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Business and EDU Marketing

Ways for Small Businesses to Leverage Their Marketing Tactics Using Facebook

For small businesses that only have a small amount to spare for their digital marketing efforts, it is reassuring to know they can always turn to Facebook marketing.

While there’s a lot of things small businesses can learn from large corporations in terms of Facebook marketing approach, the difference is not actually as vast as it seems.

If you are a small business looking to model your marketing efforts after those campaigns run by big businesses, the following tips should get you off to a wonderful start:

Ensure you have a strategy and a plan.

More often than not, big businesses have a blueprint for their Facebook marketing campaigns.

That means apart from strategizing, forecasting, and plotting, they also have goals in mind and they’ve brainstormed the likely hurdles they will encounter and how to best overcome them.

Small businesses on the other hand, often only create Facebook pages sans any real goals in mind.

Often, they just create one because they see other businesses doing the same.

Fortunately, planning ahead and coming up with a realistic and feasible strategy will not cost you anything.

Figure out what you want out of your Facebook presence.

Additional traffic?

More sales?

Lead generation?

Once you have figured out what your goals are, you are in a better position to figure out the strategies to make your Facebook presence as fruitful as possible.

Ensure interaction and engagement are prioritized.

Social media users (Facebook users included) want interaction and attention.

In most cases, this is the part where big businesses blow small players out of the water.

From virtual gifts to contests to sweepstakes, big businesses often give users what they want.

It is unfortunate to note this is one of the areas where small players fall short.

To help ensure success, it is important that you take into account Facebook’s ideals—engagement and interaction.

Promotional features like sweepstakes, virtual gifts, and others are accessible through the custom tab apps. If you are not taking advantage of it now, ensure that you sign up soonest and start being social.

Be easily available to your customers at all times.

Big businesses often have community managers paid to help ensure interaction with customers are done on a daily basis.

If you are a small business however, there is a huge chance you don’t have the money to spare to hire a community manager.

If you find yourself in the same scenario, consider setting aside at least an hour a day to interact and engage with your audience.

Keep in mind that your online availability might just be the encouragement your next customer needs to make a purchase.

As a general rule of thumb, check your Facebook daily and be sure to respond on time when fans post to your wall.

Put the custom tab applications to good use.

You’ve probably noticed those sharp and customized page tabs big businesses have.

Years prior, companies have to hire managers just to build those tabs.

They were labor-intensive, hand-coded, and difficult to maintain.

Suffice it to say, it was an expense many small businesses can definitely do without.

Fortunately, nowadays, you don’t have to be an expert in programming languages or hire a web designer to create customized page tabs.

ShortStack, and a host of other applications gives small players the ability to create their very own custom tabs effortlessly.

More importantly however, you will have access to the look and functionality at only a fraction of the cost most big businesses shell out for the job.

These custom tab applications have definitely helped level the playing field so taking advantage of them is highly recommended.

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Marketing

How to Promote your Blog through Print Marketing

Blog owners and webmasters are often quick to turn to costly online methods of promotion to help them build their audience and grow their website, but very few seem to be realising and utilising the potential which print marketing can offer your blog, website, or online business.

Often with online methods of advertising you find yourself competing with other companies, blogs, or websites who have huge budgets which you can’t afford to compete with; this isn’t the case with print marketing. Products such as business cards, flyers, banners, and postcards can all be purchased from as little as 10c each, and can yield some incredible results when used to promote a website or blog.

As with any form of advertising or promotion, your designs need to be engaging and memorable in order for them to have the desired effect. To help you try and identify what it takes to make a design both memorable and attention grabbing, I’ve rounded up a few great examples of designs that do both very well and listed them below for your inspiration:

Hopefully these few examples have given you some ideas on what it takes to create a successful print design. If you can incorporate some of these elements into your own design then you should see some great results. It’s important to remember that creativity is key, the more creative you can be then the more chance your card has of being memorable and attention grabbing, so keep that in mind!

Whether you’re looking Presentation folders printing, Envelope printing, custom business card printing, Trade Show Essentials, Letterheads, Design Services and Invitations, you can find it all at the NextDayFlyers website, and all at great low prices too. Don’t delay, head on over to NDF and see what materials you can pick up to help you promote your blog today.

