Life isn’t always the way we want it to be. All we have to do is to glance at the headlines to see that we live in very uncertain times. Today we are going to unravel 3 Ways to Stay Hopeful During Uncertain Times. I hope you enjoy the article and can relate to it in some aspect.
Here we are, at the job we thought was safe might not be there tomorrow. There’s always some natural disaster somewhere. And people seem to be more cruel than kind. Have you found that to be true? I have, and I don’t like it one bit.
It’s easy to get caught up in a negative spiral of self-doubt and anxiety. So, how do you stay hopeful and positive when around you all you see are negative messages and fear?
Be here now
By focusing on the present, you will find it easier to take a step back and act as an observer. By practicing mindfulness, you’ll see you can enjoy the simple things in life, no matter how bad things may seem. All worries and fears of the unknown can melt away if you focus on the present. Look for things in your life for which you’re grateful. One way you can do this is to start a gratitude journal, where you can write down your thoughts and get them out of your head.
Look for ways to exhibit compassion and empathy
Spreading hope needs to start somewhere. Begin with the one person you can control, yourself. By looking for opportunities to pay it forward through random acts of kindness, you then become the impetus for others to do the same. Your compassionate heart and ability to walk in another’s shoes will be the guide to those around you. And even if it’s not? You’ll have at least changed one heart – your own.
The person without hope becomes stagnant, preferring to hide from the world. If you find that’s the case with yourself, then it’s time to force yourself into action, even if you don’t feel like it. Get out of the house. Call a friend and suggest an outing or go by yourself. Find a green space somewhere because these places have been found to create calm and contentment in those who spend even a few minutes there. The goal is to find a positive action and embrace it, whatever that might be. Pick up litter, hug a child, do something that makes you feel good inside, and there you will find hope blossoming.
It’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity of the world around you. Only by actively seeking hope will you find it. By practicing these three steps regularly, you’ll find yourself able to look forward to each day, no matter what’s going on around you.
If we can help in any way, please reach out to us here. We’d be more than happy to help.
You may not have journaled since you were a kid. Or maybe you’ve never tried it and don’t see the point. But, the action of putting pen to paper is an extraordinarily beneficial way to improve your life. Journaling is an effortless way to change your life when nothing is going right. Today’s discussion is about How Journaling Can Change your Life for the Better. So pull up a comfy chair with a cuppa and enjoy today’s read.
Discover what’s important
When you free write, you end up writing about the things that are most important to you. They may be things that you don’t even think of as that important but looking back over your writings later will give you a strong inclination of what you find the most rewarding in your life. For example, if you find yourself coming back to the idea of starting your own business over and over again, it’s obvious that it’s a dream that’s important to you. When your life is in chaos, you have less to lose, and you might decide to go for it and see what happens.
We get used to living in a routine and frequently overlook the small actions we make that add up to beneficial changes in our lives over time. Journaling helps us see all the successes we’ve had, even when life isn’t going the way we want it to. Using a journal as a form of tracking our successes can bring us a great deal of comfort when times are tough.
Let go of old emotional blocks
We can share our deepest fears and worries in a journal. When we feel down, we often need a sounding board more than we need advice, and journaling gives us that. We can let out and then let go of past hurts and failures, our needs and wants, without having to tell anyone about them but ourselves. Writing is cathartic and can help us release old emotions and beliefs that are no longer serving us.
Find the answers
People who journal often report that they find the answers to problems within themselves by using journaling to tap into their unconscious. Each of us has the answers to every problem already inside of us and journaling is a way to access those answers in a positive way. It’s amazing how allowing ourselves to be honest and open to our struggles ends up making the answer we’ve been seeking so obvious – it’s all there in black and white.
Many people who journal find themselves writing poetry or drawing to express themselves. A journal is a safe place to be creative. There’s no judgment from others, just an open invitation to express ourselves in whatever way comes up. Allowing this creativity to spring forth is another way that our problems get solved because we allow our minds to be in a different, creative space that is open to all possibilities. Are you willing to try it?
In our next article, we’ll be discussing Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success. Make sure you come back to read it.
Expressive journaling can be your road to de-stressing and re-energizing your mind. It can help you declutter your brain and your soul, and help you get feelings out on paper where they can be examined and interpreted. Today’s discussion is all about What is Expressive Journaling?
