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  • The Future Of Video Advertising: 360 Degree Ads Hit YouTube

    Wednesday, September 23, 2015 by
    youtube360 In the famous words of Nam June Paik, “The Future is now!”, at least in the sense YouTube's Advertisements have just pioneered the 360 degree world of video, rolling out the capability on Chrome, Android and iOS. Back in January, Google unveiled being able to support the feature, and has very recently seen the first takers from Bud Light & Coca-Cola with exceptionally high-production value. JR Futrell, YouTube's Ad product manager, remarked the new 360-degree format as a “mobile-first” initiative for two reasons:
    1. Motion - 360 ads will move with the mobile device, allowing you to view the video through a virtual lens.
    2. Mobile Is Dominating - In ten countries around the world, mobile searches have now surpassed that of desktop use, inspiring innovations to keep viewers watching advertisements longer.
      When looking at how revenue is earned on YouTube in the first place, engagement is the most important aspect. It's always been rumored that the more views you have, the more you make, but even videos with 1 million views could earn nothing unless viewers engage with the advertisement. That's why in the ever-changing world of video YouTube has taken the concept of viewer engagement to an entire new dimension: The World of 360 Motion.  

    Not Just For Corporations

    Right away many viewers new to the concept would expect this technology to be limited to corporations or businesses with a large marketing budget to support the production value. But, creating a video in the three dimensional space has become surprisingly easy, and highly accessible to even the smallest business looking to advertise. The trick is acquiring a camera capable of filming 360 Degree video format. As the technology improves, the amount of camera options has readily increased, including:  

    Tapping Into Viewers Curiosity

    In order to run any effective advertisement you must capture the attention of your viewer within a split second. We've all seen the “Skip this Ad” after 5 seconds button, which has set the standard for how fast you need to capture your audiences attention on YouTube. Skipped ads don't create conversions, and nowadays unless there is something dynamic built into a video, viewers are quick to simply ignore it. The goal with 360 Degree video is to take the viewers from a place of feeling passive, into a realm of activity and curiosity. The Ad can involve scripted elements similar to Coca Cola's, or it can simply allow your viewers to spin the camera behind the scenes to get a perspective on how the ad was created. Google sees this innovation as the future of advertising, and as food for thought, imagine how obsolete regular ads will feel once users can tap into this form of virtual reality. Like everything, we're advancing towards higher forms of stimulation.  

    Staying Ahead Of The Curve

    Understandably, many business owners might feel overwhelmed by the prospect of generating 360 ads on their own. However, we assure you the process is as easy as regular video once you own the right camera mentioned above. Getting into this trend before it's inevitably dominant will keep your advertising campaign at the forefront of newer innovations once they happen. The more interesting your ads, the greater ROI for your company. Once you have workable videos, follow these steps provided by Google to upload. Campaigns for 360 degree videos running as TrueView Ads can be set up in Adwords.  
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  • 3 Ways To Make Money With A Blog

    Tuesday, September 15, 2015 by
    A blog that you use to share your knowledge on frequent basis is a small business entity, even if you haven't yet recognized that fact. Starting a blog is starting a journey in several different areas; writing, marketing, social media, even creativity. All these areas can be individualized and you will find plenty of job opportunities on both freelance sites, and startup companies. The blog itself can be turned into a money making property as well, with the right tools and attitude it is possible to earn a solid 5 figure income every year, those who have the right patience and approach are able to have a turnaround of 6 figures. Darren Rowse is one of the oldest professional (and well-known) bloggers in the community, and although over the years he has quieted down, he has achieved a level of mastery over blogging that he can turn any blog into a revenue powerhouse. How do we go about making money with our blogs? Can we do it without being overly invested in writing and publishing? Below you will find the most popular advertising techniques that bloggers employ on daily basis. Remember: You should never compromise the quality of your content for advertising revenue, eventually content that's overpopulated with advertising techniques is going to dry out and you'll feel bad about the choices you made.  

