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Friday, May 28, 2010

Bullish Stats on Mobile Video Usage and Ads

We see a bit of hesitation when it comes to mobile content, but here's some intersting info:
from Adam Wright/VideoNuze:

A report this morning from Rhythm New Media, a firm that develops mobile video apps for TV programs and runs its own mobile video ad network, provides fresh reasons to be bullish on mobile video. The report is based on an estimated 250 million video views/month that Rhythm has tracked in Q1 '10 on its mobile video platform. Two key stats that jump out: an average 86.7% completion rate and a 1.7% click through rate for its 15-second pre-rolls. The latter is roughly consistent with data Will reported from Rhythm about 6 months ago. It is noteworthy that Rhythm's click through rates are holding steady as it scales up.

To get a sense of how Rhythm's mobile data stacks up against online video advertising data compare it to a report eMarketer and YuMe released based on Q4 '09 data, which showed a steady decline in click through and completion rates for pre-rolls. Rhythm's completion and click through rates are 24% and 56% higher than those in the eMarketer/YuMe report. While it's a bit of an apples vs. oranges comparison because YuMe's much larger network includes many different types of video content (vs. Rhythm's TV program only) and the ads YuMe surveyed were a mix of 15-second and 30-second spots (vs. Rhythm's 15-second only), the differences may be an early indicator of the contrast between mobile and online video.

Rhythm's CEO Ujjal Kohli explained that the numbers underscored his view of how mobile video is a perfect compliment to TV. He said that as opposed to the fast-paced multi-tasking of online video, mobile video is consumed in a more focused manner, while still retaining all of the interactive features and metrics of online. This is a plausible explanation for why the Rhythm completion rate can be much higher than the online video industry's average - fewer distractions and more focus on the content.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Facebook Sans Privacy Flaps

No doubt you have been reading about the so called "Facebook Privacy Issue"
So here is a post from Larry Dignon on ZDNet.

Our Take: Facebook is about sharing information. If you don't want your mother to see it, then don't post it!
Of course, for most business users the sharing aspect is why they are there in the first place which makes all of this a non issue. (That is not to say that we don't support Internet Privacy!)

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled Facebook’s new privacy settings, which are designed to be more simple and user friendly, and the talk was quite the balancing act. If successful, Facebook will manage to do something it hasn’t been able to yet: Put product development and its privacy policy into their respective corners.
Until today, a new feature from Facebook would require a set response from me as a user. If there was a new feature, I’d need to check my privacy settings. If Facebook gets these privacy changes right I won’t have to sweat a new feature because my settings will carry forward.
The key points from the Facebook press conference:
  • Zuckerberg said the company’s changes were a reflection that Facebook listens.
  • However, he noted that a lot of the privacy hubbub was overblown based on user data—the News Feed feature caused a much larger backlash. In fact, more people were worried about Facebook charging money than privacy.
  • But Zuckerberg said Facebook’s privacy changes were designed to put the flap to bed for a while. Settings today will apply to new features in the future.
  • “We’re really going to try not to have another backlash,” said Zuckerberg.
Add it up and you have a Facebook move that aims to separate privacy settings and policy changes from new features in the future, including a location service that’s still being cooked up.
“Facebook is not a solved problem, there’s so much more we have to do,” said Zuckerberg, who sounded almost like a politician at times. That pol approach is almost understandable given the vast gray area that is Facebook.
Overall, Facebook’s move to solidify and simplify its privacy settings makes a lot of sense. Here’s the cycle Facebook’s product development is currently in:
  • Facebook launches new feature;
  • Alters is 5,000 word plus privacy policy;
  • Users get confused and angry;
  • Backlash ensues;
  • Zuckerberg listens, backtracks a bit, tells you everyone wants to share and then gives you more settings.
It’s quite tiring eh? But that’s Facebook’s legacy. It started out as a mostly private site that opened up the user data spigot. If Facebook’s default was always open you wouldn’t have these privacy skirmishes. That’s why Facebook’s move Wednesday—if successful—is critical. The company has to get off the privacy-flap-go-round for its own sanity as well as its users’.

Monday, May 24, 2010

A+ Publicity: this is how it’s done!

If you’ve ever had bad publicity (bad review on social media anyone?) then you will love this story because it shows how “A+ publicity” done right turns even bad publicity into great publicity. Because of the HUGE effect of publicity on your company brand, every business owner should read this and apply it to their own operations. (Click the link  below to watch the video.)