Do you even know what it is? Journaling like this can help you live more of your life in the moment, as you deal with the past and future in your journal. You’ll feel more secure in your daily life without all that hanging around in your brain, and you’ll find yourself enjoying your days with less worry and pressure.
Here are lots of different types of expressive journals, and each of them can be used exclusively. Or you can mix and match what you want when you want it. We’ll talk about several of the most common types of expressive journals in this article.
- Art Journal – Whether or not you are artistically talented, an art journal is an excellent idea if you love to doodle and sketch. What are you feeling? Turn that into a sketch. Draw an outline and then color it in with colored pencils or gel pens. If getting better at art is your goal, make the page opposite your creation where you write about how you feel about what you’ve created and how your progress is coming along.
- Gratitude Journal – There’s no better way to increase positive feelings in your life than with a gratitude journal. Each day, reflect on your experiences, what you’re thankful for, and lessons that you want to remember for the future. And then take it a step further and let the people you’re thankful for know about it!
- Dream Journal – Each morning, grab your dream journal and write down your dreams from the night before. Leave room after each dream, in case you come back with different insights later on, and you want to record them. Your dreams can tell you a lot about your waking life when they’re interpreted correctly!
- Creative Writing Journal – If stories are your thing, try a creative writing journal. Write a short story every day, or challenge yourself to write a short story in just 100, 200, or 300 words. Challenge yourself and hone your skills!
- Positivity Journal – Each day, pick something positive that happened that really inspired you. Write about what happened, the people involved, and how it made you feel. This can help you see more positive things in life overall, and helps decrease negativity.
So, don’t overthink your journaling – just get started and try!
We are now beginning our series on the topic of journaling. There will be several articles on the whys and the hows so this will be really interesting You might want to read these all at the same time or even save them in a file you can go back to and read from time to time.
At any rate, this is a topic of discussion and you’ll be happy to know that even the most famous people write in a journal. Try it, you might even like it!
Being able to adequately express yourself isn’t something that comes naturally to some, or even most of us. But it’s important for you to be able to express yourself and express your wants, needs, and desires, as well as express things you don’t like. Being able to express yourself is necessary to live an authentic, fulfilling, and healthy life, and to help you create the life of your dreams! Today we’re discussing all about Laying the Groundwork of Self-Expression.
There are three (3) main steps involved in learning to express yourself. These steps may not feel natural at first because they are new, but stick with it! You’ll soon find yourself better able to express yourself to those around you with confidence.
1). Learn to listen to yourself, your emotions, and your intuition. Too often, early in life, we are taught (directly or indirectly) to hide our emotions, and put on a smiling face even when we don’t feel like it. It’s time to unlearn all of that. So, the first step is to begin to really feel the emotions that are inside you. Your first instinct may be to mentally run away from those feelings but try not to do that. Feel each emotion, no matter what it is, without any self-judgment. Your emotions are simply what they are, and there aren’t any wrong emotions, only wrong ways that we’ve learned to react to them. So, quiet yourself and allow yourself to feel because you can’t express yourself if you don’t know what you’re feeling.
2. Acknowledge whatever you are feeling. Honor those feelings, again with no judgment. By self-validating your feelings, you learn to seek answers from within yourself, rather than always looking outside yourself for solutions. In reality, all we need we already have inside of us. Acknowledging your feelings might seem very frightening at first because you feel vulnerable. That’s okay. That feeling of vulnerability will go away once your mind realizes there isn’t really any need for fear.
3. Tune in to how your body reacts to the emotions you are now experiencing. Body awareness is very important in learning to express yourself, as it is one of the best ways to gauge your comfort level. If you tense up in response to an emotion, show your body and brain that everything is going to be okay by doing some deep breathing. Close your eyes, acknowledge the feeling, and then let it go. If a part of your body tenses up, consciously relax it. Use your new awareness to find what works for you in terms of expressing yourself, both emotionally and physically.
What do you think about writing in your journal like this? Have you thought about what you might write about and how it might be different? Let me know in the comments below.
Today we’re talking about How to Use Writing to Achieve Emotional Balance. You are well aware of the power of your emotions. You probably also understand how sometimes they can seem out of control and unmanageable. If you’d like to achieve emotional balance, greater control over your emotions, and better health, the following information will prove invaluable.
