Your new post is loading...
Your new post is loading...
We have put together a list of tools that can help you create amazing visual content like infographics, memes, gifs, etc. Must read for every online marketer.
Great list mostly new to me. Missing one of my favorite visual marketing tools Haiku Deck: http://haikudeck.com/ . Haiku Deck is much more than a simple UI on the Creative Commons. If you are SMART you will use Haiku and some of these other #cooltools to create the kind of arresting visual marketing we all need and aspire to daily.
* Advocacy (willing to share with friends).
Via Eric_Determined / Eric Silverstein, Michael Allenberg
Crowdfunding Where BUZZ Lives In Time For the Holidays
* Crazy Guy / Girl in basement is a compelling aspirational story.
Warren Buffet's Haiku Deck Lesson
Clean Slate Brands
|Suggested by Marius Fermi|
It’s time we take a step back, away from all of the ideas and best practices of sales and the art that is selling and consider what the simple, indisputable truths are of selling.
A tad "old school" but helpful selling tips such as:
#1 Initiating Contact
#2 Quick Qualification
#3 Demonstrate Your Offer
There are 10 similar "sales 101" tips. P&G taught me an excellent format to tell a sales story (back in the day lol):
Summarize The Situation (set up your pitch factually)
State The Idea (clear, short, punchy)
Explain How It Works (use examples and made to stick analogies)
Share Benefits (only two benefits make or save money)
We BUY with EMOTION and that format is organized around logic, but skillful salespeople know how to weave that format into what feels like a spontaneous and relevant story.
One of my favorite quotes is the old Indian saying:
Tell me a fact and I’ll learn. Tell me a truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.
Use the P&G format to organize but then riff a story, follow up with relevant links and social media to "simply sell" today.
Print The Legend
Fascinating film about the beginning of a BIG THING (3D Printing) this film accurately describes what its like to be a startup in a hot space. Frustrating, magical and crazy all at once the movie will ring true for anyone whose started anything with OPM (Other People's Money).
Couple of cool trends in the movie include:
* Open source MakerBot becomes closed and gets bought.
* Closed and highly proprietary Avi Reichental does a RETHINK on his company's IP strategy and becomes more open.
* 3D printing remains in search of its "killer app".
That last bullet is also interesting. There is speculation that a printed plastic gun could become the "killer app" until the government steps in. In reality the killer app is problem going to be medical or healthcare related and is three to five years off.
Great window into startup land and 3D printing.
Why Content Curation Is Coming To B2C Merchants
In Curagami's 2nd guest blog post @Cendrine Marrouat - www.socialmediaslant.comshares 7 Content Curation Tips online merchants must know including:
Levels is cool. I added Durham, NC to his Nomad List of great places to be work "in the wild". Love the idea of FAST and then FASTER startup creation. Reminds me of a lesson Alton Pickens taught before we realized what a bad painter I am (lol). }
In college Pickens had me line up 50 sheets of paper and create with a timer. Fast became faster. He was trying to destroy THINKING TOO MUCH. Levels is doing the same by floating like a startup butterfly and stinging like a bee.
Shyp is the easiest way to ship anything. The mobile app provides an easy on demand shipping experience. Shyp is transforming how you send items by replacing the traditional hassles with a delightful experience.
Imagine a "Shipping Hero" coming to your place and handling your holiday shipping FOR YOU. What would that be worth? Shyp is betting its worth a lot and I agree.
I used to run a distribution business with Janet McKean called Found Objects. This time of year we were hunkered down shipping wholesale orders for the holidays. I've probably packed and shippped over 10,000 packages and it SUCKED.
Shipping is also a GAME played by giants on a field you can hardly understand or imagine. Shyp packs your package and secure the most secure and cheapest way to ship. DONE, where do I sign? Shyp launched in NYC and it may be a bit before they head to Raleigh / Durham. When they are here I'm there since the "joy" of shipping wore off long ago.
