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17 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Hosting Webinars

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Hosting Webinars

When people talk about content marketing, they typically mean blogging, podcasting, video, ebook publication, and social curation. However, content marketing is really any kind of free informational or entertaining resource you give away in order to highlight your own skills and products/services. It’s selling without really selling.

One often-overlooked form of content marketing is the free webinar. Webinars can be recorded or live, but in both cases, they are an online presentation or class given at a specific time, usually in order to capture leads (i.e. people have to give you their email address and other information to attend).

This week’s Brilliant Bloggers is all about the art of hosting a great webinar. They can be a lot of work if you do them well, but the reward is great, since they can attract thousands of attendees without you having to plan a live event. And lest you think webinars are only for business, you can also consider hosting one if your a blogger or podcaster, as they can drive traffic and help you become known as an expert in your field. You can even sell access to a webinar as a way of monetizing.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

aliza sherman by Aliza Sherman

Some webinars I attend are great, but I identify with this post by Aliza Sherman because most of the webinars I’ve attended are pretty horrible. What separates the good from the bad?

Aliza outlines several tips in this post that can help you ensure your posts are beneficial, not a chore for people to attend. If your webinars are good, they can solidify you as an expert, promote your products/services, and help you capture leads, so definitely check out her tips before you host your next webinar! (And don’t forget to follow Aliza on Twitter at @alizasherman.)

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 6 Tips for Hosting a Successful Webinar by Sharon Dunigan
  2. 8 Ways To Boost Your Business With Webinars by Lewis Howes (@LewisHowes)
  3. 10 Steps for Planning a Successful Webinar by Chris Peters and Kami Griffiths (@TechSoup)
  4. 18 Tips on How To Conduct an Engaging Webinar by Olivia Mitchell (@OliviaMitchell)
  5. A Five-Step Process for Hosting a Webinar That Generates Sales by Greg Digneo (@GregDigneo)
  6. Be the Webinar Host with the Most – 4 Tips! by Jill Bastian (@jillieb3)
  7. Hosting A Webinar – Equipment You’ll Need by David Crawford
  8. How to Host a Great Webinar in 6 Easy Steps by Dan Taylor (@mountaindan)
  9. How to Host a Successful Webinar by Kelly Noble (@Stellar247) and Paul Serwin (@LeverageSuccess)
  10. How to Host a Webinar by Marketing Zone (@marketingzone_)
  11. How to Setup and Promote Your First Webinar by Ellie Mirman (@ellieeille)
  12. Public Speaking Tips for Webinars by Patricia Fripp (@pfripp)
  13. Running a Successful Webinar: 10 Presentation Commandments by Deborah Sweeney (@deborahsweeney)
  14. Seven Tips for Hosting Webinars that Rock by Carol Tice (@TiceWrites)
  15. The Advantages of Hosting a Webinar by Marissa Buie (@marBuie)
  16. Which is the One ‘Free Meeting Webinar Service’ to Rule Them All by Natalie Sisson (@suitcasepreneur)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about hosting webinars? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Video Podcasting

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

How Social Media is Changing the Face of Hiring

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Social media has made a huge impact on recruitment and the recruitment process. Companies, head hunters, and recruitment agencies are turning to social media sites to promote available positions, research potential applicants, and make a decision on whether the applicant they have chosen is the best match for their business. On average, recruitment statistics show that around 89% will use social media at some point during the recruitment process to make a decision, with 80% of recruitment agencies using LinkedIn in particular to find potential applicants for positions they are working on.

Why Social Media?

Social media will simply tell you a lot about a person that might not be apparent on a CV or resume. A basic Facebook page can tell companies how the person conducts themselves and how they interact with other people online. It also tells recruiters about the person’s communication skills, whether they were truthful on their application, and whether there is any reason they shouldn’t be accepted for the position.

In fact, a large number of companies will now turn to social media before they even contact the applicant for the first time. This saves them time and energy and ensures that anyone they interview is the right fit for the company. Many times when I have been approached for a job myself, it is because I have been headhunted by a recruiter who has found me through Twitter, Facebook, or even Google+.

One Step Further in Recruitment

Interestingly, recruiters are taking social media one step further when hiring. For example, the Omnicom Group used Twitter to find five interns for summer work without every seeing their CV or resume.

The company took note how each applicant responded to five tweets which were posted over five days, and from this information they were able to make a decision on the best five interns for the job.

Other companies have also turned to new media instead of relying traditional hiring processes. Skype, for example, is used for interviewing potential candidates, allowing recruiters to cast a broader net instead of just looking at the local pool of candidates.

