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Xstremeology Blog

by, Lesa Seibert, President, Xstreme Media

This week we are going to provide you with links to some of the most used Multimedia Marketing tools.  Enjoy.

Photo Sharing

•    Twitter's TweetPhoto will automatically enable you to publish photos to your Twitter and Facebook accounts for free via mobile and Web platforms.

•    Yahoo!-operated Flickr provides a useful platform for photo management and sharing.

•    Photobucket is a free image hosting site that enables visitors to share photos, videos and slideshows. Plus, you can search through their archives for inspirational or fun photos for your own viewing pleasure.

•    TinyPic is another image hosting site that allows you to share photos and videos for no cost at all. You can easily upload, link, and share your images and videos on MySpace, eBay, blogs, message boards, and a number of other Web-based platforms.

•    Snapfish provides unlimited free photo storage and photo sharing, as well. They also offer a feature called 'Snapshow,' which works as a free multimedia slideshow that brings your photos to life, with customized themes, songs and titles.

•    Shutterfly is an online photo sharing platform that also allows you to share sites, albums and projects for free.

 

Hosting Videos and Webcasting

•    With the tagline "Broadcast Yourself," YouTube allows users to post video, both ametuer and professional, for anyone to view.

•    Blip.tv's Learning Center links to information about podcasting, equipment, production tips and more.

•    Yahoo's video blogging list is a message board where people interested in video podcasting post questions and trade information.

•    Leesa Barnes, a noted author and expert, provides an informational website with the tagline "Make Selling Fun and Profitable Using a Podcast."

•   iTunes Store, an online digital media store operated by Apple, is the No. 1 music vendor in the United States, however it also provides video and podcast downloads as well.


Podcasting

•    RSS Player Podcast Client for the iPhone and iPod Touch is a unique iPhone app that lets you subscribe to to your favorite podcasts, manage them, and listen to them in a unique and well designed format for the iPhone with tons of cool features.

•    Libsyn is a full-featured service tailored specifically for media self-publishing and podcasting. Price is based on usage, changing monthly if needed.

•    PodcastAlley.com is the best site to find all your Podcasts, podcast feeds, podcast definitions, podcast software and best podcast directory.

•    Podcast411 offers the 411 on podcasts, podcasters and podcasting. It's the place to learn to podcast. They offer how to's on podcasting, a directory of podcasts, and a directory of podcasts.

•    On Podanza you'll find all the best audio podcasts and video podcasts. You can browse the podcast directory or search for your favorite podcast.

•    TalkShoe is a service that enables anyone to easily create, join, or listen to live interactive discussions, conversations, podcasts and audioblogs.

•    PodcastFAQ is a website committed to providing everything you need to know about podcasting, from podcast creators and consumers to businesses.

•    Everything With Podcasting is a website companion to the book How to do Everything with Podcasting by Shel Holtz with Neville Hobson.

•    Podcasting consultant Sallie Goetsch's humorous take on how not to podcast, from her Podcast Asylum site.


Mobile Marketing

•    Google (AdMob), AOL (Third Screen Media) and Apple (Quattro Wireless) will act as full-service marketing shops by handling the entire process, including technology, the creative content of mobile ads, and the ads' placement.

•   Cellit Mobile Marketing and Movo sell short codes for texting campaigns.

by, Lesa Seibert, President, Xstreme Media

When you decide you want to start a mobile campaign, you have a few things you need to consider before you get started.  Here are three steps to take:
  1. Determine your goals. Who is your target audience? How will they benefit from your message? Do you hope to generate revenue, generate interest, generate traffic to your website, or all three? Define your goals and set benchmarks for what a successful campaign would look like.
  2. Choose your message. Your message should have a clear call to action. According to mobile marketing firm Punchkick Interactive, "over 90 percent of texts from SMS messaging campaigns are read by recipients, generating average response rates of 15 to 30 percent or more." With the potential for that kind of penetration, it would help to make sure your campaign is simple, memorable, and factual. One thing every local business should be doing, says James Citron, CEO of mobile video marketing firm Mogreet, is attach keywords to their mobile campaigns that will resonate with customers in order to create brand awareness.
  3. Pair your mobile marketing campaign with other social media. When Casa Del Mar, a luxury beach hotel located in Santa Monica, California, wanted to get the word out about drink specials, they doubled up on social media marketing. The hotel posted messages on Twitter and Facebook saying, "Text CASA to 21534 and enjoy unlimited champagne or Bloodys. FREE." Customers who texted received videos of the weekend brunch spread on their phone and received the beverage of their choice at the hotel. The end result was highly viral, with 250 redemptions.  Locally owned BoomBozz Pizza, uses text campaigns to receive discounts off of pizzas or combo meals.  When you receive your discount code on your phone, take it in next time you dine and receive your discount.  Another local campaign was hosted by Sam Swope Auto during the UK/UL football game.  You texted who you thought would win to a short code number and in return got a text coupon back good for 15% off of your next oil change or service.

