10 experts give top criteria for killer presentations 2

Posted on November 15, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

 

  • Only 50% of a presentation is remembered after 10 minutes
  • Only 25% by the next day
  • Only 10% within a week (source: Jack Malcolm)

Even though you sweat and toil over a presentation, the facts indicate your audience quickly forgets most of it.

So what do you do to stand out? Make you audience remember? Achieve the goal of the presentation?

10 experts give their top criteria for killer presentations.

  1. FRAME YOUR STORY: There’s no way you can give a good talk unless you have something worth talking about. Conceptualizing and framing what you want to say is the most vital part of preparation. When I think about compelling presentations, I think about taking an audience on a journey. A successful talk is a little miracle—people see the world differently afterward. – Chris Anderson, Curator of TED
  2. HAVE GOOD MATERIAL BEFORE GOOD PRESENTATION TOOLS: There are lots of fantastic presentation software options including Power PointKeynote and Prezi. Whatever tool you use, do not rely on it too heavily. What truly matters is the content and your delivery. The best use of any presentation tool is to help organize your thoughts. Successful speakers know the material well enough to work from scribbled notes as much as a glitzy presentation. – Meaghan Edestein, Global Strategic Management Institute
  3. PUT THE BOTTOM LINE UP FRONT: I’ve seen many presentations where the story is dragged out and tension is built, as if the person was trying to make a movie and build to the climax. But most people appreciate getting to the climax quickly without lots of buildup or foreplay. It isn’t a movie and it isn’t sex — people are busy and need to deal with the issue and then move on. – Mark McMillan, McMillan Leadership Association
  4. FIND THE PERFECT MIX OF DATA AND NARRATIVE: Most presentations lie somewhere on the continuum between a report and a story. A report is data-rich, exhaustive, and informative—but not very engaging. Stories help a speaker connect with an audience, but listeners often want facts and information, too. Great presenters layer story and information like a cake, and understand that different types of talks require differing ingredients. – Nancy Duarte – author of Resonate
  5. MAKE THE COMPLICATED SIMPLE: A confused mind NEVER buys, so focus on finding ways to make you the most OBVIOUS choice. – Michael Bremmer, Telecomquoates.com
  6. HAVE A CONVERSATION, NOT A PRESENTATION: No one likes being presented to. Fortunately, they do like engaging in conversations. Relationships are the heart of leadership. Further, relationships must be two-way, born of interactions. So, you and I should stop making presentations. Instead, we should engage in conversations with the people with whom we are communicating.- George Bradt, PrimeGenesis
  7. FOLLOW THE 10-20-30 RULE: I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. It’s quite simple: a PowerPoint presentation should have ten slides, last no more than twenty minutes, and contain no font smaller than thirty points. I am evangelizing the 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint. Ten is the optimal number of slides in a PowerPoint presentation because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting. You should give your ten slides in twenty minutes. In a perfect world, you give your pitch in twenty minutes, and you have forty minutes left for discussion. Force yourself to use no font smaller than thirty points. I guarantee it will make your presentations better because it requires you to find the most salient points and to know how to explain them well. – Guy Kawasaki, Venture Capitalist
  8. CHUNK YOUR PRESENTATION TO CREATE PAUSES: Many people will advise that you talk slowly when giving a speech. Quite simply, chunking is forcing yourself to break your speech up into chunks of words, making pauses a necessary step before moving onto the next chunk. – Meghan Keaney Anderson, HubSpot
  9. USE A STRONG VISUAL ON EACH SLIDE: Fill the screen with a single, engaging photo or graphic that illustrates your point. Pop a word on top of it to alert the audience to what you’re about to discuss and to keep you on track. Images also increase retention and recall. – Karl Gude, Creative Process & Visual Storytelling Instructor at Michigan State University
  10. LEAVE THEM THINKING: A great speech is one that inspires the audience to think about a subject from a fresh perspective. As soon as you’ve gone, your audience is likely to turn its attention to other things — perhaps to presentations competitive to yours. Leave something to remember you by. – Kenneth Roman and Joel Raphaelson, authors of Writing That Works

Presentations are a means to an end. If you’re presentation nails it, you’ll get there. If it doesn’t, you’ll be left wondering. Does this help you create your next killer presentation?

