How to Set Up A YouTube Channel for Your Painting Company

Creating a YouTube channel for your painting company

Did you know that YouTube reaches more people in the 18-49 demographic on mobile alone than any American cable TV network?

Setting up a YouTube channel for your painting company is easy and only takes a few minutes. In this article, we are going to walk you through 3 easy steps to set up your YouTube channel and explain how video marketing can benefit your business. 

Set Up Your YouTube Channel In 3 Easy Steps

1. Sign in to YouTube

Go to YouTube.com and click the sign in button in the top right corner of the page. If you have an existing Google account, use that email and password to sign into YouTube. 

Signing in to YouTube

If you do not already have a Google account, you can easily create a Google account directly from YouTube by clicking ‘create account’. 

How to create a Google Account


Keep in mind that a Google account and a YouTube account are not the same thing.  This is a common misconception.

Your Google account can be used to sign into YouTube to watch and like videos or subscribe to your favorite channels. When you are signed in, you will also get personalized recommendations based on your activity.

Now, having a YouTube channel allows you to upload your own videos for your painting business to have a public presence on YouTube.

2. Create Your Channel

In the top right corner of the screen, you will see your profile icon. 

Click on the circle icon and select “Create a Channel”.

How to create a YouTube channel

From here, you will be prompted to choose your channel name and profile picture

Choosing a YouTube channel name

3. Customize Your Channel

This step will help make your channel welcoming to visitors and help with your SEO.

First, visit the customization tab in YouTube studio.

Layout Tab

Customize YouTube channel

Under the “layout” tab, you can select and organize what users will see when visiting your channel. A video spotlight will be the main video that someone will see when visiting your channel. For those that aren’t subscribed to your channel, you can add a channel trailer. This is nothing but a quick video that highlights what you create and what people can expect from your channel.

You can also add featured sections that will allow you to organize your content in any way you’d like for viewers to see when they arrive at your channel homepage.

Branding Tab

branding your YouTube channel

Under the branding tab is where you can find the customizable elements such as your profile picture and banner image. 

Your profile picture is going to appear wherever your channel is represented on YouTube. Your profile picture must meet the following requirements:

  • JPG, GIF (not animated), BMP or PNG file
  • Recommended 800 X 800 px image
  • Square or round image that renders at 98 X 98 px

If you know what a Facebook cover photo is, a YouTube banner image is very similar. This is a banner that will appear at the top of the page when someone visits your YouTube channel. With this, you can show off your personality and a little more about yourself and your painting company.

For the best results, your banner image must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum dimensions of 2048 X 1152 px with an aspect ratio of 16:9
  • Safe area for text and logos at the minimum dimensions: 1235 X 338 px
  • File size: 6 MB or smaller

Basic Info Tab

customizing basic info on YouTube Channel

Under the basic info tab, you can make edits to your channel name & description, add translations in other languages, add links to sites that you want to share with your viewers (such as your company’s website) and add contact information if you would like people to be able to email you with inquiries.  Make sure to link back to your business.

After making changes to any of these tabs, always be sure to hit the “publish” button to make your edits live on your channel.

Now it’s time to create content for your YouTube channel! 

Most people think that creating a video for their business is really time consuming or that you need expensive equipment to start – Not true! All you need is your smartphone and a location that is relatively quiet with good lighting.

Create and optimize your painting company’s YouTube videos to get the most out of your YouTube channel. In this blog post, learn how to create your videos from choosing a location, to finding a topic and editing your video. (We even include a secret step that not many people know about.)

How Video Marketing Benefits Your Painting Company

Did you know that  72% of people say that they would rather learn about a new product/service by watching a video over reading text? 

Video marketing allows you to promote your business on social channels that can increase overall engagement while educating your audience in a creative way.  In other words, it gets more eyeballs on information that you provide.

Developing a strong video marketing strategy for your painting business can provide the following benefits:

1. Reach a wider audience

With a large percentage of people preferring to watch an informative video over reading text, you have an opportunity to reach even more of your target customers. Think about the benefit of someone being able to watch you explain the benefits of painting your kitchen cabinets over replacing them or why you should hire a professional to remove wallpaper in your home.

2. Increase Revenue

Did you ever think that creating videos could put more money in the bank? Businesses that implement a video strategy increase their revenue 49% faster year-over-year than those that do not use video.  Many painting companies are not yet utilizing these methods, so put yourself ahead of the competition and be a familiar face to your clients even before they meet you.

3. Increase Number of Shares

Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. By creating quality video content, you have a better chance of passively raising more awareness for your painting company. With YouTube users sharing 400 hours of new video every minute, your business is set to establish a connection with users and therefore, drive leads.

4. Allows you to show off your work and your hardworking team!

When it comes to choosing a painting company, people are mostly interested in 2 main things – the cost of your painting services as well as the QUALITY! This is your perfect opportunity to show them the high-quality work that they will receive when they choose your business to paint their home.

With video marketing, you can also answer frequently asked questions in a video format, letting a possible prospective client put a name to a face as you help answer their questions. This can ultimately instill a feeling of trust in that individual and you may have just scored yourself a new client!

These are just a few of the benefits of video marketing for painting companies. It can’t be stressed enough that it is important for your business to stay on top of evolving video marketing trends to remain relevant in the digital world as more and more people turn to online video for information and advice in addition to entertainment.

YouTube is not just for cat videos anymore!

