Sparking Social Media With Video

Brands and businesses are using video, but few are realizing video’s true value as the ignition point of a targeted social media marketing campaign or, the spark. Likewise, many brands and companies are embracing social media but not getting as much out of the experience as they could. With a “videocentric” approach, video serves as the center of conversation from which layers of additional conversation evolve across social networking channels, blogs and forums often extending into traditional publications and beyond. This conversation goes from being

  1. About the video
  2. To being about the brand or business behind the video
  3. To the products and services offered
  4. To the  fans of the brand
  5. To the people behind the brand and so on…

As with any successful marketing effort, this requires proper planning and execution. I’ll explain how we attack the process at Supercool Creative, from start to finish and offer some fresh ways for marketing executives, brand managers and entrepreneurs to look at video as a crucial piece in the social media puzzle..

Step one is not “go shoot a video.” Too many campaigns fall flat or flat out fail because they start with a video and end with a plan of what to do with the video. That’s retrofitting and as you know, retrofitting can be more costly than doing something the right way the first time. We start off by establishing objectives that can be measured against hard goals like “more site traffic” and “increased sales” as well as soft goals like “more blog mentions, retweets and interviews.” Next, we identify the target audience. Who is the ideal customer and where are they online, right now? Then, we establish what the video will be about, what will be the bigger conversation surrounding that video and where and how that conversation will happen. The time to figure all that out is not after you have posted the video.

Content is king, be creative! The video should be engaging and above all SHAREABLE. Make it funny, shocking, quirky, confounding or whatever but be sure that it’s something worth talking about. The video itself is not and should not be enough to tell or sell the entire story. This is where a lot of marketers go wrong, packing too much into one video or making it into a commercial.

Online videos do not always require insane production value but they do need to be valuable. Three questions we ask before writing and shooting any video are

  1. How will this video add value to peoples’ lives?
  2. Should the video be funny or entertaining, shocking, controversial? Which genre if any will best fly with our client’s audience?
  3. How likely will people be to share the video if given the opportunity? Basically, “why should somebody care about this video enough to watch it?”

After that, we outline and write the script then plan the shoot.

social-media-marketing-and-pr-20

Unlike other forms of media including TV, radio, print and billboard, social media is not a broadcast channel intended to reach the masses but rather an interactive channel intended to mingle with the masses. As such, time and attention need to be given to setting up the right channels and building and maintaining relationships. Is the client’s audience mostly on Facebook? LinkedIn? YouTube? Twitter? How much time does the client have to spend on social media marketing each week? These factors will help determine which and how many channels are selected and developed.

One last thing to consider before locking down a video shoot is integration. Will the video be part of a larger marketing strategy including TV, radio, banner, video pre-roll, website integration, PR? This is an important thing to consider, especially if we are working with multiple agencies including traditional, interactive and PR agencies. As with retrofitting, integration is much easier and more cost effective the first time around.

Shoot and edit the video, including pre-production, casting, crewing up and executing according to the script and objectives. After post production, the video is encoded for the places it will live online for a very long time. To establish the video as the originating medium, we upload to YouTube and several other selected video sharing sites. Video search optimization is very important at this point so research is always key.

Now, we have a video link or two to work with. Just a few of things we do to help that link see the light of day include sharing the video with the client’s new YouTube community, inviting new friends, emailing the link, posting the video story and a link on Twitter; embedding the video on Facebook sparking conversation whenever possible; posting the link on LinkedIn status updates and starting a few discussions based on the bigger story surrounding the video.

The final step is to start building a genuine conversation surrounding the video. Outreach is a very important part of this process and includes reaching out to relevant influencers, launching local, topical and/or industry related press releases and contacting relevant online and offline publications. Just be sure that the story is compelling, the video is engaging and the product or service is sincere.

David Murdico is the Executive Creative Director of Supercool Creative, a Los Angeles based agency specializing in online video creative & production, viral marketing and integrated social media campaigns.

Posted under Online Marketing

Coming Soon To Facebook: “USERNAMES”

According to the facebook blog, users will finally have the chance to create usernames for their profiles:

“From the beginning of Facebook, people have used their real names to share and connect with the people they know. This authenticity helps to create a trusted environment because you know the identity of the people and things on Facebook. The one place, though, where your identity wasn’t reflected was in the Web address for your profile or the Facebook Pages you administer. The URL was just a randomly assigned number like “id=592952074.” That soon will change.

