5 Smart Ways to Improve Your Internal PR

By Mickie Kennedy

When we talk about PR, what comes to mind?

Typically, you’re probably thinking about how a company conveys itself to the public. Social media, press releases, newspaper stories, interviews. All those things that can paint your company in a positive light with the public. Any way that you can build your brand…externally.

stressed man with smiley woman

However, something that we don’t spend much time discussing, and something that many professionals and business owners fail to realize, is that PR efforts shouldn’t just be concentrated on the public. A successful business focuses their PR efforts internally as well.


Well, employee buy-in is crucial. If your staff is well-connected with your brand, then how can you truly service customers? Your employees are your front line brand ambassadors. That being said, you need to make sure you spend some time developing the right kind of culture through internal PR efforts.

Here are five things to get you started.


1. Know What Employees Are Talking About.

Keeping your ear to the tracks, so to speak, is crucial when it comes to internal PR. By listening to your employees, you will learn about:

  • Whether or not there is currently buy-in. Maybe they’re already on board with what you’re doing. Maybe not. This isn’t something you can afford to assume. Listen to your employees and assess their current level of brand engagement.
  • What issues are most important to them. Maybe you are focusing on internal PR, but if you don’t know what is important to your employees, your efforts may be misplaced and wasted.
  • What they’re unhappy with. It’s possible that your employees wish certain things would change. It’s also possible that they might actually be things that you could change. Listening and making those changes can increase employee connection with your mission.
  • Ideas you may not have thought of. All the good ideas aren’t always birthed in the PR department. Maybe one of your employees has a great idea for social media engagement. You’ll never know if you aren’t listening.


2. Make Sure Employees Aren’t the Last to Learn New Information.

Something big going down? About to put out a big release about a product or new direction the company is taking? Make sure your employees aren’t the last to know.

Consider getting them together and letting them know first. Nothing stinks worse than finding out after the fact. You could also issue a release internally and externally simultaneously.


3. Learn What Works and What Doesn’t. And Keep Going.

Your internal PR efforts shouldn’t have an end. In other words, it’s an ongoing process you should be learning from. As you try things, learn from them. Did that work? Did it backfire? Take note and move on accordingly. 


4. Use Your Staff in Your PR Content.

One way to integrate internal and external PR efforts is to get your staff involved. You can do this in a variety of ways:

  • Get quotes from them for press releases.
  • Use them in YouTube videos.
  • Place their photos on websites, Twitter, etc.

Their enthusiasm will grow by being more involved in a public light—and that enthusiasm will spread to the public, thus increasing the effectiveness of your external PR.


5. Use Social Networks Internally.

While social networks are great for marketing, they also offer many benefits internally. Social networks can bring employees closer together, and can break down the walls created by hierarchy and different departments. Choose a network and use it both formally and informally.

Have goals for internal PR? Discuss!

Dog Tweets of the Week – 13 smart reasons to use captions on your YouTube videos

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13 smart reasons to use captions on your YouTube videos
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How to add Google Authorship to your press release
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5 hot, new ways to promote your event on Twitter
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13 smart reasons to use captions on your YouTube videos.
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13 smart reasons to use captions on YouTube videos

Caption from Welcome to The Publicity Hound's Website Video

I started using captions on my YouTube videos about a year ago when someone reminded me that it’s just one more place where Google can find keywords. That’s Reason Number 1 and it’s reason enough for me. (The screenshot above is my “Welcome to My Website” video.) 

Reason Number 2: It helps people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

I just found a Storify that explains 11 more very smart reasons to use YouTube captions. Most include not wanting to annoy other people who are within earshot while you’re watching videos. But I saw a few more reasons I hadn’t thought of.

—They eliminate the need for headphones if you want to turn off the volume.

—They help you better understand the video if it was made by someone who has a very heavy accent. This is a frequent problem when I go to YouTube searching for a “how to” video. I find a great one with step-by-step directions, but I have difficulty understanding the person who created it and speaks English as a second language.

—If a parent is watching videos while kids are present, it prevents the kids from hearing F bombs.

—It’s easier to understand a YouTube video if you have the volume turned off and you’re reading the captions while also watching TV and hearing THAT audio.

—They help those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Bottom Line: Captions expose your videos to a much bigger audience.

