Benefits of YouTube for Businesses

With over 1 billion visitors each month, YouTube is where all the eyes are at.  Both small and large businesses can benefit greatly using YouTube for both internal and external communication and marketing.

Instead of summarizing entire articles, I feel it would be better to share the most important points from each article.

Executive Presentation

Executives tend to have the responsibility to create presentations to show investors and their workforce how the company is doing financially and to showcase new innovations or ideas.  YouTube can help by giving executives the ability to post a video of the presentation to YouTube and embed it on a website that can be accessed by both investors and off site offices and employees.

Training

With this being the digital age, a large amount of jobs require training on the use of proprietary software.  With screen capture software the employer can literally show the employee where to click.  Using YouTube makes the training even better because the company does not have to host the video on a server of their own but just embed it from YouTube and an employee can access it from anywhere, even from home.

Support

Companies invest a ton of money every year in both help desk support for the company and technical support for their customers.  Embedding YouTube videos on the company website that cover common support problems can alleviate stress on help desk and technical support employees, leaving them more time to tackle more pressing problems.

Marketing

Gone are the days of posting ads in newspapers and magazines.  Sure some companies still do it just to cover all of their bases but 30 pictures per second can be priceless.  YouTube videos can showcase products, give demonstrations and provide product data.

Fun and Engagement

Make content not commercials.  Sure you could post a dull commercial selling your cheap razorblades.  With the millennial generation being the largest demographic consuming content on YouTube, companies must make their advertisement videos fun and creative.  Dollarshaveclub.com is the first example that comes to mind.

Everyone starts at Zero

Many businesses and brands get really excited about making a YouTube channel and promoting themselves in fun and interesting ways.  A good amount of them get discouraged, not seeing enough subscribers and likes on their videos.  Now more than ever it takes time and patience to build a YouTube audience.  Competition is fierce and everyone, even billion dollar businesses start at the bottom.

SEO

YouTube, believe it or not, is one of the top used search engines.  When it comes to a videos title, Google recommends using keywords first and branding second.  Tags in a video should be your main keywords.  In your description should be some sort of call to action like linking to your website and other social media platforms.  Strangely enough, Closed Captions should be important too.  It provides another opportunity for keyword usage.

Over the past decade we have seen online video media skyrocket in popularity.  To many it is their main form of entertainment and information.  Everyday creators on YouTube can make millions of dollars from their living room with a good camera and great content.  YouTube IS where business should be.

Sources

PCWorld

Forbes

Udemy – Wayne Ford

Queensland Government

Smallbusinessbc

Advertisements

5 Crucial Pinterest Points For Business

I have research five different blog posts and articles on how to use Pinterest for your business or brand.  After reading all of them I have come up with five main points that I found to be the most important.

#1 Plan for Pinning

Over at amyportfield.com she has an extensive list of The 10 Commandments of Using Pinterest for Business.  One of the most useful was her #1 in the list “Plan for Pinning Success”.  I found that just setting yourself up to go on Pinterest takes a bit of prep work.  You need to set up your account properly so that it applies to your business.  Also, you need to add code to your website in order for it to be verified.  You can also gather all the pin buttons for your blog or website at business.pinterest.com.  She also explains that before you start on Pinterest, you should have your website and blog ready by adding the “Pin it”, “Follow Me”, and “Pin It Bookmarklet” to your website and/or blog.  Oh and don’t forget to integrate all your other social media platforms with Pinterest too.

  • Here are the TL; DR bullets.
  • Take time to setup your account
  • Use the Pinterest Business Centre
  • Prepare Your Blog for Pinning
  • Integrate with Other Social Media Platforms

#2 Create and Curate

Almost every blog and article I read stressed this point.  Create original content and curate content from followers and even other businesses that are relevant to your business.  Your boards should not just be all about your business too.  They should include content that relate to your business.

#3 Pin Inspirations

At least one of your boards should contain content that inspires your products and business.  They should be places, people or moods that can define your brand.  This is also another way to Repin curated content.

#4 Pin About Your Customers

Creating boards that give your customers recognition is a great way to build relationships with them.  They should tell customer success stories.  So if you post a recipe or a How-To content and a customer uses this content successfully then make sure you show case them.  Plus, customer centric boards are a non-intrusive way to demonstrate customer testimonials.

#5 SEO that Shiz!

