. These are the optimal formats for social media because of how much real estate they take up in the feed.


Over on Instagram, a lot of the same rules apply, but Instagram is mostly about recreation and inspiration. The brands that are successful are cultivating a fun feel on their profile. Instagram is also a great place to build excitement and connect with people on a one-on-one basis through the comments or direct messages.

Instagram videos autoplay silently by default. So some general best practice rules apply. Keep your video short. There's also a 60-second time limit so they have to be short. 

Make sure the visual is still effective without any audio. If big brand style, commercial looking, high-production videos aren't aren't within your budget, don't worry. You can still creating an awesome Instagram presence with video. I have shot ALL my video for the last two and 1'2 years on an iPhone (some clients are just now finding this out) and no-one was ever the wiser!

Speaking of creating a great Instagram presence, Instagram stories can help take your content to the next level. So take advantage of the Instagram stories feature if you'd rather make scrappy spur-of-the-moment content. Instagram stories, temporary videos, and photos are content pieces that build upon one another to tell a story. The benefit of posting on Instagram stories is that whoever follows you on this channel will have the opportunity to watch your video right from within their main feed. The placement of the stories feature is actually really favorable for businesses. Stories is the best organic placements in social media right now.

When you take a video or picture for Instagram stories, you should be using the same filter across all of your stories so that you can have a consistent brand identity that your followers can expect to see throughout the images and videos you produce. The same goes for your feed, your Instagram feed, whether you're posting videos or not, you should have a consistent look and feel. Filters, like I just said, help you to do this as well as consistent colors or a consistent theme. I've talked about this before when I teach and speak at events, people follow you because they come to expect a certain type of content.

Personally, I can't help but follow photography feeds that are full of consistently strikingly beautiful photos. One thing I love about Instagram is that it gives creators so many options to reach their audience. In addition to the feed and Instagram stories, there's also Instagram life, which is another way to do video. So whether you're providing viewers with a quick tip or showing off a new product update, it's best to use these sparingly. You don't wanna become known for overloading your followers with content that is spontaneous, but not professionally produced, but they can be great in off-the-cuff moments that invite inspiration and engagement.


We've covered strategy and we've covered specific platforms, but how about the technical aspects of video? There are three main components you need to know before I can let you go in good conscious. 

The first one is lighting. Filming with the overhead lights from your office tend to create nasty shadows on your face or on the room. Sunlight or natural light is great, but often sunlight changes throughout the day and it can be tough to maintain a consistent look (if that's necessary). I've definitely experienced that before. How do you deal with this? Turn off the overhead lights in your office, block out as much of the outside light as you can and bring in your own lighting, believe it or not. And a lot of people first think, "Well, it's probably expensive to get a bunch of fancy lights." But all you need is three, three well-placed lights: Right, left, center. And you can put it all together for just about $100 with some cheap clamp lights from Home Depot and some gauze to disperse the light. 

Don't be embarrassed to get scrappy with lighting. The best photographers know how and do it all the time.

Sound is the second technical quality for great videos. Shooting in an empty room can create an echo and reverb. This is not only distracting, but it sounds like you're filming in the bathroom - not a good visual from the mind's eye. There is a rule in video, you can get away with bad video, but not audio. Audio must be high quality, crisp, and clean. No exceptions and no excuses. 

To fix this, you need to deaden up the room. So this sounds weird but sound dampening panels do the trick. If you're in a pinch, bring in a couch, hang up blankets. One of of my favorite podcasters, Grammar Girl, has mentioned in the past that she records her audio podcasts in her walk in closet for the sound quality. You can't really do that for a video, but you can put pillows and cushions around you on the floor and behind the camera while recording audio. It works. You can also just find a room that has minimal echo. Think of something with carpet and curtains. Lastly, make sure to always use a microphone. You can buy an inexpensive Lavalier mic from Amazon for about $30.

The third component of great technical videos is image stability. No matter how steady your hands are, your camera is going to have to work pretty hard to stabilize a handheld shot. If you're editing multiple takes, slight movements can be very distracting, so it's definitely worth the extra effort to stabilize your shots with a tripod. I you are shooting with a phone, you will experience a weird phenomenon called shutter-roll when making abrupt, but even small movements. While you can definitely find more expensive options out there, when starting out there's no reason to not just get on off Amazon for $20. Even when you're shooting live videos or Instagram stories you should use a tripod because  stability is one of those things that your viewers can't always put their finger on, but it helps to add and make your video seem higher quality. What's the saying, they won't notice when the video is stable, but they will notice when it's not. 

OK - just remember the three big technical tips: light, sound, & stability are the three most critical technical elements in video creation. 

My final tip for creating great social media videos is to learn about "The Hook". The first three to five seconds of your video makes a world of difference in all sorts of things like watch time, engagement views, sharing, etc. Focus on creating a memorable first three to five seconds and your video will perform much better. After the 3-5 second hook, to just get right into the content. Don't mess around with title scenes or drawn out intros - no-one cares about your cool time song or your spinning logo. IF you must have that stuff to stroke your ego, work it deeper into the beginning for the video or leave it out until the end credits. On Facebook and Instagram in particular, you only have so much time to get people's attention, so don't waste it. On YouTube & Vimeo though, you might have a little bit more time to mess with. But with the other social media video platforms, you have to get right to business.

There you go. I hope that you are able to walk away with some actionable tips for your own video strategies.

The State of Video Marketing & Youtube Hacks
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I've just come across some interesting insights into the current state of online video. I am starting to wonder if I as marketers are talking about video too much or maybe not enough.

It seems like every time I turn around, new studies are being released about the effectiveness of video on social media. I want to share some interesting insights into the state of video marketing in 2018 based upon the data points I follow on a regular basis.

Let's start with an overview of a few of my favorite stats. Video is on a dramatic rise. One is that 81% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. That's up from 63% as reported in 2017. Another one is that people watch a lot of video. How much video content do people watch on a typical day? The current average is 1.5 hours. And a whopping 15% of people watch more than three hours of online video on a typical day so twice as much.

That's just wild. If you're reading this post, I ask you the same exact question - leave the answer in the comments.

Some other video stats that really make me notice not just the rise of video but the importance of it as well: 76% of marketers say that video has helped them increase sales, 47% say it helped them reduce support queries, 76% say it helped them increase traffic, and 80% of marketers say video has increased time spent on their website.

It's these kinds of stats that really stand out to me, particularly the stat about how visitors spend more time on pages with video. Another one that I love was that they found that 85% of people say they'd like to see more video from brands, which represents a great opportunity when people are telling you they want more from you. How many times do brands hear consumers really say that? 

There are two reasons for that. One, is that people prefer video to learn about things over written text as I do. And two, video content is more sharable. 83% of consumers would consider sharing video with their friends over a link image or text post from brands. People share videos with me all the time. They also share text/articles and photos but video is just as important.


Youtube Hacks

Let's talk YouTube for a minute. This is a channel that I haven't spent too much time discussing here, but considering the fact that it boasts over 1.3 billion users with more than five billion videos watched every single day on the platform, I thought it might be fun to share some hacks. And then if everyone finds these useful, maybe I'll even do a full article on YouTube marketing in the future. So, definitely let me know if that's something you'd like to see. Use the hashtag #askgio on Twitter.

I've been experimenting with my YouTube channels over the last several months and I've seen some really solid growth. I'm talking like 300% increase in video views, 50% increase in followers, and a 50% increase in video watch time, which is pretty decent. So my first hack is on the creation side and that's using YouTube as a massive search engine.

This is one of the most underrated features of YouTube. Or maybe it's more like the most underused features of YouTube for marketers in particular. Let's say you're looking to create a video in your industry, but you don't know which specific topic to cover that will really get you those views. The easiest way to find popular ideas is to use the little YouTube search bar at the top to find the most searched keywords on a particular topic.

What you do is start typing the subject in whatever industry you're focusing on into the search bar and YouTube will automatically complete the word for you with the most popular search terms. Let's say you're a brand that sells fishing gear. All you do is start typing in F-I-S-H-I-N-G into the search bar and YouTube will show you tons of popular search terms that start with "fishing."

You can also reverse engineer that search tactic by adding an underscore before the word doughnut, so you would type in underscore F-I-S-H-I-N-G and then it would populate the most popular terms that are searched along with the word "fishing." And fun fact, you can also do something similar with Google Trends to find popular keyword topics. All you have to do is open Google Trends and type a search term into the explore topics search bar at the top, and once that page opens up, click on web search to open a dropdown menu and choose YouTube search so it filters by YouTube searches specifically. It's just such a simple, powerful tool.

By creating videos around a popular topic instead of just winging it, you can dramatically increased your results. It's a great place to start. One of my favorite tools is a tool which allows you to hack called YouTube Buddy. YouTube Buddy has changed a lot about how I go about YouTube marketing on a day to day basis. It provides insights that in some cases I didn't even know were possible.

YouTube Buddy is a free, easy to use browser extension that provides in-depth insights into every video and every channel on YouTube. All you have to do is install the extension and create an account. And once you have that up and running, you can go to any video on YouTube and it'll show all the metrics and analytics that you could ever want. This allows you to set benchmarks for your own channel while also seeing which videos on certain channels are performing better than others.