Need help setting up your channel or getting started with video marketing?  Give IFTS a call at 412.715.6266 and set up a free one-hour video roadmap session.  We’ll look at what you have done so far in the video space and set up a roadmap for you to follow to get yourself in front of more clients fast!

How to Set Up Your YouTube Channel for Law Firms

How to create a YouTube channel

Did you know that YouTube reaches more people in the 18-49 demographic on mobile alone than any American cable TV network?

Setting up a YouTube channel for your law firm is easy and only takes a few minutes. In this article, we are going to walk you through 3 easy steps to set up your YouTube channel and explain how video marketing can benefit your law firm.

Set Up Your YouTube Channel In 3 Easy Steps

1. Sign in to YouTube

Go to YouTube.com and click the sign in button in the top right corner of the page. If you have an existing Google account, use that email and password to sign into YouTube.

Signing in to YouTube

If you do not already have a Google account, you can easily create a Google account directly from YouTube by clicking ‘create account’. 

How to create a Google Account

Keep in mind that a Google account and a YouTube account are not the same thing.  This is a common misconception.

Your Google account can be used to sign into YouTube to watch and like videos or subscribe to your favorite channels. When you are signed in, you will also get personalized recommendations based on your activity.

Now, having a YouTube channel allows you to upload your own videos for your firm to have a public presence on YouTube.

2. Create Your Channel

In the top right corner of the screen, you will see your profile icon.

Click on the circle icon and select “Create a Channel”.

How to create a YouTube channel

From here, you will be prompted to choose your channel name and profile picture

Choosing a YouTube channel name

3. Customize Your Channel

This step will help make your channel welcoming to visitors and help with your SEO.

First, visit the customization tab in YouTube studio.

Customize YouTube channel

Layout Tab

Under the “layout” tab, you can select and organize what users will see when visiting your channel. A video spotlight will be the main video that someone will see when visiting your channel. For those that aren’t subscribed to your channel, you can add a channel trailer. This is nothing but a quick video that highlights what you create and what people can expect from your channel.

You can also add featured sections that will allow you to organize your content in any way you’d like for viewers to see when they arrive at your channel homepage.

Branding Tab

branding your YouTube channel

Under the branding tab is where you can find the customizable elements such as your profile picture and banner image. 

Your profile picture is going to appear wherever your channel is represented on YouTube. Your profile picture must meet the following requirements:

  • JPG, GIF (not animated), BMP or PNG file
  • Recommended 800 X 800 px image
  • Square or round image that renders at 98 X 98 px

If you know what a Facebook cover photo is, a YouTube banner image is very similar. This is a banner that will appear at the top of the page when someone visits your YouTube channel. With this, you can show off your personality and a little more about yourself and your firm.

For the best results, your banner image must meet the following criteria:

  • Minimum dimensions of 2048 X 1152 px with an aspect ratio of 16:9
  • Safe area for text and logos at the minimum dimensions: 1235 X 338 px
  • File size: 6 MB or smaller

Basic Info Tab

customizing basic info on YouTube Channel

Under the basic info tab, you can make edits to your channel name & description, add translations in other languages, add links to sites that you want to share with your viewers (such as your firm’s website) and add contact information if you would like people to be able to email you with inquiries.  Make sure to link back to your firm.

After making changes to any of these tabs, always be sure to hit the “publish” button to make your edits live on your channel.

Now it’s time to create content for your YouTube channel!

Most people think that creating a video for their business is really time consuming or that you need expensive equipment to start – Not true! All you need is your smartphone and a location that is relatively quiet with good lighting.

Create and optimize your firm’s YouTube videos to get the most out of your YouTube channel. In this blog post, learn how to create your videos from choosing a location, to finding a topic and editing your video. (We even include a secret step that not many people know about.)

How Video Marketing Benefits Your Firm

Did you know that  72% of people say that they would rather learn about a new product/service by watching a video over reading text? 

Video marketing allows you to promote your firm on social channels that can increase overall engagement while educating your audience in a creative way.  In other words, it gets more eyeballs on information that you provide.

Developing a strong video marketing strategy for your firm can provide the following benefits:

1. Reach a wider audience

With a large percentage of people preferring to watch an informative video over reading text, you have an opportunity to reach even more of your target customers. Think about the benefit of someone being able to watch you explain the benefits of hiring an attorney to create a will or how a DUI firm helps people get their DUIS expunged from their records by following the proper sequence.

2. Increase revenue

Did you ever think that creating videos could put more money in the bank? Businesses that implement a video strategy increase their revenue 49% faster year-over-year than those that do not use video.  Many law firms are not yet utilizing these methods, so put yourself ahead of the competition and be a familiar face to your clients even before they meet you.

3. Increase number of shares

Social video generates 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. By creating quality video content, you have a better chance of passively raising more awareness for your firm. With YouTube users sharing 400 hours of new video every minute, your firm is set to establish a connection with users and therefore, drive leads.

4. ‘Humanize’ your firm

Let’s be real… Some of those who are looking for answers to frequently asked law questions may find it ‘boring’ or will most likely be unenthused as they search for answers that have to do with divorce or bankruptcy etc. With video marketing, you can answer these questions in a video format, letting a possible prospective client put a name to a face as you help answer their questions. This can ultimately instill a feeling of trust in that individual and you may have just scored yourself a new client!

These are just a few of the benefits of law firm video marketing.  It can’t be stressed enough that it is important for your firm to stay on top of evolving video marketing trends to remain relevant in the digital world as more and more people turn to online video for information and advice in addition to entertainment.