When it comes to having your materials printed you have a large number of choices and different companies to pick from. But, make sure you choose a printing company who are well established and have a proven track record backed up by plenty of reviews. I always recommend NextDayFlyers – not only do they print millions of flyers and other materials each and every month for their customers, but they do it in fine-style, with great low prices, and with an unbelievably fast turn-around time. I would highly recommend you test them out if you need a printer, after using them once you’ll probably find they become your go-to printers every time you need something printed!

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Business and EDU Marketing

4 Tips for Marketing Your Business Online

ID-10069243Growing your online business intelligently shaves many years off of your learning curve. Skilled offline entrepreneurs quickly learn that marketing online requires a different skill set. Stick to the core activities of creating value and making connections to improve your marketing campaign. Target your content by using SEO. Connect with interested prospects through niche-specific social media groups. By sticking to the fundamentals you can lap the lost, unfocused online marketing competition.

Create Value

Create massive value to become valuable in the eyes of your target audience. Shoot helpful videos, create problem-solving blog posts and publish a helpful email newsletter to build your marketing campaign on a foundation of strong, recurring value. Offering value to your target market makes you valuable to people who seek your product or service. Patiently create to rise above the field of competition.

Listen to the needs of your prospects to create compelling content for your target audience. Smart entrepreneurs know that listening makes the difference between online marketing success and online marketing failure.

Target Your Content

Target your content by using SEO to laser point the specific audience you wish to reach. Foolish entrepreneurs try to market to every living, breathing soul within reach. These failures throw in the towel after running out of energy chasing people who are not interested in their venture. Smart marketers target each piece of content created by including niche specific keywords in their content. Post keywords in titles, description fields and blog posts to resonate with your target audience and place higher in search engine rankings from big sites like Google and Bing.

Create each post with your end game in mind. Intend to connect with as many interested prospects as possible through each piece of content which you publish.

Make Connections

Make as many connections as possible to grow your business network on solid footing. The size of your friend network determines the length and depth of your marketing reach. Help people out by promoting their blog posts and commenting on their social networks and blog posts to make more friends. Many of these people will return the kind act, promoting you aggressively. Increasing the number of people who promote you expands your presence quickly. Give to receive. Market other people; help them out and each new, strong connection will be happy to market your content and opportunity to their large, growing friend networks. The more freely you give the more friends you will make and the more easily you will receive coveted web traffic.

Hang Where Your Prospects Hang

Market your opportunity from a smart place. Hang where your prospects hang by promoting your latest blog posts on relevant LinkedIn and Facebook Groups. Run twitter hash tag searches to see what people from your niche are chatting about. Take the time to hang only where you might connect with people who are definitely interested in your venture. Chat with these individuals, ask questions and provide answers to build your connections and marketing your opportunity effectively. For example, if you mentor home business entrepreneurs you would spend your networking day connecting with people on home business-themed Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.

Kelli Cooper blogs about all things business from purchase order lending to how to build a business online.

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Marketing

5 Blog Design Tips to Increase Conversions

ID-10079541A blog can be a great source of money, whether you are simply looking to build ad revenue, or you sell an actual product or service. In the online world, being able to establish trust, authority, and credibility is paramount to making money. Running a quality blog helps you achieve all three of these goals very effectively. But, it can be challenging converting visitors to subscribers to your newsletters and emails, and ultimately, customers. It often takes some trial and error, and you must be patient. But, adopting the following tips can surely get you on the right track.

Put Your Newsletter/Email List Signup at the End of Each Article

Most blogs will have a call to action to sign up for the newsletter/list somewhere on the top of the sidebar. This is a good place for it, and where most visitors would expect to see it. But, this is not the only place it should be. Your newsletter is one of the most powerful tools to keep people coming back to your site and you do not want to waste any opportunity to get people on that list. A request to sign up  should be at the end of each and every blog post you write. Anyone who took the time to read through the whole thing is more likely to enter their email address—at this point, they are thinking, ‘’yeah, I would like to hear more about what he has to say.’’

