Questions? Feedback? powered by Olark live chat software

How to Create an Effective Social Media System

This post is one in a series of tips designed to guide small business owners through the challenges of today’s startup environment and is sponsored by Canon MAXIFY – the printer lineup designed to help small business owners increase productivity so that they can focus on everything else that matters. For more information about the Canon MAXIFY printer lineup visit here 

social media system

photo credit: mkhmarketing via photopin cc

Many marketers and social media experts have made social media about many of the wrong things – it’s not a broadcast channel – it’s a tool for creating personal connections and sharing useful information. It’s not about building large and mostly hollow followings – it’s about finding the right group or the right handful of prospects that want very much to hear what you have to share.

When you view social media use in this light another long-standing assumption falls by the wayside – the fact that you can’t or shouldn’t sell using social media.

When you view social media tools and networks as a way to create and bolster personal relationships you build connections based on trust – when you earn trust, you can sell anything, anywhere.

The key to making social media work for your business is intention. You must make it your intention to do things that people find useful and pour all of your energy and planning into finding ways to do just that.

The word of day with regard to usefulness is context. When you put everything possible into making your updates, tweets, responses and queries as relevant as possible to smallest number of people as possible you’ve got a solid recipe for creating a social media plan that will deliver value to your business.

Below are five core activities that every useful social media system must contain and some of the tools I love to recommend to power your social media connection plan.

1) Collecting – This is the listening part and it’s the part the powers pretty much everything you do. By making it easier to spot real opportunities to connect you can be much more focused on adding value.

  • Hootsuite – Create columns for industry, topic or geographic based tweets and respond daily with useful replies
  • Twitter Lists – Create Twitter lists of customers, partners and prospects and monitor for retweeting, commenting and sharing opportunities
  • Talkwalker – Create alerts for key customers and journalists and respond to daily related emails
  • Quora – Subscribe to industry related RSS feeds and tune in to the most asked and answered questions

2) Curating – Finding and sharing the best of the web is a tremendous way to add value by delivering up just the right content.

  • Using a tool like Scoop.it or Storify pull together specific topic or industry pages or even create collections of curated content for specifics clients or prospects.
  • Use Newsle to keep tabs on trending stories and collections of content from industry influencers.

3) Creating – One of the best ways to get your content shared is to make it visual.

  • Word Swag – Use this nice little iPhone app to capture and title quick photos of clients and events
  • Canva – This free online graphic design editor makes it easy to create impactful social profile headers as well as great blog post graphics
  • Listly – This tool makes it easy to create or even collaborate on lists of things like great books or any other online resources
  • Visua.ly – Turn even the most mundane data into visual content. Media outlets love data so think about ways to mine yours!

4) Collaborating – Every social media system needs an emphasis on customer or community engagement. Finding ways to get your customers involved in social interaction is key.

  • BuzzSumo – This tool helps you find the most shared content on any topic and is my favorite for discovering guest bloggers and gaining insight into what gets shared
  • Quora – Use this question and answer site to find and answer great questions and conversation starters.
  • Alltop – Alltop is a great place to find potential guest post opportunities and contributors
  • Facebook Groups – Create private Facebook Groups to help your customers network with each other

5) Connecting – Finally, don’t forget to program ways to connect directly with customers in social settings.

  • Nimble – This CRM easily adds social data from every contact making it easy to keep tabs on what your contacts are up to
  • Rapporative – This browser plug in adds rich social data to every email you receive giving you a snapshot view in a handy place
  • Contactually – This tool allows you to group your contacts into various buckets and then set up relationship building touchpoints automatically

The best way to make social media pay is to think very seriously about the value you deliver on a one to one basis.

