In the last installment, I took you on a journey around the wonderful world of YouTube – and we dove into the story of Surveying with Robert, the kick-ass geospatial YouTuber! So by now, I’m sure you’ll have created your own AWESOME YouTube channel (amirite?) and started uploading your videos.
You may ask, “Why do I need all this? I’m a surveyor! All I want is profitable clients!” Well, YouTube can be a faster, easier, cheaper way to get those clients. If it didn’t work, other surveyors wouldn’t bother, would they?
But, how do you get people to see your videos? How do YouTube, social media and your website work together? Let's do a short recap to find out.
YouTube builds credibility and trust. If you pitch it right, like Surveying with Robert, it frames you as a recognizable brand and builds a following and potential hub of clients. Video is easy to watch, hard to fudge, and enjoyable and educational when done well!
Recap: Your Website
Your website is your store front. It’s where people go first to find out more about you and your business. According to CEB Gartner, customers are already 57 percent through the purchase process before they approach a supplier... so you need to get in early and disrupt their decision-making process. And you can do this by weaving your video, website and social media strategies together.
When people are looking for a surveyor, they do their research, ask questions, and consult others, right? They dive into the internet and do some searching. If you have a good presence online, they’ll find your website and you’re a quarter of the way there!
But how do people find you online? It’s no good having a website if no one knows about it!
The key to this is SEO, or search engine optimization. This means optimizing all aspects of your website – from your domain name to your code, your images to your text – in order to make sure Google sees you, knows what you do, likes what you do and wants to tell searchers about you. The holy grail, right? You can also get YouTube and social media to know about your website too (read on!).
So, what do you want your website to do?
- Attract people via a variety of ways including Google searches, YouTube and social media.
- Keep your audience on your site, exploring and learning.
- Tell your audience about new opportunities, products, techniques, etc.
- Build trust in what you offer.
- Stimulate action amongst your audience. You want them to do something!
Get these five phases right and you will disrupt that decision-making process.
Recap: Social Media
I’m seeing more and more geospatials using social media now, like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and even Instagram, which is great… (“Why can I hear a ‘but’ coming, Elaine?”)
BUT (there it is!) it’s getting increasingly busy out there, so cutting through the noise is getting more and more difficult. That’s why video is so good! It gets noticed on social media, especially when it auto-plays, and people enjoy video more than they enjoy words and images (as long as the video is well-made). Social media is the short, sharp content that attracts attention, as does video with its visual effects, sound and color.
Bringing All Three Together
So, you’ve got your website. You’ve got your groovy videos (featuring you in your shiniest hard hat). You’ve got your trendy social media presence. But how do you bring them all together? Well, exclusively for you, here are Elaine’s 10 Giant Leaps (because they’re more than big steps) for tying these three together and disrupting that decision-making process.
1. Have a plan for what you want to achieve. For example, “I want more enquiries for topos in challenging environments because they make me more money.” Sounds legit. Now you can map out (see what I did there) exactly how you’ll attract the kind of clients who will make those enquiries.
2. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Write down all the questions your customer might ask Google when they’re searching for an AWESOME surveyor who does topos in challenging environments. You can also get more information about what terms people are searching for by running Google analytics or other analytics apps on your website.
3. Make sure your website answers those questions and uses the same language that searchers use – that’s how Google matches searchers to websites. Go into lots of detail: webpages of under 300 words won’t get much SEO traction. The more in-depth and detailed your webpage, the more Google is likely to recommend you. That farmer you helped with his 5,500 acres of corn in an extremely challenging environment? Write it all down as a case study for your website and make a video about it! Then the next farmer will find you!
4. Use authoritative people from our industry who understand SEO to help create content for you, like POB, GIS Lounge, Geospatial World, etc. And tag on to big brands who have strong authority on the web. See if you can write guest blog posts for news or trade association sites, or get them to write an article about your interesting story (and make sure they link the article back to your site, which is like gold for your Google visibility!). Speak with the editor and do some PR on that unusual job you did.
5. Make videos! Videos are the #1 favorite thing for website visitors; next it’s images, then it’s words. Remember those customer questions you worked on? Address them in your videos, and don’t forget to include a call to action. Once you’ve made your video, how do you complete the golden triangle of video, website and social media? Here’s how:
- Upload your video to your YouTube channel and put in a good description for it. This text should be interesting and informative to users, include a link to your website (you want to send people to your website as often as you can), and include those good old SEO keywords so Google can understand what your video is about.
- Embed your video on your website, choosing the most relevant page for it or making a new one. Make sure you include a caption on that webpage, so users (and Google) know what your video is about, and make sure there’s plenty of related text on there as well (remember the 300-word rule?).
- Write one or more social media posts for your video across the different platforms you use (Twitter, LinkedIn, etc). Social media posts with videos in them boost views by 48 percent! Write a bit of text to entice the reader to view your video, then paste in the link. Hurrah!
6. As for the call to action to put in your video, consider options like asking people to pick up the phone, watch another video, adopt a new process, buy your product… or visit your website! Remember, you want to send people to your website as often as you can. So what temptations might you offer them on that website? They could read a white paper or case study, download a brochure, watch an embedded video, register for a webinar, buy a product, sign up for a newsletter (building your subscription list, yay!)… all of these are great goals and help move people along the conversion process. The more that people engage with you and your website, the more they’ll pick you over John Doe down the road.
7. Build subscribers – build, build, build. When you have these beauties signed up, you can get them from where they’re interested, but not necessarily ready to buy (they’re doing their research and you want to influence them) to converting them to do something… including the ultimate return on investment – to hire you! This is called lead nurturing… more on this in the near future.
8. Keep their attention! Once you’ve got people to your site, give them juicy content. That can be videos, case studies, how-to guides, articles, infographics – anything showing how your product or process will save them time and make them money. You should even give away some of your expertise for free! “FOR FREE, ELAINE?” Yes, because it shows that you know so much that you’re an authority in the market and you’re not afraid to give a bit away. And it builds trust that you can get the job done properly. I give away free stuff all the time... it doesn’t stop me from winning clients.
9. Social media posts. I’ve said it before, but picking one or two social media platforms that help attract your buyer will help disrupt their buying process! Make them STOP and THINK… Get them to click on that LinkedIn post showcasing your river survey in rough terrain. Socials can be frequent (even daily), but make sure the content is interesting and relevant or you’re just spamming people, which will turn them off!
10. Build community online. LinkedIn and Facebook are fantastic tools for building a following of people who can collaborate with each other and do wonders for your web presence and your brand! My #GetKidsintoSurvey Facebook page is building quite nicely, with a ton of surveyors signing up and chatting to each other about HOW to get kids into surveying! So you could either do the same for your brand or get involved with pages like mine so that other people SEE you! The key ingredient here is the community interaction, which has multiple benefits.
Now, what on earth are you still doing reading this? Go make videos: upload, embed and share! Good luck, and don’t forget to tell me how you get on.