We’re planning to offer Facebook usernames to make it easier for people to find and connect with you. When your friends, family members or co-workers visit your profile or Pages on Facebook, they will be able to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. We expect to offer even more ways to use your Facebook username in the future.”

How will this change everything?

This really follows the whole idea of making the internet a more “Search Friendly” (ie: SEO Friendly) environment to help users find their way through all the crap being added daily. My question is WHY THE HELL HAS IT TAKEN THEM THIS LONG? LinkedIn and Twitter have been doing this for ages. In fact, most social networks adhere to the “user-name”.  Now, browsing for the correct user URL will be that much easier:

Room For Concern…

I am a bit concerned about the ‘you get 1 chance’ rule. They warn users to “think carefully about the username you choose. Once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it.” Now that’s just not fair! Why not step up their game and find a way to make it so you can choose multiple user names. Like “Keyword” for SEO, this will help expand the searchability of each individual.

Either way, this is a great move for Facebook and will definitely help them out in terms of increasing traffic and overall ease of use. Good job! As usual, I look forward to seeing a “We Hate Facebook Usernames” facebook group…though in this case, I’m not sure that will happen (though I wouldn’t be surprised).

Posted under Blogs, SEO/SEM, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on June 9, 2009

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Employment Related Business Models Online

I just had the pleasure of recently moderating the panel at Ultra Light Startups “Employment Related Business Models“. Hosted by For Your Imagination, the recent Ultra Light Startup, yet again, blew me away. I’ve attended their events since September ‘08, taking pictures and submitting post event write-ups. Here are a few of the recently covered topics:

  1. Web Analytics
  2. Revenue Model Workshop
  3. Monetization of Ads
  4. Outsourcing
  5. SEO/SEM
  6. Open Source CMS <-Popular Event!

This past month continued to bring in new faces as well as the “ULS Regulars”, and I was very surprised that a niche topic like “Employment Business Models” drew as large of a crowd as it did. Some of the topics covered included:

  • What are the most promising niches and technologies for employment-related startups?
  • Revenue-generating technology for bloggers and web publishers – job boards, services and related packages. An overview and comparison of platforms available to publishers.
  • Efficiency-enhancing technology for recruiters – social networks, requisition-sharing tools, etc. Which tools are essential for recruiters and why?
  • Innovative employment-related startups – TheLadders, Indeed, SimplyHired, JobScore, Doostang. Which niches and approaches are the most profitable and fastest growing?
  • Job search on social platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. How are these platforms changing the business of recruiting?

The reason I was picked to moderate this event was because of my background in the employment related online space. I recently co-founded  RezRedo, a vertical search engine for job experiences found in resumes. The first search engine of its kind, RezRedo is opening doors to new methods of resume writing and job related research. Prior to RezRedo, I was a recruiter at AC Lion and headed all online marketing and web related initiatives for the firm including: Blogging, Social Networking, Web Analytics, E-Mail Marketing, SEO, and exploring new advertising options. But most of this experience fails in comparison to that of the panelists:

Panelists:

Before the panel began, I had the opportunity to present a powerpoint presentation that helped break down the Employment Space. Take a look and see the presentation for yourself:

*Click here for a copy of the powerpoint seen in the video above.


This past month there were over 70 people listed. To get a feel for what types of entrepreneurs attend and present their ideas at this event,  take a look at some of the attendees:

Be sure to sign up for next months Ultra Light event: Monetizing Online Video. You can sign up on their website or via meetup.com.

(*If you are interested in reading more about this past event,  check out Ultralight Startups meet-up, March, 2009 by Corey Maass)

Posted under Events, Online Video, Ultra Light Startups

March 5th – Employment Related Business Event

I have been chosen to moderate next months Ultra Light Startups event, and after attending last months Ultra Light Web Analytics, I have a feeling this month will have a great turnout.

This Months Topic…

This months topic will be Employment Related Business Models. The topics are as follows:

  • What are the most promising niches and technologies for employment-related startups?
  • Revenue-generating technology for bloggers and web publishers – job boards, services and related packages. An overview and comparison of platforms available to publishers.
  • Efficiency-enhancing technology for recruiters – social networks, requisition-sharing tools, etc. Which tools are essential for recruiters and why?
  • Innovative employment-related startups – TheLadders, Indeed, SimplyHired, JobScore, Doostang. Which niches and approaches are the most profitable and fastest growing?
  • Job search on social platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. How are these platforms changing the business of recruiting?