Canon will be spotlighting several small business owners on its social media channels throughout the next several months, so be sure to leave a comment and share your thoughts on this post using the hashtag #MAXIFY in order to qualify. If you are a U.S.-based small business owner (1-9 employees) and have faced a unique business challenge in your first year on the job, let us know! We’d love to hear what line of work your small business falls within and what you feel is the most important takeaway from this post. We’ll also be rewarding select small business owners with a prize pack including the Canon MAXIFY MB5320 printer as well as other essentials to help you run your business more efficiently. So don’t forget to leave a link to your website or social media pages that way we can see how well you’re marketing your business and get in touch!

Why Ello Really Matters

By now you’ve probably started to hear rumblings about a new social network called Ello.

ello logoI’ve been getting invite requests and questions about it over the last few weeks so I thought it might be time to weigh in.

Ello is a simple, ad-free, social network created in part as a response to the current business model of most networks like Facebook, which rely on users to sell advertising. Start by reading the Ello Manifesto.

Users are rushing to join Ello in droves and some are even claiming that Ello will eventually topple Facebook.

Claims of toppling Facebook come and go and are mostly rooted in the fact that Facebook stumbles all over it’s billion plus users on a regular basis. One of the main rallying cries for Ello is the lack of ads, but frankly, no matter what people claim, well targeted ads are often quite welcome and the source of revenue that allows the business of Facebook to outflank most any upstart.

I do think the frontier feel of Ello, like many other startup networks, has great appeal for pioneers, but in order to make it you’ve eventually got to appeal to the people of Iowa. (This is not a slam to my Iowa readers, it’s a nod to your ability to pick presidents!)

Whether Ello is the next big thing remains to be seen, but talk of brining Facebook down misses the real point.

Social behavior continues to evolve and the rise of viral networks like WhatsApp, Diaspora and Ello simply signal the need for marketers to evolve as well. But, that doesn’t mean jumping on the next wave, it means understanding why the next wave even comes about.

Personally I doubt that Ello will ever become a mainstream network for the very reasons it touts as chief benefits – privacy, no ads and unfiltered content. Watch how fast the porn industry takes to Ello.

No, the real message in the growth of Ello is that people are tired of being treated like products and want something much richer from their social experiences.

But, this message goes to heart of social media use for business in general. As long as there are billions of people posting their daily happenings on Facebook, there will always be a market for something, but true community building has to be much more personal and tight knit than that.

I’ve said it here numerous times over the last few years – social networks don’t matter, social behavior is what you must understand.

Cutting edge social experts will always focus on the next white hot trend, but all you have to do in order to make social behavior pay is focus on the next interaction with one person.

We have to stop obsessing over fans and followers and the next new, new thing and get back to using the powerful set of tools we now possess to create meaningful interactions with some of the real people we already have in our lives.

Today, Ello is an escape for people wanting to express themselves on a less soiled canvas, but if history serves as a guide, that canvas too will become messy and there will be new avenues created by those looking to recapture what is right in front of them.

To me the message of Ello is pick up the phone and call three people today, comb through your customer list and reach out to five people you should know more about, create a Twitter list of no more than thirty and try to pay attention to what they say this week.

Better yet, start bringing your customers and community into product development discussions, marketing discussions and peer-to-peer networking opportunities.

It’s time to realize the promise of social behavior by using your interactions to build trust.

How to Turn a New Fan into a Lifelong Follower

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Matthew Yeoman– Enjoy! 

photo credit: Anna L. Schiller via photopin cc

photo credit: Anna L. Schiller via photopin cc

Taking those curious new social media followers and turning them into lifelong fans that are engaged with your brand takes work. The journey from “My pal RT’d one of your tweets,” to “I now follow everything you post!” does not happen instantly.

Read on to learn how to turn that first like, share, or retweet, into a lifelong follower. The key takeaway will be around creating a strong community – and I’m not talking about one built on group hugs – these a real social media community building tactics.

