Toolbox: Cost-effective social media, common online video mistakes, reaching millenials, more

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SOCIAL MEDIA


With this current economic crunch, is social media a cost-effective approach to reach my target market? 


"Social media is a great way to maximize money and find low-cost investments that drive marketing," answers Chris Thornton, CMO of Definition 6. "Like any marketing program, social media has to be done deliberately and strategically, and it has to offer real value and positive experiences to your target audience." 


It's important to be realistic, he says. "In the beginning, pick one thing to do well, and focus on one or two primary objectives," he explains. "If you are not following that principle, you're not going to achieve your goals — even if you are spending less. In many cases, social media may not the best medium for 'pure capitalism,' especially if it doesn't give the user something useful and interesting.


ONLINE VIDEO


What are some mistakes to avoid with online video? 


There are two questions marketers must ask when working in online video, says Matt Kaplan, VP of solutions and chief strategy officer, PermissionT: "How do I truly engage my audience?" and "How can video enhance our storytelling power?"


Kaplan recommends that marketers leverage online video throughout the customer lifecycle, from brand awareness and lead generation to conversion, customer service and support. "For publishers, there's still an 'if you build it, they will come' mentality with online video, but they really need to consider their audience and how to attract it," he says. "We've seen many publishers create video content and expect viewers to just show up and start watching. Building a successful video destination is hard, and it requires ongoing analysis to determine what people find engaging and what compels them to keep coming back."


TARGETING

What's the best way to market to millennials?


"Adept use of new media and search optimization are parts of the multichannel strategy needed to reach this sophisticated audience," responds Eyal Yechezkell, co-founder and CEO of NextWeb Media's Predicto.


Yechezkell recommends that you clearly communicate your relevancy. "Millennials grew up having options — from hundreds of TV channels to dozens of toothpaste flavors," he says. "You'll need to be sure your brand stands out. Build trust. Address customers as a community. Even if your business is not centered on mobile marketing, smartphones and SMS are integral to the millennial conversation. Speak on their terms — use text messages to issue timely announcements, enhance customer experiences, and increase brand awareness."


SEARCH

How important is content and code when optimizing a Web site for search engines?


"There are several modifications that can be made to both the site's code and content to improve its search rankings," says Naveed Usman, principal of the Usman Group. "From a coding perspective, make sure you create unique, accurate page titles and that you use the meta description tag. Additionally, it is important that the site navigation is logical and easy for the end-user to use.


It's also important to offer quality content that is relative to visitors, he notes. "By creating compelling and useful content that is easy-to-read and up to date, the popularity of the site can increase, which, in turn, helps boost overall search engine rankings," he says.

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