The #SaWA Concert Featuring Sauti Sol

As E-LABZ continues to expand and grow, we got an opportunity to cover a concert by one of the most popular and successful bands in Kenya, and Africa.

For the first time in Eastlands, Sauti Sol put on an unforgettable show that was aimed at giving back to the community. The #SaWA concert, which was aimed at helping young women between the ages of 18-25 through training and mentorship, took place at The Point Mall, Buruburu, and featured many upcoming Eastlands artists, as well as well-known local artists.

We were happy to be part of the concert and event. We were also happy that the content we created, in video, photography, and blog posts, was able to reach a lot of people through social media, the various blog posts and websites where our work was featured.

Here’s a recap of the event in video:

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How to Leverage Events for Your Brand – 5 Things to Look Out For

One of the best synergies a corporate brand can make in today’s digitally-connected and hyper world is to create or plug into events.

We have documented plenty of events for our clients and the level of hype and enthusiasm that accompanies these events create a real goldmine for brands looking to bring awareness and gain publicity at a very low cost.

However, not all events are beneficial to your brand and not all brands can fit into the events space. Fortunately, a majority of brands today can take advantage of various events that happen to create awareness.

How though can you tell if an event would work well for your brand?

Here are 5 points to look out for:

  1. Your Brand Product Service vs Event Audience

Your audience drives your business. The more targeted your brand message can reach out to them, the higher the chance you’re going to connect with them and convert them to becoming loyal customers.

Your brand will need to plug into a space that ties in with your offering. If it is a music festival, what products or services does your company offer that would fit well with those attending the event? Remember, such an event will generally have musicians, music lovers, music industry stakeholders, and entertainment and event organizers attending. Is your offering well positioned to appeal to this audience?

  2. The Digital Experience

No event today is successful without some level of digital promotion and engagement. Based from the events we attend, the more hyped up an event is online weeks or months ahead, the higher the chance that it will be well received.

To get the most out of such events, you need to ensure your digital experience is also up to par. Your audiences are online trying to figure out which brands will be at the event. They are also looking to engage with you prior to the event online, and possibly on the ground during the event. If your digital experience is not satisfying to your potential customer, chances are you are not going to get real value out of the event.

  3. Post-Event Hype

The event itself should not be the end of your brand awareness strategy. Post-event engagement should continue to build up and get those who engaged with you on location to continue interacting with you online. The best events are those that offer such engagement, both to the attendees and those who missed it.

Creating content that appeals to your audiences after the event is key to achieving this. Whether its in form of pictures, videos, tweets, or blog posts, ensure the conversation is carried far beyond the event. If an event’s hype ends when the event ends, then much of the benefit from the event is generally lost.

  4. Collaborative Spaces

Events are not just for showcasing what you have on offer. They are also excellent for creating relationships with other suppliers, event organizers, and establishments. One way to build and grow your brand awareness is partnership at events.

Do you have a product or service that you can offer as part of your sponsorship for the event? This is a great way of building relationships while getting event promotion. Look for ways you can collaborate to get your brand more airtime during the event promotion over simply getting a booth or stand to showcase your work. Remember, the banners and posters created will live long after the event and your brand will always go with them.

  5. Sponsorship Deal

Sponsoring an event is one of the best ways of getting mileage for an event. Generally, event sponsors get to be featured on all advertisement material. In addition, they also get exposure at the event in various ways.

You can, for example, decide to sponsor drinks at subsidized rates, staging and lights, or offer affordable commute to and from the event location. Sponsorship deals can come in a variety of ways and it’s usually an agreement between the company sponsoring and the event organizers on what’s needed to make the event a success.

From experience, events are a great way of building brand equity. These five points should help you gauge if you are ready to leverage events to build your brand.

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Pay Attention to Facebook Video

 

When it comes to social media platforms, Facebook is by far the most popular platform, according to a 2017 research. In terms of daily usage, over 75 percent of users are on the platform daily, making content on the platform quite powerful.

Interestingly, a lot of the content consumed on the platform is on mobile. As a result, 75 percent of all Facebook videos are watched on mobile.

Now facts aside, why should you, personally and as a brand, invest in Facebook video?

  • Facebook Believes in Video

Facebook is a strong believer in the power of video. The growth of Facebook video, especially native video, has been tremendous.

Facebook’s investment in video technology serves as a strong indication about the direction the company thinks social media content is headed and the changing user behavior and consumption. The new features and tools that focus on video continue to be added almost every single month. For example, users can search for videos on Facebook and get alerted about Live video. Expect more video features soon.

