May 14th, 2013
Video is a powerful tool to help you build relationships with prospects and customers and enable them to learn about your company’s solution. Did you know that digital video consumption grew 30% year over year in Q4 2012?
But, before we talk about how to use video, let’s discuss what to say. Start with a list of the questions that your prospects and customers are asking you. Write out the answers. Use the Q & A’s to create your content
First, take your questions and search on YouTube. You are likely to find some good content from your suppliers, customers, or collaborators. Put in a link or grab the embed code and use it to help educate your customer. We create websites that make possible to embed a video, by just grabbing the video link. We picked up a great segment from World Business Chicago. Check out this page on Why Chicago?
Second, simple smartphone video can be effective so long as you manage your viewer’s expectation. Looking for a laboratory mover? Check out the videos on this web page. On location,? Keep it simple. See this piece Michelle Obama – Invitation to APEC 2011 that we did for Maui Chef James McDonald
Third, consider professionally produced video content. Remember, first impressions are lasting. For many prospects a search of your name, or visit to your website is the first step in deciding who to call. A professional knows how to insure that you will look good and sound good. Check out this recent video that works on a number of dimensions. Think about the question and answer in this video done by one our Baltimore collaborators
Remember, most videos have difficultly holding a user’s attention for more than a couple of minutes. In fact, 50% of users click-off after sixty seconds. So, make each video a separate question and answer. You can always link them together. Check out this compilation video that we did for Bio International
March 27th, 2013
How are you reaching the key stakeholders and decision makers on a continual basis? You can hope that they remember you and will do a search and find you; or you may run into them at conventions or key networking events. However, creating a process that will enable you to reach out to them on a regular basis is essential. You need to create a website and other internet content that helps you move that prospect or stakeholder to the next step in the decision making process
1.What is the overall theme of the environment? For example, for a veterinarian, it could be “We love pets” for a moving company, “we protect your assets” for a science company, “the people and science that takes place here”
2. While the home page design is important, for “information” websites what is your plan given that only a third to a half of the people start on the home page? On average, a visitor looks at 2.5 pages per visit. So, each page has to function as a stand-alone page. It has to tell a story and suggest to the visitor a logical next step.
3.What is your plan to create and update content? News, events etc. have to be designed to appropriately display your pace of content creation. You need to create a venue for stakeholders; then keep it up to date.
4. What is your plan to update the core content of the website based upon visitor activity and demands from various stakeholders? Use Google analytics as a tool to see what visitors are looking at. Modify your contents consistent with what they are looking for.
5. How are you going to use the internet environment to provide ongoing value to your stakeholders? Make your YouTube channel available for their videos. Put links in your email marketing and website. Track events and let your stakeholders understand the value.
6. How are you going to combine your website, Facebook, YouTube and other internet based forms of communication to reach stakeholders in key markets and around the world? Track the key thought leaders reached through email campaigns. For one campaign, ee estimated the value of our stakeholder touch in February alone to be between $5,000 and $10,000 depending on how you measure it.
July 13th, 2012
In preparing for the Social Media in the Life Science Program on July 12th , I asked a physician about the conversation when patients come in having researched symptoms on the internet. The doctor noted the need to respect the knowledge that the patient had acquired, appreciate the effort and then put that knowledge into the context of the diagnostic process: filling in the gaps and explaining inconsistencies.
The physician explained that the dialogue needs to point out that activities described on Facebook or found in Google, may have had an impact, but can’t be generalized. Expanding the discussion to encompass the specific patient’s test results and information obtained through years of medical training and experience helps round out the conversation.
As we work with our clients and prospects, our dialogue needs to start with a discussion of what do they know. What research have they done? How can we create a solution that is individualized for them? That solution can’t be “Googled” but needs to be created in the context of their business processes.
February 26th, 2012
QR codes have gone from being occasional to ubiquitous.
1. Do your research. Start with the Sunday newspaper. Check out the entertainment section and the auto section. Both of these areas are early adopters.
2. Check out how QR codes are being used in your industry. Look at trade magazines. See what is being done at trade shows.
3. Make a list of the QR codes that you like. For the most part, your customers and prospects will like the same kind of deployments that you like.
4. Think twice about what you link to. Make sure the link is smartphone friendly. Don’t link to the home page of your website, unless you have one that has been designed to look OK on a smartphone. If you are a heavy user, consider a set of pages designed for mobile viewing.
5. Linking to Facebook can work, but let QR code snapper know where you are sending them. People like to know that they are going to have to logon or register, when they snap the code.
6. While not essential, consider putting some guidance text next to the code. “Click here to watch a preview video” or “like us on Facebook and receive $10 off on your next order”.
Lastly, try a number of deployments. Learn what is most successful.
February 15th, 2012
I have been developing a website for Illinois Science + Technology Park for some time. It is now up. We integrated third party content in a number of places. On the page, About Chicago Business, we had a nice piece from World Business Chicago. This page below used 3rd party content differently.
In Getting to (see above) you can find some content that tells the story in a more experiential manner. The first video is a testimonial. But the next two, Take a Ride on the Yellow Line, and Air Force One from the Milwaukee Airport are a bit different. But, for a visitor, they provide an interesting sense of being.
January 3rd, 2012
Happy New Year to everyone! How happy is your new year?
When you ask business folks about the economy, many folks will note a poor economy and a skepticism of the future. However, when you ask them about their business, they will respond that “my business is doing OK”
This was reinforced over the holiday period. Good sales at retailers, car sales are up, vacancy rates are going down. People are spending money. I was talking to a woman who sells for one of the daily deal companies. When posing the question, “do you need more customers?” many respondents note that they are happy with their business.
So, let take our cup and declare it as half full… or maybe two thirds full, as opposed to empty.
December 18th, 2011
About a year ago, I was designing a combined website and brochure strategy. We decided to put QR codes on the brochures, but it did not seem to make sense to put them on the website. One of the developers commented, why a QR code when you can just put in a link. ‘
Recently, we have been designing a new site for the Illinois Science + Technology Park. As we developed the “Getting to the Park” page, the idea of providing QR codes to provide key links that you would want to store on your smartphone came together.
We realized that if we put the qr code on the site, you could scan it, then, have that on your phone when you arrive. So, we have a code for a map to the park. Then also for those who are taking public transportation, a qr code link to the CTA schedule.
Check it out.