by, Lesa Seibert, President, Xstreme Media

There are 4.1 billion cell phone connections worldwide, and with the prevalence of smart phones, the concept of browsing the Web from a mobile phone has gone mainstream. Consider this: Mobile phone carriers are sitting atop a trove of data – not just your name, address, and, of course, phone number but also credit card information, who your friends are, and where you're located at this very moment. Even with privacy regulations, more of this information will become available to marketers as phones are used more like little PCs, creating opportunities for highly targeted ads and other marketing breakthroughs.

Here's what you need to know to get started.

  • How exactly do I advertise on a mobile phone? The most common type of mobile ad is a display ad served on a Web page called up on a cell phone's screen. The ads are created for the site's mobile format and may not be the same as the ads you would see if you were browsing the site on a PC. Ads are priced on a Cost Per Mille, or CPM, basis – the price you pay for the ad to be seen 1,000 times.
  • How do I buy mobile ads? Most advertisers work with mobile-ad networks, which bring together advertisers and websites that are frequently viewed by phone. Some of the larger players, which are owned by the likes of Google (AdMob), AOL (Third Screen Media) and Apple (Quattro Wireless), will act as full-service marketing shops. They handle the entire process, including technology, the creative content of mobile ads, and the ads' placement. 
  • What do mobile ads cost? The cost of mobile ads varies due to the different types of ads, and different cell phone platforms. For instance, AdMob, one of the main mobile-ad networks, currently charges CPMs of $12 to $14 for iPhone banner ads. 
  • What about text messaging? One option is to buy or rent a short code, a five- or six-digit phone number from which you can send and receive text messages. One common way to use a short code is to publish it on a billboard or in a print ad ("Text 51234 for more information") that encourages customers to enter a contest or participate in a poll.
  • What does a short code cost? Cellit Mobile Marketing, in Chicago, and Movo, in Florida, sell short codes for $500 to $1,000 per month, plus a one-time setup fee of a few thousand dollars and a charge of 4 cents to 7 cents for each text message. You can also rent a code for as little as $225 per month. Keep in mind that technological standards vary. Nearly every phone on the market is equipped to send and receive texts, but some systems won't let you embed complex graphics or photographs. 
  • Hiring a professional?  There are companies that provide text messaging services that cost you a fixed fee per month or year and provide the short code and software to send your text to not only text platforms but to also convert it to voice and call the customer or to email and sends them an email.
  • How do I go after my best customers on a mobile phone? Google has expanded into the mobile world in several ways. Now, it allows companies to buy display ads – ads related to content – on the mobile Web. AdMob claims click-through rates on this type of ad of up to 3 percent, which is quite high. The company charges a cost-per-click (CPC) fee of 25 cents to 30 cents.
by, Lesa Seibert, President, Xstreme Media

So you keep thinking about doing a video for your business but you can't decide if you should.  Here are four reasons why creating a video for your business is a good investment:

 

