Friday, March 15, 2013

Bloggers are in the driver's seat

Bloggers are in the driver's seat, and businesses wanting to tap into their influence and reach need to develop mutual trust, credibility and respect with them.  Sue Bradbury spoke to this point in her article Tapping into the Power of Bloggers.  It's advice for companies and brands who want to partner with influential bloggers, in order to advance their business.
According to the Technorati State of the Blogosphere Report 2011, two-thirds of the bloggers write about brands and report that they are approached to do so up to eight times per week [emphasis added]. That’s a fair amount of competition you might have to fight your way through in order to get to the top of the pile. Since the most influential bloggers are also likely to be the most popular with brands, doing your research is vital.
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If you're a blogger, you know it takes quite a lot of time and effort to work up to such an influential standing.  Never mind companies or brands, just your target audience may be slow to warm up and catch on to you.  But if you write about a topic that is a passion to you and of interest to that audience, then I can vouch for the fact that blogging is truly worth it.  

A good dose of the right effort, done steadily and sustainably, will no doubt get you to where you want to be.  

Friday, March 8, 2013

Your website as a fulcrum

For much of business, professional or personal purpose, your website is the main platform for relationships with your clients or audience.  No doubt, it's the online address on your calling card and stationery, because it's the homebase for everywhere else you may be on the internet.

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Lisa Buyer quoted from Rebecca Murtagh's Million Dollar Websites:
"Too many, for too long, have been conditioned to think of the website as a project. This is one of the most common reasons websites fail to fulfill their potential,” Murtagh said. “If a brand’s success relies upon the performance of a website – in any way – it is imperative to embrace the website as a business asset, vital to the sustainability of the brand" [emphasis, added].
Buyer offered six very useful, practical tips on building a better website:    
1. KPIs matter
2. Every page is a home page
3. Money on mobile visibility
4. Content vs copy
5. Location, location, location
6. Company online newsroom
Additional things to consider

Before identifying your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), clarify what you want to accomplish with your website.  Murtagh rightfully situates mission and strategy topmost in her model:  What is the elemental purpose for your business, profession or activity, and what are the critical ways for fulfilling this purpose?  KPIs follow more specifically from this.

If you haven't yet, then you should create a  presence on social media.  Which ones you choose to participate in depend on your purpose.  To what extent and how much time you participate depend on your schedule and preferences.  The Big 5 are:  Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.  Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr are also in the mix.  Whether you call them connections or relationships, clientele or market, social media is the royal road to successful business and meaningful activity.

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Together your website and your presence on media make up your online platform, and how you position these to each other and what connections you forge among them make up your online structure.  I believe that a website is the fulcrum on which your business, profession or activity pivots.  But social media expands your options so widely, that a website may no longer have the degree of criticality it had before.

Imagine a museum, where the entrance leads to a spacious hall for people to gather first.  You see small to larger previews of exhibits and programs.  Your pamphlet offers more specifics, such as maps to help you plan your navigation.  Two of my websites serve this function:  Ron Villejo Consulting and Dr. Ron Art.  They account for everything I do, and point visitors to where they want to go, in simple-step fashion.  Otherwise my content, activity and connections are on social media.  This way, I keep websites uncluttered, to-the-point, and cost-effective.

Finally, Blogger is one of Google's platforms, and serves as a hybrid website-blog for me.  Just as this one does, and for a nominal yearly cost, I set up its own domain name  Because it's part of Google's immense online ecosystem, it's positioned for search engine optimization (SEO) and social media connection (Google+ and YouTube).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Value of video ads

This is an informative video from Google about the value of video ads.  In particular, it's about TrueView Ads, which are those that people choose to watch, if they wish.  Many of the videos on YouTube, for example, begin with a five-second ad bit, and we viewers have the option of skipping the ad.

The following are screenshots from this video, as a quick reference for you.

Let me know what you think!