Make sure that the content is platform appropriate

Every social media platform offers something different to users. You have to use the unique features of each one to truly engage with your community and new followers:

  • Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram are visual content starved. Social Bakers found that Facebook posts with images get 93-96% more attention. New followers are going to look through your social profiles – make sure you have lots of images for them.
  • LinkedIn is mostly set up for B2B. This formal atmosphere requires in-depth professional content. Cracking jokes doesn’t work: I’ve tried!
  • Twitter is free form, provided you stay within the 140 character limit. It will work best if you comment on events in the moment they are happening.
  • YouTube is the King of Video Content – we all know that. In a business context, that video content is best presented with a familiar and regular host that your fans will connect with – no one wants to be friends with a faceless company.

Take the time to read and view what your competition has done. You can use their most successful content on each platform as a template for your efforts to get new fans following you.

Have regular giveaways and special promotions on your social media accounts

Regular giveaways, promotions and contests are the type of things that old fans love, and love to share. They are also what can really get new followers interested. A majority of the business social profiles I follow came my way from a friend sharing it with me.

For proof, a Nielsen study on Twitter users found that those who follow business accounts on the platform are doing so 52% of the time to be notified of giveaways, promotions, and contests.

Post consistently and have a schedule

Nothing builds a community like a social profile where users know when to show up. Having long and irregular delays between updates leads to more chances that followers, especially those new followers, will forget you.

Remember that a consistent schedule is not a CONSTANT schedule. I’ve used the term “tweet flooding” to describe a Twitter user who posts new tweets nearly non-stop, or in sudden bursts of four or more. This activity destroys a social profile and community.

Tools like Hootsuite are popular for help with consistency. You can sit down one day and plan out the content you’ll send out for a week or longer, schedule it, and never forget to post again.

Find them before they find you with your scheduling tool’s search function

A bonus aspect of a tool like Hootsuite is that it can be a community building tool for those who haven’t found you yet – you find them. Hootsuite has a search function which automatically finds certain keywords. That keyword can easily be your:

  • Brand name for those who mention you but don’t use your account profile.
  • Competitors name so you can monitor opportunities to engage with these fans.
  • Industry specific keywords and phrases.

Your scheduling tool can do more than just schedule – it can help you reach out to new people to include in your community who haven’t met you yet!

Talk to your new fans

You can not forget the ‘social’ part of ‘social media.’ Having one on one conversations with your new fans help to build a community. Even a simple “Hello to @newfollowers” can help welcome them and build that relationship as it builds your community.

newprofileNot only will these small acts increase brand loyalty, but they also show that you’re open to really talking – not just broadcasting a socially masked marketing message.
Matthew is the writer over on the Devumi.com Social Media Blog. You can find him there every Friday posting about increasing your Twitter followers, getting more YouTube subscribers, and commenting on other social media related news. He focuses on Twitter, YouTube, Google, Vimeo, SoundCloud, and Pinterest.

Social Selling and Content Marketing: A White-Hot Combination

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Robert Rosenthal & Natasha Sekkat – Enjoy!

Social Selling

photo credit: canva

“Social selling” and “content marketing” sound like trendy terms you’d hear at a cool conference. But we’ve never cared much about what’s fashionable in marketing and sales. It comes down to what works. And the combination we’re about to describe has the potential to change almost everything.

First, a couple of quick definitions: Social selling is about building your personal and business brand through social media. Content marketing is the use of educational and even entertaining content in marketing.

Traditional Sales and Marketing No Longer Cut It

You may have noticed buyers don’t behave the way they did a generation ago. One reason: the explosion in easily accessible information. By the time you walk into a dealer to buy a car, you’ve most likely done research online. Car buyers are no longer at the dealer’s mercy.

When your parents needed a new refrigerator, they probably headed to a local appliance store. But these days, you might jump on Facebook, ask for recommendations, and receive five suggestions from friends in as many minutes.

Power has indeed shifted from seller to buyer. They want less of a pitch and more value from you. They have an ocean of information at their fingertips, so you’d better know your stuff. And with the opportunity to quickly research prospects online, there’s no excuse to pump out generalized messages.