  • Video Engagement is High

In mobile, people are also getting more comfortable engaging with video content. Now people spend 5x longer with video over static content on Facebook and Instagram. Most of these video views come from shared video.

Facebook views and engagements happen fast. While engagement is quite high within the first seven days, engagement over time does not go down. The ability to share and reshare videos means that video views continue to rise over time. This means that your videos will continue to have a long shelf life long after they are published.

  • The Evolving TV Ecosystem

It’s a fact that TV, and more specifically traditional TV, is getting replaced by on-demand video content on the Web. Facebook is looking to leverage on this and more people are looking to jump onto social networks platforms like Facebook as an alternative.

Creating shows and rich content that lives on Facebook means you’re positioned to capture this market looking to transition to on-demand content. This market is projected to grow. Being an early adopter means you will learn quickly about this emerging market, iterate, and create video products that fit this demographic.

Mobile consumption and the move towards more on-demand content is fuelling Facebook video. As a brand or business, what are you doing to leverage this relatively new content type?

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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How the Internet is Changing Consumer Behavior

Consumers are increasingly on mobile now. Its fast and highly responsive, and most important, feels personal.

If you’ve been in business long enough, you already know that the changing face of business today is nothing new. Over the decades, and centuries, innovations and new inventions have changed how people live and work from one generation to another.

Today, the Internet, and what the Internet brings is changing the landscape again.

For many, the Internet has been seen as channel where they can interact with their clientelle. For others, this is the new way of doing business. Still for others, it is just a passing fad that will never replace the good old brick and mortar stores. Regardless of where you’re coming from, everyone has their opinion of the Internet.

The Bottom Line

People are talking to their friends, and family and their recommendations are changing how we buy products and services

Despite the different opinions and perceived notions of what the Internet is and isn’t, one thing is for sure – The Internet is changing how people buy and sell goods – and that’s the bottom line.

Whether you admit or refute it, your customers are becoming more aware of what they want, they’re expressing their opinions about your products and services more openly, and are looking at what your competition has to offer. The current generation of consumers are more educated and enlightened than ever before. They are also more open-minded and liberal.

As you can imagine, selling to an educated client is very different and is more challenging, over selling to one who isn’t. The former is more aware of the facts, more influential, and cares deeply about the name behind the brand they purchase. They are also bombarded by new information and research in regards to their interests and purchases.

How you communicate and sell to them is thus a whole different ball game to clients who aren’t educated about your process and your cause.

If You Do Not Understand People, You Do Not Understand Business

What your consumers say about you online has a big impact on how people perceive your products, services, and overall brand outlook

As a business owner or entrepreneur, it is not enough to simply offer a product and expect clients will come flocking. Your potential clients now have more options being thrown at them than ever before. Their news-feeds and timelines are always screaming for their attention. They no longer have to go look for products and services. Instead, these products and services seek them.

And this is where the challenge lies.

You see, unless you are constantly trying to get your customers’ attention and looking for ways to remain top-of-mind on your clients, you run the risk of getting replaced by your more aggressive competitor. As much as we are passionate about what we do, we also have to remember that we live in a highly competitive world. Everybody wants to be seen first and seen constantly. This is the side that your potential customers see.

Unless you adapt to the changing business environment, you will die, eventually. It is not enough to simply have a website, a Facebook page, and an Instagram account. Your clients already expect that of you. It is what you project on these platforms that win your customers’ confidence, trust, and increasingly their time and eyeballs.

Your customers are human beings and human beings care about causes. Do you communicate these messages to your clients and potentials? What does your business stand for? Do you give back to the community in any way? Do you advocate for a cause that touches others? You need to connect on a more personal level with your clients in these and other ways as well. If you do not understand people, you do not understand business.

How you communicate is also just as important as what you communicate. A blog is a powerful medium of communication. A picture however is more powerful. Even more powerful is a video. Learning how to leverage these new content types will also go a long way in maintaining your business relevance.

Internet adoption across the globe continues to gain ground. The future is online. By default, this means the future of business will also be online. What are you doing about it?

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

 

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Why Take Instagram Seriously

As you may have seen recently, we’re seeing a shift towards visual content on the Interwebs.

Among the most popular spaces when it comes to visual content is Instagram.

However, even more important is the fact that Instagram is becoming the de facto on where to discover and interact with brands.

