Video – Social media business strategies blog Fri, 29 Dec 2017 08:16:17 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tips to boost your video marketing (infographic) Thu, 12 Jan 2017 08:43:59 +0000 Continue reading ]]> infographic-banner

Post by Take 1 Transcription

Studies show that 69 percent of consumers would choose video over text to learn about a product or service. So are you doing all you can to give your business’s video marketing a boost? Here are some tips to enhance your video marketing.

Videos should have a unique message and should include ingredients that promote social sharing. Keep in mind that stand-alone videos can’t rank highly by themselves: Search engines can’t tell what’s inside the videos so they index only the text on your page. So you need to use an effective description with keywords in the title tag. With the proper use of SEO elements, your video can reach a larger audience.

Also, it has been shown that use of closed captions can increase YouTube views by an average of about 13% over the first two weeks. Closed captioning can broaden your reach among non-native speakers but also among viewers in office environments where audio is discouraged. Effective titling will draw viewers who aren’t going to take the trouble of playing the video to learn what it’s about.

If you supplement the video with an accompanying transcript, search engines will index the multimedia content more effectively, increasing the search traffic to your site. Adding subtitles to your video is another effective tactic.

For more information on how to boost your video marketing and overall marketing reach, check out this infographic from Take 1 Transcription.


Followerwonk: A powerful tool to up your Twitter game Thu, 20 Aug 2015 09:01:22 +0000 Continue reading ]]>
Here’s a video showing you how we’re using FollowerWonk for our new startup, Cruiseable.

And why increasing your @contacts score is vital to your brand’s health

This is part two of a five-part series on “Rise of a startup: Cruiseable.” Today’s installment looks at how we’re using Followerwonk to increase Cruiseable’s footprint in social media. Also see:

Part 1: Great tech startups begin with a great development team

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startup teams, angel investors, venture capitalists, developers, businesses, innovators, educators, students, journalists, travel analysts.

JD LasicaAnyone who’s programming/scheduling social media updates or running social marketing campaigns for a startup knows that there’s a wealth of good tools out there. If anything, the field is oversaturated with too many choices.

One powerful tool that I think is underappreciated is Followerwonk, a tool from the geniuses at Moz, the inbound marketing software powerhouse, that lets you analyze, optimize and grow your Twitter following. It’s free for 30 days and then costs $149 per month unless you just register for a new free trial. 

Cruiseable score on Followerwonk

Andrew Kamphey, who runs a social marketing consultancy in Los Angeles, has been working with us since April, and we’ve grown Cruiseable’s Twitter following from 600 in April to 5,000 in July (when this instructional video was made) to more than 10,000 today. (Bonus for us: He’s worked in key posts aboard Royal Caribbean ships and has a great idea around the sharing economy for cruises.) Followers isn’t the ultimate metric on Twitter, but it’s one key indicator of whether a brand is gaining traction.

The #1 key metric you may be overlooking? @mentions

Well, the other week Andrew sent me a fascinating, unsolicited screencast about how Cruiseable is doing on FollowerWonk. And as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency, we’ve decided to share it with you. (Remember, this was one month and 5,000 followers ago.)

Here are some of the learnings we’re squeezing out of FollowerWonk — you can likely tease out actionable insights for your brand as well:

• Followerwonk is the only free or low-cost tool that I know of that lets you search Twitter users’ bios for keywords. (I’m sure there are some higher-end paid tools that do this.) Bios offer many more relevant signals than random tweets when you want to zero in on influencers in your sector.

• Twitter doesn’t give you any native capability to look at which top influencers are following you and whom you’re cluelessly not following back. Followerwonk makes it super easy to see the rankings of your followers. For example, in only a few months’ time we had four followers with more than a million followers and another 10 with 500,000 to 1 million followers. Fortunately, we were following all of them, as well as thousands of folks throughout the long tail.


• FollowerWonk gives you an at-a-glance heat map of where most of your followers are located. (We have a lot followers in Los Angeles, (as well as Miami, Dallas, New York, Chicago, Seattle and London.) And, importantly,it lets you drill down to the state, city, neighborhood and see who exactly is following you, so you can get a better sense of your online community.