BrightRoll Study Confirms Value of Online Video

By Troy Dreier
Does online video advertising translate into offline dollars? A study conducted by online video advertising network BrightRoll says yes, especially if those ads are interactive.

The study tracked the effects of the first five months of a nine month online video campaign for Air Wick Freshmatic and Scented Oils, finding a six-percent lift in in-store sales. That showed a greater return than other digital campaigns for parent company Reckitt Benckiser.

The campaign served both linear and interactive video ads, and the study shows that interactive ads delivered a larger payback per impression.

That’s good news for advertisers currently investing in interactive online video. A separate survey created by BrightRoll found that 54 percent of advertisers, planned to spend more of their creative budgets in interactive pre-roll ads than in any other area.

The Air Wick study was designed to make correlations between a video ad campaign that ran on BrightRoll’s network and shopper’s in-store decisions. The testing period ran from April to August of 2009. The study was creating using Nielsen’s NetEffect product, and measured product purchases, total dollar purchases, and product penetration.

“This study confirms what we’ve been saying about the ability of online video to reach and engage consumers in a way that no other category of online advertising can.

Know That Facebook Does Not Erase User-Deleted Content!

Here is some useful (albeit unwelcome) information from student Zack Whittaker & ZDNet:

Nearly a year on since Cambridge University researchers discovered that Facebook, along with other major social networks, doesn’t erase server-side copies of your uploaded data, the world’s biggest social network is still guilty of such a sin.
Since then, the site has nearly doubled in size. It’s now has the population of the third biggest country in the world, with tens of thousands of servers holding your data, which as soon as it is uploaded, belongs to them to do as and what they wish with it.
Four US Senators are jumping on the privacy bandwagon concerned over users’ privacy. As Sam Diaz points out, profile data by third-party developers (ie. anybody who can write an “application” for the site:
“…used to be limited to 24 hours but that was recently lifted by Facebook. At the f8 conference last week, the executives said this was more of a technicality and suggested that it wasn’t as big of a deal as it might sound.”
So, it’s fair to say while Facebook is growing exponentially larger every day, issues around privacy, user data and information is becoming more difficult for individual users and account holders to police. Facebook, on the other hand, is rolling in it and absolutely loving it. Their privacy policies and terms of conditions covers their arse, so end users cannot complain as they would have been expected to read them before signing up.
Pretty much the same experiment enacted by the Cambridge University researchers a year ago, I have tried this myself - nearly one year on, just to be sure - but only with Facebook.
I uploaded one picture and one video with restricted permissions so only I could access them through Facebook wherever possible, then deleted them. Even though the user has specifically deleted the content, they are still stored on Facebook’s servers and content delivery network by accessing the direct hotlink.
The video proves that the content was uploaded and deleted. Using the links below, you can see that the picture and video is still available to access, and if you wish - for further proof - match the URL’s used in the video (it’s in HD so you can see) with the full direct links below.
The kitten picture that was uploaded and deleted:
(Full direct link)
The Tango video that was uploaded and deleted:
(Full direct link)
Now granted, it could take a while for Facebook’s content delivery system to getting around to deleting all cached files, different versions and backups of the files in question. But no, this isn’t the case.
This is something you lovely people can try at home. Upload a picture, copy the direct URL of that picture, save it somewhere for future reference, delete the file and see how long you can directly access it for. I can bet my bottom dollar that in a months’ time, or even six months’ time, you’ll still be able to access it.
This is a quickly-done experiment of which only time will tell. There are two likely outcomes:
  1. Facebook sees this post, isn’t happy, trundles through my account and manually deletes any copy of the above content. I wouldn’t be surprised, actually, but I have a backup plan. The same experiment was done yet again - including video and links but using a friend of mine’s account, stored offline and not to be published - which corroborates this story should Facebook pull the plug.
  2. Say in a week or a months time, the links remain live and proves that the content doesn’t get deleted.
“When a user deletes a photograph from Facebook it is removed from our servers immediately. However, URLs to photographs may continue to exist on the Content Delivery Network (CDN) after users delete them from Facebook, until they are overwritten. Overwriting usually happens after a short period of time.”
… and this morning, when I received an email from a Facebook spokesperson, they said:
“As stated in Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities, the governing document for the site, ‘when you delete IP [your intellectual property, including pictures and videos] content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer‘. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others).
It is possible that someone who previously had access to a photo on Facebook, and who saved the direct URL from our content delivery network (CDN) partner (this is different from the Facebook URL) might still have access to that photo.  We have been working with our CDN partner to reduce the amount of time that these backup copies persist.”
They did not explain how long “a reasonable period of time” is. Also, when you upload a picture or video, not only do you sign away all rights of property to Facebook, but they pass it on to their content partners and can be (and are) used for advertisements. Nobody seems to know, or want to talk about where photos are actually uploaded to - so for all we know, they could be beneath the Facebook head office, in a data center somewhere or on the Moon.
Either way, it’s a harsh reality and warrants extreme caution. Once something goes on Facebook (or the web), it doesn’t come down again. Ever. Just because you cannot directly access it through your Facebook interface doesn’t mean that the content isn’t lurking around the corner for your next employer to stumble upon, and not give you that dream job as a result of the drunken photos you uploaded.

