Wednesday, November 10, 2010

YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business

As a “newbie” to the e-commerce world, there were plenty of new topics for me to read about. I originally chose TwitterPower, but after seeing 3 other Twitter presentations, I switched books in an effort to learn something new, as well as present a new topic to the class.

YouTube for Business: Online Video Marketing for Any Business, by Michael Miller, focuses on all phases of YouTube marketing. This book is a how-to guide to producing a YouTube video to market a business. The book is clearly divided into different “how-to” sections, and provides a brief history of YouTube. I found the book to be basic, even for me, and focuses more on the technical side of filming a video, than on how to use YouTube to market a business.

As an amateur director, and a PC user, much of this book was not aimed at me. The book speaks about the different types of filming that can be used such as amateur, semi-professional, and professional. Video shooting advice that I found helpful included:

· The video should entertain, educate, or inform a viewer

· Select the purpose of the video – direct sales, promotion of a product or brand image

· Shorter is better – no more than 3-4 minutes is recommended by the author

· Less is more – keep videos simple, a YouTube broadcast is generally viewed at a small size making it difficult to focus on details in the video

I was unaware how much thought went into many of the YouTube campaigns launched. Before beginning to post videos on YouTube, a marketing plan must be made focusing on who the target audience is, and what they might find appealing. A how-to video may be work for product such as OxiClean, as opposed to building a brand like Nike (new soccer cleats) which may require a video expert presentation of a new product. The planning that goes into some of these “amateur” videos is remarkable.

Overall, this book is a quick read that focuses on all aspects of YouTube. The book goes into marketing strategies briefly, and discusses filming video at length. If you are planning on launching a YouTube channel this book will certainly help you start the site, as well as create some basic videos. I will use this book as a reference guide in the future if I begin working with YouTube.

YouTube Video

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Social Media Marketing for Dummies by Shiv Singh

Shiv explains that “humans are motivated by others to do things because they are social beings.” He further explains that people feel that they can make better and more confident buying decisions when they take into consideration advice and experiences of others who have already made those decisions before them. Because of the level of past connection built up prior to a recommendation there is a higher level of connection and trust towards a particular message. Shiv’s main point is that marketers should market to both consumers AND to influencers. He calls this form of marketing SIM or Social Influence Marketing.

The book is a step by step hands on look at how marketers can reach these social influencers and through the use of Social Media and Social Influence Marketing. Because social media has allowed for pretty much anybody to be a content provider even a dummy like myself can have a considerable impact when it comes to affecting other people and their subsequent decisions of how they look for entertainment, utility and necessary everyday things. Singh goes over in depth various forms of Social Influence Marketing platforms and applications.

In the book Social Media Marketing for Dummies Shiv analyzes the pros and cons of Twitter, blogs, Facebook, fan pages, and YouTube. He explains how any why each platform is especially applicable for certain types of brands. He also goes over how to make Social Media Marketing a part of a marketing mix. He explains that Social Media Marketing should not be done in isolation, but should be part of a marketing mix that will provide the most buzz and brand awareness available. Focusing on the influencers is always the key objective.

The most practical application of this book is they break down of how to recognize and identify influencers, and also people that can represent a brand in the social Web. He stresses that these people must be both individuals who have their own opinion and also authentic. He provides info on how to tap into these influencers and make them the driving force behind a Social Influencer Marketing campaign through a certain Social Media platform. He stresses developing the “right voice” for a particular brand and goes over how to establish an appropriate voice. He ends the book with information on how to use metrics on these Social Media platforms to track brand saturation and interest and also the effectiveness of a Social Influencer Campaign.

Overall I feel that this book was a great piece of information on both Social Media Marketing and Social Influencer Marketing. The practical usages represented were in depth and very specific. This was perfect for a dummy like me, and I am quite glad that I stumbled across this book. It applies quite well so far with the class, and touches on many of the things that Professor Gruen has said. I would go ahead and recommend this book to anyone who is interested in finding alternative ways to market to people, and I really do think that these alternative methods of marketing are the wave of the future.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Spencer Hooker's Review : Why Now Is The Time To Crush It, Gary Vaynerchuk

Hi Folks,

The book I chose to review is Why Now Is The Time To Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk.