7 best examples of brand communities 0

Posted on November 11, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

brand communities

A Brand Community is “a specialized, non-geographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relations among admirers of a brand.” This is according to Albert Muniz Jr. and Thomas C. O’Guinn who coined the term in 2001 with their study on Brand Community for the Journal of Consumer Research.

Muniz and O’Guinn said Brand Communities exhibit three traditional markers of community:

  • Shared consciousness
  • Rituals and traditions
  • A sense of moral responsibility

Although it would be easy to see how a lot of brands would jump on this bandwagon, the Harvard Business Review said in, Getting Brand Communities Right, it’s not so easy. There are Myths vs Realities about Brand Communities.

  • MYTH #1 :A brand community is a marketing strategy
  • THE REALITY: A brand community is a business strategy
  • MYTH #2: A brand community exists to serve the business
  • THE REALITY: A brand community exists to serve the people in it
  • MYTH #3: Build the brand, and the community will follow
  • THE REALITY: Engineer the community, and the brand will be strong
  • MYTH #4: Brand communities should be love-fests for faithful brand advocates
  • THE REALITY: Smart companies embrace the conflicts that make communities thrive
  • MYTH #5: Opinion leaders build strong communities
  • THE REALITY: Communities are strongest when everyone plays a role
  • MYTH #6: Online social networks are the key to a community strategy
  • THE REALITY: Online networks are just one tool, not a community strategy

How do you separate the myth from reality? Who is getting brand communities right?

Here are 7 best examples of Brand Communities. (All of these Brand Communities have been around for at least 5 years and are growing).

  1. BEING GIRL (PROCTER & GAMBLE): The site was created in 2000 as a destination for young, teenage girls. P&G includes content provided by experts and encourages open discussion with expert advice on topics such as menstruation, eating disorders, acne and dating. They take a big-sister approach. They also advertise the companies products, Always and Tampax. Being Girl is now available in over 25 countries. It has been cited in the book, Groundswell, as delivering 4X the Return on Investment (ROI) of traditional marketing.
  2. FIGMENT (RANDOM HOUSE): Is an online writing community owned by Random House, the biggest general-interest trade book publisher in the world. It was founded by Jacob Lewis and Dana Goodyear in 2010. It currently has over 300,000 users. The target group of the community is mainly teenagers between 13 and 18 years old. It’s succeeded because they gave the community something to do, write and share novels. This isn’t just a community of interest, it’s a community of practice too. They highlight the best contributions of the community.
  3. H&R BLOCK: Tax preparation is a highly seasonal business.  H&R provides immediate access to a tax professional for Q&A through the “Get Answers” section of their website but also connects you to learn and share experiences with others through their H&R Community.  The effort secured 1,500,000 unique visitors and answered 1,000,000 questions for a 15% lift in business versus the period before H&R Block created the community.
  4. HARLEY OWNERS GROUP (HOG): Is a sponsored community, operated by Harley-Davidson for enthusiasts. The HOG is “the grandaddy of all community-building efforts,” serving to promote not just a consumer product, but a lifestyle. The HOG has also served to open new revenue streams for the company, with the production of tie-in merchandise offered to club members. Membership is 1,000,000+. The Harley Owners Group was created in 1983 as a way to build longer-lasting and stronger relationships. At that time, the company was facing bankruptcy.
  5. LUGNET (LEGO): When Lego Group set out to develop Mindstorms NXT, the latest version of its game for building programmable robots, it enlisted help from a group of adult enthusiasts whom it found on Lugnet.com the largest unofficial community of Lego fans. While the marketing target for Mindstorms is mainly teenage boys, the people that Lego reached out to were a group of men in their 40s and 50s who knew each other from communicating and working together on elaborate Lego projects on Lugnet.com.The group’s members, according to a Lego spokesman, contributed “incredibly valuable insights” in hardware, software, design and usability based on their own experiences.
  6. MY STARBUCK IDEA: Is now 6+ years-old and remains the gold standard of crowd sourced tip boxes that have actually worked for a brand and delivered ideas from customers (150,00 plus) with innovations (277) that have actually been implemented. Customers today can order a “skinny” beverage and a cake pop, garner digital rewards for using their Starbucks Card and enjoy free Wi-Fi – all thanks to suggestions from fans. “Our passionate customers and partners have been sharing their ideas with us on My Starbucks Idea, and we have listened and acted upon many amazing innovations that we have received from this online community,” said Alex Wheeler, VP global digital marketing for Starbucks.
  7. ORACLE COMMUNITY (ORACLE): Is a site for people interested in Oracle Corp.’s database and software products. Members share personal stories, pictures, videos and birthdays. They can create blogs on the site, form groups around themes and build networks of designated friends. Members can also schedule meetings and events both online and in person.

