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How to Track Conversions from YouTube Viewers [Video]

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YouTube Partners can now link out to other sites within their video annotations, which can be a great way to drive new readers to a blog, ecommerce site, landing page, etc. You can also, of course, add links to your description and channel page. Very few people are creating video content consistently, so you have the opportunity to really stand out in your niche if you create videos.

But traffic (from YouTube or otherwise) is nothing if that traffic doesn’t convert. Once someone comes to your website, are they actually performing the action that you want them to perform? Are they buying your product? Or signing up for your mailing list?

In this video, Ileane Smith walks you through exactly how to set up a Google Analytics goal and track conversions. If you’re new to Google Analytics, don’t worry; she really breaks it down so you can easily understand how to track conversions. Check it out:

I loves the goals feature for Google Analytics for conversion tracking, because it helps me understand the best source of traffic according to my goal. Sometimes, raw numbers don’t tell the entire story.

Have you set up goals to track conversions?

Joe Warshaw talks about YouTube

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More and more content creators are starting to bring video into their efforts. Whether you already blog or podcast and want to add video to the mix, or just want to focus on video, there’s plenty to learn to be successful.

In this exclusive NMX video interview, Joe Warshaw of Sweaty Ghost Media shares his advice for finding YouTube subscribers, the importance of video quality, naming your channel, social media integration, involving the community, and more.

Want to learn more from Joe? Be sure to check out his NMX session, “Legal Ease – What You Should Know To Stay on the Right Side of the Law” in Vegas this January.

Joe will be one of nearly 200 speakers presenting at NMX this January. Learn all about new media from some of the most knowledgeable people in the space by joining us in Las Vegas. Register today!

Andre Meadows’ YouTube Tips [Video]

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One of my favorite YouTubers of all time, Andre Meadows from Black Nerd Comedy, is coming to NMX this year to share his tips LIVE in two sessions: Show Me the Money! Ways to Monetize Your Web Series and In Search Of Super Fans. To give you a little sneak peak of what you can expect to learn from Andrew, check out this video about his biggest YouTube mistakes:

Mistake #1: Naming your channel incorrectly. Is your name catchy? Is it friendly for search engines? Is it easy to remember? If not, it’s not a good name for you.

Mistake #2: Not attacking YouTube harder. This isn’t just a place for cat videos! There’s so much you can do with YouTube, so don’t underestimate this platform. Know why you want to be on YouTube, and have a plan for it. Be totally dedicated to your strategy.

Mistake #3:  Lacking consistency. If you don’t give your channel attention on a regular basis, you’ll lose your momentum. A week or two is like years, so if you stop uploading content, your audience will fade away.

Mistake #4: Thinking YouTube is the only option. There are a lot of video hosting options out there. Your audience may not be on YouTube. Investigate and find what works for you.

Mistake #5: Being a perfectionist. You have to let things go. No video you create will ever be perfect. You have to get your video to a place where you think it’s good and then put it out there. Otherwise, you’ll never see a return on your investment of time.

Mistake #6: Creating multiple channels. Unless your topics are vastly different, resist the urge to make several different YouTube channels. Create one channel and put all of your content together. Especially when you’re starting out, it’s easier to build an audience in one place.

Mistake #7: Freaking out about it. We’re all learning and even the people at the top can learn something new.

What YouTube mistakes would you add to Andre’s list?

Don’t forget to get your ticket to NMX (formerly BlogWorld) to meet Andre in person and attend both of his YouTube sessions (as well as other WebTV sessions). And, find out about all the great blogging, podcasting, and WebTV speakers here.

How One Small Gelato Company is Rocking Social Media [Case Study]

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I first learned about Talenti Gelato a few years ago from a blogger friend who just happened to mention it on her blog. At this point, a few grocery stores were carrying three or four flavors, and when I noticed it at my local Giant, I decided to try a pint.

I became an instant fan, so I decided to follow the company on Twitter and Facebook. Their social media presence has made me even more of a fan of their product, and it’s a staple in my shopping cart, despite the fact that it’s more expensive that most other frozen treats.

Let’s take a look at how Talenti is absolutely rocking social media, and their efforts are resulting in more sales for their company.

