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Whenever presenting to a group, I love trying out new ideas, tools, and techniques with the audience. I also appreciate the opportunity to be candid about what works and doesn’t relative to the topic we’re addressing. This is one of the great presentation tips shared early on by someone who works with a lot of speakers. I’ve adopted it, and the more intimate and interactive the setting, the more likely I will push further into successes and challenges.

During my “Creating Fantastic, Shareable Content” workshop at the Social Strategies Summit, we discussed how a content marketing strategy fits with a lead generation strategy. Typically, creating and sharing content is motivated by growing the number of prospects in your audience identifying themselves as interested in talking further about how your organization could serve them.

Covering various aspects of this content marketing strategy that must work well to make the overall strategy successful, I shared what we do well and an area we don’t do well as an organization with our own strategy.

Okay, rather than simply pointing it out, I said we “suck” at one part of our content marketing strategy.

Later, one of the great people I met at the conference remarked how unusual it is for a speaker to say his organization “sucks” at something. She wondered why I did this.

At the core, it is one of those things I sometimes say “in the moment.” The workshop atmosphere was very comfortable, making it easier for me to push the messages harder.

Presentation Tips – 3 Reasons to Admit You Don’t Do Something Well

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Beyond that, there are three other reasons why I said, “We suck.”

1. It is truthful

There are some things we do really well on content marketing, including creating business-oriented, evergreen content delivering value for readers around the world. We haven’t been as strong on following up and taking the next steps with the audience that wants to work more closely with us.

2. It is realistic

I’m suspect of speakers who paint the picture of EVERYTHING being wonderful as the basis of the credibility for the messages they share. Call me cynical, but I’ve been around too long to ever swallow that EVERYTHING is perfect with any organization.

3. An audience member may have an idea to help us improve

Overwhelmingly, I’m blessed to talk with very diverse, experienced audiences typically as eager to offer ideas as I am in offering ideas to them. If one of these smart people has an idea for how we can improve what The Brainzooming Group does, I definitely want to learn it.

What did he say?

Yes, saying we “suck” was a little strong, but it got attention, which is why I said it.

If you have us speak or do a workshop, be prepared for truthful, realistic content to help your audience better understand what to do. They will also understand the challenges that could be looming, too.

Consider it part of the Brainzooming brand promise.

If you don’t want me to say, “Suck,” however, let me know. I’ll use another word! – Mike Brown

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Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Before leading my workshop the first afternoon of the Social Media Strategies Summit, I participated in the day’s earlier workshops. This is something I try to do whenever I’m speaking at an event. Doing this provides new ideas, reference points, and potentially frees up topics I needn’t address as completely because an earlier speaker has covered them.

During these workshops, for whatever reason, I found myself thinking about how I process information shared during conference presentations. I began jotting down the strategic thinking questions (below) I was asking myself. It struck me that these questions tie to integrated listening. Whether the speaker’s topic is familiar or unfamiliar, and whether the speaker’s perspective agrees or disagrees with my own, I’m looking for what to incorporate from the material to adapt my perspective.

5 Strategic Thinking Questions for Integrated Listening

Within an integrated listening objective, these strategic thinking questions are ones that run through my head during a presentation:

  1. What of this material agrees with my world view?
  2. What parts challenge or contradict my world view?
  3. In what ways does this content enrich my current understanding?
  4. What should I consider doing differently (whether that’s doing something new, stopping something, or altering a current practice) based on this presentation?
  5. What are the parts of this material I don’t understand? If so, why is that?

These questions work, at least for me, to stay open to new information without completely abandoning what I think in favor of too eagerly embracing an expert’s point of view during a presentation.  – Mike Brown

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Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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What do you do if there are multiple, separate audiences your brand needs to reach, but you don’t have the time or resources to deliver content in multiple, separate social media streams?

This social media strategy question surfaced more than once the first day of the Social Media Strategies Summit in Las Vegas.

SMSSummit-Banner

The first instance was an agency trying to reach client prospects who are CMOs in addition to marketing talent as potential employees. In another case, it was a startup organization without the existing content or current bandwidth for multi-channel social media. In a third case, it was a national travel and tourism organization catering to potential travelers in multiple countries speaking multiple languages.

Each is currently handling this social media strategy situation in varied ways.

Are my tweets bothering you?

Based on responses across all these discussions, here are ideas for how to approach this social media strategy challenge.

Step 1 – Have you determined if the audiences are complementary?

The days of thinking you can communicate in different ways to different audiences and keep the messages and audiences segregated are gone. If your brand is saying one thing in one place, you can figure you’re saying the one thing in multiple places, whether you like it or not.