The other thing it does, and this can be a huge game changer for you, is that it shows the tags that the creator of the video, on each specific video, is using and where they're ranking in YouTube search. As many of you may or may not know, tags are critical in getting your content discovered on YouTube. YouTube Buddy helps to not only provide suggestions on which ones you should be using in your videos, but also how they're ranking. So you can use this information on your own videos, giving insights to help you increase the amount of traffic to your channel and videos.

So for a quick recap. I use the YouTube search bar and Google Trends to identify keywords or topics that have been proven to already be popular on YouTube. Then, once I have a list of possible topics, phrases, keywords, and such, I use YouTube Buddy to research relevant channels in my space and find out what they're doing that's working for them. And then, and only then, do I get to work

Creating Effective Instagram Stories
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It's incredible to think that Instagram Stories was only just launched in the middle of 2016. It's now at 300 million daily active users, if it were its own app that would make it one of the most used social apps on the planet. In 2016 alone, Instagram generated $1.5 billion. Those figures are expected to grow to 5 billion by the end of 2018.

Instagram Stories has been one of the most exciting marketing channels for many brands. It allows them to diversify their content, connect with their audience one on one, and even drive traffic to their websites. And it's not just because of how many people are using it, Instagram stories are seen by upwards of 7% of brand audiences in organic reach, which is awesome compared to other channels, hence, why I am so excited about the future of this platform.

Let's quickly cover the benefits of using Instagram Stories and then how you can create them using a couple of different apps. Stories increases visibility, which is one of the most important reasons. Whenever you publish a story on your Instagram, your profile appears at the top of the screen. With Instagram's algorithm, that could be important for your brand getting seen by the most amount of people. It automatically shows stories that users are most likely to engage with first. So, if you consistently put out great content your profile photo will be the first every single time someone logs on.

You should be posting often, you should be posting on a regular basis. This will help you stay current in feeds and also increase your chances of being seen by more people. Pro tip: did you know that Instagram allows you to search stories by both hashtag and location? So, be sure to tag your stories to amplify your reach even more. Whenever I use location, the brand I'm posting for can get featured in the location story. When that happens, extra people see my client's story. And when you check to see who has viewed it, you can see that they came from that location. So, that can be really great anecdotally.

And even if you were to put a major city, let's say you're in Houston, you don't have to put the exact location you're at. You could put, let's say, "In Houston." And you have a much higher chance of being seen.

One thing to remember with Instagram Stories, is that your content is more visible because of the adoption rate of users. So, if a user only has 10% of the people that they're following posting to stories, you will have a higher chance of being seen with them because not everyone is on Instagram Stories right now. There's that benefit of being an early adopter. It means that your Instagram Stories strategy should be to post regularly in order to stay current in feeds. Additionally, social media algorithms tend to lean towards users who are more active and receive a lot of engagement.

Another reason to use Instagram Stories is to diversify your content. You can get really creative and post different kinds of content on stories. Stories allows you to enhance your content with colors, and stickers, and text, and filters. It's really not like anything you would see on someone's normal Instagram grid. You can do anything from photos, to short video clips, and boomerangs. There's all sorts of content, and you can repurpose it for later. If it performs really well in stories, you can move it over to your grid.

Diversifying your content is something that many brands find success with. Stories is much more casual than a lot of other platforms, meaning you don't really have to overthink it. The best way to get inspiration for Instagram Stories is what I like to do, and that's to follow other influencers and brands. I literally study how they use stickers, the filters they choose, and what they post about. It sounds silly but you can get great little tips and tricks by following a couple of brands.

There is a reason why Snapchat's biggest users are humans instead of brands. The content provides a more personal connection, whether it's Chrissy Teigen, Casey Neistat, or DJ Khaled, these mega influencers drive engagement, because of the personal aspect of the content. So, Instagram Stories works exactly the same way. It's an opportunity for you to put your face or faces to your brand. We're literally witnessing the transition to humanized marketing. And this is a perfect example of that. These types of videos and images work well because they're different from the rest of searchable social media content.

Rather than your audience only seeing the picture perfect content you post in their feed and on your grid, stories allows you to personally connect with your audience by showing them that you too, are a human which is a great marketing asset. It creates a connection with your audience that you wouldn't have otherwise and unlike traditional social media marketing, it allows you to post as much as you want without cluttering your audiences' feed. Stories also allow brands to do fun personal things like provide special promotions, or run giveaways that are only available in stories. Again, users can witness behind the scenes content only promoted on Instagram Stories. And this makes it a social media outlet that is a more unique and connected experience.

The last thing I'm gonna mention about why stories are important for brands, is that it gives your brand a personality. Instagram Stories can be used to show your company's goofy or lighthearted side or they can just be used to show the day-to-day procedures within your company. For example, when most people buy a t-shirt from a store, they don't think twice about the process of how it got there, because  we live in a generation where so many things are automated. But what if your company leveraged Instagram Stories to show the process of how everything gets to that store, or how you set it to layout in a unique and creative way. Something like that doesn't take much energy but it does make a difference for your audience. Use Instagram Stories to reveal the personality and culture of your business on a daily basis and your audience will love it.

Now let's chat about how to actually create beautiful Instagram Stories.

You can repurpose blog posts or website content, things that you've already created, you've put the time and energy into. You can grab articles from within your industry, and share some fun stats or learnings. And plus there's always breaking news. Stories do go away after 24 hours so if you're sharing something that's really timely on your feed that's always interesting too. I've experimented with repurposing blog posts and website content, and I tend to get a lot of positive feedback around that. Whatever you've put work into already, re-purpose that for Instagram Stories. 

Another cool idea is to to create a series. You can start by committing to one day of the week, you could do a product review, inspirational question of the week, story of the week. For example, there's a personal trainer from Dallas who does a really cool Thursday evening workout. And every Thursday she does work out on Instagram Stories, it's really cool. Even if you're not creating stories, in a traditional form, you can also look into doing Instagram Live since those stay around fro 24 hours.

Now you're convinced or you're not. If you're not, we thank you for shopping and hope you have a lovely afternoon. 

If you are, now's a great time to share some of my favorite apps that I've used to create stories for the brands I work with. 

If you don't have any content at all, Canva is the absolute best tool out there if you're looking for some really great still graphics and templates. It's also great for story boarding as well. When you're in Canva,  create a 1080 wide by 1920 tall template and then you just make five to six to seven stories and then you can download them all at the same time, AirDrop them or email them to your phone and you have some really beautiful graphics for your Instagram Stories.

The second app that I like is GoPro's Quik. It's great for simple animations and short auto-generated music videos, lots of options there. They have a lot of really cool arty effects and transitions built in. 

Numbers three and four is Apple Motion & Final Cut Pro. So this is more for the creative professional who wants to get crazy with their Instagram Stories. You got the text moving all over the place, maybe even video in there. This is for Apple, If you're on Windows, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere are really cool and are similar. Neither is cheap and both have quite a steep learning curve. 

There are also  some awesome tools within Instagram itself such as Boomerang, Hyperlapse, and then one of my new favorite tools that Instagram just released, and that's stop-motion, which is a super epic really cool way to create content.

There's some lesser known, but still really neat tools out there as well. If you want to repurpose videos from your Instagram story, but are having issues with vertical sizing. The InShot app, which is available both on iOS and Android, is the best solution here. This is a free app that converts a video of any aspect ratio into a vertical 9 by 16 ratio, the perfect size for Instagram Stories. This app lets you blur the excess background margins in your vertical video at a solid color or import a photo into the background, which is really great. If you already have video content, this app will be a critical part of helping you repurpose it.

You can also compose vertical video and photo collages with PicPlayPost, which is an excellent free app for combining multiple photos and videos into a collage. It's also available for both iOS and Android. And PicPlayPost is also effective for creating vertical photo video slide shows for your Instagram Stories, so you can get really creative with those. 

Another app is called the Hype Type. It's an iOS app that lets you add flashy text overlays to your content in seconds and this one is super sleek and quick if you're on the go and you wanna get something out there that is really flashy. 


That's it: I hope these tools help and you're making some awesome Instagram Stories.