Can a couple of 20 somethings change the world? Stripe's answer is a strong affirmative YES. Stripe is fixing the biggest barrier to the social / mobile / connected web. We can't buy stuff on our phones.
Phones are, to use the founders of Stripe's words, "Clunky" (watch that video here: http://cnnmon.ie/1DxDZMG ). Why is the phone the lynchpin? Stop thinking of your phone as a phone.
Think of your phone as a PORTAL, game console and magic wand. Soon "see a thing, buy a thing" will be taken for granted but only if the Stipers can make mobile payments less "clunky".
I poked around on their site some and would say they are half way down a very interesting road. Why is the phone the lynchpin? Because once payments work on phones they work ANYWHERE.
Once payments work anywhere social commerce becomes a reality and "see a thing, hear a thing, buy a thing" a reality. Extend the logic further and ask, "What is a website?".
If we can wrap "see, click, buy" tech on phones we can do so on Facebook, the Redbox machine and the grocery store. Scan those fritos with your phone and Harris Teeter or Wegmans or Kroger bills your account.
NO CHECKOUT because your PHONE is the checkout. Fix ecom on the phone, change the world.
Startups are so pressed for time they often ignore or make a C priority developing content marketing. That is a huge mistake when it comes time to close a round of funding.
Startups with following have leverage and so may survive. In this excellent two part series Andrian Leighton shares tips on how to blog and how to recycle old blog posts into new content. With these tips every startup has the time to develop the most overlooked but important thing almost all startups overlook - effective content marketing.
Free Genius Lunches in Columbus Ohio
I'm living in Columbus, Ohio at the Blackwell Inn on the Ohio State University's campus from now until December 3rd (being treated by Dr. Byrd at the James Cancer Center). I love meeting, discussing and learning from fellow startups, entrepreneurs, artists and cool smart people.
I'm stealing @Phil Buckley Genius Lunch idea to see what is happening in Columbus. Team Curagami stands ready to answer Internet marketing questions and learn new tips, tricks and ideas. If you would like to have a Genius Lunch in Columbus check the calendar and email when you would like to meet.
Lear More Here
On “Charlie Rose,” Deena Varshavskaya, founder and chief executive officer at Wanelo. The online social media app connects millions of consumer with some of the biggest brands, as well as the tiniest of independent boutiques.
Listening to WaNeLo's founder discuss her experience raising money and goals for her social shopping company made me realize I was listening to the sound of a clean slate brand. Wanelo is the first salvo in the "social shopping" wars sure to erupt.
Rose asks a good question, "Why won't Twitter and Facebook follow your lead?" They will and Deeena's best defense is a good offense. I signed up for Wanelo and its an intriguing play that couldn't exist without smart phones.
There's "mobile first" and then there is a company like Wanelo who is conceived and could only be possible with mobile. When Deena mentioned that more than 80% of their traffic is mobile my heart skipped a beat and I realized how clean slate this affiliate money play really is.
By mashing up retailers and accepting affiliate money Wanelo has to create a fun and exciting interface. They are about half way there. The way you create your store with swiping is cool and a #muststeal idea, but there is little more to recommend or hold interest currently.
Rose asked all the right questions about WHY and being first is a big recommendation, but not the only thing needed to survive. The UI is worth some money and their more than a million young followers are worth a lot too. Deena correctly locates the biggest challenge in today's market - getting people to love and interact with your content NOT mining or creating some unique Intellectual Property (IP) that can be protected and held over others.
Wanelo walks into social shopping, creates a "game console" using smart phones and will probably be adding gamification soon (if they are half as smart as they seem) and there is the first mover advantage. Important interview about the future of "social shopping".
Bitcoin, Ecommerce, Money & Value Systems
In three posts I've tried to understand how Bitcoin changes ecommerce:
Bitcoin, Money & Value Systems (on G+)
Bitcoin Manifesto (on @Scoop.it)
And this post about Bitcoin and #startups. Bitcoin as infrastructure could change everything from online ecommerce to how we pay for groceries and a coke from a vending machine.