What Recruiters Look For

The majority of companies using social media for their recruitment process use this valuable social media tool to ensure that the applicant has been honest about who they say they are. Companies can match this against the CV they received. Photographs on Instagram, for example, can show talent, but poor language on tweets and bad communication skills on Facebook can reflect badly on how a future employee conducts themselves on the social media sites.

Social media pages are brimming with information on schools attended, places worked, communication skills, photographs, and so much more. Often, it’s not just about a person’s skills, but also about whether or not they will fit with the team. Social media can help companies determine this. It’s easier for recruiters to make a decision between two very qualified applicants once they have read through their social media profiles.

Digital, design, and web have also combined to bring innovation to recruiters and simple innovation like these when applying for a job speaks more to businesses these days. Infographic CVs and resumes, for example, demonstrates skills without much explanation needed.

Exactly what a company looks for when it comes to social media will vary, but one this is for sure: the social media world is forever expanding and will not be stopping in the new face of hiring.

Do you use social media to hire new employees? Or have you been hired based on your social skills, even for a non-social job?

Image Credits: mkhmarketing, spencereholtaway, qubodup

Struggle to Juggle: Three Marketing Kickstarters To Do Right Now

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Multi-tasking Business Woman

National Small Business Week celebrates its 50th anniversary this June on a high note:  According to the Small Business Administration, half of Americans own or work for a small business. While this is a glowing testament to America’s entrepreneurial spirit, one of the biggest conundrums small businesses still continually face is marketing: knowing they need promotion to grow and thrive but often lacking the time, money, and people to do the work. “Of all the classes we offer during San Francisco Small Business Week, marketing courses are the most popular,” said Jane Gong, a City coordinator of the nation’s largest such event.

So what can small businesses do lickety-split to get started, brush up, or recommit to a marketing program? Here are some ways to start or reboot your  efforts: After that, it’s up to you to make it a habit.

#1 Ask, Don’t Tell (When it Comes to Social Networks)

News flash to small business owners: social media is no longer a “trend” or “sexy”– it’s a reality of an integrated marketing plan. “Small business owners need to stop complaining about having little or no understanding of social media and no time to learn it,” said Brian Moran said in an article interview. “One of my favorite sayings is, ‘If you don’t have the time to do something right, when are you going to find the time to do it over?” Gong said, “When people are starting a business, the questions we get asked most about are social media. They think they need to be on social networks to increase their returns, but if you’re a mom and pop corner store, they are not sure it makes sense.”

Kickstarter: Go where your customers social-ize: Though it seems intuitive to get your target audience’s input to help drive marketing decisions, many businesses don’t, not because of lack of desire, but preoccupation with five hundred other tasks at hand. In the end though, the time you spend upfront getting feedback will prevent wasted time later. Though Facebook appears to be the most popular social network for small businesses, get the raw data from your  customers and prospects: survey in-person, by email, or quickly and free online . They’ll appreciate that you want their insight and the input will help shape your plans.

Once you establish your social media direction, get educated for free online. Also, check out what your competition is doing and get inspiration from the  brands you admire. Start small by offering something of value to get fans and followers, such as a Facebook-only deal, a discount for Twitter followers, or showcase customer photos on Pinterest. But start something and do it consistently as you build and fine-tune your social media program.

#2 Give Your Blog Nine Lives (or At Least Five)

Chances are if you’re reading this article, you already have a blog or want to: as most bloggers will attest to, it’s one of the easiest and straightforward ways to promote your business. Did you also know there are at least five things you can do to transform a stale blog to fresh content? The best place to start is to check your stats (or tags and categories) and determine the best performing ones. If you don’t have a blog yet, come up with a popular industry topic and use that as a starting point.

Going through the stats exercise for my own blog, I found a piece from a year ago about J.C. Penney’s rebranding disaster was my third top-read post of all time. Upon further research I found out why: On a Google search of “JC Penny Branding Disaster”, my blog comes up fourth, below PRDaily and Forbes and above Huffington Post. Even though the position could change, I got great SEO by writing about a popular topic when the story was blowing up in the media. Now, to use it for my own purposes…

Kickstarter: Repurpose. Repurpose. Repurpose. Did someone say repurpose? For the J.C. Penney blog, potential ideas are: 1) Update blog to reflect the recent booting of its CEO and apology ad and republicize on all social networks; 2) Use as partial content for quick blog countdown “The Five Worst Branding Disasters of All Time”; 3) Turn blog into online story and publicize; 4) Reformat with some quick visuals and create Slideshare and blast out to social networks. 5) If I were feeling particularly ambitious, I could create a short video that tells the story of what happened (a search revealed just one interview.) People are hungry for online information in different ways to learn about big events, industry trends, and practical tips–you can be the expert, go-to source no matter which they choose.

