Your Social Media Future: It’s Time to Say YES.

I continue to be amazed by how many professional people still resist social media marketing. In fact, this seems to be one of the main reasons that participants find so much value in my workshop, “Mastering the Social Media Marketing Mix.”

The US “premiere” of this workshop will be in San Francisco, next Wednesday, October 12th. The producer, Linda Kosut just sent out an email announcement to her list with the headline, “Social Media IS Our Future” including a commentary about how she personally resisted this idea for a long time.

social media marketing workshop in Auckland, NZ

"Social Media Marketing Mix" workshop in NZ

When I was in New Zealand, Mark Lowndes of the law firm Lowndes Associates described his experience this way:

“A year ago I was certain social media had no relevance to our commercial law firm.  Today I am convinced I was wrong. Social media will be an increasingly important part of our interaction with our clients and the business community at large. As with many businesses, I now believe there is no option but to learn how to engage effectively using social media.”
— Mark Lowndes, Lowndes Associates

When I speak about how important I think it is for companies and professionals of every variety to engage in social media marketing, I compare it to the ’80’s when I used to tell business audiences that email was as important as their toll free phone line. (Yes, amazing but true, not everyone recognized email at that point as an important customer service and/or sales communications channel.) I told these business people that they have to respond to their customers, and your customers have the right to communicate via any communication “channel” they want to use.

Now, your customers are “calling” you via social media. Of course, I think you should be pro-active in this new arena. But, for openers, if your toll free phone line was ringing, or you were getting email from a prospective customer, you would answer, wouldn’t you? Of course you would. Well, if you’re not engaged in social media marketing yet, please consider this your social media marketing “call.”

And, here’s a real invitation: If you are in the SF Bay Area, please do not miss the chance to experience the whole 3-hour presentation of “Mastering the Social Media Marketing Mix” at Ft. Mason, Wednesday, October 12th, 6:30 to 9:30pm. Frankly, the $99 registration fee is a remarkable value. My four-week online version of this workshop which will be announced shortly is expected to cost $397.

So this San Francisco live presentation, to a small interactive group offers great value. It will also deliver great inspiration that will motivate real productivity. And there will be tons of great information. I promise all of this, and I hope to see you there. Please click here to register and/or for more information. Thanks!

Luscious Links – Catching Up with the Goodness

I come across so much useful information in any given week that I’ve taken to these “Luscious Links” blog posts to try to share with you some of the best of the best that I find. Does this format work for you? Please let me know.

Google’s Focus on Quality and the PostRank Acquisition
This is an excellent & useful post from SitePoint clarifies the changing state of SEO & social media marketing. My take aways: 1. quality content rules 2. social media really does matter. 3. It’s the conversations, connections & relationships that matter most. Are you listening?

Why is Authenticity a Crucial Component of Internet Marketing?
As I’m re-grouping for the “next generation” re-invention of NewMarU.com, I was discussing with a friend, this ten-minute edited video conversation (linked above) with Robert Rabbin that came out of NewMarU’s first “guest” webinar. I LOVE what we said here and would really like more people to hear it. I sincerely believe that this is important information/perspective re marketing in the age of social media.

3 Smart Strategies for Book Promotion
Here are just a few smart ways that authors can promote their books with social media and PR. Practical steps any author can use for book marketing via SlideShare.

The “Talk Radio” Approach to Effective Email Marketing
I like the way that this CopyBlogger article underscores my core value that “it’s got to be fun.” Yes! In content marketing et al, FUN makes all the difference. Don’t you agree?

12 Awesome Facebook Stats, Charts & Graphs
Are you taking Facebook seriously as a marketing channel? If not, maybe you should check out these 12 stats via a nifty little Hubspot SlideShare presentation…

Learn How Your Website Can Be The Center Of Social Network Attention
My recent video comments on TheTVNews re social media marketing and a new solution that lets more active brands aggregate various social media conversations onto their website so it’s more of a “home base.”

How to Combine SEO and Social Media for Maximum Impact with Lee Odden
This is a good overview video interview that covers something I’ve been talking about a lot lately. It’s very important to understand the relationship between social media, SEO and content creation in order to produce effective marketing in today’s online environment. This is a valuable 5 minutes, IMHO.

Your feedback is encouraged. I’d love to hear any comments you may have.

