Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category

VIDEO: North Point Church – iBand

January 16, 2011

Blogging for Books – New Site Launched

January 14, 2011

I recently launched a new website through WaterBrook Multnomah called BloggingForBooks.org.

Blogging for Books allows bloggers to request free review copies in exchange for a thoughtful reviews on their blogs, a retailer’s site and on BloggingForBooks.org. Bloggers get free books and can win prizes based on how many times they can get their reviews ranked in the system. In my time as an online product developer, this is the coolest program I have ever built out.

Thanks to Rocket Jones (web development) and Tenfold Collective (design) as well as everyone at WaterBrook and Random House that believed in this project, invested in it and helped to make it a reality.

Stop Gap Animation Domination

October 7, 2010

Bruce Wilkinson – Video Series

January 18, 2010

I recently traveled to Atlanta to do a series of video shoots with Shaunti Feldhahn and Bruce Wilkinson. Here is one of the videos from the shoot I did with Bruce:<p>

Social Networking Homework Assignment

August 15, 2008

COmposition Notebook - Homework Asisignment

This week I was given an assignment at work: Perform a competitive evaluation of social/professional networking sites that do a great job of converting their users into usable leads that can then be resold.

At first glance this might sound like a boring homework assignment. But you couldn’t be more wrong. Social networking has taken over the web. I myself have been an active member at Facebook and LinkedIn for some time. But there are so many sites out there…way too many for a guy like me with a full time job, two kids under the age of five, half a dozen projects at home and two or three contract assignments that need my attention.

This project has opened my eyes to several sweet new web-based programs:

StumbleUpon.com

Stumble Upon Toolbar Short

One of the first tools I came across on my pilgrimage to social la la land. This toolbar downloads to your web browser and is really quite simple in nature. The basics behind the program include:

  1. Hitting the “Stumble” button (seen on the toolbar above), which randomly takes you to a web site based on your interests (snowboarding, gardening, humor, etc.).
  2. Giving a thumbs up or thumbs down on the sites you come across
  3. Sharing sites with friends (you invite people to become your “Friend” much like on Facebook or MySpace) which allows you to see the pages they like/dislike and vice versa.

Now, from a pure consumer standpoint—I have to say—this site is pretty addicting. I mean, it’s like The Wheel of Fortune meets Goggle. Just click the button and WOOSH…you’re swept to a site that is (relatively speaking) pretty close to something I care about or think funny. In a million years (not that I have that long…unless God has the Internet in heaven) I would never sit down and randomly surf the web for stuff I like. I just don’t have the time for it. But I do enjoy it when others send me cool sites they like. Stumble Upon is great for poking around the web and finding stuff to share with others.

From a business standpoint there’s a ton of potential for helping give your own web sites a boost. Such as…

Increasing Site Traffic

Simply visit your sites and click on the button that looks like a word cloud. This takes you to a place where people have given your site a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Have none? Then it’s time to go to work. Here are a couple ways to get started:

  • Email everyone in your company or group and have them join Stumble Upon (warn them first that it’s as addicting as starting a season of 24 on DVD…they’ll never want to stop clicking the stumble button) and then have them give an “I like it!” thumbs up rating to your site. Have them also post a comment as to why they like it. This will do a couple things. First, it will show the internet world that people actually care enough about your site to post a comment as to why they like it (no comments = thinking like, “this site is of no value, boring, or just plain stupid”). Secondly, it counteracts any negative feedback that might have been left by others. And lastly, it helps bump your site on the list of sites that get shown when people click on their “Stumble” button.
  • Run a contest in your company to see how many people they can get to comment on your sites using Stumble Upon.
  • Open a contest for your audience to post on your sites. The best site posting wins a free iPod or a free Hummer or whatever you can afford. This will get eyeballs back on your site for a reason, it will also help you gather customer testimonials and it will help your rankings improve on Stumble Upon. you’ll have to express to your customers that you’ll notify the winner via a Stumble Upon message…after all most aren’t going to have their name and address on their post.

Gathering Testimonials

One of the best marketing tools a company can lean on are the true words of reference their customers give. I may think you have a cool product, but I want to confirm that with a real (non-paid) person that’s used your product or service. Stumble Upon naturally helps you gather client testimonials.

