Monthly Archives: April 2013
That YouTube Elephant With A Very Long Tail
I missed the occasion entirely, but on April 23, 2005, the very first YouTube video was posted by, Jawed Karim, one of the three founders.
From the start, you might say, YouTube thought big. No playful kitties. Karim chronicled…an elephant.
It was housed at the San Diego Zoo, and this is what Karim had to say: “The cool thing about this these guys is that they have these really, really, really long trunks. And that’s, that’s cool.” He added, so, so incorrectly: And that’s pretty much all there is to say.”
“At the Zoo,” this first video, was 20 seconds long, and has now been seen 10,638,024 times, possibly 10,638,023 times for the sake of history (or bloggers).
YouTube, on the other hand has one billion unique visits a month. It now claims 72 hours of video are posted to the site every minute. More amazing facts, in a nice graphic are here. To quote just one, YouTube says that nowadays, four billion hours of video are viewed on YouTube every month.
So here’s to massive social upheaval!
At the same time a certain segment of the universe marked the anniversary of the first official YouTube video–an elephant never forgets, for one–The New York Times Co. on Tuesday was announcing that all video features on its Website will now be able to be accessed without going through the paper’s paywall.
According to the Website Journalism.co.uk, “the number of video views on NYTimes.com had more than doubled over the year from the first quarter of 2012 which had prompted an investment strategy to promote video on the site. At present The New York Times produces more than 250 videos per month for the site but this is set to increase.” The very Gray Lady also won a Pulitzer this year for its multimedia story, “Snow Fall” about an avalanche that imperiled 16 skiiers in Washington last February.
You could hardly have predicted that video of a zoo with a “very, very, very long trunk” would be a marker in the creation of an industry with such a very, very, very long tail. It’s not that YouTube was the first video site (it wasn’t) but obviously, the one that hit the longest home run.
Today, as the Financial Times reports, “There is a new kid on the block in the advertising world, with online video evolving rapidly and audiences on the rise. Forget about skateboarding cats and the amateur, user-generated videos that used to dominate YouTube: these days the internet is full of slick, professionally produced programming that would not look out of place on prime time television…. Total advertising on digital video is forecast to almost double from about $4 billion in 2013 to $8 billion by 2016, according to eMarketer, the research company.”
All of which may be, but is in a way very unstartling, like looking at your kid and not remembering that once, that growing child was just a baby. In his 2006 book, The Beatles: A Biography, author Bob Spitz pointed out that not only did The Beatles create a “British Invasion,” they virtually created the British international music business. YouTube and lots of other online video pioneers are doing that now. They’re the new elephant in the room.
Email Marketing Works
From the Center for Media Research
According to a quick data study by Docstoc, 94% of all internet users use the internet to send or read e-mails. That is more than any other activity.
- The use of search engines (87%)
- The use of maps and finding directions (86)
- Checking the weather (81%)
- Getting news (75%)
- Buying a product (66%)
- Using social networking sites (61%)
Additionally, studies have found that in 2011 email marketing had a return on investment (ROI) of 4,000%. Email marketing works and it is worth the effort, says the report. 85% of small business owners plan to increase their use of email marketing in 2013.
Email open rates are the highest within 1 hour of delivery, 24% of all emails are opened within 1 hour of delivery.
|Email Stats (% of Responses; % of Group)|
|Arrival Time||% of Emails||Open Ratio (OR)||Click-Through Rate (CTR)|
|Source: Docstoc, February 2013|
For more information and planning tools from Docstoc, please visit here.
7 Tips for Making Your Blog a Content Marketing Magnet
Are you happy with the marketing role your blog plays?
Many businesses consider blogs “a cost of doing business,” or code for “We’re not sure what it does but we’re afraid to stop doing it.”
In this article I will explore why and how to make your blog the hub of your content marketing plan?
Why make your blog your content marketing hub?
To put a slightly different spin on what Chris Brogan says, blogs are your home base; they are at the center of your content marketing system.
Whether you’re a small business or a Fortune 100 company, blogs should be at the heart of your content marketing because blogs fuel social media, search optimization and the sales process.