Database Design Best Practices
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Over the years, working as a seo expert, social media consultant, app developer, and digital strategist, data modeling and database architecture is an important part of my job which is rarely seen or even known by my clients. I have come to know that there are application agnostic tips which should be followed during data modeling and development for every project I work on. Here I put out some tips in the hope that they might

  1. Use well defined and consistent names for tables and columns (e.g. School, StudentCourse, CourseID ...).
  2. Use singular for table names (i.e. use StudentCourse instead of StudentCourses). Table represents a collection of entities, there is no need for plural names.
  3. Don’t use spaces for table names. Otherwise you will have to use ‘{‘, ‘[‘, ‘“’ etc. characters to define tables (i.e. for accesing table Student Course you'll write “Student Course”. StudentCourse is much better).
  4. Don’t use unnecessary prefixes or suffixes for table names (i.e. use School instead of TblSchool, SchoolTable etc.).
  5. Keep passwords as encrypted for security. Decrypt them in application when required.
  6. Use integer id fields for all tables. If id is not required for the time being, it may be required in the future (for association tables, indexing ...).
  7. Choose columns with the integer data type (or its variants) for indexing. varchar column indexing will cause performance problems.
  8. Use bit fields for boolean values. Using integer or varchar is unnecessarily storage consuming. Also start those column names with “Is”.
  9. Provide authentication for database access. Don’t give admin role to each user.
  10. Avoid “select *” queries until it is really needed. Use "select [required_columns_list]" for better performance.
  11. Use an ORM (object relational mapping) framework (i.e. hibernate, iBatis ...) if application code is big enough. Performance issues of ORM frameworks can be handled by detailed configuration parameters.
  12. Partition big and unused/rarely used tables/table parts to different physical storages for better query performance.
  13. For big, sensitive and mission critic database systems, use disaster recovery and security services like failover clustering, auto backups, replication etc.
  14. Use constraints (foreign key, check, not null ...) for data integrity. Don’t give whole control to application code.
  15. Lack of database documentation is evil. Document your database design with ER schemas and instructions. Also write comment lines for your triggers, stored procedures and other scripts.
  16. Use indexes for frequently used queries on big tables. Analyser tools can be used to determine where indexes will be defined. For queries retrieving a range of rows, clustered indexes are usually better. For point queries, non-clustered indexes are usually better.
  17. Database server and the web server must be placed in different machines. This will provide more security (attackers can’t access data directly) and server CPU and memory performance will be better because of reduced request number and process usage.
  18. Image and blob data columns must not be defined in frequently queried tables because of performance issues. These data must be placed in separate tables and their pointer can be used in queried tables.
  19. Normalization must be used as required, to optimize the performance. Under-normalization will cause excessive repetition of data, over-normalization will cause excessive joins across too many tables. Both of them will get worse performance.
  20. Spend time for database modeling and design as much as required. Otherwise saved(!) design time will cause (saved(!) design time) * 10/100/1000 maintenance and re-design time.
What Is Digital Marketing?
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What Is Digital Marketing?


Digital marketing refers to advertising delivered through digital channels like email, sites , social networking, search engines, and mobile apps. Although this term covers a broad selection of marketing activities, all of which are not universally agreed upon, we'll focus on the most common types below.


Paid Search


Paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, typically refers to the "sponsored result" on the side or top of a search engine results page (SERP). You only pay when your ad is clicked. You may tailor your PPC ads to appear when search terms are entered, creating ads that are targeted to a specific audience.


PPC ads are most of all, visible, and flexible, effective for many different types of organizations. They're contextual advertisements--advertisements that appear when there is a person searching for a particular keyword or term.

Search Engine Optimization


To put it simply, search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the articles, technical setup, and reach of your site so that your pages appear at the top of a search engine result for a particular set of keyword phrases. Ultimately, the objective is to attract visitors to your site when they search for products, services, or information.


SEO can be regarded as a set of practices for good digital marketing. It enforces the requirement for a well-constructed and easy-to-use site content, and the credibility for sites and individuals to advocate you by mentioning it in networking posts or linking to your website.

  • 67% of all of the clicks are from the first five listings on a search results page
  • 71 percentof searches resulted in a page one Google organic click.


Content Marketing


Have you heard the expression, "Content is king?" Otherwise, you have now. Content that is great is the fuel that drives your electronic marketing activities:

  • It is a key pillar of modern SEO
  • It helps you get noticed on social media
  • It gives you something of value to offer customers in emails and paid search advertisements


Creating content that's not promotional in nature, but instead educates and inspires, is tough but well worth the effort. Offering content that is relevant to your audience helps you are seen by them as a source of information. In addition to this content makes it less probable that they'll tune you out.

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Social Media Marketing


Nowadays people are watching cat videos and posting selfies. Before participating with that organization, educate, research, and many rely on social networks to discover themselves. For marketers, it's not enough to post on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You should weave elements into every facet of your advertising and create more peer-to-peer sharing opportunities. The more your audience wants to engage with your own content, the more likely it is that they are going to want to share it. This ultimately leads to them becoming a customer.

And they will influence their friends to become clients.

  • 47 percent of all Internet users are on Facebook.
  • 88% of merchandise purchases are Pinterest trapped


Email Marketing


Email has been around for more than two decades, and it's not going anywhere anytime soon. It's still the quickest and most direct way to reach customers with critical information. The reason is simple. Just ask yourself how many times you have checked your email in the past hour...See what we mean?


But great marketers know that not just any email will do. Email campaigns have to be informative, relevant, engaging, and entertaining. These five core characteristics should satisfy to succeed:

  • Trustworthy
  • Relevant
  • Conversational
  • Be coordinated across stations
  • Strategic 


Mobile Marketing


As mobile devices become an integral part of our lives, it is crucial that marketers understand how to effectively communicate on this extremely and unique personal channel. Mobile devices are checked throughout the day, sit next to our beds, and are stored in our pockets. This makes marketing on cellular nuanced but also incredibly important.


From MMS and SMS into marketing, there are many ways to market on devices that are mobile, so finding the right method for your particular business is key. Beyond the mechanisms you have to think across electronic channels about coordination of your marketing and make sure mobile is a part of that mix.


Marketing Automation


Marketing automation is an integral platform that joins your digital marketing all . Without it, your campaigns will look like an unfinished puzzle with a piece that is crucial missing. Marketing automation software automates and streamlines workflows and marketing tasks. It measures ROI of your campaigns and the results, helping you to grow earnings .


Marketing automation will help you gain insight, when used efficiently. It will provide the metrics required to speak confidently about digital advertising's effect on the bottom line to you.

7 Search Engine Optimization Tips For Your Business

Search engine optimization is supported by use of relevant keywords that get your website a higher placement in search rankings on various search engines. Most search engines have algorithms that decide the page ranks and overall website ranks. The algorithms are updated often, and well-managed websites that adhere to the latest standards always have a higher chance of being placed higher in search results.


Listed below are seven simple ways in which you can use organic SEO effectively to add value to your online business.


1.    Using a unique name for your business and domain is the smartest way to make sure you show up in the search results. The name you come up with should also reflect the kind of products/services you offer. It is an added advantage if the name is catchy/funny.


2.    The website homepage and other category pages should have rich snippets to ensure that people are introduced to featured products/ services or any other useful information. Other pages on the website should also be well structured to help them get a higher search ranking.


3.    Page titles should be well described and they should speak about what one can expect on the page. Pages should have descriptive meta page descriptions to make keyword within the search engine results pages easier.


4.    Website pages should be linked very efficiently with each other within the website and with reputed pages outside the website to gain link popularity.


5.    Websites should focus on minimizing graphic elements without compromising on the overall look and appeal of the website.


6.    It is also very helpful to tie up social media marketing techniques with organic search techniques. The combined effect is a thorough Internet marketing plan that can do wonders for the website when executed well.


7.    Cookie tracking, robots.txt, WC3 Code compliance, e-commerce Spider Algorithm synchronization, submitting data to autonomous ranking systems, query strings, databases, content management systems, etc. are some of the technical aspects that should be taken into consideration when optimizing a website for searches. When used right, they can help generate a strong online presence for a website.


Fortunately, most of these services are now available through website designers and Search Engine Optimization professionals who manage your website functions from end-to-end. An online business in the hands of the right SEO professional is a benefit for any online business.

How Voice Search Works

Well, howdy. Good morning, good afternoon. It's funny, 'cause right before we came on the air, Ed brought up a blast from my past, DragonSearch. And back in a previous life, when I was a full-time developer, I used to do a lot of work with... At that point in time, they were Search. Speech API is what we call 'em, Application Programming Interfaces. So we spent a lot of very kinda frustrating hours trying to figure out a way to get computers to actually... And in those days, it was primarily dictation. And so we spent a lot of time trying to develop applications that actually made that stuff work. And one thing that I mentioned to Ed was that... And we're talking late '90s-ish, we had applications that would run and have a 90% success rate. And we thought that was amazing, and fantastic, and wonderful. The issue though is that that 10% is a huge chunk of misses that frustrate the user. And at that point in time, it frustrated the user so much that people just didn't use the products. And Dragon, I'm pretty sure that Dragon and NaturallySpeaking are still out there on the market to sell.


A lot of that functionality has been built in... I use a Mac. A lot of that's been built into the Mac automatically now, and I would assume on the Windows side. But primarily, what I wanna talk about today, in the new area of speech, and this is the great grandchild of what we were doing back in the 1990s, is the artificial intelligence and the search capabilities, not only on the products like the Amazon Alexa, like the HomePod... And I'm gonna be very careful, and I apologize ahead of time if I use any trigger words for any of these devices. That drives me out of my mind when podcasters do that...



Because everything in my house lights up.



I will tell you ahead of time, I'm trying not to use those trigger words, but if I do, I apologize now. And we're talking about the Google Home device. We're also talking about Cortana. Cortana from Microsoft is an interesting animal, because Harman Kardon has got a smart speaker that they've got Cortana built into, and it's a beautiful, high-end-ish audio speaker competing with Apple's HomePod. But one thing a lot of folks don't know, is that 25% of searches that happen on Windows Desktop today are done through speech. And that, to me, when I found out that number a few months ago, I was flabbergasted that you've got, 25% of the time, somebody that's searching for something on... And because what happens is, on the Windows Desktop, you can search anywhere on the Desktop, and it searches the operating system, and the web, and your email, and everything for you at the same time. So people are just talking to their computers and it's getting the answers back.


