Six Ways To Make Your Video Strategy More Social

A really good article on MarketingProfs.com that I’d like to share:

Some 181.4 million US Internet users watched 39.4 billion online videos in August, according to the latest comScore data. Clearly, online video—whether the latest viral video or a professional development course—is hot.

It’s easy to see why. Online video can engage an audience, help viewers retain information, and—for businesses—assist customers in remembering a brand. But how can you go one step further… and make your videos social?

Social video actively engages the users by soliciting comments, questions, and feedback; it creates conversations that take your videos to the next level.

Consider these six suggestions to help you do just that.

For help producing your next viral, training, or corporate video, let us know.

Marketburst Welcomes Kate Hoffman to the Team

We are excited to announce a new member of our team. Kate Hoffman will be joining MarketBurst as Senior Account Executive. Kate has a unique background in marketing communications and business. A former journalist and marketing communications executive, she now

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We are excited to announce a new member of our team. Kate Hoffman will be joining MarketBurst as Senior Account Executive. Kate has a unique background in marketing communications and business. A former journalist and marketing communications executive, she now writes, teaches, and consults on communications as a tool to achieve your business goals. She is passionate about helping people “find their voice” and communicate effectively.

Taming the Beast. Ten Tips for Building Social Media Strategy.

Thinking about dipping your toes into social media, but not know where to start? Getting ahead in social media means integrating old school tactics like email campaigns, collateral, and sales calls with new tactics, like social media, e Learning and solution selling. And, as in any marketing tactic, a social media strategy begins with the basics. Without some support, it may seem like a beast that just can’t be tamed. Below are a few tips I have learned about feeding the beast.

Feeding the Beast Takes Time

Social media marketing is a hungry beast that needs to be continually fed. Millions of articles, videos and tweets are submitted every day and search engines have to weed through them all to determine what is relevant. They do this by understanding what you, as the “searcher” are looking for. Complex algorithms and very smart people do this for the likes of Google and Yahoo. These algorithms change regularly, looking for fresh content, keywords and influences. To be found in search and on social media sites, you need to spend the time to have a plan and to engage on an ongoing basis.

The 1st Question to Ask Yourself

Do you know why you are wanting to be online? If the answer is “because everyone else is”, then maybe you should take a step back. Most people on reputable social media sites, whether they be forums, Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn are not looking for a hard sell. Before you dive in, you should prepare to listen, comment, and make a genuine contribution for the good of others. The very fact that you are contributing builds your reputation as a knowledgeable source.

If your goal is to build traffic to your site, linking your comments back to your site, adding tips, and posting links to videos, training or an offer will help. But, remember value to the prospective customer should be your utmost concern.

The Setup Is Easy. Maintenance Takes Time.

And finally the top 10 list. You can easily set up a site, blog or profile on hundreds of platforms, but before you do, take the time to plan ongoing engagement. A few of my hints and tricks:

  1. Know your customers and your competitors. I will be posting another article on this topic, but to start with, make sure you are speaking their language, using their terminology and search terms. Tools like Google AdWords are very effective, but it can also be as easy as searching your competition and see what comes up. Use those key words in your title and body copy.
  2. Write several articles before going live so that you have a small library to pull from when you don’t have time to write. Run them through a few colleagues or friends first. You may find, just as I have, that knowing a subject too well can drive you to use acronyms or terms that are not known to anyone but you.
  3. Build a calendar (in Google, Outlook, etc.) to remind you when articles should be posted and give yourself time to write them.
  4. Create a list of hot topics. Talk to your customers, look at a trade journal, check LinkedIn and join groups. Any of those can help you develop a “editorial calendar”
  5. Posts don’t need to be long, but they need to have customer value. Don’t think about what you want to sell, but rather what problem do your customers have that you can solve. Talk to the pain, not the product.
  6. Set up tracking to tell you when specific topics are posted or competitors are talking online so that you can respond to them. Free services, like Google Alerts are fine to start with.
  7. Track your results to know what topics are of most interest and if you are getting traction on those topics.
  8. Follow respected bloggers and writers. You will get a great understanding of why people follow them and how to improve your own results.
  9. Promote. Promote. Promote. Add your profiles and links to your emails, business cards, and marketing material.
  10. Know when it is time to outsource – As a business owner, time is an important resource that requires you to spend it in the most efficient way. For this reason, many companies have decided that outsourcing is a better use of time. Lastly, be authentic and transparent. Honesty goes a long way.