Friday, May 21, 2010

How Starbucks Utilizes Social Media/Useful Tips

Starbucks from Michael A. Stelzner on Vimeo.

A Closer Look at Twitter’s Latest Features for Businesses

 Adam Ostrow/ Editor Mashable
American Express Small Business Forum.

May 19, 2010 -
Later this year, Twitter is expected to release a variety of features for business users, some of which have already been enabled for testing on a number of accounts. Recently, we were able to get an early look at some of the tools, and in turn have some ideas about how they might eventually be utilized by small businesses.
One of the big new features Twitter is working on is “Contributors”. We’ve known about it for a few months, and essentially it does what several third-party applications do: allows multiple users to post updates to a main account without the need for sharing that account’s login information.
While the benefits of letting multiple employees manage your business’s account is fairly obvious, the latter is an important addition from a security standpoint. It means that you’ll no longer have to share passwords, which, previously left your business account more susceptible to phishing, mistakes (users forgetting to log out), and the need to continually change passwords as employees come and go.
When Twitter launches “Contributors,” you’ll instead be able to simply add/remove people’s permissions on-the-fly.
Verified Accounts
Last year, Twitter introduced “Verified Accounts,” which allowed public figures like celebrities, politicians, and authors to claim their account and display a badge on their profile to alert followers that it is indeed authentic.
Now, those features will extend to businesses, allowing them to verify their identity so that customers know they are interacting with the right account. Just like the celebs, verified business accounts will get a “Verified Account” badge that shows up on their profile.
Direct Messages
Perhaps the most game-changing of Twitter’s business features is the ability to accept direct messages from anyone as opposed to just those you follow. Once enabled, that means that customers will no longer have to send @replies – which are public – to contact you on Twitter. You’ll then be able to reply to them via direct message, meaning your replies no longer need to be public – and hence visible to everyone – on your Twitter account. This stands to significantly change the way businesses interact with customers on Twitter.
Pricing is still to-be-determined on Twitter’s business accounts, but the company has clearly been evaluating how businesses use the service (and to an extent what third-party developers have already built and found success with) and designing features that solve obvious needs. Expect the features to be widely adopted by businesses, and start thinking about how you might go about using them once they become available to all.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Internet Video Viewing to Trump Broadcast TV by 2020

May 18, 2010 (Dallas, Texas) - New research from The Diffusion Group (TDG) predicts that by 2020 the consumption of Internet video - content stored and distributed over an IP architecture - will eclipse the consumption of broadcast TV programming. The rationale for this bold prediction is explained in TDG's latest report, The Economics of Over-the-Top TV Delivery - How Television Networks Can Shift to Online Content Delivery.
According to TDG data, while the amount of time spent viewing TV has remained relatively stable, the amount of time consumers spent watching online video increased 84% between 2008 and 2009. When extrapolated across the entire TV-viewing population, the average time spent viewing online video in 2009 was 52% more than in 2008.  TDG expects that this rate of growth will actually increase during the next 5-7 years due primarily to the increased use of the television as the platform of choice for web video viewing.
According to Colin Dixon, senior partner and co-author of TDG's new report, "The total amount of time spent watching video from all sources, including PayTV and Internet video, will hold constant during the next 10 years at around 32 hours a week. With online video usage accelerating we expect the amount of Internet video watched to eclipse the amount of live broadcast TV around 2020."
Though this forecast may appear shocking to some, Dixon says there is good reason to believe that this estimate is realistic. "Keep in mind that during this period, Internet and broadcast delivery of video content will become blended in such a way that consumers will be unaware of which conduit serves which content. Because so much of their audience will be consuming online, it is more important than ever that cable and broadcast channels increase their presence online."

