Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Making a Multimedia Product Demo with Video, Music, Text and Product

Here is an example of how you could make a product demo using Swyzzle. For this example I’m going to create a Swyzzle show about green tea. Watch it here.

I usually start with a storyboard. Basically, I just want to get an idea of what my message is for the product demo.

Once I have an the storyboard, I start collecting my materials for the show.

For my green tea demo,  I decided it would be less than a minute.

It is a good idea to create a folder for all the media so you can easily find it for uploading to Swyzzle.

  1. Locate some product images to use in the show. This is easy because all you have to do is search the web (or you may already have product images) and right-click the image and “Save Image as”  to your newly created folder.
  2. Shoot some video to enhance your product message. This is not as hard as it sounds. Yes, professional videographers will have perfect video, lighting sound, etc., BUT,  if you have a digital camera you can usually video tape through it as a last resort. If you are thinking about buying a web cam make sure it is capable of HD quality.
  3. If you are doing a voice-over, write a script for your show
  4. Log in to Swyzzle, click Shows, click Create A Show, then upload your image, video and music.
  5. Now, refer to your storyboard and create the show. (watch the tutorial below and see how its done.)
  6. When you are happy with your show, save it and exit the Swyzzle show editor.
  7. Preview your show to make sure you like the way it plays
  8. Click the Embed the Show tab and Copy to Clipboard.
  9. Embed the show in a web page or email it’s link to your mailing list.

Here is a Swyzzle show\details how I created my product demo. Note that I uploaded all the media before I began this tutorial.


<br /> <a href="http://www.swyzzle.com/player?eid=43c4ede4-0810-4606-97f8-a1a07bb5fffe&#038;autoplay=0">Swyzzle Editor &#8211; Green Tea Demo</a><br />

Five Ways to Make Simple Video More Engaging

For three years Swyzzle has been creating a unique and powerful online creative tool for people that goes beyond typical video offerings. With so many companies touting themselves as video email marketers, our challenge has always been to differentiate Swyzzle from the multitudes of products that are available on the market today.  While we offer the similar functionality in a lot of aspects, there is one significant way that we stand apart from the others: Swyzzle is a multimedia platform.

The Multimedia Advantage

Multimedia video, callout, audio media. All-in-one.

Multimedia is a word we come across often that has different meaning depending on its context. So here is our simplified definition for this context.

Multimedia = images + video + audio + YouTube video + Amazon products + call outs + HTML Rich Text

With Swyzzle, you can upload video, audio and images and arrange the uploaded content on a “stage”. You can create a sequence of your media which plays inside a Flash player.  Now that you know what multimedia means, let’s see why smart marketers choose this platform over plain video marketing.

1) Reduce creative costs through re-use of media

How much money do you spend on employing a creative company to design logos, make videos and other digital media? If you are like most, you’ve seen the waste. A marketing campaign is over and the designs are never used again. What about that expensively produced video you posted on YouTube? YouTube is not the only media outlet for getting viewers. You can re-use your video for an email marketing campaign by including it in a Swyzzle show. And then, track it’s success with Swyzzle’s analytics.

2) Easily replace of outdated media

What happens when you change your company logo? All the digital media you’ve created has to be replaced in every web page where you’re company has promotional media. In a Swyzzle show, you simply replace the image one time and it is reflected in all the shows that use it. Whereas, if the logo is embedded inside a video itself, you would have to do some video editing to get the old image out and the new image in – or create a new promotion video altogether.

3) SEO for all…media

How do you effectively make a YouTube video SEO friendly? We have designed Swyzzle to allow show author’s to apply SEO terms to every piece of media in a show (and the show itself). Once you define your keywords and description of the media in the show, the show packages all those tags from the media into its keywords. If you include a YouTube video about cats, you can create your own keywords for that video. When you create the embed tag for your web page, Swyzzle places all the media’s keywords into the embeddable HTML automatically.

4) Take your video to the next level

What makes a video engaging to watch besides its content? When you watch a YouTube video and something pops up and fades out, it is usually something relevant to the video that you need to know or it can be humorous quips about the action in the video. It doesn’t matter, it’s EASY to do with Swyzzle because you are not EDITING the video itself, you are just dragging an item on to the stage. If you are not a video editor by trade, there is quite a learning curve to edit a video.

