TripAdvisor launches new listings, reputation and data products to help hotels and restaurants gain insights, boost visibility

COVID-19 has taken a disproportionately large toll on TripAdvisor’s two primary customer audiences, hotels and restaurants, which have seen double-digit revenue declines compared with 2019. The company has been trying to help these groups with a number of new products and services that meet perceived needs and generate new subscription revenue.

Listings and menu syndication. The first offering is a restaurant menu-content syndication program called Menu Connect. It uses SinglePlatform, which TripAdvisor acquired last December from Endurance International Group, and is now available globally to the more than five million restaurants on TripAdvisor.

Restaurants confirm their business listings and upload their menu details. That information is then distributed across a network of more than 100 sites, including Google, Yelp, OpenTable, Foursquare, Facebook, TripAdvisor itself and numerous other sites and restaurant apps. The product features an analytics dashboard that offers data on menu views and customer status (new vs. returning), among other insights.

Predicting room demand. Two new hotel products address reputation management, pricing and demand prediction:

  • Spotlight: a competitive intelligence and demand-prediction tool.
  • Reputation Pro: a reputation management and review solicitation service.

Spotlight relies on pricing and competitive intelligence from hotel industry data platform OTA Insight. It seeks to help hotel owners predict demand, competitively price rooms and monitor pricing across distribution channels. TripAdvisor argues that historical occupancy trends can no longer — or for the moment — be relied up on predict future room demand.

There are two components to the service: Rate Spotlight and Market Spotlight. Rate Spotlight is the pricing intelligence tool that enables hoteliers to understand how their rates compare to competitors’ in their markets. Market Spotlight predicts room demand, based on multiple data inputs (e.g., “local events and travel searches for flights, accommodations”).

Review aggregation and solicitation. Reputation Pro is a review monitoring tool that tracks reviews on TripAdvisor, Google and Facebook (but not Yelp). It notifies hotel marketers of new reviews and allows them to respond directly from the dashboard. Reviews are also qualitatively evaluated, providing sentiment analysis and identifying “specific aspects of the guest experience that are driving positive or negative feedback” (i.e., consistent mentions: staff, pricing, food quality, parking, etc.).

Equally important, the service solicits reviews on behalf of a hotel via email, mobile apps and text messaging. Review collection is a pain point for most businesses, and this by itself may convince hotel marketers to subscribe.

Why we care. TripAdvisor, which began entirely as a consumer-facing hotel review destination, has rolled out a growing number of promotional and analytics tools and services for its hotel and restaurant clients. Part of this is driven by the need to diversify revenue and part of it by a recognition of the unmet needs of its customers.

Despite its position as a top 5 travel search destination, TripAdvisor’s development of these new services (e.g., review aggregation and data syndication) also responds to the growth of Google Travel, which has eaten into the success of many OTAs and travel booking sites.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

Five worries of channel owners: What spooks you about developing your own CTV app?

30-second summary:

  • Recent information from Roku shows that 85% of Americans are now streamers. Making them feel ecstatic about some brand-new CTV app is not a breeze however likewise not completely impractical.
  • In the dark, dark woods of AdTech, Connected TV (CTV) apps are a penny a dozen. This might sound spooky enough for an appropriate Halloween scary story.
  • The marketplace is presently handling numerous potentially brilliant material developers having cold feet when thinking of releasing their own CTV channels.
  • Alex Zakrevsky, CEO of Allroll, helps you get rid of these fears.

In the dark, dark woods of AdTech, Connected TV (CTV) apps are a penny a dozen. This may sound creepy enough for a proper Halloween scary story. In reality, the excellent development of the CTV market reinforced the competition and endowed it with lots of “survival of the fittest” functions. As a result, the fact that the variety of connected TV gadgets in the US reached 400 million this year, based on Leichtman Research Group, is not that reassuring and appealing for channel owners anymore. When thinking of introducing their own CTV channels, the market is currently dealing with lots of possibly brilliant content creators having cold feet. To overcome these worries, it’s important to accept them first.

1. Failing to begin

There is a belief that developing a channel from scratch needs either competent coding abilities or paying a fortune to those who have such skills. So, instead of beginning, let’s state a Roku channel, material manufacturers tend to be terrified of the possibility of coding or not being able to make ends meet. To reduce the level of anxiety, it’s constantly useful to look at readily available choices.

If watching somebody constructing a channel for you is the most more suitable model, specialized agencies are the best option to make. These business typically have their own in-house developing groups and charge a set price or an income share, which provides room for maneuver. There are freelance developers whose price tag normally starts from $25/hour on Upwork.

The downside of both solutions is that they will depend on designers’ availability and might ultimately end up being rather pricey and slow-moving. They will absolutely help have less on one’s plate. At the same time, there are methods of developing a CTV app without going bankrupt or going full-on with shows languages.

In addition to custom-made channel development, some CTV platforms, such as Roku or Amazon Fire, use their no-coding options for channel owners. Roku, for example, has its on-the-house model called Direct Publisher. Yes, this tool restricts personalization, money making, and 3rd party analytics choices, but it does save time, cash, and, more importantly, keeps channel owners without any coding experience sane. As a compromise in between basic and sophisticated functions, there’s a moderately-priced service for establishing Roku channels that is cloud-based and code-free. Immediate TELEVISION Channel costs $45.95/ month. It produces and maintains a video feed as well as offers a variety of modification chances. As a result, if coding isn’t a channel owner’s strong point, it’s needless to pay millions or spend months attempting to understand programming. What’s important is the idea that drives a publisher and the content that will drive potential viewers.