Traditional marketing may be summed up in three words: sell, sell, sell. But product pitches often perform far worse than presentations that contribute more value. Great marketing is less self-centered and more buyer-centric.

Not Your Father’s Sales and Marketing Approach

When 20th century sales reps called new prospects, buyers generally knew nothing about the reps. Today prospects look them up on LinkedIn in seconds. Buyers ask themselves, “Is this someone I want to do business with?” It’s a whole new level of transparency.

Traditional sales reps were known for aggressiveness – and a willingness to repeat a pitch. Constantly. But that won’t work (and may even backfire) in social selling. If you keep posting comments like, “This (product name) is the best thing ever,” you’ll be ignored – or worse.

It’s better to proactively share advice or respond to a prospect’s post with a mention of a white paper on how others have addressed a similar issue. Or even provide a link to your company’s position on a particular topic. Your response should feel like community service and be adapted to your personal brand.

Content quality and quantity is key. Excellent content is super-relevant and informative. Even fascinating. Reps doing social selling regularly work the top and bottom of the funnel – and points in between. Marketing content needs to help prospects at every funnel point. It should never be, “Here’s our latest propaganda,” posted in the same manner to every prospect by every sales rep.

Of course, you can’t keep offering the same stuff. That’s why the best content marketers figure out how to regularly produce lots of high-quality content that fulfills prospect needs and business objectives. Your content should be strategic.

And remember, the best marketers tend to be the best testers, so be prepared to experiment in your content marketing and social selling. Think trial and error.

Listening for Opportunities

Here’s a potential game-changer. On LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and countless other sites, prospects tap into their networks by posting comments on what they’re researching and buying. They often use predictable words and phrases: triggers that could indicate a potential purchase. Naturally, you want to optimize your site accordingly for search engines, But if you efficiently sift through the noise on other sites to identify fresh prospects, you may have more opportunities than you’re able to handle. You may want to use Google Alerts or another tool to have these posts appear in your in-box as soon as they’re available, or focus on a small number of message boards or other sites.

Whatever you do, don’t get overly aggressive. Be consultative. And don’t overload prospects with information. Content that gets consumed most often tends to be concise: short videos, infographics, or other quick but useful presentations.

This is your chance to position yourselves as thought leaders. Or as an excellent content curator. Social selling is also about building your personal brand. It’s important to add your own touch to what you publish. Sometimes that simply means playing matchmaker and connecting people who may be useful to each other.

By all means, bring your personal life into your posts. That’s right – mix industry, product, and personal information. Show your kid’s artwork if you’re in the mood. Give prospects a chance to really know you and build a connection.

Commitment Is Key

The hip and highly profitable stuff we’ve described – social selling and content marketing – require commitment from the top. You can’t drop it into a dial-for-dollars or batch-and-blast culture and expect it to take hold. New technology is often needed, and if the team won’t use it, you may be unable to move forward. So get commitment for all this – along with the budget and time to make it work – from the top of your organization.

Now get out there and rock the world.

Robert Rosenthal Head Shot Arms Folded Igor Pic 5-2-14Robert Rosenthal is President of Contenteurs, a content marketing agency that has developed dozens of record-breaking marketing campaigns. Robert is author of Optimarketing: Marketing Optimization to Electrify Your Business – recently the #2 marketing book in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Robert holds a B.S. degree in marketing from California State University, Northridge.

 

 

Natasha Sekkat 150-150Natasha Sekkat is Global Director, Inside Sales Centers of Excellence at EMC, with 15 years’ experience in technology sales and sales management. She’s a graduate of UPenn and Wharton, with an MBA from Boston College. Natasha lives in Sudbury, MA with her two young children.

 

Systemize Your Networking with a Relationship Plan

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from John Corcoran– Enjoy!

DTM1

photo credit: deposit photos

Does the word “networking” give you an icky feeling?

