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Five Easy SEO Tricks to Improve Your Next Press Release

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade or so, you probably already know something about the importance of search engine optimization. What you may not know is that practicing good SEO is just as essential for your press releases as it is

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How to Create a Professional Promo Video on a Shoestring Budget

There are millions upon millions of blog posts published every single day. That’s been true for a few years now.

And these numbers continue to grow exponentially with the increase in new online sites all competing for the same precious site visits especially when the benefits of organic traffic has become more and more of common knowledge for online marketing.

In turn, content marketing in the form of blogging has become the norm for driving organic, inbound traffic.

Want better search engine optimization? More organic traffic?

Blogging is what most people will recommend. But it’s steadily become one of the most saturated marketing tactics you can use.Download our free guide to learn how to create and utilize video in your  marketing to increase engagement and conversion rates. 

How can you expect to compete with thousands of other sites who have already been blogging for years?

It’s a real challenge. Especially when they’re writing longer, higher-quality posts with more backlinks and higher rankings.

Thankfully, there’s an alternative emerging.

Right now, content creation is moving towards video-based mediums. Even for landing pages, videos have shown to convert better than text. So why isn’t every single business abandoning their blog in favor of a video first strategy?

The biggest barrier? Videos have a reputation as an inaccessible marketing tactic, especially for businesses on the smaller side. And while it is partly true that videos are usually more time-consuming and more expensive to create than text-based content, smaller businesses can still have success investing in the tactic.

You Need Video

Video is dominating online traffic. In fact, it’s predicted to take over the internet in the next few years. Cisco estimates that video traffic will account for 82% of all global internet traffic by 2021.

The majority of internet traffic is already video based. And that number is only going to increase. Why? People haven’t stopped reading text-based content, but it’s getting harder to capture and keep their attention.

55% of all pageviews online get less than 15 seconds of attention. Even in an old 2008 study from Nielsen Norman Group, we were seeing the beginning of this trend. That study found that visitors on average only read 20% of a given page online. Meaning 80% of the text and content on your page isn’t even being seen or read by real people.

In a recent study, CoSchedule analyzed their blog pages with heat and scroll maps to detect how people interacted with their page. They found that most readers only read the top 20-30% of their content.

The scariest finding? Only 10% of users who landed on a given post read to the bottom.

People want information immediately.

They don’t always want to read a 5,000-word blog post to get their information. They don’t want to read a long-form sales page to know how the product will improve their lives.

This trend is becoming more apparent in digital marketing as more and more companies are focused on implementing video-based content distribution:

 

YouTube and Facebook Video are slowly taking over the content scene online.

As blogging becomes more saturated and user behavior shifts towards video-based traffic, it’s no wonder why these platforms are gaining traction.

Currently, Facebook has over two billion monthly active users, and YouTube is just behind it at 1.5 billion monthly users.

 

Currently, YouTube boasts nearly two billion monthly users who watch more than an hour of video content daily, on average. Facebook video posts aren’t far behind, either. The total amount of videos on Facebook has increased by 94% annually from 2014 to 2015. In November of 2015, Facebook hit over 8 billion daily video views, doubling the video traffic in less than a year.

The savvy brands who have jumped on this trend are already seeing the benefits of early adoption.

For example, 3D printer ecommerce brand Robo took advantage of this trend and generated $4.7 million in revenue running video ads on Youtube and Facebook.

Video-based content is the present and the future (as we know it). It’s gaining steam, and it’s only poised to gain even more traction as the years progress.

Video content is going to be necessary when it comes to driving more traffic and sales.

The Key Elements of a High-Converting Video

Not all video content converts. You can’t just throw up a random video on your landing page and expect it to increase conversions.

Here we’re going to look at a few of the most important elements of a converting video and companies have used them to drive more sales.

Keep it short and sweet.

This is perhaps the most important element in driving conversions with video-based content. As we went over earlier, studies are showing that people are growing more impatient when it comes to online content.

Very few people want to read a 20-minute blog post anymore.

We are reading less than ever before because it’s too time-consuming. We all want answers now. ASAP. Yesterday.

And to keep up with that, we can’t simply replace a blog post or a long-form landing page with a 10-minute video. Nobody will stick around to watch the whole thing.