YouTube is not just for cat videos anymore!

Need help setting up your channel or getting started with video marketing?  Give IFTS a call at 412.715.6266 and set up a free one-hour video roadmap session.  We’ll look at what you have done so far in the video space and set up a roadmap for you to follow to get yourself in front of more clients fast!

How To Create and Optimize Your Company’s YouTube Video (With A Secret Step That Not Many People Know About)

Painting FAQ videos

Did you know that every day YouTube has over ONE BILLION hours of video watched, which results in billions of views?

Is your business taking advantage of having videos on YouTube?  If not, today is a great day to start!

Most people think that creating a video for their business is really time consuming or that you need expensive equipment to start – Not true! All you need is your smartphone and a location that is relatively quiet with good lighting.

Choose Your Video Location Carefully

Find a room where there is a window in front of you so the natural light illuminates your face. Make sure that there is no distracting clutter in the background.

Prop up your phone so that it is pointed at you and you are centered in the frame. Another option for this is to purchase an inexpensive stand that holds your phone. Most of these stands also come with a remote control so that you can press “record” more easily.

Choose An Outfit To Film In

When choosing an outfit to film in, pick something that represents your brand. If you’re in a professional field, you can never go wrong with a suit and tie. If you’re in a service business, a polo or T-shirt with your logo makes sense.

Make sure that there aren’t any distracting patterns on what you are wearing. Patterns can appear fuzzy or out of focus on camera. Noisy jewelry is also a negative. You want your microphone to pick up what you are saying rather than your bracelet clanging off of your watch. 

Following these guidelines will ensure the professionalism of your video, and it will make you look good. 

Choose Your Video Topic

A lot of businesses have videos all over their website about themselves…and this is where they go wrong.

Your clients don’t really care about you, they just want to know that you are the best company to solve their problems. So, prove it!

Choose 5-10 questions that you are asked regularly, then answer them on video.  Don’t use industry jargon, and speak as if you are talking to a potential client.  

On an aside – A lot of people wonder if they should write scripts when filming videos like this.  It really depends on you.  Write a script, create an outline or conduct a practice run; do whatever makes you feel most comfortable.  You want to do your best to sound natural and relaxed, so your expertise shines through.

Stumped for ideas?  Go to https://answerthepublic.com/ and enter your business type or a problem that you solve. This website will give you frequently asked questions about the topic.

Edit Your Video For YouTube

This is the part of the process that most people find difficult. There are multiple ways to edit your video easily that don’t require expensive video software, like Adobe Premier Pro. If you have a Mac, you can use iMovie. There are also many apps on your phone that will allow you to edit a video you have created.

Whatever software you decide to use, make sure your sound is clear. If it allows you to add background music, choose something that is unobtrusive and appropriate for your business.

Secret Step That Most People Don’t Know About – Do Keyword Research For Your Video

Once you have your video completed, you’ll want to do a little research on keywords that go with it. Keyword research helps tell you:

  • Most googled phrases about your topic
  • How many times per month something is searched
  • How difficult it is to rank for that keyword or phrase
  • And more!

Use a tool like SEMrush or Ubersuggest for your research. Both options have free account versions.

In this example, we will use SEMrush.

Let’s say that you are a painting company, and you created a video on how to prep a house to paint. 

Go to SEMrush and type in “how to prep a house for painting” to see the search statistics that go with that phrase:

Painting company SEO statistics

As you can see, this keyword phrase is googled 320 times per month.  That means it’s a great phrase to use in the title of my video. The keyword difficulty is 42%, so it tells me that we will need well-structured and unique content to rank, which is exactly what my video is for.

The keyword research also shows me: 

  • Variations on the keyword that I could use in my video description
  • Common questions that are googled about my keywords
  • Related keywords that can act as secondary keywords that can be used in my video description on YouTube (more about this later)

When choosing a title for your video, be sure to choose a keyword phrase that is googled at least 100 times per month (rule of thumb).  Be sure to also choose 1-3 other keywords or phrases that go with your video that are searched over 20 times per month.

Upload Your Video To YouTube

You’ve created your video and have your research, so you are ready to upload your video to YouTube and have clients find you!

Before you upload your video, change the name of your video file to be the title of your video, separated by hyphens.  

So, in this example, I would name my video “How-to-prep-a-house-for-painting.mp4”

Then, go to your YouTube channel and hit the “Create” button.  Once you upload your video, YouTube has multiple fields that you can fill in.  The most important field is the “Title” field.  This is where we would put “How To Prep A House For Painting In 2021”.  If possible, it’s a great idea to add the year in the title to let YouTube know that this is the most up to date information available on your subject.

The next most important field is the description, which can be 5000 characters.  This is where you will tell people about the video, and why they should watch it.  Remember the secondary keywords that you chose?  This is the place to use them.  

You can’t use the same keyword phrase over and over again.  This is called “Keyword Stuffing” and YouTube/Google don’t like to see it.  So, you use keywords and phrases that are similar to your primary keyword (your title).

Another good rule of thumb is to place a link to a page on your website within the description. It helps you build backlinks and send people to your website if they are interested in your product or service.

YouTube will also ask if the video is made for kids (to create an age restriction if needed) as well as a few other questions that you should be able to answer easily.