Make Calls to Action Highly Visible

Getting people on that email list is crucial and you want this call to action to be easily visible and one of the first things a person sees when he visits your site. The sign-up box should be highly contrasted with the general background of your blog—a stand-out box will put it near the top of the ‘’visual hierarchy.’’ Whatever bold color you choose, make sure that is the only element of the page with that same color. Avoid going overboard with your attempts to stand out.  Don’t go crazy with extremely large fonts, circles, arrows or blinking text.

Use Images

People are visual creatures and respond well to images. If you look at a blog with no pictures compared to one with lots of them, you will likely feel an automatic pull towards the one chock-full of visuals. With free services like Flickr creative commons or Freedigitalphotos.net, there is no excuse for not including images on your blog. And do not limit yourself to just pictures. You can make charts, illustrations, diagrams and wireframes.

Above the Fold

To maximize conversions, it is imperative that your call to action and any other important information you want readers to know about your products and services is ‘’above the fold.’’ This means that said information should be seen without your customers having to scroll down. This is the type of stuff people need to see right away so they stay on the site.

Overall Attractive Design and Easy Navigation

Again, people are visual creatures and no matter how helpful or mind-blowing your posts are, an unattractive looking-site will decrease conversions. It can send the wrong message about you and your business. Take a look at the color scheme—does it look welcoming or jarring and ugly? Then there is the issue of navigation. If people have a hard time getting where they want to be on your site, they will get frustrated and leave. If you are a company, for example, and your blog is but one section of your website, including all sorts of links about your products and services while making it hard to find other articles is not a good set-up. If you are not very skilled at creating websites, it may be a worthy investment to hire a company that does custom web design.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about all things online marketing and blogging; she recommends visiting www.Sydcon.com to learn more about the variety of web services they can provide for your business, from hosting to maintenance.

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Marketing

How to Launch an Effective Text Message Marketing Campaign

ID-10089046

Over the years, cell phones have become much more than a device for making phone calls; nowadays, we use them as a computer, television, radio and day planner among many other things. A variety of apps allows you to access all kinds of information and complete all sorts of tasks right from the phone. We can basically run our entire life on them. This makes text message marketing a potentially powerful tool in your marketing strategy. But, like any other tactic, you need to do your homework to develop an effective campaign. Simply blasting messages is not enough to encourage people to patronize your business, no matter what kind it is. Here are some cornerstones of successful text message marketing.

Make Recipients Feel Special

If you are going to use text marketing, it is important to make recipients feel special. If you are sending them information that they can easily find elsewhere, like on your website or Facebook page, they will have little interest in your texts. The deals and promotions you are hawking must be unique to your subscribers. People will see little value in the texts otherwise, and will simply unsubscribe.

Short, Sweet and To the Point

Text message marketing offers many advantages, such as being able to reach customers no matter where they are, provided they have their phone handy (and chances are, this is every waking second.) But, one of the major downsides is the limited amount of information you can include. You need to make the most of the characters available, so crafting messages devoid of flowery language and non-mission critical information is a must. If there is a way to say what you want to say with fewer words, revise. Include only the most important information necessary to inform your customers and get them to take the action you want them to take.

Send Information of Immediate Value

The most successful text message marketing campaigns offer something of immediate value; whatever it is you are hoping to promote with your messages, you want to entice people to act now. If you are offering a special deal to be claimed, it should be something that they must act on in the next five hours, or by midnight. Do not use text message marketing to talk about something that is happening two weeks or a month from now.

Focus on One Thing at a Time

Avoid cramming your marketing messages with numerous offers. Focus on one sales pitch per text and do your best to create a message that is catchy, enticing and includes a clear call to action. Messages with numerous pitches are confusing and it will be difficult to include all the necessary information.

Test the Message

Appearances matter in marketing—poor formatting of your text will reflect poorly on your company and lead to fewer conversions. Before you send out any message, always send it to yourself first to check it and see exactly how it will look to your customers.  This test run is also important to catch any errors or omitted information.

About the Author: Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who enjoys blogging about all thing text message marketing from discussing how mobile coupons work to tips for crafting marketing messages.