Kick it up a notch:

  • Play two videos together side by side. (upload two videos, drag them onto the stage)
  • Overlay your favorite music for a sports video (you can mute the YouTube audio with our editor and use  your music instead).
  • Add lyrics to a song below the video. (use Swyzzle HTML rich text editor and drag the text on to the stage).
  • Frame a video with color or an image. (change the stage background, either just by color or drag an image covering the whole stage)
  • Add “graffiti” of your own over or around the video. (upload some image and drag them over the video)
  • Overlay call outs (conversation bubble) on top of the video. (create a call out in the editor and drop it on the stage)

5) Measure effectiveness of your multimedia show

How do you know if a campaign is successful? A sales uptick is always the most reliable, let’s face it! But it’s a common theme that all online marketing campaigns provide analytics, so it’s pretty much expected that you’ve got to have accurate analytics in the email marketing world. In some of the campaigns we’ve run, it is obvious that certain images and audio are definitely having an impact on the viewership.  Ironically, it’s not always the pretty girl that made the campaign work! So, analytics gave us the real story (FACTS!) of which campaign was successuful! Then, the uptick in sales was the slam dunk confirming it with our analytics reporting. Our analytics could have predicted the sales team informing us of the increased customer interest, but we let them have the fun and tell us all about it.

Conclusion

We are passionate about Swyzzle because we know it’s advantage over other simply video-based media software. To see Swyzzle in action,  watch a sample show and let us know what you think!

Adding Video SEO (VSEO) to a Swyzzle show

Search Engine Optimization has been a hot topic for web site developers and marketers for several years. Anyone who is slightly savvy in the world wide web knows the basics:
Video SEO
1) Content is king
2) Back links are important
3) Create a sitemap and submit to Google
4) Create an RSS feed for your site

At Swyzzle, we have incorporated all these techniques into our site. In this blog, I’d like to emphasize techniques we use for our Video SEO. Here are some tips for those who want their Swyzzle shows to be found by Google, Bing, and the rest.

1) When you are logged in and editing a show, you can add your “Show Details”. This is where you can enter a show description, title and keywords. Make sure you describe your Swyzzle show. This is where content is king for video. You can even go so far as to transcribe the video. Leaving the Show Description empty is a big mistake and will cost you SEO visitors. This is very important!

2) Title your Swyzzle show intelligently with VSEO in mind. What does that mean? Well, the show title is serious business! This really isn’t the time to come up with cute phrases that don’t mean a thing until you’ve watched the show. If you really want your video to be found by YOUR audience, you might want to think about what they’d be searching for that would result in YOUR show. If you don’t want to think that hard, decide what keywords stand out to characterize the show’s content. If you watched your own show, what on-topic words are repeated throughout the show? Those would be your keywords. Once you have 3 or 4 keywords, a SEO friendly title is imminent!

3) I’ve mentioned, Show Title and Show Description, but you can also add more keywords. Swyzzle incorporates keywords you’ve entered (and some you haven’t) into the embed tag. There are two types of keywords: Show keywords and Content keywords. Maybe there are some words that didn’t make it into your description or title that should be included — you can add more keywords to apply to your show. But, you can go a step further and add them to your content. Every piece of content in your show has it’s own keywords field. Every little bit helps, it’s up to you to exploit Swyzzle’s SEO tools to your advantage. You want your show to be found, right?

4) Embed your Swyzzle show in as many blogs and websites as are relevant to your topic. Be a guest blogger and embed your Swyzzle show on related sites. When you embed a Swyzzle show, the show title and keywords are pasted into the video embed object. So once you update the Show Details (title, keywords), it is automatically included in that web page.

We’ve given you some important tips on how to make your Swyzzle show SEO-friendly. Try incorporating them and see what it will do for you!

How Has Digital Media Changed Our Marketing Model?

As the CEO of Swyzzle, I was invited to answer this question on Focus.com:

“How has digital media changed your approach to marketing?”