There are certain skills for managing emotions.
Defining the emotion in your own terms and from your own understanding.
It is important to gain some distance from your emotions. This will help you gain a clearer understanding of your feelings and how they are impacting you. When you are in the middle of the situation dealing with the emotions in the here and now everything will seem muddled and you will struggle to see what is happening as well as the bigger picture.
By understanding and recognizing the emotion as well as achieving distance you will be able to begin releasing the negativity surrounding it.
Through focusing on the emotions and the attendant triggers, feelings, and behaviors you can gain clarity and create change.
By following through the previous skills you will be able to regroup your thoughts, feelings, and attitudes. Creating a new set of behaviors when dealing with difficult situations will help you to cope in the future.
Like all habits practice makes perfect and you will need to constantly remind yourself of the positive changes you have made with regard to your emotions and their impact on your life. What will you do to remind yourself how to remain positive, calm, and balanced?
Writing can help you to achieve emotional balance as it will take you through all the skills above.
How does it work?
If you are suffering from emotion, such as sorrow then everything you think, feel, and do will be tainted by it. It will have a negative effect on you and your actions. No one wants to live in sorrow for long.
By taking a piece of paper and a pen you can write yourself into a more emotionally balanced state.
Start by writing a really happy memory of a time when you were not experiencing any sorrow or any other negative emotions. Make your writing really descriptive so that you can see the scene clearly, make it colorful, add sounds, smells, and things you can touch as well as taste. Write down how you felt and why you felt so positive and happy.
Try and include the following:
This positive memory will become an anchor. You can display it somewhere prominent or keep it safely hidden for use when needed. It is designed for use when you are feeling anxious, stressed, sorrowful, angry, or any other negative emotion. If you have a bad day you can refer to it and be reminded of a happier positive time.
Next, follow each step from defining the negative emotion you are feeling to maintenance. Again include the when, where, what, who, how, and why as this will really help you understand the emotion as well as any triggers and resulting behaviors.
By writing your thoughts and feelings at each stage, as well as identifying the triggers, you can not only understand the emotion better but yourself and your reaction to it. By having this written insight into yourself you are learning how to take control of your emotions and achieve balance. You will be able to refer to it to remind yourself how to cope with difficult situations or simply how much you’ve achieved and grown.
And you thought journaling was just about writing! I hope you’re learning a thing or two. Writing about your thoughts can be complicated, but if you have a plan, it can be very rewarding.
Next up, we’re discussing Laying the Groundwork for Self-Expression. You’ll want to catch this one as we are almost done with the Journaling Series.
Today we’re going to discuss journaling. So to get clear, this is An Introduction to Journaling for Those Who Hate to Write. Is this you? If it is, then stay tuned because this is going to be several discussions around journaling and why you want to start.
Journaling is a powerful self-help tool that is gaining popularity. You can purchase a variety of journals online from stores such as Amazon as well as in bookshops. Coaches and therapists also use journaling to help clients. It is also incredibly easy to journal on your own in just a plain notebook. However, all journaling has one thing in common and that is writing.
So how can you journal if you hate writing? Ha…now that’s a good one!
From simple to elaborate, any kind of picture that expresses your emotions and situation will help. After you’ve drawn the picture you can label and annotate it. If you leave a blank page opposite your drawing then you can come back and review it at a later date and jot down any additional thoughts, emotions, and responses. Quite often this simple method will actually get you writing quickly. Try it, I bet you’ll be writing in no time.
Here’s a trick: why not try using different types of pens or pencils to make your journaling more interesting and exciting? Try different colors to make things interesting.
If you are journaling about a problem, then you might consider using a diagram such as a mind map or decision tree. Diagrams are powerful because they are visual and help you to see patterns and connections more easily. If you are trying to make a decision, then you can illustrate the different outcomes and results to help you formulate the best decision. Adding in color not only makes them more attractive but can highlight connections.
Using a simple prompt such as a word or question can help break the blank page syndrome and inspire you to unburden yourself onto the empty page in front of you. It’s important that you don’t feel that you have to write a lot or even in full sentences. The journal and act of journaling have to relate to your needs at that moment in time and this will vary day-to-day.
