6 Ways To Increase Your Social Value

by: Kenneth Cossin

Building social value or clout requires a lot of time and effort. Therefore, planning out your journey to success can be daunting. I offer you six tips to get started. Be diligent in your effort; that is, set aside scheduled time for these tasks to be successful.


Connect with industry experts

A great way to start out is to discover what parts of an industry you are interested in. For example, if you are passionate about internet marketing, you may want to connect with blogging, social media, Analytics, SEO, or mobile experts. You can follow people in your specific niche or choose to follow people in all of these internet marketing categories.

Interview experts

A great way to gain valuable information for your blog and your followers is to do some interviews with them. Ask industry experts if they would be willing to give you an hour of their time for an interview. Give them details regarding your topic of interest and a list of interview questions. Therefore, you both will be prepared. You may have to ask a hundred people before you get one “yes,” but be persistent.

If you are going to publish these interviews on your blog, be sure to get permission and a signed release to use their likeness and record them. Having interviews for your blog readers to watch is always a great way to build your audience.

Write guest blog posts

Why not share the love? Be willing to write guest posts for popular blogs that have a great following. You can get your name out to others that read your guest posts while building your trust and authority. Also, be willing to let others guest blog on your blog. Doing so will help them build their trust and authority while you gain the mutual benefit of their knowledge.

Be inquisitive

Understand that in life, you are always going to be learning. So, why not seek out new knowledge? You will be surprised at the new things that you can learn each day if you take just a few moments to read and listen to the people around you. Be sure to make an extra point of applying the new knowledge and ideas regarding your industry.

Go to industry events

Most of us know that going to industry events provides a great networking opportunity. In addition to listening closely to the great presentations at these events, be sure to walk around and introduce yourself in the halls to everyone. Don’t be surprised if the most unlikely person you talk to winds up being the person that helps you out the most!

Monitor your brand

This goes without saying, no matter what social media platforms you choose to be part of, monitoring your brand, your tweets, your posts on Facebook, regularly updating your LinkedIn profile, and so on is imperative. Anything that detracts from the message you are trying to give people is extraneous. Therefore, get rid of it. Also, know that even the nicest people still judge. Be sure that what you put out there is what you would want them to judge you on.

These tips are just the beginning of your quest to finding social value. As you learn and practice, you will find that some things work better than others for you. Use what you know and what works best for you. Be open to new ideas and suggestions no matter how seasoned of an expert you are, and remember to stay inquisitive.

Republished with permission from Marko Saric of How to Make My Blog.  Original post: http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/social-media-2/social-value/

photo credit: NewToWallpapers.com

6 Great Storytelling Tips For Bloggers

by: Kenneth Cossin

Coming up with topic ideas for your blog can be very frustrating at times. Below, I offer some great storytelling tips to help get your content ideas flowing. If you need more blog ideas, check out this list of 31 types of ideas you can post.

Stories usually tell about a journey, whether it is a personal passage, a conflict, or a challenge. Along this journey, we hope that the hero will transform into a better version of himself. As bloggers we need to capture and translate these same concepts into our blogging to better engage our readers. Here’s what you can do:

Gather Your Raw Materials

Keep a journal of your topics and decide on what categories they fall into whether you are providing tips, tricks, creative ideas, suggestions, or opinions. For example, think about how we categorize films into genres of comedy, drama, thriller, and so on. The categorization process is the same.

Outline your ideas and jot down key words as they come to you. As a rule of thumb, make sure that you can express your ideas in about 800 words or less.

Break Down Your Story into Segments

Create a compelling introduction that grabs your reader’s attention within the first 2-3 sentences. If your reader is not continuing on with your entry after the first few seconds, he will quickly move on to another one. Touch on your key points clearly and concisely. That is, be detailed but brief. While this statement is rather vague, try spicing your reading up with a sprinkling of adjectives – not too many or you’ll lose your reader in the details.

Give your reader a sense of conclusion, a sense of closure. Therefore, briefly summarize your points at the end.

Use Visuals

Relate the concepts you are trying to present to something that people use or do every day. Use photos, videos, and podcasts to help visually draw in your reader. While videos and podcasts take a lot of time in terms of planning, coordinating, setting up, recording, and post-production, there are many simple tools that you can use as an individual to accomplish this goal.

Use Analogies

Telling stories often incorporates complex ideas. Therefore, it is always a good idea if you can relate an everyday task to what you are explaining. Also, you will want to make sure that your analogy relates directly and translates easily to the complex idea. For example, if you are showing someone how to play a grand piano, you may wish to equate it to playing darts or some other simpler task that still requires a keen sense of accuracy.

Leave out the Sub-plots

Note that there is no time for sub-plots to your blog entries. Sub-plots detract from the overall story that you are trying to tell. Be sure to remain brief and to the point.