The top five reasons to use a blog as your content hub are:
- Blogs are owned media. Your blog content is yours. You’re not at the whim of changes in the rules of third-party platforms, such as the recent changes to LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. A blog has the added bonus of providing an always-on crisis management channel to get your message out 24/7.
- Blogs are a form of social media. Through social sharing, comments and guest posts, blogs provide the basis for building a targeted community. In fact, HubSpot‘s research showed that blogs top other forms of social media for effectiveness.
- Blogs support search optimization. Because of their structure, blogs are search-friendly. You can enhance this by focusing each article on a specific keyword phrase and link to internal and external content.
- Blogs drive sales. To support sales, write blog posts about how to use your products and show them in context to provide prospects and customers with product information they need. Then link to your specific product pages to support the sales process.
- Blogs incorporate a streamlined CMS (content management system). At its core, blogs are an easy-to-use, low-cost content system.
7 Tips to Make Your Blog Your Content Marketing Hub
To make your blog an accountable aspect of your content marketing plan, here are seven steps to get on track.
#1: Build a Strong Blogging Foundation to Support Your Content Marketing
In order for your blog to be the center of a strong content marketing plan, you’ll need to make sure you build your blog on a strong foundation.
One of your first decisions is how to set up your blog. Make sure you use your own URL. The best option is to use a self-hosted WordPress blog. Don’t use a free hosting option such as Blogger or WordPress.
Even better, incorporate your blog into your overall business website. Use http://example.com, not http://example.wordpress.com.
You’ll need to get technology resources to support your blogging efforts. Blogging should be integrated into your website. For most businesses, this translates to ongoing technology support, rather than a few minutes of someone’s time when they’re available.
These are essential to a strong foundation.
#2: Know Your Audience
Before you begin blogging, you’ll need to know whom you’re writing for and what they’re interested in reading. One way to find out more about your audience is to use marketing personas.
Create a set of marketing personas to clarify and give a personality to the people you’re trying to reach. It’s easier to write for someone you know than a faceless mass. Incorporate their content consumption habits and their social media proclivities.
Marketing personas are important for your blog, as well as other forms of content. If you’ve got distinctly different audiences you’re trying to reach, consider creating more than one blog and related content marketing.
#3: Develop Your Content Marketing Plan
Several components come into making a good content marketing plan. Here’s what you’ll want to include in your content marketing plan.
Map out your promotional calendar
Start by planning your organization’s marketing events for the year and use public holidays where appropriate. The objective is to create hooks around which to develop your content.
In addition to seasons and holidays, consider annual events that apply to your product offering. Include relevant tradeshows and conferences, as well as social media participation.
Outline your major content offerings
Based on the events selected in your promotional calendar, decide what major content offerings you’ll create such as conference talks, ebooks and webinars.
Plan ongoing columns and related communications
Think like a magazine and brainstorm regular offerings such as news roundups, customer of the week and interviews. Develop a set of columns to offer either weekly or every other week. This provides the basic structure for your blog’s editorial calendar. Include themes such as research. Consider how you’ll offer this content to other segments of your audience such as in your regular emails.
Create an editorial calendar
Integrate your events, major pieces of content and regular content offerings into one calendar so you can manage the creation process. It helps to make this part of someone’s job description.
Plan extended content usage
Once you’ve integrated your planned content, assess where you can extend, create or reuse content from your major content marketing offerings on your blog and vice versa.
For example, to promote Content Marketing World, Lee Odden put together an ebook, 29 Content Marketing Secrets and the Secret Agents Who Shared Them. He used the information from the ebook to write 11 separate blog posts and an overview post. In addition, he posted the ebook on SlideShare and encouraged participants to share the content.
#4: Optimize Content to Enhance Effectiveness
Your content isn’t finished once it’s written or created. You still have to enhance its attractiveness to readers.
Here are some key points to make your content work for your business.
Integrate your 360° brand into each blog post and piece of content
Ensure that your audience can associate your content with your organization. Among the elements to consider are colors, voice, text presentation, sounds, language and visual representation.
Optimize content for search
At a minimum, focus each post or piece of content on a keyword phrase, be sure to include both internal and external links, and add appropriate search-friendly text to non-text content.
