Tag Archives: YouTube

Is Facebook Too Big To Fail?

Oh that’s just not possible you say. Facebook fail, no way. Just let your imagination go for a minute.

I don’t think any of us could have imagined the possibility of General Motors failing, or AIG, or Citigroup for that matter, all of whom benefited through the combination of The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). In all of these cases, it was deemed appropriate to step in with financial help because these companies were “too big to fail.” The great economic domino effect of their failures would have lead to catastrophic consequences.

Let’s face facts, humans make mistakes, and so do CEO’s. It’s not beyond the realm of “possible” to imagine a world without Facebook, where enough mistakes, bad investments, scandals, questionable IPO’s et cetera, cause this social institution to fail. Do you suppose the government would step in and help?

I don’t want you to get confused here, I’m not trying to be political as I’m really going in another direction which I hope to reveal shortly.

Millions of people spend hours and hours documenting, sharing, responding, ranting, posting, joking, pontificating, preaching, questioning, bragging and lecturing on Facebook. The number of personal images and videos put there is staggering. Some would say that this is a giant waste of time. Regardless, when you think about the fact that whole lives are being stored on FB’s massive server farms and that this may be the only place where those lives are documented, you can begin to wonder – If that’s true, a Facebook failure could in fact cause catastrophic consequences for some. Unless of course, they have a backup plan.

I was reading recently in the “AARP Bulletin” (yes, I am old enough to read this) about the need for Baby Boomers to embrace social media, especially if they are interested in looking for a job. They talk about a “digital footprint” which I thought was a great term, because it encompasses several social media properties, including your own personal website. The article suggests that this website have your name as the URL, like davidsoxman.com. And let’s face it, if you’re not out there socially, you look out of touch.

What does your financial advisor always suggest when investing your money, diversify? By doing so, you spread risk across multiple investment strategies and therefore reduce your exposure to the failure of one. I think the same applies to how you document your life experiences on the web.

There are many ways to memorialize the important events in your life and it doesn’t have to be all in one place, i.e. Facebook. Social media sites exist that cater to all kinds of interests and life styles. If your interested in a list, Wikipedia.org has an exhaustive list and even describes what they are about. Check it out even though there are some obvious omissions like Reddit, Stumble Upon, Vimeo and YouTube to name a few.

If the leadership of Facebook pulls off something really stupid and the company fails, and the government chooses not to “bail out” the social behemoth, by having your life documented across multiple online properties, you can reduce the risk that your life’s experiences could vanish with the unplugging of a server. Or, you could gamble that Facebook really is too big to fail.

I’d love to know your thoughts.


DIY YouTube Videos May Not Be The Right Choice

You’re the kind of person that prefers to talk to people face to face. You have more success when people can actually see you in person.  Your storytelling improves so much more when your listener can look in your eyes. Video is the perfect fit for you to tell your stories and YouTube makes that so much easier.  Of course, being the “roll up your sleeves” kind of person you decide, heck, I can do my own videos and post them myself.

Well, here’s a list of reasons why you may want to reconsider doing your own YouTube videos. Certainly there is an argument to having something out there that looks way too polished and therefore not honest, but it’s worth at least considering the alternative of having someone help you with your videos.

  1. Your “brand” is what people perceive you to be. When an individual is looking at you to provide them a product or service, TRUST can be a huge factor in that decision process. A professionally produced video shows you to be a professional at what you do. People want to know they are dealing with a company that won’t cut corners on the products or services they provide. A DIY video adds an unnecessary risk that a potential customer may get the wrong idea.
  2. People absorb information in different ways. I like to augment what is being said and shown on video with written text. These graphics can help cement your message and help some people with their recall. Some folks will respond to the written text coupled with hearing you say it. Do you know enough about editing video to be able to seamlessly incorporate text and graphics into your videos?
  3. Editing video can take time. Will you have the time to learn and execute something you do not do on a regular basis?
  4. Having someone to “direct” you can bring out the best in you and how you tell your story. During the DIY recording, you may not notice certain things that you do or expressions on your face that can send potentially negative messages. Maybe it’s the way you roll your eyes, or the way you look up to remember what you wanted to say. It’s been said that when people look up, they may not be telling the truth. These subtle nuances can get magnified under the camera’s eye.
  5. Do you have an impartial ear that can tell you whether your message is pertinent, interesting, understandable and worth coming back to see more?
  6. Were you aware that anything longer than about 2.5 minutes, unless it is really attention getting, will not be viewed? The idea is to get people to come back. If they perceive that “oh, the last video I watched was so long,” then not only will they not come back, but they won’t share your video with their acquaintances.

Some people will tell you that it doesn’t matter, that the quality of the video can be bad and you can still get you’re point across. I guess it would depend on what product or service you sell. If it’s a commodity, then that’s probably true. If on the other hand, you need to make sure you come across as someone that knows what they’re doing, maybe DIY is not a good choice.