#3 Putting the Cure in Curation: the Multi-tasker Extraordinaire

Content curation for your business can be  a great marketing Swiss Army Knife, but it’s a lot of work. There are services that  do the legwork for free, collecting relevant content in your industry, monitoring your competition, and  even prepping a targeted customer newsletter. “I use the analogy that people really are looking for water,” said Scott Scanlon, CEO of You Brand, Inc. in a content curation video.” …ultimately they don’t want to drink out of a fire-hose–they want a glass of water. If you can be there providing that glass of water on a consistent basis you’ll begin to garner their trust.” Bonus: Content curation services enable topic discovery for your blog, web site, or email marketing campaign–the possibilities are endless.

Kickstarter: Max out a free curation serviceScoop.it paper.liCurata, newcomer Swayy and other services specialize in online curation from thousands of online sources to slash time and effort. Take advantage  to get information compiled, organized, and leverage for your own purposes. If you use a curation service for customer newsletters, put your own brand stamp with commentary or tweaking a headline for your audience.

Too pressed for time to try any of these? Break down kickstarters into baby steps and do one part each week.

Image Credit: Bigstock

25 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Vine

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Vine

Vine is the hottest new kid on the block, and although people are still a little tentative about using anything that involved video, this is really helping to introduce a new medium to people in the least intimidating way possible. The thought of creating a 10-minute video is terrifying to a lot of people. A 6-second video? Well, that’s not so bad.

Using Vine can be fun, but it can also be a promotional tool for your brand or content. So this week’s Brilliant Bloggers is filled with advice on making the most of this new platform.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

craig fifield Vine App: The Ultimate Guide to More Likes and Followers by Craig Fifield

Vine is still pretty new, so if you haven’t checked out this platform yet, don’t worry: you aren’t alone. That’s why I love this post from Craig Fifield at Social Media Today. It’s everything you need to know to get started plus lots of tips for users of all experience levels. This is an especially helpful post if you are using (or thinking about using) Vine for your small business, your blog, or something else you’re trying to promote, rather than just for fun.

After you check it out on the post, you can also follow Craig on Twitter at @craigfifield.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about Vine? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Writing Viral Posts

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

12 Ways Blogging Would Be Different Without Twitter

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blogging would be different without twitter

It’s hard to imagine a world without Twitter. It was the faster-growing social network in 2012, and 1/5 of all US Internet users are also active on Twitter.* For bloggers especially, the world would be very different without Twitter.

But maybe there’s something we can lean from that. Twitter is an amazing way to reach your community, but it can perhaps cloud our vision. By thinking about what the world would be like without Twitter, we can perhaps find some new opportunities for our blogs. Here’s how blogging would be different if Twitter did not exist:

1. We’d would have jumped on the image train sooner.

Bloggers today are starting to understand the power of having good images, especially with the rise of Pinterest and Instagram. However, I believe we would have come to that conclusion as an industry sooner if nor for Twitter, which embraces text, not images. Yes, you can tweet out pictures, but it isn’t the same as an image-heavy social network. Even on Facebook, images are more important than text and links.

Are you putting effort into your images or are you begrudgingly using crappy stock photography because you “have” to? I’ll be the first to admit that I was late to jump on the boat with using images with my blog posts, and it’s still not my favorite part of blogging, but without a doubt, I get more social share and comments (on average) when I have compelling images to go with a post.

Need some advice on image creation? Here’s how I do it.


2. Reading and commenting on other blogs would be more important.

Instead of commenting on posts we like, we usually just retweet the link, even though most of us are ecstatic when we get an email saying that there’s a new comment on one of our posts.

Social shares are great for promotion, but in my opinion, actual comments are even more important. The entire point of a blog is to have a conversation. That’s what makes blogs different than newspapers and magazines–there is interaction. If your post is meant to educate, commenters can add to that knowledge. If your post is meant to entertain or inspire, commenters can share their stories and opinions to make your original post even better.

Even if you opt not to allow comments on your blog, without Twitter, I believe we’d be more easily able to build communities. Before Twitter, I remember that I had my favorite blogs bookmarked (and later added to my RSS reader) and I’d check for new content every day. I felt more like I was part of something, and I anticipated every post because I wasn’t getting 140-character snippets from the blogger every 10 minutes between posts.

I highly encourage you to think about your online activities as they pertain to other bloggers. Don’t just follow someone on Twitter, retweet their links, and call it a day. If you enjoy someone’s work, be a part of their community by being present on their blog, and encourage your followers to do the same.


3. Responding to your own comments would be more important.

Some bloggers opt not to reply to a single comment. Instead, they interact with fans via Twitter. That’s all fine and good, but it means that you’re taking the conversation away from what should be your most important platform: your actual blog.

