6 obstacles that prevent social business ROI

If you are in a larger business, I hope this article gives insight to why there are certain broken processes at both the organizational and market level.

It talks about the fundamental flaws that inhibit organizations from utilizing talent that can do amazing things for your organization.

It can be a little bit like space exploration

If we gauged the NASA program by the number of successful launches we’ve had,

the metric would be not only meaningless, but fundamentally broken.

Read more

Why is SEO important?

The real importance of search engine optimization is not about the technicalities of getting it done. The importance of SEO is about tapping into the addressable market potential for a business who knows how to convert sales.

The technical requirements and strategies of ranking high in organic listings is not rocket science (then again, I’m probably considered a rocket scientist when it comes to SEO.) The true hurdles of search engine optimization and answering the question of ” why is SEO important? ” boils down to some simple business fundamentals. Read more

Reduced traffic can be awesome!

I am often troubled by things I hear from digital sales folk: at least once or twice a week someone in my professional network sends me an e-mail that makes me cringe.

I usually read them with a quick glance and think “hey, that headline sounds sexy and/or interesting…”

Then I really read it.

Then I get that noxious feeling.

Someone is simply glorifying the facts and is selling something that smells. Read more

Online Video Training Checklist

Video Training has a lot to do with thinking strategically and following through with an execution plan.

One way to attract some attention to your website, company or blog is to create some web video. By creating some video content you can often rank for poplar keywords on search engines, generate additional buzz on social platforms, and reach audiences on various devices (iPads, smart phones, web TV,etc.)

This article will review five important online video training elements

  1. Editorial and work commitment schedule
  2. Your content strategy
  3. Your content segments
  4. Video SEO (search optimization) promotion tips
  5. Social optimization traffic tips


#1 Online Video Training
Have an editorial and work commitment schedule

One of the hardest parts of maintaining any type of content driven strategy is time commitment. Before you get started on your video project you will need to define how much time you can dedicate to it on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.

You need to keep in mind that preparation is a key part of your success. If you plan on spending an hour a week for twelve weeks (12 hours of work), you should probably plan for spending a similar amount of time thinking about your strategy, video ideas, etc (another 12 hours of work!)

Any experienced videographer will tell you that 90% of the effort put into video is ‘behind the scenes’ work.

This preparation and planning time typically covers:

  • scripting
  • equipment testing
  • test shooting
  • graphic setup
  • technical IT work
  • education, education, education

You can try to skip basic steps that will prepare your ideas to go onto video, but the reality is that you will typically get 80% done with an idea only to realize you need to start over because you skipped a step and didn’t realize the problems it would cause later on.

#2 Online Video Training
Your Content Strategy

Define a consistent topic and conversation for your audience. This could entail simple  how-to videos, tips and tricks, news commentary, or expert Q&A.

Communicate Your Schedule: if you are seeking to build a regular audience make sure they know if you are producing daily, weekly, or monthly content (ask them to subscribe!)
Adhere to Your Schedule: consistency helps build your audience (and also helps with technical elements like search engine optimization)
Make a template/script: having a working script for each topic will give you a few benefits such as managing how long each of your videos will be, along with providing textual information that you can use for closed captioning that will help with your search optimization (see below)
Brand yourself: videos have three important elements that can be branded-

  • Intro Segment: include a 3-5 second clip with your logo, website/blog URL, Twitter handle, etc.
  • Lower Thirds: a “lower third” is the graphic you see on many news broadcast. You can use a variety of affordable software to include names of speakers, brands, and products that are in the video and you can also include copyright/branding. (check out video tools)
  • Ending Credits: include a thank you and a call to action at the end of your video. When your video is  done playing, make sure to have it display useful information instead of simply showing a blank screen.

#3 Online Video Training
Think About Topic Depth

Can you cover your intended topic in one to two minutes?

Most online audiences have an attention span that quickly fades after two minutes. If you are covering a complex topic that requires ten to thirty minutes, try to plan out a two to three minute introduction that SELLS the value of longer portions of content. If you do have a twenty to thirty minute topic, try to break it up:

  • an intro video selling value (2-3 minutes)
  • a 101 level (3-5 minutes)
  • advanced topic 1 (3-5 minutes)
  • advanced topic 2 (3-5 minutes)
  • advanced topic 3 (3-5 minutes)
  • advanced topic wrap-up (3-5 minutes)

Remember that each video segment has the benefit that it can be found on search engines, leading us to the next point…

#4 Online Video Training
Think about SEO
(search engine optimization)

You can find a nearly unlimited number of example videos that can’t be found on Youtube or other video services due to lack of good titles.

In most instances, a video will typically be found via a search engine like Google, Yahoo, or Bing.

Such videos attract search engine users based on the selection of good keywords used when publishing the video.

Using YouTube as an example, keywords can be added to the title, description, captions, and commentary found for each video.
(if you haven’t setup an account or channel yet, keywords can also be integrated into the username and channel name.)

An often overlooked keyword strategy is using a question format such as:

  • how do I fix X?
  • what is a X?

Another typical strategy is to use review and comparison strategies:

  • Review of X
  • X review and technical details
  • X specifications
  • X vs Y comparison
  • X vs Y review

#5 Online Video Training
Social Media Optimization

Make it interesting, on topic, and easy to share.

Many video sites include social media tools to share content on other services.

In an ideal situation, you should embed the content on your own site so that you can control everything your audience is exposed to. By embedding it on your site, you gain the benefit that you can earn valuable links to your site and drive additional long-term benefits for on-going SEO promotion.

You should also take the time to share content on other services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin (and any other relevant sites)

As part of your social media optimization, take the time to reach out to your core supporters and make sure they see your new content and encourage they share it with immediate friends/followers. In many instances you will find it useful to write an e-mail to 5 to 10 friends to generate some initial buzz.

Have you had any success with online video? If so, share a tip!

Corporate Reputation on Complaint Sites

In February 2002 wrote an interesting piece about “The Best Corporate Complaint Sites.”

The author wasn’t talking about the customer care site ran by the company, but sites that were launched by aggravated consumers who wanted to be heard. The best complaint sites included a list of top brands that had aggravated so severely that they took the web into their own hands.

The Forbes opening line sums it up:

Hell hath no fury like a paying customer scorned. Whether because of a declining level in customer service or the ease of publishing on the Internet, hundreds–if not thousands–of dissatisfied customers have taken their complaints public, giving birth to a new form: The Corporate Complaint Web site. Read more