YouTube makes it fairly easy to create captions for your videos. You have three choices:

1. Let YouTube use voice recognition to automatically add captions. I’ve done this and it isn’t very effective because words and phrases end up being garbled. If you use this, make sure you edit the captions for accuracy.     

2. If you read a script while recording the video, simply upload the script. Easy!

3. If you didn’t use a script, transcribe it. This is what I usually do. Since most of my videos are under three minutes and I’m a fast typist, it only takes me a few more minutes to transcribe it. I like the way YouTube has this set up. You hit the transcribe button just once and the audio starts playing. When you stop typing, the audio starts again. No need to press “start” or “stop” buttons.

You can also add more than one track for captions. For example, provide one track for English captions and a second track for Spanish. (I guess that’s Reason Number 14.)

A hat tip to Publicity Hound Meryl K. Evans for pointing out the discussion on Storify over on Google+.  

Have I convinced you? Will you start including captions on your videos? What other reasons can you think of for doing so? 


How to get Camtasia 8.0 for free and make easy videos

One of the easiest ways to create videos fast, without having to look good in front of the camera, write a script and memorize your lines, is to shoot a video of what you see on your computer monitor.

You use screen-capture software and a headset with a mic to do things like take people on a tour of a website, or demonstrate how to do something online. You can see an example in this video I created for YouTube on How to Use Pinterest for Yucky, Dull and Academic Topics.

Why Camtasia Rocks

I’ve been creating these videos for years, using Camtasia Studio and I love it because it lets you include special effects and do other snazzy things like add comments right on top of the video.

You can also create video by combining a variety of different types of media: video, audio, photos, etc. A lot of people have held off buying Camtasia because it’s so expensive.

How to Get Camtasia for Free

YouTube coach Jeff Johnson, who is crushing it on YouTube in several very competitive markets, has been offering three free training videos and a package of very helpful Cheat Sheets that explain how he uses You Tube to dominate his niches, pull leads and make sales.

He’ll be rolling out the in-depth YouTube training program TubeTraffic Secrets, starting tomorrow, Nov. 15, and he’s throwing in a huge bonus: a free copy of Camtasia 8.0, as a limited-time bonus. It retails everywhere, including Amazon.com, for $299.

This is the latest and greatest version, the one Jeff uses to create all the training videos in TubeTraffic Secrets, and it’s a lot easier to use now then back when I started.

I took the TubeTraffic Secrets course last winter, immersed myself in it, and started cranking out videos for my YouTube channel. But more importantly, I started doing all the critical tasks Jeff recommends to make those videos pull traffic as well as leads: using important keywords in the video title and description, setting up a lead funnel, taking advantage of the annotations, becoming a YouTube partner, etc.

Where to Find the Videos, Cheat Sheets

If you missed any of Jeff’s videos, you can watch them all here and grab the free Cheat Sheets. I’m one of Jeff’s most loyal followers because he unraveled many of the YouTube mysteries I never understood. I’m promoting this course as an affiliate, and I earn a commission on anything you buy from him. His customer service is top-notch, and he delivers way more than he promises. 

Here are the Free Bonuses I’m Offering

If you buy using my link, above, you’ll receive a bonus package worth $1,100 in tools that will pick up where Jeff leaves off.

For example, he’s a huge proponent of using press releases and social media to build links to your YouTube videos. But TTS 2.0 doesn’t explain how to write press releases or the finer points of sites like Facebook.

If you buy the course through me, you’ll get a $1,100 package of bonuses I’ve designed to tie in ***perfectly*** with what Jeff is teaching.

You will get:

- -A half-hour coaching session with me, after you’ve been through his course. I’ll even record it so you can refer back to it later. I ***devoured*** Jeff’s course so I can help you brainstorm topics for your videos that will bring you the most traffic in the shortest amount of time. I can also show you how to incorporate your YouTube videos into your publicity campaigns.

- -My ebook on how to write press releases, which is like earning a master’s degree in press release writing. It includes a video that explains how to write killer headlines for your press releases, complete with templates and a list of “Power Words.”

- -Video training on Google’s new rules for press release links, including 9 examples of press releases that use links correctly.

- -A special report on 66 free things you can offer at the end of your YouTube videos to capture people’s email addresses and build your fan base. (Jeff preaches giving freebies.)