2. Being mediocre

As CTV ad invest is rising and has actually currently increased by 19% this year, based upon IAB’s figures, a growing number of publishers are getting on board every day. This makes producing initial material pretty challenging. Eventually, channel owners are surrounded, on the one side, by worries of satisfying their channel-doppelganger and, on the other side, being ‘eaten alive’ by channels-giants, like Netflix, Animal Planet, and others. Sounds quite significant, does not it? If somebody is still questioning whether there’s any area left for new apps in the CTV universe, it’s worth checking on the number of individuals delightfully view channels, which others would not even think of, in the screensavers or unique interest areas on the Roku platform.

As for the opportunities of ending up being a copycat of your own idea, terrific minds do believe alike however most of the time not so literally. Becoming a successful channel owner calls for out-of-the-box thinking, doing some research study, and being generally both tactical and brave.

3. Having no installs

Recent data from Roku shows that 85% of Americans are now streamers. Making them feel fired up about some new CTV app is not a piece of cake but likewise not absolutely impractical. If there is an authentic fear that no one will ever set up a brand-new Roku channel, here are a number of advertising methods for not letting this happen.

Of all, it’s important to make as lots of individuals as possible aware of a brand-new channel through a website, e-mails, and social media. This is absolutely complimentary, a bit lengthy but beneficial. It’s crucial to participate in online/offline occasions and accept all networking opportunities where a channel owner can meet prospective viewers and present a channel to them. It’s great to think of working together with like-minded channels so as to make pals with indirect rivals and promote each others’ material.

Additionally, it would be beneficial to be included in among those guides with top brand-new channels one need to set up. For this function and in basic, getting feedback on the material from influencers can be truly game-changing. Finally, in case there’s a demand to level up the current marketing technique, it’s time to consider money making.

Roku has its self-serve platform for growing publishers’ audiences utilizing the tailored display and video ads. While its CPM rates can range considerably without any guaranteed number of installs, the platform is quite flexible in regards to budget plans and can satisfy different needs and wants. What’s more, there’s the Allroll marketing platform aimed to drive audiences to Roku channels by the ways of advanced targeting alternatives and customized marketing messages. It offers higher apps’ direct exposure and, eventually, + 60% installs with the same budget plans as those needed for the native platform. So, there’s certainly a lot one can do to boost the channel’s results without getting overloaded.

4. Surrendering to YouTube

When talking about video channels, there is constantly an elephant in the room. This elephant’s name is obviously YouTube. Some publishers are still skeptical about CTV platforms, thinking their videos will never ever perform there along with they do on great old YouTube. They may also picture needing to stick to one platform to have windfall gains. In truth, there’s a lot more to this than fulfills the eye.

No matter how effective, YouTube is just a service. A minimum of for a content owner and not an employee of YouTube. Hence, there is no need to pick in between different stages on which to play the content. On the contrary, it is better to use as numerous platforms as one can handle to connect to as lots of viewers as possible. This is the clever method of promoting video content, raising brand awareness, and taking full advantage of earnings in the skyrocketing digital area.

5. Getting lost in streaming obscurity

It’s not especially a trick that the world of streaming is currently run by 4 significant os: Roku, Amazon Fire, Android TV/Google TELEVISION, or Apple TELEVISION. The first 2 have the greatest share of 100.2 million (Roku) and 72.7 million (Amazon Fire) users, according to eMarketer. The remainder of the gamers are of rather a lower caliber. Choosing one platform for an app may appear like a hard task, keeping in mind their qualities look like each other in many methods. For example, Roku uses Audience Network with broad geolocation options for targeting and a profits share model for money making within its Direct Publisher mode. In the meantime, Amazon Fire’s code-free Amazon Creator uses extensive information on customers’ preferences collected from Amazon gadgets and a commission-based monetization. This might rightly seem rather complicated.

The reasonable strategy for not getting puzzled by the best options is to follow the audience. People generally choose streaming platforms that associate with an os they are plugged into in their daily lives. If they have an Amazon Prime account that they actively use or they are fond of Alexa, these consumers are likely to go for Amazon Firesticks in their streaming experience.

Likewise, Apple products’ adepts will favor Apple TELEVISION, whereas Android users will mean Android TV. Roku is sort of a black sheep in this family, as it has always been entirely TV-oriented. Though, it’s incredibly user-friendly, very budget-friendly and its devices were voted the best of this crowd on various events. Without beating about the bush, knowing your audience is the key.

Takeaways

The CTV market has actually been on the rise offering publishers advanced opportunities to reach their audiences. The stakes of being bog-standard or out-of-date got higher, as the competition became more severe. This left some content producers panicked about their possibilities to prosper instead of being focused on bringing brand-new imaginative ideas to life. After all, residing in fear is disadvantageous. Thus, the best technique of facing fears is to fulfill them in person. The launch of a brand-new CTV app will consist of a series of important rendezvous on each of the steps: a platform or platforms to utilize, advancement strategy, material concepts, promotional tools, and monetization models. It’s essential to focus on each and every single choice throughout this journey. Now, time to come down to service.

Alex Zakrevsky is the CEO of Allroll marketing platform for CTV/OTT channel owners. Innovator, item enthusiast, CTV, and programmatic enthusiast. He thinks that the quality of the product always wins.

How marketers can stay centered around consumers

The rebirth of the consumer relationship with brands is one of the many changes that have occurred this year because of the COVID pandemic. And while marketers are learning to live with smaller budgets and leaner staffs, there is still an opportunity to invent new strategies and tactics behind consumer engagement. 

“We are at an exciting inflection point that creates a lot of opportunities for companies today to use data to shape their vision,” said Lenovo Director of Global eCommerce Strategy and Operations Derek Gominger at MarTech conference. “[Companies can] connect with customers in a better way that creates opportunities for all of us to grow our businesses and get closer to our customers.” 

Watch the entire presentation here. 

