The blog brief
Industry: Small business
The take home: Don’t struggle with a confused, sporadic approach to your business’ content management system: get the free resources i am offering to setup a routine approach.
I’ve already mentioned there’s no turnkey emarketing services web app solution I can use with my SaaS startup clients, which is why I am currently working on building a content mangement system product to share with mgboydcom readers.
My hope is that this would let me focus more on what I love (researching and writing/creating content) while also making sure that the work I do offer my clients has a strong impact and success rate.
This means I need to automate or farm out the content management system administrivial tasks like:
- Keyword research
- Content promotion
- Social media conversation and target market monitoring
- Market research data collation
- Analytics report generation.
I am currently working with a small business that makes all of its sales through its online website assets, and that usually has a couple of interns working at any one time. A standard set of procedures and customized tools that let interns get on board quickly each recruitment cycle can help my client reduce costs and also let me offload the content promotion side of the work I do for them (which I had previously been absorbing as a cost to me as part of the value-added service I offer when contracted to create website content).
By introducing a more streamlined content management system, I can also work with my client on improving the conversion rate of the content I produce and maximize the return they get on the work they have paid me for. In turn, this lets me apply what I learn about engaging with audiences and producing effective sales-generating content to projects with other clients, particularly lean SaaS startups and social enterprises.
Finally, while I build this content management system with my client, we are using the opportunity to review business’ search engine and social media performance to increase the amount of qualified (“sales ready”) web traffic.
We are only one week into a four week project, in which I provide on-site support half a day a week and weekly intern training support, and develop the content management system business tools the business will use daily. I hope to write up a blog post sharing evaluation findings next month, and then occasionally share further details of the success the content management system (hopefully) has on growing sales.
I’ll also be converting the resources I have been developing into a generic, free download sent to mgboydcom email-subscribing readers, and to use them as the basis building my own content management system web app product. Hopefully, i’ll be able to create resources like this excellent flowchart shared by Indu Kandasamy on Creately:
So far for my client’s content management system setup project, we have created the following tools:
- A content asset tracker in Google Doc to monitor each web asset (webpage, blog post, downloadable resource) in realtime
- A procedure manual for how interns can carry out social media engagement, blog post commenting, and forum responding activities daily with confidence, fun and focused on offering the audience something useful
- Standard templates for web asset production that ensures search engine optimization best practice is embedded in run-of-the-mill content assets like web pages describing products, etc
- A monthly strategic planning cycle tied to sales targets and marketing goals.
If you are interested in getting a copy of any of these content management system tools, contact me or subscribe to this blog and I’ll send you the full resource pack at the end of the month.
I can also walk you through how to replicate this approach to set up your own content management system, so make contact for free support.
Online video watching is increasing as a share of internet time. As youtube’s self-congratulatory birthday light-on-data infographic alludes, more videos are uploaded every 60 days than the major US TV networks have broadcasted in the past 60 years.
- 73% of US retail now incorporate video as part of their e-commerce site.
- In March this year, 83.5% of US internet audience watched online videos (average duration 5.2 minutes).
- 66% of survey respondents in February said they watch more online video than last year and 48% think they will watch even more in 2011.
- 64% of survey respon dents watch videos before making a purchasing decision.
Despite these figures, measuring the value of online video marketing is still relatively new. Most small business do not use analytics on their websites and small business blogs generally, so looking at specific data on who is watching videos, how often they are visiting the site, and whether they are converting into customers is still relatively unexplored (and a topic we will come back to with future tutorials and blog posts).
However, research is being undertaken to measure the effectiveness of online ads. Most recently, MIT-offshoot Affectiva has used its facial sensor technology to measure viewer attention to online ads. They found that online video ads get 18.3% more attention than TV ads, while online video gets 8.5% more attention than TV content.
One of the types of video available in the business video marketing ‘genre’ is the tech report video. This is a little similar to a white paper or a technical specs type webpage where details are given to explain the why and how of a product or service. Affectiva have a technical specs/background type of video on their website:
The video ad good
Rosalind Picard is an engaging presence. Engaging video doesn’t always need to be state of the art. You can make use of available footage you may have from a presentation or other filmed event as the basis for your business video marketing effort: audiences can be forgiving if the information is useful and there’s a little bit of humor or personality. You do need an engaging presenter, no matter what.
The video has a clear intent. This video acts like a technical specifications or product background report rather than an advertisement or sales lead-in. While it explains the technology, it does so in a way that a non-engineering can understand.
The video ad ordinary
The muted opening. I am always in favor of making an impression when starting a video. Videos are meant to transport you into an alternate world, so even something really brief needs a clear setup. Music, credits, or an animation transition all can serve to take you into the video world’s realm. I unmderstand the importance of recognizing the rest of the research team with a lingering graphic of their faces, but it still felt like a long time and didn’t use the opportunity to say, okay, here’s what we cover in the next 8 minutes.
The technology itself. I like that the introduction to using the technology discusses ways to use it to understand one’s own emotions, rather than its use in the marketing research, or in an activity that could be used for surveillance or control of a population. Although, the need to make the technology accessible wasn’t really covered enough for my liking. This is a theme i will be exploring in my blog site citizense, being launched later this month.
The video ad bad
Ugly graphics. It’s kind-of bizarre that an enterprise sprung out of a Massachusetts Institute of Technology research lab should then have such limited access to someone who can jazz up their graphics. Even moreso, the presenter mentions the need to develop a better user interface for the actual technology product. This heightens the risk that the technology will become mystified and inaccessible to customers and citizens. A tech background video still needs to keep people at the center of using the product.
Producing small business video products
At present, I am involved in making a short promotional video, and another entertainment news video, with two tutorials recently completed. The idea of a technical specifications/product background video is an excellent genre within online videos, and one that I am keen to explore with a potential client next. Please contact me via the comments board below or at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your business video marketing ideas.
The emerging direction of small business blogs
There have been some really inspiring overviews of where online content is heading at the moment, and it comes down to framing content development tasks in two ways:
As a media channel: all businesses are their own media company, and the role of creatives in your business should be to develop high quality, engaging, original (website) content in as many forms as possible and publish everywhere.
As a community builder: all businesses must recognize the new consumer paradigm in which people buy products and services through a social game of research, connection, sharing and engagement. This means facilitating but not owning the exchanges between community members surrounding your products and services.
Here at my website, and in Barcelona as part of my freelance and blog writer for hire business, I plan to address these twin aspects of modern ‘marketing’ or whatever it is currently evolving into (a cross between media and community development?). I am hoping a strong start of providing engaging content, and building an infrastructure where readers can connect, will later foster a community amongst readers. I will be testing out some ideas here, and on my other forthcoming websites over the next few months.
My 20 year background in community development and supporting participation of all stakeholders in a network will be a valuable and transferable skill that matches with my writing focus, as i develop my sites further.
In June, I will be launching both of these other websites, as well as releasing my next idea for a freelance writing product (the first was for business video marketing products).
Next week, i want to demonstrate the value of a ‘content set’ approach to your business blog and online needs here on my Barcelona-based-blog-writer-for-hire site. On Monday, i hope to show you 2 example website content sets, while on Wednesday, feedbcn finally goes live!
Following what will be a busy week of releases and launches here, I hope to set up my first mgboyd.com reader and industry survey, so get ready to share your painfully-blunt, realistic, and honest thoughts to help me respond with the website content you need and to grow professionally as a blog writer for hire here in Barcelona.