5 Things Nerdist Industries Can Teach You About Marketing Your Business

What began 4 years ago as a blog by Chris Hardwick has transformed into the giant that is known as Nerdist Industries. The site is pretty much a one-stop-shop for nerds on all things pop culture. In recent news, Legendary Entertainment has acquired Nerdist (read more about that here.) So, just exactly how did one comedian’s idea blossom into an acquisition of a major production company? This is no small feat and certainly not an overnight success. Find out how Nerdist has become so successful and what your business can learn:

nerdist

1) Find a niche and go for it: Even within the “nerd culture”, there are different types of people and interests. Things usually associated with the word “nerd” include video games, computers and technology. But in fact, Nerdist has expanded on that limited mindset to also include: movies, music, food, comedy and even sex/health.

If you look at it compared to marketing, it’s the same way. Marketing is a very general term and there are so many different areas to expand on: traditional, email, newsletters, viral, direct mail, print, online, etc. Being a generalist is helpful but being a specialist can make your business stand out.

2) Appreciate your fans/customers: Nerdist provides free content via podcasts, articles and video clips. In a world where everything has a price tag, it’s nice to see something made with passion be put out for free for fans to consume. It’s also not surprising to see the hosts/comedians also respond to fans by comments or through Tweets. This personal touch makes fans feel more connected to the community and more likely to attend live shows.

Nowadays, social media provides a channel for companies to showcase the human side of their business. Personal interaction is crucial for repeat customers and to help establish a trustworthy reputation. As for giving things away, the Freemium model works well for many businesses, especially when it comes to digital goods.

3) Enlist the help of your friends: What makes Nerdist podcasts so great? When comedians invite their friends, of course! These conversations provide an inside look into the industry on a personal level that can’t be found anywhere else. And not to sound superficial, but it all ties back to promoting yourself but not at an in-your-face kind of way. After all, this is a business and there is money to be made. For example, in Doug Benson’s dining podcast, each episode focuses on a local eatery such as the Grilled Cheese Truck and the Let’s Be Frank hot dog cart. This is a great form of promotion that is interesting and relevant to foodies and comedy fans alike.

Cross promotion is a great way to gain exposure in a different audience… especially if it’s closely related. As a small business owner, there’s great opportunity when you combine efforts with friends or other local businesses. Bringing on others will help with networking in the industry and it will also force your business put out better services/products.

4) Make your branding memorable: Part of what makes Nerdist so recognizable is its consistent branding. Even though there are over 20 different podcasts, each of them still feels like they belong to the Nerdist family. Part of finding your individual voice in the crowd also means personalizing it, even if it is with a sign off catch phrase like “Enjoy your burrito” or “Keep it crispy”.

Does your business have a consistent look and feel? Branding is an important part of effective reputation management and building a credible repertoire. Whether you’re a small business or a large company, it’s important that consumers find your brand and logo memorable so that they keep you in mind for their future business needs.

5) Work hard and don’t lose sight of the big picture: Not just any comedian (or anyone, for that matter) can create a unique business model as Nerdist. Many people even question how Nerdist can even monetize the free content that they’re putting out but believe it, they are making it happen. This passion and desire for hard work didn’t just come from anywhere. After all, Chris could have been a washed-up former MTV host turned alcoholic if he didn’t turn his personal and professional life around.

There is no quick short cut to success and Nerdist is a perfect example of that. If you want your business to run like a well-oiled machine, the only way to do it is to get down and dirty and do it yourself. But no matter how much effort you put into things, remember to never lose sight of your integrity and remember why you’re in business in the first place!

Video Marketing Opportunities for Small Businesses

youtube ad

Some small businesses may not be aware of how video marketing services can greatly benefit their online reputation. Let’s take a look at 3 ways videos can help your business:

1) Improve Customer Relations – Videos are a great platform to do webinars, short Q&A’s, tutorials and more. In these cases, the content is free and easily accessible so that you help establish your company as a credible source of information when customers need more assistance. On the other hand, some larger companies (Domino’s and Playstation) have used videos as a medium to quickly apologize and address unhappy customers. Either way, it helps to utilize and integrate a different form of communication via video.

2) Enhance Brand Awareness – When you create videos, this shows passion and knowledge that you have for your specific industry. Not to mention that putting a face to your business helps establish trust and a genuine representation of your company. (Just think of what Matt Cutts represents for Google and Rand Fishkin for SEOmoz.)

3) Reach a Larger Audience – If you’re interesting in using video ads to promote your business on YouTube, that’s now possible! In a way, it works like Adsense, where a company can bid on keywords that are related to their business. With more users on YouTube, don’t expect this ad trend to disappear. This is an area that small businesses can really embrace to find relevant customers.