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Quotes Of Note

“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.”
Steve Jobs

Innovation has no limits. The only limit is your imagination. It’s time for you to begin thinking out of the box. If you are involved in a growing industry, think of ways to become more efficient; more customer friendly; and easier to do business with. If you are involved in a shrinking industry – get out of it quick and change before you become obsolete; out of work; or out of business. And remember that procrastination is not an option here. Start innovating now!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Artist, Musician or Filmmaker? How To Create Your Brand!

We have recently been involved with promotions for artists, Bernard Springsteel and legendary designer S. Neil Fujita, (You can see our photos at: if you're interested), and this is a question that comes up 

Do You Need A Brand? Or A Personal Brand? 
Posted by Create Space

 On the surface, a brand and a personal brand seem so similar that it's not necessary to have two separate categories. In reality, they couldn't be more different. A brand is an image designed to appeal to the widest possible audience. It's an exercise in cautious messaging. In most cases, companies spend a lot of time and money developing a brand. Committees form. Focus groups meet. Stress levels elevate until the perfect brand identity emerges.

Personal brands would fail miserably if developed under the same process. Personal brands are multifaceted snapshots of an individual. In short, it is your personality on display in a public forum. It is not contrived. It happens organically. An abundance of caution is the wrong way to go here. Personal brands thrive under the risk of being completely transparent. In the ultimate of counter intuitive thinking, personal brands are most effective when they appeal to a narrow, passionate audience. Even passionate detractors of a personal brand are as likely to spread the personal brand's message as the followers.

There are exceptions, but rarely is it possible to have both a brand and a personal brand. They are just too diametrically opposed to work together in a successful manner. With a product on the market (whether it is a film, book, or music), the question presented is which brand type is appropriate for you. The answer in most cases is a personal brand. As an artist, you are looking for passionate followers. While they may love your art, they won't be part of your word-of-mouth campaign until they connect with your personal brand - you.

Creating a personal brand is both easy and scary. It's easy because you are just being you. In essence, you are an open book. However, not everyone is going to like what they see, and that is the scary part. It's not fun being disliked, but it's what happens when you build a passionate following. It always comes with passionate dissent. That's when you know your message is getting out.

I would be remiss if I didn't offer a word of caution. Things said on the Internet tend to live forever on the Internet, and seep into "real" life. Don't compromise your future or your safety. Be passionate but don't be impetuous when building your personal brand.

So, go ahead, be yourself, and build your personal brand. The passion and sales will follow.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quotes Of Note

"Twitter is the new fax machine, Facebook....the phone. It's about brand equity, you have to build brand equity. The only way to succeed today is to be completely transparent!  This was all impossible five years ago."
Gary Vaynerchuck/Author of "Crush It"

5 Ideas for Building Customer Trust and Loyalty Via Facebook and Twitter

customer loyalty, zippy cart, volusion, social media, customer 
relationships is a leading comparison site for top ecommerce solutions like Volusion. As a non-bias review site, they have gained the trust of many merchants in search of a shopping cart solution to power their online businesses. This week is Volusion Week on ZippyCart, and as part of our week long celebration of earning a great review on the site, we have agreed to exchange blog posts for a day so that our experts can provide tips to their readers and their experts can provide tips to ours. Below are the Top 5 Ideas for Building Customer Trust and Loyalty Via Facebook and Twitter, from ZippyCart social media expert and co-founder, Nick Grant.
1) Acknowledge Brand Mentions
Facebook fanpages and Twitter profiles are very popular places for people to mention brands that they enjoy as well as ecommerce sites where they purchase products. If you are a small online company, then you should do whatever it takes to acknowledge people who give positive praise to your brand or products. If you sell dresses online and someone compliments you on Twitter about the quality of the dress, then let them know as soon as possible how much you appreciate the kind words and feedback. Showing a customer that you care and pay attention to what people think of your ecommerce site will go a long way to build loyalty and trust.