Format content to facilitate consumption
Entice readers by making it easy to read your content. Break your content into bite-sized information chunks, use bold type to guide readers who are skimming to grasp the sense quickly and use photographs to attract attention.
#5: Plan Your Content Promotion
Just publishing your content isn’t sufficient to reach a broad audience. You’ll also need to promote your content so that more of the right people see it.
Here’s what you’ll need to do to promote your content.
Incorporate automatic blog content delivery
Set up your blog to enable readers to receive your posts via email and feeds without having to think about it.
Leverage social media to distribute
Share your content across the social media platforms relevant to your audience. You can automate this, but I prefer tailored sharing to maximize the impact. Add this activity to your content marketing plan.
Also include social sharing buttons with each blog post and other content to enable readers to share your content.
Extend your content reach
Leverage owned media such as your website and email lists to promote your content.
Where appropriate, use third-party media and advertising to support your efforts. For example, you could ask others to promote your efforts for you.
As you learn more about your blog audience, you’ll find ways to improve your blog promotion to increase your reach.
#6: Allocate Resources to Your Blog
To make your blog the heart of your content marketing, you need human and financial resources. Quality content that attracts and converts prospects doesn’t just happen when employees have time. These resources may be internal or external.
You’ll want to consider a variety of resources. You’ll want to look at resources for content creation to develop the information; creative, including design, photography and formatting; editorial to ensure that the content conveys the appropriate ideas, as well as editing to ensure the grammar is correct; marketing to get your content distributed; and technology to facilitate uploading and other technical issues.
#7: Track Content Marketing Results
As with any other business initiative, you must measure your results. Plan your metrics and content creation to ensure that you have integrated the ability to capture the data you need.
Used properly, a blog not only supports your social media, search optimization and sales processes, it acts as the hub for the rest of your content marketing.
What do you think? Is there anything else that you’d add to this list? If so, what would you include and why? Please leave your questions and comments in the box below.
Images from iStockPhoto.
Heidi Cohen is an actionable marketing expert. As president of Riverside Marketing Strategies, she increases profitability with innovative marketing programs. Heidi shares actionable marketing insights as HeidiCohen.com‘s chief content officer. Other posts by Heidi Cohen »
Google Glass And The Future of Marketing
Thanks to Jason Demers at Search Engine Watch for these thoughts on Google Glass and possible future applications.
For all the hype about Google Glass, not much has been said about how it’s going to change Internet marketing.
Could it be that for all our gadget drool, we’re overlooking what could be the biggest Internet marketing explosion of the decade? Or will Google Glass even make a ripple in online marketing?
Let’s look at some possible outcomes, lay out the facts, and propose some ways you can be ready for the rollout of Google Glass, and the impact it will have on the Internet marketing world.
For the best perspective on this question, it’s best to take a step back and consider Google’s marketing strategy. Obviously, Google isn’t going to divulge whatever marketing secrets they have for their tricked-out glasses. The nearly-$1,500 price tag is a sign that they’re not giving them away for free.
But isn’t there more to it than just selling glasses? How might Google capitalize on Google Glass beyond the first wave of sales?
It’s a tricky question for several reasons.
Google Glass is unlike anything that Google has done before. Come to think of it, it’s unlike anything that anyone has ever done. Humankind is treading into an area of vague outcomes.
There is so much potential for Google Glass that it’s hard to get our head around all the possibilities.
There are a few options.
- Google has no bigger marketing plans. It’s just a cool gadget. It’s just technology. Let’s take Google at their word and believe the Google rep who said, “We’re more interested in making the hardware available, [than advertising on it].” That would be nice. Google may not be completely altruistic, but they may indeed have a pure desire to advance technology in the world today.
- Google Glass will fizzle and die. Some people seem to think we’ve reached the utopia of technology: “Sooner or later [Google Glass] will become a staple in our daily lives,” writes one zealous technophile. Then again, maybe not. Forbes contributor Rob Asghar pessimistically prognosticates, “Google Glass seems a longshot to endure past the early fascination of the early adopters.” Maybe the Glass will join the Google graveyard alongside Google Reader, Buzz, and iGoogle.