Social Media Monitoring

I don’t know what system Talenti is using to monitor their social media efforts, but they rock at it. They aren’t just replying to messages they receive directly (a must for any company). They’re also going above and beyond and seeking out people who are talking about them, even if they are linking to the Talenti Facebook page or @ replying to them on Twitter. Check out this screenshot I recently took of their Twitter account:

Not only are most of their messages @ replies and RTs instead of just broadcasts, but they’re talking to everyone and anyone mentioning their brand. To test my theory, I randomly tweeted about Talenti Gelato without using their hashtag or @ replying to them directly. Within a few hours, they had retweeted my message:

As a fan, it makes me feel special that the company noticed me. Most companies don’t.

A Video Presence

I don’t know why more companies aren’t using video to talk about their products. This is the video Talenti is featuring on their homepage:

Now, I’m not knocking the amount of time that certainly went into this video, but it’s nothing amazingly special that other companies couldn’t do as well. Having your founder get on camera for a quick video like this makes me feel much more connected to the company.

They didn’t stop there, though. If you visit the video page on Talenti’s site, you’ll find lots of other videos that highlight specific products, and on their YouTube channel, they’ve even started to post videos about what to do with old Talenti containers, which definitely fits into their eco-friendly company image.

My favorite video of theirs has to be this creative promo where people use Talenti containers to make music. It’s like a real commercial you would see on TV – but on YouTube!

Fun Interaction with Fans (but always with a goal in mind)

Talenti isn’t some stuffy, stuck-up company, despite selling an artisanal food product. They’re fun and they talk to fans like people, which helps to break down that divide between business and consumer. After all, we’re all more likely to buy from people we think of as friends. Here’s a great examples of one of their Facebook status updates:

More importantly than just pointing out their fun communication style, however, is recognizing that Talenti has a goal with their messages. They rarely go off on tangents or talk about topics unrelated to their product. You do want people to feel connected to the culture of your company, but you should also have a goal behind your communications. Talenti definitely does, even if fans may not be conscious of that push to buy more gelato.

EdgeRank Domination

On Facebook, EdgeRank is king, and Talenti is killing it. Their posts are all about interaction to help get readers as involved as possible. For example:

Check out not only the number of people who commented with captions, but also the huge number of likes and shares they got, simply because the image they used was irresistible. Talenti uses images pretty often, actually, which is important for EdgeRank. They also ask questions, run contests, remind users to hit the like button, and more.

Without interaction from readers, it doesn’t matter what you say or how often you update Facebook; no one will see it. EdgeRank is important, and if your company isn’t writing status updates with it in mind, it’s hard to be successful on Facebook.

All About the Product

What Talenti does best, in my opinion, is produce a quality product. If you go to their Facebook page or search for reviews of their product on blogs and other social media sites, it’s hard to find bad comments. People (myself included) just love what they do.

Your social media efforts are only as good as whatever you’re selling. So before you throw money into your online effects or devote any time to social media, fine-tune the product or service you’re offering. That way, your time online won’t be wasted replying to complaints and dealing with bad press.

Want to learn how to use social media better for your business? Join us at BusinessNext Social in Las Vegas this January – it’s going to be an amazing conference!

YouTube as a Community, Not Just a Platform

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If you’re creating a web series, you’re likely uploading content to YouTube. While this is a great platform to reach new views, if you’re justthinking about YouTube as a platform, you’re doing yourself an injustice. Instead, it pays to think of YouTube as a community. Today at BlogWorld New York, this was one of the topics discussed by moderator Joseph Warshaw and panelists Maria Diokno, Colin Evans, and Donnell Riley at their session, “Social Media for Web Series.”

Growing Your Web Series Through the YouTube Community

Because YouTube is such a large and open community, you can easily connect with others in your niche to grow your own subscriber numbers. The key, according to Joseph, is to network in a smart way, using connections to grow slowly. If you have 2,000 subscribers, start by connecting with people in the YouTube community with 4,000 subscribers – not a million subscribers. As you grow, you an approach people who are more popular, but it makes sense to grow slowly.

Reaching Out to Local People

Don’t forget that even though YouTube is a huge community, you can also make it very “small.” Reach out to local users, because you can easily collaborate with these people. This is beneficial to both of you, since you can easily cross promote on one another’s channels. To go along with this tip, you can also reach out to local aspiring actors, who will often jump at the chance to be a guest on your web series. So, find your local community on YouTube and connect with these people.