According to a 2016 study by Wistia, as video length increases, you see big drops in engagement levels.

 

One to two minutes is shown to be the golden rule of online video content according to this Wistia study. They analyzed 564,710 videos and more than 1.3 billion video views to compile this data.

When you look closely at the graph, you can see that there is a sharp drop-off after two minutes in length:

 

The longer you take to get to the point, the fewer people will stick around. But, if your video strategy needs to be long-form, don’t sweat it.

The second sweet spot that Wistia identified was 6-12 minutes:

 

According to their research, if someone stays past six minutes, they more than likely will continue that engagement for a few more minutes.

Anything more than that and you aren’t going to see optimal results.

The best bet is to keep your video content within the 1-2 minute mark if you want to maximize your impact. An example of effective short landing page video is BuildFire’s home page explainer video:

 

 

“Our current homepage conversion rate for signups is around 22%. It wouldn’t be that high without the explainer video.” – Ian Blain, Co-founder and CMO of BuildFire

They use a promo-style video explainer that lasts for 1:15 and sums up the business and value proposition. And they get straight to the point. They keep it short and sweet by explaining how users can benefit from their product.

Want to create a video that converts at a high rate? Follow the data. Keep your videos between the 1-2 minute mark for better conversion rates.

Optimize your video size and placement.

Everything makes a difference when it comes to video content. You can’t slap together a video and assume that conversions will roll in.

Even the video size, placement, and dimensions can have a big role in conversion rates.

And when it comes to your landing pages, you need to do anything you can to increase conversions. Your business depends on it.

Wistia conducted a study where they crawled 95,000 different pages to understand how size impacts conversion rates on landing pages. To start, they divided the typical landing page into seven distinct zones:

 

 

As you can expect, video content got more plays when it was higher in zones, or above the fold:

 

 

If you want more conversions, make sure to keep your video content in zones 1-3. That means above the fold or just before your page starts to get too long. For example, check out where BuildFire places their video content, in zone 3:

 

 

This helps to warm up visitors with basic introductory content on your landing page without overwhelming them. If you jump straight into a video without context, you might risk lower conversions.

Warm up your visits with a snappy headline and then get into the video content.

But that’s not all. Video height and width are big factors in play rates and conversions. According to Wistia, videos with a width of 401 to 600 pixels are going to be best for driving more plays:

 

 

 

On top of that, the optimal video height is 301 to 450 pixels:

 

 

These are common dimensions that are great for producing video that doesn’t dominate your screen or appear too small to click.

Optimization is key to getting more plays. If you can get more plays, you have a great shot at getting higher conversion rates. To sum it all up, focus on these elements:

  • Play your video in zones 1-3 on your landing page, ideally above the fold after you’ve provided context
  • Use a video width of 401-600 pixels
  • Use a video height of 301-450 pixels

How to produce a promo video with a limited budget.

Now that you know the key elements in a converting video, it’s time to create one on your own with a limited budget.

Keeping conversions in mind, you’ve got to create a short and sweet video. Here’s how to produce a promo video with a limited budget that is sure to convert.

1) Develop a compelling script.

The first step in producing any great promo video for cheap is coming up with your own script. Most marketers will hire a company right out of the gate to develop a video script, but to save money, you can complete this step within your own team.

You need a video script that resonates with your audience. Thankfully, you can often come up with a script based on your existing landing page.

For example, look at how BuildFire structures their landing page.

 

 

First, they use a compelling headline to generate some initial interest.

Next, they use social proof to back up their claims:

 

Now they show you exactly how any user can use their service for success:

 

 

Then they tease it even further with specific features and benefits:

 

 

 

 

The entire landing page flows like a pre-written script, because it is. The keys to your first video are already hiding within your landing page.

To break it down, here are some of the key factors to include in your script:

  1. Use an intriguing opening line to capture attention.
  2. Use social proof to back up those claims.
  3. Show how easy it is to use your product.
  4. Show what your product does and what benefits it provides.
  5. Explain how the user derives value from it (more conversions, better sales, etc.).

2) Find the right style for your target market.

Next up, you need to figure out what style of video is best for your target market. For example, a video on a landing page for a GoPro is going to be vastly different from a SaaS product, right?

The GoPro video will show the product in use in real time, showing actual footage, rather than animated clips. The SaaS product video will likely show the application in use and animated shorts to add style and appeal to the video.