Sure the infrastructure to achieve such a vision is largely lacking presently, but it wasn't that long ago we didn't have an Internet either. Here is how I'm going to tune my Bitcoin radar:
* Learn how to install Bitcoin commerce (nothing is easy now, but first movers will get huge benefits).
* Understand how and where Bitcoin could create the greatest impact such as http://www.curagami.com client http://www.moon-audio.com.
* Understand how Bitcoin's platform could connect to other major trends such as social, mobile and connection.
The reason I want to understand how to install Bitcoin commerce is 1. It Ain't Easy Now and 2. Customers with large international buying groups could benefit the most and the fastest. Moon-Audio sells their magical audio cables all over the world. What they've been lacking is an easy way to safely sell around the world.
if there is even a tiny chance Bitcoin can fill those shoes I'm interested and a student. If anyone reading this has resources about how to install Bitcoin commerce please share.
DIY Customers Are Important
Do-It_Yourself customers may be the most important customers on earth. Here are a few ways DIY customers create benefits for digitial marketers and websites:
* Social Shares on Facebook, Twitter and +Google+.
* Creates #ugc (User Generated Content) or the best content you can't buy.
* Drive links into their content on your site.
We are working on a series of http://www.Curagami.com posts on how to engage and benefit from DIY Customer Marketing. If you have tips, ideas or experiences you think would help please share (martin(at)Curagami.com).
Two years ago, we published a two-part post on social media marketing safety with Internet marketer, curator, cancer survivor, entrepreneur and Friend of Paper.li, Marty Smith.
Well, guess what? Marty is back. And this time, he will share his journey and thoughts on entrepreneurship, e-commerce, social media and how his battle against cancer has shaped his thinking.
Love this Jody Porowski post since she shares directly and doesn't lay claim to expertise she doesn't have (rare). I also love here reasons for why content marketing matters beyond pure traffic generation such as:
1. Drive Traffic.
2. Increase Awareness.
3. Create new Connections.
4. Produce Warm Fuzzies.
Great list. I would add:
5. Creates online community (net effect of 1 - 4).
6. Voice is authority, authority is reputation, reputation is all.
7. Provides grappling hooks out to social media to accomplish #2.
8. Shares values and nonverbals communication such as WE LISTEN (especially when you curate or incorporate content from users).
9. Promotes User Generated Content (they won't share if you don't).
10. Define your USP and UCA (Unique Selling Proposition and Unique Customer Aspiration).
YES, we live in a post content-shock world, but construct a website without a voice and see how it performs (it won't). Stories, shared intimacy and risk form the basis of any successful online community. Remember 1:9:90 Rule says 1% of a site's visitors will advocate and share valuable UGC (User Generated Content), 9% will vote and share especially content from the highly trusted 1%ers and 90% read and visit (important to traffic numbers but hard to engage).
We used to think content and voice was the ante for an Ambassador Program or the creation of valuable brand advocates and Sheraps. Team Curagami changed our mind recently and now advise customers such as Moon-Audio.com (manufacturers amazing audio cables and sells high-end headphones and earphones) to ASK for help NOW.
Continue to develop content and voice since the more trusted you are the greater chance you have at the gold at the end of the web marketing rainbow - sustainable online community. BUT ASK FOR HELP immediately, specifically and often.
Such a great post by Jody I couldn't help adding a riff from my experience as a content marketer, content curator and former Ecommerce Director. Added to Startups Revolution because content marketing is one of the rocks many startups get hung upon. Don't over think content marketing and create something daily.
Marty Note On Developing Trusted Content
Startups must create content to develop trust and community. Content marketing. and this may be a surprise to some, is not an end unto itself. You create and share content to help, educate and share. Startups should create content to develop a self-sustaining community.
