March 20th Fast Forward Online Summit – B2B Marketing Reply

On March 20th B2B Marketing is offering a series of free webinars that have caught my eye. I’ve been to a few of their events and the speakers have B2B Marketing Fast Forward Summitalways been top notch (have met some great long term contacts at B2B’s events too!)

I’ll definitely be  logging on for:

‘The 5 Truths of Modern Marketing – How Marketing Automation can help you fast forward your marketing in today’s world’ on 20th March 2013 10:00am – 10:45am GMT.

The Future of Email Marketing – Actionable Insights for Today’ on 20th March 2013, 2:00pm – 2.45pm GMT.

The Evolution of the Marketing Department’ on 20th March 2013, 3:00pm – 3.45pm GMT.

You can sign up for all webinars here.

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The “live” blog: Proof that the blog is alive & well Reply

I don’t need proof that the blog is alive and well. I don’t support the theory microblogging in its various forms has overtaken the blog with its bite sized, rapid fire delivery.

I don’t need to look any further than the live blog as an entity to prove that not only is the trusty web log still an essential piece of any social media marketers toolkit, but also that it’s still a dynamic medium capable of extending to incorporate various forms of microblogging to provide inclusive, up to date content (contributed by multiple authors no less).

Research Reveals Popularity of Live Blogging

This isn’t my headline or my research – it’s simply the title of a great article I read back in November and tweeted about.

I love Roy Greenslade’s definition of live blogging: More…

Have you reached your social media saturation point? Reply

I get a lot of calls from recruiters. The more flattering ones are for the “global marketing director” roles…..the others are from recruiters hoping that I have a job to offer.

It’s these ones I find most difficult. The CV’s are amazing. They are over the top. They are….a  little too much in most cases.

It’s when I get these sorts of emails that I realise:  Every company has its saturation point, and it’s no different with social media than it is with any other type of marketing service offered.

I’ve realised it’s very important to know when your company has reached its saturation point with social media. We don’t all need Facebook and all the bells and whistles that go with it. We might not even need to tweet should our audiences not actually be on Twitter. There is a good likelihood that we should all have a brilliant LinkedIn company profile, but at the end of the day, if your customers are not accessible via LinkedIn, why use it as a resource?

It does go to show how many people are being sucked in by so called “social media consultants”.  As social media gains momentum, I would hope that the best consultants can actually gauge what their customer not only wants, but also  needs.

If it’s every bell and whistle – great! But sometimes, at the end of the day, a handcrafted and proactive LinkedIn account is more than enough.

Am I wrong?

What I learned about social media from Steve Jobs 2

Steve Jobs wasn’t a close personal friend. Rather, I’ve spent quite a lot of time reading his biography lately. It’s a big beast of a Steve Jobsbook that I might not have had the time to read had I not had many hours to spare when my daughter was in the special care unit at Homerton Hospital….premature babies sleep a lot, and so I spent many an hour beside Ava’s bed reading about Steve Jobs – sometimes to myself, and sometimes aloud to Ava while other parents could be heard reading fairy tales to their children in the various languages of all the nationalities present in the ward.

Steve & social?

Beyond various mentions of Facebook, there is no real coverage of any thought or comment Steve Jobs might have had on social media.

What’s inspired this post is a slightly more abstract theme mentioned throughout the book, a concept familiar to me but one I hadn’t seen identified and explored at such length before.

It’s best described with a quote (from Jobs himself) that appears close to the end of the biography:

Edwin Land of Polaroid talked about the intersection of the humanities and science. I like that intersection. There’s something magical about that place. There are a lot of people innovating, and that’s not the main distinction of my career. The reason Apple resonates with people is that there’s a deep current of humanity in our innovation. I think great artists and great engineers are similar, in that they both have a desire to express themselves. In fact of some the best people working on the original Mac were poets and musicians on the side. In the seventies computers became a way for people to express their creativity [pages 567-8].

I like to think about computers helping people to express their creativity, and I couldn’t help but to think that social media has simply been an extension of this. For me, More…

Get it right and get it beyond the buzzwords…the roots of the “social web” Reply

Not long ago, before it was commonplace for pretty much everyone to have a basic understanding of the Internet, there were some fairly amusing terms flying around. The “Interweb” was one commonly used by those *not* in the “know”.

Years on, I feel the same is happening with social media. I can’t tell you how often I see the term “the social web” or variations of it, most often used in a really misinformed way….as though the “social web” is some sort of new Internet that has recently materialised. Further, the term “Web 2.0” often seems to get thrown in there haphazardly, which is a particular pet peeve of mine. I also often see the terms Web 3.0 and Web 4.0 attached to the term “the social web”.

New social media based sites and applications seem to come out daily, but it’s important to remember that social media is just the good old Internet in action, and that this thing people refer to as “the social web” are examples of various Web 2.0 enabled technologies. Web 2.0 is not a new concept.

What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is a phrase used to describe attributes given web technologies that can facilitate advanced and usually interactive functionality.

A review of Internet-based literature shows two unique phases: Web 1.0 (content delivered to users by producers) and Web 2.0 (content customised to suit the individual, who has the ability to add or publish back to the site/application).