Luscious Links: Online Video & Blogging Tips for Small Business Success

I thoroughly enjoy mining the Web for useful articles that I hope provide you with insights that can help you build your business success. The most immediate way for me to refer you to these articles is my Twitter account and our ComBridges Facebook page. Please “Follow” and/or “Like” respectively if you’d like more of this kind of stuff more quickly. These “Luscious Links” blog posts are another way for me to share these tips and insights with you. If you are so moved, please let me know which you find the most useful and share some of your favorites in the comments.

6 Steps to Uploading Pro Quality Videos to the Web
As a long time video pro, I get lots of how-to questions about best practices for producing video clips for marketing. This post has a concise list of key must-do steps. A well done post.

At YouTube Boot Camp, Future Stars Polish Their Acts
And, yes, there is a business “there” there. As this NYTimes article illuminates, even YouTube itself is offering bootcamps to help small businesses succeed.

For Some, Blogs Also Pay the Bills
A passion and sustainable focus are key components of a successful online business. OK, they are a critical component of ANY business. Without a significant time commitment and determination—let’s tell the truth—you are doomed. This is another insightful NYTimes article that includes some modest (and some not so modest) success stories.

Five minutes with Steven Pressfield, author of ‘The War of Art’, ‘Do The Work’ and ‘Gates of Fire’
And, speaking of a sustainable commitment, Steven Pressfield is one of my absolutely favorite authors because of the clarity of his inspiration. His latest book, “Do the Work” is a must read, in my opinion. Amazon affiliate link is below. Enjoy!

 

My Personal CES TV & ‘Video Web’ Wrap Up

No, I did not go. But, I launched a CES-related website in 5 days, just for the occasion of CES 2011 (Consumer Electronics Show). And, I watched the media pretty closely.

Here are some of the video-related stories that I found to be most of interest and also mentioned in my video report on the Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 edition of TheTVNews.tv… (along with some related stories):

CBS Makes Exclusive TV Program Sales Deal with Internet-Connected TV Platform,
Boxee
(via GigaOm) In fact, Boxee made a bunch of announcements. More in this Beet.tv interview

Intel Enters the Movie Distribution Game (Intel blog) This announcement lays the foundation for a bigger event which will be WiDi. This will enable movies streaming to your PC to be player on your HD TV.

MSNBC.com Finding New Audiences for Video News via Mobile (Beet.tv interview) The president of MSNBC Digital Networks has a lot to say about the benefits of distributing their TV cable network’s content via mobile devices. This is perhaps the fastest growing form of video distribution; and, as he says, mobile video is more engaging and reaching new audiences that the cable network frequently misses. (Video clip is embedded below.)

RingGuides’ New Website (new ComBridges design & production) This is a start-up with an innovative interface for accessing the new worlds of streaming video—both TV & online video—with a strong social component for distribution. The ComBridges team crafted this website, including a strong writing contribution, including complete design and production of the website in less than five days!

Stay tuned. The worlds of online video delivery across every type of screen imaginable will, no doubt, continue to grow, evolve and morph faster than most of us can imagine.

TokBox Online Video Platform Looks Interesting…

Tokbox LogoNext Wednesday, I’ll be blogging and tweeting from GigaOM’s Net:Work 2010 conference. And while browsing their site, I noticed an honorable mention of TokBox and started exploring. Their online video platform supports group video chat and much more.

This afternoon I was able to have an instant video chat hooking up to a friend via Facebook (whose API along with Twitter’s and others has apparently been integrated). We also easily and seamlessly shared a YouTube video. Pretty cool right out of the freebie level “box.”

I also watched a video message from a member of the TokBox team and will be investigating their Video Conferencing platform for NewMarU, our New Marketing University project about which you’ll be hearing more soon.

Meanwhile, here’s an embedded Tokbox window (I thought I was going to leave you a Holiday Greeting, but that didn’t work out). I’d love to hear your feedback and you can even send me a video message at – jon -at- combridges -dot- com-. If any of you have any experience with TokBox or comparable platforms that support multiple video presenters et. al. for webinars I’d be especially interested. Thanks!

TokBox – Free Video Chat and Video Messaging

Why Video is the Web’s New Mission Critical Next Level: Do Not Miss

As many of you know, I’ve been writing and producing videos about “The Video Web” and the digital video revolution for many years. But, it’s another day; and, I’ve taken another step.

The video embedded below, Why Online Video is a ‘Must Have’ for Internet Marketing describes what I believe is the next mission critical level of Internet communications as the importance of video has emerged in broad new ways.