Here are a few facts about Instagram worth mentioning in 2017:

  • More than one million active advertisers per month on Instagram.
  • More than 80 percent of people on Instagram follow a brand.
  • Roughly 20 percent of Instagram’s audiences use Instagram to visit a brand’s website, get directions, or contact a company.
  • Instagram is looking to add a way for people to communicate with businesses through the app such as booking services, or scheduling a haircut.

As you can see, Instagram is having a major influence on how people interact, and will be interacting with brands, moving forward.

One question though remains: How is your A-Game on Instagram?

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

 

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Attention is the arbitrage you need in 2017

As the world moves faster and faster online, the question becomes:

Who is going to win in a space that continues to get saturated every single day?

Outdoor media and basic websites no longer appeal to the masses. How often do you skip YouTube ads? Do you get irritated by TV ads?

Clearly, your answers above reveal a real disconnect between where we spend our marketing shillings and where the attention of your target customers are.

2017 and Mobile

It is no secret that mobile is at the core of everything. We now access email, communicate, and check out links sent to us via our mobile devices. 70 percent of people who access social networks do it on mobile and over 50 percent of all YouTube views happen on mobile.

Social

If you’re reading this, chances are that you use at least one social network, whether its Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat. In some spaces, social has almost become synonymous with the Internet, especially in places where Internet is just getting adopted.

Social networks have also become great places to brand or promote a product and get huge audiences as opposed to running ads. The thread of social extends beyond these spaces and most e-commerce sites, blogging platforms, and websites integrate social as part of their core design.

Building Brand Equity

Building your brand online is one of the best ways of play the game long-term. Most of our lives are being lived online and the earlier you can establish and start building a long-term brand equity, the faster and longer you are going to win.

Imagine if you could create influence for your brand and products through a weekly YouTube or Facebook show? Think of how much impact you’d have if you created regular original content for your Instagram followers.

Building brands around your businesses matters!

2017 should be the year you take the Internet seriously. Start creating long-term value through your brand and see where it takes you in the next 365 days.

I hope you have a great 2017 year of branding.

Talk to you soon, brands.

 

 

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7 Content Marketing Lessons from Red Bull

Red Bull gives you wings

One of the biggest shifts in today’s marketing is in content creation. Brands and businesses must now think differently and create amazing content to attract audiences.

In other words, brands now need to act like media companies in addition to doing what they do.

A classic example of this is the Red Bull brand.

According to Red Bull’s founder, Austrian founder Dietrich Mateschitz, “Red Bull is a media company that happens to sell energy drinks.”

And this is what has made Red Bull what it is today.

The company launched the Red Bull Media House back in 2007 with the goal of content creating that connects with customers. So far, its media department has done the following:

  • Launched the Online and Print magazine “The Red Bulletin,”
  • Spent $2 million making “The Art of Flight” movie.
  • Sponsored numerous action-related events such as the “Freefall from Space.”

What has been the results?

The Media House has not only started making profits, but the company already claims that the business value in form of awareness and media dollars saved, far outweighs the expense.

As online content consumption speeds up, we can expect to see more forward-thinking brands slowly transition into becoming media companies first.

Here are 7 lessons brands can learn from the Red Bull Media House:
  1. Marketing is the responsibility of the entire brand
  2. Content is ‘Core.” It should inspire and be effective.
  3. Businesses need to become media companies – literally. Red Bull casts a large net across adventure sports, video games, and music, and some of this content is sure to interest their 18-30 year olds and get them to talk about it and share.
  4. Content needs to support the core essence of the brand. For Red Bull it is “to give you wings,” literally.
  5. Become a media empire covering all media – video, mobile, online, print.
  6. While the media may become profitable, create brand value that offsets investments in paid advertising – The “jump from space” was so awesome that for every dollar they spent, they must have received $10 in free media, shares, and brand awareness.
  7. Make content that can be consumed by consumers any way they like – from short video snippets fit for mobile, to long-form movies fit for platforms like YouTube.

Stratos by Red Bull

The Stratos, Red Bull’s space jump, pictured above, is a great marketing example.

According to the company:

“We must create content so awesome the world stops a little to think about what we are doing.”

By extending its marketing and customer aspirations beyond its comfort zone,  Red Bull has been able to accomplish almost the impossible. It’s social media stream goes to show just how committed the company is to creating awesome content.

What about you?

Are you ready to take the leap of faith, like Red Bull, and be bold enough to become a media company?

The world is drowning in information and content. Only customer-focused, social businesses that deliver entertaining content will succeed.

To succeed you need to change how you market. Red Bull is a classic example of how to do this.