Build to an Epic Conclusion

What is your reader getting from reading your blog post? Is it knowledge, ideas, solutions, answers to questions… Or is it simply them wishing they got those 10 minutes back in their life? Make your reader feel like it was worth their while to spend time with your post. Make it dazzle them; make it epic.

In summary, your blog posts should always be something that you are proud of. Bring creativity and excitement to your work through storytelling.

 

Republished with permission from Marko Saric of How to Make My Blog.  Original post: http://www.howtomakemyblog.com/writing/storytelling-tips/

Résumé

I am a passionate, energetic, and influential marketing executive with ability to take responsibility for corporate brand management and marketing communications.  I have a “can do” attitude with a strategic vision, promote attractive and sticky ideas, and successfully measure campaign performance and success.  I am a self-starter and straight-shooter with exceptional instincts and work well with teams.

Please view my résumé at: kcossin.strikingly.com

 

3 Very Cool Mobile Apps You’re Not Using

by: Kenneth Cossin

 

With over 775,000 apps in the Apple App Store and more than 800,000 in Google Play  Store, it’s always nice to get quick tips and reviews of apps that are worth downloading.  Well, you’re in luck!  There are three apps that you can download today for free that are not only useful but also that you will enjoy using.

TV Show Tracker

There is an app called TV Show Tracker, created by Pixel Perfect Widgets, that allows you to track all of your favorite TV shows.  Simply add your shows to the app, and it will remind you before your show airs.  Therefore, you don’t have to miss that new episode.

Snip Snap

SnipSnap, is a mobile social couponing app that allows you to quickly find, snip, and save coupons for almost any store.  No more forgetting your coupons at home or searching for them in the newspapers or flyers.  SnipSnap allows you to take photos with your smartphone of any coupon, and it will decipher it for you.  You can also find coupons that others have already snipped and save them for your use.  And the pièce de résistance, SnipSnap notifies you a couple of days before the coupon expires!

Paper Karma

Junk mail plagues us all, right?  Well, there is an app that allows you to take photos of your junk mail, add your address, and PaperKarma, created by Readibl, inc., will stop that junk mail from cluttering your mailbox.  PaperKarma does all the work by contacting the company that mailed it and get your name removed from the distribution lost.  You can also request a status of your request to stop junk mail to see if it was successful.

In summary, you can have fun and be productive with your smartphone.  Enjoy!

Image credit: emergingtech.tbr.edu

Why Nature is Marketing Inspiration

by: Kenneth Cossin

The other day, I decided I would drive home for lunch to save money and to let my dogs out for a midday bathroom break. I live about two miles from my place of employment, thus it is a quick drive.

by: Kenneth Cossin

I made a sandwich and went outside to eat on the porch swing while the dogs ran feverishly around the yard in excitement.  Suddenly, I spotted a gorgeous butterfly sunning itself on the lawn with its wings spread.  I was able to get close enough to capture a photo of it on my iPhone.  I was thrilled!

So, why is this event such an inspiration that it still stands out in my mind?  Well, when we least expect it, beautiful things will inspire beautiful ideas.  Being the creative-minded individual that I am, I always seek inspiration in the form of natural beauty.  It also doesn’t hurt that I am a nature,landscape, and architecture photographer at heart.

Thus, here is the challenge that I pose to my readers: take a moment to use your creative mind to find anything in your surroundings that you find inspiring.  Then leverage that inspiration to solve questions, problems, issues, and concerns in your daily marketing efforts.  I bet you, too, will find doing so to be successful.

11 Tips for a Great Video Résumé

by: Kenneth Cossin

For almost any employer, creating a video résumé is not the end-all be-all for applying for a job. But a video résumé can be a great way to showcase your portfolio of talents. Here are a few tips in creating this supplemental visual that can really make you stand out from the crowd.

  1. Maintain the length of your video from one to three minutes; much longer and you will have lost your chances.
  2. Dress appropriately for the camera.
  3. Use an eye-pleasing backdrop if you do not have access to a green screen.
  4. Make your background appropriate for the job that you are applying for. For example, a mountain landscape would be great for a Forest Ranger, but obviously not for a Public Relations Director.
  5. Be aware of ambient sound, especially outdoors. The audio should be your voice, that is, no airplanes flying overhead.
  6. Have a script prepared and practice it!
  7. Be sure to include not only voice-on-camera but also voice-over work while demonstrating your portfolio.
  8. Use both close-ups and mid-shots. What about long shots? – Not so much… This one is common sense.
  9. Have several friends and trusted working professionals look at your video before finalizing your post production.
  10. Hand out your video résumé during the interview if possible. Be mindful of the employer; some may wish to view it after you have left.
  11. Have fun! Enjoy the creation process. If you are stressed or “stiff” on camera, you will be perceived in that fashion by the viewer.
Below is a great example of a video résumé.  How do you think it could be better based on the 11 points I mentioned above?

