Podcasts: Marketing Automation

Marketing automation sounds like a wonderful concept – freeing up your staff and letting the computer do all the work, but it’s not really that simple.

First, there is a ton of thought, analysis, and planning that goes into the decision whether or not to automate your marketing.

For example, as Alun Hill explains, if you aren’t at a certain business size, one that can handle auto-generating a substantial number of qualified leads, marketing automation won’t produce any substantial results.

Unless you have been experiencing a certain level of growth, you won’t find much benefit from automating your marketing.

Automation is best suited for companies that are already in a growth pattern.

It would seem that if your growth has been stagnating, that automating your marketing should provide more customers, and therefore more sales, thus leading to new growth.

The problem is that marketing automation is best suited to continue a growth trend that is already in place, rather than to “jump start” new sales growth.

White Paper: Marketing Automation

* A list of 100 blog posts that teach/explain/discuss the topic
* A list of forum posts that teach/explain/discuss the topic
* A list of 50 YouTube videos that teach/explain/discuss the topic
* A list of 30 Paid Products that teach/explain/discuss the topic

Do you want to get my White Papers before anyone else?

Just subscribe (on the right) to get them first – before they appear on the website!

Right click to download: White Paper Marketing Automation PDF

How To Get Social With Video

This article is to accompany the 10 part podcast available here at Soundcloud or here at iTunes.

Video is definitely the hottest trend in social media marketing.

People love to watch videos, to share videos with others, and to interact with those who make the videos.

How can you use this trend to build your brand and increase your business income?

Here are some things to keep in mind when adding social video marketing to your business plan.

Demonstrate How to Do Something

This is by far one of the easiest ways to get started with social video marketing. Showing your audience how to tackle a problem helps brand you as an authority and it helps solve a problem. Think about the short how-to recipe videos. If you are making products about weight loss, you could do short how-to videos on healthy alternatives to favorite foods.

Take People Behind the Scenes

Short video clips are a great way to give a quick behind-the-scenes look of your company or special event. People love getting a sneak peak at things that they normally would not see. It builds trust and that is very important if you want people to buy from you.

Tell People a Story

People love to hear stories. By telling your back story of who you are and why you chose to build your business using video, you can connect with your customers at a deeper level. You can create a short video that visually represents what your company stands for which is far more interactive and interesting than just the standard “About Us” page on your website.

Put a New Twist on Customer Service

If you have some frequently asked questions, why not make a series of short videos that provide the answers to those questions. Customer service is vital to growing your business and can lead to not only more sales, but to loyal customers who will buy virtually anything you offer.

Educate and Inspire Others

When you teach something new, or reach out to inspire, you make connections that will really benefit your business. Think of a picture you have seen with an inspirational quote, how did that make you feel? Did you share it with your friends? Did you comment to the person who shared it with you about how it made you feel? A short video can expand on this idea.

These are just a few ideas on how you can use social video marketing to build you business and make more sales. See what other ideas you can think of to add to the list that would work for your specific customers and what products or services you sell.How to Effectively Use Social Video Marketing on reddit

While reddit can be rather abrasive to almost any form of perceived marketing, there is a way to effectively get a message out to the redditors (as they call themselves) in the various communities.

What is reddit?

Reddit is a community of communities, for lack of a better description. It is a website made up of more than 7,000 communities (known as “subreddits”) and users can subscribe to any number of them. The subreddits range from very mainstream (“books”) to incredibly obscure (“BritishSuccess”). There are many instances of splinter subreddits, where a general topic is begun, and more and more specific subreddits are launched from these. Examples of this are AskReddit (asking general questions to the general population of reddit) which has spawned numerous “Ask” subreddits, such as AskMen, AskCulinary, AskScience, AskWhatever, and AskOldPeople. Fortunately for marketers, this allows precise targeting for advertisement. When looking for subreddits of interest to target, be sure to look also toward the bottom of each subreddit page, where there are usually links to similar, or related, ssubreddits. You can easily increase your targets in this way.

Reddit is not without controversy, as with all websites. There have been many upheavals over the years, but the core community and purpose remain.

Advertising on reddit

Reddit states there are 170 million users that can be reached through their advertising program. Targeting is possible through interest, location, and community. This last one is the most important; that’s where you can advertise to a specific subreddit that fits your target audience.