This short, engaging read focuses on how to utilize social media to monetize your passion. Vaynerchuk is the creator and host of Wine Library TV, a popular wine video blog.

In the book, Vaynerchuk outlines a clear social media marketing plan that integrates all of the major sites. His approach is that of total authenticity; so long as a person is engaged in their passion, there is no need for anything less.

This book will definitely appeal to anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset. There's a plethora of ideas and insights on how to create your brand, as well as an endless supply of motivation to start out on your own.

Key Takeaways:

  • Social media will only continue to gain prominence, ignore it at your own risk
  • Traditional marketing platforms are being phased out
  • An effective social media marketing plan involves all of the major players (Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, etc.)
  • So long as you are passionate, you will find an audience

Dave Rogers' Review of The Twitter Book

Before I forget. Here's the link to my youtube video (my first ever).

I’ve been confused by Twitter since I first heard of it. I did not see how I could benefit from it. Even more, I was not sure how a company could utilize it and make it a part of their marketing strategy. I was looking for a book that could help me in this puzzling area.

I have to be honest with all of you. I'm not even on Facebook... But now I’m on Twitter! How long will I keep it up and tweet about my life? I’m not sure yet. The more I have worked on this project the more I'm liking it.

The Twitter Book was written by Tim O'Reilly(with more than 1,400,000 million follwers) and Sarah Milstein(with just over 11,000 followers). I love it because it teaches you about the various uses and applications of Twitter. If you are looking for a more in depth study of a specific area than this is not the book for you. To just get started this is a good book to grab. It is an easy read at 240 pages and has many pictures, diagrams and colors. Uses examples of screens shots and new features. What more could you want?

This book is exactly what I was looking for. It was a match made in heaven for just $13.59. And it worked out perfectly!

I believe that this book was written for others like me.Regarding the intended audience for this book I completely agree with Jennifer’s remarks below.

"...appropriate for those you're trying to convince that Twitter is all the rage. The book reads like a beginner's how-to guide, which means you could even use it as a subtle way to encourage less than stellar Twitter users to improve their Twittering ways."
-- Jennifer Van Grove,

In a May 2010, Inc. article on Mr. O’Reilly I found the following statement:

“In short, he is the guy who will tell you what smart people will be talking about five years from now -- the guy who predicts the future.” Sounds to me like another great reason to check out this book!

"Delivering Happiness" as Reviewed by Sandra Oberdorfer

Title: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose
Author: Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos

Hardcover: 253 pages
Publisher: Business Plus; 1 edition (June 7, 2010)

#1 Hardcover Business Best Seller (New York Times)

Why I Picked The Book - Browsing through the book section at Barnes & Noble in Colorado Springs in early September, I ended up in the business autobiographical section and Tony Hsieh's book caught my eye. Interested in a retail e-commerce business myself, I thought this might be a good read. Also, the emphasis on happiness made me curious. After all, who doesn't want to be happy.

Read this Book if you are interested in retail e-commerce, customer service, HR & company culture or simply a good old American Dream story - The more I got into it, the more I got hooked and the more I was trying to find out about Zappos. Eventually, I talked to Scott Klein, a manager in the Customer Loyalty Team at Zappos in Las Vegas, ordered my first pair of shoes from and got WOWed along the way. In essence, I tested the book on its authenticity and was not let down. Zappos is an inspiring story, an inspiring company, especially when it comes to its customer service, culture and supplier relationships. This book reminded me of The HP Way at its best and I wonder if this amazing culture only works for high-growth companies but somehow gets lost when the business turns very mature?

What the book is about

  1. The first portion is autobiographical about Tony Hsieh, the CEO who kept his humility – growing up with a clear sense of entrepreneurship, turning down an offer to sell his LinkExchange company for $1 million while eventually selling it for $265 million to Microsoft a few years later at the age of 24; and how he got involved with Zappos, became the CEO and invested nearly his entire fortune in this company.
  2. The second portion of the book describes Zappos itself, its culture and its path to success through employee, customer and supplier engagement leading to customer loyalty and profits.
  3. The third section is about taking Zappos to the next level, by serving a higher purpose namely to bring the Zappos philosophy into other companies as well as people’s lives. In fact, Tony Hsieh is on a bus tour right now (October 2010) delivering his message around the country.