This was a very good question to ask me since this is where our expertise lies. Our business is 100% based on the use of digital media to market our client’s products and services. Here is my response:

 

5 ways our marketing model has changed due to digital media

  1. We measure and track our results. Digital media allows us to track our leads through every stage of the marketing funnel and sales pipeline. We track the lifetime value of a customer against the cost to acquire that customer. As a result,we’ve shifted marketing efforts from less measurable (for example, print and broadcast) into more measurable (email marketing, CPC, SEO/SEM). We measure both to justify our marketing expense and to ensure we are spending on the most effective strategies.
  2. We focus more on lead generation and less on brand awareness. The ability of digital media to better target specific demographics has increased the ROI of online lead generation. That’s not to say that we don’t put energy into brand awareness – just that brand awareness is secondary to lead generation.
  3. We use video and multimedia marketing. Of course, our company is all about empowering marketers to use video and multimedia for online marketing. And, as Marge Bieler said, that’s because online conversion rates go up by over 40% when video is used. Video engagement is measurable, and can be used for lead generation or as web site content. When used in lead generation campaigns it increases conversion rates, and at the same time drives brand awareness and engagement.
  4. We use social media to humanize our company. The most important social medium for us is our blog. It drives SEO, let’s us educate our market and expose our company’s personality. We use our blog to convert visitors and demonstrate our products in action. We use Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn by encouraging our market to talk about us on their social networks, as opposed to creating a lot of content on them.
  5. We are more data-driven. Digital media has made information available to us that informs us about our market. When visitors land on our web site, we know where they are, what platform they’re on, their connection speed and lots of other information. As a result, we can choose marketing tactics that better suit our market. There is a wealth of other data that affects how we communicate with our market.

You can see the orignal post here.

A Day at Future Media Fest 2010

Future Media Fest 2010 LogoWe were invited to demo Swyzzle at the Future Media Fest’s showcase event on Monday night. Normally, we are holed up in our “garage” coding our little hearts out, so getting out with the digital community is a real anomaly. To hear that they like the Swyzzle product (and otherwise “Get it” ) is the icing on the cake. Aside from the showcase, we were able to take some time to meet industry experts that could shed further light on where a multimedia platform serving up many different types of content in one bundled show (as Swyzzle’s player does), could be best applied.  They understood the high value of the detailed analytics Swyzzle provides for lead generation campaigns. Even more surprising was a growing discussion of how Swyzzle could be used in broadcast arena. We truly appreciated the enthusiasm and feedback from those who are pushing the limits of technology to take it to the next level.

Prior to the showcase we hung out to listen to some of the speakers. There were some interesting comments, I thought were worth tweeting about.

Here are just a couple of my tweets:

Millenials are more open to advertising. Excellent for marketing and advertising industry!

I thought this was interesting because I am not a “millenial”, let’s just leave what I am out of it. But the speaker was right in that I don’t appreciate the barrage of advertising I’m subjected to every day. However, knowing that millenials don’t mind it, makes it easier to market to the millenial. They have come to expect it, if they want something for free. This includes those terrible Tee-shirts that they shoot  into the stands during pro-ball games, that most of us would NEVER wear. It just doesn’t matter to them, it’s a free addition to their ever-expanding Tee-shirt and jeans wardrobe. So, if you want to know where your marketing campaign is always accepted, check out your millenial email list.

Hyper Relevance vs. Personalization

This topic was brought up during one of the panels. I understand what personalization is however, hyper relevance kind of got my curiosity. Hyper relevance is most easily described with an example, Google Instant. Google Instant tries to figure out what you are looking for before you even know yourself. This concept has been around for a while, but Google Instant has brought it to the forefront in recent months. So, then, the word CREEPY was thrown around by the panelists, regarding both these concepts. I personally don’t feel like it’s a bad thing that my behaviors and interests are known to others. I like receiving the right information at the right time, so that I can be presented with relevant articles and products when I need them. Maybe too much was made of it. I think a lot of people are intrigued and fascinated with ‘creepy’, for example, what’s up with the huge success of vampire-themed movies?

This year’s Future Media Fest in Atlanta was a great success. I’m looking forward to  Future Media 2011, this one was awesome and I commend the organizers and sponsors for their efforts.

Improved Lead Scoring for Marketing Campaigns

Improved lead scoring

Lead scoring improves follow-up

Our product development team is in the midst of an upgrade that will enhance our lead scoring for multimedia marketing campaigns. The benefit of this improvement is faster lead follow-up during the lead generation campaign. One of the most difficult challenges in lead generation campaigns is to ensure that highly qualified leads are contacted promptly (detailed in this post).  As the marketing campaign happens, the hottest leads will be flagged for immediate follow-up — improving the marketing campaign ROI.

