"A good story can make or break a presentation, article, or conversation. But why is that?"
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"A good story can make or break a presentation, article, or conversation. But why is that?"
Robin Good's insight:
Here is why storytelling is so effective and uniquely powerful.
Bufferapp co-founder Leo Widrich has written, back in 2012, a very interesting and informative article on the topic. Here a few passages from it:
"When we tell stories to others that have really helped us shape our thinking and way of life, we can have the same effect on them too.
The brains of the person telling a story and listening to it can synchronize, says Uri Hasson from Princeton:
"When the woman spoke English, the volunteers understood her story, and their brains synchronized. When she had activity in her insula, an emotional brain region, the listeners did too. When her frontal cortex lit up, so did theirs.
By simply telling a story, the woman could plant ideas, thoughts and emotions into the listeners' brains."
A story, if broken down into the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect. And that is exactly how we think. We think in narratives all day long, no matter if it is about buying groceries, whether we think about work or our spouse at home. We make up (short) stories in our heads for every action and conversation."
Truthful. Inspiring. Very useful. 8/10
Reading time: 7':30"
Robin Good's insight:
Jennifer Aaker does a great job of visually illustrating in a 5-minute clip why storytelling is so effective when it comes to communicating and marketing effectively with your customers.
"...stories are more meaningful–more memorable, more impactful, and more personal–than statistics alone..."
a) By packaging information into engaging stories, readers have the opportunity to memorize better what you are telling them, and to identify more with the situation and issues you are solving.
b) Studies show that people are more willing to listen to, trust and buy from those people who have stories that they believe in.
c) Emotions drive decisions and we rationalize them only after having made them.
These are just some of the reasons why, storytelling comes back to regain its original marketplace role: the driver of good conversations around which business is made.
Excellent video. Highly recommended. 9/10
Check also: http://futureofstorytelling.org/
Robin Good: Just as much as music is no longer in the hands of record companies and books are no longer in the hands of traditional book publishers, learning is not anymore in the hands of schools and other educational institutions.
Today a person can learn from a myriad of new different sources, at his own pace and time.
"The internet has democratized education and businesses should take notice.
You are in business because you have some area of expertise.
Sharing your expertise is a way to help you build your brand and provide value."
From the original article: "The Education of Millionaires, a book by Michael Ellsberg that proposes that the best investment in education is one that offers lifelong, relevant knowledge that will make you financially successful.
People are looking to non-traditional sources to learn from. Education and business are merging. "
The article is full of short, valuable insights, like these:
"As a brand, your expertise in the product you sell — in every way it affects the people who use it — sets you apart. If you sell shoes, you could teach fashion or fitness. If your product is food, teach nutrition."
"Consumers need information to choose when there are too many options."
"Education is a form of curation."
Right on track. Must-read. 8/10
Robin Good: Matthew Fields has published a really good guide on SocialMediaChimps for anyone who wants to get serious in using Twitter for reputation-building and marketing purposes.
In the illustrated article he showcases four key concepts and many small tips and tools that helped his own account (the SocialMediaChimps one) get more than 10k followers in less than 90 days.
Austin Carr writes on FastCoCreate.com: "Yesterday at New York’s fMC, the Facebook Marketing Conference, the company echoed that very sentiment as it argued that following brands on Facebook is no different than following friends and family.
Introducing a suite of new advertising tools--enhanced brand Pages, premium offers, mobile ad placements--the social network reasoned that users would appreciate the additional avenues advertisers now have to reach them, because advertisers share "quality" content.
"Our main objective is to make sure that over time, the advertising is as good as the content you would receive from your friends or family," said Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s VP of global marketing solutions. "It’s very similar to your own Facebook experience.
There are certain friends that you probably love getting updates from--they are witty and interesting--and that’s really what we’re trying to do with brands: Stop thinking about brands over here and people over here, but actually [think of] brands as people.
Facebook is definitely trying to push brands to use the social network to create more engagement, as it seems more and more difficult on the crowded platform.
But we know now that content is king and context is god.
Being a publisher not only gives you control on what you share but from where you share it. How to get more visibility than that?