The key here is to understand your market and what they want to see. To get started, conduct some basic competitor research, or search for the top companies in your niche. For example, if you have a mobile app, you can search for the top applications of 2017:

 

Locate a few of them on the list and head to their site to scout the landing page for video-based content. You should easily be able to locate their product promo videos to see what content they feature:

 

 

You can even copy their script style and video type.

The goal here is to get familiar with the most popular companies in your niche to create video that performs just as good if not better than theirs. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to get the video produced.

3) Produce it for cheap to minimize risk.

Creating compelling video content isn’t cheap. Agencies can cost thousands of dollars to produce a single video for your business. And when it comes to getting conversions, you need specificity.

But not when it comes at the risk of bankrupting your budget on a failing video. Minimizing risk is key when introducing a new medium to your landing pages or content marketing plan.

You can’t afford to invest thousands of dollars in something that doesn’t work. The goal here is to identify ways to produce it for cheap, allowing you to test the waters before diving in head first.

A great place to start is by heading to a freelance service like Fiverr, depending on your needs. If you need an animated-style video short for your landing page, Fiverr is your best bet for getting it done on a budget.

 

You can quickly find great video animators and production specialists for minimal amounts of money. Even five dollars can get you a well-done promo video.

If you can’t find a good production specialist on Fiverr, try locating one on UpWork. You can also post a job listing to have qualified freelancers apply to your job. If you prefer to make your own animated video, you can easily do that using Biteable.

It’s a free software online that allows you to create amazing animated promo videos and product explainers. They have tons of pre-crafted animation slides that you can drag and drop to create a fantastic promo video for your business.

If you have an animation-focused product that is online based, Biteable is a great starting place.

Video content doesn’t have to be expensive.

As blogging becomes more saturated and the market gets crowded, marketers will find new ways to reach customers. It’s not always easy moving your budget into new mediums. Especially costly ones like video marketing.

But in this case, it’s necessary.

free guide to video marketing

 
Free Guide Use Video in Buyer's Journey

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Tesla could surprise everyone and reveal another vehicle at its big semi-truck event tonight (TSLA)

elon musk

  • Tesla is unveiling its all-electric big rig on Thursday evening. 
  • A recent report suggests the company also has other prototype vehicles to unveil.
  • Other known vehicles the company is working on include a compact SUV, a pick-up truck, and a new Roadster. 

Tesla is set to unveil its electric big-rig truck on Thursday evening, but that’s not the only concept vehicle it has in the works. 

In a recent Rolling Stones interview with CEO Elon Musk, writer Neil Strauss said he got a first look at the big rig, as well as other prototype vehicles. 

In Strauss’ article, he describes the area around the SpaceX campus and then begins to describe the Tesla Design Studio, which is where Musk will unveil the semi. 

“But there is a particular building in Musk city that few have visited, and this is where Musk takes me. It is the Tesla Design Studio, where he’s slated to do a walkthrough of the Tesla Truck and other future vehicle prototypes with his team of designers and engineers.”

The fact that Musk was willing to show Strauss vehicles besides the semi suggests that the company could reveal other prototypes soon, possibly at the event Thursday evening. 

Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but it would make sense for the company to show off another vehicle at the event. 

The company has several vehicles in the works that it aims to begin producing by 2020. Tesla is working on a compact SUV, dubbed the Model Y, and a pick-up truck for consumers. It’s also expected to build another Roadster, though, the timeline for it is not as clear. 

We’ll have to wait and see if the company reveals more than the semi, but it would be cool if the company surprised us all by driving another vehicle out of the trailer.

The event begins at 8 pm PT and will be live-streamed on the company’s website.

Business Insider will be covering the event, so check back for updates. 

SEE ALSO: Everything Tesla wants to accomplish by 2020

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[INFOGRAPHIC] How to Optimize Your Content for Search, in 12 Steps

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8 Proven Ways to Grow Brand Awareness — Fast

Have you noticed that certain brands seem to have just popped up out of nowhere and become overnight successes?

I always wondered how that was possible.

Is it just a matter of having one genius idea that no one else ever thought about? Or is it that these hugely successful companies are started by billionaires who have the money and contacts to create something that the rest of us could only dream of?

