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Which Marketing Channels Will Brands Prioritize in 2022 [HubSpot Blog Data]

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Which Marketing Channels Will Brands Prioritize in 2022 [HubSpot Blog Data]


Even though Field of Dreams is one of my favorite movies, the saying “If you build it, they will come” sadly doesn’t apply to content marketing. Too often, we forget that content marketing consists of two separate words — content and marketing. Creating content is usually the most fulfilling and enjoyable part of a marketer’s job but distributing that content is just as important.

After all, if no one sees your content, they definitely won’t come.

This is why it’s important to understand marketing channels and which ones you should use to leverage your content marketing goals. In short, marketing channels are the different tools and platforms you use to communicate with your target audience. So, while the decision to use specific channels should come from your audience insights, it’s essential to understand different channels’ value.

To learn more about the marketing channels that are being used by businesses today, the HubSpot Blog surveyed more than 1,000 global marketing professionals working in B2B and B2C companies to find out the channels they leverage.

Top marketing channels according to HubSpot Blog researchIn this post, we’ll discuss the findings that will help you understand how to amplify your reach, resonance, and revenue, all while prioritizing what matters most: your customers.

Top B2B Marketing Channels

According to HubSpot data, the top channels used by B2B marketers are social media, websites and blogs, and email marketing (as shown in the image below).

top b2b marketing channels

Social media is the top-used digital marketing channel likely because of LinkedIn (which is reported as their most effective channel). It’s filled with business-minded individuals, which is exactly who you want to reach as a business-to-business marketer.

B2B marketers likely focus significant effort on website and blogging channels because buyers often rely on websites before making purchasing decisions, so a website is a great way to convey information to people involved in B2B sales.

SEO is one of B2B marketers’ primary marketing strategies, likely because of the popularity of websites. Using keywords that are hyper-related to your business helps you draw customers to your website, as they can search for keywords directly related to what you offer and come upon your site in SERPs. Considering that search engines are the primary source of discovery for new products and services and people make 97,105 searches on Google per second, SEO has significant implications for businesses using the strategy for advertising.

Email is a powerful channel for B2B marketers because it helps share educational content with customers. In fact, 40% of B2B marketers say that newsletters are critical to success. When sending emails, subscriber segmentation and message personalization are the most effective strategies.

In 2022, you can expect B2B marketers to continue their investments in blogs and email marketing and increase their investments in social media.

Top B2C Marketing Channels

B2C marketers invest in the same top channels as B2B marketers, but the order is different: social media, email marketing, then websites and blogs. However, despite using similar channels, B2C marketing is typically focused on offering enjoyable content and quick solutions than B2B desire to build long-lasting business relationships with their customers. 

top b2c marketing channelsThe focus on social media likely centers around the fact that 3.6 billion people worldwide were using social media in 2020, and Statista predicts this number will grow to 4.41 billion in 2025. Given this, B2C customers are likely already on social media. When using social media, the trends that marketers typically choose to leverage are short-form video content and influencer marketing.

While you may only associate email marketing with newsletters, you can use it for B2C-type content like personalized communications, time-relevant notifications like product launches and sales, and cart abandonment emails for reminders. Also, email is an owned media channel — nobody is dictating when, how, and why you can contact your prospects (but keep in mind that customers will unsubscribe from oversaturation).

When it comes to websites and blogging, the two work hand in hand; blogging helps you generate brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, convert leads, and, most importantly, establish yourself as a source of authority. When you create your blogs with SEO tactics in mind, you’re even more likely to meet your marketing needs as you’ll surface in SERPs when customers make queries related to your business content.

Like B2B marketers, B2C marketers will continue their investments in websites/blogs and email marketing and increase their investments in social media.

Omni-Channel Marketing

While it may seem best to focus your efforts and investments on one single marketing channel, that strategy no longer suffices. In fact, HubSpot research shows that 92% of marketers leverage more than one channel, and 81% leverage more than three.

number of channels marketers leverage

Neil Patel, CMO & co-Founder of NP Digital, champions this tip and says that marketing is shifting its focus: “All good channels eventually get saturated. In 2022, brands will prioritize all channels and go more omni-channel…It’s the only way to stay competitive.”