How does it work? The lead scoring technique measures and scores how the people who respond to your Swyzzle campaigns (your leads) watch and interact with the Swyzzle show. The viewing habits of all viewers and interaction with PromoPad items below the show and other factors are collected and analyzed to compute the score. Some of the factors which are included in the scoring include:

  • Total Length of viewing time - indicating quality and viewer interest in the show
  • Number of views - indicating level of interest in the content of the show
  • Number of clicks on PromoPad items – showing interest in a particular topic related to the item clicked.
  • Number of repeated segments viewed during a session – showing interest in a particular portion of a show
  • E-commerce item clicks on PromoPad - indicating specific interest in a product offered during the show

As data is collected for each new lead generation campaign the analysis learns and improves, producing more refined results.

Look for the new lead-scoring within the next several weeks. In future releases we’ll be adding other new features to drive higher quality multimedia-based lead generation.

Marketing Baby Carrots as Junk Food

Marketing campaign for Baby Carrots as Junk Food

I just read a post on Marketing Daily about a new marketing campaign the carrot farmers are getting ready to launch (read the post here). The campaign promotes baby carrots with the tag line “Eat ‘Em Like Junk Food” and a theme of mocking the chip ads from the major snack companies. Whereas chip companies market their snacks as extreme – you know, extreme cheese, extreme hot and spicy and extreme red and orange- baby carrots have extreme crunch and extreme orange. I mean, how much more orange can you get than a carrot?

I think this is a great marketing strategy, and the irony of positioning baby carrots as competition for junk food at the same time snack companies add “no trans fat” badges to their packaging is pure genius. The campaign includes TV spots, outdoor advertising and online and social media.

According to the post, the campaign launches September 13th in Syracuse and Cincinnati. We won’t see it in Atlanta until after that, but I look forward to when we see it. Who knows, maybe the orange juice people will follow suit? It’s pretty orange too, you know.

Lead Follow-up: The Challenge of Online Lead Generation

In many companies, Sales complains that they don’t get enough leads from Marketing, and Marketing complains that Sales doesn’t follow up on the leads they are given. It almost sounds like the beginning of a joke. Unfortunately, many lead generation campaigns fail because no one follows up on the good leads that are generated.

Lead Follow-up: the link between Sales and Marketing

Lead Follow-up: the link between Sales and Marketing

In my fantasy, Marketing hands Sales all the leads they can handle and Sales follows up on every single lead, closing every opportunity. Everyone is happy, and everyone makes lots of money. The problems begin when you have expectations like mine.

Because of performance pressure, Marketing tends to send weak leads to Sales. Sales often doesn’t follow up because the leads are weak, saying it’s a waste of time. However, when a well planned and executed lead generation campaign is conducted by Marketing, quality leads will be the result. The leads must be segmented as quickly as possible by Marketing so that they can be passed on to Sales while they are still “hot”. Sales must be prepared to follow up on with these leads within 24 hours to reap the full benefits of the campaign. There is nothing worse than wasting a good lead. Sales must follow up on the leads promptly, before they get cold. That means they need to trust that they will get good leads, and that they will take the time to act on them. Marketing must communicate to Sales about the current campaigns and give guidance on how to follow up on the leads.

It’s important to think of lead generation as a funnel (see Understanding the Online Lead Generation Funnel). In a typical marketing funnel, the best 5% of marketing contacts are strong enough sales prospects to passed to Sales. The next 10% are close, but not quite fully baked. Marketing should monitor those 10% and pass contacts that are from marquis customers to Sales, and continue to cultivate the others. For example, if your company produces drink production equipment a lead from Coca Cola should be passed to sales.

Lastly, Marketing should track the follow-up. Marketing needs to track leads through the marketing funnel, then through the sales funnel and then through the lifetime of the customer. The lifetime value of a lead is the true measure of the success of marketing campaigns the marketing organization.