    1. Affiliate Marketing

    Are you familiar with the term affiliate marketing? It's very likely that you've heard it before, and if not here's a great introduction piece that shares some tips, for bloggers, on how to make the most out of it. Affiliate marketing is the process of selling someone else's product that gives you commission for each sale. It may be 35% or 70% -- each program is different. Of course, HostGator has an excellent Affiliate Program. Additionally, sites like ShareASale, LinkShare, and Amazon Associates are among the leading affiliate programs that a vast majority of bloggers use today. Through these sites you can find products in pretty much every niche imaginable, which gives you the freedom of choice as to what kind of products you wish to promote.  

    2. Launch A Product

    To counter the above technique, we can actually try and build our own product; whether it's a simple eBook or an online course -- it won't matter. Launching our own product as a blogger can be an exciting journey of learning, understanding, and most importantly success.
    A successful launch begins with great timing. You might feel a sense of urgency to introduce your service, but rushing could spell disaster. When necessary, temporarily postponing your launch can mean the difference between failure and glowing reviews. -- Chuck Cohn
    Types of products a blogger might create and sell:
    • Courses
    • Webinars
    • Reports
    • Software/Apps/Plugins
    • Video/Audio/DVD
    • Merchandise
    If you have got the available capital, you might also want to consider investing in creating something that people can use to improve their own blogging experience; perhaps a keyword analytics tool, or a platform that analyses social media profiles, Product Hunt is a great place to start for amazing business ideas.  

    3. Paid Services

    Like I mentioned at the beginning of the article, blogging is going to yield you a significant number of skills, all of which can be utilized together (as a blogger) or individually, and still provide a solid stream of income. Here are some of the most common services that bloggers might promote themselves as being able to do:
    • Freelancing -- freelance is the most widely known way of working online, and as a blogger one of the most valuable skills you have is writing and marketing; there's plethora of jobs available to individuals who can do both.
    • Coaching -- you can promote yourself as an online coach who can teach others the ins and outs of successful blogging.
    • Speaking -- make sure that businesses and conferences know that you're available for speaking purposes, not only will it help you to become better at what you do, you will be able to promote yourself beyond your usual reach.
    • Design -- bloggers are often indie designers, which is why you can try and charge for design tips and other design related issues that other freelance bloggers might have.
    • Events -- attending events and promoting your services in the real world is a great way to make new connections and meet new friends.
    • Training -- once you feel proficient enough in building blog sites that are truly community oriented, it might be time to consider training others on a larger scale.
    blogging is definitely not sitting and writing, it is much more than that and you have to spend some time being a blogger to truly appreciate that fact. HubSpot has written a great piece on how bloggers can utilize their blogs to acquire customers instead of visitors. When we start investing our time and energy into something like a blog, it's only natural that we will eventually want to start getting paid for it, not only to sustain ourselves, but to be able to push further and further.
  • What Does Your About Page Say To Your Audience?

    Wednesday, September 2, 2015 by
    Your About Page
    Your about page is a crucial part of your website. You can use it to convey valuable information about your business and connect with your user in new and more meaningful ways. Sadly, most business don’t use their about page to actually deepen their relationship with their users. Instead they just use the page to talk about themselves and give a quick rundown of their services offered. These elements are necessary, but they shouldn’t be the sole focus of your about page.  

    Make Your About Page About Your Visitors

    When you’re at a party, or having a conversation with someone and they keep going on and on about themselves, it’s not a very fun conversation is it? Your about page comes across the same way when you only talk about yourself and your accolades. Instead, try a different approach, and make your about page about your readers. The moment a visitor clicks over to your about page you’ll want to tell them the benefits they’ll receive if they stick around. You want to speak to anything that will prevent them from clicking the back button. Address their needs and pain points as soon as possible.  

    Speak To Their Feelings

    When you can convey emotion and feeling with your about page it’s much easier to get them excited about what you’re offering. By taking the time to explain their feelings, your visitors will automatically feel like they’re accepted and part of what you’re building. It’s much easier to get someone to take action when you show that you deeply understand their needs.  

    Get Into Their Heads

    Once you’ve shown you understand them on a level of emotion you need to make your readers feel as if you can read their minds and present them with the perfect solution. You can do this by going deeper into their pain points, and showing how you can solve their problems, and that you’ve done it before.  

