This is a guest blog post by Marat Galperin, Co-Founder of uCubd.com
As bloggers we are constantly looking for ways to make our blogs more interesting. It goes without saying that it’s important to write well and to know our audience and focus on topics relevant to it. However, these days it may not be enough to simply write good blog posts and assume that our readers will be sufficiently entertained. So what more can we do? I have found that creating new multimedia experiences for our readers by mashing together various social media content is an effective way to increase audience engagement and drive more traffic.
We’ve all heard the saying “A picture is worth a thousand words” it then would logically follow that a video has to be worth a lot more. Of course I’m not telling you anything new by suggesting that you should use video embeds in your blogs to pique your readers’ interest. We already know that embedding multimedia content such as web video, flash games and other widgets is an effective way to get your audience actively involved.
What I’m proposing is a different approach. Why not get more value out of your embeds by embedding more than one thing at a time? For instance you could enhance that YouTube video you were planning on embedding by combining it with a related Twitter feed. Thus, your YouTube video will come equipped with its own reader “comments”. Your readers will not only get the opportunity to enjoy the video but they’ll be able to see what the Twitter community thinks about it as well. As a result your audience will likely be more engaged by consuming this YouTube & Twitter combination than by the “commentless” YouTube video alone.
You can also consider the multimedia mashup as a blog post contained within itself. It is sometimes a challenge to consistently come up with compelling content for our blogs. Why not use the creative energy of millions of YouTube and Twitter users to help us put together blog posts on current hot topics without investing a ton of time? You can write a short intro and supplement it with the YouTube/Twitter mashup. Your audience can enjoy the video and stay engaged by reading the endless flow of tweets.
What if you don’t have a YouTube video handy? No problem. Just think of a topic and we’ll do the work of finding the relevant YouTube videos and Twitter feed and mashing them together. Can’t think of a current hot topic? Not to worry, just use Twitter’s trending topics and create a compelling YouTube & Twitter mashup in seconds.
The mashing together of multimedia content will not only increase engagement but can also help you monetize your blog. We can take that same YouTube video and combine it with the Amazon product widget. Your readers can enjoy watching the video and observe related Amazon products right next to it. It is the best of both worlds. The viewing experience is not interrupted by having an advertisement intrude on the video in any way and yet the products remain highly visible. This particular YouTube & Amazon combination should result in a higher conversion rate than having the traditional Amazon sidebar which may or may not show content-related products and is not in the main view.
Some videos maybe better suited to be mashed together with MP3s rather than products. Amazon provides an MP3 music list widget that can be combined together with video. Your readers
can enjoy watching a YouTube music video and then listen to related Amazon MP3 tracks and purchase them right on the spot.
Another advantage of using the multimedia mashup over traditional affiliate marketing is the potential of making money outside of your blog. The Amazon widget contained within the mashup stores your Amazon affiliate code. As readers embed the mashup on other websites and blogs or link to it, your affiliate code travels along with it. The mashup that started on your blog can now continue to work hard for you on other websites and help you get more value out of your affiliate marketing. In fact, this opens up a new way to take advantage of popular web videos. You now have a great incentive to leverage viral content by attaching your affiliate campaign to it. If your mashup goes viral that means your affiliate campaign just went viral as well.
My company uCubd.com (you cubed) was created to give bloggers and web publishers an opportunity to effectively leverage popular social media content. We have built a mashup platform that will allow you to add more value to your stand-alone embeds. The best thing about our technology is that it’s free and easy. It literally takes seconds to create a mashup using our platform. All one needs to create a mashup is a YouTube embed code. Our system will automatically analyze the video and render related tweets from Twitter or products from Amazon next to it. Our mashups are not limited to YouTube, other embeddable video and widgets will work as well. We're also currently working on building a variety of mashup templates that will offer users more options beyond Twitter and Amazon.
Give this a shot, have fun, make some money and let us know what you think.