Inbound Marketers’ Dirty Little Secret About Lead Generation

Inbound Marketing is getting a lot of attention these days. Companies and consultants who specialize in inbound lead generation help you draw traffic to your website and blog and convert that traffic into leads with landing pages with offers and forms. Read a few blog entries from these folks and you’ll see some very preachy (and self-serving) stuff about the evils of outbound marketing. They talk endlessly about how your customers don’t want to see your ads or receive emails from you. One site even posted a misleading interpretation of the CAN-SPAM law that implied that if someone didn’t ask to receive your newsletter you were breaking the law.Secrets of Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a great strategy, and if you aren’t already actively pursuing it you should start. But at the same time you should be skeptical of the spin from inbound marketing evangelists. Even if they say otherwise, the vast majority of them are actively doing outbound marketing. Why? Because inbound marketing isn’t as effective for finding customers who have never heard of you before. It relies on your rankings in search engines like Google. If your website is not highly ranked it takes time to raise your profile high enough to appear on the first page of a search. Outbound marketing such as email lead generation can help by getting the engine revved up so that people searching for product information find your company. Swyzzle recommends a mix, and we believe that if inbound marketing companies are being honest they do too. For example, at HubSpot email marketing is second only to direct traffic in attracting visitors; beating out paid search, referrals, organic search and social media. Email marketing is also their fastest growing lead generation category. Is all that email traffic coming from newsletter subscriptions? I doubt it.

Don’t be misled by the spin. Make sure you’ve got a good online lead generation mix. Swyzzle isn’t anti-inbound marketing. We’re all about helping to provide good, rich content for any form of online marketing – inbound or outbound – and tracking and reporting to help separate the hot leads from the not-so-hot.

Should I be Doing Multimedia and Video Lead Generation Campaigns?

How do you know if you should be running Multimedia and Video Lead Generation Campaigns? Here’s what we mean by a multimedia and video lead generation campaign. These are marketing campaigns that use video (like a YouTube video) or multimedia (videos, pictures, text with audio and links or forms, etc.) to entice a prospect to “raise his hand” and say he is interested in your product or service. Usually, it starts with an email invitation to a landing page on a web site. The email invitation summarizes the content in the show and provides a link directly to landing page with embedded video or multimedia. The video or multimedia should be informative and entertaining.

What’s the alternative to multimedia and video lead generation campaigns? A landing page that contains text and images – that is, a basic web page. The advantages of a multimedia landing page are 1) it is more engaging than a basic web page and 2) you can handle subjects that are more complex. On the other hand, you can pop out a basic web page very quickly and search engines handle them well.

So what’s the answer? Whether you should be doing multimedia and video lead generation campaigns depends on your company and its products or services.

Ask yourself these questions:

Is yours a high-involvement sale?

If your customers need to see a demonstration or take it for a test drive before they buy your product or service, yours is a high-involvement sale. Good examples are complicated electronics or machinery. A multimedia lead generation campaign can jump-start your sale by showing your customers the product as it would solve their problems.

If you need to establish a high level of trust with your customers before they’ll buy, you also have a high-involvement sale. Example: consulting services. Video of satisfied customers, direct results and improvements – almost like a video resume – helps establish that trust.

How much does your product cost? As a rule of thumb, if your product is over a thousand dollars your customer will need to justify the cost and likely want to test drive it.

Is your product or market new or innovative?

With new products and markets, it can be difficult to explain in words what makes your solution better. Multimedia lead generation demonstrates how your company solves problems and interactively, allowing prospects to qualify themselves as a high quality sales lead. You might even set up a series that moves them through your marketing funnel.

Do you have video you could use?

Video production presents a challenge for many companies. Using video that already exists product demonstrations, testimonials, corporate promotions or webinars simplifies multimedia and video lead generation campaigns. Find good quality content that your customers like and use that to generate leads.

Are you generating enough leads now?

Most companies tell us they don’t generate enough leads for their sales team. Multimedia and video lead generation can generate 5-10x the number of leads that web pages can. If your marketing budget includes print advertising or industry trade shows, you should consider reallocating funds to online lead generation campaigns because the cost-per lead is much lower. Online lead generation produces more leads, and those leads can be better tracked for return on investment.

And one important point!

Follow up on your leads. Obvious, right? But lead follow-up is where many companies falter in their lead generation efforts. The likelihood of closing a sale drops the longer the delay before contacting the lead. It is important that you capture your leads and follow up as soon as possible.

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