Why You Should Add Video to Your Online Marketing Strategy | Online marketing

Each day I talk to small business owners and marketing managers about the advantages of video marketing and what it can do for their businesses. Most of the time they associate video production with the cost, not the benefits. Big mistake. One video can be reused for numerous marketing channels. It is a cost effective method to generate more leads. Here are 11 reasons why you should produce an online video and successfully use it for various marketing channels.- Higher Return On Investment potential. Early video adopters found out that video is very cost effective since increased sales outweigh the production cost and bring higher ROI. Businesses hesitate to add video to their marketing mix due to a high video production cost, which remains an obstacle to greater video adaptation. Animated video can be a solution to that since it doesn’t require live action video shooting, extensive equipment and onscreen talent.- Improve SEO ranking. Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL Search Engines give priority listings to websites that host video content. Research shows that webpages with engagement objects such as video, enhance the user experience and therefore rank higher in search results. Uploading Online Video to the second largest search engine – YouTube, and linking back to your website will add even more weight to your Google search results.- Increase profile views within business directories. Create a short introductory video about your company, products and their benefits. Post video on business directories – Yellow pages, Google places, Yahoo! Local, Bing Local, Yelp and others and drive more traffic to your websites, get more calls, and increase store visits.- Improve email marketing. Are you constantly looking for new ideas to improve response rates? Consider including video in your email marketing campaign. Integrating video can increase click-through rates and lift conversion by 50% (source: Constant Contact).- Track results. The success of a video campaign can be measured accurately in real time. Detailed analysis of how many people viewed the video, who watched it, what behaviors the video generated, and more can be displayed. When you post videos on other websites, you can keep track of the number of visitors it brings to your website.- Enjoy Viral Effects. Online video has a great potential to become viral and be seen by the masses, creating an online word of mouth effect. Viral video became popular through the process of Internet sharing through YouTube, Facebook, blogs and email. Video is a great way to encourage interaction, fun and enjoyment amongst the online community.- Support sales. More companies incorporate videos into their sales presentations that can help sales people to more effectively deliver their marketing messages and sell products. These introductory videos demonstrate how products work, dissolve common objections and show the testimonials of satisfied customers.- Utilize Mobile channels. As many users are switching to smart phones, online marketers are looking for ways to be able to reach them through their handsets. However, not all videos can be played on mobile. E.g. Flash videos cannot play on Apple products such as the iPhone and iPad. The problem can be solved by uploading Flash video to YouTube, which uses HTML5 technology to display various formats of video and then embed YouTube video on your website.- Motivate viewers. Great stories combined with music create a powerful emotional overtone, capture and motivate audiences. Rich content and entertaining stories give consumers editorial reasons to return more frequently to website or blog. Made-for-web video is the most effective online format to positively influence purchase decisions.- Educate and build trust. Video is suited for many forms of presentations to inform and instruct customers about your products, their features and benefits. Audio and visual presentations can accelerate learning by 78% and increase comprehension (source: S. Cartwright, Preproduction planning for video, film and multimedia). Focus your script around the most important points you want your viewers to remember and do.- Reach your audience in any language. Video helps you tell your story in any language and motivate viewers to take action across all time zones and borders. Either record voice over talent in different languages or add translated subtitles to your video to reach broader audiences.Online Video is a no brainer for any business. Start with one video, upload it to various channels and get results.

Investing in 2012 – Best Alternative Investments? | investing

When we think about investing we normally picture in our minds a variety of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. It is crucial to remember however that limiting ourselves to these common investments can be the biggest risk one can take in these harsh and uncertain economic times.It is always important to add diversity to your investment portfolio, and since different investments behave differently under varying economic conditions, it is always a good idea to have such investments that can support and even temporarily replace those investments that tend to wither in the worst of situations.The answer then to a risky situation lies in expanding your investment options and seriously looking at including a few alternative investments in your portfolio; this may be the best way forward for you in 2012 and beyond.What are Alternative Investments?Many alternative investments are thought to lack liquidity and are generally a bit more complicated for inexperienced investors. Usually you will find only wealthy individuals and investment corporations focusing on them.In the majority of cases, these types of investments require a much higher minimum investment and the associated fees can be also be higher when comparing to ETFs for example. They are often a bit harder to market based on the fact that you cannot as easily measure performances.They do however have less associated regulations attached to them and this has ensured a pronounced increase in alternative forms of investment in recent times.Alternative investments are becoming popular and the point to remember is that they do not in most cases share the same kind of predictable returns as that of standard investments. In fact they can prove to be very profitable indeed under the right circumstances.Perhaps this is the reason why many high net worth individuals and larger financial funds have allocated reasonable percentages as light as 10% of their portfolios to alternative investments like hedge funds. Other alternative investments include real estate and certain precious metals.Investment OpportunitiesSo what are the best alternative investments that you should be eyeing in 2012? Well – Exchange Traded Funds or ETFs offer an investment option that has a much wider appeal than either real estate or precious metals.For one thing they are easier to get involved in and do not present the usual risks attached to alternative investments. Again the best approach is to diversify and in addition to an existing portfolio, ETFs can and do represent profitable assets that can be moved and sold when you need to. It is also very easy to monitor and track their value within a given time.With exchange traded funds you have the flexibility of trading within the market or you can hold on to your investment for any duration you like even over the longer term.Other exciting opportunities include and are not limited to investing in art, wine and renewable energy.
Now is the time to keep your options as wide open as possible. By including alternative investments into your portfolio you have a healthy blend of diverse investments that will effectively help you to cover all your financial bases in years to come.

What Is a Higher Education? | Education

There exists confusion about the meaning of higher education. To some, it purely meant as an education which can earn a college degree. To others, it’s pursuing an education and attending it voluntarily. Usually, higher education means a post-secondary education.However, the meaning of education varies from other countries. Countries around the world, but not all, have a mandatory education which is the same with what an individual may obtain from a U.S. high school. Other countries only have few public educations accessible or have none at all. Oftentimes, education has only been offered to the privileged class in lieu to everybody. It has not been mandatory in several countries to study in high school and a number of these countries restrict public school education at a very tender age.In its true essence, an education could really have an extensive definition. In the U.S. and in most European countries, it has been understood as a post-secondary education which is sustained in a voluntary attendance. It is either studying in a university, or gaining a training program in a vocational or technical school, or obtaining a certification course in a community college. Thus, either an individual pursues earning a licensed or certified degree; one normally undergoes a higher education training program from any of these learning institutions. In fact, completing a secondary education or having a high school diploma is not even necessary for a few vocational and technical schools.Another education is indeed rarely mandatory. It is not compulsory for everybody to take up college courses or technical training in a vocational school and only a handful of countries enact higher education as compulsory. Nevertheless, a lot of people realize that they are not appropriately educated or trained to become part of the employed sector if they don’t have the added skills and knowledge that a higher education provides. Therefore, this is a motivation and a desirable want for an individual when and where to start.There is somehow a distinction for several high schools offering an Advanced Placement (AP) program. One is that, the program may be undertaken by the most able of students with a good grasp in studying and learning. And, once they hurdle the necessary tests, they will be eligible to earn credits for college. Actually, these students are undertaking their lower degree of education through obtaining a diploma while they have already been commencing to study and learn in a level of higher education.