These examples show Brand Communities can produce significant results and ROI but they also demonstrate companies should not try to create them unless they accept are willing to accept diversity of opinion, occasional conflict and apply the internal resources necessary to engage.

Do these examples explain Brand Communities? Are they best examples to you?

 

What makes a great SEO proposal? 11 ingredients 0

Posted on October 12, 2014 by Rob Petersen

  • 54% of consumers find a website through natural search (source: Forrester)
  • 31% click through to the websites in the first position of natural search (source: MOZ)
  • 95% of clicks to a website occur on the first page of nature search (source: MOZ)

This facts indicates, if your business is on the internet, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important part of doing business. This video from Search Engine Land explains what matters with simple examples.

SEO is the approach to optimizing a brand’s web presence for organic search including the website, social channels, blogs, articles and press releases. SEO in the digital marketing mix is here to stay.

Finding a good resource that achieves results is like hiring a good electrician, plumber or auto mechanic. Find the right one and and you’ve found an invaluable asset.

How do you know? One way is to ask for a proposal. Fortunately, there are ingredients that distinguish great SEO proposals.

What makes a great SEO proposal? Here are 11 ingredients to look for.

STRATEGY: SEO is a business building activity. So a strategy that spells out how business is built should be spelled out. It should be results-oriented and measurable. Here are key strategy ingredients.

  1. DESIRED RESULTS: An increase in search rank as measured on Search Engine Rank Page (SERP) is usually the #1 result most people expect. But an increase in rank doesn’t translate to an increase in business unless specific increases in web traffic and conversions occur. A good SEO program should take into account how this is going to occur.
  2. SITE AUDIT: To understand how to drive business, the way people use your site now should be examined. In an SEO proposal, a Site Audit should be included that evaluates: 1) Top Keywords, 2) Number of Inbound Links, 3) Unique Visitors, 4) Bounce Rate, 4) Traffic Sources (including percent of Visits from Organic Search), 5) Key Pages and 6) Conversion Activities. A Site Audit also specifies any errors or pages not found as well as if a site map is available. A Site Audit sets up activities that need to occur and benchmarks what is realistic to expect and when.
  3. KEYWORD RESEARCH: Search engines look for a relevant match to the keywords that a consumer writes in a search query. Words are the most important ingredient in SEO. Keyword Research is a foundation to an SEO proposal. Search volumes, keyword search trends, competitiveness, CPC ((Cost Per Click) – what others  pay) leading to keyword recommendations are a key phase in an SEO proposal.
  4. COMPETITIVE ANALYSIS: Your business isn’t likely to be the only one competing for the same consumer. So an analysis of competitor’s keywords, web traffic and links should be present. A Competitive Analysis informs keyword decisions and desired results. It’s also a valuable source for ideas:
  5. INBOUND LINK ASSESSMENT: Search engines look for other website that mention your website for a consumer’s keyword query. This occur by Inbound Links from other websites that reference your website. This has a high value to the search engine because it signals your business is an “authority” on those keywords. A Link Assessment specifies the number of links you currently have and should spell out the plan for securing more. Inbound Links are a timely topic. If done in a disreputable way, your site can get discredited. Authentic or “White Hat” ways are important to understand. HubSpot offer some sound advice.

EXECUTION: With a strategy for building business in hand, here is what should be included in the execution.