Once the video has processed, the last thing that you will want to do is set the thumbnail.  This is the image that YouTube will use to represent your video before it is played.  Typically, we recommend creating an image that is 1280x720px and following the YouTube tips on creating an effective thumbnail: https://creatoracademy.youtube.com/page/lesson/thumbnails

BONUS – What To Do After Your Optimized Video Is Live On YouTube

Once you have your optimized video live on YouTube, don’t stop there.  You took the time to create it, now promote it!

There are multiple ways to get your video out there:

  • Post a link to the video on your social media
  • Share the video on LinkedIn
  • Send the video to your clients
  • Send the video to your prospects
  • Share the video with partner companies that you have

In addition to promoting your video, you can also use the content again!  Upload your video to a tool like otter.ai to create a transcript of it. Use this transcript to create a blog entry on your website and link to the video. This allows you to give information about your business topics to multiple audiences, and it helps with your SEO (search engine optimization).

Start creating your content on a weekly or bi-weekly basis to see your traffic increase and your videos start to rank.

If all of this seems overwhelming and you’d like some help getting started, call IFTS today and ask about our “Beginner’s Video Package” at 412.715.6266.

What Social Media Platforms Should My Painting Business be Active on?

social media platforms for painting businesses

Is finding customers online proving to be quite the struggle? If it is, then social media would be the remedy to that. 

Traditionally, painting businesses have predominantly relied on word of mouth to gain new customers. While this is still a very valid – and constructive form of marketing, modern-day digital advertising is gaining more and more ground thanks to technology. The Internet particularly gives companies an array of opportunities to reach wider audiences and control their reputation. One such tool is social media.

And to be fair, it’s one of the best tools for businesses.

Social media platforms are not just places where business pages and profiles are housed. They are hubs for people to communicate, share their opinions, make recommendations, and express their likes or dislikes — now doesn’t that sound a lot like word-of-mouth marketing? 

So how do you select the right social media platform for your business? 

It all comes down to each platform’s rules and restrictions, content specifications, marketing options and available audiences. It also boils down to your personal preference, and how you prefer to showcase your services, promote your business, and interact with customers.

 

In this article, we are going to list the top 5 social media platforms and reveal the specifications of each platform.

The Top 5 Social Media Platforms for Painting Businesses

YouTube

YouTube is the second largest search platform globally after Google. It appeals to an audience of 18 to 65 years and has more than 2 billion active users. 

This platform is video-based and has other sections that allow you to share photos, go live with an audience when premiering videos, and build a community. Want to show off your painting skills? Or maybe share a DIY tutorial on how to paint like a pro? If you want to go the video route, YouTube is your best option.

YouTube’s algorithm, however, like all other platforms, periodically changes to keep up with consumer needs. Hence, when making content for YouTube, keep it informative and in line with the platform’s rules. Keep the videos short, interesting, and high quality.

Facebook

Facebook is one of the platforms that have continually changed its settings to accommodate business needs. It has more than 2 billion active users globally, most of whom are between 18 and 65 years old. 

Creating a Facebook Business Page is a top choice for all types of businesses. You can utilize it to create a wide range of content aimed at attracting, nurturing, and retaining clients. Facebook allows you to post text, images, videos, contests, events, and build an e-commerce page on the platform where you can sell products/services or book appointments.

With Facebook, you can also automate a good number of marketing activities and take advantage of targeted advertising and paid ads.

Instagram

Instagram is relatively newer than Facebook and has more than 1 billion active users globally. It attracts a younger crowd than Facebook, and has quickly grown into the easiest platform to advertise services to a younger target audience. But who ever said that young people aren’t homeowners or ever in need of painting services? Many people like to spend time on Instagram looking for new ways to spice up their home, especially DIYers.

This site supports photos and short videos; using the right hashtags when posting these may draw in more followers than you expect! The platform also offers various tools that allow you to run surveys and polls, create longer videos, and share something interesting from within the platform. You can also integrate Instagram with other platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. 

To win on Instagram, you need to have good quality images and videos and be consistent in your posting schedule. Make the content interesting, and use paid ads whenever you need to reach a bigger audience. You can also make use of IG influencer marketing as it has done wonders for numerous businesses.

Twitter

With more than 330 million active users, Twitter is a platform that appeals to businesses and experts of all sorts. It particularly attracts an audience aged 18 to 49 years and is more formal than Facebook and Instagram. 

If you are looking for a formal way to communicate with your audience, Twitter is a good option. Text content on Twitter is limited to 280 characters. As such, if you have a longer message, you can create a thread or use other platforms to pass the message across. 

If you want to grow your market using Twitter, be sure to optimize your business profile and use such tools as hashtags, retweets, mentions, and replies.

LinkedIn

When it comes to professionalism, LinkedIn takes the cake. It is the one social media platform where formality is the order of the day. However, you won’t see business pages with a lot of action on LinkedIn; rather it’s the business owners and their employees who are more actively and constantly in pursuit of connections. B2B networking is a big thing on LinkedIn. 

The audience you will find on this platform aged between 25 and 64 years – and most of them have a higher education and several degrees to flaunt. But that should not deter you, especially if you are looking to make connections with other companies — and you never know what that may bring your business down the line…

It is not necessary for your business to be present on every single one of these platforms to become noticed on social media. Some sites are increasingly gaining popularity within a short period of time, that it’s only natural that others slip through the cracks. 