So not only do we have those products out there, that have all this audio speech functionality built into it, you also have to consider that 60% of all searches for businesses and for services happen on mobile devices today. On top of that, some other interesting numbers, Siri is currently handling well over a billion searches per week worldwide. And now, we know that 20%... Well, in fact, this was back in May of 2017, which is almost a year ago, 20% of searches a year ago, on mobile devices, were done through voice activation, and through assistants, and things like that. So what does this mean for us? 


In very real terms, if you've got a business that is going to be hyper-local, a localized business providing services and things like that, or if you're selling products that are gonna come out of a business like that, it's pretty important to you, 82% of folks that do searches now are searching on mobile devices. Half of those people, this is an insane number, half of the people that do a search on a mobile device visit a brick and mortar store within 24 hours. And of those people that visit, 18% purchase something. Now, before this happened, email marketing was still the absolute king in online marketing, pound for pound. And in email marketing, we are hanging the moon, if we think we're getting 12% open rate.


Forget about conversion. If you can get 12% open rate, you think that your you-know-what doesn't stink. And if you can get a 2% conversion rate, you think you're a rockstar. We're talking about a platform now that has got an 18% conversion rate. That is outrageous. And nobody in marketing, from a standpoint of, "How do I technically attack this and position myself, so I can take advantage of that," hardly anybody's doing it. Why? Because as marketers, we're wired to think about creative, and pictures, and verbiage, and words, and, in fact, calls to action. We do not wanna mess with coding, and this requires coding, if you're gonna own this.


Do you mind? I noted usually...


I've got Ed all excited on the other side of the table.


Yeah, you can tell.



Well, you triggered me. I'm like the machine myself. But the question I think that comes up here, is that based on what you just said, how important is it to optimize your website for vocal search at the local level? 


At the local level is the absolute key, because there are plenty of folks that this just doesn't matter for. And so at the local level is probably the most important element in this. If you're a CEO of a company and you've got 25 dry cleaners throughout a metropolitan area, if you own restaurants, if you own any kind of a brick and mortar store, and your business is focused on... And this is the primary audience, if you have any kind of a business that requires somebody to search for you, and they want you now, and they have to drive to find you, this is where the money's at.


There's four kind of primary searches people do on audible searches. Number one is a "who and what." "Who is Steve Jobs?" "Who was the last winner of the World Series?" "Who hit the most home runs in a World Series... " Those are worth $0 for us, okay? We don't care. That's informational. The number one is a "how." "How do I build a table?" "How do I make enchiladas?" Again, not a whole lot of money in that, unless you're a content provider and you have how-to videos. There's a brand that I worked with years and years ago called Howdini. They're one of the biggest how-to channels on YouTube still today. And they make all their money by driving traffic to their website, to watch videos about how to put on fake eyelashes, and how to change the oil in your car, and stuff like that. Next level is "when." "When is the next showing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi?" Those kind of questions. That can start bringing cash into you. "When is the next Texas Rangers baseball game?"


The big money is "where." Anybody who's doing a search on anything that is close to what your brand does looking for a "where." Those are the folks that are going to go and put money into your bank account. I have run so long already, we're gonna have to finish up next week, but I'm gonna give you a couple of tips. I'm gonna give you some stuff to do right now, to start looking at, and then next week, we're gonna get into more detail about how to actually implement some voice search.


Number one is answering the right questions. What's old is new again. On your websites, we have gotten away from doing FAQs on your website. FAQs need to be put back on your website and the questions on the FAQ need to come directly from an idea. If someone is on Preston Road here in Dallas, and my restaurant is over on Hillcrest, and I wanna find the closest Tex-Mex restaurant, I wanna find the closest insurance agency, you need to put the text on your page that says, "Where is the closest insurance agent to me?" And then you need to answer it in a conversational tone. And so you would answer it in a way that says, "The closest insurance agency to you is State Farm, agent name, over on Hillcrest Road. You can get there in x amount of time." That's the way you answer the stuff.


And so you start testing yourself by purchasing one of these products... If you're a CEO, these things are 100 bucks. Go out, and get one, and start asking it questions related to your business. Find out where your competitors show up. I've got some amazing screenshots I wanna bring into the website, and we'll talk about that later, but next week, I wanna get into some very defined technical implementations that I can share with folks, and I don't expect the CEOs to do this. I expect the nerds on their team to do it. But I can walk them through exactly what they need to do, so that they can own this space, because none of their competitors are doing it.

12 Tips for Email and Newsletter Marketing for Your Business

Having a website is a necessity for a business these days. It is the most important step in creating a brand online. However, most of the websites online do not do very well in terms of generating revenue through online sales. This is mostly because they are not assisted by a well-planned email marketing strategy. Email marketing campaigns are most successful if they are mobile friendly. Here are some important points about email marketing campaigns:


1.    Email marketing can be used for mass marketing without losing out on the ‘personal touch’ front. Many successful businesses online have developed a strong customer base through mailing lists that they regularly provide feeds to. Thus, email marketing is emerging as a strong direct marketing tool.


2.    Emails can also be sent as opt-ins. That is, they can be sent as long as people continue to opt-out of receiving them.


3.    Using a subscription link to your website can make sure that a user who has just made an online purchase or someone who wants to know more about your business but is not in the position to make a purchase at the moment, can access information about your products and new arrivals in a timely manner.


4.    When asking people to subscribe, only the most essential information should be asked to prevent annoying people and discouraging them from subscribing. Including a privacy policy is also beneficial if the information you ask is sensitive.


5.    Newsletters sent out to previous customers and enthusiasts do the job of creating and maintaining brand loyalty. They should be written in an encouraging and upbeat manner to generate interest.


6.    Sales letters should contain the most important information on deals and offers to attract immediate attention. If you are working for a charity, you can also create an effective campaign for people to come and join your cause by using strong images and facts in the emails.


7.    Your emails should always contain links to the website or page on your business that the email is about. It should also contain unsubscribe links, do not reply messages, etc. as applicable. This is all the more important if you are sending automated messages as part of your online customer service.


8.    Transactional email should always contain all information related to the transaction. They should also contain links to help and support and any other contact information. Shopping carts, tracking of shipment, receipts, coupons and deals should always be sent to the customer via email so that the communication and terms of service are clear.


9.    Avoiding spamming is also important when it comes to email marketing. The emails sent to customers/leads should be timely but not to the point of being annoying.


10.    Email addresses change frequently, so an email marketing campaign should always track unresponsive and dead/inactive addresses.


11.    Forwarding emails is also a great way to initiate viral marketing. A simple email marketing letter that includes a ‘please forward’ message can find a lot of new readers because the sender always makes sure to send relevant emails to friends and family.


12.    Emails that contain html and other types of coding should be tested on popular email clients.


Using the best practices in email marketing effectively can help a business increase sales and website traffic.

Measuring Instagram Results for Business

Let's finish where we started last week. We were talking about social media, we were talking about Instagram, we were talking about the proper use of it, and maybe sometimes improper use of it.


Well, I wanna wrap up with the discussion I had with Michael last week on business strategy with Instagram. And last week, we talked about tactics and strategy and execution. And hopefully we don't have to rehash that. If you wanna go back and listen to the first part of that conversation it's up on the website. I wanna talk... I wanna wrap it up now this week and talk about how do you measure the impact of what you're doing, 'cause obviously if we're up there, we're online, we're kicking around a bunch of dust online, you're paying people to do this stuff. At the end of the day, especially with my own site, even with marketing, especially with marketing, you've got to have a way to measure the results of what you're doing so you know if you're doing the right thing, if it's actually benefiting the business and pushing in the right direction.


But could they do it themselves? Or do they need an expert like you to help them monitor the impact of it? 


Yeah, yeah. I would say you want someone dedicated that can learn it. None of this stuff, I hate to say this, you can do half of all your social media stuff for business without having somebody who is, quote unquote, an expert. I mean, if you're doing nothing now or if you're doing a poor job at what you're doing now, just having someone dedicated to it, that's passionate about it, that cares about what they're looking at, is gonna be a step in the right direction. I would love everybody to have access to an expert, of course. Right? 


So I would say at least if you've got someone who is moving in a targeted direction and they understand the basics of marketing, 'cause a lot of stuff that we're doing online, it's not new from the standpoint of the same advertising and marketing we've been doing for decades, it's just we've got a different platform to do it. It's not TV, and radio, and billboards anymore, or it's still some of that. But even back in the day when you had print advertising and stuff like that, you still wanna have some kind of a metric about what the results were. If you had to sell, was like getting a bunch of leads from this magazine or from this TV show or whatever. So, on Instagram, in particular, the first thing I wanna mention, and this is pretty new for us, is in the recent past, it was fairly difficult to get stats out of Instagram. It was kind of a black box. You'd go in there...


I would... Their position would be, and it's the same position that Snapchat's in today, is that as soon as you start turning a platform like that over into a platform where folks who care about statistics want more and more analytics out of it, it loses it's flavor of the week for the folks that use it. So, you've got this conflict between folks go to an Instagram or go to a Snapchat or some of these other applications. In the first days of Facebook they'd go there and Twitter, because that's where they could go and just be themselves and socialize. As soon as people like me get in there and start messing it up and start shoving ads in front of their faces, then it's not fun anymore. And as marketers we've gotta be mature enough to kinda look at the wasteland of all the Myspace's, and the AOLs, and the Dogsters, and whatever the previous generation of social media accounts or platforms and own the fact that we ruined a lot of that stuff because we're marketers and that's what we do. So, we've got to be sensitive to coming up with marketing and advertising plans that consumers actually want to consume, number one.