- Google will use it for advertising. “At the moment, there are no plans for advertising on this device,” said Babak Parviz, lead engineer on the Google Glass project. Operative word: now. Babak said so in a December 2012 interview. Thus, there might be some future chance at advertising revenue. Todd Wasserman at Mashable has suggested that Google Glass will provide coupon offers, personalized ads, and gamification¬ – in other words, advertising on spectacle steroids.
- Google is going into gaming, or something else entirely. During the interview cited above, Babak spoke opaquely of “augmented reality.” Augmented reality is the realm of gaming. Though Google isn’t exactly known for their games, maybe they’re trying to edge into the market with augmented reality hardware. This, however, is unlikely. Perhaps when the API comes out and Google releases developer kits, then the gamers will jump in and have their heyday. But augmented reality glasses aren’t just the domain of gamers. Those who are itching to get a pair of glasses are excited about using them as politicians, adventurers, farmers, performers, service personnel, military, medical professionals, and nearly every other field of labor known to humankind. Just like we can all think of some way to make a smartphone useful to anyone, so we can imagine that Google Glass will have a similar impact.
Maybe Google is just innovating the future again. As Babak plainly stated, “We constantly try out new ideas of how this platform can be used. There’s a lot of experimentation going on at all times in Google.”
And maybe that’s the whole point. It’s not like Google has exactly cashed in on unmanned cars (yet). It’s probably safest to predict nothing, while still expecting the technology to shift and shape our world.
Such shifting and shaping is unpredictable. Consider this. You’re wearing your Google Glasses, riding the subway downtown with friends. You say the words “hungry” and “dinner,” and your Google Glasses inform you that Molinari Delicatessen is a few minutes away at the Broadway & Grant Avenue station. Plus you get a free drink for just checking in on Foursquare. Is that advertising? Is that an invasion of privacy? Weren’t you just talking with friends?
Things can get a little blurry.
3 Back-to-Reality Facts
Prophesying aside, what do we actually know about Google Glass? Is there anything that we are confident will happen? There are at least three.
At-a-Glance Search Results
Forget having information at your fingertips. With Google Glass, you’ve got it at a glance, quite literally. Google Glass responds to voice commands and queries, meaning that users can easily gain results for questions about nearby restaurants or other local establishments. This would provide very little new in terms of search results, but would instead provide a different interface for results, and perhaps more instantaneous searching while on the go.
The technology of Google Glass will make it possible to look at a restaurant, check out their rankings, view their menu, find out if there is seating, and maybe even snag a coupon code, all the while dawdling on the sidewalk out front. Google Glass is primed for on-the-spot activity. There’s no hidden agenda here. Google proudly announces that their spectacles will provide “directions right in front of you” for driving, walking, or just knocking about town.
More Social Interactivity
Google Glass will play directly into social networking. One of the main features of the device is taking pictures and videos, and sharing them. Such sharing will provide instant marketing, negative or positive, for whatever establishment or event the user is at. Social reviews will also register on search results, giving users a better perspective on whether they want to patronize a certain business establishment.
Get Ready for Google Glass: A Strategy
If you read this article expecting to get to the Google Glass gold rush early, you might be disappointed. There’s not exactly a gold rush going on. Nevertheless, there is some rock-solid advice for how to posture yourself and your business for the unleashing of Google Glass.
- Stick close to Google. It pays to keep your ear to the ground about Google trends and developments. What happens in the Googleplex is crucial to your marketing future. As much as we may dislike it, we rely on Google for a lot. When they flinch, we scramble. That’s all there is to it.
- Keep your Google+ profile robust and active. One obvious trend that will impact all things search related is Google+, along with authorship and Author Rank. Stay plugged in to it. Google+/Local results will be immediately accessible to Google Glass, meaning that you want to get in on those searches.
- If you’re a local company, focus in on local search results and social media. Google Glass is a geospecific marketing tool. Don’t get left behind. Furthermore, there is talk of other social sites like Twitter amping up their efforts to get in on the Google Glass action.
Google Glass is going to be here in just a few months. Don’t expect a tsunami of change all at once. Instead, wait, watch, and listen. Google Glass will probably stick around for a while. Somehow, some way, Google Glass and Internet marketing are going to meet up for a magical connection. You want to be ready.