  1. SITE ARCHITECTURE: To take advantage of priority keywords, every page should represent one. When search engine crawl your site, Site Architecture ensures a comprehensive overview of what the site is about. Search engines and visitors understand better if you focus on one keyword per page rather than put them all together in “keyword stuffing.”
  2. OPTIMIZATION STRATEGY: There are a number of places search engine go to understand the reason for being for a website. They are: 1) URL, 2) Page Title, 3) Body Copy, 4) Meta Description and 5) Links. The proposal should specify that this work is going to be performed on every page of your site.
  3. ON-PAGE IMPLEMENTATION: A good SEO person performs these services. However, at some organizations, there is a company webmaster or IT department that oversees website development. How the On-Page Implementation is to occur should be worked out beforehand at it can impact price and timing. There should also be a check of the activities to make sure they have occurred on site as they should.
  4. CONTENT MARKETING PROGRAM: Reputation matters in business and in SEO. In the latter, a good reputation occurs if a website continually put out good content reinforcing the keywords and providing links to other websites (which are ofter reciprocated back). This occur through a blog, newsletter, PR releases and social media sharing. It should be specified how this occurs, how often and who does it.
  5. MEASUREMENT AND REPORTING: Monthly reporting against the desired results should be a part of the program. The impact of SEO generally occurs in the range of 2 to 6 months. Once desired results are achieved, they generally stay with the content marketing program. The reward of a good SEO program are substantial.
  6. PRICING: Pricing for SEO occurs on a: 1) Retained monthly amount, 2) project or 3) hourly basis. If a retainer is used, the initial months are usually higher as there is strategy and research work involved. According to MOZ in a survey of 600 agencies, Project Pricing was the most commonly used and ranged from $1,000 to $7500. Hourly costs, which are the common denominator for all types, ranged from $76/hour to $200/hour depending on who did the work and what country it was performed.

To give you an example of a great SEO proposal that follow these principles, here is one from [LINK]Caffeine.

Did this help you understand what makes a great SEO proposal? Would your business benefit from this type of SEO program?

 

10 studies show writing helps health and well-being 0

Posted on September 27, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

Writing

This is my 239th blogpost. That may be more than some, but not as many as other bloggers I know.

Like others, this blog began as an outlet for expression. I was starting a business. Like others who have followed this path, I said if not now, when. Only the when was in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression. This blog became a way of coping and putting values and beliefs out there when not much was coming in.

Writing helped me through hard times. Circumstances improved. Today, this blog is one of our most valuable assets for a full service digital (digital, social, mobile) consultancy and agency that build brands using proven relationship principles and ROI.

Research shows I’m not alone. How? Here are 10 studies that show writing helps health and well-being.

  1. PUTS YOU IN TOUCH WITH YOURSELF: Scientific evidence supports that journaling provides unexpected benefits. The act of writing accesses your left brain, which is analytical and rational. While your left brain is occupied, your right brain is free to create, intuit and feel. In sum, writing removes mental blocks and allows you to use all of your brainpower to better understand yourself, others and the world around you. – PyschCentral
  2. MAKES YOU MORE OPTIMISTIC: People in a study who expressed gratitude in writing once a week for two months were more optimistic about life (and, interestingly, exercised more), compared with people who didn’t. – Harvard Business Review
  3. REDUCES STRESS, AIDS IMMUNITY: Writing about difficult, even traumatic, experiences appears to be good for health on several levels – raising immunity and other health measures and improving life functioning. – American Psychological Association
  4. SPEEDS HEALING: Writing down your thoughts and feelings after a traumatic event can actually make physical wounds heal faster, according to a study from New Zealand researchers. - Scientific America
  5. INCREASES RESILIENCE: Studies show that writing during difficult times may help you find meaning in life’s challenges and become more resilient in the face of obstacles. - University of Minnesota
  6. HELPS YOU SLEEP BETTER: Spending just 15 minutes a night writing down what you’re thankful for could do wonders for your sleep, according to an Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being study. Researchers found that study participants who wrote down a list of things they were grateful for before bed experienced longer, and better, sleep. – Psychology Today
  7. DECREASES ILLNESS: In one study, five months after writing, a significant interaction emerged such that writing about trauma, one’s best possible self, or both were associated with decreased illness compared with controls. – Southern Methodist University
  8. REDUCES DEPENDENCE ON DRUGS AND DOCTORS: In a study of college students, one group wrote about personally traumatic life events for 15 minutes on four consecutive days. The other group of students wrote about trivial topics. Compared to those who wrote about trivia, the students who wrote about traumatic experiences used fewer pain relievers over the next six months. They also visited the campus health center less often. – Aetna
  9. HELPS CANCER PATIENTS THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THEIR DISEASE: A study showed that expressive writing could help cancer patients not only think about their disease in a different way, but also improve their quality of life. – The Oncologist
  10. IMPROVES OVERALL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING: Participants who wrote about their deepest thoughts and feelings reported significant benefits in both objectively assessed and self-reported physical health 4 months later, with less frequent visits to health centers and a trend towards fewer days out of role owing to illness. - Pennebaker Study