To make your decision easier, think about your marketing. All the social media platforms we mentioned come with inbuilt statistics that show the return on investment (ROI) for organic and paid marketing efforts, and some of them come with inbuilt ad campaign management tools you should learn to be savvy at — but if it all sounds like too much to stay on top of, you can turn to us at IFTS for advice.

Your success on any platform depends on the audience you want to reach, the type of content you post, and your understanding of the platform’s algorithms. Remember that these algorithms change periodically, so you need to always be at the top of your game.

Download our free guide, The Painter Marketing Broad Brush Effect. This guide will walk you through 7 simple steps to bring in more painting customers than you can handle in 2021 and beyond!

The Painter Marketing Broad Brush Effect

Get a FREE download of our 7 simple steps that will bring in more painting customers than you can handle in 2021 and beyond.

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If you would like more information on the best social platforms for your business specifically, Give IFTS a call at 412.715.6266 for a free consultation.

Facebook Ads vs. Google Ads – Is One Platform Better to Advertise on Than the Other?

A common question for many business owners when it comes to online advertising is  where is my budget better spent?

Google, with over 85% of the search market share, is undoubtedly known as the most popular search engine on the internet as Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. Both Google and Facebook are valuable places to advertise your business, but for different reasons depending on a few factors.

We all know that both time and money are limited, so where should you start with paid advertising to get the best bang for your buck?

No matter if you’re an expert in pay-per-click advertising (PPC) or if you’re just getting started, this article will help you understand the key differences between Google Ads and Facebook Ads and which is the best fit for you.

What is the Main Difference Between Facebook Ads and Google Ads?

Before we look at the factors that make each of these advertising platforms their own, let’s take a look at the main difference between Facebook ads and Google ads.

Google ads = paid search

As Google is the world’s largest, most popular search engine, it is also the largest PPC advertising platform.

Google ads is a paid search platform working on a pay-per-click model where ads show up in search results above organic results giving immense opportunity to advertisers. 

Pay-per-click means exactly what it says – you do not pay until someone clicks on your ad.

Paid search primarily focuses on targeting specific keywords that advertisers bid on in hopes that their ads will be displayed on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) when specific words and phrases (keywords) are searched by Google users.

Every time a user clicks on a Google ad, the advertiser is charged a certain amount of money. 

Facebook ads = paid social

A great example of advertising on social networks, also known as “paid social”, is Facebook ads.

With more than 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook has become a highly competitive element across many businesses’ digital advertising strategies.

You may think that advertising on Facebook is similar to advertising on Google as advertisers use both platforms to promote their business online… but this is where the two become very different.

Unlike paid search advertising, where businesses can be found with keywords, paid social helps connect users to businesses based on their interests and behaviors online. 

A common strategy used with facebook ads is retargeting. Facebook retargeting ads are one of the platform’s prime advertising features where these ads allow you to reach out to users who are already familiar with your brand. We’ll touch back on this advantage later in the article.

When Should You Use One Advertising Platform Over The Other?

Now that we’ve covered the primary difference between Google ads and Facebook ads, let’s take a look into the features of advertising on each platform and how they can be used effectively.

Targeting users 

Google ads target users based on specific keywords pertaining to their search queries. By doing keyword research, you can find out exactly what users are searching for to target them accordingly.

Targeting through Facebook ads allows you to target users based on how they interact online. You can focus on demographics, interests, previous behaviors and more.

Although Facebook users don’t use the platform to search for products as they would with Google, with the many different targeting options available, you still have the opportunity to get yourself in front of your audience.

As we mentioned earlier in this article, Facebook retargeting allows you to reconnect with users who have previously interacted with your business in some way. 

This could include users who have:

  • Interacted with your Instagram or Facebook page
  • Shared their email with you
  • Watched your videos (or a portion of them)
  • Interacted with your app
  • Viewed or taken actions on your website

As of late 2020, retargeting on Facebook has changed. With the Apple 14.3 IOS update, Apple will now require people to opt-in to having their data tracked…instead of requiring them to opt-out, which had been the standard. This update will affect your retargeting efforts if you do not take action.

For more information on this update and ways to mitigate the damage to your Facebook ads caused by the IOS 14.3 change, check out our article on How to Avoid Losing All of Your Retargeting Traffic.

Giving users what they want, where they want it

Since Google users see ads based on the keywords they search, it is more likely that they will click on an ad in Google since it is something that they intentionally searched for. 

It is likely that those who are served ads while searching on Google are further along in the buyer journey, making them that much closer to purchasing.

When advertising on Facebook, you are most likely putting your product or service in front of an audience who has never heard of you before. You are reaching customers where they already are – social media. 

Since social media users use the platform to “hangout” and socialize as opposed to using Google to look for answers, they might not be as far along in the buyer journey as they did not intentionally seek out your product/service.

When this occurs, you have to hope that you are offering the right ad at the right time, hoping that they move along in the buying process.

What is the goal of the ad?

Obviously the goal of every ad is to sell a product or service. But based on what the audience is seeking, these goals change ever so slightly.

The main goal of Facebook ads is to promote awareness of your company, product or service. Advertising to people based on their interests over time will lead to reaching more goals (website visits, new clients, and even purchases!) as users become more familiar with you.

When you advertise on Google, you are advertising with a goal to sell immediately since you are targeting specific keywords. 

We know that when users search with specific keywords, they know what they’re looking for and they are more likely to purchase upon finding the product that they want. This is where you are able to make it easy for them to find exactly what they are looking for.

So… Facebook Ads or Google Ads? Is One Platform Really Better Than the Other?