Nothing is more powerful than publishing your content where you have a chance to be heard.
Full original article: http://www.fastcocreate.com/1680020/facebook-brands-are-people
(Edited by Robin Good)
Robin Good: If you want to examine and question some of the critical issues that may be influencing the performance of your site / business online, this video lesson from SEOMoz CEO Rand Fishkin can provide you with lots of valuable and actionable insight.
Achieving greater effectiveness in selling whatever you are proposing online is not just a matter of proper tagging and SEO optimization tasks. There are a lot of other factors mixed in with those that determine, beyond what search engines may think, how credible, reputable and worth of my time and money your site really is.
And that's where you should spend more attention.
Rand goes over a number of very important factors like:
- niche focus
- brand trust
- design and UX
- quality of content
- industry reputation
- domain naming
- social proof
Highly recommended. 9/10
Video + full text transcription: http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-hidden-factors-in-accomplishing-your-online-marketing-goals-whiteboard-friday
Robin Good: If you are seriously considering to jump on the Google+ bus and to do all that is needed to leverage the new social network and the unique benefits it may have on your SEO, check the advice provided in this article.
"Google+ Business Pages offer unprecedented search ranking advantages, so make optimizing your profile for both regular Google search and G+’s internal search your first priority.
Next you’ll want to make sure your profile “sells the follow.” Does it capture attention and say, “You’ll want me in your circles!” in those few seconds when someone takes their first look?"
Then, these that follow need to be your key stratgic steps:
1. Optimize Your Page for SEO
2. Upgrade Your Page’s Visual Appeal
3. Fill Your Post Stream with Quality Content
4. Begin to Attract Followers
Here all the details on how to do it: http://windmillnetworking.com/2012/01/24/first-5-things-google-plus-business-page/
This wonderful piece was written by Lisa Barone on Outspoken Media. I loved reading this because her insights are right on the money. How do I know? Because I've been on Pinterest for a week and this social network takes you beyond all the buzzwords, the how to articles and lets you connect with others in ways that have the potential to create deeper engagement that can is definitely beginning to show ROI in more ways than one.
Feel free to follow me on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/jangordon/
or visit my topic on content curation at http://www.scoop.it/t/content-curation-social-media
Here's an excerpt that captures the essence of what she is saying. I highly recommend you read the comments as well.
"Anyone who knows me will tell you: I’m completely commitment phobic. And nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of emerging social media networks. I cringe whenever a new one is released because I simply Can’t.
"For me, the social network doing that right now is Pinterest.Wait? Pinterest? Is that really anything more than an outlet for pictures of sleeping cats, fancy home décor and items deemed orange?
I’ll tell you why I love it and why, as a brand, you should love it too.
****One of the great things social media has done is that it’s undeniably changed the way businesses and consumers are able to interact.
****It broke through an imaginary wall that had long divided the two and allowed businesses to share parts of themselves which, in turn, allowed consumers to seek out businesses that are weird in the same way or that believed in the same things.
Last November I spoke at TEDx about how through the Web, weird became profitable.
****Weird became something businesses could leverage. To me, that’s where social media is most effective –
****when businesses use weird to be strategically authentic and show customers their essence. It’s when they let certain parts of themselves hang out so their customers can get to know whose behind the product or service that they love so much.
And that’s what Pinterest does really well. It epitomizes what is right and powerful in social media. Sure, Mashable may still use it to hoard marketing infographics for page views, but that’s not how it’s most effective.
Read full article here: http://outspokenmedia.com/about/lisa-barone/
Jon Jantsch at Duct Tape Marketing as a valuable article on listening, one of the key skills every individual or company needs to further refine in the near future. He writes:
...there are many forms of listening.
a) Passive listening – the kind we do when we are listening to a seminar but we’re really scrolling through Pinterest.
b) Selective listening – the kind that I might practice when I’m discussing something with someone and mostly I’m thinking about what I’m going say next.
c) Active listening – the kind where we are discussing something with someone and reacting only to the words being said.
d) Perceptive listening – the kind where I hear and interpret the words, but I also consider what the person is thinking and perhaps how they are acting as they say the words.
