Friday, June 13, 2014

Google My Business

In one of our previous blog posts, we had been talking about the Google Places updates saying that Google has been automatically upgrading Google Places listings from the old system to the new Google Places dashboard and creating Google Plus pages under the same Gmail address.

On the 11th of June, Google launched “Google My Business” which is a further integration for putting all Google services useful to businesses in one place, helping businesses connect with customers via Search, Maps, and Google+.

The former page management dashboard has been replaced by a cleaner-looking My Business page and it makes it easier than ever to update the business information. From that page, managers can post content, track analytics, respond to customers, and even launch Google Hangouts. The new system will also integrate with Google's AdWords platform and provide businesses with data about customers and engagement.

The main benefits of Google My Business for customer engagement can be summarized as below.

• Update your business info on Search, Maps, and Google+ to make it easy for customers to get in touch.
• Add photos of your business and a virtual tour of your business interior to help customers see what makes your business unique.
• Connect directly with your fans and customers by sharing news, events, and other important updates from your Google+ page.
• Stay on top of reviews from across the Web, and respond to Google reviews.
• Understand how people find and interact with your business using Custom Insights and integration with AdWords Express.

Signing up for Google My Business

You can simply click the “Get on Google” button at the top of the Google My Business homepage, and follow the steps to add your business information to Google. Please note that any edits will not appear on Google until you verify your business. If your business has ten or more locations, you can add them all at once using the bulk upload tool.

Business owners that had been using Places for Business or Google+ will be transitioned to the new platform. In other words, if you previously used Google Places for Business or Google+ Pages Dashboard to manage your business information, your account has been automatically upgraded to Google My Business.

This new platform will also be welcomed by people who manage non-local Google Plus pages.

If you have a local business and would like to discuss about your integrated local marketing strategy, you are always welcome to give our Digital Consultants a call on 01202 678777.

Author: Aysegul Yigitbasi

Monday, June 09, 2014

Top Ten Tips for YouTube company page engagement

YouTube is a great channel for engagement with a targeted audience
YouTube Engagement Tips

We are regularly asked for our top tips for engaging on social networks. This month we will share some tips for engaging and optimising your YouTube channel pages.

1. Know who, what and why you are connecting on YouTube.  Define your goals and sketch out a storyboard of the video content in a video strategy document.

2. Create a content plan for uploads and comments on other channels. Create consistent, relevant content for each audience, on a regular basis.

3. Listen and know your audience. Interact with your audience. Talk directly to your audience. Respond expediently to comments, establish your expertise, inspire discussions, encourage sharing and build relationships.

4. Identify and follow similar people, influencers, events and organisations. Comment on relevant videos that support your brand identity,

5. Choose a visually appealing cover image. First impressions count. Also select attractive thumbnails for each engagement-focused video clip.

6. Add keywords and full URL link on the first line of the description that links to your website. Add interesting profile information in the About Us section. Add a call to action; written in the description, in the video, or within the video annotation for engagement and to encourage visitors to research your brand further, especially where the profile has a review.

7. Optimise videos uploaded with SEO rich descriptions and tags. Generally, keep the video under 4 minutes: maximum 5 minutes for training videos and short 30 second personal story snippets for variety of engagement options. There are a few specific YouTube optimisation tips in this earlier blog post and YouTube channel optimisation tips.

8. Submit an XML file to Google identifying videos on your website; visitors will then come through to your website rather than to your YouTube page for fuller brand engagement.

9. Make the most of the monitoring and measurement activity metrics that matter on the page, including: Subscribers, Favourites, Shares; Likes to dislikes ratio; Sentiment of comments (ratio of positive/negative); Video retention; Tracking attention span and viewership is helpful in determining a level of interest, repeat this monitoring over a period over a period of time, to assist with benchmarking improvements and gaining insights into trends.

10. Cross promote other channels from your YouTube account by adding links to social profiles on your other networks for cross-device and cross-channel experience.

With 31% of YouTube users saying they would be among the first people to try new products, compared with 14 per cent of non-YouTube users; that's a big market out their for businesses and video is certainly worth factoring into a digital marketing strategy.

Author: Fiona Anderson