Tag Archives: accessibility

5 social media features – and how to use ‘em!

If you work on the digital marketing side of things, you’re probably on edge with the endless stream of new updates, social media tools and advertising features, and wondering how you can find time to make use of them in all your campaigns.

I can’t help with the nervous disposition, (that said, my recent blog post on mindfulness is a good place to start) but I can offer a handy list of the features that I think are most valuable to you, and how you might use them.

Let’s get cracking.

1. Instagram story ads

You can now run a photo or 15 second video advert that will appear seamlessly between stories from two accounts that the user follows. Astonishing really. And it’s as simple as editing your placement options (Note: these can only be run using the reach, video views or conversions objectives within Facebook advertising).

How do I use them? Use story ads to drive awareness of your organisation or brand. The idea is to pique their interest enough to want to find and follow you afterwards. We suggest a very short trailer or photo of an exhibition/performance. Questions help drive actions: where will you be this Friday? Remember to keep the message simple, so it could be: tickets now on sale! Or One week until the show begins. Or One show we highly recommend

Tips: Use clear, large branding that stands out aesthetically; keep the message and ad concept simple; and make use of the full length of the screen by uploading a 9:16 vertical image. Remember that viewers will only see your ad the once, so let them know where to find you afterwards.

2. Live audio on Facebook

This one’s been around for a while, but I don’t see many people taking advantage of it. Just as with a live video on Facebook, listeners can discover live audio content in News Feed, ask questions in real time, and easily share with their friends. An advantage of audio is that listeners can continue to listen to your broadcast while they browse other areas of Facebook, and Android users can even continue listening if they leave the Facebook app or lock their phones.

How do I use it? Use live audio to stream live interviews, readings, debates, podcasts, music, discussions, poetry, audio performance extracts, artist talks, post-performance Q and A’s and more.

Tips: Consider live audio when you’re in areas that lack strong network connectivity or when the backdrop isn’t pretty! If visuals are not adding any extra value to your content, streaming audio will allow your listeners to focus on the content more easily.

3. Instagram shopping!

It’s been around since November 2016, but have you tried it yet? 56% of consumers said they followed brands on social media to browse products for sale, and 31% of online shoppers say they’re using social media specifically to look for new items to purchase.

How do I use them? Just select the “Conversions” objective when setting up your advert, and select “Purchase” as the type of conversion you want to optimise for (on the ad set page). All the budget and targeting settings are the same for running a Facebook advert, but make sure to select Instagram only when it comes to selecting your ad placements. For further help with this, drop me an email.

Tips: Your priority might not be to sell products on Instagram, (or sell products at all!) but perhaps it’s something to think about. Do you have exhibition catalogues/postcards/programmes to sell? This might be an effective way to reach out to potential new audiences, and raise awareness of your brand and the work you do at the same time.

4. Facebook split testing

Facebook have been phasing in the option to split test on  Facebook ads. Split testing is a method of determining how different elements of your advert affect its performance.

How do I use it? The three elements available now are: delivery optimisation, audience and placement. You can use Split Testing to interpret how changes in these variables impact the success of your ads. For example we can test the same advert on two different audiences to see which audience engaged most. This helps refine audiences to those most engaged with ads, and from here we can create lookalike audiences.

Tips: Split testing is only available for the following advert objectives: traffic, app installs, lead generation and conversions. We’d recommend a minimum of 3 days for your ads (to yield sufficient data to draw conclusions) and a maximum of 14 days for your tests – around 5 days would be spot on. With split testing it’s best to start broad and work from there. An effective split testing campaign will have a thorough plan and schedule that details WHICH element to test, WHY test and WHAT you hope to discover. Also, WHERE to go from there!

5. Accessible images and videos

This one’s more of a tip as it’s something I feel is really important, especially with Global Accessibility Awareness Day in May. Have you noticed the rise in subtitles on your Facebook news feed? This is due to the rise in mobile viewers and subsequently, the rise in viewers either with sound but without headphones, or in noisy environments. Viewers without sound – this also includes the audio impaired – are 52% more likely to stop and watch a video with subtitles.

How do I use it? By simply adding subtitles to your videos before uploading. It requires a little extra work, but the result will be a video more accessible, more attractive and more informative. This is extremely important for the audio impaired, and also for non-native English speakers, as it helps to increase the amount of information they gain from the video.

Tips: While we’re on the subject of accessibility, Twitter have been focusing on making Twitter more accessible for Tweeters who are visually impaired. This means you can now add alt text descriptions to images within tweets. Go to your Twitter settings (the gear icon); tap Display and Sound and then Accessibility and turn the Compose image descriptions on. From here you can add descriptive text to your Twitter images by tapping add description. Adding accessibility may seem like a win for only a small audience, but it’s a best practice across the board for organisations looking to grow their audiences and be open and accessible to all.

Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day (May 18th!)

If I’ve lost you on any of the points above, or if you’d like more help getting to grips with any of the features, just drop me an email. And if you’d rather read about how to be more relaxed in the workplace (why wouldn’t you?) click here.