Perceptive listening is by far the most complex because it requires you to be totally focused, completely mindful and, well, perceptive of what’s really going on."
Read the full article: http://www.ducttapemarketing.com/blog/2012/01/11/5-exercises-in-perceptive-listening/
Creating a professional-looking landing page is no easy task. Especially if you are not a geek or a web designer, trying to put together a web page that does its job of informing clearly while capturing your prospect name and email is definiteòy a challenging task.
Unbounce is one of the best services out there that can be used for this very purpose. I have tried it, used it and I do recommend it to my all online web publishing students. It is "that" good.
I am quite happy therefore that Abhimanyu Ghoshal has decided to find the time to write this good introductory article about Unbounce and the good things it offers.
If you are looking to build a landing page as good as this one: http://web.appstorm.net/reviews/web-dev/create-the-ultimate-landing-page-with-unbounce/attachment/oddio-music-player-page-preview-on-unbounce/ then I strongly suggest you give a good read to this article.
Read the full article: http://web.appstorm.net/reviews/web-dev/create-the-ultimate-landing-page-with-unbounce/
(Reviewed by Robin Good)
James Medmore writes on SocialMediaExaminer:
You’ll quickly discover that you don’t need millions of views to get results.
It’s all about the quality of your visitors, not the quantity.
Your YouTube videos will build rapport with your viewers, so that by the time they end up on your website, they are primed, pumped and ready to take action with you. In short, your conversion rates go up."
and here is the simple recipe that he suggest you use:
a) Give a call to action in your videos
b) add a URL to your description box and
c) add YouTube’s Call-to-Action Overlay function.
Here all the details about what they are and how to
The video is in French, but the story can be understood by anyone.
Robin Good's insight:
When I talk about story-telling in my courses and workshops, people think immediately that they need special tools to put together images, text and video that can facilitate this task.
Story-telling is both so engrained in our human culture and yet so far removed from our typical marketing approaches that most people selling something online peddle and scream rather than doing what their fathers and grandfathers have done for centuries to sell their properties, skills and products: telling great stories that engage listeners.
Google has done a wonderful job in creating and maintaining a unique collection of self-produced story-telling examples in the form of a growing set of short videos (most are less than 2 mins long).
By viewing them you not only live through an intense, often touching emotional story, but - on the side - without ever pushing it - you get to see how vital and useful Google services can be inside people lives.
The same thing you and me should be doing when promoting our own products and services. Story-telling.
Inspiring. Excellent work. 9/10
Check out the Google Stories channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/SearchStories/videos
Robin Good's insight:
Excellent advice on how to deal with influential people to get them to help you, from long-time technology analyst, blogger and startupper Marshall Kirkpatrick.
(Marshall has recently launched a new web app, that focuses exclusively on helping you find who is really influential in your areas of interest. The app is called Little Bird and you can go and request a free trial on the site.)
What he suggests is to invest in building long-time, high-value relationships, by using the tech tools like the one he's created, to get to know more about the people you are interested in, before you reach out to them.
The more you know who they know, what they like as well as what they have written and what brands and people they are not aware of, the easier it will be for you to reach out and provide useful information, insight and advice to them.
Rightful. Correct. 8/10
Robin Good's insight:
Michael Brenner has put together a useful list of the top 30 news sources you should be following if you are interested in online business and marketing news.
Useful, resourceful. 7/10
P.S.: In my humble opinion, this list is tainted by the author placing the magazine he writes for (Forbes in this case) as the top one in the list. As a curator this is something I suggest to avoid like the pest as it instantly taints your supposedly impartial collector skills with a way too evident marketing effort, which dents significantly into the credibility of the overall list and the on the reputation of the writer.
In my effort to help others recognize effective curation from simple-minded content marketing efforts I feel quite important to highlight such small details, as even though they may appear of no relevance to some people today, they will have enormous importance - in my opinion - in the near future.
Robin Good: If you still think that there's no better way to promote your product and services other than via banner ads and traditional "broadcast"-type marketing approaches, think again. Data and research studies now confirm what many have been saying for a long time.
Traditionally advertising, PR and marketing as you know them, are working less and less.