Using content to connect

Personalization continues to be the center of content strategy to connect with consumers, and it should be used to provide product information or solutions to consumer problems, or to help establish a brand or user community. These content types should be used to create loyalty among engaged consumers. “Connect authentically and elegantly,” said Gominger. “Sometimes brands get caught up in being something they are not.” 

Having direct digital engagement with brands is what separates Generation Z and millennials from other demographics, as more than half shop exclusively online and only use their smartphone. 

Dealing with data

Despite the need for personalization, because of increasing privacy regulations like GDPR in the European Union and CCPA in the state of California, it is becoming harder to collect personal information from consumers while remaining compliant. 

“People are tired of companies using and misusing data,” said SoloSegment CEO Stephen Zakur at MarTech. “These are your customers and prospects mad at how companies manage data.”

Even though a lack of data exists, Zakur does not recommend that marketers double down on what could be considered as annoying consumer outreach like unsolicited emails or phone calls. Instead, he recommends curating content that addresses immediate consumer needs, monitoring their responses in real-time, then activating a content strategy for those consumers that cannot be tracked by data. 

“The folks hiding in the darkness (without personal information) are going to be an increasing problem, whether you are a B2B or B2C company,” said Zakur.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.


About The Author

Rodric J. Bradford is the Editor of MarTech Today and has worked in the marketing technology industry as both a journalist and corporate project manager. Prior to joining MarTech Today Bradford served as Convention and Technology Beat Reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Business Press publication and worked as Technology Reporter for Global Gaming Business, the world’s largest casino publication. In the corporate world Bradford has served as Technology Project Manager for CNA, Cigna, General Dynamics and Philip Morris. Bradford is an alumnus of the University of Missouri-Columbia.

How to instantly profit from your next piece of material

30-second summary:

  • Most content online marketers concentrate on developing post and composing guest posts to improve SEO rankings. This technique neglects the value of insightful content as a sales resource, particularly for B2B firms.
  • What kind of content works best for sales prospecting. Examples of content and an introduction of how to create your outreach list.
  • An overview of 2 projects where blog site content was used to produce leads for an SEO company. Included in the summary are email templates and campaign outcomes.
  • How to review and optimize your content marketing outreach projects to produce more leads for your business.

Significant business resources are bought creating material that is never engaged with, composing guest posts that are never checked out, and sharing content that is never seen. It’s a reality that most of us pick to disregard due to the fact that we are fixated on inbound marketing.

While inbound marketing works, it’s not without issues:

  1. Most of the visitors who engage with your material will never return. It’s normally agreed that someplace in the region of 2%-6% of newbie visitors go back to a site.
  2. You have little control over who visits, and a lot of visitors do not fit the profile of your consumer persona (you’ll be doing effectively if you convert even 0.3% of website visitors into customers).
  3. There are only many areas on the front page of Google. Honestly, most of us will be fighting and failing to achieve our desired SERP rankings.

Outbound marketing sidesteps 2 of those 3 concerns.

When you create a list of companies that fit your target market and then send e-mails to the appropriate people because company, you acquire a degree of control over who consumes your material. Where you sit in the search rankings will not impact the result of your project.

While a lot of sales teams utilize outgoing marketing, couple of companies collaborate their material marketing efforts with outgoing sales initiatives.

I think that this is an oversight. I’ve protected several new customers for my agency in the last three months by collaborating my sales and material marketing efforts.

This guide will share a method that I believe can help all companies, however specifically small to medium-sized organizations, that run in the B2B area acquire brand-new customers. It’s a technique that relies upon developing a percentage of really excellent content, then actively promoting that content to the ideal people. Let’s dive in.

1. Think about the goals of your consumer

Preferably, your outbound marketing strategy need to neatly suit your long term material marketing objectives. For me, an ideal content campaign that lines up with sales need to look something like this.

At the start of the campaign, you need to recognize pertinent keywords to target. The keywords you pick must align with your perfect customer’s discomfort points and the option that you use either through your services or product. At my business, we help businesses in the SaaS niche protected visitor posts on appropriate sites. I decided that the preliminary outreach project would be based around my guide on how to guest post.

You can see how the subject aligns with the option.

You must utilize useful material that provides value if you’re going to run an outreach campaign that uses content from your site. After all, the short article will be the first impression that you leave with a possible consumer engaging with your organization.

You can produce several pieces of material around your product or service offering. I recommend you start with one piece of cornerstone content.

2. Create a client outreach list

There is a great chance that you currently have a technique in place to promote new content. Typically, that involves producing a list of websites that have actually connected to a contending piece of material. You then discover the contact information of the author and send them a message requesting a link.

A sales outreach project based around a piece of content is simply as straightforward. The objective and who you target is different.

I’ll assume you have a customer personality. You understand what kind of business buy your service or products. You need to create a list of suitable companies. You can use resources like Google My Business, the Inc 5,000, and other business roundups to rapidly create a list of ideal business to call.

You require to discover the details of the person in charge of purchasing decisions at each business as soon as you’ve produced your shortlist. For an SEO company, that person usually has a job title like ‘Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)’.

I typically use a mix of LinkedIn and an e-mail finder to get their contact information. Hunter and Voila Norbert both provide 50 complimentary searches, which is enough for an initial campaign.

Pull all of that details you collect into a Google Sheet.

3. Run your outreach campaign

There are numerous kinds of sales outreach projects you can run that incorporate blog material. For instance, I gathered the details of everybody who left a talk about the Backlinko blog site. I got rid of individuals and companies that didn’t fit my customer personality and sent them all an email.

Below is a screenshot of the email template I utilized along with one of the actions.

Piece of content - Profit from it by email outreach - Example 1

You can see this is a soft sell. The only reference to the service I offer is my e-mail signature that links to a sales page. The main resource in the e-mail was this article.