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Marketing SEO and SM

Things You Can Achieve Through Social Media and Why Your Strategies Don’t Work

When it started, many took Social Media Marketing (SMM) for granted, but now that it has emerged as the giant of internet marketing, everyone pays homage to it as though it were Holy Scripture. Indeed, SMM campaigns are now a very important component of any internet marketing strategy because of these two major reasons:

1, it helps to inculcate meaningful and realistic relationships between business and customers, and

2, it provides positive SEO benefits good for your site’s page rankings.

This is the easy part and almost everyone can do this successfully, the hard part starts when you have to decide which SMM strategy will work best for you. Here, many an aspiring internet marketer has floundered on the hard rock of indecision and confusion. However, that need not happen to you if from the word go you understand that social media can help your business achieve the following:

  • Increase your brand recognition and reach by widening and expanding your followers, fans and customer base. Did you know that millions of users (potential customers) visit their social media accounts every hour of the day or night?
  • Internet marketing can be so sterile and impersonal if there is no way for one on one communication. This is the gap that social media fills by providing a platform for direct interaction, improving customer relations, opening avenues for direct feedback, and possibly offering means for complaint resolution.
  • Every business needs a unique selling point (USP) in order to maintain a competitive edge over rivals. You can extend your social media strategy to accomplish this by giving incentives in form of games, quizzes, giveaways, coupons, promotion of contests etc.
  • How else can your website go viral? Isn’t it by creating and sharing content to attract new followers, links likes and shares?

These are only a drop in the ocean of what SMM can do for your business, but only if you have a working social media marketing strategy – and this is where many go wrong. The reasons?

  • Being ignorant about the requirements of various components of social media marketing so that you can create effective strategies. Different platforms like Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook etc need different methods of content delivery. Know what content type is best suited for your business. Is it textual, Photos, images or a combination of all?
  • Many users hardly understand the importance of creating impressive social media profiles. Whether you do this in form of a short write-up about your business, or a short video depicting your company, your profile must be an instant attention grabber.
  • Failure to understand who your target audience is, and what is likely to appeal to them a lot. Interact with your visitors in a way that suits their interests and answers to their needs. This should not be a once-in –a-while practice but a regular habit.
  • It is imprudent to continue with your social media efforts without paying attention to the statistics generated.  Always look at the feedback you get in order to determine how effective each strategy is for promoting your brand. Do not forget to measure the effectiveness of your effort, time and money.

So, do you understand why the various components of social media should interact well in order to produce the desired results? OK, let’s see where you are stuck.

 

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Business and EDU Marketing

6 Tips for Building a Magnetic Video Marketing Campaign

ID-10088118 (1)Internet marketers need every trick in the book to build solid relationships with potential customers. The average online user adopts a more sophisticated, discerning air than in years past so to impress these individuals practice creating an emotional bond with your audience by creating videos. Boost your trust factor, expand brand awareness and enjoy expressing yourself through the content creation medium.

Look into the Camera

Look into the camera to connect with your viewers. The camera serves as the eyes in your conversation with the internet world. Avoid looking away frequently or you tend to lose viewers quickly. Few people tolerate a disinterested, unconfident video marketer. Practice looking directly into the camera for the entirety of your videos to build a strong bond with your audience.

Lighting Counts

Lighting makes or breaks your video marketing campaign. Good light accentuates your features and improves the quality of your content. Poor lighting distracts viewers. Try shooting videos in controlled indoor settings where lighting can be manipulated. If you decide to shoot outdoor videos create your content either in the late morning or early afternoon to take advantage of optimal natural lighting.

Build Videos Around Keywords

Speak directly to your target audience by using keywords. Smart video marketers select semi-competitive niche specific keywords to drive targeted viewers to their videos. Post the keyword in the video title, description field and mention the keyword in the video itself to optimize your SEO efforts and draw interested viewers to your video channel.

Practice

Shooting your first video can be a daunting experience because most people look and sound funny after seeing their first recording. Practicing your video creation skills is one quick way to get over your self conscious fears and worries. Shoot at least one video daily to familiarize yourself with your appearance and voice on camera. By practicing you gain confidence in yourself, your delivery and overall message. Never allow a day to pass without shooting a valuable video.

