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Use New Media to Build Conversations Into Business

ChrisBroganChrisBrogan subscriber Posts: 5
edited July 2006 in Marketing
I`m new here. I`ve been clicking on profiles, and following URLs, and checking out how folks are positioning themselves on the net. I`m surprised that more of you aren`t taking advantage of blogs and podcasts to reach out to your markets and build a conversation between you and the folks you`re trying to reach. In the new world of a read/write web, providing information is nice, but a conversation is better. Some of the largest, most successful companies in the world are integrating blogging strategies into the DNA of their organizations, and always for the same reason: it puts a human face on an experience between your potential customers and your web presence. Adding audio or video podcasting takes it a step further, because instead of text talking you into a business, you get to hear from the people themselves. The old way to do this would be to build a 3 minute video clip and stick it up on the site. The new way is to build value into the offering, and make it so your customers WANT the podcasts, and even subscribe (for free) to get them delivered easily to their reader of choice. Using new media like blogging and podcasting is just another great way to turn a one-side billboard into a roundtable discussion. Is your website a billboard? Consider your options, and think about adding a meaningful conversation to the list of offerings your site provides visitors. --Chris Brogan...


  • Laura15SPLaura15SP subscriber Posts: 1
    I think you bring up a good point. Why aren`t more small biz owners using pod casting, and other technology to create conversations with their customers?
    For me personally, I`ve just started a blog. And here`s the challenge I`ve run into. I see tons of blogs everywhere all talking about elevator pitches. I`ve chimed in on many of them and tried to be as subtle as possible, considering my serious interest in the topic. I`d say 90% of my posts have never seen the light of day. It could be because they see my comments as too much of a sales pitch given the URL on my signature line or it could be that I`m not in that very specific and small clique of people `in the know` for that particular blog, it`s hard to say. I`m going to keep at it though! Personally, I don`t want to spend a lot of time and energy to post what I feel is an intelligent reply to a topic only to have it deleted or to have someone make a snarky comment about it.
    I`d love to see a list of blogs where you think small biz people just starting out would be welcome!
    And in terms of Podcasting, I`d love to do it, I just don`t have the time to learn at the moment and I don`t have the budget to invest in having someone teach me. I`ve looked around online for a quick and easy way to learn about Podcasting and I have not found it yet.
    Chris, I know I`d love to see a "Ten Step Guide to Blogging for Small Business Owners" and a "Ten Step Guild to Podcasting for Business Owners." If you want to write it, I promise to try it out and share the results here!

  • ErinErin subscriber Posts: 3
    Thanks for bringing up this subject.  I`d like to learn more about how to do it effectively.
    I teach cooking classes and it occurs to me that I should be using video podcasting to do online tv-show-style classes for free as an enticement for people to take a class in person for a fee.  Someone said that an effective way to market what you do is give some of it away at no charge.
    Can you enlighten me about podcasting?  What equipment is needed?
  • iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14
    Yes Erin. I can totally see why vids and blogs would be great in your situation. 
  • ChrisBroganChrisBrogan subscriber Posts: 5
    The beauty of podcasting is that it`s fairly inexpensive to start. If you do audio-only, you need a microphone and some free software. I recommend Audacity . If you do video, even your digital camera`s video setting is good enough for the net, as the compression rates and typical viewing scenarios don`t favor very high quality. I don`t know the Windows equivalent of free editing software, but Macs come loaded with iMovie, and that suits most of my needs just fine. Why an audio or video podcast? Because people get tired of reading, reading, and reading. Because they`re downloadable. Because you can listen at your desk, but also in your car using a CD, or on a portable media device (like an iPod, but doesn`t have to be). Marketing is a conversation with your audience. If people don`t have time to reach their audience, what do you have time to do? Regarding the rest of it, I tell you what I`m gonna do... Grasshopper New Media is launching a new audio and video channel in mid- to late- August called New Media School. (http://www.newmediaschool.com) <-- not yet built out. I`ll announce it on this forum, and you can come and learn from the ground up, FOR FREE, about how to reach your audiences using these new media methods like podcasts and blogs, MySpace, and the like. Is FREE a fair price for my experience? I`ll let you be the judge. --Chris Brogan... (pre-launch entertainment available at [chrisbrogan.com] )
  • iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14
    ChrisBrogan, I have a question for you. What is the size of a 5 second video? Also, do you think it would be useful (and I mean would people use it) if I were to place a link on my site which would play an audio file of what is writen on the page?For example, on my product page, I (or a real voice over actor) could read the typed discription. Then people getting tired of reading would enjoy it. Also, how would I set this up to be a streaming media type of deal. I don`t want people to download each audio file.What do you think about this?
  • ChrisBroganChrisBrogan subscriber Posts: 5
    Hi Vincent--5 Second video? I`m not sure what you`re conveying in the video, but the size would vary based on the compression (techie stuff, but it`s a variable). 5 seconds would be fairly tiny. Do you have size constraints? An audio file of EXACTLY what`s written on the page? I think what I`d recommend in that situation would be a slight cart-horse reversal. I`d build the page to show the product, with a little embedded flash player (not streaming, but less effort - WordPress has a great plug-in called PodPress that handles this easily). Then, I`d have a write-up that goes along with the PLAY ME button that, oh by the way, is the description of the item, but not necessarily word-for-word. Your site really lends itself to the "audio expedition" type of stuff, as I can see you`ve placed lots of love into your product descriptions. For example, I`m looking at your Boron Stone product and imagining an audio with flutes playing, and maybe some waterfall sounds, and a soothing voice telling me the story of where the stone came from. Imagine the emotional attachment when someone listens to such a thing while looking at the image of that stone. (I was surprised that I couldn`t enlarge that graphic one more time). I think you`ve got an opportunity to improve the product descriptions of your offerings through further engaging your customers with more than one sense. If I had to read all the time about things I liked, I`d be missing out. Why are there commercials in between TV shows? BECAUSE THEY WORK. Though what I`m recommending isn`t technically a podcast, I`m answering you that audio would enhance your site. A weekly podcast show featuring your "recommended products," and having that kind of QVC show feel would *really* pop this site, especially because you could offer RSS subscriptions to the material, meaning that folks to have the show delivered to their email box, their browser of choice, etc, without you having to do the heavy lifting. What do you think, Vincent? --Chris...    
  • iouone2iouone2 subscriber Posts: 14
    ChrisBrogan. Great ideas. You actually took it to another level I didn`t really think about... a mood from music and sounds behind the description being stated. That`s great. Did I mention I write music too. I could get into it!I think I will have to look into this as an option in the near future. I am currently going through a huge site update providing better search optimization, customer tracking and customer profiles (for the customers benefit).Maybe the next step will be audio representation.The five second video comment was a quick thought about showing a quick snippet of how, or who, makes the products I provide.Thanks for your thoughts.
  • ChrisBroganChrisBrogan subscriber Posts: 5
    Hi Vincent--I`m here to help. Let me know if you want anything else. Feel free to email me at chris *at* grasshoppernewmedia *dot* com. --Chris...
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