So what we just described was the ability to make the thing cool and in and popular in lieu of actually having it work before you actually start looking at, we mentioned the analytics.


That's really what we're talking about. It's gotta be cool. People have to wanna use the platform. You have to create migration, you have to create adoption in lieu of just having a pure ad platform.


Revenue. Yeah, in lieu of revenue. And that's why you get a lot of this hocus-pocus with tech startups because they'll sit there and they'll burn through hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, promising a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And they're always talking about, it's about attention. It's about eyeballs and all that kinda stuff. And you're hoping at the end of the day, that once you get that targeted audience and the audience is one that you wanna get access to, you can start integrating in, into it, either advertising or some kind of a revenue stream that's not gonna chase them all the way to the next thing. It's pretty hard to find those. Facebook is one that has been able to fairly, successfully do it. But, their younger audience has completely plateaued. Their younger audience is not growing anymore. Let me get really quickly...


Their younger audience is not growing? 


No, it's not. I mean, they're getting... They're having birthdays, but the size of the audience is not growing. [chuckle] Okay? Was that clear for you? [chuckle] Okay, they're still having birthdays.


I guess it was, I...


This is not Benjamin Buttons. [chuckle]


Yeah, I was thinking, "Wow, man." That just kinda caught me off guard.


It's stunted. Yeah, it's stunted growth biologically. Yeah. Before I have to jump into next week on Instagram analytics, I don't know how much time I've got left, but let's try to hop in on some of these so that it's not a completely wasted segment. So, the big three things I'm looking for on Instagram that I can actually measure for a client are, number one, attention. You can look and see how many people view your content, how many people view your videos. That is a decent measurement of how interested people are in your content because stuff is gonna flow through their news feed fairly quickly if that first thing that they see, that first glimmer of kind of an image or a video that they see grabs their attention, and they click on it and do something, that's indicative of having content that is going to be well received by your audience. And if you don't have that, you don't get anything else after this. So first of all we're looking for attention. It's not an end goal, it's not gonna convert anything necessarily but it has to be there for you to get to the conversion.


Number two is gonna be, the next level, is gonna be engagement. Are people liking your stuff? Surely are they commenting on your stuff? And most importantly, are they sharing their stuff with friends? Again, a share and comment or a like, and this is the frustration with business owners and I totally get it, a share, a comment and a like do not put money in the bank for you. But if you don't have those, you're not gonna get to a point where you can get a conversion. If you're building a house, the plumbing and electricities doesn't cover your head and keep you warm necessarily, but if you don't have plumbing and electricity you're missing an integral part of a home that makes it comfortable and makes you wanna live in it. So, we have to grow from attention into engagement and then we have to move into action. The last and the most important part in the unicorn, especially in Instagram marketing is, once I've got people commenting and liking and sharing our content, can I then move them to action? Can I have them show up to a live event? Can I have them click on a link up in my bio to go and take advantage of a coupon, sign up for a newsletter, download a white paper or, oh my gosh, purchase something? Wouldn't that be nuts? 


We could have you do that. You can actually buy something.


To actually have a social media account where somebody ends up at a sales funnel by pulling out a credit card, that's the main goal. But you don't jump from launching account to making sales. And so the challenge that you have as a business is taking the steps up this ladder to get to that point where you're converting and you don't get there unless you're measuring stuff. And on Instagram, it's much, much more limited than it is on other social media sites, but if you're paying attention to attention, like shares and comments, if those things are in line, then you should be able to mature and move on to the next phase which is how do we now convert these folks and help us pay for the parts and services that we have to offer them.


Exactly. Well, Giovanni, we have about 30 seconds or so left here. You mentioned something we've argued about before. Again, how do you get people to understand the long form that's associated with this and get them to be willing to take that step to do the long form to do it? 


Yeah, I will tell you that in almost every situation, I don't have an answer you want. In almost every situation, I have a CEO or a C-level executive who's the champion of what I do for them that already has that mindset. They are someone that thinks about business in the medium and long term, anytime someone comes to me and wants to do viral, I just have to beg out because I am just like, "I don't create unicorns. I'm a slow and steady, wins the race kind of a marketer."

11 Social Media Tips for Musicians

Promoting live music requires merging offline and online marketing techniques. Here are some tips for what you should be focusing on when trying to get fans to your shows.


1. Email Marketing Is Still King


Pound for pound email is still the best online marketing platform for promoting bands and their shows. A good mailing list is crucial for building a fan-base who will buy concert tickets, merchandise, patronize venues and buy beer (when age-appropriate). A list of fans cultivated for your band newsletter is more dependable than fans, follows, and likes on other platforms like Facebook, tumblr or Twitter. One method for getting people to sign up to your email list is via a sweepstakes. You can give away tickets to future shows, merchandise, or downloads of music or videos.


2. Don’t Be Afraid of Mobile Marketing


While you are building your email list, do the same with your SMS/TXT list and use it! Don’t be as aggressive as with email marketing though – perhaps send out a text a week before your event and then the day before. Be sure you segment your SMS/TXT list by area codes and use appropriately so you aren’t spamming fans in Kansas about your next gig in Kentucky.


3. Know The Local Market


In some large metro areas there are shows all over the city on any given night. Don’t price yourself out of the market. During the SXSW conference in Austin, TX, Live Nation Labs revealed that they have commissioned studies which concluded that ticket price (and associated fees and taxes) is the number one reason why fans decide on attending live shows or not. You are building an audience and many folks in attendance are taking a risk on a band they’ve never heard before. Make it worth their while. You might have to take a hit early on while you build your brand, but if they like you they may purchase your CD’s or other merchandise after the show.


4. Sell Premium Tickets in Advance (and add a little sugar)


Plenty of your fans will say they’re coming to your show but those who have pre-purchased a ticket definitely will. And even if they don’t, you’ve already earned the revenue from the unused ticket! Look for ways to encourage fans to buy tickets sooner if you are needing to drive sales in a more predictable manner. One technique may be to offer the first 50 ticket buyers a chance to go to venue early on the day of the show and meet the band for autographs during soundcheck. Don’t reveal who the first 50 are until you’ve sold the first 150/250/500 tickets or on a particular date and time. Another technique – bundle the tickets with free downloads of your latest release but only award the free downloads to the first 500 ticket buyers. You get the point. Just get creative. Check with lawyer types with the contests though. You can get yourself into trouble fast with the FTC and not even know it.


5. Where Are Your Manners? Introduce Yourself!


Assume the people you are promoting to have never heard of your band. When writing the description about your gig, be accurate and current – better yet – send them a link to a video, photos, reviews, or an EPK with tracks they can sample.


6. Find Your Audience – Don’t Wait For Them To Find You


Don’t be afraid to find your audience from Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook accounts of similar bands. Talk directly to the fans of the music that is similar to yours and be responsible for starting the relationship yourself. You can also connect with fans in the comment sections of online music blogs and magazines. Don’t be afraid to reach out. You already have your love of music in common and fans LOVE connecting with artists!


7. Using Social Networking Correctly


Post your events and invite people no more than two weeks before the show date on Facebook. Too early and people forget. Repost new info about the event a week out, three days out and on the morning of your event. Find fans on Twitter and ask them to retweet your posts using a hashtag with the name of your band. Trending Twitter hashtags can make the front page of Google, so mastering Twitter can (temporarily) boost your organic SEO which can, in turn, have a permanent positive impact on your search rankings. While most of your Facebook work should be done well in advance, Twitter is best used just a couple days before the show (*definately* the night before and the day of).


Also – make sure the venues you are playing at are promoting the show on their Twitter, Facebook, blog, tumbler, instagram, AOL, Compuserve, friendster, MySpace, GEOCities, and Dogster pages as well.


8. Customize Your Facebook Page


There are several companies who can create a customized Facebook page for your band. I’ve used Pagemodo and Wildfire with great success in the past. If you like to get your hands dirty and code yourself you can build your own solution. Start at the Facebook Developer site.


9. Get Listed!


A few weeks before local shows, notify magazines and local music/pop culture sites about your concert. These should be editorial sites like The Dallas Observer and Houston Press, as well as websites devoted to local event listings like GuideLive, Bands in Town and Eventful. Send them a very brief, well-written description of the show, a list of notable shows you’ve played in the past, links to positive reviews, impressive web/traffic numbers the band has on their own site and on social media accounts, and a web-ready, search engine optimized image of the band. Only submit to websites that list shows that are similar to the genre of music your band plays.


10. Slow And Steady Wins The Race


None of this is hard, but there are no quick solutions either. Ever heard of elbow-grease? Get it out. You’re gonna need it.


Everything I’ve mentioned in this list is based upon organic online marketing techniques. It’s all “online marketing 101″ to anyone who is savvy to SEO, social media or other kinds of internet marketing. With that said, it only works when you stick to it, build your audience and cultivate your relationship with your fans. If you don’t believe me, look at the fans who have followed East Texas indie rockers Eisley around the world on and off-line. Ask decades-old members of the KISS

Army. Gene & Paul realized how important the steady, organic growth of their fanbase was to building a career in music long before the internet was around.