A strategy that many marketers leverage with omni-channel marketing is content repurposing, with 82% of social media marketers repurposing content across various social channels. This practice, however, is more popular for B2C companies than B2B companies.

Video Marketing

If you’ve yet to consider video marketing, now is the time to do so. Video can boost conversions, improve ROI, and help you build relationships with audience members. Video is the top media format marketers leverage their strategies. In addition, 69% of consumers prefer to learn about what a brand offers through video.

When creating video, short-form content takes the cake for both B2B and B2C marketers, and they plan to increase investments in the strategy for 2022 (29% of marketers even plan to leverage it for the first time). When sharing video, the most popular channels are Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, with Instagram being among the most effective video marketing channels.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is when a business partners with a relevant, popular creator in their industry to put out advertisements or specific pieces of content. It’s a valuable marketing channel, and 71% of marketers say that the quality of traffic generated from influencer marketing is better than other ad formats. Leveraging influencers to meet your marketing goals can be beneficial in terms of generating brand awareness, as well as increasing social proof.

Consumers trust marketers less and less, and they shy away from sales-to-drive leads type content. Instead, they trust influencers, as they view them as a person like themselves, especially when they share common interests. The content that influencers create is a form of user-generated content, a.k.a word-of-mouth marketing.

53.6% of B2B marketers and 59.5% of B2C marketers who use the strategy say it is effective. Your competitors are already sharing this high-trust and high-return content with their audiences, and you should be too. A bonus is the return on investment (ROI) for influencer marketing, with every one dollar spent totaling $5.78 ROI.  Marketers will also continue using the channel in 2022, with 87% planning to continue investing the same or increasing their investments.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engines are also one of the highest converting marketing channels, and HubSpot data found that 56% of marketers say that it is effective in helping them meet their goals.

This means that optimizing all of your business’ existing channels will likely bring traffic and increase conversions. While a website may be your first thought when optimizing for SEO, this also applies to your YouTube channel, Google Maps Google My Business profile, your blog, and even your podcast episodes.

To build a thriving organic presence online, consider implementing the pillar-cluster model into your blog (35% of B2B and 59% of B2C marketers report it as an effective strategy). By doing this, you’ll create a single pillar page that provides a high-level overview of a topic and hyperlinks to cluster pages that delve into the topic’s subtopics — signaling to Google that your pillar page is an authority on the topic.

Other SEO tactics that marketers report as effective include using a search insights report, optimizing photos or videos for visual search engines, and optimizing load speed.

Podcast Marketing

55% of the U.S. population aged 12 and above listened to podcasts, and 37% listened in the last month for an average of six hours per week. The demand for audio content has exploded, so it’s worth considering podcasts to meet your audience where they already are.

Not only is demand high, but podcasts and their hosts can help you develop a unique relationship with your audience as episodes feel conversational and share a more human side of your business.

Podcasts also create more opportunities for interaction, as customers aren’t restricted to listening while staring at their phone screen. For example, your ideal listener can play an episode in their car during their morning commute, while walking their dog, and while they’re cleaning their house.

Featured Resource: How To Start a Podcast For Your Business

According to researchers in the neuroscience field, storytelling is one of the best ways to capture attention and resonate with consumer emotions. The human brain is programmed to crave, seek out, and respond to a well-crafted narrative — that’ll never change.

Only 1 in 3 marketers reported leveraging podcasts or other audio content in their strategies, but 53% of those that do say that it is the most effective media format they use. In addition, 51% of those who already use the channel will invest more in 2022, and 26% of marketers plan to leverage it for the first time in the upcoming year.

Word of Mouth Marketing

70% of consumers say that trusting a brand is more important today than ever before. Unfortunately, consumers also trust brands and the paid content they create less than ever before. So, what’s a marketer to do when the very people they need to persuade don’t trust them? They need to rely on their customers’ recommendations of their brand to inspire other customers to make purchases, also known as word-of-mouth marketing.