If Twitter didn’t exist, we’d be forced to interact with fans via our comments instead. Conversations would develop, and this only adds to the value of the post for the next reader.

For those of you not current responding to comments, give it a try. You don’t have to respond to every single “great post” or “thanks for the info” message, but if someone takes the time to leave a thoughtful comment or ask a question, answer them. This is the single best way I’ve found to build a community on your blog. When you respond, you’re telling the commenter, “I see you, and I value you.” We all like to be acknowledged.

Recently, I posted about my own experiences responding to comments. Check it out here.


4. Niche forums would drive more traffic.

In some niches, forums are still hopping, but this has died down a bit since the days before Twitter. If Twitter didn’t exist, I think more blogs would have a forum associated with them or, at the least, more bloggers would be participating in general forums about their topics.

Instead, we just log onto Twitter and interact with the people we follow or the people who mention us. I bet if you look, though, you’ll find forums related to your niche. This is a fantastic way to find new readers for your blog and to make connections with other bloggers. Too few bloggers are using forums.


5. Our Google+ and LinkedIn connections would be crucial.

Every day, I see people ask for favors and make new connections on Twitter. It’s quick. It’s easy. Why not? Without this platform, we’d likely put a deeper emphasis on Google+ and LinkedIn instead.

Maybe we’re missing out, however, by not using these connections more. When you’re not limited to 140 characters, there’s so much more you can do and say. If you’re stuck in the routine of only checking Twitter, I highly recommend that you start using Google+ and LinkedIn as well. The relationships you can develop on these platforms are, in my opinion, much more meaningful.  Or at least, then can be.

This is especially true when you’re trying to get the attention of another popular blogger. On Twitter, it seems like everyone is trying to get a piece of these people. On Google+ and LinkedIn, it is often easier to build a relationship.


6. Headlines would be less important.

People send hundreds of dollars to learn how to write better headlines, and for good reason: when people share your links, the most enticing headlines get the most clicks.

On other social networks, there’s a little wiggle room to post some description with the title. With Twitter, you only have 140 characters, so the title is everything.

If Twitter did not exist, we wouldn’t care nearly as much about the titles of our posts. And maybe that would be a good thing.

I’m not suggesting that you don’t put any thought into the headlines your write. However, I do believe that some bloggers put the cart before the horse in this respect. The title of your post means nothing unless the post you’ve written is awesome. (Click to tweet.)

Most bloggers, myself included, are always looking for ways to improve traffic. It’s easy to get wrapped in what will give us that promotion edge, like writing better headlines. But it can be dangerous to spend more time on your promotion skills than on your writing skills. When’s the last time you looked at ways to improve your actual content, not just the way you promote your content?


7. Crowdsourcing content ideas wouldn’t be as easy.

Twitter is a really powerful platform for crowdsourcing ideas for your blog. Ask your community for tips to share. Brainstorm questions you can answer on your blog. Do an informal poll of your audience. Without Twitter, this kind of crowdsourcing wouldn’t be nearly as easy.

Yet, we don’t take advantage of this ability as often as we could.

My challenge to you is this: sometime in the next month, think about how you can use your Twitter following to crowdsource a blog post this week. Reach out to your followers and take advantage of this community you’ve built.


8. Email marketing would get more creative.

In my opinion, most (not all, but most) online marketing falls into one of three categories: social media, search engine optimization, and email marketing. Twitter obviously falls into the social media category and is even starting to play more into search engine optimization. Email marketing is a different beast completely. Even if you don’t spend much time online, if you’ve ever used the Internet, you probably have an email address.

Savvy marketers understand the power of email, but without social media, this way of contacting people would be even more important. The time you spend on Twitter now would have to be spent on something else, and I believe that “something else” would be email.

Maybe it would be a good thing for us to pretend Twitter didn’t exist so we actually did spend more time on email.

I’m subscribed to several so-called weekly newsletters. A very small percentage of those newsletters actually get sent every week, consistently. People get busy and the weekly obligation of producing an email for subscribers falls to the wayside.

In my opinion, this is a huge mistake. Even more than you social followers, people who have subscribed to your email list are your most engaged community members. They’re so involved that they’ve actually asked you to email content to their inbox, which is probably overflowing with junk, work emails, and communications from friends.

If you aren’t regularly emailing your subscribers, make a commitment to change this so that email becomes a priority. If you are one of the few bloggers who is very active with email, think about what you could be doing better and how you can build your list. Get creative and become an inbox standout. Email marketing deserves your attention!


9. “Engage” would have a different meaning.

I hate the term “engage.” I feel like most of the people who use it are being slimy. I guess that it’s such a sterile term that it makes me think anyone “engaging” me isn’t actually interested in me as a person, only how they can use me for their own benefit.