  1. Show customers how to use your product. With a slogan as simple as "Broadcast Yourself," many YouTube users are doing just that, especially when it comes to showing how their products or services can be used. "There are countless small business owners posting how-to videos on YouTube.  If people can see you product and see how it works, they are more likely to purchase.  One of our clients, Lawn Solutions, does just that.  The company's sales increased dramatically after putting videos on their site of their products in use. 
  2. Extend your client base. Do you have a service that you could provide online to customers?  Remember, the Internet opens your customer base up to anyone in the world.  An example of this is John Tuggle,  In December 2007, John Tuggle, a slide and blues guitar instructor based in Decatur, Georgia, began posting videos on YouTube teaching people how to play guitar because he wasn't generating enough interest in his hometown. By February 2008, interest in his lessens grew so much that he created LearningGuitarNow.com where visitors contacted him regularly for private lessons via Skype at the rate of $25 for 30 minutes. "I just kept talking to people and kept putting more out, and figuring out what people wanted. Last year I pulled in almost $100,000 from the website," said Tuggle. 
  3. Entertain your customers. It is quite easy to post a video simply for visitors' enjoyment. For instance, Vimeo, a video hosting site that aims to be a "community of creative people who are passionate about sharing the videos they make," features a 'Videos we like' tab. For a small business owner, posting a video for entertainment purposes stands to generate many views, which in turn may spark interest in the company and possibly lead to the purchase of products or services.
  4. Provide a unique service.  Do you host seminars that others who could not attend would be interested in?  LiveCast, with headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, enables live video streaming directly from a cell phone, mobile Internet device, or Mac or PC, to anyone connected to the Web. For Gordon Cooper, photographer and founder of Perfect Wedding magazine, live broadcasting gives his business a unique capability. "I can have all the guests at the wedding even if they're not at the wedding," says Cooper. "Guest can still experience the live ceremony from wherever they are." Cooper is able to charge an additional $250 for this service.
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)
by, Lesa Seibert, President, Xstreme Media

Sharing videos over the Web is a great resource for small businesses to establish a social media presence, particularly because of how many people are tuning in. According to a November 2009 survey released by comScore, a digital marketing research firm headquartered in Reston, Virginia, Google's many video sites accounted for 12.2 billion videos viewed that month, including YouTube, which accounted for nearly 99 percent of the total.

Webcasting is essentially broadcasting a video or media file over the Internet using streaming media technology, which can be distributed to many simultaneous viewers at once. Done the right way, webcasts, also called video podcasts, vblogs, videocasting or Web shows, can be effective promotional tools. "It's a cool opportunity to take people behind the scenes of a business," says Dina Kaplan, co-founder and COO of blip.tv, a four-year-old Internet TV network. Her network airs video podcasts from hundreds of companies as diverse as the New York City Ballet to the crafter website Etsy, which broadcasts online classes. "It's been interesting to watch, especially in the last year, how many businesses have created Web shows to promote their product or gain exposure for principals," Kaplan says.

Shooting a video for YouTube or starting a more elaborate webcast essentially takes four basic ingredients: equipment, a theme, an online home and marketing.
  1. The equipment. Very small businesses can buy a webcam or camcorder, wireless microphone and simple video editing equipment such as Sony's Vegas Movie Studio or Final Cut Pro 7.  They can also use free editing software than can be found at http://freevideosoftware.org/.  However, a webcam limits you to filming yourself sitting in front of a computer, and that's not very exciting.  Instead, invest in a video camera, which results in a higher quality picture and you can be creative with location or shoot action.
  2. Hire someone. If you have a bigger budget, hire a professional. Prices run from $2,000 for three to four 10 to 15 minute shows to $15,000+ for longer more detailed shows, according to podcast industry sources.   If you're trying to market yourself as having a very professional business, you want to put your best foot forward.
  3. The show. You could have the best-looking video around, but it wont' matter if you didn't do something that is interesting and consistent. For webcasts, stick to a regular broadcast schedule, whether that's once a day, week or month. And keep shows short.  Your aptitude for sitting in your uncomfortable office chair lasts about six to ten minutes minutes. Be personable, and to stick to the old news adage to show, not tell. If you run a retail business, walk around the store, and talk about new merchandise.  Talk to a customer. If you have a hardware store, show them the new saw that is on sale.
  4. Hosting and marketing. Once you've got a video complete, upload it for free to your company's channel on YouTube, where it can be viewed by anyone. Webcasts can also be uploaded to free or paid hosting sites such as blip.tv, iTunes or Libsyn. Where a podcast is hosted isn't as important as spreading the word that it's there. You can point prospective viewers to the podcast from your website, your blog and by including a tagline promoting the show in your email signature. Another great way to promote it is with the use of Social Media platforms suck as Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc.  It is the wave of the future. For anyone who wants to use 21st century technologies, this is the way to go.



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