Monthly Archives: September 2010

Mobile Replay Graphic Accepted Into iStockphoto Design Spotlight

Mobile ReplayiStockphoto is a stock photo resource that I use frequently. When you complete a design that uses images from the iStockphoto collection, you are eligible to submit it to the Design Spotlight. The image I made to illustrate the concept of creating a webinar replay that can be viewed on a mobile device has been accepted into the Design Spotlight.

Mobile replays can be a great tool in your multi-channel marketing mix. Not only do they allow webinars to be viewed at the convenience of your audience, they have the built-in capability to go viral on social network applications. By including a guestbook, you can capture viewer information for effective lead generation.

Utilizing tools like iStockphoto gives you another source of valuable content that you can post and share with the community.  We continue to "fuel the conversation" at Webinar Resources with unique content creation, delivery and tracking solutions and services that drive customer aquisition.

Social Network Applications Cater to Deep Human Urges

Social media continues to gain in popularity. It is said that the decision businesses face about whether to add social media to their multi channel marketing now is like the decision to get a web site was ten years ago. You may have heard in the news recently that Facebook has overtaken Google as the most popular web site in the US. At the interactive marketing conference I attended last week, Connect10ns, Twitter COO Dick Costolo impressed us all with this statistic – every day Twitter adds 380,000 new users! Some corporations now employ dedicated social media staff – McDonald’s has 9 workers just to handle customer relations on Twitter.

During the conference we learned about a community-centered online apparel store called Threadless. Members of the Threadless community submit t-shirt designs online which are then put to a public vote. Some of the designs are selected for printing and sold through an online store. Creators of the winning designs receive a prize of cash and store credit. Threadless was described as "being social before there was social media". I was reminded of another example of social media behavior from my own past before there were social network applications or even general access to the World Wide Web – Mail Art.

Mail Art began in the DADA era of the early 20th century and had a resurgence in popularity in the 1960s and beyond. It’s not easy to describe but I would place it in the the conceptual art category. Mail Artists exchange art with each other on a one-to-one basis through the postal system, and also create collaborative works of art by mailing in pieces to a central aggregator, passing around pieces to each other that are added to in turn, or sending pieces in to group shows. Participants in shows and projects would usually receive something in return for their participation, such as a catalog, a printed collage, a special rubber stamp, or a commemorative "faux postage" or "artistamp" stamp sheet. For example some old Mail Art stamps of mine were featured in a artistamp show in Budapest, Hungary a few years ago and I received an exhibition poster by mail.

One of the things that makes Mail Art conceptual is the fact that it’s not supposed to be sold, it’s supposed to be exchanged, and participants in shows and projects do not pay a fee to take part, nor do they have to be professional artists with art world credentials. Some participate with the idea of transforming the art world, but whether that goal is important or not one of the payoffs for participating is the community aspect – it is a way of making "pen pals" all over the world, of being a part of shows in places thousands of miles away and collaborating with artists you’ll never meet in person. It’s common for Mail Artists to alter works created by others and pass them on – this is very reminiscent of today’s digital content creators who "remix" YouTube videos, graphics, fonts and other electronic assets. In the pre-Internet days communities would form around major and minor photocopied ‘zines that could be ordered by mail or picked up in shops that sell small press and "underground" publications. Now we are familiar with communities forming around web sites, on Facebook, and even with conversations guided by Twitter hash tags.

With the rise of the World Wide Web, my participation in Mail Art dropped off because my desire for community building, creative expression and collaboration with people in far-flung areas of the world has been satisfied in other ways, although other Mail Artists have embraced the web as a way to leverage their activities. Perhaps social media has had the spectacular successes that it has because social media applications cater to needs that are built deep into human nature. A recurring theme throughout the Connect10ns conference was the natural desire of your customers to express themselves and tell their story – your marketing efforts will be more successful if you provide your audience with an outlet to satisfy that urge.

Webinar Resources Extends Reach to the Community

Our team at Webinar Resources recently attended the ExactTarget Connections 2010 conference where over 2000 email marketing professionals gathered at the world’s largest interactive marketing conference.

Before the conference, two of our team rolled up their sleeves to support ExactTarget’s Habitat for Humanity – Power the Community Volunteer Day.   We had a great time helping others on a beautiful day in Indianapolis and added "siding a house" to our list of competencies.   

QR Code Webinar Resources Habitat for Humanity ExactTarget Volunteer Day

 

You can view the community effort at: 
http://mobex.me/habitatblog.  Scan the QR code to the left to launch the mobile replay from a smartphone with a QR code reader.   Learn more at http://mobex.me/now.

Phase 4: Post-Event Efforts and Outcomes

A quick review of the 4 Planning Phases of Successful Events includes:

  1. Phase 1: Planning
  2. Phase 2: Pre-Event Efforts
  3. Phase 3: Event Delivery
  4. Phase 4: Post-Event Efforts and Outcomes

From the beginning of our webinar series on hosting more successful events I’ve been driving home that a successful event isn’t just about "butts in seats." There can be larger, more targeted objectives you and your organization can reach with the right planning and execution.

I’m a firm believer that Planning and Pre-Event Efforts at the start of your event can make your event more successful and run more smoothly…but it’s the Post-Event Efforts that not only can bring closure to the event but also can be your way of connecting in an ongoing way and measuring your ongoing success.

Your Post-Event Efforts can help you keep the ball rolling between you and your targeted audience. It gives you the chance to thank the attendees (event those who didn’t’ attend), share important points from the event you wanted to make sure they got out of it and provide an ongoing relationship builder that keeps you and them in contact in the future.

Whether it’s audio only, video web conferencing or face to face meetings, your Post-Event Efforts are very similar. Depending on the goal of your events your post event efforts should be part of your customer acquisition process or a customer service effort to keep key customers. It could be about seeking more donations or educating donors on how to take better care of themselves. The event itself was a chance for you to connect and share valuable content.

After the event is over you can use multi channel marketing techniques to stay in touch with those who attended. Email, phone calls, direct mail, social networking applications, face to face follow ups and more are all tools you can use in your multi channel mix. Find out which channel(s) your attendees prefer and use that channel to follow up.

Thank those who attended, share resources used in the event, give them a chance to evaluate the event and provide future event ideas and stay connected with them going forward. Continue the connection you started before your event, furthered by your event and fuel the conversations with relevant follow up tools that will maintain and strengthen the conversations as you go forward.

Remember to keep in mind three audiences: those who came, those who wanted to come (registered) but couldn’t make it and those who weren’t interested. Each is an opportunity to follow up and each has their own set of priorities you can assign to them.

We’ve been using on demand presentation recordings of our webinars as a great follow up technique to our events. These condensed replays gives us something to share and talk about with our prospects and customers. We’ve even created more effective landing pages that display relevant and personalized content for each of the attendees!  We also have enabled "mobile replays" of the webinars that can be viewed on many smartphones.   What will be some of the more memorable post-event efforts you’ll use?  We will soon give you the opportunity to contribute to this blog to "share your story".   In the meantime, feel free to post your comments to this blog.

Do you have another process you use to plan and execute more effective events? I’d really like to hear about them.

Events are just one of the many ways we can do business. Be sure to explore the multi-channel mix for more ways for you and your customers to be successful.

Peter Muir
President, Bizucate Inc.
www.bizucate.com
pmuir@bizucate.com