Monthly Archives: November 2010

How to connect people and ideas

A great little Slideshare from Chris Cloud, taking a simple but surprisingly effective approach to creating remarkable ideas that have a viral quality. Particularly love how they’ve developed the adoption curve and come up with a new interpretation. Appreciation goes to @Thinkdoer @mdupuch @MNPlanner.

Top Tweets of the Week (wc 22 Nov)

Bit late on last week’s round up but here are some of the most interesting links I happened on and in fact might just be worthy of your attention.

Monday: Micro-content… content marketing for the time starved http://ow.ly/3dqa2

Tuesday: People, process, technology – the 3 secrets of web optimisationhttp://ow.ly/3e697

Tuesday: How to Get the M.O.S.T. From Your Social Media Marketing http://bit.ly/aD0D6LRT @smexaminer

Thursday: Why good guerrilla marketing isn’t about shock tactics –http://bit.ly/gx5Xwh RT @utalkmarketing

Friday: Check out 9 training tips that really work http://ow.ly/3fLJM from @paulwells2009

And finally, if you are a fan of The Apprentice, have you checked out the BolegBros paraodies on YouTube? If not, you are in for a treat. Prepare to write off an hour or so, though it is loosely business based!

Why writing a blog is no longer enough when it comes to blogging

I’ve known for a while that writing a blog and not promoting it effectively makes all the effort pretty much redundant. It’s like locking a work of art in a dark room.

Consequently, and deliberately, I’ve used Twitter, Linkedin status and group discussions, Ecademy and other publication sites like Yahoo!’s Contributer Network (formerly Associated Content) to publish links and teasers to drive traffic and interest.

It has worked well, but seems to have levelled with around 200-300 visits to the site a day, another 200 or so on other sites, 100 or so email registrants and an indefinable number of readers using RSS / reader feeds.

To supplement this, and to raise profile, I periodically posted relevant responses on blogs of interest (I follow lots through Google Reader) and sometimes strategically on blogs with significantly more traffic than mine. This seems to be paying dividends as when I happened to look at the statistics on one of my better performing blog posts this week, I found the following:

There seems to be three distinct factors at play here.

1/ The author’s seeding strategy is key, and forms the basis of successful content marketing. Placing content in selected places where you know your targets ‘graze’ encourages take up and sharing.

2/ I didn’t place most of the links showing above, which suggests someone else did.

3/ Reading, commenting on, reaching out to and sharing other blogs has a positive effect on delivering traffic back to your own blog. Why? Because when you log in to add your comment you can insert your blog URL which when the comment goes live sits as a hyperlink on your name.

Therefore, posting insightful comments intrigues readers who then might click through to see what else you are saying.

I then looked at what was being read.

The fascinating thing is it isn’t always the blog post of the day. I put this down to the ‘recently posted’ and ‘most read’ lists on the home page. If you haven’t activated these tabs, add them today!

So, even once you’ve selected a topic, got going and kept it regular, is not enough. You should promote and link to previous posts, seed and interact with better visited sites to drive real take up and traffic.

A take away action: Pick the ten most important news, portal and blog sites related to your business and start reading, tweeting and most importantly commenting and see where it takes you.

Image: Revegetation Services

Tinker. Tailor. Expert. Guru.

Consultant, specialist, pundit, commentator, critic, connoisseur, authority, counsel, mentor – the list goes on and on. The list of self awarded titles that we sometimes apply to ourselves to give what we do credibility and meaning.

Yet these titles can often have the opposite and turn off potential customers.

Think about it. When was the last time you took a self titled consultant or guru really seriously.

There is a real backlash to this right now in the marketing sector and especially in the social media sector. How can anyone truly claim to be an expert when the landscape is changing and with dozens of new ideas emerging around the world daily?

Better to let your work, your testimonials, and therein, your reputation speak for itself. People buy experience, credibility and assurance – not gimmicky monikers. In time, based on sustained, committed delivery, they will decide if you deserve to be a called a guru.

Image courtesy of Shannon Burns

What I’ve learned…

Regular readers of the blog will know that I’m an advocate of content marketing and Slideshare in particular. The site is currently running its 2010 World’s Best Presentation’s Contest at the moment. Please take a few moments to check it out if you haven’t already – there is some genuinely fascinating, high quality and useable content on the site, including this little deck featuring pearls of wisdom from Spencer Waldron.

Best b2b social media tools: Slideshare

Slideshare is one of my top b2b social media tools because it has a vast 25 million strong community which views and shares 75 million presentations, PDFs and other documents every month. Slideshare as a social media tool is significant because the content is easily shared to a multitude of platforms with simple embedding code and is relatively quick and easy to use.

Slideshare provides an outlet for material that is probably sat gathering dust somewhere in your organization. Perhaps most importantly, Slideshare was added to Linkedin profiles early in 2010 meaning all your contacts can now view your material together with anything you recommend. This opens up your content to a potential audience of millions. Which means a business profile on Slideshare can also have a dramatic effect on search engine optimisation.

Why?

It really is more a case of why not when it comes to Slideshare. Think about all the material that exists within your business in Word, PDF or PowerPoint format that could be made to work harder for you online? Can hosting information about your company online aid prospect self-selection and provide warm leads?

The only challenge with Slideshare has traditionally been the need for material to be able to work on its own, without human presentation. But the recent launch of the SlideCasting function – where pre-recorded audio can be quickly added to slides – has removed this concern. Click  on the image to see it in action.

Remember the numbers: 25 million users and rising. 75 million views a month. It is now a free addition to Linkedin profiles – potentially accessing another 65 million people. Slideshare is a very high traffic, active site.

How to get started?

Simply create an account and upload a PowerPoint. A short one about your business, what you do, your key people and what drives them, your values, the three problems you solve – whatever it is, keep it simple. Remember it has to work on its own. It has to be short and snappy. Keep the copy to a minimum and use some high impact titles and images. Use keywords and quotes to deliver your messages.

Once it is uploaded, promote the fact it is available through other social media tools like Linkedin status updates and groups, Twitter, Facebook, email your customer base, add the Slideshare button to your email footer and the URL to your business cards. Direct your prospects to these presentations rather than sending them documents by email, or worse by post. It shows that you are forward thinking and embracing new technology.

Examples

Here is Espresso’s thought provoking agency credentials presentation.

Here is Velocity’s B2B Content Marketing Workbook presentation.

Summary

Everyone writes presentations and every company has a ‘standard’ credentials presentation. Put it online with Slideshare, promote it, and see where it takes you.

What do you think?

Is your pricing loosing you business?

A light hearted look at a serious topic. Is your pricing making it more difficult for customers to select you? Is your value clearly understood?