7 Tips For Improving Text Message Campaign Response Rates
Read or delete? Respond or ignore?
We’re all used to making snap decisions about our text messages, but if you’re the sender rather than the recipient, how do you make sure that your customers respond positively to your mobile marketing campaigns?
And how can you make sure that you convert your business text messages into sales?
Here are seven great tips to make sure your text campaign hits all the right buttons…
1. Customise your message to fit your audience
Targeted advertising is useless unless you know what kind of target you want to hit. So to make sure your message is reaching the right people, do a little bit of groundwork first and decide what demographic you’re aiming your campaign towards.
That information can be data-mined from previous customer subscription forms (age, occupation, location, demographic group, etc). Once you have some clear parameters you can then tailor your message to have maximum appeal to your target audience.
2. What’s in it for the customer?
It may seem like stating the obvious, but your message is going to ‘intrude’ on their day so make sure it’s worth their while to open, read and respond to it.
Make the content engaging and the offer attractive and you’ll catch their attention.
Blatant self-promotion won’t work – there has to be something worthwhile for the customer to respond to.
3. Don’t forget the contact details
A marketing campaign is absolutely useless if the customer doesn’t know who is sending them this ‘once in a lifetime’ offer – so whatever you do, make absolutely sure that your contact details are on the message!
That includes phone numbers, website addresses, your brand and, of course, your company name.
4. What do you want them to do?
To paraphrase a saying – you can lead a customer to your campaign but you can’t make him or her bite – without an effective call to action.
Getting your customer to respond to your message is essential, and without a strong CTA a campaign is worthless.
So why not dangle a little carrot and make it worthwhile for your customers to respond by offering an incentive such as a special deal or a freebie? Make it absolutely clear what you want them to do, and give them a reason to do it!
5. Make sure your message gets out there
Creating a text marketing campaign is a great way to promote your business, but can your customers actually receive your message in the first place?
Before you hit send, make sure your message can be accepted by different types of mobile devices, otherwise you could be wasting both time and money, and miss out on reaching a percentage of your customers too.
6. Keep it professional
Like any marketing campaign, an SMS text message has to be punchy, professional and to the point. And because of the restrictive nature of mobile devices, that message has to be even more succinct.
So think it through carefully. Sometimes shorter messages can actually be more difficult to write effectively, so if in doubt talk to a professional copywriter or advertising expert to make sure your message stays ‘on-message’ and is easy to read.
7. Track and trace
Once your message is out there, the work has only just begun! To make sure it’s effective, you need to track your responses. By measuring your results you can adapt and improve future campaigns to make them more effective.
SlideShare: How to Market Your Business With This Growing Platform
Do you use SlideShare?
Are you looking for more leads?
To learn how SlideShare can help marketers, I interview Todd Wheatland for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast.
More About This Show
The Social Media Marketing podcast is a show from Social Media Examiner.
It’s designed to help busy marketers and business owners discover what works with social media marketing.
The show format is on-demand talk radio (also known as podcasting).
In this episode, I interview Todd Wheatland, author of The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare. He’s also head of Thought Leadership at Kelly Services.
Todd shares his insights into how SlideShare can be used to generate more exposure and leads for your business.
You’ll learn the tactics to use and the mistakes to avoid to ensure you get the most out of this platform.
Share your feedback, read the show notes and get the links mentioned in this episode below!
Podcast: Play in new window | Download
You can also subscribe via iTunes, RSS, Stitcher or Blackberry.
Here are some of the things you’ll discover in this show:
SlideShare for Business
Why marketers should take a closer look at SlideShare
Todd believes there are three reasons why marketers should take a closer look at SlideShare.
1. Pure traffic. SlideShare is one of the highest-traffic sites on the Internet, receiving over 60 million unique visitors every month. It gives sheer exposure to your potential audience and SlideShare credibility for search engines.
You’ll discover amazing things that can happen when you use the same content from your website on SlideShare. The inter-play between content and distribution in one place is very unique in terms of what SlideShare delivers.
2. Business audience. It’s a platform that’s about business. You’ll find out the six words that are the most used tags on content in SlideShare.
3. Leads. The lead-capturing model that SlideShare has been using for the last couple of years is a very simple tool. It’s easy for the visitor. You’ll hear about how flexible the lead form is for the marketer and the control it gives when you ask for lead generation.
