Free training: What can we do to improve our Search Rankings?

The Blogging Concentrated team are coming to New Zealand in May from 1st to 9th 2015.  Creative Agency Secrets are their hosts and we are running one-day training events in Auckland, Wellington, Nelson and Christchurch for you to learn about how to make your business website effective as a marketing and sales tool.

Ahead of the visit, we organised 3 free training sessions for you to gauge the quality of training and to get you excited and signed up for the NZ events.

The first was yesterday – and here’s the recording for you to listen and share SEO Improving your Search Rankings.

SEO improving search rankings

Join us for the event in your city:

Each link page shows you the curriculum, the venue, the times and the amazing food you’ll be eating (only joking about the food – but it is amazing).

Join us for the next free advance taster event on April 13th on The Business Mindset of Blogging.  Sign up by clicking the “YES” I will watch button.

 

Are you the CEO of your business website?

Yes I’m asking you if you drive business success from your website?

Is someone in charge of making your firm’s website successful?  Making the websitedeliver business goals?  It doesn’t matter if you’re self-employed or work for a giant corporation, if you have a website we will teach you how to drive proactive success with Blogging Concentrated education.

Announcing the Blogging Concentrated New Zealand Tour

Running to five dates, we are bringing the US founders of Blogging Concentrated, Dan Morris and Rachel Martin, to NZ so we can get ahead learning how to become the CEO of our websites and drive business success.

Five dates, Four Cities, Two Leaders and One YOU.

Join us in Auckland on May 1, May 3; Wellington on May 6th; Nelson on May 7th and Christchurch on May 9th for the best, practical website marketing execution training available.

What will I learn?

Websites are the modern marketer’s best tool to build new revenue streams and grow audience engagement.  This training comes from the leading edge of best practice with two international practitioners sharing their up to date knowledge.

Learn specific techniques that will deliver outcomes including:

  • Audience engagement with clusters marketing
  • Persuasion and action techniques
  • How to tell a story
  • Using data dashboards to improve conversions
  • The copywriting words that create engagement
  • How to use custom sidebars to optimise your adverts
  • A YouTube strategy to keep viewers on your videos
  • And more….
Watch the 4 minute video Dan and Rachel recorded about the NZ sessions 
Everything taught in the sessions is based on real-world learning and used daily in Dan and Rachel’s own business websites.  They know these techniques work.
You will be learning practical solutions from knowledgeable technicians.

Blogging Concentrated Testimonials

“I think you are going to revolutionize the way I write posts – the Adsense lecture was phenomenal. We will be contacting you with more specific questions e.g. How on earth do we get the CPM per post spreadsheet – and everything else, once we decompress what we’ve learned.”  R Miller

“You know when you go to a conference and you sit through sessions that simply regurgitate stuff you already know?  Yeah, I hate that, which is why I’m so excited about being at Blogging Concentrated Atlanta, Dan R Morris and Rachel Martin have put together a ton of original content that is not just informative but actionable.  When they come to your town you should definitely sign up and go.”  Simon Salt

“Stay in front of your audience was worth the price of the conference ticket! Wow!” Penny Woodin Rogers

“@DanRMorris 16 minutes in and mind exploding with actions already!” Amie Flowerday

“Hi Dan,  Just wanted to say thank you so much for all the valuable information you and Rachel gave us this weekend.  You can not put any price on what we learned, and I am forever in debt to you both!”  Emily Luscombe

Want to pay less for the event?

The Blogging Concentrated business has 2 parts – training events and BC Prime, a subscriber community who buy training and advice by monthly subscription.  If you’re curious about the depth of knowledge these guys bring to training events – read the BC Prime page – note the huge quantity of 2014 Release Archives – impressive, eh?  6 – 10 new pieces of educational content per month…

Choose BC Prime when you book your ticket and pay less – but GET MORE.

Ready to become the CEO of your website?
Join us by booking your ticket

button register

There are two prices, one for BC Prime members and one for the public.
Avoid limp education, buzz phrases and marketing hype.  Concentrate on workable, practical solutions that you can implement immediately on your website.
You know where to come!