Social media is a beast, demanding substantial time in planning and everyday engagement to gain traction and momentum, but you have what it takes to feed it that beast. You know your market, you know your product, and you know your customer. Share that knowledge. Your customers will thank you for it.

Kevin Kohleriter is the President of MarketBurst, a marketing and sales consulting firm dedicated to growing the revenue of it’s clients through strategy, sales ennoblement, and creative development. More information can be found at www.marketburst.net or email.

Developing a Marketing Strategy? Conduct a Marketing Workshop

On a regular basis I get asked to help companies develop a marketing plan. Some are for a new company, others for a new product. My first question typically is “have you got a marketing strategy and is your management in alignment with it?”

If not, you may be setting yourself up for failure. For those that need support, I typically recommend conducting strategy workshop.  The purpose of which is to collect key data points, align management team objectives, and determine next steps for building a go-to-market plan. Attendees should be varied members of your management team (i.e. sales, marketing, finance, operations).

Although the workshop can be conducted in a single day, additional research will be needed if you want to obtain additional insight and confirm strategic direction. This may include conversations with internal and external resources (ie customers, partners, target customers) and analysis using available tools.

The strategy workshop will provide you with the basic framework used to develop a marketing plan. The marketing plan will then focus on implementation.

Below are the basic elements to resolve in a workshop:

Market Segmentation

Begin with identifying your customers’ needs and consequently determine the best way to meet them. Keep in mind that it is almost impossible for a company to satisfy every unique need. Instead, it is more efficient to allocate resources to target specific customer groups. Because a customers’ needs vary, marketers must identify common needs within similar groups of customers and recognize distinctive needs between different groups of customers. Part one of the workshop should be to

  • Identify or align on market segments based on revenue potential and market size
  • Profile your ideal customer (size, location, capabilities) and identify target accounts by name
  • Build personas to identify who has the buying power in your target company base
  • Set market priorities to give focus under limited resources

Company and Product Positioning

Identify what you do best, what your target market wants, and why customers buy from you. Then craft a core set of messages that allows your company to quickly be differentiated. Areas to be discussed should include who you are, what you represent and want to represent, your expertise and what you offer the market).

Separate from the company is the positioning of the product portfolio itself. Key features, benefits, product naming, ordering details, roadmap, technical and promotional details, and other data needed to develop product and web collateral.

Market Analysis

Success depends on knowing your business inside and out. To do this, you should plan to conduct a SWOT analysis to:

  • Identify methods to address weaknesses and threats, and to take advantage of strengths & opportunities
  • Identify a top competitor list and identify their differentiating characteristics
  • Barriers to entry in this market
  • Trends in the marketplace, effects on the economic outlook, available financing

Establish Sales and Marketing Goals

These goals should reflect what you think your firm can accomplish through marketing in the coming years:

  • Revenue forecasts
  • The amount of new business vs. old or repeat business
  • Estimate average deal size, and order/sales cycle
  • Outline a strategy for attracting and keeping customers to identify and anticipate change
  • Identify marketing goals based on resources and ability to meet forecasts

Sales Channel and Partners

Much of the marketing plan and budget will depend upon the channels in which you will sell. The type of sales tools, the size of the campaign, and the methods to retain customers all depend on determining the right mix of marketing and sales programs. Questions to address:

  • What are the short and long term plans for recruiting sales and distribution channels?
  • What price structure is being offered to these levels?
  • Do you have a list of potential partners and distributors to target by industry type and by name

A few additional points

Keep in mind that marketing strategies can vary in length and style based on your company. In general though, you should have a few additional items on your mind before kicking off a marketing plan:

  • What is your marketing budget (i.e. a percentage of existing or future sales?)
  • How will you spend be allocated and tracked (print material, web development, promotion, etc.)
  • What is your timing for a soft launch (internal and select customers) and hard launch (public promotion)
  • How will you measure success or failure? Leads, revenue, conversions, gross sales?

So what comes next?

Review the final results of your strategy and engage with your management team to assure agreement of the strategy. Then, move into implementation of your strategy using the information you have collected to develop a marketing plan.

Need help building a strategy or plan? Consult an expert who has worked in your area of expertise, who can pull information out using interview techniques and who has the network of vendors and tool providers to assembly reliable information.

Kevin Kohleriter is the founder and CEO of MarketBurst, a leading developer of marketing strategy, demand generation, advertising and public relations campaigns for the high-tech industry. Clients include startups and the Fortune 500. More information on the company can be found at www.marketburst.net or you can contact Kevin directly at kevinkohleriter@marketburst.net