“If you look at what real people are interested in and what they’re tweeting about, that’s gold.”
— Andrew Kamphey

“I have spent hours on the map alone,” Andrew says. “One, it gives you a good idea of where people are. Two, you can click on their profile and click on it and reach out to them. And third, you can find out what people tweet about at a micro-level. You can look at all the analytics in the world but that that doesn’t tell you what to tweet about. But if you look at what real people are interested in and what they’re tweeting about, that’s gold.”

• Probably the least understood value of Twitter is the ability to foster one-on-one interactions, rather than mass media announcements. Brands like Nike (95 percent), Moz (75 percent) and SproutSocial (68 percent) have been doing a stellar job of engaging their followers through these @contacts interactions. We’ve been upping our score considerably since Andrew pointed this out to us. I’ve never heard of @contacts, so I think Moz is combining @mentions and @replies and calling them @contacts.

Let’s see, what else?

• Like some other analytics tools (SEMrush,, Followerwonk lets you see how your competitors are doing on Twitter with their followers.

• Followerwonk shows you the most active hours of your followers, which takes the guesswork out of deciding when to schedule your key tweets to get the most traction.

• Our Social Authority score was 41 last month; it stands at 52 now. More importantly, like any good analytics tool, it gives you a yardstick to see how you’re faring over time with regard to retweets, url mentions and those all-important @mentions.

Andrew makes the good point that you shouldn’t focus exclusively at the top of the Twitter food chain. All those folks with more than half a million followers get bombarded with retweet requests. A better strategy, he says, is to schmooze up those with 1,000 to 5,000 followers — your peers in the real sense of the word.

FollowerWonk isn’t perfect — it’s still unnecessarily geeky, and a month ago it showed our @contacts at 0.5% and today it says it’s at 79% (the truth is somewhere in between) — but it’s head and shoulders above other Twitter analytics tools in its class.

Next in this series: Glip and Disqus, a pleasant and unpleasant surprise.

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11 steps to creating truly awful content Wed, 18 Jun 2014 18:35:37 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

If you can’t be the best, why not be the worst?

Target audience: PR professionals, marketers, content creators, brand journalists, communicators.

David SparkWouldn’t it be great if someone could simply explain to you the secret to creating great content? Maybe they could walk you through it with just a dozen steps. Thousands of people like you will gravitate toward such an article. It could be called “How to Create Great Content” and you can cross your fingers that it doesn’t include the same redundant advice (e.g., “Create something interesting that would be of value to your audience”).

BadEgg300Have you noticed that these “How to Create Great Content” articles are written by the dozens if not hundreds. They’re all useless. In fact, I wrote an article on just that sad reality (READ: “Why I’m Annoyed By All ‘How to Create Great Content’ Advice”).

The only way to create great content is to do it over and over again until you get good at it. And then once you’re good at it, keep doing it until you’re better at it.

Since there was no way I could teach others how to create great content, especially in a 90-second video, I thought I’d ask some content producing experts about how they created their worst pieces of content. The above video was shot at the 2014 PR SUMMIT Conference in San Francisco. Watch, and let us know in the comments below about the worst piece of content you ever created. Please, give us a link so we can gaze at its horrid glory.

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Build a video SEO strategy for your brand Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:01:16 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Video

Defining and executing a goal-driven strategy

This article originally appeared at Moz and is republished with permission.

Guest post by Phil Nottingham
Video expert, Distilled

philnottinghamThe core tactics of technical Video SEO are pretty easy to pick up. You can read through the bulk of what there is to know about getting rich snippetsoptimizing for YouTube, and driving links back to your site within a couple of hours.

While advice on these tactics will adjust and evolve as new technologies and iterations of the algorithm are released, there is an evergreen side to video marketing; one that both SEOs and creative marketers consistently fail to comprehend. And that is …

Defining and implementing a goal-driven strategy

Creative agencies often fail at this, simply because they don’t know how SEO works. Most creatives don’t understand the full consequence of embeds or pointing to YouTube and Vimeo rather than to a company’s site. Typically they don’t understand how to get rich snippets, and so typically fail to get companies the SEO benefit due to them for the content they invest in.