 

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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7 Tips on How to Get Your Video on ‘YouTube Suggested Videos’ Section

Did you know that the majority of viewership on YouTube is largely driven through the suggested videos column watch pages? It is no surprise therefore that dominating this section will guarantee increased video views and more referrals from your video strategy.

YouTube suggested videos include:

  • 4 videos algorithmically selected from the creator
  • Related videos similar to yours
  • Recommended videos based on viewer

How does YouTube determine which video to place?

It uses the following:

  • Video watch time
  • Relevancy
  • Viewership history
  • Engagements

So, if you want to dominate the suggested video section, you definitely need to hack these four metrics. Your videos need to tell YouTube that they are worth watching and recommending. How do you do that?

Here are 7 ways on how you can influence the above metrics:

 

1.  Make Engaging Videos

YouTube’s algorithms are highly optimized to promote videos with long watch times. To create such engaging videos, ensure you are clear about what viewers can expect in the first five to 10 seconds, demonstrate passion and energy in the video to grab attention.  Don’t be afraid to take risks with videos and to think unconventionally. People love that.Other ways to create engagement include using B-roll, adding music to your videos, adding open and close loops, storytelling, and jump cutting,

 

2.  Encourage Engagement

According to a report published by Novel Concept, videos with lots of Likes, Dislikes, and comments rank higher than all other types of videos. When a viewer has an emotional connection with your video, they are more likely to express it with either a Like, a Dislike or a comment.

You can promote commenting on your own videos by not only replying to comments, but also posting your own comments. For example, you can post a relevant question in the comments section that pertains to what is being discussed. This will not only let others reply with relevant keywords, but also help the algorithm determine the property surrounding those keywords, further helping with the ranking.

 

3.  Optimize Your Video Titles

Just like Google Search, keywords are important in YouTube videos. The more targeted a video keyword is, the more likely it will appear on top of search results and on the suggested videos column for other peoples’ videos. The right titles get people to click on your videos and tell the algorithm the relevancy of such videos to other video types.

  • One of the suggested ways of doing this, especially if you discuss a variety of topics, is to include the following in the video title:
  • The name of the show
  • The episode number of the show
  • The name of the Channel

Check out how Channel Frederator and Gary V have successfully implemented this approach.

 

4.  Optimize the Meta Data

  • Many, if not all, of the principles around SEO apply to the suggested videos algorithm. To optimize your meta data section, here are some guidelines to follow:
  • A video description of not less than 3 sentences. This should be placed at the top of the description before any links.
  • Always include a generic 3-5 sentence description of what the video is all about.
  • Focus on one primary keyword in your descriptions and tags
  • Limit tags to 10-12 primary keywords
  • Always include the same 4-6 ‘generic tags’ about the show and channel.

For example, if you’re searching for Nairobi Malls, specific keywords would include: Nairobi malls, 7 popular malls in Nairobi, Facts about Nairobi malls, best Nairobi malls.

 

5.  Interlink Videos

Interlinking of videos is a smart way of getting people to view your other videos on your channel. You can do this through annotations with the help of YouTube Cards, playlists that automatically play the next video on your channel, links in descriptions, and even commenting on older videos with newer video links.

By getting more people discovering your other content types, this will, in turn, get the video algorithm ranking these other videos as well under the suggested column based on view and session duration.

 

6.  Use Compelling Thumbnails

In my view, compelling thumbnails are generally the single most important element that gets someone to click on a video based on search or suggested videos. Thumbnails are usually the first introduction to your content and you need to make it really stand out.

  • Some tips for creating compelling thumbnails include:
  • Use bright colors or increase saturation to make colors stand out.
  • Use a human face to add emotion to the thumbnail.
  • Go for the action shot for videos that lend themselves to it.
  • Include text to give context
  • Adding some consistency to build awareness and differentiation.

 

7.  Start YouTube Sessions

YouTube loves channels and videos that start viewing sessions on the site. If a show session gets people to watch other similar or related video, that video will be frequently suggested for other viewers.

Building touchpoints outside of YouTube can also help start viewing sessions.  We can do this by using social, media embeds, email lists, websites, and connecting with other YouTubers. These approaches act as catalysts for communicating our schedules which will, in turn, start sessions.

It goes without saying that the more videos we post on YouTube, the higher the chances that our videos will be featured in suggested videos section. When we combine our video frequency with the above insights, were guaranteed of a killer video strategy.

 

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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5 Reasons Why You Need a Digital Video Strategy

Not a day goes by do I not get an alert, on either Facebook or YouTube of a live event happening. 5 years ago, it used to be that if you wanted to watch a live event, you had to turn on the television, and hope CNN or BBC is live on the ground.