In reality, one of these platforms isn’t necessarily better then the other because both platforms perform differently from one another, bringing unique benefits to the table.

Benefits of using Google:

  • Target ready-to-purchase users
  • Choose from a variety of ad formats
  • Analyze your ads with Google Analytics

Benefits of using Facebook:

  • Expansive audience (over 2.4 billion users!)
  • Granular targeting based on demographics
  • Visually appealing, fun ads

These two platforms should be seen as complementary to one another rather than being viewed in an adversarial way.

You will ultimately find the most success with advertising on both platforms as you will not only show up for popular keywords that users search for on Google, but you will also target users by their interests and behaviors through your ads on facebook.

Why not create the largest possible audience by advertising on both platforms to reach a multitude of new potential customers?

Not sure where to begin with advertising your business? Let us help you. Send me (Stacey Ivol) an email at si@iftsdesign.com or give IFTS, Inc. a call 412.715.6266 for a FREE consultation.

Are You Prepared For the Apple 14.3 iOS Update – How To Avoid Losing All of Your Retargeting Traffic

Are you prepared for the Apple iOS update that could drastically affect any Facebook advertising you may be doing?

Late last year, Apple announced that they would be implementing new privacy updates to iOS 14.3. One new feature is that users will now be able to see how each app uses their data.  The most significant change is that Apple will now require people to opt-in to having their data tracked…instead of requiring them to opt-out, which had been the standard.

The message that will pop-up is below:

Facebook has been trying to fight Apple on this by stating that it will hurt small businesses.  They took out newspaper ads, ran Facebook ads against it, and explored other options, but the rollout has already started.  In fact, some people started receiving this pop-up in late December 2020.

What Happens When People Opt Out Of Being Tracked?

What does opting out mean for your Facebook ads?

You will not be able to track online conversions from users on mobile devices like you used to, and your retargeting audiences will change or will be missing iOS users.

One positive thing to note – when people interact with your ads in the Facebook app, that behavior is still able to be tracked.  So, you can still see the stats for your videos, reactions, comments etc.

However, once a person clicks on an ad and is taken to another site, the Facebook Pixel will not be able to identify that person.  This means that you can’t track if they convert and you cannot retarget them.

What Happens When People Opt In To Being Tracked?

Currently, Facebook is estimating that about 10 – 15 percent of people will opt-in to being tracked.  

If a person has opted-in to being tracked, there are some changes to that ability as well according to Facebook:

  • You will only be able to track conversions that happen within 7 days after clicking your ad (instead of the standard 28 days)
  • All tracking and statistics may be delayed up to 3 days
  • Personalized ads on audience networks will be very difficult to serve and this functionality may be discontinued

Here is a quick summary of what this means for your Facebook Ads:

  1. You will no longer be able to retarget iOS website visitors
  2. You will not be able to exclude your current customers from seeing your ads using the “Audiences” feature
  3. Your conversion tracking numbers will no longer be accurate

The question on everyone’s mind is “What can we do to limit the impact of this change?

How To Tell If This Change Will Affect Your Facebook Campaigns

If you want to see how this change will affect you, you can see how many people are clicking on your ad or viewing your video broken down by device.  Facebook has a view setting for you to check out.

Open your ads manager and click on “Breakdown” > “By Delivery” > “Impression Device”.  This view will show you the results of your campaign, broken down by device.  

In the example below, you can see that iPhones and iPads account for 50% of our video thruplays.

If your campaigns are targeting a large percentage of iOS users and you use retargeting, you’ll definitely need to take mitigating steps to account for this update.

How To Mitigate The Damage To Your Facebook Ads Caused By The iOS 14.3 Change

Facebook has outlined 2 quick steps to take right away to manage these changes.

Step 1 – Verify Your Domain Through Facebook

In order to track ANYTHING on your website with the Facebook Pixel, you need to go through the verification process.  This will require access to your DNS records.

Open your Facebook Manager and go to “Business Settings”.  Select the “Domains” option inside of “Brand Safety” on the menu, then click the blue “Add” button.

Enter your domain name and follow the instructions to verify your domain through adding a TXT entry to your DNS records.

Step 2 – Make Sure You Only Use 8 Tracking Events Going Forward

A tracking event on Facebook allows you to track the actions that people take on your site.  For instance, you can keep tabs on how many people purchase a specific product.

Some examples of tracking events are:

  • PageViews
  • Leads
  • Purchases

And more.

To see how many events you are currently tracking, go to your “Events Manager” inside your Facebook Manager.  

If you have 8 or less, you are fine to keep your tracking strategy the same.  If you have 9 or more, you will need to choose the 8 that are the most important to you.  Make sure that you have them in priority order.

How to Overcome the Main Issues That Result From Limited Tracking From the Facebook App

What are the alternative ways to create retargeting audiences?

  • Collect email addresses first in your funnel.  Then, use these email addresses to create a custom audience in Facebook by uploading a csv file.
  • Create a retargeting audience by using an informational video that would be very helpful to your target audience as an ad.  Then, retarget the people that watched more than 50% of the video.
  • Set up custom conversions through the Facebook API to allow you to collect the numbers that you need.  There may be a manual step within this process, but it will allow you to collect the information to make informed decisions about your advertising budget.

In conclusion, iOS 14.3 has started to go live and will affect your Facebook retargeting efforts if you don’t take any action at all.  Tracking your visitors and your conversions will not be an option from anyone using an Apple mobile device.