SEO specialists fail because most have no say in the creative process for video, and are typically invited to do “video optimization” after the video has been shot, cut, and edited. Such a process ends up looking a little like this:

  1. Take a look at the existing content.
  2. Work out what goal best suits that content.
  3. Implement the appropriate technical optimization.

And this is the consequence…


Thus follows the often observed, awkward disconnect of marketers attempting to make promotional product videos “go viral.”

As with copywriting, content creation, and development, success in the video space looks like “integrating  the creative and the technical aspects of SEO.”

For video, this means taking a goal driven strategy from inception to launch:

  1. Define the business goals.
  2. Define the appropriate audience, hosting, and promotional strategy for the goal.
  3. Create content that matches the business goals and the audience demographic.


In this post, I want to take a step back and outline the core goals I believe video can provide for SEO, the kind of content required for each goal, and the common mistakes made by companies both big and small in this field.

You may want to refer back to my post on Moz which has more explicit tactical details on how to match the creative ideas to the technical implementation required.

Possible goals for video SEO

Possible goals

Rich snippets

Rich snippets

Video rich snippets have a higher click through rate than normal organic results, and so are an incredibly valuable asset for the kind of pages you want to drive a lot of search traffic to, directly from the search results. In the vast majority of instances, these pages are typically “product” or “category” pages in some form.

In the simplest terms, you can get rich snippets by self hosting your videos and submitting a video sitemap. Google is currently unable to read the “quality” of content outside of YouTube, so it actually doesn’t matter what kind of content you have if you’re trying to get a rich snippet. Indeed, for the more grey-hat minded…it’s even possible to get rich snippets for images that are just encapsulated in a video container format.

Common objection: can I not get Rich Snippets for YouTube videos?.

It’s not impossible to get a rich snippet back to your own site with a YouTube video. Yoast’s Video SEO WordPress plugin (which is excellent, by the way) offers a method of doing it. However, this and other methods only work with a hack and when the video isn’t performing particularly well on YouTube, making it strategically redundant. If a video is not returning many views or generating engagement on YouTube, then it’s doing nothing except devalue the overall quality of a channel and restrict the ability of that channel to rank. Especially when you can get secure hosting for free, there is no reason to do that.


Video can be a fantastic way to improve conversion rate, again, particularly for commercial landing pages. Appliances Online have created videos that are a fantastic example of undertaking this goal driven strategy with immense success.

A user who watches an Appliances Online video is twice as likely to convert and spends 9.1% more money on average. When considering the average price of white goods, it’s not difficult to work out how quickly those videos will pay for themselves.

These videos work because they carefully take into account the context of their target audience, which is “on the cusp of buying a washing machine.” The videos bridge the gap between interest and conversion, by engaging on a personal level with the likely questions and concerns of the interested party. Conversion videos should be informational, rather than promotional; more “shopping channel” than “TV ad.” However, these videos do not need to be “product” focused, and can just as easily be created for service sector businesses.

Last year Kurtz and Blum, a law firm in Raleigh, N.C., created 53 videos for $4,000 ($75 per video) – each of which describes, on a very personal level, a specific service that they offer their clients in need of legal advice. Through this work alone, Kurtz and Blum saw a 14% month on month increase in traffic.

Videos for conversion should also almost always be self-hosted or hosted with a secure third-party solution, rather than put on YouTube. Why? Because these videos should invariably also be used to get rich snippets and drive additional traffic to the “money pages” of a website.

Common objection: can I put this “conversion focused” content on YouTube as well as securely hosting?

Usually not, for the following reasons:

1. It’s very difficult to target specific, product focused videos to a different keyword

If you put content on YouTube as well as self hosting and embedding the content on your site, one of the ways of ensuring YouTube doesn’t outrank you for your site is to target this version to a different keyword. However, as with the Appliances Online example, if you have a video about the “Bosch Classixx Washing Machine,” it’s very difficult to find more than a couple of variations of relevant keywords.

2. Potential cannibalization of shares and links

If potential customers/influencers share your YouTube video rather than your product page, you miss out on the link equity

If potential customers/influencers share your YouTube video rather than your product page, you miss out on the link equity. This can also affect sales and word of mouth marketing, as product videos invariably make little sense outside of the context of the supporting page. Especially if you want to retarget visitors with PPC ads, driving customers to your site has to be the goal; and duplicating content on YouTube can hinder this.