Sharing content requires being vulnerable, real and authentic. The six tips from the linked post focus on creating honest communication. My 4 content marketing tips describe how to create content sure to be shared (a form of trust), built upon and provide the feedback loops you need to run an online business:
Six Content Tips (from the link)
* Eliminate Hype.
* Make Your Content As Unbiased as possible.
* Present alternative perspectives (from trusted leaders and gurus).
* Include objective research.
* Beware of product pitches (just say NO to product pitches).
* Proclaim your identity (be honestly who you ARE as any disparity creates dissonance).
Marty's 4 Content Marketing Tips (to promote shares and feedback)
* End with a question asking for feedback & don't mind if none comes (1:9:90 Rule says only about 10% of your visitors are going to engage with your content is ways you can see).
* Shorten your sentences & paragraphs and lose the conjunctions and personal pronouns.
* Create short (10 words or less) headlines with "grabbers".
* Create, shoot or develop original art.
Questions are great. We use questions in three ways:
* We ask and then answer our own question as a way to engage a clear line of reasoning and thinking.
* We ask contextually relevant questions at the end of a post looking for feedback on a reader's experience.
* We ask and leave open questions in heading sand sub-heads to promote the content as answer reading the curiosity of a question prompts.
Short and Sweet
Shorten and create SEO writing. SEO writing is reducing your "stop words" such as personal pronouns or other words search spiders can't understand. SEO may be out of favor these days, but those "spider tips" apply to creating content to promote online readership and engagement too. Think Hemingway more than Faulkner.
Startups shouldn't use stock photography. Stock creates dissonance with any startup's main positioning. All startups are claiming to be smarter and more creative than the other guy. When you use sock you look just like the other guy. Just say NO to stock no matter how much your designer wants to use it. CORNED use stock but ask your design team to create unique edits and perspectives so your stock doesn't look like everyone else.
IgnitionDeck is the world's most popular WordPress crowdfunding plugin. Includes free WordPress Crowdfunding Theme. Integrates with Paypal, Stripe, Mailchimp.
At our starutp @Curagami we've been fascinated with the idea of "enterprise crowdfunding". This idea fascinates us because:
* Crowdfunding content is highly social.
* Social Shares - Content is supported by entrepreneurs social net.
* Crazy Guy / Girl In Basement - content is buzz worthy.
Ignition Deck's wordpress plugin means its easy to add crowdfunding to your site. Yes, you give up the "featured" aspect of having your campaign promoted by a big gun like Kickstarter or IndieGoGo, but you gain control and the SEO juice comes to YOU and YOUR SITE not them.
Ethan Mollic's Dynamics of Crowdfunding study showed what we expected:
* Most campaigns get funded by entrepreneurs own network.
* Most campaigns JUST MAKE their funding goals.
* Campaigns that have 25% in first days are 80% likely to meet their ASK. * Even small crowdfunding sites have high PageRank.
That last bullet is because crowdfunding sites benefit from the Facebook effect - create the environment and have everyone else provide the content and links. If most campaigns are funded by YOU anyway using a pluggin like IgnitionDeck may make sense.
Where it REALLY makes sense is at the enterprise level. Our Curagami customer Moon-Audio.com can create a "board" asking for new headphone, headphone amp and audio gear ideas from their Ambassadors and other visitors.
IgnitionDeck looks like a winner. We plan to investigate further and report back on http://www.Curagami.com . Thanks to Mark Foulkrod at Atlantic BT in Raleigh for the share.
I agree with the idea that Neuromarketing isn't a secret ticket to man's inner most desires. EVEN if you could see inside the soul of your customers doing so would be wrong and your view would change the wrong things in the wrong way.
I also agree anyone can do Neuromarketing these days. Big Data, analytics and wisdom of crowds can provide as much if not more actionable information than sticking people in Catscans and postulating on motivations, persuasion and the secret Stimulus - Response curves we all understand to some lesser or greater degree.