Twitter is place you’ll find the most “engagers” because it is easy. You don’t have to be thoughtful to engage on Twitter. You simply say thanks for retweets, promote links others have retweeted, and reply to people occasionally. Congratulations, you’ve successfully engaged people for another day. High five.

Of course, the people who really do understand how to use Twitter well know that successfully engaging means doing a lot more than the bare minimum. Still, without Twitter, I think “engage” would have a different meaning completely. It would mean thoughtful responses on other social networks, comments on other blog posts (like discussed above), emails, and maybe even handwritten cards. It would mean actually getting to know the people involved in your community.

This is what we should all be doing. You can still send short messages on Twitter, but instead of always thinking about what another person can do for you, stop engaging in order to get direct results. For example, don’t think, “if I retweet this person’s link, they’ll retweet mine.” Instead, think, “If I retweet awesome content on a regular basis, it will help my community and I’ll naturally get more followers, with some of those people retweeting my links too.” When you want engagement to give you direct results, it quickly turns into using people.


10. We’d have fewer distractions when writing.

I’m not going to tell you how many times I stopped writing this post to check or reply to someone on Twitter.

Turn it off. Write, and don’t turn it back on until your post draft is done. ‘Nuff said.


11. Guest posting would be more important.

Twitter is an amazing platform for building your audience. More so than any other social network, when someone shares one of your links or retweets something you say, it introduces you and your content to an entirely new audience.

If Twitter didn’t exist, we’d work a little harder at finding new audiences a different way. Namely, I think more bloggers would be writing guests posts. I also believe that guest blogging strategies would be tweaked a bit. It would be more important to step outside your comfort zone and write posts for completely new audiences on blogs outside your niche.

Let’s say you write food blog, for example. It is extremely beneficial for you post on other food blogs. However, those are people who may be reading your blog already, or who could come across your blog because they’re searching for that kind of information. What if you instead posted a kid-friend recipe on a popular parenting blog or a great take-along roadtrip recipe for a travel blog?

The key is to post on blogs that have audiences who would be interested in your content, but who might not otherwise find your blog.

Read more about guest posting here.


12. Content sharing would be more meaningful.

Lastly, without Twitter, it would be much more meaningful whenever someone shared content. Twitter makes it almost too easy to share links, and they have a tendency to fall into the abyss, never to be seen again. Twitter just isn’t a very effective content curation tool, and there’s not a lot of effort required to share a link on this platform.

When someone shares your content elsewhere, it’s a much bigger deal. On networks like Pinterest, that content is going to have a much longer life, because the focus is on categorizing awesome content over time instead of just blasting out links that never again see the light of day. On sites like Facebook and Google+, the person sharing your link is more likely to actually write some meaningful commentary to go along with the link, which starts conversations with their followers. And if someone emails a link to a friend? Well, that’s a huge deal. It’s more than a personal recommendation – it’s a “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS” recommendation.

Think about how you’re sharing content you love. Are you just tweeting it and calling it a day? If you actually want to support bloggers you love (and get others’ support in return), think about curating your content and going that extra mile when sharing. People gravitate toward those who share awesome content (a great example of this is George Takei on Facebook), so by putting a little more effort in how you share great content you find, you can build followers who want to read your content as well.


So there’s my list. How do you think blogging would be different without Twitter?

*Study data is available here.

Image Credit: Altered, from Bigstock

Ford C-MAX Goes Social with a Live Animation on Instagram (Sponsored Post)

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Recently, the latest stage of the Ford C-MAX promotional campaign, C-MAX Live, was revealed at the 2013 New York International Auto Show. Its crux: Imagine yourself part of a live crowd-sourced animation on Instagram—that’s C-MAX Live.

So how did this unique social idea begin? It started this past fall with the 2013 Ford C-MAX launch. The advertising reintroduced the world to La Linea, a simple line-drawn character many may remember from the original cartoons. Run in TV, print, digital and out of home ads, the campaign was in need of a social component that could familiarize people with this fun character and the C-MAX brand.

And what better way to do that than literally invite users into this character’s world?

Marrying traditional and social media in a totally new way, the idea was to design a story centered on real people helping La Linea. Sixty-eight individual frames would then be pulled from the animation to create single out of home boards in the 10 major C-MAX markets. These placements would include wild postings, mall kiosks, movie theatres and events. Passersby would then be invited to line up their bodies in front of dotted lines and have a friend take their pic with Instagram with the hashtag C-MAX Live. Those photos would then be stitched back together to form a live crowd-sourced animation populated with people all over the country, available to be seen right away on the site cmaxlive.com.