If so, you’re not alone. A lot of people hear “networking” and it immediately conjures up images of bad networkers passing out business cards and trying to sell you on their product or service as soon as you’ve met them.

But really savvy business people know there’s no such thing as bad networking – only bad networkers. And if you want to succeed in business, you need to get good at developing relationships, no matter what word you use to describe that process.

Throughout my career, I’ve worked in many different industries – from politics to Hollywood to Silicon Valley – and I’ve found the one universal truth no matter what industry you work in is that if you want to succeed, you need to cultivate relationships with others.

There’s an old African proverb that I think speaks volumes about this: if you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

In other words, if you really want to go the distance with your business or career, you need to bring others with you. So how do you do that?

How to Create Your Relationship Plan

If you want to build a business, you put together a business plan. If you build relationships, you need to put together a relationship plan. And it starts with putting together a list of people you want to have an ongoing conversation with over time.

Most people don’t create a list of people they want to proactively build a relationship with, so their networking ends up being random and haphazard. That’s not a good strategy for any career or business.

Here are the five basic steps for how to put together your plan:

Step 1. Put Together Your Conversations List

The first step is to brainstorm a list of the people who you see value in getting to know better.

I call this your “Conversations List” and it is simply a list of the 50+ people who you want to develop a relationship with over the next 12 months.

They are people who you admire and who you would like to know better, whose values you share and who you’d like to help out — not out of selfishness, but of a sincere desire to see them succeed.

This simple step might take you 20 minutes, but it could save you 20 years of wasted effort.

Step 2: Ditch the “Me First” Attitude and Make Some Friends

The second step is to forget about trying to get something from others and to start thinking about how you can start helping others, just like you would help a friend. Develop genuine relationships — but do it with people who can be helpful to your career or business, of course.

As Zig Ziglar famously said, “you can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”

Step 3: Follow Up Over Time

One of the biggest mistakes I see people making in business is they let relationships go stale.

They will let months or years go by without contacting people in their network. Or, worse yet, they only reach out when they need something.

Be sure to keep in touch with people in your network so your relationships remain fresh and you remain if not “top of mind” then at least not forgotten.

Step 4: Deepen Relationships

Your goal should be to continually deepen relationships with people on your Conversations List.

You can do this by continuing to provide deepening value over time. Start by sharing articles and resources with them, and move up the ladder into helping to promote the things people are doing or interviewing them when they have a new business, book, or other thing to promote.

Step 5: Increase ROI from your Relationships

We’re talking about business here, so there needs to be some financial payoff. Without a financial benefit, then we’re just talking about charity. So you have to make the transition from relationships to revenue.

I know a lot of people who are good at networking because they have a charming personality, but they are bad at making the final step — turning those relationships into something that is financially beneficial to them.

So don’t be afraid to draw the line with people in your network and let them know that you would love to work together, but you deserve compensation for your time.

Put Together Your List

Now, let’s end this with a specific step you can take to get started. Begin with creating your own Conversations List of 50+ people who you would like to get to know better.  You’ll develop better relationships, and your career will go farther because of it.

Finally, what tips do you have for building relationships in business?  Let us know in the comments.

DTM2John Corcoran is an attorney and former Clinton White House Writer. He has a free, 52+ page ebook you can download, How to Increase Your Income in Today by Building Relationships with Influencers, Even if you Hate Networking.  

 

Why Dark Posts Are the Best Facebook Advertising Approach Right Now

Let me preface this post by highlighting the words in the title “right now.”

Facebook unpublished posts

photo credit: windy_sydney via photopin cc

As with all things in this fast changing digital world, a killer tactic today may soon be worth very little when, for example, the network you’re using it on decides to change the rules or it simply becomes diluted due to the fact that everyone is doing it now.

For today one of the most effective advertising plays on Facebook is something being called ”dark posts.” The term, while sounding a tad evil, actually applies to the tactic of using news feed style ads that do not actually get published to the newsfeed of your page.