- -My Checklist of 103 powerful “Calls to Action” you can use within your videos. (Jeff says your videos must tell people EXACTLY what you want them to do.)

- -A video and Cheat Sheet on 33 ways to promote your press releases that promote your videos.

- -The all-new 2014 edition of my ebook “How to be a Kick-butt Publicity Hound,” with four new chapters and step-by-step directions galore on how to plan and execute a publicity campaign that includes your YouTube videos.

- -A video on how using hashtags (#) will help more people find your YouTube videos.

- -33 ways to find Facebook fans, use your YouTube videos and other content to wow them, and keep them coming back for more.

Click here to watch Jeff explain more about the course.

Grab This Now or Kick Yourself Later

Jeff and I can’t hook you up with all this cool stuff if you don’t join TubeTraffic Secrets 2.0.

And most of the Grand Opening Bonuses are only good while supplies last…and based on past experience I don’t expect them to last very long at all.

So if you’d like learn how to build your list, your brand and your business by grabbing free traffic from YouTube, then Tube Traffic Secrets 2.0 is definitely something you should check out TODAY. 

Free cheat sheet: 15 ways to pull more YouTube traffic

Free Publicity Tip 32--Jeff Johnson's Cheat SheetsHow I wish I had had Jeff Johnson’s free YouTube cheat sheet when I started my YouTube channel about eight years ago.

YouTube was a mystery to me. I was struggling to learn video—how to use the camera, the proper lighting, how to edit—and there was little time left to figure out how to use YouTube. It was all I could do to upload a video and slap a title and a one-sentence description on it!

Those days, thankfully, are over. And a lot has changed since then.

Today, YouTube offers so many more opportunities to pull traffic that converts to leads, and leads that convert to paying customers. For example, the YouTube partner program lets you include an annotation on your video that tells viewers to click and takes them right over to your website without making them type your URL!

Here’s a screenshot from a new video I uploaded this week.

"Click here to subscribe" call to action

At the end, my call to action is to sign up for my ezine. When they “Click here to subscribe,” they’re taken over to my website where they can sign up for the newsletter. 

You pay nothing to become a YouTube partner.  

One of the valuable things I learned from Jeff was to never use a call to action that sends people to a sales page where you’re urging them to buy something.

Get the lead first, he says, by asking for their email address in exchange for valuable tips they’ll love. Then, give them time to know, like and trust you.

At some point down the road, ask for the order.

He also taught me to use all 5,000 characters allowed in the video description. That’s a big hunk of valuable real estate—the perfect place for keywords and for links back to my website. 

Grab Your Cheat Sheet and Free Training Video

Jeff is giving away cheat sheets that list 15 ways to pull fast, free traffic from your YouTube channel. Grab it here, along with a free training video you’ll love.

Creating your own YouTube channel is one of the steps I recommend in building your own media empire. Don’t wait around for a local TV station to cover you, or for a big national program like “Good Morning America” to call or you’ll be waiting forever.

Pitch the TV stations and programs all you want. But also promote yourself with YouTube. It’s fast, free traffic. And if you do it right, it converts to sales.

[Full Disclosure: I am one of Jeff's affiliates. That means that if you buy something from him down the road, I earn a commission. ]

How to attach your iPad to a tripod, safely and securely, to shoot video

caddie buddy, used to attach an ipod to a tripod for shooting video

If you’re considering an iPad for shooting video for a publicity campaign, one of the most pressing questions is how to secure that valuable piece of equipment to the tripod.

You do it with a Caddie Buddy, a plastic contraption that, one one end, wraps around the iPad and secures it on all four corners. The other end screws onto the tripod.

It comes with a clamp that lets you attach the iPad to a table, desk or tray table and forego the tripod. This is ideal for close-up video that you’d like to shoot right at your desk. 

The gooseneck has movable knobs that let you readjust the iPad and move it up, down or sideways while it’s on the tripod, and still keep it fastened securely. It even works well if you want to keep the cover on the iPad.

During the webinar I hosted with Mike Stewart recently on how to shoot video with the iPad and a $5 app, one of the most frequently asked questions was how to attach the iPad to the tripod, or how to keep it from wobbling if you hold it in your hands while shooting the video. The Caddie Buddy solves both problems.