Consumer Segmentation: A Contemporary-Historical Perspective

by: David S.B. Butler, PhD, Professor Internet Marketing Masters Degree Program, Full Sail University©

To be relevant and viable in a competitive market, products and services must satisfy the needs and or wants of consumers within a given

Graphic Credit: Mahmoud Reza Saremi DBA, MBA/MKT

geodemographic and cultural context.  Understanding how and why a promotional offer reinforces the needs and wants satisfied by a product or service is vital in the competitive online marketplace. Today, Internet marketers recognize that Intimate knowledge of a target audience facilitating consumer segmentation provides key information necessary to maximize online marketing efficiency and effectiveness.  Therefore, Internet marketers apply consumer information as qualifying information that clarifies and helps connect promotional content with specific consumer segments.  This process aims to match product attributes (and benefits) with online potential consumers that are most likely to benefit from (and be satisfied by) specific promotional offers.   Rather than assuming that the entire population of consumers accessing the Internet are viable potential customers, Internet marketers should be sure to recognize that only certain portions (segments) of the online population represent potential customers for the products or services they are promoting.

Online consumer segmentation is consistent with traditional segmentation approaches advocating the predictive value of consumer segments.  Internet marketers apply insights gained by collecting and analyzing online consumer behavior toward the formulation of promotional content.  This process is designed to predict consumer behavior relative to what is known about previous and current customers.  The predictive value of consumer segmentation manifests as promotional content is strategically aligned with subsets of consumers (within an overall target market) that are most receptive promotional content.

AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW OF CONSUMER SEGMENTATION

The concept of segmentation emerged as a formal component of contemporary marketing practice in the 1950’s.  Wedel and Kamakura (2001) clarify that “Since the concept emerged in the late 1950’s, segmentation has been one of the most researched topics in marketing literature” (Wedel and Kamakura, 2001, p. xix).  Likewise, contemporary marketers report that segmentation represents an integral part of contemporary marketing practice.  It is currently recognized that “Market Segmentation is an essential element of marketing in industrialized countries.  Goods can no longer be produced and sold without considering customer needs and recognizing the heterogeneity of those needs” (Wedel and Kamakura, 2001, p. 3).

This increased literary focus has been predicated on a shift in marketing practice aligned with the diversification of industrial production (Wedel and Kamakura 2001).  During the early twentieth century as production efficiency became enhanced and product variation increased, the concept of market segmentation became a formal component of marketing practice “industrial development in various sectors of the economy induced strategies of mass production and marketing.  Those strategies were manufacturing oriented, focusing on reduction of production costs rather than satisfaction of consumers.  But as production processes became more flexible, and consumer affluence led to the diversification of demand, firms that identified the specific needs of groups of customers were able to develop the right offer for one or more sub-markets and thus obtained a competitive advantage” (Wedel and Kamakura, 2001, p. 3).

Chamberlin (1933) laid the foundation for the prioritization of the consumer over the producer by pointing to the significance of aligning products with the needs and wants of consumers.  Later in this decade, Robinson (1938) expanded this concept and formalized the economic theory of imperfect competition (Robinson 1938).   The work of these two scholars set the stage for Smith’s influential work in the 1950’s.  In 1956, he recognized “the existence of heterogeneity in the demand of goods and services, based on the economic theory of imperfect competition” (Wedel and Kamakura, 2000, p. 3) developed by Robinson in the late 1930’s (Robinson 1938).  Smith asserted that “Market segmentation involves viewing a heterogeneous market as a number of smaller homogeneous markets in response to differing preferences, attributable to the desires of consumers for more precise satisfaction of their varying wants” (Smith 1956 p 6).

Smith’s decisive article from 1956 asserted that “segments should be based on consumer/user wants and a company should be better able to serve these needs when it has defined some segments within a larger market” (Anna-Lena 2001).  Consumer segments were defined in Wind and Cardozo’s seminal article “Industrial Market Segmentation” (1974) as “a group of present and potential customers with some common characteristic (s) which is relevant in explaining (and predicting) their response to a supplier’s marketing stimuli” (Wind and Cardozo, 1974).  Therefore, consumer segments should clarify groups of current and previous consumers while serving as predictors identifying the most likely candidates for future consumers.  The predictive value of consumer segments should therefore have a profound impact on strategic Internet Marketing plans taking cognizance of matching promotional content with potential consumers.

This process undertaken to clarify the most receptive groups within a population with the most relevant messaging has been formalized in the literature as consumer segmentation  (Frank, Massy, Wind 1972, McDonald & Dunbar 2004, Anna-Lena 2001, Jiang and Tuzhilin 2006). In 1974, Wind and Cardozo recognized that consumer segmentation (referred to then as market segmentation) “involves appropriate grouping of individual customers into a manageable and efficient (in a cost/benefit sense) number of market segments, for each of which a different marketing strategy is feasible and likely profitable” (Wind and Cardozo 1974 p. 155). A host of marketers since have advocated establishing consumer segments as a means to more closely align products and services with targeted groups (2006 p. 307).  Therefore, the appropriate number of segments for a particular promotion are contextual and are determined based on the variation within a given population of potential and return customers.