Why use dark posts

So, you might ask – why would I use this tactic?

Imagine you sell four products and these products appeal to slightly different audiences and you’re not really sure of the most appealing call to action for each.

You want to advertise all of these products on Facebook and you’ve heard that news feed type sponsored posts are the best way to go. (It’s true for me, particularly on mobile devices where the ads look very much like the rest of the stream.)

Traditionally, the only way to advertise those four products in the news stream was to create four status update kinds of ads and then refine your targeting to get the add seen by the right audience.

But here’s the catch – all four of those ads just ran in your page’s stream and now that audience you’ve worked long and hard to build by sharing useful and engaging stuff is unliking as fast as they can. Your stream seems full of nothing but ads!

Oh, and like any smart marketer you need to A/B test several headline variations on each ad, further overwhelming your stream.

The dark post option to the rescue

Facebook has allowed advertisers to create news stream ads with the option of not publishing to them to the news feed for some time, but it’s still a fairly untapped play for the moment.

By employing this tactic the advertiser mentioned about could run all four product ads as sponsored posts, target different audiences, split test headlines and even create personalized messages for demographic and geographic targets – literally run dozens of ads all on the same day – without a single ad showing in their own news stream.

Are you starting to sense the power of the dark post?

How dark posts work

Dark posts are created using the somewhat clunky, very obtuse, Power Editor. I won’t go into a tutorial on obtaining and using the Power Editor as there are some fine ones here. If you have no idea what the Power Editor is you should read one of these tutorials before going much further.

If you are a Power Editor user you simply need to play around with a few more features.

The key to creating dark posts in the Power Editor lies in the editor’s ability to create posts. Until the dark post concept came along there really wasn’t much reason to use this feature as you could simply create posts as status updates.

Fire up the Power Editor and start by clicking on Manage Pages and choose the page you would like to create the post for. Now hit Create Post but be sure to click the radio button that says – unpublished post.

Facebook Dark Posts

Now create your post by completing the fields. Remember, this is an ad, so pay close attention to headlines, call to action buttons, descriptions and images that grab. For some of the best advice on successful Facebook ad tactics head over to Jon Loomer’s awesome site.

Once you’ve created your post don’t forget the Power Editor requirement to upload the changes – the button at the top of the editor turns green when you’ve made a change and you have to hit that Upload Your Changes button before you can use this post.

If you are creating multiple posts you can create them all now and simply upload the entire batch. (You can view how your post will look on the desktop and in mobile and I suggest you take this step before uploading the batch)

Once all of your posts are created and uploaded you can switch to your Ad Manager and start creating ads by selecting the appropriate post to use as an ad, select your audience and choose your budget.

One bit of advice, don’t take the Facebook suggested budget. My experience is that you can start much lower and adjust accordingly. I don’t have hard data on this, but since I started refining better for multiple versions, I found my per click costs went down.

You can organize your ads by campaigns and ad groups, a feature that certainly makes sense when you start running lots of ads for different things.

Once your ads are approved you can start monitoring your Ad performance to tweak your tests and improve your results.

Now is the time to get on this tactic as my guess is that sometime in 2015 it will become less effective.

Does Your Business Have a TV Show?

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Kevin Jordan – Enjoy!

If you watch any television at all, chances are you’ve stumbled across one of the many reality TV shows that turn the day-to-day drama of a small business into prime time entertainment. There’s TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress (starring Kleinfeld Bridal in Manhattan) and Cake Boss (featuring Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken, NJ), the History Channel’s Pawn Stars (Gold and Silver Pawn Shop, Las Vegas) and American Pickers (Antique Archeology in Le Claire, Iowa), and my personal favorite–the Discovery Channel’s Flying Wild Alaska (about the airline Era Alaska, based in Unalakleet, AK). These shows have turned the owners and employees of obscure small businesses into international celebrities, and generated tens of thousands of dollars of revenue for the businesses (if not more). What small business owner hasn’t watched one of these shows and thought to him or herself, “I wish I had a TV show about my business distributed by a media giant to millions of viewers around the world”?