11. Get Offline!


Approach local radio and tv stations about doing spots on the air the day of your shows. Approach local newspapers and offer interviews of the band to be printed the day before your show. You are going to be told “no thanks” 999 times out of 1,000. But there is NOTHING equal to getting local coverage in a market. It not only opens you up to thousands of potential fans, but it gives your band’s brand instant credibility (assuming the interview goes well).

Instagram Strategy for Businesses

Today, I wanna talk a little bit about Instagram, and specifically, Instagram for businesses, the kind of strategy. It's funny 'cause with the social media stuff, a lot of times, social media feels easy, and at the same time, it feels extremely hard, and it's very difficult. Especially for a business to be able to figure out what their strategy should be, and what they should be posting up online in a way that's measurable, and actually effective for their business. So and that gets to... The first thing I wanna talk about is when businesses come to me, and when I speak to folks, they typically ask you, "What am I supposed to be posting up on Instagram?" And right off the bat, that's the wrong way to approach something. You've got to ask yourself two questions initially. Initially, what you wanna do is you wanna ask what do you hope to achieve as a business when you're up on Instagram. What are you trying to do? What are the results supposed to look like? And not just some vague 10,000-foot, "We wanna get more customers."


What we wanna talk about is what are the clear defined and measurable goals that need to be a part of an Instagram strategy as a business for us to feel like and know that we're being successful? So that's question number one. And number two is, why should anybody care? One of the things one of my older brothers told me a while back was, "Whenever you start a business... " And he works in law in IP as an attorney. And he used to always look for entrepreneurs that had business card before they had a business. And to him, that was a red flag that they weren't focusing on the right thing, right? And so when we're out doing our marketing and our engagement out on social media, we need to be focusing on why people should care that we're posting stuff? And that inherently means that as a company, we honestly have to look outward to the consumer as opposed to trying to get the consumer to look at us. And that's a completely different mindset. It's hard to get your head wrapped around that.


That's the right way to do it.


Well, it's the most effective way to do it because companies that go out, and always try to push their agenda on a consumer to try to find that consumer that way are the ones that typically fail and they get frustrated, they don't understand why they're failing. So...


That was... Was that in 1960s model? 


Yeah. I'll tell you right now, it's the 2018 model for a lot of businesses. So yes, it's old marketing. It's old advertising, and it's typically... If everything... If all I have is a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. And there's still too much of that. And certainly, there's plenty of companies that are... Especially companies that have been created in the last few years that have a different mindset, but there's still a ton of them. I would say, the vast majority that everything looks like a nail to them. So how do we figure out what we're supposed to be producing for people up on Instagram that is gonna be effective for us? Well, whenever you're looking at people that are on any social media site, and particularly on Instagram, they're looking for one of three things. They wanna be entertained, they wanna be educated or they wanna be inspired or they wanna engage somewhere, and be motivated. Those three elements are what they're looking for. I didn't say they wanna be sold to. I didn't say that they want you to tell them what's best for them. They wanna be motivated so they can discover stuff. They want to be entertained or they wanna be educated about something.


If we can do one of those, that's fantastic. If a business can do two of 'em, you're pretty aware. If you can do all three of those at the same time, you are hitting it out of the park, ninth inning, three runs down, bases loaded because it's not easy to have the creative, and have the execution to be able to do all three of those. But let's focus on what do we wanna do with trying to achieve one of those much less, all three of them? Now, what tactics? Strategy, when we look at the strategy of how we're gonna focus on something, that's the, "why." And we figure out, why are we gonna do something? Now, the "what," is gonna be the tactics. What are we gonna do to support us achieving the goals that we want to achieve? Are we gonna tell stories? Do we have a brand story to tell? And that backs us up into whether or not the brand is fully developed. Is live video appropriate for what we're doing? If we're gonna do live video, and even if we're doing photography on Instagram, what kind of cameras do we use? And it doesn't mean you have to go out and buy a camera, but you got to decide what kind of camera you're gonna use, and how often are you gonna do it? If you don't have any time, and you don't have any resources available, Instagram is a tough platform to break into.


You pretty much wanna focus on other things, more traditional marketing 'cause it takes a fair amount of effort to be successful on Instagram. If you've got some time but don't have a ton of resources, and you don't have a lot of people available to you, then you can create a man-on-the-street editorial content with your phone. Learn some basic, the best practices. And this doesn't mean that the CEOs and entrepreneurs are the owners of these companies. Folks that work for you, pick somebody out that's fairly creative, and get them to learn the basics of photography. And have them do that stuff for you with the folks that are in the office. If you've got no time but you got a ton of resources, either the train is running off the tracks, you're making tons of cash. The business is successful, but you haven't built your team yet, super easy, you outsource it. You get a creative agency to come in, you teach them a little bit about what you brand needs to be, and have them do that work for you.


If you've got tons of time, and tons of people, and tons of resources, then you bring it in-house, and you do it yourself, and you essentially become a publisher. That's obviously the best case scenario because folks inside your business are gonna be the ones that are gonna take care of your business for you, and understand it the best. You need to be able to measure what you're doing. Let me back up really quick. Everybody always wants to know. Everybody always asks, "How often do I post, what do I post, how often do I post." How often do I post they ask it a 1,000 times. The weaselly answer I'm gonna give you is, "It depends." You post stuff and you look at your analytics and the data tells you whether or not your audience wants more or wants less of it. So, that's the first part of it.


Data tells you? 



Data always has the answers for you.



How do you know that what they're telling you? 



Here's the rocket science. When they respond more to it, do more of it. When they respond less to it, do less of it. And the super, super smart person you have at the end of the hour today that talks about data analytics knows a gazillion times more about this than I do. I'm a lowly consultant who's doing this for 20 years and I've learned that when the hockey stick goes up, you do more of what you're doing and when it goes down, you do less, right? 



So, number two, the amount of content you post that is within the areas of entertain, execution, engagement and inspiring folks, outside of that, you clearly have to have some kind of a cause, you have to have some kind of a way to cause people to then act upon your content that benefits your business. You can't just be like an entertainment channel. So, typically in social media, what we wanna do is about 80% of the time, we wanna entertain, educate and inspire people. And in about 20% of the time, we have the ask, the call to action, the whatever.



In social media that's highly visual like video and Instagram and photography and stuff, that number needs to be ramped up to 90% of the time you need to be engaging people in a way that entertains, informs and educates and about 10% of the time, you got to call to action. You ask someone to do something that benefits your company. So, that's a lot to think about this week. That's a lot to get your head wrapped around. Next week, we're gonna roll this into, "Okay now, what are we gonna talk about when it comes how do we measure the success? How do we analyze the different engagements and which ones are worthless and which ones are worth more and how do we reboot our current Instagram branding for our business in a way that feels fairly seamless so we don't turn around and throw all our current members, our current viewers out of whack because we've turned the train on 'em and we didn't tell 'em. Turning the train, I just made that up.

6 Social Media Strategy Errors

In some form or another, I’ve been at this online community building thing for almost 20 years. I started as a developer in 1996 building forums and bulletin boards for corporate America. Today I primarily use photography and video to build brands in tech and entertainment.

While change is constant in technology, one thing that hasn’t changed in all this time are the mistakes companies and organizations make when trying to build their own online communities. This list of six big errors in social media could have been created 10 years ago but it's just as relevant today as it would have been back then. Are you guilty of any of these?


1. Confusing social media strategy with digital marketing


Since Facebook owns the majority of martin share in social networking, many companies don’t pay any attention to the 2nd and 3rd tier social networks. Sure, we play on twitter, instagram and Youtube, but the vast majority of companies who budget for social media in their marketing & communications budgets pay no attention to any networks other than the top four. You compound that with the corporate marketers who equate social media with digital marketing and you have a recipe for disaster.


Social media is a subset of digital marketing. Digital marketing is much broader, encompassing online advertising, email marketing, pay-per-click (PPC), search engine optimization (SEO) and many other disciplines. Confuse these two and you will find yourself with a wholly insufficient digital marketing strategy.


2. Using social networks incorrectly


Too many companies STILL try to use social media to sell when its most effective role is for recommendations. I tell clients that social media is not a direct conversion channel. You can use social media to gently push a product or service but the sale happens outside social media.


Nevertheless, clients try to sell through social networks, the numbers don’t work out and they get frustrated.


The relationship between social media and sales is rapidly evolving and it is certainly possible that in the future social media might become a direct sales tool. We’re just not there yet. What we can do though is generate relevant traffic related to e-commerce in the form of referrals and testimonials from fans and customers.


While social media can support your sales efforts, it’s more accurately a public relations channel, not a direct sales channel.


3. Not understanding how consumers use social networks


Many companies do not understand the context in which users engage on social media sites. They also don’t understand that the context changes from one site to another.


People are in social networks to stay in touch with friends or to network with peers. They want to be informed and share their lives with family, friends and peers. When it comes to wanting to be informed, they are fine with learning about brands, products, services, events, etc. However, the users are more receptive to a message when it’s informative or entertaining and or when it is delivered by a person who they know is independent of the brand.