Sarah

HdK’s guide to successful YouTube-ing

Not long ago Hans and I attended YouTube’s very own seminar where expert YouTubers divulged the best practises for implementing a super savvy video content strategy.

youtube

And as YouTube is now the second largest search engine globally, we thought we’d share some useful pointers on how to tackle the beast – straight from the horse’s mouth. From beginner Tubers to fully-fledged video makers looking to grow audiences, the following carefully honed hashtags apply to anyone wanting to share content on the channel.

#Shareability – will people share your content?

Is your content emotionally inspiring or relatable? If your content talks to people, you start a conversation. When viewers see content that communicates to them personally, they feel excited to pass the message on to friends, family and followers. Are these title structures familiar to you: Things people who don’t need glasses will understand or You know you love food when…?   So simple. So effective. Whether your content inspires laughter, fascination or even tears, a video that evokes an emotional response compels viewers to share the link.

#Accessibility – can each of your videos be appreciated by a new viewer?

It’s very easy to become wrapped up in your channel and forget that every new viewer is joining your conversation mid-way. Make sure your video is open to fresh eyes through video introductions, appropriate titling and accurate captioning. Assume viewers have never heard of you, aim to hook them in the first 10 seconds and don’t keep them more than 2 minutes. In today’s world, viewers want bite-sized chunks of information. Unless you really know what you’re doing, you won’t be able to get away with videos longer than this.

#Discoverability – will your videos be found through search?

You must be smart with your titles and descriptions – they should be both relevant and intriguing. While your title should be clear and concise, the video description is where you can go into depth, providing insight into you and the channel. An example familiar to us all is including lyrics in the description of a music video – if a fan knows the chorus but not the song title, the lyrics will help them find your video.

Most importantly, tags are the best way to frontload relevant key words. One of YouTube’s most valuable tips was to include a random word, not associated with in the bass layer of all your videos’ tags. This way, it’s more likely your videos will show up on the right hand side when a video of yours is playing. Another way to do this is to use Playlists. This way viewers are lead directly from one vid to the next! And in answer to a popular question, it doesn’t matter what order your video’s tags are in.

Finally, trends trends trends. Are there any big events, days or celebrations coming up? Find them, join them, and really use them. You can use Google’s trend tool, google.com/trends to find out what’s happening and keep up to date with what your audiences are talking about.

#Collaboration – can you include other creators in your videos?

Joining forces is the best way to grow your audiences. The top tip for collaborating is involving people who have relevant audiences. Will your viewers be interested and vice versa? If successful, you’ll naturally feed off each other’s fans. Like friendly, intelligent leeching.

#Consistency – are there strong, recurring elements to your idea?

What’s your stamp? How do people recognise your content as yours? Is it content, genre, format, set-up, schedule, voice…? Whatever it is, it’s got to be strong, consistent and reliable. One specific tip here that might surprise you, is to steer away from having text on your thumbnail image. With your title and name readily available, the thumbnail is all you really have to market your video, and it’s your opportunity to seamlessly interlink your popping artwork to your clever titling. Design a high contrast, high impact and high resolution thumbnail that stands out.

#Targeting – do you have a clearly defined audience?

If the answer is no, you’ve fallen at the first hurdle. This one really is very important. Begin by answering the following questions: What is the purpose of my channel? Who is the channel for? What do I want to say? The clearer your idea of your audience is, the more likely you are to reach them.

#Conversation – are you initiating conversation with your audience?

Conversation is the key to engagement. You’ll find that highly successful bloggers talk directly to the lens, a simple technique used to simulate eye contact and generate a relationship through the camera. You’ll hear conversational content interspersed with colloquial terms ‘you guys’; questions ‘how are we doing today?’ and fillers ‘you know’, are all geared towards engaging the viewer in an online conversation.

#Interactivity – can you involve your audiences in your videos?

Vivaldi Partners Group coined the term Social Currency in 2010, defining it as “the degree to which customers share a brand or information about a brand with others.” It’s about the experiences and participation that is created around a brand which creates value. This is particularly essential amongst younger audiences. Don’t be a nameless and faceless entity. Audiences on YouTube want to connect with their favourite channels. One way to do this is to engage in the comments section of your videos. Keep revisiting your comments section and respond to first-time viewers. Another way is to mention your audience members by name, this might be through shout-outs or competitions, as this cultivates an emotional engagement with fans and helps to builds a social arena around your content. Think of your videos as opportunities for your viewers.

Finally, always have a subscribe link in your description and be prepared to talk about subscribing. Instruct people verbally as to why they should subscribe in your videos. SPEAK TO YOUR VIEWER. They just want to be loved.

#Sustainability – if your audience loves it, can you make more of it?

This is a key question, and if the answer is no, or not quickly, you could be in trouble. Updating content regularly not only keeps your channel fresh, but it sustains people’s attention. If they can rely on the fact that returning to your channel means seeing something new, they’ll do exactly that.

#Inspiration – are you your number one advocate?

This one links to the point before; are you passionate about the idea and is it sustainable? If you don’t love your videos, you won’t be inspired to make more. Don’t let this be the case!

So, these are our top pointers for practises to implement into your overall YouTube strategy – not a check list for every video! As a general rule, keep your videos short, create thumbnails that pop and remember, content is king. GOOD LUCK and let us know how you get on.

sarah@dekretser.com