A first step then is determining whether the messages targeted at one audience are going to be appropriate, complementary, or miss the mark with other audiences.

In the digital agency’s case, the separately targeted messages seem complementary. A CMO hiring an agency wants to know the agency is hiring smart, talented, and highly skilled people. A potential new hire for a digital agency wants to know he or she will have the opportunity to work with cool clients having innovative projects. Looking at this case in a simplified manner, the brand message to one audience is a complementary brand cue to the other audience. There doesn’t seem to be a downside to each audience seeing messages more directly targeted at another audience.

Step 2 – Can you test how similar the audiences are?

The situation with the travel and tourism organization is more complex. They address content in at least four languages (Spanish and English are primary) and audiences on multiple continents.

The current strategy involves repeating the same posts in different languages, typically on each social media channel. They appear to have duplicate content on each social platform much of the time, especially because of the heavy use of photos, which DO translate across languages. They suspect / know, however, that various country populations respond to different aspects of their country’s culture and seek out different content accordingly. One downside of the current approach (same content on each channel) is they train their audience to only follow them on one channel.

For them, social media strategy step two involves various “tests” of their suspicions about the need for multiple channels:

  1. Look at the audience demographic information available on each group (country and language) to see how they compare based on what is known about them.
  2. To the extent possible, examine quantitatively how each group engages with content.
  3. Set up and implement trials over several months where each group receives the same content at the same time. The objective is to compare the results and see how similarly or differently each group engages with identical updates.
  4. If emails are available for a representative cross-section of the audience, test their reactions in a more controlled setting (with an online survey) to various types of content.

While there is no one formula to answer the questions about how many channels they need in these situations, this social media strategy development approach should provide a basis to understand how complementary or disaffecting content intended for another group is when another group receives it.

Then they’ll have a better sense of the answer to the question, “Are my tweets bothering you?”  – Mike Brown

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“How strong is my organization’s social media strategy?”

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

Is your social media implementation working as well as it can? In less than 60 minutes with the new FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have a precise answer to this question.

Any executive can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of their social business strategies with these nine diagnostics. Download Your Free Copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social  Strategy.”

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Is your brand STILL struggling with the right approach to deliver business results from its content marketing and social media strategy?

If so, today is a perfect day to download our free eBook, “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy.”

If you have direct or indirect responsibility for social media strategy in your organization (or even simply question whether your brand is maximizing every opportunity it can with social business), download “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy.” You’ll get answers on what to do next in less than an hour.

Really.

Social Media Strategy – 20 Reasons to Download “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy”

In case you need more convincing, here are twenty reasons why you should download this free eBook and take advantage of its quick, thorough assessments of your brand’s social media strategy effectiveness.

  1. It’s free.
  2. There are Brainzooming diagnostics that appear exclusively in the 9 Diagnostics eBook.
  3. You can complete the exercises within an hour and have a strong strategic sense of your overall social media strategy effectiveness.
  4. You can match your current approach to proven social media opportunities organizations adopt and find successful. (page 2)
  5. Your potential opportunities to adapt your social media strategy to better address important business objectives will be clear. (page 2)
  6. Each exercise features a related strategic objective and suggested uses to ensure you’re applying the social media strategy diagnostic correctly.
  7. There is a next step associated with each diagnostic so the actions you can take with the results are evident.
  8. If social business hasn’t taken hold in your organization as it should, you can assess which of a dozen potential roadblocks could be at work. (page 3)
  9. It will become quickly apparent whether your current social media metrics are robust enough to support and shape social business success. (page 4)
  10. Going deeper into the value of developing whole brain metrics is as easy as downloading another free Brainzooming eBook.
  11. You can determine whether your multi-author content marketing strategy is taking advantage of all the opportunities available to be truly collaborative. (page 5)
  12. There is a fast way to assess whether you should trust the members of your social media team to manage the “corporate microphone” social media represents. (page 6)
  13. Your can assign a letter grade to how well your brand’s personality translates to social media channels. (page 7)
  14. You’ll get a sense of how your brand stacks up on creating and sharing content relative to how a wide variety of B2B and B2C brands are them. (page 8)
  15. The lists associated with each social media strategy diagnostic ensure you are exploring the appropriate range of strategic variables.
  16. In an age when brands have the opportunity and need to become outstanding content creators, you can test your performance against an industry built around delivering engaging content for audiences. (page 9)
  17. The eBook includes a link to the Brainzooming social media strategy framework that organizes tons of content on your best strategic options for content marketing and social business. (page 10)
  18. By exploring your most recent status updates, you can see whether your brand is delivering a beneficial mix of content for your audience. (page 10)
  19. You can prioritize the diagnostics based on whether your brand is just introducing a social media strategy or has had one in place for some time.
  20. These nine social media strategy diagnostics can be applied collectively or individually depending upon where your brand places strategic priority.