I wished to begin a conversation with potential customers not generate an instant sale.

This specific outreach campaign, which was sent to around 200 people, produced two leads. In addition, I was asked to appear on a podcast and was offered a number of visitor post opportunities.

You can be more direct. Here is an example from another project.

Piece of content - Profit from it by email outreach

We leveraged the credibility of Sumo for this sales campaign. The company has more brand name acknowledgment than Launch Space, a website that few people would acknowledge. The main resource used for the Sumo sales campaign was this short article. The guest post fits the requirements of a foundation piece of content. It’s actionable, informative, and appropriate to the requirements of potential consumers.

You may have discovered that I adjusted my e-mail signature for the campaign. We created two leads from our very first 100 emails.

4. Evaluation the results

I recommend you send out outreach emails to between 100-200 companies if this is your first project. Send your emails, then a week or 2 later on, evaluate the results.

The first project we ran had a 1% conversion rate. I sent 100 emails and got one consumer.

The math was simple.

I didn’t use any marketing tools for the project. You may choose to begin the exact same way.

To enhance the results of any marketing campaign, you require to track appropriate metrics. There are a lot of budget-friendly e-mail tracking tools that provide insights like e-mail opens, link clicks, and other stats.

Good e-mail tracking tools will allow you to split test your copy. When people open your email and who opened your message multiple times but didn’t react, you’ll also collect information on. You can utilize this information to improve your campaign results, for instance, by arranging your e-mails for the optimal time or day of the week or choosing who to send multiple e-mails to.

Concluding

In this guide, I described how you can include blog posts and guest posts in your cold outreach to generate leads for your business. It’s a strategy that I’ve used to regularly land fresh clients, which has, in turn, assisted me grow my company.

If you’re a B2B company offering a services or product with a high-profit margin, outgoing marketing will generally provide you with a favorable Return On Investment (ROI). It’s sensible to make use of blog site material as a sales resource, especially if you presume that the content will ultimately generate leads through incoming marketing. Most business do not do this; I hope this post has provided you with the incentive to try.

Nico Prins is an online marketer and the founder of Launch Space. He assists companies develop their digital marketing strategies. He’s dealt with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups assisting them establish material marketing techniques that line up with their organization objectives. Follow him on Twitter @nhdprins.

How engagement trumps headlines: the election in social media

President Donald J. Trump’s Twitter feed has been one of the major sources of news headlines for the past four years, and as of this month, it’s the sixth most followed account on the platform. But that obscures the real news, according to a new report from Socialbakers, the social media management and measurement platform.

On key metrics, former Vice-President Joe Biden is outperforming @realDonaldTrump.

Biden’s Twitter game. For one thing, Biden’s previously sluggish Twitter presence grew steadily as he became a strong contender for the Democratic nomination, and reached a peak in August after he took top place on the ticket. In January, he could boast only 8.2% of Trump’s monthly interactions total. By August, he had passed 50%.

More importantly, in September Biden actually surpassed Trump on average interactions per tweet (104,000 versus 103,000); indeed, Trump’s average interaction rate has been in decline since June. What that means is that, with a following only 12% of Trump’s 87 million, Biden is winning the interactions per user game off the charts. It’s also worth noting that Biden is strongly outperforming Hillary Clinton against Trump in the comparable months of 2016.

Socialbakers CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak confirmed this: “Compared to Hillary Clinton in 2016, key engagement metrics for Biden’s Twitter profile in 2020 are much closer to Trump’s, and have trended upwards at a higher rate.” We asked him to run a comparison between Biden and former President Barack Obama over the last three months (Obama’s is currently the most followed account on Twitter). The results were revealing.

“Over the last few months Biden’s followership has really grown very quickly, even compared to Obama. You’ll also see that Biden has really ramped up the volume of his Tweets too. Despite that, Obama’s profile was still more engaging overall during the three months time period we have analysed.” The takeaway: Biden’s Twitter feed may not be making the headlines, but it’s engaging with a fast-growing audience at a rate which just shades Trump, and has been competitive with Obama over the last few weeks.

Trump still winning Facebook. The other side of the social media coin is Trump’s continued dominance of Facebook, not as a user, but as a ubiquitous presence. Positive Trump headlines led the three most engaging posts by media outlets on Facebook. As in 2016, the earned media coverage on Facebook is a valuable asset for the Trump campaign.

Said Ben-Itzhak: “Trump’s distinct advantage on Facebook is still clear as day — Socialbakers data shows that while Trump-related headlines dominate both Facebook and Twitter in terms of reach and engagement, Facebook is the platform where pro-Trump headlines are out-performing anti-Trump headlines in media. The top performing posts from media on Facebook were all pro-Trump in tone and were posted by Fox News. On Twitter, on the other hand, we can see that the top performing media posts are all anti-Trump in tone.”

Two Americas. It’s also notable that Socialbakers was able to highlight the profound differences in media consumption among pro-Trump and pro-Biden social media users. “We’re using data pulled directly from the Facebook and Twitter APIs to identify and segment audiences based on their ‘preferred’ candidate,” explained Ben-Itzhak. “We then analyze each segment in order to identify patterns and commonalities in their engagement habits with different types and sources of content. The findings of the report show significant disparities in the media consumption habits of Biden and Trump supporters that align with their respective political affiliations.”

Trump and Biden supporters have only one media outlet in common when looking at their top 10 outlets most followed: The Associated Press. Apart from that, based on this metric, the two audiences live in different media worlds. Trump supporters favor One America news, Fox News and Breitbart News; Biden supporters go to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and CNN. These are, of course, users clearly identifiable as Trump or Biden supporters through their social media activity: it might not reflect the general population.