This is just a small piece of the tips and tricks these panelists discussed. Want to hear the entire discussion? Pick up a virtual ticket today, and you’ll get recordings of this and all other sessions from BlogWorld New York 2012.

New Media News Break: Cyberbullying, the Olympics on Foursquare, and More

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Every week, we post a New Media News Break to help catch you up with what’s going on in the world of new media and get you through the work week. Here are this week’s top stories:

New York Lawmakers Take a Stand Against Cyberbullying

In New York, state lawmakers want to put an end to cyberbullying by making it harder to stay anonymous online. According to a report by Mashable, “Anonymous web users would then have but a single recourse to save their posts if such a compliant is lodged against them: unmask completely by revealing their name and going through an identification process.” If the user refuses to comply, webmasters must remove the post. While this law could definitely help with the huge cyberbullying problem online, it also poses some questions about free speech. The Electronic Frontier Foundation says this proposed bill is unconstitutional, citing the fact that the right to speak anonymously has been upheld since the founding of the United States. What do you think?

Student Suspended for Fake Suicide Video

In another story related to cyberbullying and online rights, 15-year-old Long Island teen Jessica Barba has been suspended from school after a posting suicide notices on Facebook. The teen did so under a fake account as part of a project to raise awareness about cyberbullying issues, which was actually part of a school assignment. Even though Jessica and her parents say there was plenty to indicate the video was fake, one parent didn’t realize this and called the school. Whether or not you think the project was right to post on YouTube, do you think that schools should have the right to suspend or otherwise punish students for content they create online?

The Olympics Come to FourSquare

In an interesting marketing move, the Olympics have taken to FourSquare. Not only are they encouraging users to check into London sites, but they’re also hoping FourSquare-ers will check into historical Olympics sites, helping to create a buzz about the London games. Users who do so at least twice will get a badge and be entered for a chance to win a trip to the London games.

What do you think of the Olympics embracing FourSquare, in light of the recent move to closely control what athletes are allowed to say via social media?

Facebook and Morgan Sued Over Pre-IPO Forecasts

In a move that surprises…well, no one…Facebook shareholders are already suing the company, lead underwriter Morgan Stanley, and others. Within three days of trading, Facebook shares dropped 18.4 percent from their $38 IPO price. Shareholders claim that the social network and bank within reports that forecasted a weak growth outlook for Facebook shares in the future. Defendants include Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, and JPMorgan Chase & Co. According to reports by Reuters, the lawsuit also claims that “underwriters disclosed the lowered forecasts to ‘preferred’ investors only, instead of all investors.”

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

Check back every Wednesday for a New Media News Break just when you need it!

Five Questions with Daniel Lewis: BlogWorld New York [Video]

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Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis

Daniel Lewis of the Ramen Noodle Podcast answers Five Questions

Are you going to BlogWorld New Media Expo New York? Let everyone know – we will have opportunities for your voice to be heard!

In this first episode of BlogWorld TV, Jeffrey Powers of Geekazine makes the call out to the public. If you are going to BlogWorld New York, feel free to create a 10-second video (send it to jeff@blogworldexpo.com) and he’ll add it to future episodes. All you have to do is get on camera and say:

My name is ________ and I am going to BlogWorld & New Media Expo in New York June 5-7!

Also, in today’s BlogWorld TV segment, Jeffrey talks with Daniel Lewis of the Ramen Noodle Podcast. Daniel will be speaking on two BlogWorld panel sessions in New York, “Podcasting 101, Parts 1 & 2″. Today, we find out what Daniel plans to do in New York in June, if there are any social media rockstars he wants to meet, and which social network he promotes.

 

Google and The Borg Have More in Common than You’d Think, At Least on YouTube

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You will join Google+. Resistance is futile. At least, if Google has anything to say about it.

Google is currently testing out a new “like” button for YouTube so users will be forced to join Google+ if they want to give videos a thumbs up rating. If you aren’t logged in, you can still watch videos, but you can’t rate them. Not everyone is seeing this button change yet (for example, I still have the old like button), but more and more people are starting to notice this change.

If you haven’t seen it already, celebrity blogger and Star Trek alum Wil Wheaton recently posted a pretty strongly-worded message to Google on Tumblr after becoming aware of the new button:

Oh, go f*** yourself, Google. This is just as bad as companies forcing me to “like” something on Facebook before I can view whatever it is they want me to “like.”