Find out more about video marketing in these related blog posts:
Does Your Business Use Facebook Video?
Video Marketing for Your Business

Optimizing Your YouTube Videos

The American Dream film

There’s nothing worse than the misconception of, “If you build it, they will come.” Of course, this also applies to your website video marketing. YouTube views don’t just add up by themselves!

Just like Google’s search engine algorithm changes on an everyday basis, YouTube’s search engine also has a system for ranking your videos as it applies to related terms and keywords. So, in order to make the most out of the hard work you put into making a great video, it’s important to look at a few different ways you can improve your YouTube search rankings.

Titles, descriptions and tags – When choosing these keywords, remember that you’re not just appealing to the YouTube search engine but more importantly, the viewers. It’s important to use interesting terms that people would actually want to click on when your video shows up in their search results.

Positive user interaction – YouTube considers the number of views, comments, subscribers and ratings of your videos. Make it easy for your viewers to comment on and rate your videos. (Depending on the nature of your video, you’ll also have to keep a sharp eye out for YouTube trolls.)

Encouraging clicks – Make sure to add your site URL in your video descriptions and main channel info. Keep your viewers engaged with a call to action such as “Visit our site” or “Support our cause”. Also if you receive video responses, you can accept the links to also help increase the visibility of your videos.

PS) Remember to also optimize the technical aspects of your YouTube videos and don’t forget to check out The American Dream Film.

Arcade Fire: Social Media and a #1 Album

As Katy Perry, Drake, Eminem and Lady Gaga dominate the summer music charts, it was nice to see a change at the top spot. Congrats to Arcade Fire! But what really helped them get there? Good music, unique live performances, loyal fans or a focused social media marketing plan? How about all of the above? Earlier this month, the band even played a live show from New York’s Madison Square Garden, which was streamed in real-time on YouTube.

A look at Arcade Fire’s social media profiles reveals that they are effective because they are so well-maintained. It’s also refreshing to see a band expand beyond just using MySpace. All the profiles are linked to their main site, where fans can find tour information and buy the new album. Over 97,000 digital sales have also helped Arcade Fire secure the #1 spot.

The ease and shareability through social media has given Arcade Fire (and tons of other bands) an opportunity to reach new fans that they wouldn’t have otherwise. A new Arcade Fire fan reveals, “I just found out about this band today and I must say, I’m quite impressed. They are amazing.” Isn’t this glowing review an example of what any band or business would like to have said about them?

‘Modern Man’ is currently my favorite track off the album. Check it out!

Step Up 3D’s Social Media Advertising

Did you catch Step Up 3D this weekend? This is the third film of the dance series in which Channing Tatum was the original lead. The film made a pretty good debut for it’s opening weekend, grossing over $15 million and securing the 3rd spot in the box office.

The film had a relatively small budget of $30 million but wasn’t afraid to hit hard when it came to social media advertising. Their Facebook Page has close to 1.5 million fans while their MySpace Page has over 2.5 million fans. Not too bad for a threequel!

Lessons learned from the film’s marketers – they effectively understood their audience demographics by:

  • Implementing interactive pages that engage fans with questions, music and videos. Some Facebook fans even claimed to have seen the movie 4-5 over the weekend!
  • Having an impressive soundtrack with popular artists like Flo Rida, Estelle, Jessie McCartney, T-Pain and Chromeo.
  • Take advantage of the 3D trend. Who said 3D is just for childrens movies? Let’s see how Piranha 3D does later this month..
  • Riding the popularity of dancing in pop culture. So You Think You Can Dance and America’s Best Dance Crew are just a few examples of what is “in” in entertainment nowadays.

Sure, this movie may not have the best storyline…  but sometimes, audiences just want to watch a fun movie. In that case, Step Up 3D really captured the sentiment and understood their audience. The real question is, who’s ready for Step Up 4D?

Piranha 3D

New Google Site For Advertisers

Well Google is at it again with another new site. This brings the Google site count up to 6,341*. Wow! There newest addition is for advertisers! There’s plenty of information on it which will help you in the advertising world. There’s a great case study on the home page which is a ‘worst case’ case study of a pet stick campaign. I love it! I’ve inserted the image here for a laugh. google-advertising-site1

The pet stick case study shows you the various tools you can use to market your product which I hope is better than a pet stick. Although I’m sure people would buy the pet stick! So from media planning, new keyword tools, buidling a social media site through OpenSocial, setting up ads on Google, creating a YouTube video, engaging YouTubers, (just learned this is an actual word) you can see how Google can help. The site gets into how TV and mobile ads work as well.

My favorite section was the free marketing section. We’ve discussed some of these tools in past posts, such as Webmaster Tools and the Local Business Center, but there are many more such as Product Search, FeedBurner, Gadgets, OpenSocial, Maps API, and YouTube. I recommend reviewing these free tools and making them work for your site.

larry-and-sergeyIt just occurred to me that a lot of these free tools were companies that Google bought out. We’re actually in the process of creating a tool for our clients so maybe Google will try to buy us out in a few years. We shall see! Please forward this blog URL to Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Google Co-Founders) so they can start preparing for the buyout!