As it turns out, the answer to both of those questions is, “No.” All we really need is a bit of creativity.Click here to download our comprehensive guide to effective and measurable  branding.

The SlideShare below takes a look at some “overnight” success stories, to see what some brands did to scale their growth in such a short amount of time — as well as what we can learn from them.

How to Build Brand Awareness: 8 Examples

1) Uniqlo

Uniqlo is a Japanese company that ensures it provides casual clothes for all kinds of people.

Growth

uniqlo-1

Idea: Partner with Other Brands

Uniqlo sponsors free admission to New York’s Museum of Modern Art every Friday from 4 PM – 8 PM. That gets its name in front of a brand new audience that it may never otherwise have reached before, and generates positive word of mouth from people who get to enjoy the museum compliments of the clothing company.

Lesson

Partnering with another brand will help you inherit its image and reputation, as well as creating brand evangelists outside of your customer base.

2) Dropbox

Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and share them easily with others.

Growth

dropbox-4

Idea: Refer a Friend

Dropbox made it really easy for users to refer Dropbox to their friends by having sharing options for email, social, as well as a link to share via any other method the user preferred. Users did this to get more space, which Dropbox offered for every referred sign up. This helped Dropbox increase its signups by 60%

Lesson

Consider how your product can help promote itself. The Dropbox product created a heap of referral signups because people wanted to get more space. What would your users want in return for referrals?

3) Evernote

Evernote is a tool for note-taking and collaboration.

Growth

evernote-3

Idea: Launch as a Closed Beta

Evernote initially launched as a closed beta, which lasted for four months. During this time, people had to sign up and send invitations to their networks in order to actually use the service. This created a lot of buzz around Evernote.

By the end of the four months of the closed beta, Evernote had attracted 125,000 sign-ups.

Lesson

Exclusivity creates buzz. Plus, mandatory sharing to access a really valuable product will spread the word without costing you a penny.

4) Buffer

Buffer is a social media publishing tool.

Growth:

buffer

Idea: Guest Blogging

By writing 150 guest posts, Buffer grew from zero to 100,000+ users in nine months.

It had to start on smaller sites and work its way up to the most popular in its industry — but Buffer got its name everywhere by creating really valuable content, even though it wasn’t on its own site. In the end, content marketing accounted for over 70% of its daily signups.

Lesson

Be everywhere in your niche. Providing valuable content on other sites outside of your own will build an engaged audience. Once they know, like, and trust you, you can then market your product or service to them.

5) KISSMetrics

KISSMetrics is a web analytics solution that helps increase customer acquisition and retention rates.

Growth:

kissmetrics

Idea: Create Infographics

Creating 47 infographics earned KISSmetrics 2,512,596 visitors, 41,142 backlinks, and 3,741 unique referring domains. The brand credits infographics as one of the main reasons it grew its blog from zero to 350,000 readers a month, in 24 months.

“If you can make complex data easy to understand in a visual format, you can get millions of visitors to your website.” – Neil Patel, KISSmetrics

Lesson

Experiment with the right formats for your audience. Infographics worked well for KISSmetrics, but something else may work for your brand.

6) Qualaroo

Qualaroo is a pop-up survey service used by websites to help improve user experience.

Growth

qualaroo

Idea: Conversion Optimization

In its earlier days, unless a customer upgraded to a paid account, every website built on the Qualaroo platform contained featured text reading, “Powered by Qualaroo [?]”. The question mark was clickable, and lead to a signup page for a free trial of the product.

Lesson

Use your freemium product in clever ways to get your brand name in front of people, and leverage it for marketing real estate.

7) Yelp

Yelp is a user review and recommendations site for restaurants, shopping, nightlife, entertainment, and more.

Growth:

yelp

Idea: Make it Social

Yelp added a human element to the reviewer experience by building a profile behind each one — which made reviews more trustworthy, and reviewers feel like they were becoming part of a community. Plus, it was an opportunity for them to use Yelp as a reputation-building site. Members could interact with each other by becoming friends, chatting online, or meeting at offline events. Yelp has since accumulated over 142 million reviews.

Lesson

Make your user experience human and personal. Build communities that enable your customers to communicate with each other, allowing them to learn from their experiences and interact over a shared interest.