CMAX Image 1

The brainchild of Ford’s advertising agency, Team Detroit, the concept was exciting, the storyboard solid and the basic proportions easy for people to participate in, but they needed a strong partner. Enter the filmmakers from Shilo to finesse the actions and pinpoint frame rates in order to ensure the still images moved at the same speed as the character. Add that to some major math and Shilo’s animation expertise … and it was time for the digital build.

Rehabstudios was brought in to design the back end. Through the use of object recognition bar codes, Rehab was able to mark each board in order to make sure every Instagram image would be pulled into the right place within the animation. Users would then be directed to go to a landing page to not only check themselves out, but see any of their friends who had also joined in the fun. In addition, users could find other boards in their area, as well as share their animation with friends.

Thanks to a constant stream of new photos coming in, the animation will always be dynamic—so it’s never the same twice. Which means all the more reason to see it, share it, and enjoy it again and again.

The excitement began May 1. So, keep your eyes open for C-MAX boards in the wild or search for a board near you (or a friend) at cmaxlive.com. Fans at home can watch in real time as the animation populates with real people from across the country.

And remember: If you snap a pic with La Linea, don’t forget to smile.

24 Brilliant Bloggers Talk About Content Curation

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Brilliant Bloggers is a bi-weekly series here at NMX where we look at the best posts from around the web all surrounding a specific topic. Every other week, we’ll feature a brilliant blogger, along with a huge list of more resources where you can learn about the topic. You can see more Brilliant Blogger posts or learn how to submit your link for an upcoming edition here.

This Week’s Topic: Content Curation

Special thanks to Joel Zaslofsky for suggesting this topic!

The number of people who understand the value of online content is growing, and thus, content curation is becoming a more important topic. Pinterest, which is my personal favorite social network, is build on this idea of curating the content you like best, and each Brilliant Bloggers post here on the NMX blog is a form of content curation. If you start hunting for it online, the idea of better ways to manage content pops up time and time again.

True content curation isn’t just about bookmarking a link so you can come back to it later. It’s about organizing the content you enjoy in a meaningful way and, in many cases, being able to share the content you’ve curated. Content creators need to be involved in this conversation as much as possible, since it is easier for your content to be seen by the right people if it is curated and shared correctly. That’s why so many food, wedding, and fashion sites suddenly found that not only does Pinterest drive traffic, but it drives the right type of traffic – people who are more likely to become regular readers.

Be part of the conversation. Check out the links below about content creation and consider writing your own post with thoughts on how we can, as an entire world of Internet users, curate and share content more effectively.

Brilliant Blogger of the Week:

gianluca The Content Curation Guide for SEO by Gianluca Fiorelli

This post from Gianluca is from about a year ago, but it is still extremely relevant. And don’t let the title mislead you – although he wrote it with SEO in mind, it gives a good general overview of content curation complete with tons of tools to use for discovery and creation.

In addition, I highly suggest you follow up by reading his Social Media Curation Guide as well, which is a more recent addition that adds many more resources to Gianluca’s first post.

Don’t forget to follow him on Twitter at @gfiorelli1 and check out his website for more blog posts and information about his SEO services.

Even More Brilliant Advice:

  1. 3 Essential Content Curation Best Practices to Boost Content Marketing Performance by Lee Odden (@leeodden)
  2. 4 Content Curation Tips You Can Take from Brand Success Stories by Pawan Deshpande (@getcurata)
  3. 5 Cool Content Curation Tools for Social Marketers by Aidan Hijleh (@Benchmark_Aidan)
  4. 5 Tips for Great Content Curation by Steven Rosenbaum (@magnify)
  5. 5 Ways to Use Content Curation for Marketing and Tools to Do It by Susan Gunelius (@susangunelius)
  6. 7 Top Tools for Content Curation by JD Lasica (@jdlasica)
  7. 8 Ways to Discover Valuable Social Media Content by Andrea Vahl (@AndreaVahl)
  8. 12 Attributes of a Successful Content Curation Strategy by Heidi Cohen (@heidicohen)
  9. 23 Ideas for Content Curation by Danyl Bosomworth (@SmartInsights)
  10. 55 Content Curation Tools To Discover & Share Digital Content by Shirley Williams (@williampearl)
  11. Best Apps for Content Curation by Jennifer Good (@jennifer_good)
  12. Content Curation – 5 Ways to Succeed…Eventually by Jay Baer (@jaybaer)
  13. Content Curation: Definition and 6 Tool Options by Tom Treanor (@RtMixMktg)
  14. Content Curation: Find Time or Find Help. by Deana Goldasich (@goldasich)
  15. Content Curation Primer by Beth Kanter (@KANTER)
  16. Content Curation vs. Content Creation: Finding the Right Combination by Christina Walker (@chwwalker)
  17. Curated Content Delivery Formats: Beyond News Portals and Magazines by Robin Good (@RobinGood)
  18. How Do We Define Content Curation? (Weekly Q&A) by Ann Smarty (@seosmarty)
  19. How to Curate Content Like a Pro by Bob Geller (@rgeller)
  20. Is Social Content Curation The Next “Better” Thing? by Kelsey Jones (@wonderwall7)
  21. The Difference Between Content Curation and Link Spraying by Erica Ayotte (@inthekisser)
  22. The Right Way and Wrong Way to Curate Content by Blog Bloke (@BLOGBloke)