People trust other consumers over marketers because marketers have an agenda. They promote their products and services to generate sales, but customers will only rave about a product or service if it truly benefits them. If you’re skeptical, consider the following research findings:

  • Consumers report that a person like themselves (another consumer) is 14% more credible than a brand employee.
  • 39% of consumers build trust in a brand from peer-to-peer conversations than from a brand’s paid advertising.
  • 9 out of 10 consumers read reviews when making purchasing decisions.

Word-of-mouth marketing doesn’t just have to be a face-to-face conversation, though. For example, satisfied customers will post about you online, tell their roommates they like your service, and leave positive reviews on your product pages. Only one of those examples involves an actual, in-person conversation, but they all include consumers vouching for your brands’ credibility and authenticity to inspire others to purchase your products.

You can encourage this type of marketing by creating a customer experience that meets your audience’s needs and providing top-notch customer service. In other words, you need to serve your customers’ needs before your own.

Over To You

Different marketing channels bring various benefits, but most businesses can find a way to use different channels in their marketing strategies to meet business goals.

After all, your audience is likely diverse and spread out, so using different channels creates multiple points of contact, which, in turn, will help you nurture leads and increase conversions.

Marketing Plan Template

 



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Getting Started with the Agile Marketing Navigator: Building a Marketing Backlog

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Freeing agile marketing from its software development roots


We recently introduced you to Agile Marketing Navigator, a flexible framework for navigating agile marketing for marketers, by marketers in the article A new way to navigate agile marketing. The navigator has four major components: Collaborative Planning Workshop, Launch Cycle, Key Practices and Roles. Within these categories, there are several sub-pieces for implementation. In recent articles, we covered the pieces in the first stop of the navigator, the Collaborative Planning Workshop.

Now we’re going to dive into the next stop on your agile marketing journey — the Launch Cycle. The Launch Cycle is a repeatable cadence for delivering valuable marketing experiences early and often. Within the Launch Cycle there are five key components — Marketing Backlog, Cycle Planning, Daily Huddle, Team Showcase and Team Improvement. If you’re familiar with the Scrum framework, there are a lot of similarities here — with a few different nuances to make it more applicable to marketers.

Building and managing an effective Marketing Backlog

Now, let’s dive into the Marketing Backlog and some tips and tricks for marketers to be most effective. 

The Marketing Backlog is an ordered list of prioritized work that the agile team will pull from to work on in their Launch Cycle. The backlog is emergent, not static, and changes as new information is learned. 

This part of the framework is incredibly important and can have a major impact on how marketers work. First of all, there’s one shared place where all work lives. This avoids work happening “behind the scenes” that no one knows about.

In fact, one client that I worked with took all of the work that was already assigned to stakeholders, put it in a single backlog and realized that it would take five years to deliver! It’s with this level of transparency that teams and leaders can begin to visualize everything the team is doing and start to really understand what’s important and what may just be someone’s pet project.

There are many tools for managing your marketing backlog and they all have their pros and cons. The main thing to watch out for is ensuring that everyone on the team, as well as stakeholders have access. We want to build a transparent system.

If you’ve started with the Collaborative Planning Workshop, you’ve already begun to build out the Marketing Backlog. The items in your Minimally Viable Launch will go near the top, and other items will fall below. Work is never guaranteed until the team starts working on it, and even then sound business reasons could cause them to pivot, although that shouldn’t be the norm.

Prioritizing the backlog is one of the key responsibilities of the Marketing Owner. While they don’t do this in a vacuum and conversations with stakeholders are imperative, this role has the ultimate authority to decide what order the team will work on and which items won’t be considered (there are always way more good ideas than time).

The role of the Marketing Owner

The Marketing Owner needs to really understand the business value that each idea brings. Each marketing backlog should be thought of in terms of:

  • Level of effort it will take the team to complete (let’s face it — all things aren’t created equal. Building a Tesla may take longer than a base model Honda, so think through marketing ideas as well).
  • What value does it bring to customers? Joy? Satisfaction? Solves a problem? Addresses a cause?
  • What will the business gain from this idea, and how does it tie to business goals, KPIs and revenue?

Stakeholders, customers and team members should all be thinking about new ideas all of the time and everyone is invited to submit ideas to the backlog. However, it’s at the Marketing Owner’s discretion to decide which ideas will be worked on by the team and when.