You could consider purchasing a journal designed for the specific use you need. There are lots of weight loss, gratitude, happiness, and other journals available. Many of these will include prompts and recording methods that don’t require lots of writing.
Create a Collage
Get some magazines or newspapers and cut out words, phrases, paragraphs, or even articles that relate to your situation or emotions at that particular point. Add in pictures that you find that could demonstrate how you are feeling or want to feel. Again you can annotate it to make it truly personal. Leave a blank page so that you can revisit and review at a later time and add in additional journaling.
While writing using a pen and paper is probably the most powerful method of journaling you can also use dictation software such as Dragon. You’ll need the software and a computer with a microphone to use this method. It may be easier to start your journaling journey by speaking to the computer and imagining you are talking to a friend or just yourself. The software will ‘write’ what you say and you can save the document so that you can review it later.
You may decide to keep your journal electronically in which case you can review it and add in later thoughts and feelings by typing or dictating through the speech recognition software. Or you may decide to print it out and keep it in a binder. If you do print it out, then you have the opportunity to embellish it or make additional notes on the hard copy. One way to do this is to use One Note for Microsoft Office. It’s convenient and you can keep your thoughts by writing day-by-day.
Journaling does not have to be undertaken every day for a set period of time if that does not suit you. Many people journal every day for 20 minutes as that is the method that suits them best. However, it may be that once a week is enough.
Alternatively, you may decide that you will journal when you feel you need it. Some days it may be that you choose to use a prompt or picture to kick-start your writing. Other days you may find that the words flow and you can write without stopping.
The important points to remember are that the journal is a personal document designed to help you and that it is designed to be used and revised. It’s a living document and there is no right or wrong way to create or use it.
Stay tuned for the next article on journaling. You’re not going to want to miss it!
Today we’re discussing Why Writing Down Your Goals Boosts Your Chances of Success. Setting goals is an important part of life. Without them, you won’t know how to recognize success or achievement. By knowing your goals, it tells you what you want to achieve and why it’s important to you. While not all goals are equal they do all deserve the best chance of achievement.
What’s in a Dream?
In life we all have dreams, ambitions we want to achieve. However, it is entirely in your power whether they remain dreams or whether you will actually set out to make them a reality. If you think of a dream, then it is more like a hope; a wish not yet fulfilled. Perhaps your ambition is to be promoted to director in your company. That’s great but just having that dream won’t actually help you achieve it.
Writing it Down
Writing your dream down can help increase the chance of it becoming a reality. The very act of committing it to paper makes it more real and concrete. You can see it. In black & white! However, there is more to making your dreams turn into reality than merely writing it down. You actually need to flesh it out. You need to give it substance and to create a goal. By turning your dream into a goal you are further committing to its ultimate achievement.
Your goal is the end-point. It is what you want to achieve and how you will know you have been successful. The key to success is to write down the steps you will take to get there. How you will turn that goal into a reality. What do you need to focus on to create it? It is important to know why that goal is one you want to achieve. So you need to write down what achieving it will look and feel like to you. How will your life change? By making your visualization of your success as descriptive as possible and by writing it in the present tense as if you are living it now, you create a connection with your subconscious mind.
Additionally, writing is a right-brained activity. It is part of your logical and analytical mind. However, the very act of writing keeps the right-brain occupied and allows the more creative left-brain to be accessed. This will let you begin to create and visualize the future you want. Setting that vision down on paper is a record that you can refer to again and again. It will remind you why you want to achieve the goal you have set and how you will know you have achieved it.
The Ultimate Goal
Adding the steps to achieving the goal provides you with a to-do list. You can tick off each step as you complete it and see your progress. This can be very motivating especially if you find yourself struggling. Acknowledging how much you’ve achieved can strengthen your resolve and provide motivation to continue.
Has The Goal Changed
Alternatively, by having a written record of your goal and the steps needed to achieve it you will be able to see if your mind has changed. Often you’ll find that your actual goal changes. Where you started as wanting to be promoted to Director you may find that you actually want to be promoted to Director of a different division or department or maybe even a totally different role!
It’s Not Written in Stone, Y’all!!