Individual ads on reddit cannot be videos, but they are specially designed posts (either text or links) that can then link to a video.

Individual posts in subreddits can link to videos (hosted anywhere, not limited to YouTube) but commercial messages that are not paid ads are extremely frowned upon. There is an entire subreddit (HailCorporate) devoted to calling out advertising messages trying to disguise themselves as organic posts. It is best to simply not take that route; the damage you could accrue will likely be long-lasting and memorable (and not in a good way). There have been numerous examples of corporate brands attempting to “blend in” this way, and they tend to all be noticed and ridiculed.

Reddit is not as large as Facebook, certainly, but redditors are more engaged with the site than Facebook users, overall. The trade-off in sheer numbers of users is made up for in the fact that redditors are passionate and can be targeted with extreme precision. Think of it as a grocery store versus a health-food store.5 Tips for Using Social Videos on Instagram

Do a quick how-to video
Make a short video that shows off your portfolio
Use video to let your audience know about specials and events
Show the human face of your brand.
Increase engagement on Facebook

By using a how to video, you can answer questions your customers have, quickly. Make a list of the most-asked questions your customer service department gets and use short videos on Instagram to answer them. Answering questions with a short how-to video is a great way to add value for your community.

Making a short video showing off your portfolio in a visual fashion can really build up your business. Sometimes pictures and words do not show your talent as well as a video or two can. For example, if you are an architect, you can show pictures and describe your projects. A well made video or series of videos showing your projects will have far more impact.

Using a short video to let your audience know about specials and events can be a great way to keep them informed. They are far more likely to pay attention to a video. They are also more likely to tell others about your specials or events if they can share a quick video on their cell phone. The important thing is to make those videos interesting and more of a story, not just a “Buy this!!” video. Tell them a story of why this special is so special.

People like buying from other people. They feel more connected if they know the person behind the brand or business. For example, the early commercials about Sam Walton and his new store did very well because it was the story of a person and how he built his stores one by one and filled them with American made products. Even though the stores have changed a great deal under his children, the idea of putting the human face is a great way to connect with your customers.

Whenever possible, link your audience from one platform to another. Making short videos on Instagram using your smart phone, and then posting them to your business page or community page on Facebook, is a great way to improve engagement. If you share an article, you may get a few shares and comments. If you share a picture, especially if you add a few words to the picture in the style of a popular meme, you will get a lot more interaction. However a video will increase this activity far more than even a meme will, And you have more flexibility with a video than you do with a picture that has a few words on it.5 Social Video Marketing Tips

Make sure your video is something your audience will share.

Before creating your video, think about your audience and see what kinds of videos they are likely to share. Think about your “ideal” customer for your product or “ideal” client for your service. Create a story for them. Where do they live? What kind of family structure do they have? How old are they? What is their financial level? What is their educational level? What are their goals and aspirations? When you put together a composite of your ideal audience, then create the video that person would share.

Understand each platform and how it works best with videos.

You will need to tweak your video based on the platform. For example is the platform primarily mobile and wanting extremely short videos while on the run, such as Instagram or Vine? Does the platform allow a lot of comments like Facebook does, and make it super easy to share? Do you need a video that relies more on visual than auditory? Facebook generally turns off audio when auto playing videos, so if you are relying a lot on audio, you may lose out on Facebook if you do not tweak it to be more visual.

Tell a good story.

Remember that even if you are marketing a product or service, people love stories. It is hard wired into humans to respond to story telling. When you tell a good story, not only are they more likely to share the video and engage with you, but they will be more likely to buy because they have been entertained.

People share videos that evoke emotions.

This point goes along with telling a good story. When you evoke emotional responses, people are far more likely to engage with the content and to share it with others. Look at the kind of videos that tend to be shared quite frequently on social media sites, and tend to garner lots of comments. There are reasons why Maru is an internet sensation with millions of views. There is just something very appealing about a chunky cat with folded ears trying to squish himself into many boxes. People love him because he evokes emotional responses from them.

Keep it short.

You will probably spend a great deal of time, at first, editing your videos. Anything over 2 minutes is far too long for most sites, with the possible exception of YouTube, or as part of a class. Try for under a minute and even a 15 second video, if done well, can actually be extremely powerful. There are reasons why a 15 to 30 second television commercial works so well.