Short and Sweet Works Best

Create one to three minute long videos to increase viewership of your channel. Busy individuals have little patience for 8, 10 or 20 minute long videos since. Get to the point by creating short, punchy and value-packed video offerings each day. The average attention span leaves town after the first few dull seconds of a lifeless video so get to the point quickly then exit stage left.

Speak Loud and Clear

Speak a loud and clear message to resonate strongly with your target audience. Even the most knowledgeable video marketer fails to reach viewers unless the individual speaks a powerful, intense message. Think of how the most skilled orator can catch your attention in a split second. These individuals perfected their craft over many year’s worth of speaking on stage or video. Practice talking in a loud, forceful voice. It is better to be a bit loud and to have to tone it down a few levels versus speaking in a quiet, hushed,  non-confident tone.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who has written about all things video from professional duplication services to online marketing strategies.

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Marketing

Great Ways for Brands to Promote Their Video

In the digital age content has exploded. As Barbra Streisand found out when she deleted footage of her home online – prompting them to reappear and go viral – it is easy to hide something on the Internet just by placing it and leaving it be, rather than attempting to remove it.

The principal works in the reverse of course. Millions upon millions of videos are stuck in cyberspace: on YouTube, on Vimeo, on Tudou, Rutube, Veoh etc. And in large they aren’t being watched. This applies to individuals, but it also applies to brands as well. For example, Withers LLP, a leading law firm, has just 157 views on its advertisement video. The official Volvo commercial video for their S60 car has fewer than 10,000 views. Santander’s advertisement video for its 123 account has fewer than 40,000. This might be huge to a small group of friends posting something nondescript. But for such large companies, it is poor. This failure of brands to connect to viewers is widespread.

So how do brands get around this, and promote their videos in order to generate revenue? There are several ways, of varying effectiveness, that will be discussed below.

Make it Interesting

The most obvious way to get people to watch content is to make the content interesting to watch. In the free market place of the Internet, with an audience which is still of a younger demographic than the general population, this means that something has to be better than everything else. There are always mediocre videos which somehow come into the limelight, however the truly exceptional videos always come out on top. But what makes them so interesting?

Humor

Humor usually works effectively. This is because people tend to remember things which make them laugh. Comedy is a societal phenomenon making such videos so prevalent: people want to share what makes them smile.

Humor can work for some brands (such as Virool’s advertisement, or the John West Salmon commercial). But it isn’t universal – an ad outlining compensation for victims of car collisions could never be funny.

The problem is that humor isn’t as easy to manufacture as it often seems. Brands may have immense difficulty making something themselves, and the use of an old-fashioned PR agency for such a purpose could be ruinously expensive.

Slickness

Promote Their Video

People like to be wowed. An advertisement spreads if it can make people think it is impressive, slick, ‘cool’. This is easier for some brands than others. An Aston Martin isn’t hard to make cool in a video, but a non-stick skillet product probably will be.

So once again universality is not present. And if a brand can’t make something slick itself, it may have to go to a conventional PR agency, like those seeking a humorous video. As before, this is still expensive.

Get Help.

For so many brands, both new and old, popular and lagging, big and small, much of the above is simply impractical. But there is a better way for brands to promote their video – whether it is funny or not, slick or not. They can abandon the traditional PR route and use a modern tech company to spread their messages.

For example, the company Virool uses software to ensure that a client’s video is spread across video platforms and blogging sectors. It is often considerably cheaper and more effective than the alternatives.

Furthermore, the easy-to-use nature of viral-tech companies like Virool ensures that almost any brand can use it to promote their video, whether large or small.

Don’t take our word for it! You can test Virool for yourself with these free $10 coupons we got our hands on. We only have a limited number available so only the first 20 people to use the coupon will be able to take advantage of the free $10 in Virool credit. After you’ve signed up for free, press the “make payment button” and select the “coupon” tab. Enter [viroolblog] and enjoy $10 in free credit!

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Business and EDU Marketing

How to Implement Marketing Strategies for Newly Launched Business

There are different types of business that you can open. You can choose from small businesses like vending business or you can start right away with a big business. No matter what type of business you start, you will become successful when you are going to focus on the different aspects that need to be polished.

