Tag Archives: youtube

18 Signposts I Learned from MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing ROAD Map Handbook

Signpost

The title of MarketingSherpa’s 2010 Handbook, Social Marketing ROAD Map, is not only a clever analogy referring to the territory marketers must navigate to map out a social media strategy, the acronym is memorable and quite right-on. ROAD stands for: Research, Objectives, Actions and Devices.

I know writers are supposed to resist the temptation to use clichés—but I can’t help it—so indulge me here for a moment while I offer you a personal perspective. For me, someone who fears getting lost, my Global Positioning System (GPS) has changed my life with its turn-by-turn voice directions. The ROAD Map Handbook offers the comfort and confidence that I’ve come to rely on from my GPS. I think you too will find great direction from the guidelines, best practices and tactics, templates, suggested resources, worksheets, list of social media platforms, and comprehensive glossary.

Whether you’re a marketer just starting out in Social Media or have been traveling these roads for some time, you’re bound to find many valuable tips and strategies in MarketingSherpa’s Social Marketing Road Map Handbook.

You’ll want to read the Handbook yourself to receive the full benefit but to get you started, here are some of my favorite marketing signposts. Continue reading

Social Media Leaders and Laggards: Healthcare, Retail Sprint Past Financial Services, Energy

It may be early on in the race to Social Media marketing success, but there are already some notable leaders and laggards emerging.  Which industries are the ambling tortoises, and which are the speedy hares?

In this post, we will review the findings of a recent report from intelligence provider Social Media Influence (SMI), and share our own analysis to help you handicap this race to success.

In their June report entitled “The State of Social Media Jobs 2010,” SMI surveyed the marketing departments of all Fortune 100 companies, to find out whether they have in-house social media resources, outsource their social media campaigns, or have little to no investment in social media marketing.

The graph below shows the results of their survey.  The blue line represents the total number of companies in that industry, while the red line represents those companies in that industry that SMI deems “social media-savvy” (i.e. they devote significant in-house resources to social media marketing efforts).  As you can see, the leaders of the group include Tech/Consumer Electronics, Healthcare, Retail and Automotive.  On the flip side, the laggards are Petroleum/Energy, Financial Services/Insurance and Utilities.  (Click to enlarge image.)

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Advice for Bloggers: Write for the World

Internet's universe...

In the new book, The Yahoo! Style Guide, bloggers are advised to “write for the world.” We’re reminded that the web is a worldwide medium and “site visitors probably come from more than one country and more than one culture. Collectively, they probably speak several languages.”

I review the analytics for this site on a regular basis and am often intrigued to see the far-reaching range that posts can have. This past month visits came from 47 countries/territories and 23 languages. (Drilling down a little further I could even see that one recent post was picked up and cited on a blog in Brazil and then viewed most heavily in Sao Paulo.)

So what’s a blogger to do?

• You can start by following five best practices from the style guide: 1) Keep the sentence structure simple, 2) Include “signposts”: words that help readers see how the parts of a sentence relate, 3) Eliminate ambiguity, 4) Avoid uncommon words and non-literal usages, and 5) Rewrite text that doesn’t translate literally.

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Gather Ye Social Networking Profiles While Ye May

If you spent 2009 making a business case for using social media marketing here are some tips to help you create your social networking profiles.

Before you begin it’s always a good idea to plan your pages in advance and gather the company information, usernames, profile images and other assets you will need.

For one thing the number of characters in usernames differ from network to network, the size of profile images are different dimensions, and some pages are more forgiving in terms of editing than others. Below are some guidelines for pages as well as a list of helpful resources.

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In Defense of Social Media: The Times They Are a Changing

Maybe you can relate. You’ve adopted social media. Embraced it.

All of a sudden its become your issue to defend; not because you necessarily want the role, but others have decided you’re the person they should argue with.

So, you find yourself on a Saturday night sitting over dinner, and like a good attorney (court appointed) you make a strong case for 140 character messages. You refer to the defendant, Twitter, by name. You know that some will find her worthy to defend, and no matter what you do or say, others will be ready to throw the book at her.

You go on to diligently represent blogs, and speak-out for YouTube, citing the recent viral evidence of Susan Boyle’s performance, Dreamed A Dream, on Britains Got Talent 2009.

