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 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, 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 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, 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. 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).


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)


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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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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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 :(


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?

Are you proactively working on your company’s reputation online? For those of you that still ask “why should I bother?”, then answer: Is your offline company reputation important?

Last week we received a few calls and a couple of LinkedIn questions about company reputation and visibility (looks like many companies are “on a mission”)

I’m aware that many of you are still thinking, delivering when and how you’re going to use Twitter, Facebook and more importantly a company blog (phenomenal reputation management tools). Also, many of you have to even go through several stakeholders, Legal and other departments to deploy your social media presence. However, today, I’d like to share something that you can launch straight away, a no-brainer, something that shouldn’t require many approvals and also a fundamental way to leverage your company’s visibility and reputation. That’s a LinkedIn company page.

I would have assumed many professionals were on board but turns out only a small percentage of companies are taking advantage of this valuable resource.

Why is a LinkedIn company page so important?

First, answer this: what does your business offer and what are people saying about it? The majority of companies would probably have to spend some good time collecting testimonials here and there to finally deliver… by email? A LinkedIn company page portrays all that powerful information in one shot (one page) and it’s available to anyone in the world that wants to check out how good you are, even while you sleep :)
LinkedIn is also a strong business network with more than 80 million professionals so the chances that people will visit your personal profile and your company’s, is very likely.

The “Services” tab is one of the hottest additions.  You can load products and services and have your clients leave a recommendation (social proof). In order for this to work, you must proactively ask your customers to endorse your company. If you don’t make it simple for them (provide link), it won’t happen magically.

An opportunity for people to get closer

You can also “Follow” a company on Linekdin. This means that every time there’s a new member in the team, a new opening or people leaving, this information makes it to the LinkedIn news stream and via email reaching hundreds or thousands of business professionals.
Channelship on LinkedIn

3 important bonuses

On the upper right, there’s a useful call-to-action for people that want to learn more and get in touch!
Also, every single tab of your LinkedIn Company page has a spot for you to include a video. This is fabulous since it provides a much deeper taste for your audience. Videos are proven to be super effective tools to educate your community and help them make a decision.

Finally, you avail of free page analytics. All graphics compare your company’s numbers against similar companies.

What’s your experience with LinkedIn pages? Will you set up yours?

If you type in Google “social media roi” you will get more than a million results. If you’re not really sure what you’re looking for, you’ll certainly get lost. Those three keywords still define something pretty broad.

Some of you might be looking for the magic formula so you can build a business case and go sell the social media plan to your boss, maybe the Head of Marketing, CEO, etc. You will realise then, that ROI is very tied to specific metrics that you must define before hand (otherwise, what are you measuring?).

The truth though is that there are way too many companies already using social networks to promote their brand but haven’t defined clear metrics yet (at some point they’ll have to).
However, here’s a way for you to know immediately how you’re doing:

Ask: Never miss a chance.

Every time you speak to a prospect face-to-face, over the phone or email, you and your team must (seriously, must) make a habit of asking “how did you hear about us?“. Also implement this question in your contact form for those landing on your website.

If you’re leaving regular quality breadcrumbs in the different social networks (good tweets, a useful video, engaging Facebook posts, ebook, a presentation on Slideshare, etc) I guarantee you will be VERY suprised about your prospects’ answers. Many of them will mention those breadcrumbs.

Do you realise that “how did you hear about us?” can change a lot of things, especially from a Marketing perspective. If you didn’t ask the question for example, you would have marked that prospect as a phone or walk-in lead instead.
It changes everything because now you have a better perspective of what breadcrumbs/platforms are delivering results.

How content delivers ROI

Those pieces of content that you are crafting but blindly (for now) puting online, are helping customers and prospects make decisions. So, when you receive a call, email or visit and close a sale much easier and faster, there’s a very good chance that the customer was educated before making contact with you. If “that video” helped her make 50% of her decision before ringing you, tell me what’s the ROI of that video you have in YouTube?

That’s a good way of reasoning quality content and ROI. Unfortunately, the majority of companies get it totally wrong: “how much money will I get for that tweet/post/video?“. It doesn’t work like that.

Implement a chat widget on your site

We use This service helps us tremendously everyday with the “how did you hear about us?“. We can see real time the people that are on our website, where did they come from, what did they type on Google before landing on our site, what page are they on now, etc. This facilitates the tracking incredibly.

The results:

By asking consistently “how did you hear about us?” and using the valuable real-time insights from our chat widget, we found out that in 2009/2010:

  • 5% of our customers came from Twitter,
  • 10% from Facebook
  • 10% referrals
  • 15% through our LinkedIn profiles
  • 20% through our video blog
  • 40% through Google (never forget about Search Engines. They love your quality content) This is how most of the people will find you.

Remember that you need to come up at some point with clear metrics. However, on top of that, a good job asking “how did you hear about that” will bring some interesting results to the table as long as you’re offering good content.
How has content delivered ROI for you? Any specific way in which you measured it?