Goal setting is not something that is written in stone. Your written goal, visualization, and plan will not only be a record and guide but a working document that can be changed as your vision of your future changes. Having it written down enables you to track your progress and any changes. You can evaluate as you progress and by ticking your achievements off as you go you’ll be able to celebrate your progress along the way.
Did you write that all down? I hope so! The next article will be the cherry on the top of this whole journaling thing. So make sure you come back to read the next tips about journaling. You’ll be glad you did!
Planning Your Content
Continuing on with our Content Marketing Plan, this time we are discussing how to PLAN your content. One thing that’s very important, if you plan to leverage the power of audio, video, and text, is to have a comprehensive content marketing plan.
Here’s a little checklist that might help you do that.
Setting Your Goals
All your content creation should have a purpose and that purpose should not only benefit your readers but benefit your business as well.
Some purposes might be:
- Search engine traffic
- Word of mouth and viral effect
- Pre-selling and warming up the audience to a product
- Establishing credibility and authority
- Reader satisfaction
- Boosting your opt-in list subscribers
- Boosting customer relationships
- Selling your products
Just remember, the goal or purpose of each content piece is aligned with your overall marketing strategy. This may also help you decide whether content should be in audio, video, or text format. For example, if your goal is to boost customer relationships, you might choose a video of yourself to do that.
When you do your content marketing plan, make sure your content includes a call to action that supports your goal. For example, “For more information about how to manage debt, grab our free report 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt in 12 Months.” – tell them what you want them to do next.
Carving out time for research is very important. From brainstorming topic ideas to finding supporting information for those topics, there is plenty to be done. You also want to research potential places to distribute your content as well.
Here are some things that will make your research easier:
- Keep a list of content ideas throughout the month.
- Use the following to generate content ideas/topics:
- Social networking
- Keyword research tools
- Blog comments
- Client interaction
Review the analytics and results of last month’s content and evaluate which pieces generated the most interest or results. Know which pieces your audience responded to and use that information to create content topic ideas for this month.
While you’re researching topics, take note of interesting articles, statistics, and other items you might reference later as you’re creating your content.
Keep your eye out for places where you might publish your content. Connect with other website owners who might publish for you. Connect with them by subscribing to their sites, on Facebook, Twitter, and more.
Creation and Distribution
Here are some things to plan and keep in mind, so your content gets out there to your audience.
- How much content will you need? Will you write it all yourself, hire a writer, or use PLR? If you’re using a writer, ensure they have all the information they need well ahead of time, so they can meet your deadline.
- Have you created your content publishing schedule? Plan ahead, so that you can match content topics with products you’ll be promoting. Decide where each piece will be published and which pieces will be published in multiple places.
- Guest blog
- Social networking page
- Article marketing site
- Video sharing website (ex. YouTube)
- Audio sharing website (ex. iTunes)
The best way to make the most of your monthly content is to find ways to reuse it and repurpose it. However, when creating your repurposing strategy make sure that you’re still focusing on your goals. Each repurposed or reused piece of content still needs to serve a purpose and support a goal.
- You’ve created a plan to reuse or repurpose some or all of your content. For example, an article published on your blog can be rewritten and published on an article marketing site. Or an article that resonated with your readers, could be made more visual and viral by turning it into a video.
- Each piece of content that is repurposed or reused content has a goal/purpose. You should always keep benefiting your business (and your audience, of course) in mind.
It may seem overwhelming to have to plan all this content in a variety of mediums, but over time you’ll learn what your audience responds to and where you should focus your efforts.
And remember, quality is more important than volume, so focus on delivering quality.
This ends this series on Content Planning. Hope you enjoyed it and found it useful.
The Dos and Don’ts of Audio and Video
Part 3 in the series of a content marketing plan. In case you missed Part 1 or Part 2 use the links provided to catch up in the series.
Using audio and video on your site can greatly enhance your visitors’ experience. It gives them alternative ways to receive information and makes your site more interesting. But it is important not to push these mediums on your visitors, because it may be a turnoff for some.
Here are some things to look out for:
- Try to avoid using audio or video that automatically starts when a visitor arrives at your site. Most people want the power to choose when they watch a video or listen to audio on the web, and if that is taken away, it could leave a bad taste in their mouths.
- If you’re embedding videos, don’t put too many on any one page. This can cause slow load times, and possibly even browser crashes for users who do not have the fastest connections or the newest computers.