From the original article on HBR: "Traditional marketing — including advertising, public relations, branding and corporate communications — is dead.
Many people in traditional marketing roles and organizations may not realize they're operating within a dead paradigm. But they are. The evidence is clear.
First, buyers are no longer paying much attention. Several studies have confirmed that in the "buyer's decision journey," traditional marketing communications just aren't relevant."
But if it is true that traditional marketing is dead, what will replace it?
"There's a lot of speculation about what will replace this broken model — a sense that we're only getting a few glimpses of the future of marketing on the margins.
Actually, we already know in great detail what the new model of marketing will look like. It's already in place in a number of organizations."
The solution pivots around four key points:
1. Restore community marketing.
2. Find your customer influencers.
And you can read more what are the key characterizing trait of this new model by reading the full article.
Good article. Recommended. 8/10
Full article: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/08/marketing_is_dead.html
(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Robin Good: If you are still thinking about marketing as the most efficient and direct way to make your customers buy from you, it is time to start reconsidering this approach.
Going for the sell, sell, sell approach has worked for decades and for millions of sales people, but now, the most effective and durable way to make your business thrive, is once again the one that requires no thinking: don't think about selling, think about helping and listen closely to what your potential customers want.
That's all there is to it: make yourself accessible and truly helpful.
To exemplify what it takes, the short story of Eydie Stumpf may help you out: "When I first moved to California in 1998, I worked as a car and truck sales person.
Never having sold anything in my life, this was a completely new world for me.
The goal, as was explained to me, was to put every person who walked onto the lot into a vehicle — period.
The sales manager trained me and provided me with various scripts that I was to use to overcome objections.
Every morning we began the day with a sales meeting and afterwards, the sales team marched into the trenches with the words sell, sell, sell, throbbing in our heads.
After about a week on the job, a team member approached me. He bluntly told me that I would never make it as a car sales person.
“You’re too nice”, he said.
“You can’t make friends with the customers. They’ll never buy from you.”
Morale of the story:
"Relationship marketing is not just for social media.
Build relationships using your blog, email marketing, and offline events like networking groups, business expos, mixers, and speaking opportunities.
Online or off, attract loyal customers by allowing them to know who you are, know who they are, and enlighten them with the priceless information you have that can solve their problem."
Good reminder. 7/10
Jay Jamison writes on Techcrunch: "Interest-based social networks have a markedly different focus and approach than Facebook.
The Pinterest, Thumb and Foodspottings of the world enable users to focus and organize around their interests first, whereas Facebook focuses on a user’s personal relationships.
Facebook offers us a social utility to deepen social connectivity with our existing social graphs, while these new interest-based social networks enable users to express their interests in new, engaging ways and offer authentic, high value connectivity with new people we don’t already know.
So if interest-based social networks focus first on an individual’s interest graph and Facebook centers on an individual’s social graph, which service will be the winner?
Humans are inherently social creatures, and we define ourselves both by the people we know and our interests. We make decisions about where to eat, what to buy, where to visit, etc. based on a complex matrix of social relationships, past experiences, location, long standing interests and future goals. Today’s platforms approach our lives from different angles but both are integral to how we define ourselves and interact with the world around us."
Robin Good: If you have decided to move on to Google+ ground and start doing something serious about it, I wouldn't hesitate one second in recommending this truly thorough guide on setting up an effective marketing strategy via Google+.
Very useful. 9/10
I selected this piece today because it is timely and relevant, social media is part of the equation but the focus should be on social business, which is the bigger picture. It's important to package your content and repurpose it to fit the social network(s) where your audience resides. This interview talks about
In this interview with McKinsey and Compay, John Battelle, founder & chairman of Federated Media Publishing says.....
**Marketers need to shift their mindset from being a publisher to engaging an audience.
Marketers are starting to see an ecosystem of paid, owned and earned media that they're very interested in feeding through social interactions and content marketing.
Here's what caught my attention:
Marketers have always created content, print and radio ads, 30-second spots, display banners
****But they never have really seen these elements as an integrated corpus of content living in a digitally driven ecosystem
**Marketers need to become engagement publishers
**"Increasingly, [marketers] are realizing that this social media space involves an ongoing conversation. Assets never really go away."