8) Upworthy

Upworthy is a website with curated, viral content.

Growth:

upworthy

Idea: Test Headlines

At Upworthy, the curators need to come up with 25 headlines for every piece of content. They then select their favorite four, and the managing editor selects two, which are rigorously tested. Upworthy saw nine million monthly unique visitors in just nine months.

Lesson:

Coming up with an attention-grabbing headline for your content can help maximize the reach of your content and your brand.

As you can see, there are various ways to grow brand awareness in a timely way. Remember that new trends are always emerging, which is why continuing education for you and your team is critical to success. There are various ways to train your team, including our free Inbound Course and Certification program.

How to build a brand

 
Build a Brand 2018

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THE VOICE ASSISTANT LANDSCAPE REPORT: How artificially intelligent voice assistants are changing the relationship between consumers and computers

bii consumer usage and interest in VAs global 2017 accenture

This is a preview of a research report from BI Intelligence, Business Insider’s premium research service. To learn more about BI Intelligence, click here.

Advancements in a bevy of industries are helping intelligent digital voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa become more sophisticated and useful pieces of technology. 

Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) are allowing them to accurately understand more information, while upgrades to mobile networks are facilitating quick transfers of data to robust clouds, enabling fast response times. In addition, the swell of internet connected devices like smart thermostats and speakers is giving voice assistants more utility in a connected consumer’s life. 

Increasingly sophisticated voice assistants and the growing potential use cases they can assist in are driving consumers to adopt them in greater droves — 65% of US smartphone owners were employing voice assistants in 2015, up significantly from 30% just two years prior. Consumers are also eagerly adopting speaker-based voice assistants, with shipments of Google Home and Amazon Echo speakers expected to climb more than threefold to 24.5 million in 2017, according to a report from VoiceLabs.

However, there are still numerous barriers that need to be overcome before this product platform will see mass adoption, as both technological challenges and societal hurdles persist. 

In a new report, BI Intelligence explains what’s driving the recent upsurge in adoption of digital voice assistants. It explores the recent technology advancements that have catalyzed this growth, while presenting the technological shortcomings preventing voice assistants from hitting their true potential. This report also examines the voice assistant landscape, and discusses the leading voice assistants and the devices through which consumers interact with them. Finally, it identifies the major barriers to mass adoption, and the impact voice assistants could have in numerous industries once they cross that threshold. 

Here are some key takeaways from the report:

  • Voice assistants are software programs that respond to voice commands in order to perform a range of tasks. They can find an opening in a consumer’s calendar to schedule an appointment, place an online order for tangible goods, and act as a hands-free facilitator for texting, among many, many other tasks.
  • Technological advances are making voice assistants more capable. These improvements fall into two categories: improvements in AI, specifically natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning; and gains in computing and telecommunications infrastructure, like more powerful smartphones, better cellular networks, and faster cloud computing.
  • Changes in consumer behavior and habits are also leading to greater adoption. Chief among these are increased overall awareness and a higher level of comfort demonstrated by younger consumers.
  • The voice assistant landscape is divided between smartphone- and speaker-based assistants. These distinctions, while important now, will lose relevance in the long run as more assistants can be used on both kinds of devices. The primary players in the space are Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Samsung’s Viv. 
  • Stakes in the competition for dominance in the voice assistant market are high. As each assistant becomes more interconnected with an ecosystem of devices that it can control, more popular platforms will have a sizable advantage. 

In full, the report:

  • Identifies the major changes in technology and user behavior that have created the voice assistant market that exists today. 
  • Presents the major players in today’s market and discusses their major weaknesses and strengths. 
  • Explores the impact this nascent market poses to other key digital industries. 
  • Identifies the major hurdles that need to be overcome before intelligent voice assistants will see mass adoption. 

Interested in getting the full report? Here are two ways to access it:

  1. Subscribe to an All-Access pass to BI Intelligence and gain immediate access to this report and over 100 other expertly researched reports. As an added bonus, you’ll also gain access to all future reports and daily newsletters to ensure you stay ahead of the curve and benefit personally and professionally. » Learn More Now
  2. Purchase & download the full report from our research store. » Purchase & Download Now

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U.S. Senate bill would preserve tax-free tuition waivers for graduate students

But universities oppose endowment tax and other provisions in reform plan

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