 

Creating Direct Share Links: Share Link Generator

The other day we were sitting here creating a Google Form survey and thought “gee I wish we could embed some way for respondents to share this survey!”. Well, one quick Google search later and we came across Share Link Generator.

What as Share Link Generator?

Quite simply, Share Link Generator is a tool that makes it easy for your audience to share whatever type of content you’re passing around. First step is for your to create some content. Once you have that, choose which social media platform(s) you’d like your content to be shared on. Then, copy a direct link to your content and paste it into your chosen social media platform(s) on Share Link Generator and click the “Create the Link!” button.

From there, Share Link Generator will generate a unique URL that, when clicked, will direct the user to a web page showing a post they can confirm to send to that chosen social media platform. Yes they’ll have to be signed in but ultimately it’s a single landing page with a single call to action, and that call is just to click “POST”!

How we use it

The links generated are rather hideous on their own, so we choose to hyperlink (either on a picture which is most effective or simply through text) or where hyperlink options aren’t available we call them through a Goo.Gl shortened URL.

The result?

We’ll keep you posted, but we think this could be a quick and easy activity to increase shares and interactions with your online content. Only time will tell!

 

Cluetrain Original

Cluetrain has New Clues – time for newbies to read the original!

I listened to the FIR podcast #790 and found that Cluetrain has been updated!

Cluetrain Original

Cluetrain Original

New Clues published in January and numbers 52-67 apply to our marketing communications world in particular. [see below]
Oh, and also pay attention to number 100
You want to know what to buy? The business that makes an object of desire is now the worst source of information about it. The best source is all of us.
It will be hard to adhere to them – because marketers are busy fouling their own nest, much as we did with banner adverts, SEO and oh-so-many other internet tools which we over-exploited so the makers ended up changing the rules to exclude our actions.
Seems to me ever more of a message about the quality of content, ease of discovery and honesty of presentation.

Your marketing strategy for 2015

If your marketing strategy for this year even remotely resembles what you did for the past 5 years tear it up.  Forget it.  The businesses who will thrive understand Cluetrain, they present their wares at least in part in a Cluetrain-format and will reap the $$ rewards accordingly.
Just call us if you think you want to change and don’t know how.

Rant over.

Now, what do you think?
I’m going to get my whole team to read Cluetrain original next week as their homework!

New Clues for Marketers

The New Clues that directly relate to the practice of marketing. Numbered from the original. Read more

FREE eBook: Cold Emails – Doing it right and netting yourself leads

Cold Emails Book CoverEmail is a vital tool to growing your business. It’s non-invasive, interactive, and most of all – integral to business communications, so often get noticed.

One way to use email is through cold emailing, which is emailing to people you don’t know. It can come across as underhanded, but when done correctly it’s a marketing practice that shouldn’t be overlooked.

Find out about cold emails and how to write them in our free eBook…

Cold Emails – Doing it right and netting yourself leads

In this eBook, we’ll go through how to:

  • Write cold emails that encourage a response.
  • Tailor your cold emails to the right clients.
  • Personalise cold emails.

Looking for more insight on how to build great email campaigns, and sell directly to your audience? Contact Us!

ModComs pitch pack video

B2B video brochure – cool sales tool

Matt O’Neill is the Managing Director of ModComms – a company that produces The Pitch Pack, he sent us this neat video pack which business to business marketers

ModComs pitch pack video

ModComs pitch pack video

can use to open new leads.

How does PitchPack work?

The pack is a bit like a card brochure – you open it that triggers a magnetic switch which opens the power – a logo displays for a second while it warms up and then the first video plays

A typical pack has 4 videos – they come with volume controls and the larger packs have more videos on them.  Al the components are built in – from batteries, speakers to CPU.

They are encoded to Xvid format – the reason to use a specific codec is that it is lower file size with max picture quality.  A standard has 256 mg memory of which 170 is usable the rest is operating system.  so it gives about 17 minutes of video playback.

Finish watching, close it like a book and that switches it off.

In the spine there’s a little USB port you can charge the battery and uploading the videos.