3 Tips for Using Social Video on Facebook:

Know the Community Guidelines

Facebook has about the largest audience of any social media platform there is. As such, they have perhaps the strictest rules about what can be shared, who it can be shared with, and so on. The Guidelines (as they call them) are not overly restrictive, they’re just long. Be sure to set aside a chunk of time to familiarize yourself with them before you begin any type of marketing on Facebook, video or otherwise.

Penalties for violating the Community Guidelines vary depending on the severity of the offense, among other factors, but if you are a repeat violator you can, and will, have your Facebook account deleted and banned. Predictably, the penalties for marketing-related violations are generally stricter than for non-marketers. Facebook staff are not known for being extremely flexible once a decision has been made, and although appeals and reversals are not unheard of, it’s a better practice to avoid sanctions in the first place rather than trying to appeal a negative decision. The most basic advice here is to ensure your videos and other marketing messages are family-friendly.

Don’t Overshare

This applies more to posting your videos (or other marketing messages) on your own account or in groups or pages, rather than advertising. As far as paid insertion, your budget seems to be the only real limit. But for social sharing, don’t overdo it. Not only will people begin to bristle at your omnipresence (especially if you’re also sharing the same basic message through paid ads), too much presence through free channels may backfire and generate some negative publicity.

Don’t be the party guest that refuses to leave. There’s a fine line between not enough and too much. It may take some experimentation to find that line.

Target, Target, Target

Simply put, it’s a waste of money to insert your video where it’s not wanted. If you take the shotgun approach to placing your advertising messages, you are not only going to irritate the individuals who see it but don’t have any interest, but if they see it over and over again, you may generate negative goodwill. Why not save money and only show your videos to the people are likely to want to see them?

Targeting is simple on Facebook. They offer a myriad of demographic choices to narrow your audience down to precisely who will likely be interested in your message. Split testing and constant adjustment of your target audience will also serve you well here.

Facebook may seem intimidating, but if you study their rules and culture, social video marketing can be very rewarding on that particular platform.

This article is to accompany the 10 part podcast available here at Soundcloud or here at iTunes.

My New Home Office Is (Almost!) Complete


After too many weeks of builders, network technicians and electricians (and painters and plasterers before that), I finally moved into my office at home today.

There’s just a bit of cabling to be tidied and that will be done this week.

What you can’t see in this pic is the wonderful view of the Mediterranean Sea … but I avoid looking in that direction when I have work to do!

September Newsletter – Talking About Business

My 68 page September newsletter (dated for August) is now available for free download.

Remember, subscribers get to see this first!

This issue has a new “magazine style” format, making links clickable.

33 Email Marketing Tips to Double and even Triple Your Email Profits Overnight page 8

Ten (10) How-To Tips For More Effective Results to Your Online business page 15

A Surprise Niche with Enormous Potential Profit page 24

FUN: The Missing Ingredient to Your Business? page 27

Security? Fuhgeddaboudit! page 30

Five (5) Keys to Creating a Great Mobile App For You And/Or Your Customers page 33

You Haven’t Seen PLR Used Like THIS… page 40

BUSINESS IN A BOX #1 $100,000 Per Year From Webinars You DON’T Do page 44

BUSINESS IN A BOX #2 Teaching Internet Marketing to Local Newbies? Heck Yeah!

… and much, much more!

Talking About Business – Sept Newsletter 2015

Jet Blue – And Internet at 38,116 Feet

Well, this is a first.

It’s either 23:52 or 20:52 depending on whether I look at the “origin” clock or the “destination” clock.

I’m flying JetBlue Mint from New York to San Francisco and not only am I getting exceptional service, a lie flat seat and good food, but there’s full internet, too.

As you may know, I’ve travelled quite a bit in recent years (hey, this is my 4th flight this week and one of them was 13 hours in the air) and so many flights are the same old routine.

The crew on this one are kind, relaxed and helpful – and genuinely enjoy handing out blankets and food at 9 at night and showing me how the seat works – I loved the massage function!

Being able to work and relax (and watch live US TV!) is a real first for me.


Happy to recommend!