Just let me thumbs up something, without forcing me to “upgrade” to G+, you d***heads.

He elaborated upon that rant in a longer post on his blog, saying,

By crippling functionality on sites Google owns (like YouTube) and forcing users to “upgrade” to a service that they may not want or need to get that functionality back, Google is making a huge and annoying mistake.

Amen to that. Google+ is not dead, but I’m guessing the company has been disappointed with this network so far. Based on the hype when it initially launched, I think they expected it to take over Facebook and perhaps even Twitter. While Google+ isn’t a failure (yet), it also hasn’t really done those things. Super intelligent, long conversations possible on Google+, but the general public is still sticking with Facebook for now, at least for the most part. Does that mean Google+ can never succeed? No. But at the moment, they’re fighting a losing battle and making poor decisions.

Google is  like a cornered animal. Instead of being smart and coming up with a good get away plan, they’re just peeing all over in fear and charging at your face snarling, both of which are not good options.

The Google+ button on YouTube is an attempt to force people to use their network if they want to continue using a service they love (YouTube). But forcing people on the internet to do anything typically doesn’t work out very well.

Beyond that, Google isn’t seeing the big picture. Will some people break down and join Google+ if it’s necessary for YouTube liks? Maybe. But they aren’t going to use the platform in most cases. They’re just doing it because they have a gun to their back. They’re joining so YouTube is still functional. And those who don’t join Google+? They’re simply going to stop liking videos. That’s bad news for content creators, and what’s bad for the people putting videos online is bad for YouTube in general. Fewer likes = less funding for content creators = fewer videos = less traffic.

Assimilation by force never goes very well. On the other hand, if you create ingenious products and tools with the consumer in mind, people will be begging to join your ranks. Look at Pinterest. Millions upon millions of users have joined over the past few months and not one of them has been forced.

I think Neil Gaiman said it best in his reply to Wil’s post:

I wish Google would leave the Social Network thing to others. When Google does what it does, and does it well, it changes the world. When it rides bandwagons, it’s irritating.

Google has amazing abilities. Why do they have to take over every part of the Internet? Why be a jack of all trades when you already are the master of one?

I sincerely hope that Google rethinks this Google+ YouTube button. They can still put such a button there – just give us a way to like without connecting as well. I think that’s a fair compromise. But even better would be to simply leave the like button as it is currently. I’m on board with changes when they’re good, but this one just plain stinks.

What do you think of the new Google+ button on YouTube? If Google makes this change permanent, will you sign up for/log into Google+ so you can use it? Or will you just avoid rating videos from now on?

Original image (sans text) via thms.nl at Flickr’s Creative Commons.

New Media News Break: Pinterest Spammers, Teen Opera Stars, Hunger Game Racists, and More

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It’s Wednesday afternoon, and I think we all need a little break to get through the work week. Here are some of the top new media news stories you may have missed this week:

Daily Dot runs a Tell-All Interview with a Self-Proclaimed Pinterest Spammer

Pinterest is quickly become a hot spot for content creators of all kinds – but there’s a dark side too. In an interview with Daily Dot, a Pinterest user going by the name Steve admits to making $1000+ a day by filling the boards with affiliate links.. Steve’s operation is massive, but the interview raises questions for all Pinterest users about when self-promotion and affiliate links become spam.

Teens’ Stunning Performance Goes Viral

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this video where teens Charlotte and Jonathan surprise the audience on Britain’s Got Talent. The video’s gone viral because it is so emotional, which is a lesson to all content creators out there who have hopes of going viral. You don’t always have to be funny or cute. You just have to elicit some strong emotion.

I’ve seen a little buzz on Facebook that his schlumpy look is a marketing ploy to make him the underdog, the type of person people want to like. He has definitely been seen in finer duds in other homemade videos of him performing, which are on YouTube. Perhaps that’s another lesson for all of us, though – good content is only half the battle. You also have to market yourself well.

Google to Get into the Comment Game

Online publishers will soon have another comment system choice – Google is reportedly building a new platform. Reports say it will be similar to the Facebook commenting system, as well as rival Disqus, LiveFyre, and Intense Debate. Do we really need another commenting system? Probably not. But I think this will up the Google+ game, and it’s also going to be interesting to see how this will factor into search. If your SEO improves ten folds by using Google’s system, I can see a lot of bloggers making the switch.