Mike says shooting video has never been easier.

That’s because you can shoot the video, edit it, insert music, and add other special effects all on the iPad. You don’t need fancy editing software like Sony Vegas or Camtasia.

What a relief! 

I’ve been using a Kodak zi8 camera but I found it difficult to use because it was too small.  Shooting the video, then importing it into my desktop computer was a hassle. So was editing it using Sony Vegas or Camtasia.

No more struggling with a detachable microphone, either, if I’m close enough to the iPad for good audio quality. The detachable mic had an extra long cord that kept getting tangled in the wheels of my office chair.

Don’t Buy the Caddie Buddy

The Caddie Buddy sells for $49.95. It’s gotten great reviews from customers and from Mike Stewart. But I recommend you not spend the money until you watch the replay of the webinar I hosted with him. He’ll tell you how to get it for free.

The program, Table Video Training & The Social Media Quadfecta, will be rebroadcast six times over the next several days. Sign up for the time and date that’s most convenient for you:

  • 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 23
  • 6 p.m. Thursday, July 25
  • 10 a.m. Friday, July 26
  • 10 a.m. Saturday, July 27
  • 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 30
  • 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 1

Everything you need to know about shooting video with the iPad is in the first 90 minutes. That’s how long we expected the webinar to last. But there were so many questions that Mike hung around for another 50 minutes to answer more questions. 

How to Use Video to Self-Promote

If you want a crash course on how to promote a product or service using video, watch the Caddy Buddy video. I love the way the inventor demonstrates multiple uses for the device, inserts photos onto the screen, and explains in step-by-step detail how to assemble it. No confusion whatsoever about how the product works after watching this video.

These videos should be uploaded to your YouTube channel first. Then, take the embed code and embed the video onto a product page at your website, or into a blog post.

Other ways to use video in a publicity and PR campaign include:

  • As a Welcome message on the homepage of your website.     
  • To offer valuable tips to your viewers.
  • To promote an upcoming event you’re sponsoring.
  • To read from a passage of your new book.
  • To interview someone who can help your audience.
  • To offer to journalists as “a little extra” to sweeten your pitch. Sometimes that’s as easy offering the extra when you pitch using a form right at the media outlet’s website.

The list is almost endless.

Send Me Your iPad Video

If you shoot video with your iPad, send me the link. I’d love to see it.

What tips can you pass along on how to best use the iPad to shoot video?

How to pitch a guest post for The Publicity Hound blog


Man smpoking pipe and typing a gueset blogger pitch


If you want to get in front of an audience of people who love to self-promote, including business owners, authors, speakers and experts—as well as PR people and publicists—you’re in the right place.

I love publishing guest blog posts. But I hate pitches from people who have never read this blog.

Or pitches that are off the mark. Or pitches from people who have no expertise in a topic but want to appear here only for a back link. Or pitches that say, “I’m so and so. What do you want me to write about?”

Before you waste your time, and mine, read this list of tips on how to pitch me.

1. Look at the header. It says “Tips, tricks and tools for free publicity.”

Nothing confusing about that.

My readers want tips on how to use traditional and social media to promote anything. This includes advice on how they can create content to promote their expertise. I’ve also published blog posts about paid ads, because some PR campaigns can’t do without them.

Here’s a short list of content that readers love:

  • Publicity 101 basics. Many readers are new to PR and have no clue where to start.
  • How to build relationships with journalists, bloggers and all new media.
  • What to do with publicity once you get it.
  • Case studies. Tell us how you helped a client or friend generate publicity–and the results. This is a great opportunity for publicists to strut their stuff.
  • How to work with a publicist if you’re on a tight budget.  
  • Advice on how to measure the success of a publicity campaign.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to do something related to publicity, like how to find contact information for journalists.
  • Curated content. Feel free to gather the very best content on the web on a particular topic and offer it as a guest post. Here’s an example.  
  • Frequently asked questions on a topic. Here’s an example of FAQs for media kit templates I created. 
  • Tips on how to use photos and images in a publicity campaign, including step-by-step directions. Here’s one wrote on how to create an impressive Google+ hovercard in 7 easy steps. 
  • Clever strategies for using sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn to promote your expertise instead of saying “buy my stuff.”
  • Publicity tips for niches, like nonprofits.
  • Publicity tips for authors and how to get more exposure for books. 
  • How to create marketing materials that will used in a publicity campaign.