Get “With It”

Let’s face it…the web moves quick. It’s not easy to stay up to date on all there is to offer. Remember how cool Cold Fusion was? What was cool six months ago and hitting the #1 search in Google will be down the list and out of date faster than Michael Phelps in the 200 IM. Stumble Upon can help you garner some “coolness” credibility as you lean on their brand (or the brands of other social networking giants like Facebook or MySpace) to position your own.

Add This

Add This

Too many social networking programs, not enough time. “Add This” is a simple bookmarking and sharing button that you can embed in your sites. No more upgrading your bookmarks when another social networking site comes around. Simply sign up at www.AddThis.com, copy the pre-populated script and drop it into your site. It’s fast, easy to use, and even provides tracking on their site.

There are several button options to choose from:

  Bookmark and Share Bookmark and Share
  Bookmark and Share Bookmark and Share
  Bookmark and Share Bookmark and Share

My week has just begun and I’m already swirling with new ideas – some related to social networking…some related to basic web usage (we really need to create a best practice in our company for adding widgets and gadgets to places like iGoogle that allow people to drop in our top articles in the space they choose to live in.)

Enough on my social networking tirade…I’m off to get this idea converted into a b-to-b audience enhancer and corporate money maker.

Content is NOT king

August 14, 2008

 

Reduce - Reuse - Recycle ImageReduce, reuse, recycle.

This feels like an old adage for someone like me who grew up hearing this phrase used in elementary school. While the era of recycling has been around for ages some would say this is a “green” statement and others say it’s a sound business plan. I say they’re both right but at this point I’d like to take up a few minutes of your “flipping through the web” time to talk about what this phrase means from a business perspective.

When you think of “reduce, reuse, recycle” the first thing that probably pops into your brain is that symbol with the arrows rotating in a triangular fashion ( http://www.ex-mobile.com/news/phone_recycle.gif ). When I hear the term I immediately think of our paper recycling box next to the printer here in the Loveland office.

My point is this: most of us think recycling has to do with something physical.

Get past the obvious and find the granny gear in your brain–it’s time to step back and take a hard look at what matters most in this business: Content.

(For those of you who have never driven a real truck – a granny gear is the lowest gear out there…it’s lower than first gear…it’s the gear that goes the slowest, but gets you out of the muck fastest).

Content is NOT King

They say content is king. I say Content is queen and the Web is the doting, loving, infatuated king obsessed with showing off his beautiful, holy-crap-I-can’t believe-your-mine-because-you’re so-flippin-amazing wife. Content was made for the Web and Web was made for Content–they’re a match made in heaven.

You may be wondering where print falls in this analogy? These days I hate to say it, but Print is the jealous boyfriend that used to date Content. Sure – Print and Content still hang out as “friends,” – but let’s face it–he’s sitting on the sidelines at the dance watching Content and Web dance on center stage–madly in love and surrounded by onlookers curious to see what moves they make that will inspire the rest to join in. Content still remembers the good times she had with Print–but sadly, she’s forgetting less and less about those good times as she’s so infatuated with Web.

To Print I say this: It’s okay–it’s not like the Web put your head on the chopping block or sent you to the front lines of some far off war. You’re still here, but your ex-girlfriend is happy with her new husband and now you’re stuck waiting to find your true love.

You’re Not an Editor Anymore

ThinkerYou’re a content strategist.

In the past an editor would help pull together a story that would run in an upcoming issue. Now editors need to be thinking about how to re-purpose and repackage that article to be used on several playing fields. Here are some of the places some of you are repurposing those articles:

  • Adding it to your Web site
  • Sharing it with your e-newsletter readers
  • Blogging about it on some key sites outside your own (or on your own)
  • Creating a video or podcast based on or related to the same story

But what else can you do with that article? How else can you repackage your content in order to get more eyes on your content?

At this point if you work for Penton Media you’d be reading all about my latest initiatives I’ve helped create that address how to reuse your content in ways that increases web traffic, up your subscriptions, and help overcome the problems print publishers are facing. Alas – these are secrets I cannot reveal and I must stop here…sorry.

Chris Sigfrids
Online Product Development Manager
Penton Media
sigorama@aol.com
www.chrisssigfrids.com