3. Devaluing your YouTube channel for SEO through lowering the average quality of content

From some tests I’ve run at Distilled, I think there’s reasonable grounds to believe that YouTube algorithmically rate channels based on the cumulative and average “quality” of the content uploaded. Practically speaking, if your videos have all been very popular, your channel and new uploads will tend to rank very well. Conversely, if your channel has lots and lots of videos on it, few of which get much traction, then the SEO consequence is negative. Therefore, adding a whole bank of product videos (most of which probably won’t do very well) can serve to dramatically devalue your channel. It’s possible to mitigate against this by creating a new channel for your product videos (as Zappos have done), but you run the risk of setting this channel up for failure to a greater or lesser extent.

4. Generating negative brand awareness.

YouTube is a community platform, as much a social network as a search engine. For users discovering your brand, you want the first touch to be a positive demonstration of your identity and quality, which video can both help and hinder. Attempting to sell users a product before they’ve visited your site often isn’t going to work very well and you can turn off those who would otherwise have been positively disposed to your presence on YouTube. Product videos aren’t created with the intention of building brand awareness and as such, and they normally do a pretty bad job of it.

Brand awareness

Video is a fantastic form factor to improve brand awareness, as it’s an easy way to display the ‘faces” of a company, either through actually filming the people who work there or by explaining the “character” of the company through the integration of story, imagery, and sound.

There are fundamentally two different methods of improving brand awareness through video: you can either pay for it, or generate it organically.

In both instances, the best place to host such video is on YouTube, the world’s second biggest search engine and absolutely best place to put video that you want to be “seen.” (You should also put branding video on other platforms too, such as Vimeo).

To generate that awareness organically, you need to create “a creative story, attached to your brand.”

If you’re willing to pay for the awareness, either through YouTube/Google Display Network Advertising or viral seeding services (I recommend Unruly Media), then you can alternatively create content in the traditional, promotional “Tv Ad” model. However, to get the most bang for your buck from CPV advertising, you should make sure any video you plan to seed is under 30 seconds in length.

Common objection: I don’t have the money to build anything that good, but want to have a YouTube presence. Why can’t I put my product videos up there?

While YouTube channels featuring a large number of product videos can be ROI positive, especially when combined with a paid video advertising campaign, my experience is that they are far less ROI positive than seeding a targeting ad campaign through YouTube advertising and having rich snippets point back to the product videos on the business’s own domain.

As well as creative stories, tutorials are also a great way to build up your brand identity as experts in a specific field. These can be extremely simple, easy to make either through filming physical products and providing advice…

…or for software/services businesses, this can be done very simply using screencasts or by recording lectures/conferences.

Links and Social Shares

Typically, the best way to get links back to your site with video is to create valuable and useful video content that simply does not make sense in isolation from a wider mixed-media page type. A perfect example of this technique is the Simply Business guide to WordPress that currently has hundreds of linking root domains.

Alternatively, another way to build links and shares back to your site is to take the kind of video you should create for organic brand awareness, but securely host the content on your own site, rather than putting it on YouTube and Vimeo.

Under this model, you’ll also need to ensure you provide an embed code that features a text link at the bottom back to your site. I’ve built a tool to help you do this quickly, which can be found here.

Summary of goals and content type


Common objection: can I target more than one goal with the same bit of content?

Yes. But, you probably shouldn’t. That’s not to say you can’t use the same piece of content for two different goals, but when you do, you typically dilute the return you’re going to get, either because your content will not be particularly well suited for the goal, or because the technical implementation will cause compromise.

Phil Nottingham - The Building Blocks of Great Video - Final V10

In most instances, it’s much more effective to directly and exclusively target one of the goals, rather than attempt to do everything with one piece of content. However, do remember that conversions and rich snippets should always be treated as conjunctive goals; as essentially two facets of the same strategic approach.

What does a fully comprehensive video SEO strategy look like?

With some variance dependent on vertical and business model, companies looking to achieve all of the above should look into creating four different kinds of content: one to target each marketing specific goal and audience demographic :

  1. Video created to improve conversions (with video sitemap submitted to get rich snippets)
  2. Video created to increase brand awareness through inbound channels
  3. Video created to increase brand awareness through paid advertising
  4. Video created to drive links and social shares back to the company’s site

I hope you found this post a useful resource. If you’re interested to read more about the ideas and approaches suggested, then I’ve written a very large  (but pretty comprehensive!) guide to online video marketing, which can be found here.