SEO, SEO, SEO.  Every business should have an SEO plan specifically for Pinterest since boards and pinned content are searchable through Pinterest.  No one will find your awesome content if it doesn’t match common keywords or phrases.  The board should have a keyword, the description should have the same word at least twice and that same keyword should be used in every pin to that board at least once.

After going through these five blogs/articles:

amyporterfield.com

business.pinterest.com

Hootsuite Blog

Forbes

cio.com

Pinterest seems very interesting and fun.  I love creating things in Photoshop and Illustrator, so this seems like a platform I would highly enjoy.

Four Reasons Your Business Needs Twitter

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First, before we get into how to use twitter for marketing, let’s define what Twitter is.

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a real-time social network where people can get news about what is happening I the world, share information instantly and interact with people and businesses around the entire world.

Twitter claims over 300 million monthly active users and 500 million Tweets every day.  With Twitter your business is given the opportunity to connect with and reach potential customers and even offer 24-hour instant support for product issues.

In addition, 80% of users on Twitter are accessing it through mobile devices.  If you have been paying attention, a majority of all internet traffic is through mobile devices.

Here are four ways to use Twitter for your business or brand.

#1 Listen and learn

With Twitter your business can find out what is happening in your industry and it also helps you know what your customers are interested in.  With Twitter search you can find relevant conversations that may pertain to your business and join the conversation if you think it will add value.

#2 Drive awareness

On Twitter a business can make regular communication with their current and potential customers by having those interested in your brand or business “Follow” you.  Also, a business can us Twitter ads to reach defined personas.

#3 Provide customer service

A business can use Twitter as a way to easily reach customers with technical and general customer service issues.  This builds strong relationships and trust with customers and will gain your business new ones.

#4 Connect with influencers

While on Twitter, all the barriers keeping you and your business from connecting with innovators, industry experts and top successful businesses are taken down.  You can use Twitter to spark meaningful discussion with these people or business.  This can raise awareness about your company within its field and build connections that can be invaluable.

On Twitter there is a basic layout that needs to be understood.  Here is a graphic credited to business.twitter.com

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SECONDTWITTERGRAPHIC

I found this information very useful as I have never used Twitter that much and didn’t really understand how things worked.  I would recommend any business owner read all of the information at business.twitter.com

 

Top 5 Most Useful Twitter Tools

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There are many tools on the internets today to help marketers master the Twiter-shpere.  I personally stopped counting at 90 tools.  So after a little thought here are my top five useful Twitter tools in no particular order.

#1 Bit.ly

BITLY

At first it seems as though Bit.ly is just a service to shorten your links, right?  This is incorrect.  A free Bit.ly account will give the user access to a dashboard where the user can shorten and share links to multiple Twitter accounts.  You can also see analytics for any Bit.ly links that you share through the dashboard.  You can also apply the Bit.ly API into other applications such as Tweetdeck to get statistics for links shared through those applications also.  Plus, you can even create your own custom short domain so that you can match your domain to your brand.

#2 Buffer

BUFFER

Buffer allows the user to schedule tweets to be tweeted at certain times throughout the day.  This will help you to not spam 20 tweets within an hour to your followers.  You may have 20 ideas for tweets but this way you can keep your good ideas and spread them out over time.  Buffer also offers analytics on your tweets that will help you determine what your audience loves or hates out of the content you share and the times of the day your tweets get the most interaction.

#3 HootSuite

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HootSuite is a freemium tool.  This means you can use the free plan to manage fewer than five social media profiles and offers analytics.  There is, however, a Pro version of the application that lets you have unlimited profiles and includes enhanced analytics, the price isn’t too bad for only $5.99 USD per month.

#4 Paper.li

PAPERLI

Paper.li is a quite different application from the last three mentioned here.  It allows you to collect tweets and curate them, manually or automatically, into a newspaper styled format which can be automatically shared on your Twitter account daily.  You can collect tweets from followers, users on a specific Twitter list or anyone that mentions a particular hashtag.

#5 Twitterfeed

TWITTERFEED

Twitter feed allows the user to add RSS feeds that will be shared automatically through the user’s Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts every time there is a new update to the RSS feed.  Also, it is not limited to your RSS feed, you add RSS feeds of other people to be shared.

 

As I said at the beginning of this post, I found 90+ tools to use for Twitter and there are probably hundreds.  This is not and end all be all list but these applications seem to be the most useful for marketing yourself or your brand in a timely and efficient manner.