Did I miss your post or a post by someone you know about content curation? Unintentional! Help me out by leaving a comment below with the link.

Next Brilliant Blogger Topic: Vine

I’d love to include a link to your post in our next installment– and if you head to the Brilliant Bloggers Schedule, you can see even more upcoming posts. We all have something to learn from one another, so please don’t be shy! Head to the schedule today to learn how to submit your post so I won’t miss it.

The Daily Social Media Habits of Successful Bloggers

Author:

Want to know the secret for engaging with your followers online? In the world of social media, it’s all about your habits. The daily habits you implement as social media routines directly impact the ways you’re able to connect with your followers. When you are consistent, focused, and strategic in your efforts, the results show it.

Here’s what you should be doing, every day, on social media channels:

Google Plus: Post every new blog post.

When you post the link to your latest blog post on your Google Plus profile, that content gets indexed faster and you expose your content to your network. What’s more, content on Google Plus tends to do well in Google search results, helping you improve overall SEO. Here’s an example of how Brian Samuels, the blogger behind A Thought for Food, publishes his new posts on Google Plus, usually with commentary and #hashtags:

ThoughtforFood

Pinterest: Pin every day—5 to 30 times.

As with every social media site, the idea with Pinterest is to be a resource of good content without being annoying. You shouldn’t pin nonstop anymore than you should pin infrequently; for the best results, pin every day. Pin content that’s relevant to your brand in some way—but feel free to think outside the box, too.  The more quality content you pin, the more opportunities for others to repin your content and promote you profile, as well as to find your content through search. Look at the example of photographer Nicole Franzen, who regularly pins bright, beautiful images across her 31 different boards:

NicoleFranzen

Editor’s note: If you don’t have time to sit on Pinterest all day every day, you can use Pingraphy to schedule your pins so they appear throughout the day instead of all at once.

Twitter: Tweet every day—at least 4-5 times.

According to research published at Media Bistro, profiles that Tweet at least four to five times a day see some of the best results on Twitter. Use your updates to interact with followers, retweet info you find interesting, share valuable information, and promote your content. Whole Foods Market does this well, posting relevant updates almost every hour:

WFMarket

Facebook: Share Images and Quotes.

An article at TechCrunch last year pointed out that Facebook updates typically receive responses for up to three hours after being posted—so spreading updates out by at least that amount of time makes sense. The content that does best on Facebook are images and quotes—users tend to stay on the network rather than clicking links that send them away. For an example of a blogger who’s doing this well, check out Deliciously Organic:

DeliciouslyOrganic

Overall: Think Strategically.

If looking at the above list feels overwhelming and you’re wondering how to find the time to do all these tasks each day, don’t be discouraged. To help you maximize your productivity, here are a few tips for being active on social media without spending every day tied to a computer screen:

  • Schedule Facebook posts and Twitter updates: Use a tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to plan your posts throughout a day. You can schedule updates to run at various intervals to spread them out for maximum impact.
  • Take a few minutes each morning to curate content: Rather than hanging on your social networks all afternoon, set aside a certain chunk of time each day to pull together shareable content. Because you’re scheduling posts, you can easily set these updates to go live all day long.
  • Monitor and adjust: Not every blogger needs to be on every social media platform, so test the different ones o see which makes the most sense for you. If you find engagement on Facebook brings in most of your traffic, make that site a priority; if regular and relevant Tweeting yields few results, focus your attention elsewhere.

Whether you blog about baseball or beauty products, using a chunk of weeks or a full month to test these social media habits is a good idea. Set aside a period in which you consistently post, share, pin, and tweet every day—and, at the end of that period, take a look at the results. They might surprise you.

Social Media vs Search Engines for Blog Traffic: Who Wins in Content Marketing?

Author:

I have posted previously about an ongoing MBA class on content marketing called Marketing with Social Media that I am teaching at a university in Silicon Valley. We just wrapped up our 7th of 11 weeks. And I have some numbers regarding the social media versus search engine debate.

All 73 students started their websites out from zero. No domain. No hosting. No idea of the difference between tagline and ‘tag, you’re it’. No nothing.