Why we care. There are plenty of reasons to care about the election, but that’s not what we’re highlighting here. Both from the perspectives of social media marketing and influencer marketing, this underlines the importance of digging deeper than vanity metrics like numbers of followers to find the content audiences are truly engaging with.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

Google’s highlighted bits: How to get your YouTube video featured in Google

30-second summary:

  • YouTube is one of the most featured domains in Google.
  • Unlike any other greatly featured sites, YouTube.com supplies any brand name an easy way to host a brand-owned asset for it to get featured.
  • To catch more video-driven included bit opportunities, create a video version for each keyword-driven content property you create.
  • There are tools that make video production quite scalable. Those consist of online video developers and Zoom.
  • Despite how you develop those videos, ensure there’s a meaningful (even search-optimized) voiceover as Google is utilizing that (and the video transcripts) to generate featured bits.
  • Use standard SEO practices to let Google discover and rank your videos. Like with frequently featured snippets, video featured bits heavily depend upon the organic rankings.

YouTube offers brands with all sort of special marketing chances, among which is a capability to construct extra natural visibility through both video carousels and featured bits.

Why YouTube?

According to Ahrefs, YouTube.com ranks in the top 5 natural look for 139,830,455 queries. Of those, it is being featured for 1,177,203 inquiries (as of September 2020).

[Screenshot source: Ahrefs since September 2020] This makes YouTube one of the most featured domains out there.For contrast, en.wikipedia.org is being included for 2,644,918 search queries (again, according to Ahrefs information ). Unlike Wikipedia, YouTube videos can be owned by brand names. Anyone can create a YouTube video and get included with it. This means the video developer holds complete control over the message of the highlighted asset.

This is gold.

It is hard to identify why YouTube is being included so heavily:

  • Are YouTube videos being included since they tend to rank so high
  • Or are YouTube videos being included because Google has actually discovered those search queries to be finest pleased with video material

Either way, something we know for sure: You ought to be providing videos if you wish to build additional brand direct exposure in organic search.

How to get your brand name feature more through producing video content?

1. Produce more videos

This one is pretty apparent however this is the basic action that needs to be covered.

You are welcome to go expensive and catch all appropriate search results page in your niche that function videos and try to record all those opportunities with your own videos. This method deserves to exist but it does have some problems:

  • You are competing with existing properties that have by now built up all sort of strong signals (views, backlinks, and other such aspects). So don’t anticipate this to come easy.
  • You are limiting your method with existing opportunities that all your rivals might know. You are doomed to constantly be behind.
  • Featured snippets are dynamic. By the time you lastly have a solid asset to compete, that chance might no longer exist.

Rather of going after each private opportunity, create a more detailed strategy that would guarantee you’ll develop your own chances, and gradually catch all of the existing ones as well.

In other words, turn all your text-based content into the video format.

This sounds challenging but it is in fact absolutely achievable. I am using 2 tools that make the procedure unbelievably easy:

2. Zoom to tape walkthrough and tutorials

You can record yourself describing any procedure utilizing the totally free variation of Zoom. It may take you a long time to get utilized to the procedure however moving forward, you will find yourself a growing number of comfy with it. After 2-3 video tutorials, a 3-minute video will take you 30 minutes to create, trust me.

YouTube video featured snippets on Google - Zoom to create videos [Screenshot produced by the author: September 2020]

I am sure other virtual meeting options can work for that function also: The finest aspect of Zoom is

that it is free and uses a good HD export of recorded videos. 3. Renderforest to turn text into videos While Zoom might take a little bit of time to get adapted to, Renderforest offers video production tools that take no time to figure out. It is user friendly and can be utilized to turn any short article into a video.

To get a much easier feel of the tool, simply get your short article subheadings and use their text-to-video option to turn those into a video:

Text to video - Transcript [Screenshot source: Renderforest]. Renderforest supplies design templates to develop whiteboard videos, explainer videos, detailed tutorials, and more.

Overall, of all the online video developers I’ve attempted throughout the years, this one seems to be the easiest to get used to. And it saves a lots of time. It costs around $7 a month which is likewise quite budget friendly.

4. Use significant well-structured unique narration for your YouTube video

Now I don’t have any serious study behind this claim, so take this with a grain of salt. Based upon my own experience, unless your video has a significant commentary, it will not be featured.

Look at one of the examples of featured videos: There’s a text direction in package:

YouTube video featured snippets on Google - Instruction box [Screenshot source: Google search

since September 2020] This is created from the video captions which are auto-created based on the video commentary:

[Screenshot source: YouTube as of September 2020]

This appears to support my claim: Unless Google can discover some text, it will not be so willing to include a video.

Invest some time into producing a narration.

You can simply read directions while recording your tutorial if you utilize Zoom. If you are using Renderforest, you can sync your voiceover with your video. Both approaches are quite achievable.

4. Enhance videos utilizing conventional SEO

YouTube SEO is very little various from any SEO process. This post outlines the process quite well here. Basically, all you need is:

  • A keyword-optimized name of the video (which is likewise going to be the page title)
  • A detailed video description (also utilize your keywords there too). Feel free to produce clickable timestamps to take audiences to particular areas of the video. These get indexed by Google as well.

You need some links to your video. At the minimum link to each video from your own website (both manually from your short articles and likewise utilizing some plugins which send sitewide links to your videos). This will assist it rank.

Conclusion

This video strategy will hopefully get your brand included more. It will likewise help you create more content possessions which you will be able to market on social media to increase engagement and create more traffic creating channels. Best of luck!

Ann Smarty is the Brand and Community manager at InternetMarketingNinjas.com. She can be discovered on Twitter @seosmarty!.?.!. More about:

Online holiday sales could reach $200 billion according to Adobe

Holiday e-commerce spending is poised to exceed $189 billion in the U.S., according to Adobe’s most recent forecast. That represents 33% year-over-year growth. However, online revenues could reach or exceed $200 billion if physical stores remain largely closed due to COVID and if there’s a second stimulus payment to consumers.