And while you’re while you’re visiting this blog post, please don’t miss the second video embedded below from TED’s curator, Chris Anderson about the global implications of this trend (scroll down).

By way of text summary, the five reasons why video is a “must have” that are illuminated in the short four-minute video above are:

  1. The Medium of the Web is Morphing Dramatically and Rapidly
  2. Video is Now the Web’s Leading Media Type
    (even though in some ways “The Web is Dead”)
  3. Video Has Become a Viable & Powerful SEO Strategy
  4. Business is Basically About Relationship Building and
    What Better Way to Build Relationships Online Than Via Video?
  5. Video is the Web’s Future. (“Be in it to win it.”)

In addition, if I had my way, I would love to make this second video, from TED conference curator Chris Anderson, How Web Video Powers Global Innovation required viewing for anyone who wants to make a difference in the world.

That’s how important I think video is becoming as a communication medium. Anderson explains dramatic increases in the power, reach and accessibility of online video from a higher level perspective, even comparing online video to the paradigm shift in communications that happened when Gutenberg invented the printing press!

Yes, Chris and I agree, The Coming of The Video Web is THAT important. 😉

Bottom line, there has never been a more powerful or mobile way to communicate either your ideas or the benefits of your products or services. This is combined, of course, with the convergence of broadband internet connection speeds and the proliferation of digital cameras and mobile phones with video capabilities. The cost of doing video has become radically more affordable and accessible.

Call it “The Age of YouTube” if you like. But, more importantly in my opinion, it is time for everybody to recognize that video is now a ‘must have.’ It is no longer an option.

Mission Critical Data Points
If you’re not convinced, you may also want to consider the following:

  • One-Third of US Adults Skip Live TV: Report
    56 million Americans have begun skipping live TV in favor of time-shifted viewing and online content. Traditional TV advertising is rapidly losing any remaining effectiveness, thus undermining whatever financial stability still exists in everything but the biggest ticket broadcasts. Much more to come!
  • Netflix CEO: We’re a Streaming Company
    66% of Netflix subscribers are using their streaming services vs only 41% a year ago. Even premium entertainment is finding massive acceptance via non-cable, non-broadcast, non-satellite distribution. This ‘toothpaste’ is out of the tube. There’s no putting it back. This trend will only accelerate. Broadcasters beware. Online video producers rev your engines… Stay tuned.

New Wonderful Web E-Newsletter Covers WordPress, Video & Groovie Links

Our latest “It’s a Wonderful Web” e-newletter is out and available for your perusal. It includes:

  • An overview of our latest learning experiences regarding WordPress security and how you can protect your WordPress website
  • Our latest video production success, a “book trailer” for an important new client book, “Dry Run: Preventing the Next Urban Water Crisis”
  • Linky goodness called “ComBridges Connections” with an assortment of valuable links, insights and my latest video commentary on the “cord-cutting” that is making major waves and big changes to the cable TV industry, thanks to online video’s continued explosion.

Please click here to read the latest edition of “It’s a Wonderful Web: News & Views You Can Use.”

Are you a subscriber? If you’d like to be one, the subscription box is in the right column of this page –>>

Or, to read and/or sample past issues, you can access our e-newsletter archive by clicking here.

Thanks!

Jon

Online Video Growth Spurt Marked By New Programs & Distribution Opportunities

As discussed in my New Media / New Marketing segment on the Tuesday, August 10th edition of the TheTVNews.tv (see VIDEO embedded below), the convergence of TV and Internet forms of online video are jelling into a significant reality extremely quickly after years of promises.

Evidence of this growth spurt include rapid growth trends such as the year-over-year doubling of streaming movies and TV via NetFlix, a new “digital locker” platform from major entertainment players designed to combat the iTunes dominance, and the increasing viability of “branded entertainment” including an Ikea-sponsored Web-only video series that is garnering 1.5 million views month after month.

I will post or embed my video commentary as soon as it’s available, but meanwhile here are links to what I think is some worthwhile reading. These three links include additional insights and details on the “milestones” mentioned above and more:

  • Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem Unveils UltraViolet™ Brand (press release)
    Major players from Best Buy to Sony to Comcast to Intel and quite a few others are aligning on a new kind of “digital locker” to help you watch whatever you want, whenever you want, on whatever kind of device you want… as long as you’ve paid for it! While this press release is just an announcement, I think this is both a needed kind of technology and an attempt to answer Apple’s dominance in digital media distribution. Expect to hear more, much more from the UltraViolet, UVVU brand.