9-diagnostics-download-butt

Convinced that taking a moment to download the “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy” book is something you need to do today?

If not, here’s just one example of how quickly it will help you. One content marketing workshop participant took just two minutes to complete diagnostic number 5 on whether the right people are managing your social media sharing. As soon as he completed it, he blurted out, “I knew we had the wrong people doing handling this, but I never knew why until now!”

That’s a great insight in just two minutes.

Start growing our social media strategy insights today!

And if you’d like more help with developing your social media and content strategy, let us know. We’re here to help! – Mike Brown

 

 

“How strong is my organization’s social media strategy?”

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

Is your social media implementation working as well as it can? In less than 60 minutes with the new FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have a precise answer to this question.

Any executive can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of their social business strategies with these nine diagnostics. Download Your Free Copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social  Strategy.”

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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Is your brand engaged in global content marketing?

For US businesses, statistics show a relatively low percentage of them export globally.

Based on that, your answer is likely that your brand has no role in global content marketing.

If that’s your answer, however, you’re probably wrong!

That’s why I’d encourage you to get a copy of Pam Didner’s book, “Global Content Marketing,” and go to school on it, even if you think you don’t need a global content marketing strategy.

Why, you might ask?

Because it will make you a better content marketer no matter how close or far you think your content audience is located.

      (Affiliate Link)

If You Have a Website, You May Be a Global Content Marketer

Pam-Didner-Book-PhotoNear the start, Pam Didner (who is a former Intel executive, a great friend, and co-host with me of an attendee dinner at the Social Media Strategy Summit this week) relates the story of Bumps for Boomers, an Aspen, Colorado-based, four-day ski program. Its objective is to get competent skiers in the baby boomer generation to take on more expert-level skiing. Its founder, Joe Nevins, developed hundreds of pieces of informative content on the topic, placed them on the brand’s website, and his small company now caters to skiers from multiple countries. All this even though his website is only in English.

As Pam points out, “as long as a company has an online presence, and as long as its products can be shipped and services performed remotely or virtually” or its audience can come to the brand (as in the Bumps for Boomers example), it is in the global content marketing strategy game.

I’ll admit that when Pam first told me about writing book, I was disappointed it wouldn’t apply to The Brainzooming Group. In the course of the conversation, the figure “fifty-two percent” popped into my mind.

Fifty-two percent represents the share of Brainzooming blog readers outside the US from more than 180 countries.

So, yes, the Brainzooming blog is a part of global content marketing too.

What to Look for in “Global Content Marketing”

I have a tremendous respect for authors and speakers who offer strategic frameworks that come from actually having done the work instead of appointing themselves experts and simply writing and speaking about a topic they have read about only.

With Pam Didner’s extensive experience at Intel managing global product launches, developing business building campaigns, and providing ongoing consultation on audience targeting, content development, strategic messaging, engagement, and social media integration, she’s a practiced expert on global content marketing.

As you would expect from someone actually doing the work, the book is action oriented.

It struck me while reading Pam’s 4 P’s of global content marketing that they are all VERBS: Plan, Product, Promote, and Perfect. And beyond simply the push to act that these verbs suggest, they are equally applicable for both global and in-country content marketing.

The same can be said of Pam’s focus on how the roles differ between a headquarters content marketer and those in local market operations. While she’s applying the concepts across countries, they apply to any situation where a content marketer with centralized responsibility is planning, coordinating, and implementing with team members in specific markets. For example, a content session I’m delivering next week for a multi-state non-profit based in Kansas City is completely analogous to the global situations Pam describes.

Get Your Copy of “Global Content Marketing” by Pam Didner

“Global Content Marketing” was named one of the Top 10 business books of 2014 by in Inc. Magazine. No matter that it was released in 2014, the concepts Pam shares are applicable this year and for years after.

Do yourself a favor. If your brand has a website and is using a content marketing strategy to influence your audiences, you need to get “Global Content Marketing” by Pam Didner today and put it into practice! – Mike Brown

      (Affiliate Link)

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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At the 2015 Social Media Strategies Summit in Las Vegas, I am introducing a new Brainzooming workshop on “Staying Sane as a Solo Social Media Professional.”