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Work should never be directly assigned to a team member in agile marketing. It should be submitted to the backlog or discussed with the marketing owner as it needs to be visible and prioritized among everything else.

In agile marketing, backlog items should be used to test and learn and are thought of as micro-experiments, rather than large campaign blasts. 

While a backlog item may be for a post on Facebook, the team should be thinking in terms of testing elements, such as content. If the content is successful, similar content pieces would be on the backlog. However, if the content doesn’t perform well, the team would want to think of new backlog items with different content.


agile marketing workflow

Catch up on the Agile Marketing Navigator series!


The backlog may contain some business as usual items to keep the lights on, but the majority of items should be small, testable experiments that can quickly get to customers for real-time feedback.

If you haven’t started a marketing backlog yet, what are you waiting for?


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Stacey knows what it’s like to be a marketer, after all, she’s one of the few agile coaches and trainers that got her start there. After graduating from journalism school, she worked as a content writer, strategist, director and adjunct marketing professor. She became passionate about agile as a better way to work in 2012 when she experimented with it for an ad agency client. Since then she has been a scrum master, agile coach and has helped with numerous agile transformations with teams across the globe. Stacey speaks at several agile conferences, has more certs to her name than she can remember and loves to practice agile at home with her family. As a lifelong Minnesotan, she recently relocated to North Carolina where she’s busy learning how to cook grits and say “y’all.”



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When Your SEO Competitors Don’t Match What You Know

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When Your SEO Competitors Don't Match What You Know


You know your competitors, and you’re not going to let some damned SEO tool tell you different!

Hey, I’ll give you the first part, but there are a lot of reasons that the results from a tool like True Competitor might not match your expectations, and that could be a good thing.

I’m going to dig into five of those reasons:

  1. You’re living in the past

  2. You’ve hit a brick wall

  3. You can’t see the trees

  4. You’re stuck in one tree

  5. We’re just plain wrong

First, the toughest one to hear — the world is changing, and you’re not changing with it.

1. You’re living in the past

Look, I know Big Wally at Big Wally’s Widget World said your Grandma’s meatloaf was “just okay, I guess” at the church potluck in ‘87, but you need to move on. Even if you’re not quite-so-literally stuck in the past, you may be operating on an outdated sense of who your competitors are. Especially online, the competitive landscape can change quickly, and it’s worth re-evaluating from time to time.

2. You’ve hit a brick wall

Quite literally — you’ve run headlong into your own brick-and-mortar wall. As a business with physical locations, your competitors with physical locations are absolutely important, but from a search perspective, they may not represent who you’re actually competing with online.

Take, for example, McDonald’s — you might expect the competition to include Wendy’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, and other fast food chains with physical restaurants. Meanwhile, here are the second through fourth results from True Competitor:

While DoorDash, Grubhub, and Uber Eats don’t have traditional, physical locations, these are the places where McDonald’s online customers go to order, and they represent a significant amount of organic SERP real estate. From an SEO standpoint, this is reality.

3. You can’t see the trees

You can see the whole forest from where you’re standing, and that’s great, but are you missing the diversity and distinctiveness of the trees?

This is easier to show than tell. Let’s take a look at big box retailer, Target. True Competitor returns the following top three:

No big surprises here, and no one should be shocked that this list includes not only brick-and-mortar competitors, but online retail juggernauts like Amazon. Let’s take a deeper look, though (the following are competitors #8, #7, and #22 in our current data):

Target isn’t just up against the whole-forest, big box retailers — they also have to contend with niche competition. Their competitors in the video game space include not only brick-and-mortar retailers like GameStop, but competitor-partners like Sony and Nintendo (which both sell hardware and software directly online).

Not every grove of trees is going to have the same needs and growing conditions. Your competitive landscape could have dozens of ecosystems, and each of them requires unique research and likely a unique strategy.

4. You’re stuck in one tree

On the other hand, you could be stuck in just one tree. Let’s take Ford Motor Company as an example. Savvy marketers at Ford know they’re not just up against legacy automakers like Chevrolet and Toyota, but up-and-coming competitors like Tesla and Rivian.