If you work for a company or organization that is struggling with your online presence, think about how you interact on social networks. Think about what you pay attention to and what you ignore. This context is similar to the context which your organization operates. You need to consider how to effectively integrate your brand into this world.


The bottom line, you must join online conversations with prospects who, in most cases, are not looking for you to impose your presence in their online lives.


4. Disconnect between social media goals and the enterprise’s objectives


Having read the first three items in this list, you can imagine that poor strategic definition is one of the underlying problems.


I have met countless prospects who are interested in starting a social media program who have no budget for any other marketing to support this business. To confuse social media with your overall marketing strategy guarantees you will not reach the expected results. The direct use of social media as a tool for sales, as opposed to a tool for your PR channel is also an issue. You are better off maximizing engagement on your social platforms (likes, RTs, accumulating engaged fans, comments, etc.). Disconnect these items from your web and business objectives. This is not to say you should have goals and that the goals should support the overall strategy. Just that they need to be decoupled from direct sales.


Social media strategies have to be integrated in the digital marketing strategies. They must contribute to the overall strategy without a direct cause and effect.


5. Being reactive vs proactive


Too many companies only react to what they see, but do not try to anticipate what might happen by using tools for social listening. This approach is ineffective for two reasons. 

Many people only contact brands when they have a negative reaction to a product and service. As the social media brand representative you are forced to spend a majority of your time apologizing, fixing and being defensive instead of creating a positive persona for your brand. 


Another large group of users contact with brands comes when they already have made a purchasing decision or already own the product. While you want to connect with and nurture these relationships, in these situations your ability to positively impact your brand’s marketshare is minimized since the consumer’s decision has already been made.

People online are hungry to be fed entertainment and information. You need to bring appetizing content to feed that hunger!


6. Misunderstanding social media measurement and analytics  


Many companies still do not measure their social media campaigns correctly. It is rare to find a direct, measurable correlation between an organic action on social media and an individual sale. Since organizations do not properly define the objectives for social media they inadvertently focus on the wrong metrics (i.e. sales vs engagement).


Teams don’t collect much of the data from the activity on social networks (URLs with tracking code on content, shares, engagement, publications in social networks, etc.). If they have mobile apps, they don’t collect data from their mobile consumers. To be fair, this can get very expensive, very quickly. However there are methods that can be used to duct-tape together a picture of what actions on different networks affect your brand in positive and negative ways. 


Data sources needed to make decisions are not integrated, correlated and reconciled. In addition to the data we collect from social networks, we should take into account the web analytics from our CRM (Wordpress, google analytics, etc), other traffic sources such as paid advertising and email marketing programs.


I can list more, but you get the idea here. Without the necessary data, decisions which are made by marketing teams will be off the mark and ineffective, bringing the entire discipline of social media marketing into question.

If you want to see more posts where I elaborate on these strategic mistakes and solutions, subscribe to my weekly newsletter where I discuss these issues and much more. Beginning in 2016, subscribers to my newsletter will get these articles typically two days before I post them on the web.

SEO Link Building Do's & Don'ts

On this week's podcast, I chat with Ed on WFN1 about whether link building for SEO is still relevant (hint, it is), and what some good and bad practices are when you are building links in 2018.  

Giovanni Gallucci: The first few weeks that I've been chatting with you guys, we've been talking mainly about social media and about Facebook. And so I wanna flip the table here a little bit and let's move over from the social side over to the good old fashion search engine optimization in Google in particular.


Ed: Giovanni, not to just break in there for a second, which I just did anyway, but a lot of people have issues with SEO, they think that it maybe some magic fairy dust or something like that. Obviously, you can just spill a lot of that today especially for people like me who don't really understand it, 'cause it is pretty complicated, so let us have it man.


GG: The best way that I can describe SEO for people who think that it's fairy dust, if you've got an e-commerce site on the web then it's fairly easy to measure the results of the efforts that you put out to make sure that you rank well in SEO. When you've got something where you're doing either services or you're doing point of sale that is in a brick and mortar establishment then it's a little bit more difficult to tie the action of doing the SEO on the marketing to the actual sale of a product or service. Not impossible, there's certainly plenty of indicators that can tell you whether or not you're moving in the right direction. One thing that I... And we can talk about that stuff more in depth. You bring something up that's interesting here about understanding what it is and whether or not it's relevant for your business and your product or service. I want to get a little bit into the weeds today and talk about one thing specifically that came up this past week when I was speaking to a client. And that has to do with links on the internet. One of the oldest tactics in search engine optimization, from the very beginning of this becoming an industry was developing links from one's website over to your website in order to give Google an indication of the value of your content and whether or not you're reputable or not.


Now, in this day and age when we're talking about Facebook and Snapchat and Instagram and Twitter and all these other stuff all the time, a lot of the things that are tried and true foundational marketing techniques online, it's not that they necessarily lose favor, but they're just not as sexy to talk about anymore. We forget about the fact that there are things you need to be doing that are very foundational to your digital marketing that... Right now in 2018, one of the hottest topics in online marketing is AI and chatbots on Facebook in different groups. And when people come to me and they wanna talk about that, the first thing I ask is, "Is your search engine optimization in line? Do you have an email marketing list, are you developing out that email marketing list? How is your general customer service?"


There're so many other things that are foundational to having a healthy business and a healthy brand before you jump all the way over to talking about chatbots on Facebook that I wanted to come back and say, let's talk about links, one of the most basic things you do online in your digital marketing. And I wanted to tell, especially with the audience here that you guys and gals are business owners and CEOs, you guys aren't digging the ditch with this stuff. But I wanna give you some things that you can go to the folks that you have doing the work for you and ask them some intelligent questions about what they're doing for you in your business and get back hopefully, some intelligent answers about either A, we don't do it anymore 'cause it's not fun, or B, yeah, we're doing that and here's the results of it.


So let's talk about links today. Links are what we call off-page SEO. Off-page means there are things that happen outside of your website. Now, there are four, or actually three main things you wanna look for when you have a website that links from the internet over to your website. Number one and most important is the quality of the link. I would much rather have a link from an article talking about something in my industry from the New York Times than I would from the Cincinnati picayune dispatch whatever. Not that the folks in Cincinnati don't write great journalism, but a localized newspaper like that is not gonna be viewed nearly with the same authority as the New York Times will. So quality is number one. Number two is gonna be the text. The words that are used in that link that go from the other website to your website need to be descriptive of the product or services or something that relates to your business. Now, if someone's gonna link to you and they are gonna use your company name and the link, I'm not gonna tell them no, but if I am in cryptocurrencies, I would much rather, much rather have that link be from the phrase "cryptocurrency provider" than I would from the name of my company because if somebody knows the name of my company, they already know how to find me.


Ed: So what you're saying is there's a science and an art to using the right words for those links? 


GG: There absolutely is, and we can get into a whole discussion about how do you find what those key words are. The short answer is find a phrase that describes what you do as opposed to the name of your business. You're gonna be better of because that phrase that describes what you do is a signal to Google that says you're an authority in that area and that's the golden ticket. Number three, the thing we wanna look for is sheer numbers. Once I take care of quality and once I'm able to define the text that people link to me at, I want as many of those high quality relevant links as I can get and make no mistake. One link from The New York Times is much, much better than 100 links from Joe's blog who sits in his basement typing on his blog that only his mom reads.


Okay? I don't care how many free cheap links you can get. They actually can hurt you, because Google knows that that website is trash and you're hanging out in that neighborhood and Google assumes that you're going to assume that same kind of content. You don't want those links and when you get into advanced kind of link building and search engine optimization, you want someone to spend some of their time trying to tell Google, "I know these people link to me, but we don't approve of that link." You don't have to go tell them to take the link down, but there is a way for you to tell Google, "Don't give me credit for that link." And it's funny how you can have an entire part of your marketing plan that disassociates yourself with stuff on the internet that can help you in the search results. And that gets into the two big things you don't want to have; you never wanna pay for a link. I don't care where it comes from. Google knows when you pay for a link and they will blacklist you. You will not be in the Google database at all and if they see you do this, and they'll warn you a couple of times, but if you keep doing it, they'll just kick you out of the database and you'll end up being invisible on the web.


And number two, you wanna make sure that you're not going out and getting spammy stuff. And so, what's a spam link? A spam link is you hire an intern to run around the internet leaving comments on blogs that have links back to your website. A link inside of a comment on a blog does not equal a link in Google's eyes. It equals spam.


Ed: So what you're saying is, in the Google algorithm, they have the ability to discriminate what they consider to be information that's not necessarily germane to what you're trying to accomplish?


GG: Absolutely, and they can discriminate based upon the quality, based upon the neighborhood of the website. They can look and see if they have identified one website as being spammy. They know that if other website sit on that same physical computer, that server, they will assume that the rest of those websites are part of the same enterprise, and they will lose credibility as well.


Ed: They could track the IP address of that link and discern it? 


GG: They can track the address of the individual network card in the machine.


Ed: Wow.


GG: 'Cause you're gonna have 100 websites using a similar IP address, but each computer that has a separate network card in it, there's a MAC address in that card that Google knows exactly what physical computer that website's sitting on.


Ed: That's kind of scary. Giovanni, we have about 30 seconds to a minute left here. What can people do to avoid these kind of mistakes when they're using SEO program? 


