About Joe Soto

Joe Soto is a leading expert in social media and inbound marketing. A self-described online marketing evangelist, Joe has over 15 years of experience in all aspects of sales, marketing, online lead generation, and Internet marketing. Joe is the CEO of Revenue Inbound, an inbound marketing agency helping clients generate more traffic, leads and sales online. Visit Joe on Twitter @JosephSoto

10 Simple Tips for YouTube Marketing

youtubeIt’s not a question whether you use YouTube as your video marketing tool to reach your audience online, it’s only a question of how well you’ll use it. Here are 10 simple tips for YouTube marketing:

1. Keep your video short.

People generally have small attention spans and the percentage of viewers that are going to stick around for your big finale – and link information – after even 5 minutes is pretty slim. Ty and keep your information brief and to the point. Use your YouTube channel as a method of enticing viewers to view your other content, and give them more information when they get to that point.

2. Don’t forget about your mobile audience.

A growing number of people are using their phones to access YouTube and watch videos. Bear that in mind when you’re including text – it has to be easily viewable on a small screen.

3. Watermark your content.

Keep your information secure and not easily reproduced by others by adding a watermark to your video. Just make sure it’s not too overpowering that it distracts from your content.

4. Spread the word.

Having a consistent level of communication between your YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts will do wonders for your flow of traffic. As soon as you’ve produced a new video, get it out there and let everyone in your network know about it. The good news is that it will automatically post to your Google+ account since you’ll already have your Google and YouTube accounts linked.

5. Focus on SEO.

Add captions, tag your content, add a succinct description, think hard about your title and make sure your video file name is relevant, (dog-chases-car as opposed to 10-10-13) … these are all great methods of making sure your content gets viewed.

6. Think about Audio.

You want to make sure your audience is engaged… but not overwhelmed. If you have spoken audio, it’s good to include intro and outro music to the video. YouTube has some fantastic options to choose from.

7. Prepare your videos.

Use the best quality video and audio equipment as you can afford right now. Keep shaky camera movements to a minimum and plan the video before you shoot it – think about writing a script and practice first!

8. Link.

Make sure you take good advantage of the fact that someone is viewing your content – give them a link to the rest of your content or relevant content, and make it easily accessible in both the annotations and the video description.

9. Do something different.

Never has ‘thinking outside of the box’ been so important. You’re up against a lot of competition and the more you stand out, the better.

10. Go beyond YouTube.

Once you’ve created your video content there are plenty of other video sharing sites online where you can post it and increase your audience.

 

What other tips have you learned that have helped you?

13 Instagram Marketing Tools

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Looking to get the most out of Instagram? Well you are in luck. There are many apps and online tools that can be used in conjunction with Instagram. Below is a list of 25 tools that will help you get more out of your Instagram experience.

Online Tools That Help You Get The Most Out of Instagram

Statigram – This tool is great for engaging your community with contests, tracking your stats, and managing comments.

Igertools – Easy to use tool that allows you to quickly follow your followers back, unfollow those that do not follow you, and easily find new comments.

GramFeed – Is like a newsfeed to view your photos. You can also view your followers photos, like photos, post comments and more. It is an easy tool to use.

Cool Apps You Can Use From Your Smartphone:

Instafollow – This is an app tracker you can download that shows you who followed/unfollowed you, who you didn’t follow back, and who didn’t follow you back. The price to download is .99.

Instatag – This app allows you get more likes and follows by giving you easy tagging options. Using the right hashtags is very important. The app costs .99.

InstaCommentor – This app helps you know exactly what comments were replied to and which ones weren’t. Very important for networking and connecting with others.  Download the app for .99.

InstaEffect FX – This app will help you get those amazing photo effects. There are over 70 photos effects and filters. You can layer as many effects as you want. Definitely worth playing with. The best part is this app is free.

InstaRepost – This app allows you to repost photos you like. It works similar to retweets on Twitter. You can also customize your reposts. It also allows you to search for new photos and find interesting people. This app is free (there is a paid pro version as well). There is a free and paid version.

Textgram – Create texts and share them on Instagram. It is now very easy to quick to text or draw on your photo or without a photo. Download the app for .99.

Over – This is a fun app that allows you to add beautiful text overlays to any of your photos. It comes with images and fonts so you can easily add text or artwork to your photos. Download the app for $1.99.

Superimpose – You don’t need any expensive software to superimpose any more. You can change out backgrounds, foregrounds, mask out parts of the photo, change the size, color and more. The app costs .99.