Aside from building a good foundation for your business, you also have to create an effective marketing strategy. This is one of the most important aspects of a business that needs to be considered if you really want to become successful. If you have already created a good marketing strategy for your business, you have to make sure that you will be able to effectively implement it for the benefit of your business.

Marketing Strategies

Here are the different things that you can consider when implementing a marketing strategy for your newly launched business:

  • Create a committee that will be working on the implementation.

Your marketing plan is just an idea inside a box if you are not going to exert an effort and implement it. With this, you have to make sure that you are going to implement this with the help of a committee that can effectively help you. In this committee, you have to hire people who can perform the different jobs that are needed in marketing.

  • Assign and delegate tasks.

One of the most important things that must be done is to assign different tasks to people who are part of the marketing plan. You have to make sure that you have a clear definition of the job that is needed for the implementation of the plan. This is one of the best ways for you to make sure that no aspect of your business is going to be forgotten. When delegating the jobs, you have to choose the perfect people who have the skills that are needed for every job.

  • Monitor the Changes in the Business.

Now that you have already made the marketing strategy work for your company, you now have to make sure that everything is going to work for your company. You have to determine if the marketing strategy is really working and if your company is gaining positive income and result from it. If it is not, you have to review it and consider changing those aspects that are not really helping in making the performance of your company better.

Marketing Strategies

  • Make the necessary adjustments.

 If the marketing plans that you have for your company is not working, you do not really have to feel bad about it. It is natural to face different problems regarding this when you are still starting. The best thing that you can do in order to make sure that you will be able to succeed it to consider trial and error with your marketing strategies. If it did not work, it is time for you to try another one.

There are different marketing strategies and there is always the best one that you can use for your company.

Author Bio:

Victor McNamara works at Vending World. Vending World is a leading distributor of used vending machines. They have been selling vending machines since 1968 and can fill almost all of your general vending machine needs.

Categories
Marketing

3 Tips to Optimize Your Video Marketing Campaign

1287371_seo_2Your video marketing campaign might need a little kick to move your marketing plan into overdrive. Video marketing can help you gain the trust of your target audience. Marketing with videos is an enjoyable, entertaining way to share content with individuals but you need to keep a few things in mind in order to make an impact with your creations.

Create your videos with your target market in mind. Many newbie video marketers shoot videos covering random topics, never zeroing in on individuals who might be interested in these topics. Once you choose a topic spend time working niche specific keywords into your videos to boost your ranking in search engines. By noting a few seemingly small details you can notice a marked difference in your video page views.

Build Your Videos Around Keywords

If you want to get bang for your video buck you need to build your campaign around niche specific keywords. Choose keywords which are interesting to your targeted prospects. Do not bother creating videos which are not keyword-optimized unless you want to generate little, untargeted and disinterested traffic to your videos. By choosing niche-specific keywords you can more easily display your content in front of prying, hungry eyes. Place in the keyword or key phrase in your video title and description field and note the keyword at least once in the video to rank higher in search engines and generate passive, targeted traffic to your videos. Use both short and long tail keywords to drive traffic to your videos.

Amp Yourself Up Before Creating Videos

Simply raising your energy by moving around and doing a bit of exercise can help you create energetic, inspired videos with greater ease. The average video lacks any passion or enthusiasm, and this shows through the presentation. Boring, listless presenters do not push you to act on their message, so you simply exit the page and forget the person or brand immediately. Memorable videos inspire you to watch the entire offering and share the video across each of your social networks. Simply sharing your passion, or your positive energy, though the video, can inspire more people to check out your offering and create a viral, or semi-viral, video.

Aggressively Promote Your Videos

Aggressively promoting your videos through multiple social media channels is a surefire way to increase your views and grow your brand. Some video marketers make the painful mistake of creating a video without promoting the content. If you do not promote your videos few people will so share your content on Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels. Make sure to bookmark your videos on Stumbleupon and Google Plus to boost page views and improve your ranking in search engines. By getting clicks through social media and bookmarking sites you will be able to rank higher on site like Google and Bing. Placing higher helps you generate targeted, passive traffic which boosts your video views.

Kelli Cooper has blogged about all things video from how to market videos online to discussing double vs single layer duplication.

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