GG: The number one thing is you never ever, ever, ever hire a person or a service that promises guaranteed results or promises a high volume of results in a short amount of time. That is the biggest red flag you need to look out for. You play the long game, you do things correctly and you have patience. That's the trick. And the trick is, there is no trick. Anything that's short-term that is a big value in a big game, you will lose it and it will be painful when you lose it.

10 Commandments for Social Media Client Relations

When evaluating your social media consultant/vendor’s performance as it relates to the relationships they have with you and your brand, it’s important to observe the critical elements that define the success or failure of that relationship for you. You should have a list of commandments to act as a clear directive about how they should behave when it comes to your relationships. Some of these may come from defining challenges you personally have when dealing with other vendors, some should address the approach you’d like them to take with online public relations, and others just make sense from a “best practices” point-of-view. Whatever the list has on it, you should refer to it daily and will make changes as appropriate.


Understanding that this list needs to be specific to your situation, these examples may be a good starting point for you to develop for your team. Adopting any of these can only improve your relationship with your vendors and make your campaigns more successful.

  1. We shall be presented with intelligent and aggressive options for our social media pr campaign on a quarterly basis.

  2. We shall be presented with pre-defined goals and metrics by which the social media pr campaign’s success or failure can be easily measured.

  3. We shall be presented with several online and offline pr options providing the best chance of success. We are entitled to use whatever pr methods we feel are best for our campaign and should never be pressured into using social media pr channels that don’t make sense to us.

  4. We shall receive prompt responses to questions.

  5. We shall be informed of the status of his/her campaign on a bi-weekly basis.

  6. We shall be kept informed of the status of the social media landscape and changes in the primary social media platforms as it relates to our campaign strategy.

  7. We shall receive access to the analytics applications and reports used to measure the results of our social media campaign.

  8. We are entitled to have our telephone call/email returned on the same day.

  9. Vendor shall operate in a way that is completely transparent to us. Keeping us informed about what they are doing and why they are taking one approach over another is critical to our learning.

  10. Vendor shall make available their knowledge and experience. Vendor shall offer a training package to teach us their tactics and strategies as we work together to create and execute a successful social media public relations campaign.

Have any to add? I’d love to hear items you’d have on your list of 10 Commandments for Social Media Client Relations.

Basic Tactics for Influencer Marketing

Thinking of adding influencer marketing to your mix? Maybe you want to test the waters with a campaign or two to see what kind of results it can generate for your business? In this podcast with Michael Yorba, I'll get you started with a few tips on what you need to be doing in the beginning.

Transcript below:

Host: Giovanni, let's start with you. You have a special talent for getting people to stand up, take notice and take action with what you do. Let me give you the floor and tell us how we need to follow what you're doing for everybody else. And by the way, this guy has come on the scene and has more people following what he does on our archives, than anybody else in a shorter period of time than anything I've ever seen. I've done this a time or two. Take it away, Giovanni.


Giovanni Gallucci: Well, howdy. Yeah, so last few weeks we've been talking about Facebook and the things that have popped up around Facebook and the organic content on the network. That moves us into an area of, "Now, what do we do about it?" One thing I wanna set up ahead of time is that there are not any single practice within digital marketing that you need to be focusing on. You need to have a healthy, potpourri of different things that you do in digital marketing to make sure that you don't have all your eggs in one basket. And certainly, the thing I'm gonna talk about today is a long-term strategy.


Let's say that you've already got your... And one of the first things you always wanna have set up is your email marketing. You've got your basic social media stuff where you're finally doing customer service, you're telling the world about what you're doing as a business. You're talking to fans that are on your social media stuff. And then you're doing things like search engine optimization and all the other stuff. When we talk about organic content specifically on Facebook, this applies to everywhere, it is gonna be more and more critical for us in the future for us to have other people talk about our brand.


Now. We've always aspired to that. We always understand the benefit of have a word-of-mouth marketing. Well before the internet, word-of-mouth marketing was an entire industry where companies focused on getting neighbors to share with neighbors things about the brands that they used everyday. Because we understand how much more powerful having a recommendation from Michael Yorba who I hang out with once a week and I talk to on the radio. If you come to me and tell me about a product or service, I'm gonna give that much more weight and much more authority than if I see it on a billboard on the freeway. That translates really well into the online world.


One of the key things that I've specialized in in working in digital media is not necessarily buying ads for folks. Not doing the email stuff, which I do that on the periphery. The main thing I do for people is get brands positioned in the marketplace where the fans are doing the vast majority of the heavy lifting for them in the branding. Let's take an example. Let's say one of the hot industries are working right now is the beverage industry. We're talking about everything from kombucha, to cold brew coffees, to mineral waters to all kinds of organic drinks and things like that. One of the things that I focus on is I will take a brand and I will have them say, "Okay. We're gonna focus on a single social media site for a year or for a point where we hit a goal. And we're gonna focus on a single industry focused on that social media site." Just pulling a number out of the air, we may say, "We're gonna measure success at 10,000 followers on Facebook, but we want those followers to be highly engaged in what we're doing, and we want them to be deeply entrenched in the industry.


If I go and I say I take the fashion industry. If I want my product, my beverage to be served up at all the biggest events in say New York Fashion Week or all the satellite fashion weeks that happen around the country, but I don't wanna pay for that access. I don't wanna be a sponsor. It's really important for us to position this brand where the parties that are happening that the organizers from those parties are calling us to have the brand positioned there, so that they get the brand lift to being associated with us.


Long story short, what we do is we start focusing on the people inside that industry that nobody cares about, but the people that make the wheels of that industry go. If we're looking at the fashion industry, I'll look at production assistance. I'll look at makeup artists. I'll look at all the people that set up the shows. I will look at the folks that are the engineers in the music inside. All these people work together within the same industry. You may find someone who focuses on DJs, who only puts DJs inside the biggest events in a local city area. You don't wanna only focus on the actual DJ 'cause those people can be pseudo celebrities themselves. I wanna go to the company that books those people and I wanna ship them on a monthly basis a regular shipment of products so they have it in their office and this is why. That company is the hub of all the spokes that make up the industry. Everybody congregates at that company, that could be a PR organization or it could be an events promotions company.


When they're walking into that company, they have my product there to serve these people. It becomes a part of their natural environment. Without me giving too many specifics about how I do this with each individual client, essentially what is happening is if you focus on that, you focus on say in our example, the fashion industry, event promotions companies. You focus on the folks that book the music for those events. You can focus on the folks that run the trucks and the shipping delivery services. They will start seeing that product where and it's a part of their industry they see everyday. That will then start migrating itself over into the events themselves. The first one I started doing this with, we saw a change from taking that focus to folks inside the industry to eight months later, we had venues calling us at our corporate offices asking where to get the products because people that were going to events of that products who had VIP room or green rooms things, they would have within their contracts a requirement that this product was in the contract and it was in a market that we didn't even service yet.


And within 12 months, so four months after that first cargo, we were getting multiple calls per week in markets that we didn't even have a footprint in. We've been able to do that and it's pretty consistent. The timeline on that is typically six to eight months. We start getting folks calling us, that are the folks that we actually wanna get access to. The first brand I worked with this on, after working with them for five years, we've now been put in over two dozen motion pictures with brand placement without having to pay for it.


We've been put in about a dozen television shows. Again, brand placement that we didn't have to pay for. And we've got associations with real network folks that connect people within these real industries that then turn around and they're the taste-makers for the industry. I've got products sitting on the biggest stages in the world or the biggest events in the world that we don't pay access to get to. But then they end up on those folks' social media accounts, which means their fans wanna be associated with that product because their heroes and the people they aspire to be are drinking that product as well. And I've got three different brands with three different case studies that almost model that exact same process.


The biggest thing that I can recommend to people when they start a program like this, is you've got to start off and be super disciplined about the fact that I'm not gonna go out there and watch five social media platforms. Go ahead and grab... If you've already got 'em, go ahead and hang on to 'em and pay attention to 'em. But your laser focus has to be on the one platform that makes sense to you. And your decision on what that platform is, is your decision to make. Then you need to focus on a single industry that makes sense for where the most attractive consumers are for your business. We get those two things locked in place. And until you hit that, let's say you're mark is 10,000 followers, until you hit that 10,000 mark, you stay the course.


One of the biggest problems I have working with clients, is they come up with some number out of thin air that they need to achieve by some date out of thin air that the need to achieve it by. And then when they don't reach that date, whether it's realistic or not, and when they don't reach that goal, they scrap it and try something else. One of the biggest things you have to do is you have to know that you're on the right path. You need to see that the numbers are going the right direction. But you also have to look at this thing and say, "Look, if I wanna do something for my business that's gonna benefit me in five years and not in five weeks, then you've gotta be mature and disciplined about the fact that you've gotta start something that has meaning behind it and you've got to stick to it and be disciplined."


And in most of these situations, we've broken these out into other industries and other social networks. It's not a case that you just focus on that and you walk away. You achieve that goal that you want to achieve, you maintain it, and then you move to the next industry and the next social network site. And you repeat it and you take what you learned from the first one and then you do it on the second one. And you'll learn some new stuff, you grow, and then you move to the next one.


Host: Wow, great. That was wonderful stuff, Giovanni. Alright. Giovanni, thanks for being the guest on the show and love to hear that information. It was brilliant.