As always, your thoughts, perspectives and comments are extremely welcome. Thanks.

Hits of the Week: Early July 2010

Welcome to a new feature of this blog. “Hits of the Week” (which we hope to offer weekly) will provide “linky goodness” i.e. valuable links posted to our ComBridges company Facebook page and Twitter feed. Here, we gather, in one place for your convenience, bunches of links to free PDF’s, articles and other resources. Please let us know if you find this service to be valuable. Thanks!

A Professional Research Perspective of Brand Engagement via Social Media
Highly recommended, Engagementdb is a very interesting resource, even for smaller companies who are interested in social media brand engagement. I especially recommend their excellent FREE PDF Report. It’s nice to see “engagement” made measureable at the highest level. Clearly, relationship/engagement is at least as important (and probably more important) than simply the gross number of “eyeballs”/visitors. The focus on these kinds of results is shifting appropriately from volume or quantity of “hits” to quality of engagement (at minimum, some kind of “conversion”). Are you tuned in to your organization’s quality of engagement? Click here to check it out.

Fast-paced Video Illuminating ROI for Social Media
Despite the annoying music, this video offers useful content if you still doubt the business-savvy economic value–in the vernacular, ROI (return on investment)–available from investing your time INTELLIGENTLY in social media.

A Peak Behind the Curtain of a Major Brand’s Social Media Command Center (VIDEO)
More mainstream social media… pretty cool music VIDEO too promoting Gatorade’s social media team, er, I mean “COMMAND CENTER”! Can your sports drink do this? Visit Gatorade’s Command Center to see more.

“It’s about the PEOPLE, silly.”
Via Seth Godin. As a business owner, I know that there is nothing more important than the highly capable, talented members of my team. Read valuable insights & perspective.

“Every company is now a media company.”
A great reminder, via Adam Ostrow & John Battelle

Great Graphics, Visual View of Social Media Today
You gotta love good Infographics. Especially when they tell a story. In this case, big companies are adopting social media. More are using Facebook and Twitter than blogs, but it’s a big majority who are involved. See what these charts tell you.

Influence vs Fame
I’d call it “Influence vs Eyeballs” but being clear about what it means to develop influence in today’s social media world makes this short ProBlogger piece well worth reading, IMHO. And in a related short blog post, Seth Godin reminds us that “If all you are doing is increasing number of digital spectators, you are unlikely to earn the conversion that you deserve.” Read more about “Fans, Participants and Spectators.”

Stay tuned and please comment and send feedback. Thanks!

Online Video is Rockin’ with Measurable Momentum, Increased Ad Spending & More

This week’s New Media New Marketing TheTVNews.tv report (Wednesday, not Tuesday, due to technical issues) covers four recent research reports that underscore the powerful, measurable growth and increasing impact of online video.

First, the video report (I’m at the top of this show). Then, all four referenced pieces of research on online video are linked below.

1. Eighty Percent of Net Users Watch Video as Global Consumption Explodes, comScore
Beet.tv’s interview with Tania Yuki, comScore’s VP product manager for online video research products has lots of insights, including her perception that worldwide, 80% of Internet users are watching video. Wow, that’s huge. And as a researcher, her observation of double-digit growth in time spent viewing as well as viewers are also impressive. Part 1 of the interview can be viewed right here:

2. Online Video Goes Mainstream
eMarketer’s report puts 18 to 34 year olds at the forefront and underscores that 29% of Internet users under 25 say they watch all or most of their TV online. Clearly there is a gravitation of TV viewers to the online realm and this trend is certain to continue if not accelerate.

3. Ad Agencies Shift Spend to Video
Another eMarketer report reveals that most ad agencies already saw online video as a place they need to be a year ago, with 87% in Q1, 2009 saying that they plan to devote more budget to online video. But the trend is towards “pretty much everyone” with 94% of ad agencies saying the same thing during Q1 of this year.

4. Online Video Ads More Effective Than TV Among U.S. Viewers
At the end of the day, the bottom line is effectiveness. No wonder the momentum to online video is accelerating. When the research tells you that the same TV ad presented online delivers more recall, more brand linkage, more likeability and more, how could you not make it a priority?

Have you produced your online video today?

Watch for more to come on my YouTube channel, for sure! 😉

Thanks for reading and, as always, I welcome your feedback, comments and YouTube ratings. Much appreciated.