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Master Your Card – Missouri is a public education campaign from MasterCard, which helps consumers, small businesses, and governments get more from their money by using prepaid, debit and credit cards to their advantage. MasterCard uses its Missouri-based technology to run an electronic payment network that delivers instantaneous, affordable, and safe transactions though cards.
Jennings Social Media Marketing was founded in June 2003 by Valerie Jennings and is a full service company that utilizes the art of online storytelling with the science of measuring quantifiable results. JSMM creates comprehensive social media marketing, mobile, Web videos and website design and development strategies.
Viral Bolt Media (VBM) is a YouTube video production and social-sharing company. The business serves as a catalyst for brands that want to intrigue customers with new and exciting products via videos. Services include video production, editing, contests, SEO, SMO, channel strategies and even robust public relations campaigns for YouTube.
Gus: How have you managed to launch Viral Bolt Media by leveraging the experience and success of Jennings Social Media Marketing?
Valerie: I took the best assets of JSMM such as our trade secret monetization process for social media and incorporated it into the new company. I also added additional services, which JSMM was not offering via its trade secret process to add value to the YouTube videos, SEO video content and provide robust user-generated content (UGC) strategies. Additionally, JSMM had a lot of clients that required niche video content, which we were providing, but not in an exclusive model that enhances YouTube video distribution. Moreover, we are excited to test emerging distribution software that will enable clients to upload, distribute and SEO content across thousands of websites, social media channels, games and content platforms. Our biggest advantage is that we have a very secure position in the social media industry, we know how to monetize social media and we are not afraid to take calculated business risks. JSMM and VBM work hand-in-hand to achieve, successful, profitable business techniques for all types of industries, verticals or sizes ranging from startups to publicly traded companies.
Gus: What are your aspirations as a CEO of two companies? Can you share some of your strategies for balancing two demanding positions?
Valerie: It is an insurmountable task, however, I have prepared for this endeavor. I’m not afraid to assume more responsibility, size, clients and staff as long as my current team is ready for the challenge. Our team inside JSMM and VBM are both equally skilled in many areas, but their maturity to manage social media marketing is far superior that many groups out there today. We have many qualified and talented people working across the U.S. in both businesses.
Generally speaking, it is not unheard of for CEOs to have many businesses, however, it’s very difficult to understand the luxuries in life when one is overwhelmed with just work. My work/life balance is skewed more towards work, but in time it will all payoff for everyone involved, including our clients.
Gus: What are some tips for having an effective marketing campaign on You Tube?
Valerie: R&D: There is ample data, research trending topics, apps, SEO tools and even scoring techniques, to find the best and most qualitative research to design a strong creative strategy. Reviewing the right types of data can enhance the right tone, creative, messaging, branding and viral effects, but it can also take your audience to the next level, too. I think planning an aggressive strategy means solid SEO, creative and viral software to enhance the reach, virality, targeted advertising, organic search and maybe sales. If brands want to take advantage of YouTube, they need to know that branding is not just viral via creative tactics; it’s viral because you made it viral by design. Data drives all outcomes.
Gus: What are some emerging trends that you’re excited about or think that our readers should be paying attention to?
Valerie: YouTube is driving more and more sales opportunities and continues to be the best SEO resource for creating content. SEO will never go away but how and why the search engines function the way they do, continues to drive social media marketing. In the future, Google may just say: If you don’t know social, stay off the Web. That is where it’s heading today. All search engine optimization (SEO) and website traffic is being driven by social media engagement, i.e. social media optimization (SMO). Pinterest is also shaping up to be one of the most successful social networks to date. The site continues to demonstrate quality e-Commerce opportunities, website referral traffic and social engagement. If Foursquare could incorporate some of Pinterest’s advantages such as website referral traffic, it might become a better monetization resource down the road. Lastly, blogging is becoming more and more of a thing of the past, and everyone wants images, short messages and engagement. To make blogging work, more visual content and more exploration of what users want to read will become a high priority in the days ahead.
MO: Can you expand on how taking advantage of social media marketing can be one of the most effective ways to increase success of a business?
Valerie: By incorporating the use of social media marketing into an overall business plan, a company can expect to double or triple its user-base in months. If brands can think about their best creative assets, marketing materials and even content, they can build a network around low-hanging fruit that will meet the needs of quality content, engagement metrics and even robust campaigns that spin-off from the lessons learned early on it social media. It’s without a doubt that as more brands jump into social media, they will have a lot of big lessons ahead of them. Companies must think the way their customers, clients, vendors or stakeholders do and emerge themselves into their worlds before they begin talking about big picture social media strategies. Listening is typically how this is defined, however, listening only gets a business so far, if the brand is unfamiliar with SEO trends, analysis, influencer evaluations and even how to go to market fast. Companies that sit around thinking about how to build up huge internal teams are going to find themselves sitting on the sidelines while the more aggressive teams build up internal alliances across corporate communications, sales, marketing, digital and their customer service centers. If a business wants to get a head start into the social media world, think big, go small first and then get aggressive. This is how it works best when a company is just trying to get going.
Gus: What are some tips for brands who want to intrigue customers with new and exciting products via video?
Valerie: Build a content series that will pique the interest of their target audience, influencers and the media. R&D analysis reports will prove which types of content influencers, prospects, clients/customers and the press are interested in and how to combine this with a solid content strategy that supports the brand. The strategy is developing content that supports those points and intercepts somewhere in the middle to engage with a robust audience. Rich and smooth content will go viral. The proof is always in the pudding.
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