Well, I’ve got great news for you. You can have a TV show about your business, and Apple will deliver it literally into the hands of 1.5 billion people around the world. It’s called a video podcast, and for the business owner who has the time and resources to devote to creating one, it’s a very effective way of delivering educational content to your target audience and establishing yourself as an authority in your niche.

iTunes Video BlogsWhat’s a Podcast?

Before I go any further, perhaps I should clarify what exactly a podcast is, because the name “podcast” actually is no longer a good way of describing it. You see, a podcast is basically a means of distributing content to an audience. That content can take the form of a radio show (audio podcast), a TV show (video podcast), or a newspaper (yes, you can actually distribute PDF documents using a podcast). The reason it’s called a “podcast” is that in the beginning many people were listening to audio podcasts on their iPods. However, there are now many different ways that people can consume podcasts, so that’s a little bit of a misnomer.

Just as is the case with more traditional forms of syndicated content distribution, people can either consume one “episode” of your podcast (like picking up a newspaper from the rack at the news stand), or they can subscribe to your podcast and have each episode automatically delivered to their favorite device when it is released (smartphone, laptop, iPad, iPod, etc).

Why would you want a video podcast?

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “I already have an email newsletter that people can subscribe to. Why should I have a podcast also?” Unlike an email newsletter, this method of delivering content to your target audience is completely spam-proof, and does not require someone to divulge any personal information (like name and email address) in order to receive it. Therefore, all barriers to entry are essentially removed. It’s a great way to let people “try out” your business at no risk–a key component of the Duct Tape Marketing Hourglass concept.

As to why you should consider a video podcast instead of an audio podcast, there’s a couple compelling reasons:

  • With a video podcast, there are fewer restrictions on the type of content you can produce–think live demos, screen capture videos, virtual tours of your facility, etc.
  • Your personality comes through more powerfully in a video (assuming you appear on-camera) than in an audio broadcast
  • In some cases (depending on your content), you can separate the audio from the video in your editing process and use the audio files to create an audio podcast without any additional editing, thus reaching a wider audience.
  • Right now, there are a lot fewer video podcasts than audio podcasts, meaning less competition. Also, Apple is actively promoting video podcasts in iTunes and has expressed interest in getting more of that type of content on their platform.

What will your show be about?

So, now that you’re convinced that this whole video podcast thing is at least worth investigating, the only thing left to decide is what your show will be about. Here’s a few ideas:

  1. Use your show to teach customers (or potential customers) how to use your products. For example, the Basic Brewing video podcast teaches people how to brew beer, and its host, James Spencer, has an online homebrew supply store.
  2. Use your show to establish authority and credibility in your niche. If you’re a speaker, author, or coach, a video podcast is a great way to position yourself as an expert. See the NutritionFacts.org video podcast for an example.
  3. Your show could simply be a method of broadcasting company events, messages and updates to your employees, strategic partners, vendors, and customers. For example, the White House publishes a video podcast that is simply a recording of all the president’s speeches.

If those examples don’t give you any ideas or inspiration, just go to iTunes and search for video podcasts about topics you are genuinely interested in (you can even find video podcasts about video podcasting). Subscribe to a few and start watching them on a regular basis. Chances are, before long you will start to view the hosts of the shows you subscribe to as experts you can turn to for trusted advice. You may even end up buying products or services from some of them! There’s no reason why you can’t be one of those “trusted experts”. Start a TV show for your business so you can share your knowledge and experience with the world, gain the trust of your target audience, and position your brand at the top of your niche.

