Mark E Goodman

October 30, 2009

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.

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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

September 21, 2009

Help with your social media

Filed under: Internet, Social Media — Tags: , , , , , — markegoodman @ 8:32 am

I attended a program sponsored by Crain’s Chicago Business last week.  One of the speakers suggested that you hire a fresh out of college person to manage your social media.  I would suggest another path.

My company is in that business.  With us, you get people with a proven track record.  We can transform your company conversation.  With a freshout, you will have to provide editorial and strategic guidance.  They will not provide a content strategy.   With luck, you’ll get execution.  With us, you will get transformation.

For more information, see www.e-conversation.com

September 12, 2009

Marshall McLuhan:Understanding Media in the context of the internet

Filed under: Internet, Social Media — Tags: , , , — markegoodman @ 12:18 pm

Marshall McLuhan was one of the foremost writers about media in the 20th Century.  He created “the media is the message”.  Recently, I have been rereading Understanding Media.  The book is packed full of ideas.  Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of these ideas.

My goal is to put these ideas into the context of the internet, Web 1.0 and Web 2.0.   Also, draw some parallels between McLuhan’s innovative look at media in the middle of the 20th Century, and today’s new media.

The first part of this comes from the editor’s introduction by W. Terrance Gordon.  Gordon notes that We think of media principally as a media of communication; press radio and television.  McLuhan thought of a medium as an extension of the human body or mind; clothing extends the skin….A medium, or a technology can be an extension of the human being.

Media comes in pair, one “containing” the other.  So the telegraph contained the printed word. …. The contained medium is the message of the containing one, but the effects of the latter are obscured for the user who focuses on the former. Because those effects are so powerful, any message in the ordinary sense of “content” or “information”  has far less impact than the medium itself.  Thus  “the medium is the message”

What does this mean for a business person?  Increasingly, the internet is allowing for a large scale conversation done electronically with each individual.  What we could call an e-conversation.  When you create content, think about how is that content an extension of you and your business.

Also, when you create content, you must create the content a subset of the medium.   A 60 minute presentation works in person, but putting the video up on YouTube can be problematic.  Looking at Web 1.0 (the internet in the 1990’s) as a medium:  for many businesses, the response was putting their brochures up on the internet. But over time, the internet developed its own set of protocols.  Your brochure was no longer enough.

These two points are a good start.  More to follow

August 23, 2009

How Help, How and What can Help Get Your Videos Watched

Filed under: Internet, Social Media — Tags: , , , — markegoodman @ 6:05 pm

Getting found on line is always a challenge. It is more so for video, because in most cases your content is not being catalogued.  So you need to improve your odds.

For those of us who are doing information videos including the words How, Help or What can improve your chances to be found.  If you are looking to be found by a search engine or decision engine, one of the key variables is word match.  The more words in your title that match the query being made, the better chance you have of being selected.

Since more users are asking questions when they search, adding How,  Help or What can will make it more likely the video will be found..  When I recently posted a video on behaviors that make a good sales person, which is the most frequently asked question on the blog, I integrated What into the Title: “What Behaviors make a good sales person?  I could have just called it “Behaviors that make a good sales person”.  But adding “what” will help improve the odds.

To see this video,  check out this blog posting .  http://learnedatscore.wordpress.com/2009/08/21/what-behaviors-make-a-good-sales-person/

August 7, 2009

Own your own name as a brand?

Filed under: Internet, Small Business, Social Media — Tags: , , , — markegoodman @ 11:25 am

You have a brand that your carry through out your life.  It is on your driver’s license, your passport, and you are universally known by it.  It’s your name.  So consider owning your name as a url.

I just purchased  www.markegoodman.com .  Five years ago, when I was working for Motorola,  I would have never have thought about it.   I felt that I was a subset of the Motorola brand.  But with job changes and the fact that search has become the yellow and white pages of the 21st century, how can I insure that I can be found.   Not only be found, but insure the continuity and integrity of your brand.

Granted, social media sites like LinkedIn,  Facebook, and Twitter can help give you presence.  However, they can come and go.  Who remembers Prodigy?   These sites often require membership from the searcher.  In addition, for the most part, they control the routing.

Think about it.  What is more important than your own brand?  When it comes to building your image and furthering your career, who is more important than you?

August 1, 2009

What’s the Best Name for my Web Site?

Filed under: Internet, Small Business, Social Media — Tags: , , , , — markegoodman @ 5:36 pm

Small business people often ask about picking out a name for a website.  In many cases, the name that is a 100% match for the business (mycompany) is already taken.  So the company asks should they take out mycompanyinc or mycompanyco etc.    Alternatively, a company has a long name  mysmallbusinessisbrilliant.   They ask about if customer expects a shortened URL.

In today’s world,  customers will go into Google, Yahoo, Bing etc and put in your company’s name in the manner that they think of your company.   Remember, the average search phrase is 4 words, so you have some latitude in matching.

Here are a couple of suggestions.

Most importantly understand how your customers think about your business.  If you are Hilltop Garage in Big Mountain, Iowa make a list.

  • Hilltop Garage in Big Mountain
  • Hilltop Garage Expert Foreign Car repair
  • Bob at Hilltop Garage
  • Bob over in Big Mountain at Hilltop Garage
  • Bob’s Hilltop Garage

Second, when building your website, don’t just think about the URL, but think about the Title, Description, Keywords and Headings on each page.   By putting the appropriate words in these areas, Hilltop Garage will have a better chance of being found.  In the title of the home page, Bob should consider having “Expert Foreign Car Repair – Bob Smith Hilltop Garage Big Mountain, Iowa. ”

Remember, you don’t have to limit yourself to one URL.  Bob could beHilltopGarageBigMountain, but he could also purchaseBigMountainHilltopGarage or even BobsHilltopGarage.  It is fairly simple to route alternative sites to one main site.

When you do pick a site, use that  URL in your email, Twitter, Facebook etc.  Instead of being hilltopgarage@globalemail.com Bob should bebsmith@hilltopgaragebigmountain.com.

If you do have a site, go back and look at your titles, descriptions, keywords and headings.  If you are not sure where they are, ask your web developer.  When it comes to social media, pick one and get started.

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