That niche is incredibly important, but let’s take a look at what the SERPs are telling us:

These are Ford’s #1, #2, and #5 competitors, and they aren’t automakers — they’re automotive content producers. Does this mean that Chevy and Tesla aren’t Ford’s competitors? Of course not. It means that those automakers are infrequently appearing in SERPs alongside Ford. Ford is competing with mentions of their own products (makes and models) in leading online publications.

5. We’re just plain wrong

Hey, it happens — I’m not here to claim that we’re perfect. SERP-based competitive analysis has a couple of limitations. First, as discussed, SERP analysis doesn’t always reflect the brick-and-mortar world. From an SEO perspective, that’s fine (if they’re not ranking, we’re not competing with them for search share), but there are other essential pieces to the puzzle.

Second, our SERP-based analysis is based on national results and does not reflect regional or hyperlocal competition. Some regional businesses do have national competitors, and that’s worth knowing, but localized perspectives are important as well.

Maybe it’s a good thing…

What if a tool like True Competitor only returned information that you already knew? I guess you could pat yourself on the back and move on with life, but what did you learn? To me, the entire point of SERP-based competitive analysis is to challenge your expectations and your point of view. If the results don’t match what you expect, that mismatch represents opportunity.

More likely than not, it doesn’t mean you’re wrong (unless you’ve let vanity and personal history get the best of you) — it means that you’re missing a perspective or a niche that could be important. If you can see that missing perspective as money left on the table, then you’ve got a good chance to pick it up and walk away with a bit more in your pocket.


The Competitive Analysis Suite is now available to all Moz Pro customers, and we’d love to hear your feedback via the ‘Make a Suggestion’ button in the app.

Sign up for a free trial to access the Competitive Research Suite!

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How Full-Cycle Recruiting Can Improve Your Recruitment Process

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How Full-Cycle Recruiting Can Improve Your Recruitment Process


Job vacancies can cost a company an average of $500 per day.

Companies can save money, improve the quality of their hires, eliminate communication gaps, and increase accountability during the recruitment process by implementing a full-cycle recruitment strategy.

The full-cycle recruitment process is managed by a single full-cycle recruiter or full-cycle recruiting agency.

Full-Cycle Recruiting Process

full cycle recruitment process

The full-cycle recruiting process includes six stages: preparing, sourcing, screening, selecting, hiring, and onboarding.

Preparing

The first stage of the full-cycle recruiting process is the preparing stage. A recruiter will begin this stage by working with a hiring manager to identify a hiring need and create a persona — a fictionalized profile of your company’s ideal candidate.

During the next step of the preparing stage, the recruiter and hiring manager will determine how much compensation a candidate will be offered. This information will be used to create a job posting that includes an overview of the role, responsibilities, salary range, benefits, and information about the company.

Sourcing

After creating a persona and job posting, a recruiter will use word-of-mouth, internal recruiting, employee referrals, social media, job boards, or career websites such as LinkedIn and Glassdoor to find jobseekers that fit the ideal candidate persona.

Screening

After finding potential candidates, a recruiter will carefully review applicants’ resumes and cover letters with the help of HR software. Then, the recruiter will perform a phone screen or on-demand interview.

For most talent acquisition leaders, resume screening is the most time-consuming and challenging part of recruitment.

Selecting

After screening and shortlisting candidates, the recruiter will determine which candidate is the best fit for the role by conducting face-to-face or virtual interviews.

A recruiter will ask candidates in-depth questions to learn more about their professional background and qualifications during a face-to-face interview. The recruiter may also have candidates complete writing assignments or a series of tasks to prove they are a good choice for the position.

Once the recruiter selects the best candidate, they will check the candidate’s references or order a background check.

Hiring

The hiring stage is the most important of the process.

After choosing the best candidate for the role, the recruiter will contact the candidate with an official job offer and may have to negotiate the terms of the offer. The candidate may feel more comfortable receiving a job offer from the full-cycle recruiter rather than the hiring manager because the recruiter has been the candidate’s primary contact throughout the hiring process.