Kevin JordanKevin Jordan is an authorized Duct Tape Marketing Consultant living in central Virginia. He’s also the host of the Small Business Marketing Minute, a daily video podcast for small business owners looking for simple, affordable, and practical marketing tips. He teaches several online courses on small business marketing, including video marketing.

8 Ways to Amplify Your Content on Mobile

It’s guest post day here at Duct Tape Marketing and today’s guest post is from Dave Landry – Enjoy!

photo credit: shutterstock

Mobile is becoming a powerful, driving engine in the content world. The January 2014 Mobile Technology Fact Sheet shows that 63% of adult cell phone owners use their phones to go online, while 34% of cell phone Internet users go online using only their phone rather than any other device.

Mobile content is distinct because of the idiosyncratic and curious ways users interact with it. A Rumble study from 2013 found that while certain mobile app user behaviors were similar, most of those interacting with mobile content exhibited unique behavior.

Apps account for 86% of the average US consumer’s time on a mobile device, while time spent on the mobile web declined. How can marketers make their content stand out in such a crowded mobile marketplace?

Here are eight ways marketers can amplify content on mobile:

1. Be mobile-friendly.

You must optimize for the device as well as the way that users will interact with your site’s content. Mobile users NEED simple sites with easy navigation. Utilize the principles of responsive design to ensure that your content will display correctly for all users on all devices.

2. Build a community.

You can amplify your reputation by being helpful and relevant to your audience. When you build trust, you also build a community – and this community will be vital when it comes to amplifying content. The cultivation of long-standing relationships is key to having your content amplified. Even if you’re not posting undeniably quotable and shareable content all day every day, your base community of followers with whom you regularly engage with will still have your back and interact.

3. Develop a mobile app.

With so many users trading in time spent on the mobile web for time in apps, it’s easy to see why it’s beneficial to develop your own app to deliver content to users. The added bonus is that you can further target content for the segment of users that download and use your mobile app. Enable all possible sharing options to allow users to share content with their network.

4. Make mobile a part of your overall strategy.

Keep your business and marketing goals in mind as you consider your mobile campaigns. Don’t make the mistake of treating mobile as something separate from your marketing strategy, as it should be integrated into the rest of your initiatives. Do not silo mobile because it will likely affect other aspects of your organization and marketing. Understanding where mobile falls into your overall strategy allows you to drive sales activities.

5. Consider real-time video.

In May 2014, Grabyo, a company specializing in real-time video, released a report stating that 72% of the traffic on their platform came from mobile. The company found that live TV clips generate exceptional levels of engagement on Facebook and Twitter. Content creators can sponsor these mobile clips to reach new members of their target audience. Content creators interested in amplifying content on mobile should consider paid sponsorship and advertising opportunities. With targeted advertising you will be able to measure exact analytics.

6. Don’t just think social – think branded.

Mobile users are almost twice as likely to share content on social media sites. A study from the video technology company Unruly showed that branded Vines are four times more likely to be shared than branded videos. Brands like PepsiCo, AT&T, and General Electric are already taking advantage of consumers’ love for bite-size content and use it to boost their overall content marketing strategies.

7. Add SMS to the mix.

comScore’s January 2014 report showed that 159.8 million people in the United States owned smartphones, making up only 66.8% of the mobile market penetration. The majority of devices on today’s market are SMS enabled. SMS messaging is affordable and provides a sizable ROI for marketers, as 90% of SMS text messages are read in the first 4-6 minutes of delivery.

8. Always analyze.

Perform a thorough analysis to help you understand what campaigns are working and which need to be adjusted. Take your newfound data and apply it to your next round of marketing. Your collected data and improved campaigns will be critical to amplifying future content.

Successful content amplification is rooted in providing your audience with engaging, valuable content. With creative power and vision, marketers can take advantage of the wealth of opportunities that mobile opens up for them.

Dave Landry Jr.Dave Landry Jr. is a journalist and business owner who enjoy creating graphic and written content on his downtime. He hope you enjoy this article.