If a client wants to use it the production process is firstly to design the outer pack – card wrap – using a standard Adobe Illustrator template.  The videos have to be produced and then you have all the assets.  These are sent digitally to China.  The factory sends back a prototype in digital print (not litho).  Sometimes there are small amends, it is signed off for manufacture and production.

One thing is critical is quality assurance with Chinese factories -we include two rounds of this – locally it’s checked in Shenzen and then it’s sent out and we check a few samples too.  Then we dispatch – sometimes it’s a bulk delivery, other times we do the fulfilment individually.

As part of the marketing it’s important that the telesales follow up to fix the meetings.

What types of Business use PitchPack?

It’s any B2B organisation providing a higher value product or service.  Tech companies like it, hotels, consultancies, engineering groups and some internal comms – high level changes across global senior teams.

Integration wit the sales funnel – the clients using account based marketing principles.  Some use it for the ‘door opener’ – grab attention of a senior decision maker.  It’s critical to have a structured follow up process.  Or use it as a leave-behind or a send-after to answer questions.  Salesman can film themselves on a mobile phone giving the answers and then include other videos too.  Those companies that are a bit more sophisticated and using lead scoring, for example, the score triggers sending a pack.

Personalisation – we are used to it with paper mail, but when you show the recipient that there’s an introduction just addressed to them – it’s flattering.  Anecdotally we hear it is very powerful.

Results – using a campaign with a global software company – we did a small run of 250 packs of which 240 were distributed.  They got 23 meetings with decision makers and they’ve got 4 deals with an average value of GBP250k each.  That campaign cost 5k on the packs themselves, 7k producing one video and re-used another couple of videos.  Total campaign cost 16k.

Why should our readers try the service?

Video is growing – mobile traffic about 50-70% of mobile traffic is video now.  Cisco predicts that 1/5 of the world’s population will access video online by 2016.

As a medium, video creates feelings of trust and so when brands use real people or show people doing real things curiosity is triggered.  When making video for marketing purposes don’t put everything in.  Leave them wanting more.

Confidence in the brand is built and sometimes amusement.  If you can make video for business funny you will have next to no competition because there’s so little out there.

With that popularity it’s a blessing and a curse – the competition will only get more furious.

Marshall Mcluan said the medium is the message in 60s and these packs are both – it allows people to explore video in their own time in their own way wherever they happen to be.

This is an easy differentiation tool – stand out from the crowd.  I remember in 2005 there were personalised USB sticks but now these are ubiquitous.  This type of marketing tactic is now at its 2005 moment but in 3-5 years it’ll be old hat.

If you are producing video for the pack, the content can be re-used across other media – home page, landing pages, powerpoint, email-able files.  The results are pretty tangible – looking at it in pure numbers.

2 Marketing Communications icon4 Profile raising icon6 Create Opportunities icon

Google Alerts Has Been Updated

Many content marketers rely on Google Alerts as a way of getting ideas for content, seeing what your competitors are doing online and for those vain enough – seeing what others are publishing online about you.

Google has recently “beautified” their Alert service – there’s no telling just yet whether they’ve changed anything behind the scenes.

 

The Old Google Alerts

Old Google Alerts

Old Google Alerts

Above is a picture of what Google Alerts used to look like – functional, but not the simplistic approach Google is taking.

 

The New Google Alerts

The first thing you’ll see when you check out Google Alerts is the friendly and more stylised design, however the big changes come with Google’s suggestions.

The suggestions are based off who you’ve added in your circles in Google+, again this emphasises the importance Google is placing on G+. The better you utilise Google+ the better the suggestions Google will offer.

Google have also added a “Me On The Web” section – something we recommend all of our clients to do. It is always intriguing to see what others are posting about you online (if anything).

*Remember if you’re using a unique (individual) Google account to add your company or your client’s companies – Google isn’t quite clever enough to auto-suggest them at this stage.

New Google Alerts

New Google Alerts

Writing team

How to manage a writing team

I’d like to keep track of projects, editing, and version control as simply as possible. I see a zillion tools and possibilities, just want something simple and reliable.