5 ingredients to baking and the science behind them

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Some say baking is an art while others say that it can be a science.  Here are five ingredients commonly used in baking and cool scientific facts about them.

#1 Flour

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Flour is used in almost every baked good whether it be your favorite pastry or a delicious cookie.  Flour is made up of two proteins: glutenin and gliadin.

When you add water to flour to hydrate the ingredients, these proteins are drawn to each other and bond forming a new protein called gluten.

Now that you have dough, the next step would be kneading the dough.  Kneading the dough builds gluten networks which in turn support the bread that it will become later in the oven.  While dough rises, existing gluten threads touch and create more links inside the dough.  When the now kneaded dough is baking inside the oven, the proteins and starches in the flour transform into a sturdy webbing inside your baked product.

 

#2 Leavening agents

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Leavening agents are made up of yeast, baking soda and baking powder.

Yeast literally brings bread to life.  As yeast feeds on sugars in the dough, it produces a liquid that when it touches an air pocket it produces carbon dioxide and alcohol.  The elastic dough traps the small carbon dioxide bubbles and the dough rises.

Meanwhile, baking powder and baking soda release carbon dioxide that only enlarge bubbles that already exist in the batter.

Baking soda reacts chemically with acids such as citrus juice, buttermilk, molasses, honey and chocolate to produce carbon dioxide.

Baking powder adds carbon dioxide twice during the baking process.  Once when it reacts with liquids during mixing and again when it is exposed to higher temperatures in the oven.

 

#3 Eggs

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There are two parts of the egg to consider while baking.

Egg whites

Egg whites work as leavening agents.  When heated, the proteins in the egg whites uncoil and practically explode during the baking process.  The proteins also force out moisture when they are heated which is something to take into consideration while baking.  This can lead to chalky dry pastries.

Egg yolks

Egg yolks, on the other hand, add moisture to baked products.  Too much egg yolks and your baked good could come out kind of wet.

 

#4 Fats

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Adding fats to your baked good can make them tender.  Fats coat the proteins in flour preventing them from bonding with water and forming gluten.  Oil coats flour’s proteins better than butter, therefore, oil based cakes are moister than butter based cakes.

#5 Sugar and Milk

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Sure, sugar gives pastries their wonderful sweetness, but it also helps keep them moist.  There is a scientific explanation behind sugars tenderizing properties.

When you add sugar, the proteins glutenin and gliadin break off separately and not much gluten is formed.  Too much sugar and your baked product will not have any structure.

Milk also helps baked goods be moist.  Milk contains the sugar lactose which bonds with flour proteins and prevents gluten formation.

In addition to their tenderizing properties, sugar and milk promote browning of the pastry.  Bread crust is essentially caramelized sugars.

These are just a few ingredients used in the baking process to make wonderful creations.  It is amazing how science can explain how each ingredient acts and reacts with one another.  Just like with science, baking requires a lot of experimentation.  The addition of a few more measurements of one ingredient could cause disaster or awesomeness.  Subtract some measurements of another and you would get a completely different product.

Yes, mom, even baking cookies has science in it!

Why Donate to Doctors Without Borders?

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So why donate to Doctors Without Borders? You might ask.  Well it is very friendly to people with beliefs that coincide with Secular Humanism.  Doctors Without Borders offers a great deal of help to those suffering around the world due to any number of disasters, whether it be war, disease or natural.  The organization plays a neutral role, not held down by religion, politics, nation, borders, or any dogmatic beliefs.  They will help anyone who will take help. Also, they show an extraordinary amount of transparency and even have been known to produce reports about themselves that do not show them in good light.  This humbleness and openness about mistakes also adds quality to the organization.

Here is a brief history of the organization, as well as some of their accomplishments.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) or Doctors Without Borders as known in the United States and Canada, is an international humanitarian-aid non-governmental organization (NGO) and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.  MSF is best known for its projects in war-torn regions and developing countries facing epidemic diseases.

During the Nigerian Civil War from 1967 to 1970, a number of French doctors volunteered with the French Red Cross to work in hospitals and feeding centers in besieged Biafra.  After entering the country, the volunteers and Biafran health workers were subjected to attacks by the Nigerian army, and witnessed civilians being murdered and starved by the blockading forces. The doctors publicly criticized the Nigerian government and the Red Cross for their seemingly complicit behavior.

