Category: Online video.

Very often we send or receive all kinds of different documents online and offline, such as proposals, branded presentations, training packets, etc. All those papers have a purpose. We would like people to do X when they read it, right? Here are a few things you can try:

1. Complement with video

All proposals we send have a customised video that points to a branded page on our website where the prospect can learn more about the service and what they can expect. Video provides a full different taste about what you offer. Think about your training material or anything that’s been delivered traditionally for so long. Why not add a link to a video where the person that wrote that piece of  content can expand more on the subject?

2. Always use a URL shortener

We rely on Bit.ly. This service provides you with a shorter (handier) version of any long URL you might want to share. You can also customise the name of the link. It also provides valuable  insights about the amount of clicks your content is getting and the regions where those clicks are coming from. Finally, Bit.ly will generate a QR code for each shortened link. In the example above, if the prospect decided to print out the document he/she would still be able to scan that code with a mobile and watch the video!

Use QR codes also at events so people can easily scan and download your documents.

3. Allow people to interact in your ebooks or white papers

Since Twitter, avatars have demonstrated to be very powerful. Use them in your documents to provide a face for the expert writing the content and invite your audience to continue the conversation providing a link to the specific website, blog or even your LinkedIn Group! Chris Brogan did this in his first book, “Social Media 101″. That’s taking reading (one action only) to the next level.

4. Facilitate discussions with polls

Create a poll and embed it on any web page. You can do that with Polldaddy.com or why not with LinkedIn to direct people to your Group. Share a link on your document and also a QR code (for offline users) that points to that poll. Check for instant results during or after your presentation for example.

5. Include sharing options

Any promotional PDF that you share online should have a call-to-action asking users to share it more. Make it easy for them. Hubspot do this on every paper they distribute.

6. Finish strongly

At the end of any typical document, I usually see a brand, name, address and maybe email. You can do better than that. Include a video screenshot pointing to the resource online, invite your audience to join your LinkedIn Group, sign up to your email updates, share the social networks to connect with the speaker, etc. Remember to always include a shortened URL, otherwise you won’t be able to track your efforts.

How do you currently optimise your documents?

By now, we’re all familiar with the status updates bar implemented in our LinkedIn profiles. That’s one of the main ways in which we share news and what are we up to with our business network.

LinkedIn recently made an imminent move: Enabling status updates in company pages.

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But, I was already receiving company updates

Those posts where not customised but automatic. LinkedIn generated company updates every time a job was published, a new professional was hired or left the organisation.

Who can see my company-updates?

On the upper right of your company page you’ll see the number of people following your company. Every time you publish a post, it will appear on their stream of updates.

What do I post in my company page?

If you start using this new channel to publish press releases and corporate communications only, you will annoy a lot of people. Try sharing something of value such as your own blog posts, industry news and trends.
Start by publishing two to four updates a week and see how followers engage with your posts. Professionals won’t expect you to post as often as in a Facebook page so it will take you very little time.

If you have any comments on this new feature or questions, share them below :)

It’s always fun to work with industries that still have a lot of room to become more relevant and visible by harnessing web tools.

Last week I delivered a social media training day for property managers.

Even though it was just an overview, there were certain platforms that generated a very positive impact.

I’ll share four with you today:

 

Sales and Marketing

By now, many of us would fall into the assumption that QR codes are being used massively. That’s far from right. I realised, after my research, that the property industry could hugely benefit from them. Think about people walking by a house that has your estate agency sign with the “Sale” or “Let” printed on it, or maybe walking by your very office with loads of properties showcased through the window.

What would you like people to do? (Big question). You want them to “take action”. We know prospects will not buy straight away but we want them to “learn more”, make it easy to access relevant information about a specific property.

Wouldn’t it be great to scan the QR code straight from the window, save the property I’m interested in along with all pictures, price, exact location and other details?

Customer Service

In my recent training, most of the property managers in the room were involved in “community management” at a higher or lower level. It’s very important to listen to the conversations from tenants and find out how you can help them while building a better reputation for you and your company. Let’s also keep in mind that a visible record of interactions could be crucial to reflect a job well done and help a property or facility manager renew contracts and win new business. The idea is that you proactively create an online space to host and facilitate those conversations.

The first example is a “Closed” (private) Facebook Group. Many people have Facebook accounts so using this platform could be a good way to spark the conversation straight away without any learning curve or adaptation period. Good and bad feedback will be provided in the threads but if you could be there to answer questions, take some of them offline, avoid escalations, set expectations and try to make that property a better place you would be achieving a great goal.

If you don’t want to use Facebook, you may create (also for free) a private hub with a solution like Yammer. This internal communications platform is being used by all types of companies around the world. It does look 99% like Facebook so it would be easier for users to adapt and you can conduct the same level of community management discussed above.
You can measure success by tracking numbers of questions asked, number of replies provided by your property management company, number of positive versus negative comments, etc.