Be sure to verify your domain name and check if you are below 8 tracking events.  Then, start implementing alternative plans to create audiences of your ideal client.

Need help creating a plan to account for these changes or do you want help putting it all into action?  Give IFTS a call at 412.715.6266 or email me (si@iftdesign.com) to ask about our small business special for the iOS 14.3 change!

Top 3 Social Media Management Tools

A strong social media presence can help your business in a multitude of ways, but keeping up with posting on multiple social platforms can be a chore. Thankfully, there are social media management tools out there to make the job easier and help you manage every one of your social profiles and pages in one place, so you can spend more time on other aspects of your business. These tools are designed to save you time and help you build an audience.

In this post we compare the top 3 social media management tools, Sprout Social, Buffer, and Hootsuite, if you need help deciding which may be the best fit for you.

What makes a good social media management tool?

Buffer, Sprout Social and Hootsuite all cater to a broad range of social networks. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn – the four most popular social channels are compatible with all 3 of these social media management tools.

People mainly turn to social media management tools for the convenience of scheduling posts which makes it extremely easy and convenient when coordinating multiple campaigns.

Given the ability to schedule and post across all of your social networks at once is going to save you a lot of time- especially when you wear many hats within a business. If the convenience of posting to all of your social accounts at once isn’t enough, you also have the ability to tag locations on Facebook and add hashtags on Instagram posts.

Top 3 social media scheduling tools

  1. Buffer

Buffer is the most straightforward tool to use for scheduling your social media posts and also allows you to measure your performance on social sites, create reports, and gain insights to grow engagement.

Buffer supports the 4 most popular social channels: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Pinterest updates can be scheduled for pro users.

Buffer is great for collaboration within teams – but only if you are willing to pay for a more expensive plan.

Buffer’s free version includes one user, 3 social media accounts and 10 posts per profile. Their Pro plan is ideal for those who are just getting started. This plan is $15/month and includes one user, up to 8 social accounts and 100 scheduled posts. An option for growing brands would be the Premium package ($65/month) where you can add up to 8 social accounts, schedule 2,000 posts and have 2 users. Now, Buffer has an ideal option for larger teams coming in at $99/month that includes up to 25 social accounts, 2,000 scheduled posts and 6 users on the account.  

  1. Sprout Social

Sprout Social is a great all in one tool for managing and scheduling all of your social media accounts through one platform. 

Sprout Social stands out for its ability to handle team interaction. Several team members can collaborate on drafts and you can distribute permissions or request approval before posts are published. Sprout Social also makes it easy to assign tasks to other team members. Although Sprout Social is the best management tool for team-based social media management, you have to pay the monthly fee per user.

Sprout Social offers a free 30-day trial. After that, prices start at $99/user per month for up to 5 different social profiles. They offer additional plans that include more profiles and features.

  1. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is the best management tool for scheduling as well as analytics. With this tool, you can connect 35 social networks including the top 4 – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

If you are looking to make use of the analytics feature, Hootsuite is the tool for you. Hootsuite will help you understand the results generated from your social posts to measure your performance. From there, you can generate reports to use within your organization.

Hootsuite works great for individuals as well as teams. You can assign access to team members and customize permissions for each individual user. You can even assign specific tasks to your team members (like responding to comments or incoming messages), then approve the outgoing responses before they’re sent.

There are 3 different plans available that include unlimited scheduling, where the difference lies in the amount of users and number of social profiles that can be connected. Professional plan allows one user and up to 10 social profiles. Team plan allows 3 users and up to 20 social media profiles. Business plan allows 5-10 users as well as up to 35 social media profiles.

Which social media tool is best for you?

Hoostuite takes the cake at being the all-in-one tool that has the biggest list of compatible networks. It offers more analytical tools that go just beyond scheduling your own posts. The business plans are moderately priced, so if you’re looking to use it within a large organization it’s likely worth it. For no-frills social media management, Buffer is the most straightforward tool that focuses on sharing your posts while it allows for simple team interaction. Buffer is ideal for your typical business that is just getting started and doesn’t have a ton of resources to devote to social media. Sprout Social ranks #1 as it has the best collaborative features of the three but it comes at a premium price point.

5 Social Media Marketing Secrets Nobody Has Told You About

Surely and quickly, social media marketing is becoming one of the most important ways for businesses to reach their target market. But why? 

How does social media provide such incredible benefits? It wasn’t too long ago that social platforms were only used to connect with family & friends.

The truth is, over the past few years, things have changed… A lot! Today, over 90% of marketers have noticed how social media has significantly increased their exposure. And this can only mean 1 thing: if you’re not using social media to your advantage, you’re missing out on an incredible marketing opportunity. 

That in mind, here are 5 “secrets” about social media marketing that no one’s telling you about: 

1. Social Media Marketing can help your SEO

What does social media have to do with search engine optimization? The idea is simple: search engines know which pages on your website are getting traffic and which ones aren’t. This means that, each time your content is shared on social media, traffic will be sent to your website that tells the search engines your website is still relevant, helping you to maintain your rankings or climb faster in the search engine results pages. The more shares you have on social media, the more opportunities people have to see your content and link to it.

2. Social Media helps you know your target market

By taking an interest in your “fans” on social media, you can easily find out who your target market is! By simply looking at their profiles and seeing what other brands they follow, you can learn what products they buy, what their hobbies are and maybe even what they like most about other brands. The more you know about your audience, the better you can market your products or services.