- Don’t take a “one size fits all” approach. If you’re streaming audio or video, offer options for those with slower connections alongside the standard options. You can provide written summaries for recorded content, for example.
- Don’t forget to seek input from your website’s visitors. If you’re considering audio or video but have not implemented them yet, consider doing a user survey to find out how they would like to see it used. If you are already utilizing audio and video, ask them if they feel you are using it in the best way possible. You’re providing these things for the benefit of your users, so it’s crucial to make sure that they are benefiting from them.
It’s important not to alienate anyone through your use of audio and video. The idea is to give your users more options, not to make things more complex or decrease usability.
Why Bother With Text When You Can Use Audio and Video?
With all of the possibilities that audio and video have to offer, one might think that plain old text would be outdated. But even though these things add a great deal to the Internet, there still is, and probably always will be, an important place for the written word.
The Internet was founded on text. And while text is no longer the only thing you can find online, it is still what the Internet is based on. It’s largely what the search engines use to determine whether a page is relevant for a given keyword, and it’s often what people want when they are seeking information that they can share easily.
Text is currently the only medium that allows for easy searching. This is not only important to the search engines, but also for the average user. This is starting to change as technology advances, but currently, you can’t type in a search term and skip to each instance of it on an online video or audio recording. But if you’re on a web page and need to find a specific word or words, you can simply use your browser’s search function to go directly to it.
It’s also important to consider that there are people who use text-only browsers to access the Internet. Those who are blind often use browsers that read the text on a page aloud, and if there is not sufficient text to describe what the page is about, they may seek information elsewhere. In addition to this, some users do not have sound cards or speakers, rendering audio useless and video usable but silent.
There are many things online that need to be presented as text. Doing them any other way just doesn’t make sense. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to access your bank account information as an audio file. And you might not benefit very much from your digital camera user guide being presented in video form, although videos showing specific picture taking and maintenance techniques might be helpful.
Text is still an important part of any web page. Audio and video can great assets to your website, but in most cases, they shouldn’t completely replace your text. Text is still favored by many Internet users, and it gives the search engines more to go on when they index your site.
Text Can Be Portable in your Content Marketing Plan
Online audio and video are becoming easier and easier to take wherever you go. They can be downloaded to watch later on your computer, or you can put them on portable audio and video players. But text doesn’t have to be bound to the Internet or computer screen either.
When people find information that is valuable to them online, they often want to save a copy of it for later reference. They can bookmark the web page, but subsequent changes may move or eliminate the information they want. They can save the page in question to their hard drives, but few people do. Making it easy for your site visitors to take your words with them is good for business. Here are some ways to accomplish that:
- Offer printer-friendly versions of popular pages. Your site design may cause pages to print out poorly, especially if you use frames. Making it easy for users to print pages that look like they should allow them to easily archive information for future reference.
- Consider putting certain information in PDF format. This is the file format that is often used for ebooks and brochures, and it provides easy readability. It prints out nicely if your users want a hard copy. And there are now portable ebook readers on the market that allow one to save his ebooks and other PDF files and take them with him wherever he goes.
- Provide options for mobile web users. It is worthwhile to set up mobile web pages and for, some businesses, text alert systems. If your website offers up-to-date information such as news, weather, or account information, your users could benefit from mobile options.
The many recent innovations that utilize text indicate that it is still a medium that should not be ignored. While it may not have the potential for the personality of audio or be as visually stimulating as video, it is easy to transfer and doesn’t require any special software to use.
Audio and Video Should Complement Text, Not Replace It
One of the most important things to realize about audio and video is that at this point, they often don’t translate into money as quickly as text can. Utilizing audio and video is more about making a name for yourself and building your brand than immediate monetary gratification. It helps generate traffic to your website and boosts your business’s image.
Of course, there are exceptions. Popular videos participating in the ad revenue sharing program with YouTube can earn some decent money. YouTube is also always developing their technology for embedding links and other more interactive elements into videos.
Besides, you may find using video on a sales page increases your conversions and it can work as very well in this regard. So, you should think about this when you’re creating content for your market planning.
But overall, text is so vitally important on any website. Audio and video can enhance a website or sales letter, and they can go a long way toward convincing a visitor to become a customer or client. But ultimately, it is usually text that seals the deal. At the very least, text is the most effective way to instruct visitors on how to order or sign up.