A quick overview of SlideShare
Todd explains how SlideShare began as a place for people to upload the PowerPoints they were presenting at a conference or an event. Since then, it has evolved into a content marketing platform for any form of digital content.
With SlideShare, you can take any sort of presentation and insert videos and record an audio track and lay it over the top. You can then even use it as an audiovisual presentation. It’s a platform for you to share any type of digital content including Word documents, infographics, webcasts and HD video. It has moved far beyond the original premise.
If you’re a blogger with great content on your blog and you choose to house it on SlideShare, you could decide to use your content on SlideShare specifically to capture leads. There are certain ways to handle lead capture on SlideShare versus your own site.
Todd states that if you have content that has a complex design, when you host that document on SlideShare, it enables you to embed it very neatly. You’ll learn why you should think of it as an enhanced YouTube embed, rather than seeing it as something competing with your website. It supports and drives traffic to your own platform.
Listen to the show to find out why the average use on SlideShare is probably far less sophisticated than what the average marketer or professional is using and trying to achieve out of it.
How Kelly Services uses SlideShare
Todd shares how Kelly Services started to get deep on SlideShare about 2-3 years ago.
At present, they have an off-brand on SlideShare called The Talent Project. It’s where all their major content items including research reports, ebooks, infographics and videos are stored.
You’ll hear why they have a platinum network account and how it works for them. The “network” part means that their most prolific content producers have individual accounts, but the relevant content is tagged and rolled up into a mothership account.
For the average small business, you can achieve a lot just by going into the entry-level paid accounts because that’s when you start getting access to analytics.
Todd explains the difference between entry-level account holders and paid account holders.
You’ll hear about how SlideShare was acquired by LinkedIn in March 2012, and how LinkedIn has since gone through dramatic philosophical and strategic changes in the role they’re going to play.
The user experience. When it comes to adding content to SlideShare, Todd believes that if you have used YouTube, then you have passed SlideShare 101.
When it comes to uploading content, it’s no different to any other system. It will automatically detect whether it’s vertical or horizontal, whether it’s a video and will place it into the right category.
One of the advantages of SlideShare is that the system scrapes text from your content, whether it’s text on slides or a PDF. There is very little you need to do to optimize the page.
From a user’s perspective, you’ll learn how to start to become active and build a following.
Analytics. You’ll hear Todd describe in detail about one of his favorite reports from SlideShare, which is a snapshot of the last thousand views on all of your content.
With this data you’ll get a sense of where your content is trending from and also the referring URL.
Listen to the show to find out why the referring URL is absolute gold.
Common mistakes people make when it comes to SlideShare marketing
Todd says that one of the obvious mistakes is that people fail to promote the channel in its own right. The most simple thing that nearly everyone misses is to link to their SlideShare account from their own website.
It’s not until recently that SlideShare has been taken seriously in terms of their tools and widgets.
Todd has seen companies gain hundreds of new SlideShare followers in weeks, just by making one simple change.
You’ll hear the different ways in which a subscriber of your SlideShare channel can receive notification whenever you update your content.
Listen to the show to learn why you should intentionally trend and seed your content on Twitter and Facebook before you try to promote it with SlideShare.
How lead capture works within SlideShare
Todd explains that when you use SlideShare with third-party services, there are various models where you can capture leads and integrate them with your marketing automation, lead generation and ultimately into services such as Salesforce.
If someone is a SlideShare member and they are logged in at the point of coming to a form, then the form will auto-populate. Once they click Submit, it will bring their information in. It’s a very simple experience from the user’s perspective.
As a marketer, you can establish when you want that form to appear. You can gate the content right at the beginning, the middle or the end and make it mandatory or optional at any point. If they think it’s valuable enough content, they will fill out the form.
You’ll learn about the customization of the form, what approach to use for different types of content and experiment with how you want the content to be consumed.
Listen to the show to hear how SlideShare started to resonate with B2B content marketers.
Options for getting leads
Todd shares how a few marketers have added a call to action within a slide deck, rather than using a sales lead–type message.