By title, the workshop targets individuals who have to handle a brand’s social media strategy and implementation. In reality, the content is relevant for anyone responsible for social media and related content marketing that wants to:

  • Develop social strategies linked to business objectives more effectively in less time
  • Produce content that is easily repurposed in multiple ways
  • Speed up content creation
  • Better prioritize high-impact content
  • Do more and better social media marketing with small budgets

Much of the content is coming from previous Brainzooming posts with additions from the responses to the solo social media survey we featured recently.

Additionally, I am developing a new, simplified content calendar, a one-page strategy overview, and the “Content Marketing Formulas” list below.

These content marketing formulas came to life yesterday morning as I started playing around with different approaches to express handy reminders for how to repurpose content in timesaving ways.

Girl-Board-Formula16 Content Marketing Formulas

  1. Blog Post / 140 characters > 10 Tweets
  2. Tweet + Instagram = Facebook Post
  3. Blog Post – Words + Images = Infographic
  4. Blog Post + “On Camera Talent” + Camera = Video
  5. (Blog Post Links + Blog Title) * 10 = Compilation Blog Post
  6. Video / Capturing Individual Frames > 15 Images
  7. 1000 Word Blog Post / 3 = 3 Days of Digestible Blog Posts
  8. 1 Video Interview > 1 Podcast Segment + 1 Blog + 3 Images
  9. 1 Audio Recording of a Presentation = 2 Podcast Segments + 10 Graphics + 4 Blog Posts
  10. Website ImageSocial Sharing Button = Pinterest Post
  11. (Blog Post x 10) + Intro + Close + Call to Action = Downloadable Asset
  12. Infographic + Blog Post = Downloadable Asset
  13. (PowerPoint Presentation + “Voice Talent”)com = Video
  14. Live Webinarme = Video
  15. (Customer Event x Capturing Content) / Editing > Weeks of Social Media Content
  16. Rambling Blog Post that’s Not Working – Parts that Aren’t Working = Tighter, Working Blog Post

This list is VERY much a work-in-process even beyond the Social Media Strategies Summit. As a result, I am especially interested in whatever feedback and tweaks you might want to share.

Ultimately, I could see using content marketing formula number 3 and turning this blog post into an infographic.

Before that though, are there any formulas you use to improve your social media and content marketing productivity and impact you would like to share with the Social Media Strategies Summit audience? pronto!

Interested in diagnostics to assess your social and content marketing strategies?

9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy

If you are an executive with questions about whether  your organization’s social media and content marketing strategies are working as well as possible, you need this short cut. In less than 60 minutes with the FREE Brainzooming ebook “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social Strategy,” you’ll have precise answers to your questions.

You can make a thorough yet rapid evaluation of nine different dimensions of your social media and content marketing strategies with these easy-to-assess diagnostics. To get started right now, download your free copy of “9 Diagnostics to Check Your Social  Strategy.” – Mike Brown

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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There were many themes apparent in the Super Bowl advertising portfolio.

  • There was dad-dom (Nissan, Dove Men+Care).
  • There was overcoming-disability-dom (Microsoft, Nissan).
  • There was scantily-clad-dom (T-Mobile. Victoria’s Secret).
  • There was borrowing celebrity-dom. (Kia. Snickers. Wix).

Plenty of “doms” to go around.

The Crowd’s Creative Comes Out on Top in Super Bowl Advertising

Crash-The-Crowd-eBook

Download “Crash Course” at http://boomideanet.com/crash-the-crowd/

But the intriguing results from the night belong to Doritos and the creative crowd. According to Ace Metrix research “America voted for #WhenPigsFly from Doritos to be this year’s #TopSpot2015 #SB49 by scoring it higher than any of the other 2015 Doritos ads.”

Additionally, Doritos ranked in the top 5 a short time after the Super Bowl advertising wrapped up Sunday evening.

When all the Super Bowl advertising rankings are in, there may be another winner. The interesting thing here is that the spot crowdsourced by Doritos is in the running. Yes, it’s fan-based creative.

What Do You Know about Crowdsourcing Advertising?

While not every company is in a position to turn its brand over to its consumers, the Doritos fan crowd demonstrates there is bona fide creative power in the crowd.

In light of this, if your CEO is asking you, “Should we be doing this crowdsourcing thing?” you’ll want answers.

We can help you with answers.

We can help you decide if a crowd can work for your brand. And suggest how you can test the crowdsourcing waters.

Visit this link and download our free eBook about “Everything You Need To Know About Crowdsourcing Before Your CEO Asks.”

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It might just come in handy!  – Steve Wood, Boom Ideanet

 

Mike Brown

Founder of The Brainzooming Group, and an expert on strategy, creativity, and innovation. Mike is a frequent speaker on innovation, strategic thinking, and social media.

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