2. Read the blog. Read the blog. Read the blog!

It sounds like a broken record, I know. But I can tell within five seconds of reading your pitch whether you’re familiar with my topic. If you aren’t sure whether I’ve covered something,  use the search box.  


3. Pitch three ideas.

Let me choose which one I like best. If I like all three, I might feature your work three times here over several months.

If I don’t like any of your ideas, I might suggest my own, but only if I know about your expertise. If you don’t feel comfortable with my idea, that’s OK. I appreciate your honesty.


4. We might chat about your idea by phone.

This can actually save time. So if you pitch by email and I have a lot of questions, let me call you. Provide a phone number. 


5. You must offer original content.

No warmed-over leftovers from your own blog. I run all copy through Copyscape, so I know exactly how much of it has appeared elsewhere on the web.


6. Provide a good-quality head shot, in color.

Some guest bloggers submit fabulous posts, but crappy head shots. Photos should be crisp, and show you looking at the camera. I’ve received photos that look as though they were taken in a bar. You can have a friend take a good-quality above-the-shoulders shot with a mobile phone. 


7. Don’t be afraid to follow up after you pitch.

If you don’t hear from me within a few days, send a follow-up email. 


8. Offer images and other little extras if you have them.

They can include maps, bar charts, pie charts, screenshots, infographics, photos and even videos. Embed code from YouTube videos, yours or someone else’s, is fine.  


9. Link to your own blog.

You don’t need a blog to be considered as a guest writer here. But when you pitch, include links to writing samples so I can see how much editing I’ll have to do. Yes, I do edit. If you’re not OK with that, don’t pitch me.


10. Reply to comments.

This blog welcomes comments, and I do my best to reply to everyone. If your post is published, return here occasionally to see if people have commented so you can continue the conversation. When I see  a comment on a post you’ve written, I may email you and let you know so you can return here and reply.


11. If I publish your post, pitch me again.

I’m surprised at the number of guest bloggers who never return. Don’t just disappear. If I liked your writing once, I’ll probably like it again. So will my readers. 

Also, it’s already mid-June and I’d love to take a vacation. Make it easier. Pitch an idea for a guest post right now. 

Do you have a page similar to this one at your blog? What guidelines do you offer for people who want to pitch you? Include the link so we can take a look.

Headline Writing Tip: Keywords Beat Clever Every Time

I only thought I understood the importance of using keywords in headlines, articles, blog posts and website copy so the search engines could find them.

It wasn’t until I took Jeff Johnson’s “TubeTraffic Secrets” course that the light bulb went on: sometimes one or even two keyword phrases in a headline aren’t good enough. This applies to almost anything you write, so keep reading even if you aren’t on YouTube.

When writing headlines for YouTube videos, Jeff teaches, use every single allotted character to squeeze in relevant keywords. Don’t try to be clever, which often results in being vague. Concentrate on keywords that will pull traffic.

Step 7 in his seven-step course is called “Reoptimize Everything,” even crappy videos that I uploaded several years ago, before I knew what I was doing. That means I can go back and write longer headlines, beef up each description to about 5,000 characters (about as long as a 900-word article!) and add about 20 more tags (keywords!).

Last night, I returned to my YouTube channel and went to work re-optimizing this video which has a pretty good headline—or so I thought:

 How to Rank High in LinkedIn Search    

But here’s the problem: that headline is way too short! Using Jeff’s instructions about squeezing in keywords, I came up with three phrases that are relevant to this video:

  • How to Rank High in LinkedIn Search
  • Boost Business Networking
  • Online Visibility

  I rewrote the short headline inside the red box, above, to this:

Headlines--Keywords Beat Clever2

I also tagged the video with more than a dozen additional keywords and wrote a much longer description that now includes links to posts at this blog that discuss LinkedIn.  I linked to  How to strengthen your LinkedIn profile with benefits and value statements and How to add opt-in boxes to your LinkedIn profile and Company Page.