* just kidding – I’m sure there are plenty but I just picked this number out of thin air ;)

Add Personality to Your Website

Does your website lack personality? If so you should invest some time into social media marketing, a process of personalizing your site to attract potential customers. You want your homepage to effectively illustrate who you are and the services you are offering. In order to create interest among internet browsers, with the average attention span of 3 seconds, you need to be original. Using multi media such as images, video, and blogs is important in sustaining a successful business online. It is also important to increase traffic to your site, creating higher visibility and creating a greater potential online customer base. Video marketing is an increasingly popular marketing tactic that has grown in favor because it is a succinct, entertaining way to connect with your customer. If you are concerned or intimidated about the idea of using video, you should consider starting a YouTube account. Starting a YouTube account is simple, free, and it will help get your website more visibility. Also if you post a video about your business on YouYube you can easily attach to your website. This is beneficial because it not only puts interesting video on your website, but it also exposes you to a much larger audience of people and communities networked through YouTube.

Adding Facebook advertising to your search marketing campaign?

I just stumbled across this ebook on Facebook advertising by Matt Dickman. I’d suggest checking it out to get a better idea of how Facebook advertising works and to learn more about social media marketing. As Facebook and social networking sites continue to grow this will become more important. It’s literally changing the search marketing industry! The days of running search engine optimization and paid search campaigns alone to drive traffic to your site is becoming outdated. Reaching a broader audience through Facebook, YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter and other social sites is imperative to your search marketing campaign.

emarketed now offers this as a stand alone service or as an addon to current search engine optimization and paid search customers. Stay tuned for more social media updates as this emerging method of advertising expands. You can also follow us on twitter for short updates.

social media buzz by peta

Just came across PETA (People for the ethical treatment of animals) website last night through facebook. One of my facebook friends had an award PETA had won for a blog posted on her profile. So I checked out the blog and the various PETA web properties, one of which was their YouTube channel. They have over 3,000 subscribers on YouTube and over 200 videos. Some of these videos are commercials that have been banned from TV. They also have a sexy celebrity channel. I’m sure they get a ton of traffic from these sexy videos so of course I had to check some of them out. ;) I was doing some market research! They didn’t have the same volume of traffic as the blender YouTube channel we blogged about last week but some of their top videos were brining in over 100k views in a 90 day period. You can check this one out with Jenna Jameson below. Sex sells so PETA is using this to their advantage in promoting their message! Brillant job PETA!

Back to business here. I almost fell down the YouTube hole where one video leads to another and all of a sudden you’ve watched 20 short 2 minute videos. ;) I was very impressed with PETA’s use of social media buzz on their site. They do a good job of highlighting their different social media properties through links to Facebook, Myspace, and YouTube. They also have PETA TV where they promote these videos directly on their site. Another site the promote is peta2.com where you can find tools for helping animals, class projects, online activism and much more. Another site they highlight is the petakids.com website where they have games and contests for kids. All of this is creating social media buzz for their mission.  They seem to have content for all ages and demographics from sexy ads to games for kids.

Take some time to go through a few of the PETA web properties to get some ideas on how to market your business through social media buzz. I’d love to find out how emarketed can start promoting some sexy models on YouTube to drive traffic for our business. But in the end it comes down to conversions and would this traffic really be ideal for emarketed? It would be fun and exciting to do but would be very expensive and not generate the type of traffic that would lead to conversions.

PETA gets an A+ in our book for creating social media buzz!

Check out this great viral marketing example!

I just attended a webinar today put on by HubSpot that discussed search engine optimization, blogging, and social media. I will write a blog post later today about the webinar. It was filled with great content! But the moderator pointed out a viral campaign on YouTube that was very impressing!

So I did a search on YouTube for “blender” and found a bunch of videos put out by this blending company called Blendtec that sells a high end blender. The videos are very entertaining and the video I watched is below. I don’t know if they used some special effects here but they blended an iphone. At the end they pour out a bunch of ash and parts. The videos they put out are called “Will it blend?” and it seems they just choose different items to put in their high powered blenders. They’ve litterly received millions of views since their YouTube channel went live in July of 2007. The iphone video alone received over 6 million views.

At this point after watching the video I was still not really sure what the company was about that was promoting this video so I went to their YouTube channel and found their company website which sells the high end blender. If you visit the website you’ll see on the right column links to their videos and a seperate site that just promotes these funny videos. They also have a banner promoting a free trip to blendtec.

Blendtec gets an A+ in my book for viral marketing. This is a great case study and something to strive for with regards to viral marketing. The costs for putting these videos on was probably pretty high but the exposure they’ve gotten from YouTube and other channels was well worth the investment.