Racist Fans Hate the Hunger Games Movie

Twitter has be buzzing with tweets about The Hunger Games, and not all of them have been applauding the movie. As Jezebel reports, there’s a group of fans upset that the characters on screen didn’t look like the characters they pictured in their heads when reading the book…mostly surrounding the fact that a few of the important characters were portrayed by black actors. In a few instances, the author even described the characters as black, but fans still glazed over when reading those sections and pictured them as white instead.

It’s an interesting conversation, but what’s even more interesting is seeing how the Hunger Games community is dealing with trolls. A lot of fans are fiercely protective of the books and the movie, so I’ve yet to see the author or any of the actors speak out on the topic. Moral of the story: Moderate, but create such good content that your fans go to bat for you.

Live Tweeting Banned by the U.S. Supreme Court

Lawyers may want to live tweet the healthcare hearings going on in the Supreme Court right now, but releasing information to the public has been banned. This ban is actually upholding a current rule that electronic devices aren’t allowed in the courtroom (or the overflow “lawyers lounge”), though this didn’t stop senior counselor Casey Mattox from trying, according to Reuters. He was eventually stopped, even though he was actually leaving the room and sending emails to his staff who were then updating Twitter from their offices in Arizona.

The ban does make sense in some respect – it’s not only to decrease distractions but also to limit media and public influence over what lawyers are saying while court is in session. Traditionally, audio is released – but only after arguments are over. On the other hand, this perfect demonstrates the “need it now” attitude that people have about information. Are you filling that need with timely updates?

Pottermore Break the Mold

Harry Potter can now be enjoyed in all sorts of digital-y goodness thanks to Pottermore, a new ebook store controlled by Team Rowling. This marks the first time a writer and her publishing team have essentially given retailers the middle finger and instead taken control of their own digital publishing. Amazon and Barnes & Nobel have both bent knee and actually send users away from their own sites to buy Rowling’s books directly for her. Apple, however, is still holding out. How will this affect other authors wanting to get in on the digital game? Is anyone else popular enough to do what Rowling is doing? Wired has a great feature story posted on their site all about Pottermore’s rule breaking model.

Teen Expelled Over Tweet

Indiana high school senior Austin Carroll was recently expelled and will have to finish out his final year at an alternative school thanks to a tweet that he says was posted on his own computer from home outside of school hours. The tweet used the f-word several times and school officials say that their system shows that the tweet was made during school. Regardless, should a student’s Twitter account be reason for expulsion? Big brother is watching, apparently. In any case, it is a reminder to all of us to be careful that our tweets represent us well. You may not have to worry about being expelled, but you do have to worry about losing readers/listeners/viewers.

In Case You Missed It

Here’s what you might have missed on the BlogWorld blog in the past week:

Awesome from the Archives

There are some golden posts in the post hidden in the BlogWorld archives. Here are three of my favorites that I think you should check out:

Kony 2012: The Power of Social Media at Work to Change the World

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kony 2012

This morning, one of my friends posted a video called “Kony 2012.” I didn’t really take notice of it at first because I’m not a super political person, but it did catch my eye because I thought, “Hm, I don’t remember hearing anything about a candidate called Kony in her state.” Then I saw another friend post it. Then another. So I decided to watch it.

Thirty minutes long, and I watched every second of it. That’s not the norm for me, especially in the morning when I’m busy answering emails and getting set up for work for the day. I usually just don’t have the time. But for Kony 2012, I made the time…and I hope you will too.

Kony isn’t a politician; he’s a war criminal that is literally stealing children from their beds to he can arm them and force them to kill. I’ve heard of that happening, but I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t know his name, nor did I know that we’re talking about tens of thousands of children. And that’s what this campaign is all about. He’s able to stay under the radar because people have no idea who he is. We need to change that so he can be captured and brought to justice.

It’s a powerful message, but what I think is interesting is that we’re going to watch something even more powerful in real-time: the use of social media to make a huge change in the world. Already, through Facebook and other social media sites, Invisible Children has made a huge difference, gaining support to raise money, reach politicians, and get the world out about Kony’s crimes.

Twenty years ago, this wasn’t possible. Today it is, thanks to social media. That, to me, is chill-inducing and more exciting than just about anything going on in the new media industry.

I hope you’ll take the time to watch and pass on this video, as well as sign the pledge and consider donating to Invisible Children. What do you think of their social media campaign?

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