Mark E Goodman

October 30, 2009

How Social Media can increase the value of your company

MONDAY, OCTOBER 26, 2009 – published in http://www.bizbrokerjournal.com

Interview with Mark Goodman of e-Conversation

We are continually asked by owners how they can enhance their businesses prior to pursuing a third party sale. This is a complex question and requires a indepth understanding of the business and its operations. However, ensuring that your top line sales are growing and that you have solid brand awareness are critical to attracting potential buyers to your business.

We recently had the opportunity to interview Mark Goodman who has created a platform to help companies leverage the internet in a unique way to enhance their online presence.

Mark is the CEO of e-Conversation a consulting based business focused around using video and social media to create client awareness and loyalty. Mark has a varied work experience. He was an educational television producer/director and a film buyer for a national theatre chain. Following that experience, Mark spent many years working for Motorola. He was one of the first business people in the cell phone group, rising to positions in distribution, marketing, and business management. Mark also developed and implemented internet strategies. Then he went on to manage service, parts and major account business opportunities. Subsequent to his experience at Motorola, Mark worked in sales management for a Silicon Valley company.


Mark has an MBA and an MA in Radio/TV/Film.

Mark, you are an expert in attracting and maintaining customers using new Web 2.0 internet tools, before we talk about how to use the tools, tell me how this creates value for a business.
There is a traditional value and a non traditional value to taking advantage of the new tools. First, let’s talk about the traditional one. Using the tools and the processes below, you can dramatically lower your costs of selling and customer support. Customers and users are looking to get answers on line. Below, you will find a process that allows for the creation of answer bits in multiple media. Lower sales and support costs translate into greater profits.

Now, let’s look at the non traditional value. The size of your social media audience can increase the value of your company. If you were supporting hundreds of users through Twitter or YouTube, that would be part of your valuation. Recently, companies have been hiring individuals based on their internet following. Companies like Twitter are totally valued on number of participants. Being a “recognized” expert for Google or YouTube, creates value beyond the ordinary.

How does a company need to change how they are creating content to attract Web 2.0 customers and users?
The content creation plan for a small business used to be pretty simple. When you rolled out a new product, you did a brochure and maybe a press release. Perhaps you ran a small ad. You trained your sales force, then got going. When it came to customer support, your technical people trained phone support.

What has changed in the last 10 years. First, your brochure went on line. Then, you decided rather than running ads, you would have buyers come to you using pay per click and search engine optimization. More and more, your buyers and customers did not want to see a sales person, but wanted to find the answers to their questions on line.

How has that changed how you create content?
When searching on line, your users want to find the answer to their individual question(s). The typical searcher is typing in four or five words. In a “decision engine” perhaps even asking a question. So rather than a brochure, white paper or FAQ list, you need to create an “answer bit”.

Also, realize that your buyers or users looking for service want to find the content in the media that they are comfortable with. Some buyers want to find it in a blog. Others, are YouTube viewers, some are searchers of Google or Bing. You can maximize the reach of your content by representing it in various media, if you plan for it in advance.

Our content creation process is based on the “interview” model. The content creation starts with a TV show. This is a 25 minute show that runs once a week. We have found that with the interview process, subject matter experts are more engaging, and answer length is more manageable.

The show is posted in its entirety on BLIP.TV. The show is then edited into clips and put on YouTube. The clips are also turned into blog postings. You can also reference the content in an email campaign. Content is then embedded on your website in the appropriate portions of the website.

Isn’t that a pretty complex and expensive process?
The key to keeping the costs down is designing the interview up front. The interview questions are created so that they can easily be cut into segments. Additionally, the dialogue during the interview focuses on topical issues that can be reconfigured into a blog posting. Lastly, we watch the length and complexity of the answers to insure that the clip will play well in the YouTube environment. Each question is its own answer bit. An answer has to be complete enough to answer a question, but not so complex as to lose the viewer.

The weekly show allows for the creation of continual content. Both users and search engines like the creation of continual content. The more users and viewers that you have in you channel or blog, the more Web 2.0 referrers will route people to you. When you reach a volume on a YouTube channel, you start to get more people finding you. It is not a linear increase, more of a quantum leap.

Mark, can you cite an example of a company you have worked with that deployed these services and experienced an increase in sales?
Absolutely. One local organization that we worked with recently has seen an increase in two of their offerings. Sales of one product line were up over 50% for the last 6 months, as compared to the 6 months prior. In addition, the volume through their local facility was up 30% in September as compared to September 2008.

This client understood the value of our services and the fact that they are most effective when used as part of a total marketing plan. We worked with the client to develop web content and that became the perfect complement to optimized search and pay per click.

How does someone get started?
The first step is making an inventory of what questions prospects, customers, and users are asking. If you are doing search engine optimization, that’s a good place to start.

You can do a couple of segments to try it out, but, just doing one or two segments, won’t help draw traffic. On the other hand, a regular program can have significant value on your sales, costs and valuation.

Chances are your customers are looking for products and services online and your ability to deliver relevant content can easily separate you from the competition. You can reach Mark at www.e-conversation.com to learn more about the above services.

POSTED BY DOMENIC RINALDI AT 3:59 PM

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Tips on how to create content for social media

Filed under: Internet, Social Media — Tags: , , , — markegoodman @ 12:58 pm

Below is a blog posting that I did in conjuction with Crain’s Chicago Business.

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Ask Score: Harnessing social media Posted by Ann D. at 10/28/2009 10:30 AM CDT With all the buzz surrounding Facebook, Twitter and other social media tools, it’s only natural that small-business owners want to know how to get onboard. It’s a topic that has come up often lately in Score Chicago’s workshops and counseling sessions.