Uncertain spending outlook. Consumer confidence declined in October and there are conflicting data about anticipated holiday spending. Some surveys, like that from Feedvisor, assert the majority of U.S. consumers will spend at least as much as they did last year. However, other surveys (e.g., from Suzy) argue only a small percentage of consumers will spend the same or more than they did in 2019. The firm’s most recent shopping survey found that 53% of consumers were uncertain how much they would spend or will spend less; only 13% were confident they would spend more.

Big gains for Cyberweek. There’s no question, however, that e-commerce will see substantial gains over last year due to new shopping patterns driven largely or entirely by COVID. Adobe expects the traditional Thanksgiving week to see big gains over last year, especially Black Friday and Cyber Monday. But Black Friday will see substantially fewer consumers in stores and less “door busting” because of the pandemic. Most of those specials will move online, fueling more online shopping. Additionally, many malls and retailers, including Walmart, Target, Kohl’s and JCPenney, will close for Thanksgiving day this year.

Cyberweek online shopping predictions

BOPIS bump. Buy online pick up in store (BOPIS) and curbside pick up will also see increases, and could be a lifeline for physical retailers. Adobe says BOPIS will be up 40% over 2019 and that shoppers are “9% more likely to buy at retailers offering BOPIS/curbside pickup on big sale days.” A September consumer survey by Adobe found that “30% of online consumers prefer using BOPIS or curbside over home delivery.”

Smartphones are expected to drive the majority of online retail traffic (60% or more) and 42% of actual sales. Smartphone shopping revenues will see 55% year-over-year growth according to the forecast. This has obvious “best practices” implications for retailers and their mobile shopping experiences.

Smaller retailers will see increased sales. Adobe expects smaller retailers, with $10 to $50 million in revenue, to see higher percentage growth in sales than larger retailers. Its October consumer survey reports that 51% of respondents will shop at local retailers on Small Business Saturday and that 38% of consumers “will make a deliberate effort to shop at smaller retailers throughout the holiday season.” Yet other surveys and data present a less upbeat and more challenging environment for small businesses in the fourth quarter.

Adobe says that average order value will remain flat compared with 2019 but that a large influx of new online shoppers will boost revenues. Adobe reported that during May, online spending from new shoppers outpaced spending by existing, loyal customers two-to-one.

The findings and predictions are based on analysis of retailers using Adobe Analytics and Adobe Commerce Cloud. The company says the data set represents 100 million SKUs, a trillion visits to U.S. retail websites and transaction data from 80 of the top 100 U.S. online retailers. There was also a companion survey of 1,000 U.S. consumers conducted in October.

Why we care. This is a very unpredictable year, with wild card elements such as consumer confidence and the potential return of COVID-19 lockdowns. However, e-commerce growth is a sure thing and multiple surveys have confirmed that holiday shopping is already underway, following Prime Day.

Retailers need to utilize every marketing tool available to gain an advantage this year. That includes Google Shopping/Local Inventory Ads and product feeds, discounts, shipping incentives, BOPIS and curbside pickup. For traditional retailers, Google My Business optimization is critical. Inventory and supply chain management will also be a key to success — making sure that enough product is available to meet demand.


About The Author

Greg Sterling is a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land, a member of the programming team for SMX events and the VP, Market Insights at Uberall.

Sitecore delivers product news against a shifting business landscape

Product news released at the virtual Sitecore Symposium today recognized the need for brands to get started quickly and easily with personalization in this period where accelerated digital transformation meets increased consumer demand for relevant experiences.

As Sitecore CMO Paige O’Neill said in her keynote, “Customer expectations are shifting once again from under us.” She called for “moment to moment” customer experience, and a new mindset focused on empathy.

Product news. Sitecore AI Auto Personalization Standard will be available out-of-the-box in early 2021. It will allow Sitecore users to begin personalizing content without the need to manually define segments, and with no traffic minimum required. It will enable automated personalization around images, text and CTAs, and will offer real-time visibility into personalization peformance.

Also available early next year, Sitecore Content as a Service, built on the Content Hub, will provide centralized planning and collaboration tools
and an ability to deliver content over APIs to any channel. “Content strategy is critical,” said O’Neill, “and becoming more so.”

Reinforcing the concepts of personalization and empathy, and how technology and a content strategy support them, may seem an obvious line to take. The stronger message, however, is that these are no longer nice to-haves, or options for growing revenue. They are critical to survival.

Brand resilience. That’s the message Vijayanta Gupta, Sitecore’s GVP, Product Marketing delivered in an in-depth conversation with MarTech Today (he also presented his research on brand resilience at Symposium today). “I’m passionate about how brands survive year over year,” he said, “and what we’re going through with COVID means that some brands we are familiar with are struggling financially, or are not going to survive.”

Brands don’t miss big changes, he explained. No brand, for example, has “missed” COVID; what they can miss are tectonic shifts — deeper trends that threaten to disrupt their business. Gupta’s historic example is Kodak, which understood the demand for small digital cameras, but didn’t recognize that consumers were evolving towards one device (phone/camera combined).

Gupta identifies five trends today which brands need to focus on if they are to remain resilient.

Purposeful capitalism. “There’s a groundswell of opinion around the world that capitalism has not served the purpose of every stakeholder,” he said. There is a move to change capitalism from the inside so that brands serve not only shareholders, but other stakeholders like customers, employees, society and the environment.

Consumers will now engage with brands that are environmentally and socially responsible. Gupta sees billions of dollars investment, just this year, shifting to ESG funds (funds which integrate environmental, social and governance factors into the investment process). Brands must show that they serve a purpose in society and are willing to invest back into it.