5 Tips for Writing Better Headlines

Use these tips from Jeff when writing headlines for any content that’s online:

  1. Build the promise into keywords.
  2. Front-load the headline with a benefit statement. Mine is “How to Rank High in LinkedIn Search.”
  3. Put your primary keyword phrase in the title.
  4. Use at least one secondary keyword phrase (two if they fit). You won’t always be able to do this because of limited space. But the wonderful thing about YouTube is that it allows about 85 characters for the title of the video.
  5. Write your title as a compelling headline. Benefit-rich headlines that have keyword phrases but also promise believable rewards get more clicks, Jeff says.

Regardless of what you’re writing, your headlines or titles must be a good reflection of what your content is about. On YouTube, “watch time” is an important factor in Google’s new algorithm.

If You Need More YouTube Tips and Tutorials…

Jeff just opened up the doors to the newest version of “Tube Traffic Secrets,” his bestselling private membership site and training program. This is the one I bought, and I loved the course!  

It’s all about getting free traffic and free leads from YouTube and learning how to build your email list, your brand and your business by tapping into the marketing power of YouTube! A great YouTube channel is like having your own TV show, and it can also generate publicity galore.

You can take a look at what it includes by using this affiliate link. 

Here’s the best part:

Jeff is an AMAZING teacher. Simply follow the simple Step-by-Step Training Videos, and written Cheat Sheets, Checklists and Action Plans and you could see almost immediate  results in your business.

I got additional support in the form of periodic webinars where I could ask as many questions as I wanted. During one webinar, Jeff even offered to critique someone’s YouTube channel. I offered, and he made some great suggestions that I’m implementing now.

The Publicity Hound gives “Tube Traffic Secrets” two paws up—way  up!

dog with thumbs up--grant cochran, freedigitalphotos

 Yes, I’m Jeff’s affiliate. Yes, I earn a commission if you buy into this course and membership site. But you’re in for a treat, and you’ll thank me. this is NOT one of those $2,000 deals. It’s a fraction of that, and you can take advantage of the handy payment plan.

Finally,  I know what I’m doing on YouTube! You will, too.

(Dog imgae courtesy of Grant Cochrane, FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

YouTube secrets push your video to top of search results; learn ‘em all during free webinar Wednesday, May 18

YouTube logoOnline video is the most powerful tool on the Internet for driving traffic to your websites and services.

That’s why I have my own YouTube channel.

Search engines are focusing on online video to deliver the content their customers are looking for and have even changed their search parameters to push video to the top of the search results.

What does this mean for you?  Your business can get quick, effective search engine results that could take your websites months or even years to achieve, all for next to nothing to produce.

There are secret tactics that successful marketers and smart Publicity Hounds are using on free hosting sites such as YouTube that are bringing an avalanche of traffic to their websites.

My friends, Colin Martin, who edits my video, and Marc Bullard are offering a free one-hour webinar to show you how easy it is to pull traffic for specific keywords that your customers are typing into the search engines.  “YouTube Super Secrets: Getting Views, Subscibers and Branding Your Business” will be from 8 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time on Wednesday, May 18.

Here’s What You’ll Learn

One of the biggest mistakes most people make (OK, I’m guilty as charged) is creating the video first. And then, when it’s time to upload the video to YouTube, they’re scrambling to come up with enough keywords to pull traffic.

If they’re in a hurry, they sit and guess which words their customers will be searching for, because there’s no time to do keyword research. Collin and Marc will show you how to do the critical keyword research you need BEFORE you start shooting.

You’ll also learn:

  • How to properly fill out your video titles and descriptions for maximum search engine placement.
  • How to find subscribers and friends for your channel.
  • How to brand your channel to effectively promote your business.
  • How to use comments wisely to drive traffic to your channel.
  • How to share your YouTube video on all of your other social profiles.
  • How to script your video to get the most traffic to your website.
  • How to decipher YouTube’s statistics program to create better videos.

A Super Bonus

They’re also offering a killer bonus on how to add duplicate video content to your channel without it being rejected.  Smart Internet marketers know that the search engines frown on duplicate content. But this trick is so sneaky—and so effective—that YouTube doesn’t want you to know about it.

Who should attend the webinar?

Authors, coaches, consultants, public speakers, musicians, small business owners, and publicists who want to incorporate video into their clients’ PR campaigns.

Register for the free webinar. We’ll see you on May 18.