Onboarding

The final stage of the full-cycle recruiting process is the onboarding stage. During the onboarding stage of the process, a hire is integrated into the company. The full-cycle recruiter will familiarize the new hire with the company culture and team members using a welcoming orientation or introductory path.

1. Identify the ideal candidate for the role.

A candidate persona is a description of your ideal applicant. Creating a candidate persona will help your recruiter choose the best applicant for the role by honing in on the criteria that your ideal candidate should meet.

To create a persona, start by asking yourself questions about your ideal candidate to identify their skills, qualifications, experience, education, and background. For example, what industry do they currently work in? Do they hold the role that you are hiring for? What are their professional goals? What work environment do they thrive in?

Once you have answered the questions, interview managers at your business who would oversee your ideal candidate and ask about the skills that would help employees thrive in the role. Use the managers’ recommendations to help craft your ideal candidate’s persona.

2. Find potential candidates.

Create advertisements that target jobseekers who fit your ideal candidate persona. Post the advertisements to social media websites and job boards such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Glassdoor to reach potential candidates searching for new positions.

You can also use promotions and transfers to recruit existing employees who may qualify for the position. Internal recruiting can help your company reduce onboarding time, boost morale, and save time and money.

3. Review candidates’ resumes and cover letters.

Use applicant tracking software (ATS) to scan applicants’ resumes and cover letters for criteria that matches your ideal candidate persona, such as education, years of experience, and previous job titles.

If you are reviewing resumes and cover letters manually, scan each resume for keywords that match the open position. Next, separate them into 3 categories: resumes that do not meet the criteria for the position, resumes that meet some of the criteria, and resumes that meet all of the criteria. Double-check the resumes in each category.

Place the candidates that are closest to your company’s ideal candidate persona on a shortlist.

4. Conduct face-to-face or virtual interviews with shortlisted candidates.

Interviewing shortlisted candidates can help you find the best fit for the job. By interviewing candidates, you can learn more about their experiences and qualifications, their potential to fit into your company culture, and their soft skills, such as how they perform under pressure.

Conducting standardized interviews can also help you view candidates objectively and prevent bias in the hiring process.

5. Contact the best candidate with an official job offer.

After conducting interviews, extend an official job offer to the best candidate. Indeed recommends contacting the candidate by phone the same day as their final interview or within one day of making your decision.

Benefits of Full-Cycle Recruiting

Full-cycle recruiting improves the efficiency of the hiring process in five key ways:

Faster Hiring

The full-cycle recruiting process reduces time-to-hire, making the recruitment process more efficient. Time-to-hire is a measure of the time between when a candidate enters the pipeline and when they are officially hired. A shortened time-to-hire reduces the risk of a company losing out on highly qualified candidates that may be simultaneously interviewing at other companies.

Streamlined Strategy

Using a full-cycle recruiting strategy streamlines the recruitment process. It eliminates delays caused by communication gaps because the process is handled by a single recruiter or agency that can construct a simple strategy and follow it through to the end.

Improved Quality of Hire

Quality of hire measures the value a new hire contributes to a company’s overall success. Improving the quality of hire increases employee engagement, improves job satisfaction and productivity levels, and decreases turnover costs.

A full-cycle recruiter implements a more personalized and thorough process than a traditional recruiter. As a result, full-cycle recruiting improves the quality of hire by precisely identifying the best candidate for a position.

Increased Accountability

Because one person manages the entire full-cycle recruiting process, all of the successes and failures of the process are their responsibility. The recruiter benefits from this responsibility because they can’t lose a candidate due to someone else’s mistakes.

Improved Communication

In full-cycle recruiting, candidates remain in communication with a single person throughout the hiring process. Therefore, the process alleviates any possible concerns a candidate may have about delays caused by miscommunication between hiring personnel.

Full-Cycle Recruiting Process Results

A well-executed full-cycle recruiting process will result in an employee who feels prepared on their first day. This is all thanks to a full-cycle recruiter who guided them through the recruitment process, maintained communication, and provided necessary information about the job position and the company.

Discover videos, templates, tips, and other resources dedicated to helping you  launch an effective video marketing strategy. 



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