Audio, video, and text can work together to make your website nice to look at and listen to, as well as highly functional. Each medium appeals to visitors in its unique way. Taking advantage of the multimedia opportunities available online can boost your site’s popularity while making it more useful.
Planning your content is up next in this series of Content Marketing Plan so stay tuned. You’re NOT going to want to miss it!
To continue with this series, we’re going to discuss using video in our content marketing plan. Do you use video in your content? Why or why not?
Why Use Video in Your Content Marketing Plan?
Online video’s popularity has grown exponentially in a short time, thanks to video sharing sites such as YouTube. The increasing availability of high-speed Internet has also had a hand in making video so popular, there’s absolutely no doubt about it. More than 1 billion unique users each month to the site shows us we need to pay attention. Add to that, including video on your website can greatly enhance your visitors’ experience.
A live streaming video is a great tool for online tutors and others who can benefit from a high level of interaction with their visitors or customers. It makes it possible for you to communicate in real-time, do live demonstrations, and answer questions with ease. For your audience, it’s the next best thing to being there with you.
Recorded video can also be a tremendous asset to your website. It’s much easier than you might think to make professional-looking videos to showcase your products and services. Your site visitors can watch these videos at their convenience, and if they like them they will often recommend them to friends and colleagues. For added exposure, you could make your videos available for embedding with YouTube or another video sharing service.
Ways to Use Video in Your Content Marketing
Video is a very versatile medium, and it can be used in several ways.
Here are some ideas:
* Make viral videos. These are usually entertaining clips that include a plug for your business and appeal to a broad audience. As a promotional method, a viral video is not usually very targeted, but it can result in a huge amount of exposure at a relatively low cost.
* Hold online video conferences. These provide an unparalleled way to reach out to your target audience. You can use tools like Google+ Hangouts to easily hold your online events.
* Make how-to videos. Create them on topics relevant to your website’s subject matter. Providing informative video content will generate buzz about your website, potentially increasing traffic. It will also help you establish yourself as an expert.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Video Sharing Sites
YouTube site makes it easy for anyone to upload videos to share with anyone with a computer who cares to watch them, and it provides viewers with a wealth of entertainment and education opportunities. It’s easy to do with a mobile phone, from your computer or just about any device. Sharing your videos on YouTube and other sites have some advantages.
YouTube’s immense popularity can potentially result in lots of people viewing your videos. If they find videos they like, they can embed them onto their sites or blogs. That will result in an even greater audience, and some of them may choose to embed your video on their sites as well. You can see why some marketers love the idea of video sharing.
There are, however, some disadvantages to putting your videos on sites such as YouTube as well. One of the biggest concerns of marketers is that video-sharing doesn’t require users to come to your site to view the videos. That means that while your videos may be wildly popular, they might result in very little traffic to your site. It’s important to give viewers an incentive to visit your site once they are finished watching the video. Alternatively, you can change your videos’ settings so that they can’t be viewed on the YouTube site or embedded elsewhere, but that will limit your viewership.
Make sure you use YouTube’s handy tools to include promotions in your videos, clickable links, and more. This will help bring more of your YouTube watchers back to your site.
The sheer power and excellent features of YouTube likely outweigh and concerns you might have.
Embedding Video from Your Own Server
Those who do not like the idea of uploading their videos to sites such as YouTube can upload them to their servers and embed them from there. This gives you more control over your videos and ensures there is no “YouTube” logo on your videos.
But before you jump into that, it’s important to remember that video files are usually very large. Making them available directly from your server can take up valuable file storage space, and it can also drain your bandwidth. When you upload videos to a video sharing site and embed them from there, you use that site’s storage space and bandwidth.
Whether you should upload a video to a video sharing site and embed from there or keep it on your own server depends on several factors. If you don’t mind having another website’s name pasted on your videos and don’t want to overtax your server, video sharing could be the best option. But if you want to ensure that users have to come to your site to see your videos and prefer not to provide free advertising for a video sharing site, hosting your own videos might be the best way to go.
Stay tuned for the next in the series of content market planning where we discussed the Dos and Don’ts of using Audio and Video in your marketing.