2) Keep Customers Updated and Engaged
Having a conversation with your customers on Facebook and Twitter is essential to building trust and loyalty, so that they continue to shop at your ecommerce site and recommend it to friends and family. The best way to keep the conversation going is to make sure that customers are always up to speed with everything going on at your ecommerce site. You acquire new customers almost every day, so therefore they might not be aware of your commitment to customer service. Update Facebook and Twitter on occasion asking customers if they have any questions or concerns about your store. Someone may not feel comfortable complaining about an order and just prefer to go shop elsewhere, but if you keep the communication open, then they will be more likely to let you know what they think. This feedback can go a long way toward improving your ecommerce business and building rapport with customers, which will keep them coming back to shop.
Not only do you want to keep customers updated, you want to keep them engaged with your ecommerce site. There are a variety of ways to do this via Facebook and Twitter, but the best ways are via promotions, contests and viral marketing. Get involved with your interactive advertising and try a viral video contest where customers submit ads for your ecommerce site. In terms of promotions and contests, try and rotate these throughout the year so customers have a reason to keep coming back.
3) Let People Know Who is Behind the Company and Customer Support
People love ecommerce sites and shopping online, however they also like to feel comfortable with who they’re spending money with online. Therefore you should call out the members of your team, who are involved with your Twitter profile and Facebook fan page. The best way to do this is integrate team member names into the design, as you have a lot of real estate to play with on your Facebook fan page and Twitter profile. Then, when they communicate with customers via those channels, there will be a better sense of connection which will build trust and loyalty. Customers do not want to feel like they’re interacting with a robot who is giving them canned automated responses, so a personalized approach can gain you even more loyalty and trust among customers.
4) Address Customer Complaints ASAP
If your ecommerce site is providing excellent customer service to your customers, then you should get very few complaints. However customer complaints do occur on occasion and it is best to address these complaints right away to do what you can to rectify the issue. Many think that a few upset customers will not hurt their online business, but those customers may be extremely vocal online. Therefore it is best to frequently monitor your complaints on Facebook, Twitter, and other complaints which you may get via Google Alerts. The great thing about addressing a customer on Twitter or Facebook is that it is out in the open for other customers to see how you handle complaints. This openness and commitment to superior customer service is a great way to build trust and loyalty among your current and future customers.

5) Share Positive Feedback and Testimonials
Sharing real testimonials is a great way to build trust and loyalty among customers via Twitter and Facebook. It is best to have a section on your ecommerce site dedicated to customer testimonials, and then you can direct people to them via Facebook and Twitter. Not only is it a great way to drive traffic to your site, but will increase confidence so that customers come back to purchase more often. You can also use Twitter and Facebook to solicit testimonials, by asking what the experience was like for customers of your ecommerce site. Testimonials do not have to all look the same, you may get video from a customer who loved shopping at your site or an actual written letter you can scan and put on the site. A unique and frequently updated section for testimonials is a smart way to stand out among your competition, and help further customer trust and loyalty.
Following these guidelines will help build a growing circle of trust with your customers via social media channels. It truly is a solid way to reach out and turn customers into your fiercest advocates. And while you’re out conquering the social stratosphere, why not check out the Volusion websitel? Catch them on Twitter (@ZippyCart & @volusion) and on Facebook, too!

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Here's some useful info from our LinkedIn "Those In Media" Group


A healthy traffic of Internet users is always a welcome sight in online marketing. There are ways of increasing web traffic and one of them is by utilizing the RSS or Real Simple Syndication button in your webpage.

Real Simple Syndication goes like this: Readers that are interested in getting up-to-date information regarding your entries may opt to subscribe to your RSSfeeds, whether it be on their computers or in their mobile phones.

This creates a virtual messaging system that informs them when you come up with new content. And the faster that news gets to them, the better it would be for you and your online marketing site.

Once your readers subscribe to your feeds, it is all a matter of giving them info that they want.


What if you could find a way to see what is it that readers want and make content off that? You can imagine the power that it will give you in choosing popular topics that will keep your readers interested all the time. More traffic to your site, more profit for you.

Google News searches for keywords from world headlines within a given time frame. Results are then displayed for your use and advantage.

Google news can be customized to give you constant alerts whenever news related to keywords that you typed in occur or happen. You can do this by subscribing to Google News Alerts straight to your own RSS feed. And being the first one with new (relevant) news is always good.


Armed with that information, you can also create articles that are relevant to news tipped to you by Google News. Wonderful, is it not?

Imagine the articles and entries you can write from all that relevant news!

To get ahead of the online marketing pack, you have to be two steps ahead of the competition. If adapting and tailoring your content to the readers’ needs and interests makes the difference to your survival or demise, you will need all the help you can get.