Phil Nottingham is a video expert at Distilled. This article originally appeared on Moz and is republished with permission.  Moz is not affil­i­ated with and has not reviewed this trans­la­tion. The author’s posts are entirely his own and may not reflect the views of Moz. Moz pro­vides the Web’s best SEO tools and resources.
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What the first ever Google Glass-powered interview says about the future of tech Thu, 23 Jan 2014 12:01:59 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Ayelet NoffThe most exciting aspect about tech, for me at least, is the exponential nature of technological change. We can see this in the big tech changes of the past 100 years. A century ago, the big technological change came from the invention of cars and planes, 70 years ago it was TV, 40 years ago the personal computer. Now, the pace of technological change is so fast that major new inventions are unveiled practically every day.

Donning Google’s cutting-edge wearable headset to film both participants’ eye-level views of a tech conversation

In fact, just a few days ago I was able to take part in a first-of-its-kind technological experiment. My good friend Enon Landenberg, the CEO of Infinity AR, invited me to participate in the first-ever Glass-to-Glass interview. The idea was that we would don Google’s cutting-edge wearable headset and use it to film both of our eye-level views of a tech conversation.

As someone who thrives on tech conversations, I have to admit I was very intrigued to do this experiment. We talked about the future of tech in light of the advancements made in augmented reality technology, and how AR itself will change in light of the emerging role of context. The importance of context in today’s age was eloquently explained by two other dear friends of mine, Robert Scoble and Shel Israel, who recently published their book “The Age Of Context.” Of course, our entire interview was colored through the unique lens of Google Glass, both in the sense that the device was a main topic of the conversation and was used to record it as well.

You can watch the full interview above.


There were, of course, some challenges with this format, such as the fact that the video moved along with our heads. It is also challenging initially to process the unnatural experience of watching a dual-first-person video. First-person video has been done before, but putting the two videos side-by-side creates a completely new experience.

As the experiment shows, and as the content of my conversation with Enon demonstrates, the way we communicate with each other is going to be radically transformed by the wearables technology that the masses will have readily available to them in the next few years. But more than that, the very way we experience conversation and communication is going to change because of devices like Glass and their ability to place information in new contexts that weren’t possible before.

What do you think?

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5 strategies to build a network of bloggers & journalists Wed, 13 Nov 2013 13:11:31 +0000 Continue reading ]]> social network
Image by SalFalko on Flickr

Identify influential gatekeepers, then offer value

Target audience: Marketing professionals, brand managers, businesses, SEO specialists, PR pros, nonprofits, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Guest post by Alicia Lawrence

AliciaCreating a network of bloggers and journalists is a great way to provide mutual support in the world of online media. For both public relations and search engine optimization, publishing content on other people’s sites is a critical part of their everyday duties. 

Not only do you have to find the right mediums, but you also have to get on the good side of the gatekeepers — the folks who control what is published on their sites. Here are some tips on how to build a network of gatekeepers that will be relevant to you and your readers — a network you’ll need to maintain!

Find gatekeepers with similar interests

1Depending on your client or company, you’ll want to look for gatekeepers who have a similar focus or interest so that their readers will find an interest in your content as well. Look for online communities of bloggers and contribute to their conversations to begin building contacts in your focus area.

Here are a few ways to find topically relevant sites:

Use social media

An editor at Forbes would definitely ignore my phone call, but she would be more inclined to interact with me via Twitter

2Twitter and LinkedIn are great ways to get introduced to gatekeepers. Your first contact doesn’t have to be a pitch. Interact with them on Twitter, comment on one of their blog posts, or even just retweet one of their tweets to let them know you are paying attention. Figure out their interest and be a real person when doing so, not just an automated drone.

Twitter is a great platform to find and connect with gatekeepers. Use tools like Twellow and Followerwonk to find relevant gatekeepers. One of the greatest aspects of Twitter is people’s openness to random introductions. An editor at Forbes would definitely ignore my phone call, but she would be more inclined to interact with me via Twitter.