“These doctors concluded that a new aid organization was needed that would ignore political/religious boundaries and prioritize the welfare of victims.”

 

The Groupe d’Intervention Médicale et Chirurgicale en Urgence (Emergency Medical and Surgical Intervention Group) was formed in 1970 by French doctors who had worked in Biafra, to provide aid and to emphasize the importance of victims’ rights over neutrality.  During this time, Raymond Borel, an editor of the French medical journal TONUS, created a group called Secours Médical Français (French Medical Relief) because of the 1970 cyclone that had killed 625,000 in Pakistan. On 20 December 1971, the two groups of colleagues merged to form Médecins Sans Frontières.

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Since as far back as 1979, MSF has been providing medical humanitarian help in Sudan.  Sudan has been a nation plagued by civil war and starvation.  In 2009, MSF had reported that it had employed a field staff of 4,590 in Sudan.  These staff attack problems such as epidemic diseases, health care and social exclusion.  They provide many healthcare services such as nutritional support, reproductive healthcare, counselling services and surgery.

In Rwanda 1994 then the genocide began, MSF working along with the International Committee of the Red Cross succeeded in keeping all the main hospitals open in the capital city during the main period of the genocide.

In Sierra Leone, MSF helped vaccinate 3 million Nigerians against meningitis during an epidemic in 1996.

In 1999 MSF launched the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines giving them a new voice to bring about awareness of the lack of effective treatments and vaccines available in developing countries.  They also had a long campaign in Kosovo during the Kosovo War where they provided shelter, water and healthcare to civilians affected by NATO’s strategic bombing campaigns.

The list of achievements goes on for quite a while.  I did not want to bore you with more facts upon facts about the work Doctors Without Borders does.  These humanitarian doctors and nurses see past all the labels, affiliations, lifestyles, who’s side you are on and treat everyone they can as equals.  I find it a breath of fresh air in a world where who you are or what you think determines the quality of help, if any, you receive.

4 Important SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Practices

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So what should we be concerned with when creating content with Search Engine Optimization in mind?  After reviewing some very informative articles on SEO I have found that not only the <title and <Meta “description” are important but also that social media postings that include links to your site impact the ranking of your site.

The most important information I took away from these article are:

  • Titles on web pages
  • The use of Meta tags
  • How inbound links affect SEO
  • The use of common terms

This may not be in the mind of most bloggers or social media marketers but the title of each page on your blog or business website should have a title.  The title is in the HTML code between your <head> tags.

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This title is one of the first things search engines look at when ranking your page.  The title should be brief and descriptive.  If the title is long and contains many keywords it may be ignored.  Also, each page should have a unique title that describes the content held in each page.  Notice on your blog that when a specific blog post is viewed the title changes to the title of your blog post.  Therefore, using brief descriptive titles for your blog posts in very important for SEO.

A few other important tags in the HTML code of your blog, which I am sure can be edited in the paid version of WordPress, is the Meta tag and the alt section of your images.

meta-tags

With the <meta name=”KEYWORDS” or “DESCRIPTION” sections in the HTML code you set a kind of memory bank within your page with a large amount of keywords and descriptions.  The keywords section seems to be dying out in favor of the description.  In the description you can give a short summary of what the content of the pages holds.  With this you still have to keep in mind that keywords are important.  Also, the description Meta tag is often used as the snippet that a search engine displays to the user.

descriptMETA

Inbound links are probably the most important part of having a site ranked well by a search engine.  Inbound links are those that do not reside on your site but are found on outside sources and directly link to your website.  There are two types of inbound links which are text and image based links.  Sure you could be fancy and seemingly smart to have an image, when clicked on, take the user directly to your site.

 Studies have shown that text based inbound links are more effective at both garnering more traffic and improving your Page Rank.

A cool thing about textual inbound links is that the text of the link can have keywords associated with your website and in effect boost your ranking even more.

When thinking of keywords for SEO it is best to use common terms that apply to your target audience but not so common that there is mass competition over that specific word.  So instead of using “Home Cooling Unit” as a keyword use “Refrigerator”.  No one in the target audience for refrigerators will be search for the latter term.

Sources:

seomarketingworld.com

moz.com

Google Webmaster Tools

Search engine optimization

Bing Webmaster Guidelines