Some of them have been posting very faithfully, using specifically the SEO guidelines I gave them for each post. Well, sorta kinda. As much as people, especially students, follow rules in general that is. We also have a great back linking strategy. And and and …

Question: What performs better? Sending people to sites via your social networks or just writing good stuff and letting the search engines do their thing?

Answer: The course is 45 days old. I took three screen shots from Google Analytics. The reader can compare Facebook referrals to Google organic traffic. (I know. I know. There are other social networks. There are also other search engines.)

Compare the following three 15-day time periods.

Feb 17 – Mar 3

MBA1

Click to see a larger version of this image.

The students worked their Facebook networks and in the end social network traffic outperformed organic search. It makes sense. The sites were still finding their feet and search was still finding them.

Mar 4 – Mar 18

Click to see a larger version of this image.

Click to see a larger version of this image.

Facebook referrals remained constant, but search results more than doubled as well as outperformed social networking.

Mar 19 – Apr 2

Click to see a larger version of this image.

Click to see a larger version of this image.

Facebook referrals dropped a little but organic search continued to increase – another 13%.

At the risk of overwhelming you screenshots and numbers take a look:

Facebook traffic dropped 33% from 617 visits the last week of Mar/Apr compared to 415 the last week of Feb/Mar.

Organic traffic increased 58% from 697 visits the last week of Mar/Apr to 1100 the last week of Feb/Mar.

One more thing – organic traffic grew by itself. That is my students wrote something and turned off their computers, while with social networking, traffic requires the student to write something and do something else, login elsewhere and promote, interact, build, smooze.

I may be wrong, but after a time, the promotion of content elsewhere = on social networks, gets cumbersome, tiresome, and loses its effectiveness. However, with search traffic, as long as the content is meaningful, follows the rules of good SEO, will continue to grow.

Who wins in the social media vs search engine debate when it comes to content marketing?

Blogs win.

Unless, that is, you have a different experience that you would like to share in a comment below.

Join Us for the Fiesta Movement: A Social Remix (Sponsored Post)

Author:

fiesta movement a social remix

By all measures, the original Fiesta Movement in 2009 was a huge success. 100 Fiesta Agents helped us introduce a new vehicle to the U.S., break a Guinness Book of World Records record, travel more than 1.4 million miles and generate more than 3.7 million Twitter impressions.

However, the world has changed since 2009 and social media has advanced tremendously in the interim. New platforms have been developed, existing platforms have grown in reach and impact, and our stylish and fuel efficient Fiesta has evolved, as well. Since the Fiesta attracts more Millennials than any other Ford vehicle, we have to tell its story in a way that is different from other models.

That being said, we are so excited to announce the launch of Fiesta Movement: A Social Remix.

Unlike other campaigns, Ford will use content created only by selected influencers – “agents” – through multiple media channels and partners. This will be our first-ever entirely user-generated campaign. Once again, 100 passionate and socially connected people will be selected and given a new Fiesta and become stars in front of and behind the camera.

Ford’s CMO, Jim Farley, summed up our objective: “Fiesta was designed to reflect the individuality of the customer, so we feel the marketing efforts should give the reins to the people who will be driving it. We have a fuel-efficient, tech-savvy and stylish car that doesn’t sacrifice on performance – it truly has its own personality. That personality will come through in the stories and experiences of real people.”

Agents will debut the content they create on their own social pages and as it gains popularity, we will feature it on www.fiestamovement.com and amplify the best of the best across digital, print, broadcast and outdoor advertising. Any and all content can become part of the living, breathing story of the new Ford Fiesta.

That’s right, every advertisement you see, hear, and read for the upcoming 2014 Fiesta will come from the program. A Fiesta Agent-created YouTube video could end up as a nationally-run TV commercial or Instagram photos could be turned into print ads.

You’ll see some other twists with integrations into American Idol, X Games and music festival Bonnaroo. The new Fiesta Movement will bring together alumni from the original Fiesta Movement and will include celebrities, current Fiesta owners and new agents – all carrying out a series of exciting missions with the 2014 Fiesta. Ford will provide agents with gas, insurance coverage, cameras and other tools they need to create content.

Not only that, but you have until April 30, 2013 to apply and we know that the New Media Expo community is full of passionate content creators. Learn more and submit your application at www.fiestamovement.com

During the course of the original Fiesta Movement, content from Fiesta Agents produced 4.3 million YouTube views, more than half a million Flickr views and helped identify 50,000 interested potential customers—97 percent of whom didn’t own a Ford. This time around, it’s not just about the likes and shares; it’s about the democratization of media.

Disclosure: This post is from NMX sponsor Ford.

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