And lastly if you wanted to turn your Instagram photos into magnets you can with StickyGram. Or if you want you can print out your Instagram photos you can with Copygram.

What are some of the tools you’ve found valuable to use with Instagram? Please share your comments below and download our free guide “How to Grow Your Brand with Instagram”.

 

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Why You Can’t Afford To Ignore Twitter Lists

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Do you use Twitter Lists? If you aren’t familiar with it yet, a Twitter List is a cool Twitter feature focused on getting people and their tweets into a group so you can see them all in just one place. It’s very convenient. Although most businesses have been using it for quite some time now, there are still a few who aren’t – probably because they just haven’t recognized how powerful it is yet.

If you aren’t using Twitter Lists, here are 5 reasons why you should choose the opposite route:

Twitter Lists allow you to organize the profiles you’re following. You can sort them in categories and themes that are relevant to your business. You can create a list of influencers in your industry to help keep you updated with the latest business trends, or you can secretly group your competitors together in just one list.

Twitter Lists reduce the clutter. When you follow tons of people on Twitter, your newsfeed tends to be flooded with tweets. Because Twitter Lists organize people and their tweets, you can avoid the noise by simply going directly to a list and read tweets of important accounts you follow.

Twitter Lists save you time. If you put a group of thought leaders in your industry together in just one list, it’s easier for you to track their tweets and updates. This saves you a lot of time because you don’t have to check each of their profiles just to get the latest scoop of news.

Twitter Lists provide content. Since tweets are filtered automatically, you have a constant stream of retweetable content and a steady source of topics which you might want to tackle on your next podcast, video or blog.

Twitter Lists are a great way of showing support. How would you feel if someone added you to a list that says Top Profiles To Watch? Or to a list of Awesome Inbound Marketers? Wouldn’t it feel great to know that someone values you and looks up to you in your industry? Twitter Lists can be used as a tool to show support and respect for key influencers who initiate a positive change to many businesses.

Ways To Use Twitter Lists

Don’t know how to use Twitter Lists? Here are some of our suggestions:

Location-based Lists

If your audience is targeted by a specific area or place, setting up a Twitter List can work to your advantage. You can add people from that specific location onto your list so you can be more effective in listening to and identifying their needs.

Thought Leaders List

Is there an industry expert you look up to and get insights from? Do you have a mentor who has helped you develop your skills? You can group these people into just one list so you can easily access their profiles in case you need a little motivation to get through a challenging day. If you’re an expert, a Twitter list can help you highlight other experts or great individuals and show recognition for their work.

Customer List

We think a customer list is one of the most important lists you can create. It can be a great resource for improvement as it is much easier for you to learn about the things they rave about your products or services and determine areas for improvement. It can also be used to reward customers and provide an opportunity for them to connect other individuals with similar interests.

Many businesses use Twitter for its clever features such as Twitter List. So if you haven’t paid much attention to this feature before, we suggest that you  jump right in and make the most of it.

8 Instagram Strategies for Sales Professionals

Men on street photographing with smart-phoneThere’s a good chance you are one of the 150 Million people who are actively using Instagram each month.  If you aren’t, you might want to reconsider.

More importantly, there is a good chance your customers and prospects are also using Instagram. It’s yet another opportunity to get in front of them, connect with them and engage with them online.

It’s become so easy for your customer to Google you, or find you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.

The only thing worse than not being active on these sites, is being on them badly.

Here are 8 simple Instagram strategies for sales professionals:

1. Repurpose your marketing and advertising content.

It’s cost-effective and provides another outlet for sharing campaigns around your products/services, your events, and your customer experiences. Remember to add your links in the descriptions and tag your location.

2.  Answer your customer’s questions.

Let your audience know you’re available for engagement by sending the right signals. Use photos and video captions to ask questions that encourage comments and feedback. Answer your customer’s most pressing questions by posting 15-second videos to your Instagram account.

3. It’s ok to mix personal with professional content.

In the past there has been a line drawn between being personal or professional online. That line is now blurred because of social media sites like Instagram. And because of this, more than ever you have the opportunity to be and express your own brand. Adding personal photos allows your customers and prospects a chance to get to know you more intimately, more genuinely. Just use common sense and post sensibly.

4.  Use Hashtags that lead people to you.

If you want others to find you, become familiar with some of the popular hashtags and use those that can naturally work with the content you are sharing. There are a lot of hashtags that are popular by city, so be sure to find the one’s that make the most sense to you. For content creation, create a specific hashtag unique to you and your business.  Once you have your hashtag identified, encourage your customers to caption their photos featuring your business with it, using your hashtag. Remember to talk about it so that your customers know they can use it.

