Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Chivas life includes video blogging

These were the folks who first took advantage of pervasive e-mail by sending us those little comics. Now, they have fully embraced the video podcast. Some nice work here. Check it out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Podcasting at a la mode's annual convention

I'm in Vegas this week for the a la mode Annual Users Conference. The company estimates that close to 1,000 attendees will visit the event for at least one of its three days. I'm on the blogging team for the event. You can find the convention blog here.

Later today, I'll be podcasting with the company's Lab Fellows. These forward-thinking residential real estate appraisers are part of an inititative the company hopes will put better technology in the hands of the nation's only independent auditors of the real estate transaction. The podcasts will end up on the Labs website.

a la mode is one of an increasing number of companies that is realizing that you must make these stories available in a variety of media. The blog, podcasts and the Lab-focused live sessions at the event are all aimed at disseminating a story that is critical to the success of the firm's marketing efforts.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Talking New Media at MBA Secondary

I made it into New York City for the Mortgage Bankers Association's Secondary Market show a couple of weeks back. I love conventions because it allows me to catch up with all of the folks I've been writing about for years.

I spent some time at the Avista Solutions booth visiting with Ken Ellis. He's been reading the blog and wondered what I thought of Webinars as opposed to podcasts.

I never liked being told when to appear online or on a conference call to receive the same news everyone else was getting by someone who either didn't know what my schedule was or didn't care. Most journalists, at least in the financial services trade media, are under very heavy deadline pressure just about all the time. That was surely the case when I worked for Source Media and October Research. It wasn't very nice to hear that if I didn't show up at the appointed time everyone but me would get the news.

But, as Ken pointed out, companies need to know who is looking at their content if they hope to capitalize on the sales leads that content is intended to deliver. That's true enough.

You can tell who is present on a Webinar, especially if you force people to pre-register. If you just put content out there for free, anyone can pick it up and it's very difficult to track. Making people cough up a bunch of information before you send them to the download page is a sure way to annoy them.

So what's the answer? You have to use a combination of free content--designed to unlock the three golden doors that lead to sales, 1) show them you understand their problem, 2) show them you are smart enough to solve their problem and 3) show them you care about helping them solve their problem--and more secure content designed to deliver the qualified sales lead.

Ken was kind enough to point out a good example:

I think SalesPOP! does an exceptional job of presenting this on their website. They offer podcasts requiring no information, but if you want to hear the longer Webinar there is a form that is required. Their website is\home.htm.

By way of disclosure, neither Ken nor I do any business with this company, nor are we affiliated with it, but Ken admits that he knows a SalesPOP founder, Craig Pyne, a previous coworker. Check out the site and think about how you can leverage this idea.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Blogging for Business

I'm getting more calls from business executives who are interested in finding out more about blogging. In the past, these queries were generally limited to go/no go information intended to help companies make the decision whether to move forward with their investigation of the medium or to abandon it until later.

More recently, I'm getting calls from business leaders who have already decided to move forward with a blog and are now interested in finding out how to do it. I'll be outlining some of the advice I generally give in this space, but I'm far from the only one you should be listening to.

I just downloaded an eBook from Yaro Starak, a self-style blog guru who helps others profit from their blogs. He seems to work primarily with individuals who already have a blog and want to turn it into a day job. The more I read his electronic newsletter, the more I like what he has to say. I'll read his book and review it later in this space. You can find out more about Yaro on his website.

Keep watching this blog and I'll tell you about other folks who have a good understanding of business blogging and might be able to help you with your own.