In many of these studies, participants wrote for as little as 15 minutes a day but did it regularly. Is this investment in writing worth it for your health and well being?

7 core criteria to create a digital marketing plan 0

Posted on September 22, 2014 by Rob Petersen

 

 

digital marketing plan

Digital marketing planning is no different than any other marketing planning. In fact, companies shouldn’t separate plans for ‘digital’ and ‘offline’ since that’s not how your customers perceive your business.

But we’re often required to have plans for “digital” based on the way teams and reporting is structured within companies. A way of aligning the two needs to happen at the start. It’s likely to facilitate buy-in for both that way.

To get you going in the right direction, here are 7 core criteria when creating a digital marketing plan.

  1. FOCUS THE PLAN AROUND CUSTOMERS, NOT PRODUCTS AND TACTICS: Always start with the customer, their characteristics, behaviors, needs and wants, often expressed through keywords. Create Buyer Personas to establish a segmentation of the people who buy your products. Buyer Personas are examples of real buyers who influence or make decisions about the products, services or solutions you market. They are a tool that builds confidence in  strategies to persuade buyers to choose you rather than a competitor or the Status Quo. By focusing the plan around consumers, you bring out the best in your products.
  2. LEARN FROM COMPETITORS: Online is a prolific place to do research on competitors. For one thing, the information is at your fingertips. For another, there are so resources to help. For information on competitor’s website usage, there is Alexa and Compete. You can compare the social media presence of your brand versus competitors in terms of Likes and Followers or engagement terms like Comments and Shares. You’re likely to gain more than a few good idea for your brand in the process.
  3. IDENTIFY CONTENT RESOURCES: After the product or service you offer, content is a brand’s most relevant asset. In a digital marketing plan, you’re going to need a lot of content. You should not only consider the communications but the form it takes such as an email, blog, infographic, video or podcast. Know who will publish it and  and how often it will go out. Make a Content Calendar a backbone of your plan.
  4. HAVE A CLEAR VISION FOR THE YEAR; PLAN FOR 90 DAYS: Articulate the desired results, expressed by the metric that matters most to your organization – sales, revenue, profits, leads, conversions – and the reason why it will be achieved based on what your brand can stand for to its customers. Have the plan that is going to make it happen for the first 90 days but be flexible to change. Situations and plans change, especially online, so ensure plans are usable by having a clear vision for the year and keeping real detail to a shorter term.
  5. MAKE PLANS FACT-BASED SO IT’S EASIER FOR OTHERS TO BUY INTO: 90% of consumer buying decisions begin on the internet according to Forrester Research. 87% of consumers research products online, then buy offline according to Internet Retailer. 79% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations according to Search Engine Land. These are just a few ways to gain the attention of people in your organization to support your plan. So, consider using facts throughout your digital marketing plan to win the approval of the people who may not totally understand digital but are smart business people who sign off on it.
  6. KEEP IT JARGON LIGHT: Digital has a tendency to go into a whole new type of nomenclature. Don’t go there. Instead, use the same language as you would for traditional media channels but support it with the facts, resources and metrics that give digital an even greater credibility.
  7. CREATE AN ACTIONABLE SCORECARD: End your digital marketing plan with a scorecard of the measurements that matter most, your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Show how you will source them and review them regularly to look for insights. When you review, take actions to keep your business strategy on track.

To put these guidelines into steps every company should take to achieve success in digital marketing, we follow a process of Crawl, Walk, Run and Thrive. You can learn more about it on the sidebar of this website.

Did these criteria help you in creating a digital marketing plan?

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    BarnRaisers is a full service digital marketing consultancy and agency. We build brands with ROI and proven relationship principles.



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