Archive for February, 2007

Email Marketing 101: Helpful Tips

February 22, 2007

CPCC’s Barbara HallOn Wednesday, February 21st I facilitated an email marketing seminar at the request of Mrs. Barbara Hall, Central Piedmont Community College’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business program  developer.  The course was designed to teach small business owners and managers some of the basics of successfully integrating email marketing into a larger marketing plan.

In addition to learning the basic “nuts and bolts”, I wanted my students to understand that success in email marketing is more a function of creative and consistent use of this tool; rather than a focus on technical, Internet babble.  For example, sending a well written email press release to a targeted list of 5 media contacts can be just as effective as renting a list of several thousand email addresses. It is not sexy but it flat out works.

For the convenience of my students and for those who could not attend the seminar I am posting the presentation document used during the seminar and links to additional resources, some not discussed during the class.

Email Marketing Presentation Download

Additional Resources:

Email Newsletter Providers:
Try their demos before you buy

  1. Constant Contact
  2. Sparklist
  3. Vertical Response

Email List Providers:
Check their background and get a sample of their list before you take the full plunge.

  1. The Internet Police:  Federal Trade Commission Notes
  2. Info USA (large provider)

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Create Your Own Web TV Show

February 20, 2007

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Mike Berkley ImageTo illustrate the marketing power of video, I often ask my clients how would you market your business if you had a television show at your disposal?  Companies like SplashCast have made the idea of user generated video programming a reality and in many ways their capability exceeds what broadcast television can offer.

There are a number of companies emerging as players in this market, but I really like SplashCast’s compact but feature-rich player design and the functional media management back end console. To help us better understand the benefits of syndicated web video programming; I decided to conduct an interview with SplashCast CEO, Mike Berkley.

What is Splashcast?
SplashCast is a Portland, OR based start-up that is bringing the power of media syndication to everyone. Using proven technology in development over several years, SplashCast is giving people the power to become their own broadcasting network across the Web.

What can clients do with splashcast?
The SplashCast service enables anyone to create streaming media ‘channels’ that combine video, music, photos, narration, text and RSS feeds. These user-generated channels can be played and easily syndicated on any web site, blog, or social network page. When channel owners modify their channel, their content is automatically updated across all the web pages ‘tuned’ to that channel.

Why should a small businesses consider a service like Splashcast?
It’s an effective way to engage with viewers to tell a story, do a demo, essentially communicate a message. Plus, SplashCast is designed as a viral technology so the content in the player can spread very quickly. In that regard, companies can easily create “user generated campaigns,” that encourage users to post their own shows and channels about their relationship with the brand or a related passion, interest or similar work topic.

What are some specific ways small businesses can leverage splashcast?
Create a show that relates to issues that pertain to the company’s market. It can act much like a blog does but uses media such as pictures, audio or video to tell the story. Create a support channel to help answer customer questions. Encourage customers to post their own shows. Post audio interviews or videos with customers. Ask customers to subscribe to the channels and then post their own commentary.

Mike, what do you think of this use of Splashcast? I regularly suggest to clients that they capture their marketing seminars on video, chop each seminar into short segments and offer the segments as a channel to non-competing companies who reach the client’s audience.
Great idea. People can then subscribe to the channel and then post to their own web site.

After your beta program concludes, do you have an idea about pricing?
We’ll be integrating advertising into the free SplashCast service. We will also offer a pro account, which will be available for a monthly subscription fee. We will announce in the coming months what will be offered with the pro account.

There you have it.  The ability to create a channel with multiple video, audio and image driven programs within a single player is incredible.  Include with this the ability to allow users to place your channel within their websites and blogs is amazing.  How will you use your TV station? Comment below!

Related Topics:

  1. Watch Our Web TV Show!
  2. 5 Secrets to Producing a Great Web TV Show
  3. 5 Ways the PR Store (and YOU) Can Supercharge A Seminar.
  4. For hundreds of ways to get customers to call you (subscribe to our newsletter) (browse archive)

What should I do next?

Educating Entrepreneurs: 2/17 Event in Review

February 19, 2007

panorama_logo.jpgThis weekend (Saturday, 2/17/2007), I had the pleasure of speaking to an audience of current and aspiring entrepreneurs to discuss with them tactics and strategies to woo prospective customers.  Mrs. Susan Woods, principal in Panorama Computer Learning, Inc. recruited me as one of the event’s guest speakers. Valarie R. Brooks, “the hardest working woman in real estate” was the second speaker. The event’s purpose was to raise funds for the Computer Learning Center’s effort to retrain displaced workers.

Unfortunately I was unable to present some important points during my presentation.  Below are links to posts covering some of the omitted discussion topics:

  1. Focus on Your Customers WANTS
  2. Creating Customer Evangelists
  3. Websites:  Your Content is King
  4. To Get Google to Find You, Start Writing
  5. Power of courting the press

In addition to the discussion items above, I am posting some of the event photos (click the image link below).

panorama_photo_link_template.jpg

Marketing 911: Start Right Tennis

February 15, 2007

Start Right TennisStarting this month a new section will appear on our blog. Marketing 911 is designed to assist entrepreneurs draw new customers to their businesses. Thank you once again, Joan Stewart (thepublicityhound.com) for another great idea. Different businesses will be featured frequently and I will ask our readers to post their marketing suggestions as comments.

Kofe Mawougbe is one of the best tennis instructors I have ever met and he is also my son’s tennis coach. He is the owner of Start Right Tennis Development in Charlotte, North Carolina (startrighttennis.com).

As I said, Kofe knows tennis but he could use a little help attracting and keeping more clients. His primary targets are children 6-teen and adults 25-50. In the adult range women seem to be most responsive. Kofe is currently in the process of creating a comprehensive marketing plan so I am curious to find out what you would suggest Kofe consider. Please post your suggestions as comments below.

About.com Embraces Web Video

February 13, 2007

How-To pillar, About.com has been providing text based instructional content for years but in light of changing consumer preferences, About has made a big push towards online video.  Why should entrepreneurs like us care?  Well, About’s adoption of video is but one more example of the marketing power of video. 

“Video’s becoming a baseline. … It’s absolutely necessary even just for retention of audience,” said eMarketer senior analyst David Hallerman. It’s another way to present the same information-and can also increase time spent on a site. – Read the Details (From Ad Age) 

I often tell my clients, “even if you are not personally into this content, your existing and potential customers are, so you either get into it or hire someone who is.”  My company, Eastonsweb Multimedia is in partnership with Brightcove; the business that drives the technology under the hood of About.com’s video channel.