Use Google News to your advantage and the readers’ delight. More readers equals more income for your site.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tips For Succesful Online Video Marketing

From Amy Porterfield/Social Media Examiner

There’s no doubt that online video marketing is on the rise.  Numerous studies and statistics prove that video works.  In fact, Forrester Research found that videos were 50 times more likely to receive an organic first page ranking than traditional text pages.  That’s a pretty impressive stat!
Online video marketing is attractive to many businesses today for numerous reasons.  Making videos and posting them online is fairly inexpensive.  Plus, online videos stay online forever.  If you spend the money to record once, your video could still be getting views a year from now.
In addition, social media sites and video go hand in hand and most sites encourage video posting and sharing. The viral video opportunities are endless when you use the right strategies to create and post your videos online.
If you’re new to video, or have been thinking about flipping on your camera for the first time, here are some tips and strategies to get you going.

Six Quick Tips to Optimize Your Videos

Once you record your video, follow these tips to make sure it reaches your core audience and gets the views it deserves.
#1: Make your title count
Just like a headline to a blog post, video titles can pull powerful traffic.  There are two main reasons why the title is so important.  One, a great title can instantly grab a viewer’s attention.  Two, when you use the appropriate keywords in your title, you are more likely to show up on search engines when people are searching for your topic.  And remember Google owns YouTube, so there’s a story connection between video and searching.
#2: Provide excellent content
Take some time to think about your ideal viewer.  What do you know that they’ll find valuable?  What can you teach them?  “How-to” videos are extremely successful because not only do they offer great value to your viewer, but also you’re able to showcase your knowledge and skill, thus positioning yourself as an expert.  This is key as you continue to grow your brand.
Also, no matter how good your content is, it won’t matter if your video is too long and you lose your viewer’s attention.  Try to keep them short.
In late 2009, ComScore reported that the average video was 3.8 minutes in length.
#3: Include your URL in your video
When you edit your video, take advantage of the different editing features.  One easy feature is to add a text box to your video.  This is where you can display your website address and it’s a great way to get exposure.
Here’s a screen shot of Mari Smith’s YouTube channel.  Notice how she used a text box in her video to display key information, including her website URL at the end of her video.  Smart move!
#4: Take advantage of video’s branding opportunities
For branding purposes, have your company logo displayed prominently somewhere on the screen.  You can do this at all times, or during key times in your video.
In the image below, notice how the company logo is displayed in the upper-left corner.  You can display your logo throughout your video or only at key times.
#5: Always provide an HTML link
When you post on YouTube, you have the option to write a short description of your video.  Always start with the link you want to drive your viewers to so you don’t miss this key opportunity.
Here’s a snapshot of the description boxes from one of my YouTube videos.  Notice the placement of my website URL (it’s the first thing you want to put in the box!) and the keywords I used in my title as well as the description.
#6: Go beyond YouTube
Most people post their videos on YouTube.  In addition to this, make sure to always embed your video on your own website.  This will increase the amount of time people spend on your website and help grow a captive audience.
Also, Google’s algorithms consider how many times a video is viewed, and embedded video views you receive get added to the ‘views’ tally on YouTube.  This is important for showing up in Google search results!

How to Supercharge Your Videos

To make sure your video stands out above all the clutter on the web, here are a few strategies that will give your videos an extra boost.
  1. Create a Campaign: To get noticed, think beyond stand-alone videos.  For greater reach and exposure, create a series of content-rich videos that you publish regularly.  Not only will this create a great synergy around your content, but it will also allow you to build upon your brand identity as each video is released.
  2. Always Include a Call to Action: Never miss the opportunity to ask your viewers to take some type of action at the end of your video.  You can ask them to sign up for your newsletter, go to a specific website, leave a comment about your video or visit your blog.  If your video is good, you’ll likely have their full attention; make sure to take advantage of it!
  3. Don’t Make a Sales Pitch: There is a lot of sales clutter on the web and you want to make sure you come out above this.  There is nothing wrong with selling your products or services, but use your video to define a problem, discuss solutions and support others—when you combine the three, your video will attract the right following.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

3 Simple Steps for Creating Social Media Visibility

From Denise Wakeman/Social Media Examiner

It’s been said visibility equals opportunity.

No matter how great your product, service or business is, if your prospective customer can’t find you on the web, it’s like you don’t exist.

As you know, anyone who has access to the Internet (at last count, there were 1.8 billion people), uses it to find solutions to their problems.