When someone is consuming your thought leadership and knowledge, at what point do you slip in a sales message? Todd talks about the calls to action you can use to add visitors to your email list. The opt-ins increase significantly from that point.
Listen to the show to find out how SlideShare deals with the desktop and mobile experience, and how that impacts your lead generation.
How to build up a SlideShare following as a marketer
Todd explains that when it comes to networks, a lot of people don’t always put in the time and effort to find out who they are connected with on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. You need to identify the people in your key networks who have a SlideShare account and be proactive in reaching out to them there.
The more content you add, the more visibility you generate, which will lead to more views.
Todd states that the power of video on SlideShare is hugely overlooked. You’ll hear how a 90-second talking head video will guarantee you more views on SlideShare than on YouTube.
Listen to the show to hear how SlideShare is a great network for offering fun experimentation.
Discovery of the Week
One of the things that we used at Social Media Marketing World was a really cool tool called SnapEngage.
For example, if you sell a product/service that’s expensive or complex, or you have people who are likely to ask questions about an event, then it probably makes sense to have some sort of means to answer people’s questions on the spot.
SnapEngage allows you to embed a widget on any particular page of your website.
At Social Media Examiner, we had a team of 5 people who were on Skype all the time during our recent event.
SnapEngage integrates with Skype and allows you to set up different tiers. When someone visits your page, a little window pops up after a certain amount of time with a picture of whoever your contact person is and it gives your customers the ability to have an instant live chat.
You’ll hear how this works over Skype and the some of the features SnapEngage offers, such as:
- How long the discussion lasted
- See the IP address
- What part of the world the customer is from
SnapEngage has been instrumental in helping us answer people’s questions and ultimately lead them down the path to a sale. It’s a cool social tool that brings social support to your website. There are different rates of service to check out.
Listen to the show to learn more and let us know how this works for you.
Something Is Coming Soon…
Here’s a little tease. If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you’ll notice that I’ve been talking about a special project called Project Torch. I can’t go into detail right now about what it is, but what I can tell you is that my team has been working for months behind the scenes.
Just to give you some perspective, I think it’s going to make Social Media Examiner look like a little pet project.
Make sure you keep your eyes and ears open for more information on Project Torch.
Key takeaways mentioned in this episode:
- Connect with Todd on Twitter or LinkedIn.
- Check out Todd’s book: The Marketer’s Guide to SlideShare.
- Head over to SlideShare.
- Read more about PowerPoints.
- Learn more about Kelly Services and The Talent Project on SlideShare.
- Discover how Cisco, IBM and Dell are using SlideShare.
- Check out SlideShare’s Pro features.
- Read more about SlideShare’s widgets.
- Discover more about Salesforce.
- Learn how to set up a SlideShare account.
- Check out how to use video on SlideShare.
- Read more about Eloqua.
- Head over to SnapEngage, the live chat tool.
- Call in and leave your social media–related questions for us and we may include them in a future show.
Help Us Spread the Word!
Please let your Twitter followers know about this podcast. Simply click here now to post a tweet.
If you enjoyed this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast, please head over to iTunes, leave a rating, write a review and subscribe.
15 Insider Tips for Creating a Content Creation Machine
Thanks to High Impact Prospecting for posting this article by Anum Hussain
1) Compile List Posts
A tried and true content method, top lists are a mix between original content and aggregation. You aggregate the ideas, and write short blurbs about each (kind of like these 15 tips!). This is excellent content for a new writer, because each blurb in the list can be somewhat brief (just link to other resources for more in-depth information), and the post provides a built-in structure to work with. For more tips about creating lists posts, check out this blog post about the top 10 qualities of high-quality content. (See what we did there?)
2) Teach Readers How to Do Something
If you know how to do something your readers would appreciate knowing how to do, it should be pretty easy to transfer your knowledge to paper … or your computer screen. Remember — blogs are conversational by nature. Just write it out like you’d speak it if you were telling a lead, customer, or colleague. In fact, we can teach you exactly how to write stellar how-to posts in this … how-to post! How meta.
3) Answer FAQs
Think of the questions leads and customers ask you every day, and turn those into pieces of content in which you answer those FAQs. Sit down with your salespeople or customer service reps who are talking to your prospects and customers all the time, and create a list of potential topics from those common questions and concerns. If you spoke at an event or were involved in a Twitter chat and heard some interesting questions, gather them and answer them in a new post.