Score Chicago’s workshop chairman, Mark Goodman, creates content for the Score Chicago blog, for the organization’s Twitter followers, and for a number of video outlets. He shares a few thoughts on using social media to your advantage:

The content creation plan for a small business used to be pretty simple. When you rolled out a new product, you did a brochure and maybe a press release. If you did some advertising, perhaps you ran a small ad. You trained your salesforce, then got going.

What has changed in the last 10 years? More and more, buyers do not want to see a salesperson, but want to find the answers to their questions online in places such as blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, etc.

How do you get started? First, participate as an observer. Make a list of blogs in your industry and view them regularly. Sign up for Twitter. (You don’t have to write, you can simply follow for now.) Subscribe to some videos on YouTube. Become a participant, respond or comment on what others present.

Then make an inventory of the kinds of questions that prospects, customers and users are asking. If you are watching search terms, that’s a good place to start. One of the most common search terms on our blog has been “how to be a good salesperson.” We’ve done a number of entries about that.

Next, determine what experts are available to you. Think beyond just your company. Are there suppliers, partners or even customers who could be tapped for ideas or contributions? Look at what resources you have available. Are you comfortable writing, doing videos, creating conversations?

At Score Chicago, we had a client who was a painting contractor who specialized in restoring older homes. He was not much of a writer, so he hired a ghost writer to do his blog. Focusing on the key questions and aligning them to the search terms, he found his blog being read by key customers in his area.

Customer interviews are very powerful. While these enhance your Web site or blog, you would be surprised how many times customers will want to add your interview to their Web site. Experts often use a good interview to enhance their personal reputation.

Lastly, pick one medium and make a commitment to create regular content. Readers, viewers (and search engines) will better recognize your expertise if your content is continual as opposed to occasional.

Establishing your company as a trusted information source takes time, money and effort. However, the payoff can be significant. Mindshare can be translated into marketshare. The value of knowledge cannot be discounted.

October 27, 2009

12 Steps to Creating Impact Video on the Internet

Filed under: Internet, Social Media — Tags: , , , — markegoodman @ 8:44 am

It is increasingly easy to put video on the internet. The casual user picks up a camera, shoots, and then puts up the equivalent of a home movie. Afterwards, wonders why no one is viewing.

Internet video can be effective in positioning your business as a trusted source, increasing traffic, and enhancing revenue.   To get the biggest impact, you should go through the process below.   Note that 8 of these 12 steps take place before you pick up a camera.

Steps to creating Internet Video

1. Define your objective

a. Who are you trying to reach

b. What outcome are you expecting

c. How is video part of your overall marketing/customer touch strategy

d. What is your call to action

e. How will that objective/call to action to linked to your website

2. Understand how you are serving your viewers/community

a. What viewer questions are you answering

b. Who are the subject matter experts

c. How are those subject matter experts going to be queried

d. How will the questions and answered be displayed

3. Decide how you want to use your video content in the internet

a. Video Service (youtube, vimeo, blip.tv etc)

b. Your website

c. Conventions

d. Deconstruct content on blog

e. Deconstruct content as FAQ

f. Tag on to email

g. Share with Partners

h. Other

4. Determine what metrics do you want to use to track your viewership

a. YouTube or similar internet service

b. Website analytics

c. E-mail marketing

d. Blog Views

e. Comments and inquiries

5. Create a budget & distribution strategy

a. How does video fit into your marketing budget

b. What partners might be available in your network to help in the funding

c. How might internet advertising fit into your strategy

6. Understand the logistics of content creation

a. What is the availability of your subject matter experts

b. What kind of facility is available for creating the content

c. How comfortable are your subject matter experts in doing TV

d. Who is going to serve as your host

7. Finalize a list of questions for Subject Matter experts

a. List of questions you think need to be answered

b. Cross check those questions with key search terms (both from your website and Google Keyword)

c. Confirm the questions with subject matter experts

d. Determine any cut away material you will need

e. Review questions with subject matter experts

f. Finalize interview style (two shot, two camera, monologue, vignette)

8. Finalize Requirements document that address the above questions

a. Actual production process

b. Schedule

c. Budget

d. Deliverables

9. Shoot the raw content

a. Interview

b. Cutaways

10. Edit Content

a. Rough Pass for Preliminary Client Approval

b. Final content based upon Requirements

c. Upload to Video Service

d. Annotate as appropriate

11. Create Other Internet Deliverables

a. Blog posting

b. FAQ

c. Embedded Website

d. Others

12 Measure Impact

a. Web Analytics

b. Customer Response

c. Advertising and Derivative Revenue

d. Revise annotations and key words based upon analytics

e. Implement “repeat” strategy

October 15, 2009

3 Tips for Video Interviews on the Internet

Filed under: Internet — Tags: , , — markegoodman @ 1:00 pm

Informational videos on YouTube and other internet video services have become widespread.  If you are doing a video, consider these tips.

  1. Before you go on the air, review your questions with your guest.  A review will insure :
    1. Your guest answers the question that you ask
    2. When on camera, your guest responds quickly with a well thought out answer
    3. You avoid a question that your guest does not want to answer
  2. At the beginning of the interview ask the guest to establish their expertise on the topic.  (“I am Director of Internet Services for BigCo.  In that job I am responsible for the management of our Twitter, YouTube, etc…)
  3. If you think a guest comment is unclear, restate it for the audience and make sure that the guest is in agreement.  It’s OK, if it needs to be clarified.

Lastly, if you are editing, consider more than one posting.  Suppose your guest talked about social media for customer prospecting, and then discussed social media for customer services.  It could be one posting, but it could be two.

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