The conversation still doesn’t sit right the morning after. You wish you had said something else. Maybe even thrown up your hands and said, “Let’s call it a truce.”  Or, if all else failed, “You win.”

But after you go over it again in your head, you still believe with your heart and all your soul—the times they are a-changin’.

Your inbox pings, and coincidentally you receive an email from another friend who writes, “I have no idea how to ‘twitter’ …I just thought I needed to see what it is all about.”

You agree, yes, that’s the attitude. See what it’s all about.  Be curious.

Adding YouTube to Your Marketing Mix

Michael Miller, author of YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business, offers good reasoning and solid rationale for the why-and-how to incorporate video into a business’ marketing mix.

Statistics show that YouTube receives close to 20 million visitors per month, and Miller suggests that with those kinds of numbers, YouTube “represents a new and exciting way to reach potential customers.”

While Miller acknowledges the composition of a business’ marketing mix looks different today then even a few years ago, he reminds us what all good marketers need to be cautious about–don’t just add something to the mix because everyone else is doing it. He advises businesses to develop a YouTube marketing strategy, no differently then you would do for any other strategy you’d consider to employ, by focusing on: your customer (audience), your message, your products/services/brand, and the other elements of your marketing mix.  Miller states:

“Everything has to work together to bring your chosen message to your chosen customer and generate the desired results. You can’t just shoot a video and throw it on the YouTube site; you need to develop a plan.”

Ask yourself:

1. What is the purpose of the YouTube video e.g. pre-sale promotion, after-sale support
2. Who is your customer? Do they visit YouTube?
3. What does your customer want or need?
4. What are you promoting–is it your overall company, a brand, or an individual product or service?
What is your message?
5. How does your YouTube fit within your overall marketing mix of traditional and social media e.g. email, websites, search engines, blogs, social networks, photo-sharing, video-sharing.

Measure the Results:

1. Determine what it is you hope to achieve. If it’s to generate sales, measure sales–track sales with the url, 800 number and a promotion code.
2. Use site analytics to determine where your site traffic originates from, specifically track the traffic that came directly from YouTube.
3. If your goal is to build your brand image, conduct some sort of market research after your YouTube campaign- what customers think of your brand, and where they heard about it.
4. If your goal is to reduce customer or technical support costs, measure the number of support requests, before and after uploading the YouTube video. the more effective the video, the fewer the subsequent calls for support.

Evaluate types of video content best for your goals:

  • repurposed commercials
  • infomercials
  • instructional videos
  • product presentations and demonstrations
  • real estate walk-throughs
  • customer testimonials
  • company introductions
  • expert presentations
  • business video blogs (vlogs)
  • executive speeches
  • company seminars and presentations
  • user or employee submissions
  • humorous spots

Miller reminds us that businesses are not limited to promoting  videos to the YouTube community.  “You can also promote your videos to anyone else on or off the Web… when you post a new video on YouTube, send a mailing to the entire list, letting your customers know all about the video and including a link to the video on YouTube.”

The book YouTube for Business also serves as a great primer about creating, producing, and managing effective videos. But before taking the plunge, step back and take a good look at what you’re hoping to achieve; and don’t be too trigger-happy to shoot a video and upload– before you strategize your video marketing plan.

If you’re already using videos, we’re interested in learning how you’ve been using them, and what effect you think they’ve had on marketing.

Mission-Focused Social Media

If you’ve been struggling to get your arms around Social Media– what it means, why you and your organization should cross that bridge–I think you’ll find insight and inspiration by the American Red Cross’ Social Media initiatives.

Consider the American Red Cross’ statement:

“Social media tools allow us to connect with you on an individual basis at the place where your life intersects with our mission. It makes sense that we would explore these tools and join these conversations that are an important part of your daily life.

Every day, several hundred people talk online about how their lives intersect with the Red Cross. We read and learn from every conversation. By adopting social media, we’re making it easier for you to tell us how to make the Red Cross a better organization.”

The American Red Cross has created multiple social media presences:
red cross chat, chapter blogs, youth blogs, disaster online newsroom, flickr, twitter, facebook, youtube, good2gether, linkedin, ammado, social vibe.