The reason I was picked to moderate this event was because of my background in the employment related online space. I recently co-founded  RezRedo, a vertical search engine for job experiences found in resumes. The first search engine of its kind, RezRedo is opening doors to new methods of resume writing and job related research. Prior to RezRedo, I was a recruiter at AC Lion and headed all online marketing and web related initiatives for the firm including: Blogging, Social Networking, Web Analytics, E-Mail Marketing, SEO, and exploring new advertising options. But most of this experience fails in comparison to that of the panelists:

The Panelists

Allen Ackerman

Allen is founder of A-List Placement, a digital media recruiting firm, and recently launched I Have A Req, a private social network that helps recruiters collaborate on placements and share commissions through a ‘cloud recruiting’ model. Allen is also founder of MAD-G, (aka Mobile Application Development Group) which takes a progressive ‘consortium-based’ approach to providing its clients with cutting edge mobile solutions. Allen honed his skills as a software developer, creating applications for companies such as Goldman Sachs and Sony Music.

Charlie O’Donnell

Charlie is the Co-Founder & CEO of Path 101, a NYC startup that is revolutionizing career guidance though the mining of data from millions of public resumes. After funding VCs at the GM pension fund, and funding startups at Union Square Ventures, Charlie spent a year as Director of Consumer Products at Oddcast before starting Path 101 with Alex Lines. The founder of nextNY, he also teaches entrepreneurship at Fordham University and is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at ITAC.

Jeff Stewart

Jeff is the founder of Urgent Career, a technology start-up seeking to revolutionize the way companies find, screen and assess sales talent. He is a serial entrepreneur, inventor and investor specializing in technology-enabled growth businesses through his angel fund, Urgent Ventures. Jeff has founded over a half dozen companies which if combined employ over 600 people. Jeff writes about start-ups at his blog, Urgent Speed.

Eric Yoon

Eric is the founder and CEO of JobScout, a daily email digest of great jobs in new york city for business development, product management, marketing and sales professionals. Formerly, he was a founder of JobThread and CEO since 2003. Eric has been in the online recruitment industry for the last 10 years in mainly product management roles (Product Manager at HotJobs, Product Development Manager at Bernard Hodes Group, Product Manager at The New York Times Digital for Job Market).

Event/Ticket Information

The event is going to take place on March 5th, at 6:30-9pm, at For Your Imagination. If you are interested in attending, it’s only $5 to attend and Pizza/Drinks will be served.  This is a great opportunity for recruiters, business owners, and publishers to network and grow their own businesses. The event page can be found on http://ultralightstartups.com/newyork/employment-related-business-models.html. If you are interested in reading more, check out the BusinessWeek.com article featuring Ultra Light Startups.

Due to growing number of attendees, an expectadly large crowd of ultra light entrepreneurs, I am looking forward to this event seeing you there!

Posted under Events, Job Search, Online Marketing, Ultra Light Startups

LinkedIn Uses the “New and Improved” Approach!

LinkedIn's New & Improved Search

LinkedIn's New & Improved Search Capability

LinkedIn just released another improvement to their UI that allows you search all areas of LinkedIn…wait a second…I was able to do this before!! From what it looks like, they made some small changes to their search accuracy and decided to promote that as “New and Improved”. But who am I to get mad at them for tricking me into thinking “oh wow! another new feature”? I mean, all month they have been implementing changes including one of my favorites, LinkedIn Applications.

This is a great example of web-marketing and engaging your users. They took a rather minute change and informed their users. This is great for marketing. Imagine if you made a small change to your web-site and then left a flag by it letting your users know it was “NEW & IMPROVED”. It has been used time and time again by many large companies. I saw an interesting response to the following question on a  Yahoo! Answers forum:

Q: Why do they say ‘New and Improved’? How can it be new if it was improved?

A: It is part of marketing. Why would someone want to buy a “improved” ipod if they already have one, for instance. But, if they say “new and improved” hey i don’t have that 1. Its just another way to make a few more dollars. (or millions

This is a worthy marketing tactic and it took something minutes liked LinkedIn’s “New” search capabilities to get me to actually notice this approach. Let me know if it works (or ever worked) for you or your company.

Posted under Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 24, 2008

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