3. A Social Media presence helps you increase your brand awareness

People don’t look at Facebook or Instagram and see a marketing platform. They see a social network! That in mind, the more you interact with everyone, the sooner you can start building a relationship with your audience and grow as a brand. Social media is a great platform for brands to maintain customer relationships, while also having the opportunity to be found by new leads. 

4. Social platforms allow you to target and RE-target to your audience

Did you know you can narrow down your audience on social media and target only your ideal customers? Not only that, but Facebook allows you to retarget your products and services to anyone who was “this close” to becoming your client! If someone visited your website, but left before making a purchase, you can add that person to your list of “almost clients” and deliver your ads to them in the hopes that they convert.

5. Social Media Marketing is cost effective and fair

Did you think you’d have to spend a fortune to market your business on social media? Creating a business profile is free and so is being active. And if you decide to advertise on Social Media, you can always start small if you don’t know what to expect.

One of the best things about social media is that it’s a fair way to market your business. Sure, bigger brands have some advantages like bigger marketing budgets and better name recognition. But everyone can create a social account for free and dedicate their time to engage with their audience.

 

If you need help with social media or even just want it done for you.. contact us at IFTS!

Visit our website for more information!

What is the Best Time to Post on Social Media?

What is the best time to post on social media? 

This may sound like a ridiculous question, but there absolutely is a right time to post on social media.  Audience engagement is one of the key factors when selecting times to post.  More likes, comments, and shares can result from a well-timed post, although timing can vary depending on industry and your specific audience. 

At the end of this guide, you will have a better idea on how to experiment with your social channels to find the perfect time to engage with your audience on those that you appear.

How To Find the ABSOLUTE BEST Time to Post on Social Media

Get Totally Familiar with Your Audience

Look at your best clients or clients that you want to attract.  What common demographics or psychographics do they have?  Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are their age ranges?
  • Where are they from?  A specific city, state, country?
  • What do they do for a living?  Do they work for a specific company or companies?
  • Are they more likely to use a mobile phone or a desktop?

Create a complete picture of your target audience using these questions.  This will help you develop a publishing schedule that best caters to them.

Test different times with similar content

If you want accurate results, test consistently. Use the same content (or content that is very similar) when it comes to testing out different times to post. This way, you don’t receive a false positive with a not so engaging post that is shared at a high-traffic time.

Keep an eye on your competitors profiles

Make note of when your competitors are receiving high amounts of engagement and what kind of content they are posting. Create an opposing schedule for yourself and make note of the data. Do you also see a boost at the same time? 

Take note of what others in your industry are posting on social media and what their engagement looks like. Larger organizations with sophisticated social strategies are great examples to help you find a starting point for your posting schedule. 

Continue testing 

Even if you find times that are working great for you, keep testing! Audience habits, and network algorithms are going to continue to change which we ultimately have no control over.

Create a social media report for yourself and keep track of when you are receiving the most engagement as well as what the content is. Decide how often you’ll experiment with your social channels and keep adding to the list to make sure you are maximizing your efforts for your content to be seen and engaged with!

What time should YOU post on social media for your business? 

Hootsuite, using data from 300 brands, identified what day/time of the week is the best to post and receive maximum engagement. They have also broken the data down by social network.  The results are further divided into B2B and B2C categories.

For the most productive posting time on social media, you should schedule your posts between 9 am and 12 pm during the early work week, according to Hootsuite’s data.  

Let’s Break it Down By Platform…

Facebook – Best Time to Post

B2B brands: 9am – 2 pm on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.

B2C brands: 12pm EST on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Things to consider when posting on Facebook

Twitter – Best Time to Post

Can you guess how long Hootsuite data claims is the average lifespan of a tweet?

Give up?  It’s  only 18 minutes!

This makes your posting schedule for twitter that much more important.

B2B brands: 9am – 4pm EST (emphasis on the 11am to 1pm window) on Monday or Thursday

B2C brands: 12pm – 1pm EST from Monday thru Wednesday.

Things to consider when posting on Twitter

Instagram – Best Time to Post

Hootsuite analyzed their top Instagram accounts in multiple industries to pinpoint their most productive posting times.

Professional Services Industry : Early in the workday on Fridays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 9 am – 10 am.

Professional services usually post informative, educational content such as links to videos and blog posts. This is content that people are more likely to interact with earlier in the day while they’re at work.

It is suggested that if you are just launching your social media accounts, do not schedule posts on the weekends/evenings unless your testing has shown this to be effective.

LinkedIn – Best Time to Post

According to data from Hootsuite, the best time to post on LinkedIn is 7:45 am, 10:45 am, 12:45 pm, and 5:45 pm. 

B2B brands: Wednesday was found to be the best day to post. 

B2C brands: Mondays and Wednesdays

Amanda Wood, Social Marketing Lead at Hootsuite says “The Hootsuite social team posts on the 45-miute mark because most brands are posting on the hour.” This is interesting because it offsets your posts from being thrown into the mix with competitors, giving you an opportunity to be seen outside of those flooded peak hours.

Things to consider when posting on LinkedIn

All of these timing recommendations can be used as starting points, then supplement internal data that you have found through testing to maximize your engagement.

Sources: 

https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-facebook-twitter-instagram/

https://blog.hootsuite.com/best-time-to-post-on-instagram/

https://www.thedailystar.net/world/the-best-time-post-social-media-1544206