    Use The “Humble Brag”

    When you brag about yourself or your business accomplishments you need to do it in a way that doesn’t turn off your readers. Simply listing your accomplishments can actually isolate your readers and make it harder for them to relate to you. A great way to do this is to wrap your accomplishments inside of a story or a joke. Or, you can highlight them alongside other less than perfect details.  

    Wrap Up With A Call-To-Action

    Once you finish your newly upgraded copy on your about page it’s time to tell your visitor what to do next. Since your about page often gets a lot of traffic you should conclude the page with a call-to-action that leads to a subscribe form or some other course of action. Give your users a way to continue the conversation with you. Making sure your about page connects with your users is a crucial piece a lot of online business owners are missing. Get this piece right and you’ll see your subscribers and relationships start to blossom.
  • YouTube vs. Facebook Video Marketing: Which Is Better In 2015?

    Tuesday, September 1, 2015 by
    YouTube vs FaceBook
    One of the most surprising analytic discoveries of 2014 was the number of desktop views on videos Facebook received in comparison to YouTube, the second largest search engine in the world. While this may seem like a sign of the future, there were several algorithm changes Facebook made right around the same time to severely alter these figures, what happened at the times the red arrows are indicating?
    YouTube vs FaceBook stats
    In Fall 2013 Facebook decided to roll out a new feature, which many of us remember as the auto-play videos no one could figure out how to turn-off. There were seemingly more articles devoted to teaching people how to turn auto-play videos off, than there were talking about the marketing benefits. The point here, is that although Facebook's video views soared for a few months, they all began to plummet once people started turning the auto-play feature off. In May 2014, Facebook reported that the number of videos being posted to their website was 94% steeper than a year prior in the US, and the number of views increased by 50% from May to July. In June of 2014, they also improved their News Feed to where videos are now the most readily visible content on the social platform, ahead of Status Updates, Photos, and by far the links to other sites people share. Along with this update, Facebook has also made it to where YouTube links are being driven out of the News Feed.  

    What Does This All Mean?

    While the numbers might seem like Facebook is onto something revolutionary, the ways in which they've climbed to video success have come by their own hand. By combining auto-play, higher visibility for video, and cutting back on YouTube's reach on their platform, all of these numbers came right at the same time, while simultaneously cutting down on YouTube's views.   Here's What Facebook is Missing:
    • Organic Content Discovery - What happens when you want to find a video of your favorite band on Facebook? You could go their Fan Page and look on the videos tab, but there's no search query to pinpoint all the exact keywords you're looking for. YouTube is still the number two search engine in the world for a reason, their framework is built entirely around searchability.
    • Content Distribution - While Facebook has made it possible for their videos to become embedded to reach outside viewers, YouTube has partnered with Apple, Android, Hulu, and many others to have apps built right into nearly any device.
    • Content - YouTube was founded on February 14, 2005 and has a decade worth of content that's not only important to viewers, but the creators as well. Facebook has a lot of catching up to do in this area, along with the need for a better way to find old videos.

    What Facebook Can Offer

    The majority of this article has been made to debunk statistics that don't carry a lot of weight just yet. The truth is though, Facebook's video scheme has a very promising business model simply based on the social integration aspect. Important Metrics In the top four metrics there is: Engagement, Shares, and Time Spent Watching, three things Facebook is already built for. Facebook also makes it very easy for advertisers to directly target certain social groups, which is essentially the essence of good advertising, knowing your audience.  


    For the time being, YouTube is still the biggest and best video platform in the world, and you can bet any declines they've suffered will regain traction sooner than you think. Facebook has an incredible model working, but according to Forbes Facebook was the one network people used less in 2014. While other platforms like Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and SnapChat all continue to grow, it's a good question to ask whether it's worth investing video into a declining social platform? What are your thoughts and experiences in regards to this on-going debate?  
    *Photo Credits: Cover Photo- Photoshopped by Jeremy Jensen using stock image from: Views Graph, from, modified by Jeremy Jensen with indicating arrows Most Important Metrics,