In 2005 Tim O’Reilly wrote the paper What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation Software. His paper claims that Web 2.0 began with a conference brainstorming session between his company O’Reilly, and MediaLive International (2005: 1) and I think his thoughts on Web 2.0 still stand true today.

Importantly, O’Reilly worked to define the term “Web 2.0” beyond the buzzword stage. In his definition, he uses the example of BitTorrent, which is a free, open source file sharing application. The application uses the bandwidth of those trying to download it so that effectively, the more popular the file, the faster it can be served and downloaded (2005:5). His point in using this example is to show that the the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is that Web 2.0 services automatically get better the more people use them.

Adding to the defintion later on in the paper, O’Relly writes:

More…

The top excuse for a lapse in blogging is…… Reply

A new baby 😮

Our little Ava was born 8 weeks early and had to spend a week in the NICU followed by two weeks in the special care baby unit at Homerton Hospital in London.

She is still three weeks away from her due date but is now home and keeping both of her parents up around the clock…we are sleepless but head over heels 😮

“Normality” as I know it has changed, but I aim to get back to a more frequent blogging schedule from here on in.

Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part II: Separation Reply

In Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part I: Integration, I explained why I think individuals and companies should almost always integrate their blogs with their websites.

The reasons for separating your blog from your website are few and far between, but they do exist.

When should you separate your blog from your website?

There are three reasons why it may sometimes be useful to create a blog that lives outside of the confines of your domain:

1. To create a “topic”. What do you sell? When prospective buyers Google your product or service, what do the search results look like? Hopefully your website *does* come up in the first few search results, but looking beyond your site, what else do you see?

If you have no competitors and no other sites of any relevance towards your product or service appear in these search results, it is time to ask yourself “do people really need what I am trying to sell?” More…

Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part I: Integration 1

Not long ago, this question came through this week in my weekly digest email from The UK Marketing Network.

“Isn’t it obvious?” I said to myself, ready to delete the email. But then I paused and reminded myself that it wasn’t that long ago I wouldn’t have known the answer to this question either, and that it’s not always obvious at all. I looked closer at the next line in the query which read:

We are starting a new blog and we are unsure whether to integrate it with our website or keep it separate? Does anyone have any experience with this?

It’s actually a really good question – one that more people should ask themselves

I started my answer with:

I can think of very few instances where you’ll benefit from keeping your blog separate from your corporate website.

Effectively your blog is where you’ll put a lot of effort into generating excellent thought leadership based content – keeping this inside your domain will boost your SEO measurably and send a lot of traffic to your site (which surely is what any business wants?)

More reasons More…

Think you have no time to blog? Make blogging part of your DNA Reply

In the past, I’ve blogged about the importance of making social media a part of a company’s DNA.

In this post I’d like to get a bit more specific and share some of what I’ve learned along the way in hopes that this will inspire the many people who have expressed to me the difficulty they have in finding the time in their schedules to blog or the motivation to complete their posts (and to post frequently enough). 

1. Document: I take this tip from my days as a technical author – document everything you do – whether it’s attending an evening seminar, listening to a webinar, reading a book to enhance your skills, or taking part in a new project that presents you with a number of challenges. This stuff is all blog-worthy. I have met a lot of people who have never really gotten in to the swing of blogging because they feel every post has to be essay-like in length and so broad that it covers all possible bases. Next time you go to an event, why not try taking one good photo on Instagram and posting that to your blog with comments about what you felt were the most relevant and interesting points of the day? I bet you end up writing more than you thought you would. And presto – instant blog.

2. Clip: Since a great deal of “food for blogging” comes from other materials you often see/agree/disagree Clip to Evernotewith on the web, and since you can’t always blog instantaneously, then you need to put technology in place that will allow you to capture and park ideas for when you can blog.

I do this by clipping highlighted bits from web pages to Evernote and placing them in my “Blog” folder which I can access from anywhere. So blog ideas are easily collected, parked and stored in a way that makes them easy to find when it’s time to start blogging.  More…

10 very simple mid-trade show digital marketing tasks Reply

I love all things digital, but there are still times when I have to haul out the old trade show stand and “exhibit” in person. I try to attend as many of the workshops and panels as I can at a show.

However there are times when you need “man” the booth. This used to mean long hours of boredom with little or no human interaction. For me, things have now changed.

Last week I attended a trade show and I found I didn’t have a spare moment of time on my hands what with all the digital marketing I was doing in between panels. Here are ten things that kept me busy: 

1. Use your CRM to send out a campaign to delegates inviting them to your booth – Got the delegate list? Why not send them a campaign inviting them over? You might think sending marketing several days before the event is the best plan, but why not follow up with a campaign sent while you’re at the event to catch people in the moment?

2. Blog – This works best if you can attend a stream or session so that you can comment on content. If you can’t attend, get the notes from one of your team who has attended a session yet or, better yet, get them to write the blog. Timeliness is everything when it comes to blogs – blogging about the event on the day or the day after is what makes the most compelling account for your readers. Here’s an example of a blog post I wrote and published last week during a trade show. 

3. Tweet – Firstly, More…