Finally, a tool that had big impact during the training was Zendesk.com, an online support platform where you can organise all your customer queries through “tickets” and ensure you respond in a timely manner, improving customer satisfaction. Many property and facility managers told me that situations like tenants calling numbers for help or asking many questions can turn chaotic. Zendesk will facilitate team work and allow you to channel all queries through one dedicated email (e.g. support@yourcompany.zendesk.com). It’s also easier this way to visualise that there are no problems (tickets) pending.

What makes it even better is that this platform released their “voice” service so you can log and track the same aspects but through telephone calls. It will be available in Europe very soon.

What other web tools would you suggest to professionals in the property management business?

harnessing web tools

By now, most of you acknowledged the importance of online video.
Its phenomenal growth is transforming companies and the way they interact with prospects and customers. However, there are numerous sectors that haven’t embraced it yet. One of those opportunities lies in manufacturers.
Here are a few useful tips (One by department).

Sales

Professionals that sell solutions to distributors know that a sale doesn’t close immediately and that “lead nurturing” is highly important. One of the ways in which you can generate an immediate impact with a prospect and stay longer in their minds is by being unique.
Online video messages make you memorable
. We started using them two years ago and it has worked really well. We took our personal video messages to the next level last year by creating private video-message-pages on our site. Now prospects watch the video in a more relevant context. The idea is that the person connects with us through any of the calls-to-action and obviously can navigate our site and learn more.

Customer Service

Your reps collect feedback from customers face-to-face and via telephone. Pay attention (and tag if possible online or on a piece of paper) what type of product is being mentioned the most, especially those with challenges. Take down as much information as possible about customers’ questions and suggestions.
Ideally, by now your company has a blog. With all the data collected, work with the relevant department to make progress on those changes. Once that’s clear, produce a video where you acknowledge the issues with the product, thank your customers for all the input and finally set expectations in terms of how the company will overcome the challenge (e.g. improve product, replace it with a new one, information about recalls, etc).
Once you make a video post, including a good title and tags so more relevant folks can find you, here’s what’s going to happen:

  • You’ll be producing a piece of highly relevant content that many people will read/view and interact with (comments)
  • You’ll be leaving on the web a public valuable breadcrumb that will contribute 100% to you company’s reputation
  • You’ll make your company more approachable since you’re clearly listening to customers and facilitating a solution (Making things easy)

Marketing

Uploading your TV commercials and promotional material to a video platform is OK, however it’s far from really embracing online video.
The whole idea is that you serve your community. Videos like the first example above would certainly do that and the best of all is that it’s also a piece of marketing :) Just because you work in the Marketing Department it doesn’t mean that videos that you upload must have a “corporate message”.
So, how can you be different? Live video is a phenomenal option. I’m sure you have product launches every now and then. Why not showcase your new product and the experts behind it LIVE to anyone in the world? You may use professional live streaming service such as  Livestream or Ustream as the ideal platforms (For optimum results and piece of mind, use paid versions which start from $350 and $400 dollars/month respectively).
The idea here is not to get rid of all the traditional methods by which you promote your new products every year. The goal is for you to own a global platform that will offer you a bigger and cost-effective reach, while offering your prospects and customers an opportunity to engage and ask you questions.
One great example is Cisco, a manufacturer that “shaved $100K off their product launch using social media“.

What other online video tips would you add?

By now, most of you know that LinkedIn is an indispensable business platform. Many people go the extra mile by using it to connect with professionals and stay in touch but, how many use LinkedIn as a listening tool? How many take the time to read and understand what’s going on in their own business network and discover business opportunities?

I use LinkedIn everyday and in several different ways. When it comes to listening, I’m sure there are dozens of fantastic techniques. I would I appreciate if you could share them in the comments below.
I’ll share with you today my two powerful tactics. As a result, you will stay very informed about what’s going on within your business network and also pinpoint key professionals within your industry or topic to build relationships with.
The best part
: it takes only ten minutes a day!

The following video includes:

  • How to tweak your stream of updates to access specific information
  • How to search for past and live conversations around a brand or keyword
  • Additional insights from “Search Updates” page

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Third and final video-answer from our “Free Social Media Summer Twist“.

Here is the bunch of fresh social media ideas, straight from Tenerife for our final winner: “Doocuments.com“.

The goal of these video-answers is to deliver, in a unique and engaging way, free ideas for Marketing & Communications Departments and make companies memorable using social media.

We had a lot of fun doing this and we’ll try to make it even better and more creative in 2012. Thank you very much to all of you who sent your details across. Hopefully you have enjoyed the video answers!