Not anymore.

Livestreaming events are becoming so common now on Facebook that I wouldn’t be surprised if we start to see more platforms offering live video. Facebook and YouTube are just the beginning, the tip of the iceberg, on what to expect. Marketers and agency executives are also very optimistic about online digital video with two-thirds of them saying original digital video will become as important as original TV programming in the next three to five years.

The event livestreaming space is also getting crowded. Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter are just some of the other players now enabling users to either livestream events or curate video content around events.

Now that I have convinced you enough about the continued rise and domination of online video, here are some 5 reasons to take home on why online video marketing should be an important part of your marketing arsenal:

1. Video is More Engaging than Text

The human brain can process visual information 60,000x faster than text.  We seek out visual content as opposed to text. It is no surprise therefore that we are 13% more like to open an email or click on a link that includes the word “video.”

2. Video Creates an Emotional Connection


There is value in forming deep and personal relationships with your consumers. A well-crafted video can pull the right audiences and get you noticed. A Harvard Business Review study showed that connecting emotionally with your audiences can boost revenue and video is well-positioned to stir those emotions.

3. Good Video has Gotten Cheaper

Once the domain of huge companies and studios with big budgets, high-quality video is not within reach on small budgets, thanks to advancing technology. You can now take dazzling skyline and stable handheld shots, thanks to new innovative tech that enables all of this.

4. Video Boosts Conversion Rates

Did you know that visitors will stay on your site 2 minutes longer, on average, if it includes a video? Furthermore, these visitors are 64% more like to purchase a product. Online video draws customers in and tends to be more persuasive over any other media.

5. Numbers Don’t Lie

The future of the Internet can be summed up into one word – video.

You don’t believe me? Check out these stats:

  • 52% of marketers point to video content as having the best ROI
  • 73% of marketers confirm video has having positively impacted marketing results
  • YouTube reaches more 18-49-year olds than any cable network in the U.S.
  • Top five most popular celebrities among teens in the U.S. were a YouTube star

So, are you ready to start creating videos?

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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How to Keep Visitors Longer on Your Website

Wondering how to make people stay longer on your website? Read on.

As you’re probably aware by now, the world of Search has changed dramatically from what it was just an year ago. Here’s what has changed so far:

  • Keywords are no longer enough to get you to page one of Google
  • Social signals are increasingly becoming ranking factors
  • A variety of content types is an important ranking factor
  • Guest Posting is more valuable than ever

As you can see, Google is no longer keen on how you leverage keywords on your posts. The shift is now more towards social and variety.

Here are three ways to ensure you keep ranking on top of Google Search results:

 

1. Being Active on Social

Be active on social

Do you have a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram page? Do you create content specifically for these channels? Do you respond and reply to comments from followers?

Being active on social is all about engagement. It requires activity – liking, commenting, sharing, curating – and much more. The best pages are those that post consistently throughout the day and respond to questions and queries as soon as possible.

Google is noticing how you engage on social. This helps determine if your page is worth ranking or not.

 

2. Create Videos and Images

Almost all major social networks have gone visual. The emphasis on creating quality videos, graphics, and photos is understandable. People are more likely to Like or Share a picture or a video over plain text.

According to a recent statistic, we are watching 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day with Snapchat users now watching 10 billion videos per day.

If the above stats don’t convince you to start creating videos for social, I don’t know what will.

Try and incorporate a lot of visual content on your social pages and your blog posts. These tend to create more engagement, and in turn, higher Google rankings.

Here is a video by Buzzfeed that generated over 92M views and 5 million engagements in just 7 days:

 

3. Guest Post on Authority Sites

Guest Posting is NOT DEAD

For some time now, Google has always given authoritative sites credibility by ranking them high on search results.

This has not changed.

If you want to stand out, you need to guest post on such sites with a link back to your site or social media profiles. When you create valuable content for such sites, they will be willing to add a link back to your website.

Guest posting also gets you in front of larger audiences on social.

When you guest post on such sites, they will usually share your posts on either Facebook or Twitter. Since most of these sites have huge social followings, imagine the number of eye balls that get to notice you.

How people search on the Internet will continue to change. It is how you adapt to these changes that’ll determine your growth.

 

David Gitonga is a content marketing specialist. He creates visual content for websites, social, and YouTube. He helps businesses leverage new media to grow their brand and build authority on the Internet. You can find him on his Twitter handle @davgit or reach him via email at david@e-labz.info.

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