Non-linear lives. “We have all grown up thinking of life as being linear. You are born, you get educated, you join a job, you retire, you die,” said Gupta. The trend that has emerged in the last few years, and accelerated under COVID, is many people choosing a non-linear life: taking years off, moving between part-time and full-time employment, and moving into advisory roles or charity work, for example, rather than retiring.

The importance for brands is that traditional LTV models and customer life-cycle predictions become irrelevant when consumers switch to non-linear lifestyles — a trend which goes hand-in-hand with the subscription economy, and people no longer actually owning things like homes and cars.

Customer ubiquity. “Traditionally,” brands have looked at the world in a very myopic manner,” said Gupta, “dividing into developed and developing. They’ve chosen to serve the developed world in one way, and the developing world in another way.” Many, indeed, have chosen not to serve the latter.

This model is no longer valid. Today, the brands consumers engage with and aspire to vary based on income, not region, Guptga explained. “Customers do not think of themselves as living in developed or developing economies, and brands shouldn’t either. If they do, they miss out on a very large customer base.

Privacy. “We are surrounded by connected devices, 30 to 50 billion in the world today depending on which research you believe. We don’t need to be using these devices for these devices to be using us. For example, I’m not looking at my smartwatch, but it’s calculating my heart rate, my oxygen level, etc.” This environment, said Gupta, prompts a new paradigm of privacy: namely, that brands I engage with should not be using my information for things I haven’t been told about.”

Brands which don’t respect such limits fall into the bucket of “surveillance capitalism,” an “extremely damaging tag,” said Gupta. “It’s a matter of just one slip up.” Resilient brands will be those that understand that access to personal data comes with responsibility. Privacy has become a critical brand promise.

AI. “If you look at how digital engagement across channels is scaling, the question is not whether brands will use [AI] algorithms to scale engagement, but when they will start,” Gupta said. “Many of them are already using auto-personalization like Sitecore provides, but that comes with a challenge: sometimes algorithms have biases.”

People aren’t consciously creating biased algorithms, of course — the algorithms feed on data, and the data is itself biased. The bias is amplified when the algorithm operates at scale. Resilient brands will find a balance between using AI to scale digital experiences while putting the governance in place to ensure biases are detected early on.

Why we care. A scientist once remarked, “The map is not the territory.” In martech, product road-maps can no longer reflect just the vendor’s capabilities and key customers’ needs. It must respond to the territory — the terra incognita — we are all traversing; the tectonic shifts which are underway.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

Holiday 2020 is do or die for many SMBs

Small business economic activity represents about 44% of U.S. gross domestic product. This critical business segment has suffered disproportionately from COVID-19’s toll on the economy. Now, as are in the all-important holiday quarter, what’s the current outlook for small businesses (SMBs)?

Many pundits and vendors serving the SMB market have been promoting and promising “resilience” for months. A new report from Yelp offers some support for this. But other data argue that challenges for SMBs and, by extension, their marketing providers will persist and may even intensify in the months ahead.

Hopeful signs of recovery

Yelp’s just-released Economic Average Report (or YEA) focuses on new business openings and reopenings during Q3 in the restaurant and food vertical. The report says that in Q3 new restaurant and food-business openings compared favorably to 2019 (“pre-pandemic levels”), despite the especially difficult circumstances of 2020.

That’s quite encouraging and argues a recovery is underway.

Source: Yelp (Oct. 2020)

SMB openings and reopenings across verticals

Yelp also identifies the most “resilient” places in the U.S., as measured by growth in new business openings from Q2 to Q3. These were North Dakota, Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Wyoming. States with the largest number of business openings overall in Q3 were California, Texas, Florida, New York and Washington.

Yelp data reflect that businesses across a range of verticals also reopened in September. They include preschools and childcare centers, gyms, salons, bike repair shops and home services businesses. Financial services also reopened in Q3 (banks, insurance companies, tax services) as did retail stores, according to Yelp.

Simultaneously, Yelp observed increased consumer demand in Q3 across many categories as people “return[ed] to their pre-pandemic activities” — for better and for worse.

Vulnerable to safety concerns

As COVID cases in many states surge to their highest levels in months, concerned consumers may wind up spending most of their Q4 holiday dollars online and not in stores. Adobe data indicate that e-commerce sales growth has cooled as consumers head back to stores. But, store visitation is dependent on consumer perceptions of safety.

Read: What Prime Day signals for 2020 holiday retail

Right now, the majority of Americans still don’t feel safe in shopping malls — a surrogate for in-store shopping generally — though trends may vary somewhat by location. Unfortunately, we can’t expect anything significant to change before the end of the year. There are also multiple surveys suggesting that:

According to an early October consumer survey of more than 5,000 U.S. adults from Alignable, 32% of respondents said they would be spending more money at locally owned businesses in Q4. However, the large majority (68%) said they would be spending most of their money online this year (read: Amazon and big box retail).

This comes despite a number of surveys from firms like Accenture and McKinsey indicating heightened consumer interest in supporting small businesses and shopping locally. (Attitudes and behavior often diverge.)

U.S. Census Bureau survey data from mid-October shows that 75% of SMBs have seen a significant (30.2%) or moderate (44.6%) negative impact from COVID. More specifically, a Q3 SMB survey from Alignable found that “42% of small business owners anticipated revenues [in Q4] below what they needed to stay in business.”

That means if Q4 passes them by, vast numbers of SMBs could fail or decide to simply shut their doors in 2021.

What SMBs must do now to the meet the Q4 challenge

The internet will be the starting point for most consumer shopping journeys this holiday season, whether they conclude online or offline (BOPIS). That means a fully optimized online presence is critical. SMBs won’t be able to count on foot traffic and in-store browsing as much as in years past.