Keep the focus on the readers

3When contributing content, don’t let your network fall into the trap of becoming a self-promoting circle of advertising. Always remember to write for the reader and keep the reader’s needs above your own.

As an example, the 12 Palms Recovery Center maintains a blog that provides information for families and individuals affected by drug abuse. Their blog provides a service to the reader first and foremost; if a reader then visits their website, it is because their blog was helpful. Self-promotion would detract from the message and would not help readers to get the help and knowledge that they are seeking.

When you are pitching the gatekeeper, make sure above all your content will help the reader. While you can reference your product don’t make the entire pitch or article self-promotional.

Build your brand and expertise

4Journalists are always looking for quotes and reliable sources. It’s important to build your brand and specify a few employees with specific expertise. Let the journalist know you are there to help him or her. Email them the bios of the experts and offer an interview. If you know of anything particular going on in the news, pitch a unique angle where your expert’s knowledge would be a reliable source.

Stay professional and friendly

5When building a successful network, make sure to keep professionalism at the forefront. Even once you have made good contacts and have begun to form a network, it’s important to keep in contact with the gatekeepers. Never get angry with a gatekeeper if they reject your story. They’re just doing their job, and keeping persistent with a friendly attitude will go a long way.

Wish them a happy birthday or congratulate them when you see a tweet about their child graduating. Keep up to date with what gatekeepers’ posts and maintain personal contact with each of them to keep your network strong.

Do you have a great community building strategy? How do you connect with other bloggers and gatekeepers? Please share in the comments below!

Alicia Lawrence is a Harrisburg, Pa.-based writer and entrepreneur specializing in communication and health. Alicia works as a content coordinator for WebpageFX and is the founder of MarCom Land. For more about Alicia, visit her website or follow her on Twitter at @Alicia_Lw. This post originally appeared on the Waxing Unlyrical blog and is republished with our gratitude.
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PEER mixes the best of LinkedIn & video chat Fri, 08 Nov 2013 11:01:03 +0000 Continue reading ]]> peer

Startup seeks to make online networking more efficient

Ayelet NoffAs professionals who live in an era where everything is social, where most things we do matter only if they are liked, shared or reposted, it is no longer a cliché to say that “it’s all about who you know.” Regardless of the profession we chose for ourselves, or the industry we want to master, we all learn at one point or another that personal networking is a crucial element in the process of expanding our business presence and reputation. The real question is simply how to make the networking process more efficient.

Take, for instance, the world of communications and PR – a world that is near and dear to my heart. Everyone from large brands to small startups wants to get their names out there, and social media has made that process easier than ever before. Yet, we still travel the world to meet people, to attend conferences, to chit-chat and build connections. Why is this real-world connection still so important considering the power of social media and other technologies?

The answer is because even in our digital age, real-world meetings help us build strong relationships with the right people, something that’s still incredibly hard to do using online tools alone. When I’m at a conference, I rely on my current network of people to introduce me to more relevant people. Then I can take advantage of face-to-face meetings to cut down the time it takes to build trust, to develop a meaningful connection, and to recognize whether there is real potential in the relationship. Though at the end of the day, I ask myself, is there not a digital tool that can achieve something similar?

Building personalized relationships in a way LinkedIn can’t

peer-itunesEnter PEER.

Made by VideoVivo, Inc. (disclosure: they’re my client), PEER is a new networking service that’s taking a different approach. Instead of relying on mostly text-based communication, PEER centers around real-time video conversations. It helps you find other users that are relevant for your networking purposes and guides you to start a video conversation with them.

To keep the quality high, the platform is not open to everyone. PEER requires you connect via your LinkedIn profile and it requires that you have sufficient real connections and experience.

PEER is aiming at the two main challenges of networking that are currently solved by real-world meetings: Finding the right people and building a strong connection with them. LinkedIn is a great network for finding relevant people, but it’s not so strong at building closer, more personalized relationships. Video-platforms on the other hand, are much more personalized, but they get bogged down with inappropriate content and don’t help you find the right targets. PEER blends the two together in a unique online networking recipe.

It’s an interesting take on online networking. Whether you’re looking for new customers or new potential business partners, you will come up against the problems PEER is trying to solve. One way to solve it is by hopping from one event to the next, but PEER is trying to offer an alternative that will let you find and develop new business relationships just by using your iPhone.