Here’s a three-step formula to get you started creating a visible presence on the web, resulting in more opportunities for your business: leads, prospects, sales, media queries, speaking gigs and joint ventures.

#1: Use Your Blog to Set the Stage
A blog is your foundation and starting point for strategically getting your message out to the world. If you don’t have a blog yet, the place to start your planning and preparation is this article: Top 10 Easy Steps to Starting a Business Blog.

Using your blog as your hub, or home base, not only provides a presence on the web where you can go deep and intimate with your prospects and customers, it’s also a money-saving tool. A blog is far less expensive to build, design and maintain than a traditional static website that may cost thousands of dollars.

Your blog is where you have the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise, expose your personality and give your audience the chance to get to know, like and finally trust you as you share valuable, useful content that makes their lives better.

Keep in mind that a blog is a search engine magnet. When you post consistently and constantly, the search engines tend to index your content more frequently. Using keywords relevant to what your target audience is looking for gives your content a good chance of being in the top results in searches. You become visible and findable on the web.

To target your message and/or campaign, publish a series of posts directly related to the topic you’re promoting. Whether it’s your new book, a service or a product, post content for several weeks prior to the launch date of your promotion.

If you don’t have a specific promotion, create an editorial calendar and frequently post on the prime topic and/or keywords for which you want to be found. For example, if you have a book being published, start seeding your blog with excerpts and snippets about the launch date, book signings and other events and news.

#2: Next, Use Facebook Strategically
There really shouldn’t be a lot of debate about this. With nearly half a billion users, you’ve got to have a presence on Facebook. As a business, that means you must have a page.

From a visibility perspective, this is essential because the content you post on your page gets indexed by the search engines. (If you’re not convinced your business should be on Facebook, read this article.)

At bare minimum, syndicate your blog content to your page using the Notes application. This app pulls your blog content to your page wall and ensures your deeper content is front and center for people who land on your page and aren’t familiar with your blog. This one tactic will drive many qualified prospects back to your home base.

Use the Notes app to pull your blog feed to your Facebook page.

But that is just the minimum. The true value of Facebook is the relationships you build that create the desire of your “fans” to take the step and click through to your content.

Make sure you’re constantly growing your page by reminding people to join. Ask and answer questions with your keywords, send updates and let people know what you’re up to between promotions. The more active your page, the more visible it is because every action taken by a member of your page is posted on his or her own profile with a link back to your page.

#3: Do Not Ignore Twitter
With 40 million Twitter updates every day, you want to make sure your message is on the popular microblogging platform as well. Tweets are showing up in real-time search results and with tools like and Twitter management clients like TweetDeck and HootSuite that enable you to search and follow keywords, it’s critical to have your content show up when your ideal client does a search.

Use plug-ins (Twitter Tools on Wordpress) or automation services like twitterfeed and SocialOomph to make sure your blog posts and announcements about your programs are being fed to your Twitter stream on an ongoing basis. Ideally, this should be no more than 20% of your Twitter activity.

You do need to spend some time every week on Twitter, in real time, responding, replying and sharing great resources (that support your objectives). It’s a smart practice to follow your own keywords in a dedicated search column (on HootSuite for example) so you can quickly respond to comments and queries related to your products and services.

Set up columns in HootSuite with each of your keywords searches so you don’t miss opportunities to connect.

This isn’t rocket science but many entrepreneurs, service professionals and small and large businesses don’t integrate these tactics in their marketing plans or they are reluctant to spend the time to build their visibility. A social media marketing industry report recently revealed businesses that spend 10-20 hours a week actively working on a visibility strategy see the most rewards in terms of opportunity—whatever that looks like for your business. Those who work consistently to build an online presence will be profitable.

These are a few tactics you can quickly implement to start building your visibility on the web. Once these are in place, add one or two new tactics every week and soon you’ll be hearing people say, “I see you everywhere!”

This is really just the tip of the iceberg. There are many ways to build visibility on the web.

Have you tried any of these tactics? What are your top tips? Please comment in the box below.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Quotes Of Note

"No one wants to talk to a logo. They want to speak with a person."
 Thomas Hoehn, Director, Interactive Marketing and Convergence Media, Kodak.

The takeaway here is: 
When it comes to Social Marketing, Always Use A Real Person Behind Your Brand!
For example, Kodak's Chief Blogger’s Twitter profile features her picture above the Kodak logo. In the feed, she maintains a personal tone, but everything she says is with the knowledge that she is representing the company.