**Building conversation “inventory” at scale
I agree that all brands probably should be on Facebook, but what you really need is an integrated strategy that has – at its root – the brand's own domain, independent from any platform other than the Internet itself.
Measuring the success of conversational engagement
These things are very hard to directly measure from a simple click. And often, as we know, the people who click are not the people you want as customers anyway.
**So you need a bridge to that kind of insight that gives a media buyer the justification to say that this new technology is worth the investment.
**Marketers have been very interested in understanding how their content is amplified in the past few years
**Now there is technology that allows us to automatically collect and present this data (More in detail in interview)
**The best companies create communities of interest that are independent:
**they are rooted in the independent Web, with expressions on Facebook, or as an iPhone or Android app – those all become instances of their brand.
** Companies should create a circulatory system through which they can promote different aspects of their messaging and interactions with their community.
**If you're going to be a brand with a publishing approach to marketing, you must have an independent taproot that isn’t controlled by anyone but you.
Put out your branches and feelers everywhere. Integrate that experience and let your content and messaging flow through it.
Curated by Jan Gordon covering "Content Curation, Social Business and Beyond"
Read full interview here: [http://bit.ly/x7mHwm]
From the article: "To run a sustainable business online you need to create a marketing funnel where you siphon traffic from sources like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube into your funnel, and create your own traffic source.
What is the one important thing that’s needed to make money online? It’s not just people, traffic, or visitors that make you money online. It’s the relationship and trust you build with your visitors that will make you money online.
To get their names and email addresses, you need to have a really good lead magnet. A lead magnet is a good piece of content like a video, PDF report, or a case study that will help your potential subscriber and will entice him to give you his or her name and email address.
Step 1: Create a blog lead hunter
Your niche blog is a lead hunter that should focus on two things. One is providing valuable and fresh content to your visitors; the other is capturing the names and email addresses of your visitors...
Step 2: Create a squeeze page lead hunter
The sole purpose of this page, which I call a lead magnet, is to capture names and email addresses of visitors...
Step 3: Create a Facebook fan page lead hunter...
Step 4: Driving traffic to the lead hunter pages
- Blog traffic sources...
- Lead magnet traffic sources...
- Facebook Fan page traffic sources...
Step 5: What happens in the funnel?
Now, as you get a steady flow of subscribers from your lead hunters, you need to set your autoresponder with some killer content. Moreover, the combination of honesty and great content will build a strong relationship of trust with your subscribers...
Step 6: Promoting the right product
Make sure you treat your subscribers like friends, and recommend only products or services you think will genuinely help them...
Step 7: Back in the funnel..."
Read the full article: http://j.mp/weptx0]
(Curated by Giuseppe Mauriello)
Via Giuseppe Mauriello
From the article intro: "SPAM filters can be triggered for a variety of reasons, causing your email to skip recipients' inboxes and land straight in their SPAM box.
One of easiest ways to avoid SPAM filters is by carefully choosing the words you use in your email's subject line.
Trigger words are known to cause problems and increase the chances of your email getting caught in a SPAM trap.
By avoiding these words in your email subject lines, you can dramatically increase your chances of getting beyond SPAM filters.
Next time you sit down to write an email subject line, consult this exhaustive list."
The full spam trigger word list: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/30684/The-Ultimate-List-of-Email-SPAM-Trigger-Words.aspx
Billy Joel’s schmaltzy ballad “Honesty” spoke the truth back in 1979.
Karen Dietz: I really like this post because it is all about the quality of authenticity -- and not worrying about being perfect!
Authenticity is the heart and soul of business storytelling. This post uses rock bands to talk about this. As the author says, "There was a point, only a few years ago, where having a solid rock star brand meant covering up every wart and imperfection."
And, "A point to consider about honesty in branding: We human beings are wonderfully imperfect creatures, and we can only relate and bond with other wonderfully imperfect creatures."
Dare to be honest, authentic, and imperfect in your stories and story sharing. It will make you much more human and relatable :)
Via Karen Dietz