5. Run a photo contest.

Contests are big on Social Media, and photo contests are becoming increasingly popular on Instagram. Steps include 1) determine the theme and hashtag it, 2) set the rules (legal and otherwise), 3) spread the word using your other social media accounts, 4) choose how you’ll determine a winner (user votes, jury, etc.), and 5) give away a prize worth participating for.

6. Link your Instagram feed to Twitter and Facebook

Sharing posts to these networks can help drive traffic to your Instagram page by letting your audience know you are now active on this channel.

7. Leverage Call-To-Actions on your blog posts, articles, and newsletters.

Use specific CTAs in email marketing campaigns that drive to your Instagram. When you publish blog posts, eBooks or other marketing content, reference Instagram posts (where relevant) to expose your page as much as possible.

8. Measure.

Instagram analytics reports are available for free or a small fee.  Then you can understand the performance of your Instagram account, compare your efforts on Instagram against those on other social networks and measure the reach and volume of any hashtag campaign. Check out Statigr.amSumallSimply Measured, and Nitrogr.am.

While I’ve written before about great tools for marketing on Instagram, I hope you’ll use one ore more of these strategies to connect and engage with your potential customers from today forward.

What else has worked for you? Please share your comments below.

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7 Online Tools to Deliver Value First on Social Media

Gitomer Quote 1My favorite chapter in Jeffrey Gitomer’s latest groundbreaking book, 21.5 Unbreakable Laws of Selling, is the one titled “Deliver Value First.” Gitomer challenges you to “leave “added value” and “value add” out of your sales lexicon forever.” Brilliantly, he helps you understand the difference between value and incentives, and explains how value must be delivered first.

I want to give you the tools to help you deliver value differently than your competitors.

Always remember, tools are great but identifying your customer’s problem is where delivering value starts. And listening when they talk (on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter) is your opportunity to fill the value gaps. Delivering value first means helping people to make informed decisions, finding out their needs first and showing an interest to solve their problems not yours.

Here are 7 online tools to deliver value first on social media:

Issuuhttp://issuu.com | Create any number of digital publications, including ebooks and whitepapers.

Visual.lyhttp://visual.ly |Create your own infographics and data visualizations with a great selection of templates.

preziPrezihttp://prezi.com | Cloud-based presentation software that helps users create more dynamic (and more interesting) visual presentations.

Content BLVDhttps://contentblvd.com | Submit sponsored posts or guest posts, target blogs according to reach and relevance and accept offers to publish your content on blogs you approve.

Outbrainhttp://www.outbrain.com | A content discovery platform, Outbrain boasts innovative technology to offer recommendations and help your audience discover more content on your site that is interesting to them.

List.lyhttp://list.ly | a way to create and share lists, as well as integrate collaborative lists into your own blog posts, acting as a catalyst for others to build upon the lists you share.

YouTubehttp://www.youtube.com | What are you waiting for? YouTube has proven itself to be a massively relevant marketing tool for salespeople across the globe and you probably aren’t taking advantage of it yet. Get started, chances are your competitor still isn’t using it or using it well yet either.

How do I use the tools?

Create meaningful content and stay engaged. Your customers, fans and followers will be more likely to engage with you and meet with you because you or your company is a go-to resource for information that can solve their most pressing problems. Your content is like your virtual salesperson who’s ready to answer every question a prospective customer poses, 24/7 via your website and blog.

Provide information to benefit your followers, not just your prospective customers. Even if they don’t lead to your product or service, you’ll be remembered because you are genuinely thinking and delivering value in their best interest, not yours. Just because someone may not be a prospect for your product/service doesn’t mean that person isn’t a valuable contact who should be nurtured. They are on the social networks, they hear opportunities you don’t hear, and may recommend you to people you don’t know.

One last thing. It’s not just about delivering value first. You can and should toot your own horn, promote your product and service and run real campaigns that revolve around your offer(s). But deliver value first a few times, and then promote is the formula to follow. Gary Vaynerchuck refers to delivering value first as “Jab, Jab, Jab” and then creating the right campaign or angle to memorably promote your product/service as a “Right Hook” in his new book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.”  His book is jam packed with case studies to learn from as well – a great way to deliver value first.

The lesson: It is only by delivering value first that you will be remembered, reciprocated and passed on (via word-of-mouth).  The tools are creative ways to differentiate how you deliver value first.

 

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