What you’ll see about these presences is that they are all purposeful and mission-driven–and exemplify how organizations can use different tools to accomplish specific goals. That being said, the overriding arc for American Red Cross’ use of social media do what they’ve set out to do–connect, intersect, converse and listen.

Social Media Q & A

In a recent online Q & A, I had with Wendy Harman, of the American Red Cross, she provides valuable perspectives on the how-to’s of Social Media implementation.

What departments needed to be involved in decision-making and implementation for social media presences?
Communications & Marketing, Office of the General Counsel, in some instances the President’s Office, Development, Disaster Response, Blood Services, Health & Safety Services. Pretty much everyone at one point or another.

How long did it take from the time the ideas were introduced until they were rolled out?
Well, our social media projects have evolved all along, but I’d say it took about two years from the time I started proposing its use to the “tipping point” where most everyone is on board and supporting our initiatives.

Approximately how many staff are involved in the communication via social media? Did existing staffers have to acquire new skills? Were new positions created?
Officially there are 2 staff members involved in social media. I was hired as the “new media integrator” in late 2006 and we brought in Claire Sale from the intranet team in early 2008. We have spent a considerable amount of time educating and training others at headquarters and in the field and even expect our disaster public affairs volunteers and staff to create content for our disaster online newsroom.

We often hear people talk about difficulty moving social media initiatives through because some question the Return on Investment.  Were there statistics, examples of organizations which helped to support the case?
We’ve been lucky in that we’ve been given a bunch of freedom to try out pilot projects and dip our toes into social media without being tested on ROI. We’ve had other obstacles but this hasn’t been one of them. This isn’t to say we’re not interested in ROI because we increasingly are – we’ve just been allowed to find out the returns on insight. We’ve been given the gift of time to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

What kind of schedules have been set-up for social media communications? e.g. times a week for blog posts, facebook, twitter.
We haven’t specifically set up calendars or schedules for updating these things. I think doing that is a little dangerous because then we’d be filling a slot and not necessarily offering valuable information. We update when we feel we have something to say. That said, we usually post to the blog at least 1/day, we spend several hours “listening” and responding to the existing conversation and inviting people to join us, and we tweet about 1/day (more if there’s a disaster happening).

I couldn’t help but notice how effective a presence like Twitter is for an organization like the American Red Cross–e.g. in communication regarding first aid tents at the Inauguration, and communication regarding the New York Plan Crash.  How would these messages been communicated previously?
Before social media tools like Twitter we had to rely on being in front of traditional media gatekeepers like print, radio and TV journalists reporting on these stories. These outlets are still important but we now have the luxury of telling our own story and offering important resources without relying on them.

Did you work with an outside vendor for any parts of the process? Are you able to maintain internally?
We have not worked with an outside vendor at all before now. We recently got the help of Radian6’s tool to make it easier for us to “listen.” We also very recently hired a firm to help with our email outreach. They’ll be helping us a bit with our social media strategies as well.

What advice would you give to an organization who is considering social media–but still on the fence?
It’s simple advice. Lay out the goals you have for your organization and evaluate whether social media can help you achieve them. Don’t get in this pool just because everyone is doing it – be mission-focused.

photo credit: turtlemoon’s photostream on flickr

Technological Change — Yes We Can!

Today’s Boston Globe features an article Obama brings cyber sensibility to office which describes how president-elect Obama is “in the process of choosing the nation’s first chief technology officer – a post that’s long existed in most corporations, but never in government.”

The article goes on to report that the US ranks 15th out of 30 industrialized nations in the percentage of citizens with access to the Internet, and that Obama promises to make Internet access as commonplace as telephone service.

Obama reportedly wants to put YouTube-like videos of government meetings online and has proposed a Google-like database of federal grants and contracts so people can see where there money is going; and will require his Cabinet members to hold regular online town hall meetings, where they’ll field questions from the Internet audience.

To keep up-to-date as we transition into Obama’s Presidency, visit Change.gov, a website and blog, launched by Obama’s Presidential Transition Project team (very soon after last week’s election) which documents the transition into power as well as soliciting ideas from the public.

Not only is change in the air –it’s in cyberspace, too!