We think these videos offer value in a total different way, something you’re not used to seeing. We encourage you to think about the way you deliver your marketing. You don’t necessarily have to go to the beach to be creative :) but we can assure you that it is possible to have fun, deliver value and make a lot of relevant people happy with your content… all in one shot.

Have a look at the final video and please leave a comment below. Did you enjoy it? What else would you suggest to “Doocuments.com”?

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Thank you very much to all the businesses that made a submission for “Get a Free Social Media Summer Twist“.

We just came back from Tenerife where we brainstormed a few cool social media ideas and created a video answer for the first company selected: a unique energy shot called “5 Hour Energy” .

Remember that 2 more companies have been chosen so stand by for more fun videos in the next two weeks!

The goal of these video-answers is to deliver, in a unique and engaging way, free ideas for Marketing & Communications Departments and make companies memorable using social media.

Have a look at the first video and please leave a comment below. Did you like it? What else would you suggest to “5 Hour Energy”?

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Last year we brought you the first Free Social Media Summer Twist where we helped a few lucky companies by producing fresh, actionable social media ideas for them. Some took action and made a difference, others could still do with some traction :)

While reviewing last year’s videos, we realised that we needed to challenge the industry assumptions further (your industry and ours). That’s if we want to trigger more radical changes through our video responses (yes, we want to).

You’ll have to wait a little bit to see what plan we come up with for you. Start by leaving a comment below with your company details. In the meantime, we can already tell you that we’ll be challenging the fact that our videos have to be made in an office environment and that the summer “twist” needs to happen in summer.

For that reason, we’re going away to Tenerife in two weeks to shoot these videos and we’ll deliver them in April during spring :)

Here’s how it works (submissions are now open until Monday, March 14th)

  • Step 1: Leave a comment below with your name, company, website and social media presence (if any).
  • Step 2: We will select THREE companies
  • Step 3: The Channelship team will brainstorm some cool, actionable ideas to make your business different and remarkable online.
  • Step 4: We will deliver a specific video-answer for each one of the companies selected.

After the lucky ones get their videos, it would be great to see their companies take action. Fair enough?

Go on, leave your comment below! (Submissions finish at 6PM (GMT) on Monday, March 14th)

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anything from co-browsing YouTube to playing games, adding funny effects to a live video conference, interacting on Facebook together with your contacts or even shopping for things online together with your friends or family members

Here are the 3 Winners & our specific video answers
(updated after the contest)

  1. Social Media Tips for Saas Marketing
  2. Social Media tips for the Gift Industry
  3. Social Media for Beverage Companies

Enjoy the tips!

Many companies have already taken that big step setting up their own YouTube channel. This is their official video content hub, an invaluable resource not just for the business itself but for all brand followers. Those thinking about getting more exposure and views would certainly be interested in getting more people to subscribe to their channels and also increase the amount of repeated visits. As a result, I have worked on a short video that shares three simple and cool ways to achieve that. Please, share your comment below. Thanks. Subscribe to me on YouTube

Today, it’s been exactly one week since Volkswagen launched their phenomenal “New Passat / The Force” commercial that went wild in social networks, especially YouTube (More that 22 million views and counting) . It’s amazing how can a one-minute video can have such an impact

In line with what we did last time, a week after the Tipp-Ex “Bear” campaign launched, this time I’d like to share with you a few stats about the Volkswagen campaign. Sentiment won’t be included this time since it would be a bit redundant. We know how the majority of the people felt about the video :)

Performance Vs previous week

“The Force” video was launched last Wednesday, February second. Even though mentions and views are starting to naturally slow down, have a look at what Volkswagen accomplished in a 7-day period: Mentions went up 123% (More than 185K mentions)

Was the video really responsible for this?

Yes indeed. The fact that it was also playing at the SuperBowl certainly helped as well. However, have a look at the circled keywords in the tag cloud. They all belong to the “The Force” video.

Where did the buzz happen?

As you may have imagined, the majority of the mentions occurred in the US, followed by… (surprise) The Netherlands? Yes.

Brand mentions by media type

It does make sense that most of the buzz happened on Twitter and blogs, however you will see that 7.6% for Facebook might be too low. The reason for this is because monitoring software at the moment can only track Facebook accounts that have their data open. There are loads of impermeable profiles that certainly contributed to the mentions but can’t be tracked :(

Conclusion

The video was great and probably generated the desired outcome for the Volkswagen folks. Let’s not forget though, that the video/campaign was launched to generate awareness about the New Passat. Bottom line: more people know about the 2011 Passat and hopefully it will translate into more sales. It’s too early though to see the sales but I wonder, if I went out there and asked people what’s the product in the Volkswagen Darth Vader video… will they know?

What are your thoughts?