4) Curate Remarkable Content
Recognizing remarkable content from others is a core link- and relationship-building strategy. It also just happens to require little original writing, and more aggregation — perfect for those just getting started with content creation. We often do this when we spot remarkable infographics, eye-opening marketing statistics, or must-read marketing blogs. There are simply some pieces of industry content that are too good not to share.
5) Forget About Length
There is no optimal length for a blog post, ebook, and so on. Good content is good content, regardless of how long it is. Instead of asking yourself if a piece of content is long enough, ask yourself whether someone will read it and take away enough information to consider it valuable. Ask yourself if your audience will be left wanting more information or feeling confused, or if the content answers all their questions about that particular topic. At HubSpot, we focus more on making sure our content is comprehensive, not long.
6) Take Advantage of Data-Based Content
Whether you have your own original data or you stumble across interesting industry data in your reading, compile original data into a data-based report, or take one or many external data points and compile them into an article. Furthermore, using supporting data can spice up a piece of content, and data in general is very shareable. It also tends to say a lot in few words. If you only come across a few interesting stats, share them and provide your opinion on them.
7) Excerpt Content
When you publish a gated piece of content (typically lead generation content like an ebook that is behind a form on a landing page), a quick source of content is an excerpt of that piece. The excerpt can also serve to promote the gated content, giving readers an idea of what they’ll get if they download the full version. This is similar to the preview of a few pages of a book you can view on barnesandnoble.com or Amazon, and it makes for quick and easy blog content.
By its very nature, the process of newsjacking needs to be executed quickly in order to be effective. So when a piece of news that impacts your industry — or for which you could find a relevant spin for your audience — hits the press, hop on it like white on rice. To learn how to be a successful newsjacker, check out our complete guide to newsjacking here.
9) Produce Evergreen Content
Evergreen content is content that stands the test of time. For example, you may have published that blog post months and months ago, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still relevant or discoverable through channels like search engines and social media. Create content that is timeless — content that even if someone read ten months from now would still be relevant and valuable. For example, if you create an evergreen ebook, that’s a piece of content you can promote time and time again and continue to generate results from it.
10) Use an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar — both for your blog and other content — can help you stay organized, manage multiple contributors, monitor your keyword use and topic balance, and manage your blog’s timing and deadlines. They also allow you to spot any holes in your content variety. Are you discussing the same topic too much? Or are you balancing an introduction of new ideas with historically successful ones? Do you have enough content to generate the leads you need to fuel your sales team? Get started with our free blog editorial calendar template.
11) Turn Presentations Into SlideShares
When you put together a stellar educational presentation, whether for an internal training session, a conference speaking gig, or a webinar, try spiffying it up and turning it into a SlideShare presentation. This gives you an entirely new piece of content to promote or embed in a new blog post.
12) Update Historical Content
If you have content that has performed well in the past but has since gotten out of date, why not update and re-launch it? This can help you continue to reap SEO benefits from your high-trafficked content that has gotten stale. And since this content is written already, making updates to it by swapping in the latest information should be an easy way to publish new content. Learn more in this post about how to revitalize evergreen content for a lead gen boost.
13) Create Video Content
If you’re suffering from writer’s block, a video could be the way to go. Videos are excellent alternatives to how-to posts in which you talk through a concept like you would to anyone in-person — no bells and whistles required. You might also schedule an interview, another helpful video format that doesn’t require a lot of investment. Or maybe you just create a fun video that shows off your company culture.
14) Invite Guest Bloggers
Not all your content has to be written by you. Guest bloggers can offer a fresh perspective, so be open to inviting other industry experts to write content for your blog, and build a relationship with them for future co-marketing opportunities. You can reward the favor with inbound links — which every marketer loves.
15) Keep a Backlog of Ideas
Brainstorm all your best ideas and store them in a backlog that you can refer to when you’re feeling stumped. Book 30 minutes with your team to shout out their best ideas, and develop the brainstorm with the ideas people share. You can keep those all stored for future content pieces — perhaps within a tab on your editorial calendar!