The process of consumer segmentation rests on three primary assumptions: 1) the population of potential and return consumers is heterogeneous 2) heterogeneous groups have distinct characteristics that can be identified and analyzed 3) unique promotional content can cater to the varying needs, wants of consumers and perceived benefits of specific products and services.

Contemporary segmentation approaches recognize six primary criteria applied toward the evaluation of segmentation effectiveness (Kotler and Armstrong 2007, Wedel and Kamakura 2000, Anna-Lena 2001).  These criteria measure effectiveness by evaluating segment formation and profitability and assert that consumer segments should be: identifiable/measurable, substantial, accessible, stable actionable, and differentiable (Anna-Lena 2001 p. 5).

What we should be sure to glean from this overview of segmentation is that we are not the first generation of marketers to recognize the importance of presenting the right offer to the most receptive audience.  Therefore Internet Marketers must not to loose focus on who customers are and remember that just because our messaging CAN reach a global audience, this doesn’t mean that they are all interested in becoming a customer.  Remember to take a sequential, hierarchical approach (first suggested in marketing literature in the early 1970’s) that prioritizes defining your target market (i.e. apply geotargeting tactics to clarify where your audience located and remember to consider why do they need your product/service).  Also endeavor to clarify as many characteristics of your target audience as possible (who is your target audience and how can you describe variation within the overall group to establish consumer segments) and match product offers with the most relevant audience (i.e. match distinct consumer segments with specific promotional offers that satisfy their needs as a subset of consumers within your overall target audience).

REFERENCES

Anna-Lena M. (2001). Industrial Segmentation: A Review. Retrieved July 24, 2009, from the Åbo Akademi School of Business Web Site:

Click to access memostencil208.pdf

Cardozo, R. N. 1974. Situational Segmentation of Industrial Markets. European Journal of Marketing, 14(5/6), 264-276.

Chamberlin E. (1933). Theory of Monopolistic Competition. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

Frank R., Massy W., Wind Y. (1972). Market Segmentation. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall.

Jiang, T. and Tuzhilin, A. (2006). Improving Personalization Solutions through Optimal Segmentation of Customer Bases. Data Mining, December 2006, 307-318. doi: 10.1109/ICDM.2006.87

Kotler, P. & Arsmstrong, G. (2007). Why do we Study Buying Behavior in Marketing? In Kotler P. & Armstrong G., Principles of Marketing (pp. 94-127). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.  from PrinciplesofMarketing.com Web site: http://www.principlesofmarketing.com/htm/Chapter-Four.htm

McDonald M., Dunbar I. (2004) Market Segmentation: how to do it, how to profit from it. Elsevier Butterworth-Heinemann Linacre House.

Robinson H.W. (1938). The Equilibrium Price in a Perfect Inter-Temporal Market,

Econometrica, 6(1), 48-62.

Smith, W. (1956). Product Differentiation and Market Segmentation as Alternative Marketing Strategies. Journal of Marketing, 21(1), 3-8.

Wedel, Michel and Wagner A. Kamakura (2000) Market Segmentation: Conceptual Methodological Foundations, Second Edition. Boston: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Wind, Y. and Cardozo, R.N.. Industrial Market Segmentation. Industrial Marketing Management, 3. 153-166.

The Humble Marketer

by: Kenneth Cossin

photo: Lushpix

photo: Lushpix

In a sluggish economy, can you really afford to be humble?  Some may say that self-pride and aggressively pushing your agenda is the answer to survival in times like these.  I want to provide a different perspective, and I would like to put my alternative idea to the test, humble marketing.

What is humble marketing?  I would define it as unwavering belief in your individual opinion, yet remembering that you are human.  Humans make mistakes, incorrect assumptions, and fail all the time.  For example, is Seth Godin humble?  I believe he is.  He strongly believes in his contributions to marketing, but he is human.  He admits his mistakes and learns from them, and thus has become one of the most well-known, current marketers.  In addition, he has, in effect, build sustainability and credibility into his life by being unpretentious yet responsible.

I believe that humility is what drives forward movement in marketing.  Humble marketing opens our minds to new ideas, differing opinions, and removes the “my way or the highway” mentality that often stifles creativity.  Also, it opens many avenues of knowledge and growth both personally and on the corporate level.  Admitting not only our faults and weaknesses but also our strengths and successes helps foster life-long learning.  Continuous learning breeds wisdom, self-esteem, and success.  How humble are you willing to be regarding your marketing?