The primary value of the book - The book teaches valuable lessons about boldness, humility and tenacity in addition to many business tips. The section on customer service, employee culture and supplier relationships is extremely strong if not revolutionary for corporate America and retail. Zappos has free shipping, sometimes the next day, a 365-day return guarantee and a win-win approach with it internal and external employees and partners. One of Zappos questions is: Have you WOWed at least one person a day?

Putting Zappos to the Test - Check out my video, where I tested the customer service and culture of Zappos. Find out how many WOWs I received on my research journey.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Justin's Blog Post on Social Media Metrics

Social Media Metrics – How to measure and optimize your marketing investment by Jim Sterne

Copyright 2010

Social Media Metrics

I selected this book, because I was looking for a resource to give me a good solid base to the subject of social media. I am not technologically advanced, and the idea of social media is new to me.

The book discusses the value of measuring the sentiment and influence of social media and its importance to organizations and brand creation, building and protection. Sterne says brands no longer belong to the companies, but instead the consumer. The book communicates the important value of your social media effort and gives the reader a metric to begin answering the question regarding how much budget and time should be allocated to the effort.

The first chapter is about identifying the goals for the social media effort, which according to Sterne is most often skipped by many social media marketers. He says your business goals, including the ones driving your social media effort, should be chosen only if they generate one of three outcomes: Increased revenue, Lowered costs, or Improved customer service. The author says that if the work you do does not provide an uptick in one or more of these areas, you are wasting your time.

The book talks about the process and each component of the business process: Setting goals, reaching your audience, Identifying the influence you have, recognizing reaction, Triggering the desired action, Hearing the conversations, and seeing the future. The book also tells the reader what to measure and what not to measure and he gives very general advice on how to do it without going into too many technical details. This is not a book of regression analysis, thank you Jim.

This book is for anybody involved with a business that is using or thinking of using social media. In the You Tube link below, Jim Sterne explains the importance of the book and why he thinks social media is so crucial to today’s business world.

Jim has spent more than 20 years selling and marketing technical products. He began his career as a professional explainer, helping people understand VisiCalc at a time when "personal computer" was an oxymoron. He successfully described sales order processing systems to people using hand-cranked tabulators. He was at the forefront of the Computer Aided Software Engineering (CASE) tool revolution and has clarified the salient points of object-oriented programming to software engineers across the country.

The book has many examples and a large amount of information for today’s marketers. It is a book that should be readily available and cannot be fully implemented after one read. It is a reference tool and should be readily available for today’s social media marketer.

Book Review Power Point You Tube Link

Submitted by Justin Weis

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The New Influencers

At the recommendation of our professor I chose to read The New Influencers by Paul Gillin. The reason for my choice is the bane of my existence, the NCH Software Blog. I was a computer science undergrad student and never really considered myself a writer and this never ending challenge of writing for a blog has been one of my largest challenges in my current marketing position. And of course since we are software company I am surrounded by coworkers who are completely unwilling to contribute anything that is written in anything other than C++. But I found The New Influencers to be a very interesting read and I hope to take some of the things I learned and use some of Gillin's insights of the blogging community to help improve our company blog.

In Addition to the recommendation from our professor, Gillin was the founding editor-in-chief of TechTarget, and a former editor-in-chief of ComputerWorld. The forward is written by Geoffrey A. Moore, and the book also comes with recommendations from many well known names including Seth Godin. None of which is anything to sneeze at.

Gillin introduces the book with a quote that he himself made back in 2003 that he is forced to admit how he was completely wrong. He said “Blogging’s wave has already crested, now that millions of online diarists are realizing that not that many people actually read this stuff.” The success of blogs despite the odds is a recurring theme in this book and I found his honesty of his mistake on the topic gave me an added level of respect for him as someone who has thoroughly investigated the topic, and like many of the bloggers he spoke to is willing to bend and admit their mistake when it is pointed out to them by their readers.

Gillin uses case studies and stories to explore everything from the different kinds of blogs to the enthusiasts that write them, viral content, the dangers of ignoring bloggers as a company and much more. I found it to be a very fast and interesting read, and a book I will likely read again to make sure I didn't miss anything the first time through. If you have any interest in learning more about the dynamics of the blogging community, I would strongly recommend that you pick up a copy of The New Influencers.