As a professional who is working with startups from all over the world, I understand that there’s more than one way to make a connection. PEER is taking an approach that combines existing networking ideals with a new and potentially disruptive strategy.

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How to use Vine for video marketing Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:00:59 +0000 Continue reading ]]> vine

9 tips on how to put short-term video to work for your business

Target audience: Marketing professionals, PR pros, brand managers, businesses, nonprofits, video producers, educators, Web publishers, journalists.

Andrew-LisaVine is a powerful video platform based on the concept of Twitter and brought to you by the people who invented the term micro-blogging. Like Twitter, it isn’t just for entertainment, and marketers and advertisers quickly realized the power of the app that decided six seconds is all a good video really needs.

Follow this guide of do’s and don’ts to making sure your Vine video sings for your business, nonprofit or organization.

Do display your brand

1In the quest to tell a story in a seemingly impossible amount of time, it is so easy to forget that your brand logo or image should be visible somewhere in the Vine video for all six seconds (or most of them).

Do give it a few test runs

2Vine is a fairly new technology, and if you’re reading this, chances are you’re fairly new to it. Don’t confuse short duration with ease of creation. Making a point in short-form videos is a skill. Practice before you promote.

Do use all three acts

3Think of your Vine video as you would think of any other video – as having a distinct beginning, middle, and end. Six seconds is an incredibly short amount of time, but human expectations for storytelling hasn’t changed. Your film must retain all three components.

Do create tutorials

4How-tos, product displays, and tutorials about your service, sector or product are always hugely popular. That rule doesn’t change just because the length of the video is shortened.

Do engage your share buttons

5The point is for your Vine video to get shared. Don’t make it difficult for people to pass it on by neglecting to add share buttons.

Don’t neglect mobile

6If your video doesn’t play correctly across all platforms, releasing it will do more harm than good. Mobile is the future. If I can’t open your video on my phone, I’ll question if I should be buying anything from you at all. So check how it works on various mobile devices.

Don’t recycle

7Create fresh material. Never reuse, recycle, or take a brief version of a clip you used somewhere before in an email marketing video.

Don’t forget your purpose

8Because funny and wacky sells, many marketers rely on their sense of humor to publicize through Vine — and that’s great, as long as the original purpose of the video isn’t lost in the funny.

Don’t fail to be consistent

9Put out a new video every month — or every day or every week — but do it consistently. Get on a schedule and your readers and followers will be much more likely to watch every video you create.

Vine changed the way videos were made and consumed.

Vine can be a powerful tool for marketers. If a Vine video is done correctly, it can spread across the Internet like wildfire. But there is a skill to using it correctly. Follow the basic principles of any video project and modify to its newer, shorter cousin.

Bottom photo credit: Flickr user Danijel Pobi

Andrew Lisa is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles. He writes about social media and online video platforms. Follow him on Twitter at @andrewscottlisa.
17 productivity tips from founders & geeks Tue, 13 Aug 2013 12:01:13 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 17 Productivity Tips

How some of the smartest entrepreneurs get through their day

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startups, developers, venture capitalists (VCs).

David SparkYou know what I’m never going to get? More hours in the day. What I need to do is find a way to make the most of the hours that I do have.

At SF New Tech in San Francisco last month, I asked startup pros who have zero concept of 9-to-5 work hours for their top tip for productivity. Some suggestions: Create rituals, take breaks and delineate micro-tasks to sustain productivity.

Here are their full answers in this 2-minute 30-second video:

15 painful lessons you’ll learn working at a startup Mon, 29 Jul 2013 12:02:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]> 15 Painful Lessons You'll Learn Working at a Startup

Advice from entrepreneurs to smooth your journey

Target audience: Entrepreneurs, startups, developers, venture capitalists (VCs).

David SparkWorking at a startup is a series of one painful lesson after another. Startup entrepreneurs tend to congregate at tech events to commiserate or brag about startup life.

At the SF New Tech event in San Francisco earlier this month, I asked the attendees, all of whom work at a startup, what’s the most painful lesson they’ve learned. They had plenty, but each narrowed it down to just one. Watch.