It’s too late to rebuild websites for holiday 2020. But SMBs can still claim and optimize profiles on a few key sites to maximize their online visibility:

All of these sites offer free online presence tools. However, most businesses have yet to take advantage of Nextdoor Business Pages and promotional tools so there are still “early mover” opportunities.

Read: Nextdoor emerges as a location marketing destination

Google has continued to add more transactional capabilities to GMB and Facebook and Instagram now offer SMB-friendly e-commerce capabilities with Shops and other features. In an ideal world SMB retailers would have their inventory online but, in the absence of that, key products and specials can be promoted through Google Posts.

SMBs working with agencies are fortunate and probably in a reasonable position to whether the storm. Those that are not, which is most smaller SMBs, are going to have a much tougher time. They should focus their efforts first and foremost on Google, which dominates local search usage.

There’s evidence that a Google-only strategy can succeed, if there isn’t time or bandwidth for other channels and properties.


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Salesforce reinvents its flagship conference as Dreamforce To You

There will be a Dreamforce after all in 2020, but it will be virtual of course. But it will not be squeezed into a few days, and tickets will not cost upwards of $1,500. This year’s Dreamforce, re-branded as Dreamforce To You, is an extended program of thought leadership, community participation and entertainment, and it’s free to all.

The program. The event will kick off with CEO Marc Benioff’s keynote on November 12, and will run through an unspecified date in December.

We spoke exclusively to Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi about the thinking behind the re-shaping of Dreamforce — and what to expect.

Should we do Dreamforce at all? “Near the beginning of the pandemic,” said Buscemi, “so many of our customers turned inward to stabilize their business and their employees, so they weren’t asking us about Dreamforce; and we weren’t communicating about it, because it would have felt a little tone-deaf. In the early stages of the pandemic, it was very much crisis communications.”

As the months passed, Buscemi observed Salesforce customers transforming their careers and their businesses. “Those Trailblazers helped inform what we’re announcing here,” she said. “We started a dialogue with them and the community at large about whether we would do Dreamforce at all and could it be done virtually?”

The challenge was significant. “We joke, but it’s true: it’s part tech conference, part rock concert, part a coming together of world leaders, and part a wellness retreat. There’s so much packed in there that we started to uncouple it and ask what does the community need right now, and what can be pushed to the side?”

Relevance is critical. The unequivocal message from stakeholders, Buscemi told us, was that relevance — conversations about the things we’re dealing with right now — was critical. “People’s appetite for a product pitch isn’t there.”

People are interested in how to manage for the crisis, how to support customer success — “And speed,” she said. “There are customers who had three-year road maps for digital acceleration, and they have done more in the last three months than they had planned the three-year road maps. We’re all surprising ourselves at what we’re capable of getting done — when forced.”

The longer program. In its in-person incarnation, Dreamforce was squeezed essentially into a handful of long days, with countless after-parties echoing through the San Francisco night. “It’s a lot to ask people to sit for that long and engage,” she said. “While we heard really clearly from our customers that they wanted us to bring them together, that they loved the connectiveness of the community, we all agreed that because Dreamforce had been a four-day event in San Francisco, to make it a four-day virtual event wasn’t going to work.”

The decision was taken to extend the time period, and acknowledge that people are willing to engage for much shorter periods in a virtual format. “Our live keynote every year was 90 minutes, and often more than that,” said Buscemi. The “sweet spot” for a virtual keynote, she said, was about 18 minutes. “Then you start to lose people because you’re competing with all the things around them.”

The intention is to determine the right length for a presentation, the right length for a panel discussion, and the right number of people for a discussion in a virtual forum. “Birds of a feather” discussions will take place among much smaller groups: “If you try to do that with 20 people online, people don’t get seen.”

This year’s content. We asked Buscemi what attendees should expect. “Our keynote will feature our CEO Marc Benioff, and he’ll talk about our path forward together in this new normal. If we have to find a silver lining in the pandemic, it has been a massive accelerator for digital transformation, and we’ll be showcasing what leading companies have been doing over the last six months, not just to survive in the pandemic, but frankly thrive.”

The rest of the program has yet to be officially announced.

Giving back. The unavoidable loss of an in-person Dreamforce this year will have an immense negative impact on the San Francisco hospitality industry. In a normal year, restaurants, bars and hotels operate at maximum capacity throughout Dreamforce week. It’s heartening then to see Salesforce donating $2 million to San Francisco small businesses.

“This is our headquarters,” said Buscemi. “The city of San Francisco has been so fantastic to Salesforce for fifteen years plus of delivering Dreamforce. We want to be there to help small businesses through this time.” Salesforce will donate an additional $3 million to organizations addressing hunger, health equity,racial inequality, and climate change.

In 2019, Dreamforce was attended by some 170,000 people, many of them paying high rates for tickets. Was the decision to make this a free event difficult? “The world is in crisis. I remember Maya Angelou’s saying, ‘At the end of the day, people remember how you made them feel.’ We want our customers on the other side of whenever this vaccine is, when we’re all fully back in our offices, to remember how we made them feel.”

Why we care. The sheer scale of Dreamforce, which effectively takes over a major U.S. city each year — in normal times — makes it more than just a Salesforce event. Indeed, martech vendors who are not Salesforce partners squeeze their own events into the city around the same time to grab the attention of the six-figure audience. The way Dreamforce has been restructured, and how it now performs, will be examined closely by anyone interested in virtual events.

Note: An earlier version of this story gave more details of the program following the keynote. We now understand that schedule is not officially announced today.

This story first appeared on MarTech Today.


About The Author

Kim Davis is the Editorial Director of MarTech Today. Born in London, but a New Yorker for over two decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Prior to working in tech journalism, Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.