Writing team

Writing team [image credit dunlapschools.edublogs.org]

Focus on having one place for your editorial work schedule. We use teamwork.com for our project planning – but other solutions include Trello and Basecamp. Set in place working processes that force users back to the project management app for all their work. E.G. we use Teamwork as the agenda for our update meetings – it is immediately obvious if someone isn’t using it or it isn’t up to date with their status. Name and Shame works as a motivator.

Secondly, the editorial calendar (which can be a spreadsheet of monthly activities) sets out what needs to be done in advance so you can plan.

Thirdly use cloud services so there’s only one version of any document you are writing. We use Google Docs and from the fall you’ll also be able to do the same on Apple with their Yosemite update. One document, multiple users.

Fourthly, if you want to be picky – as I am, have a file naming convention on your documents. We use date followed by client name and detail of the document. Note using a YYMMDD date format means all documents sort into reverse date order easily (the US date format does not work).

How is that for starters? Get in touch if you want a 20 minute update on what you’ve chosen and I can try to spot any issues or working practices you may need to reinforce.

How to Set up and Host Live Webinars

We run a monthly podcast for one of our clients which has become fairly popular in it’s respective industry. This is a relatively new ability we’ve learned and as with everything we do, we’re happy to help others learn to do it as well.

To be clear, when we say webinars or podcasts we mean live audio and video feeds (much like radio if it had view-able PowerPoint slides!) which are broadcast over the internet for everyone to view. We record these broadcasts as we do them and give that recording to viewers afterwards and post them on YouTube or SoundCloud.

Create you own webinar

Very recently we got a tweet from a sports coach wanting to start holding webinars and we answered. We arranged a Skype chat, walked them through the programs and techniques we used and introduced them to other possible solutions we found along our journey of developing a quality podcast.  Here’s a summary of our advice.

Our process

We use a combination of the program xSplit and the website UStream:

  • xSplit – recording a webcam or a computer screen is a simple process today, but controlling that recording is an entirely different thing. The FREE program xSplit provides users with multiple “scenes” which operate like a powerpoint presentation. Each “scene” is like a slide in powerpoint and can be customised with images, live screenshots, webcams and more. It also takes audio directly from your computer and microphone, if one is attached. The program can broadcast to multiple sources and can directly record to your computer as a separate option for making videos. While it is only Windows OS compatible (so no support for Mac computers) it provides a lot of flexibility and control to the user.

  • UStream – when you are broadcasting you need a destination and a place for that broadcast to be viewed by others. We use our paid account on UStream with ads removed to broadcast our live viewing. UStream gives us a way to communicate with our viewers as well via a text based chat beside the video as it plays.

This set up makes it easy for viewers to watch as we just need to send them the link to our UStream account while we take care of the broadcasting and content. With other solutions you may need to download programs, make accounts or have to send attendees passwords. We have tested some of those solutions and for a wide audience and age range they proved too hard and presented barriers to attendance.

Other solutions you could use

Many of these solutions add a level of difficulty for either us or our viewers to join a webinar that we broadcast. However they may suit your needs better than they suit ours:

  • Google Hangouts – the Hangouts system created by Google is amazing. It allows you to broadcast your computer screen or your web camera to a live stream (then instant recording) on YouTube. For others to view directly they can watch from YouTube. If you’d like to chat to viewers however they would have to join your Hangout and thus disrupts many of your functions. You would have to mute each attendee if you want to talk and then you could communicate with them via text chat. It works but is cumbersome in it’s design. On the other hand it is a free solution without ads and  is simple for basic internet users to learn.

  • Downloadable webinar technologies – there are meeting simulators that can be used effectively to run webinars such as GoToWebinar or Anymeeting. These solutions are often paid, require you and your attendees to download a program and are designed primarily for corporate use. They will take some training to use (especially for your viewers) but the technology is great. If you’re a businessman looking to run online meetings or training sessions this solution is a great way to go. [only problem with Citrix GoToWebinar solution is the meeting invite does not adjust timezone to the recipient’s calendar]

Now that you’ve got access to the tools, you can start exploring the world of broadcasting and build yourself a webinar! If you’re less technical, or would like to put all of your effort into the quality of the webinar, we’d be happy to take the broadcasting task off your hands. Contact us for more details on these technologies or for a quote on what it would take for us to set up and run your webinar.

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