What do you think?


Give ‘Em a Mixed Media Message!

Who knows how it began. Did man first begin to communicate over distances by beating a hollow tree trunk or by lighting a torch and standing on the highest ground? Was this just a means of alerting friends to potential danger or were there variable messages governed by the rhythm of the beats or the way a torch was held? Smoke signals by Native Americans or Signal Flags by soldiers were a means of sending variable messages and instructions during war, at least prior to the telegraph and Morse code. And sailors relied heavily upon signal flags and light houses to warn of possible danger.

Regardless how it began, we humans thrive on communication, don’t we? We have created so many ways with which to exchange information and ideas across space and time – radio, TV, CB’s, telephones, email, texting, instant messaging, direct mail, snail mail, webinars, video streaming, YouTube, just to name a few. Whether it’s passive or active forms of communication, it can be pretty mind boggling and the thing is, each of us prefer certain kinds of communication over others. Certain media gets our attention and others don’t.

I have never been big on texting or IM but I use email extensively. Maybe it’s my fat thumbs on my mobile or maybe I just haven’t learned the lingo. I know that probably ages me quite a bit, however I think there’s an important point here. Unless you sell your product or service to a very narrowly defined, niche demographic, you probably need to consider the possibility that it’s going to take a number of different kinds of media to reach everyone in your target market with your marketing message. We all have different preferences for how we would like to be communicated to.

This is why I can really appreciate the concept of asking the question, “How would you like to hear from us?” For customers who have purchased from you or from those who have expressed an interest in your products or services, to ask them how they would prefer to be communicated to, shows that you respect their opinion and their time.

Granted, some of the forms of media cost more. Anyone can tell you that direct mail is not cheap, however if your customer or prospect really wants you hear from you in this way, make sure you comply with that wish.

There are many companies who provide printing and email services who have jumped on the multi-media bandwagon and can provide a cost effective solution to giving your customers their preferences. A sign-up website portal can be an excellent way to be able to respond to individual wishes. The real benefit is that your customers and prospects will appreciate just being asked.

So, in your marketing planning, make sure you are building in the capability to put your marketing message out there in a number of different media. It’s a little harder to manage but well worth the effort.

If there is a concern whether you have the time or abilities in-house to handle this, let us know, we’d be happy to help.


Your CMO Outsource


So How Do Your Customers Show They Love You?

Customer love is the food of business

February is the month for LOVE. I am pretty sick of the constant use of  “I ‘heart’ chocolate” or “I ‘heart’ foreign films” or even “I ‘heart’ you!” Can’t you just say the word, LOVE? Wouldn’t it be great if all of your customers would break into simultaneous voice singing, “I Got That Lovin’ Feeling?” Would make you feel pretty darn good about what you’re doing, right, even though I think if every single one of your customers says they “love” you, maybe you’re not pushing the limits of your offering enough.  Think about that one – although maybe that’s fodder for another blog post.

As a key component of every Strategic Marketing Plan I write, I like to interview several customers of my client to see not only what they thought about the “purchase experience” but also about how they first found my client and if they would recommend their products or services to others.

Recently, as I was contacting customers for my client, I ran across one who literally gushed love for my client’s work. Everything they did was “exceptional” and when I asked if there was anything specific she could say that would have made the experience better she said, “Absolutely not, they did everything I asked plus things I didn’t know to ask. I really believe in these guys!” Wow, nice testimonial huh?

This, of course, got me thinking about how to really leverage this recommendation, make it something special, bring out the human side.  How could I make this even more powerful than just putting her comments in a “Testimonials” section of the website.  Of course, Video!!

There’s no doubt about it, video has come of age and with the technology and software available to everyone, the price has gone down as well.  It is my belief that a marketing strategy which incorporates the use of relevant video, especially on the website, is and will continue to be successful.  Here’s why:

Why Video?

  1. Pictures are worth a thousand words, videos are worth a million
  2. It is a great way to put a human face to an inorganic thing called a “company.”  It is a way to show there are real people that work here.
  3. If your customer is giving a testimonial, they are also real people with real problems that you solved.
  4. It is a perfect way to incorporate storytelling.  Read my blog, “How to Use Storytelling in Your Marketing Message.”
  5. Search engines, in particular Google since they also own YouTube, love video and now incorporate video into their “blended search results.” As Benjamin Wayne says in his article “How To Use Video SEO to Jump To The Top of Google Search Results,” Google will index 100% of all website videos and you are 53 times more likely than traditional web pages to receive an organic first-page ranking.

So, now we’ve determined that video should be something you implement on your web presence, but how can this be executed?

Executing a Website Video Strategy

  1. Why not have a video of that incredible testimonial we mentioned above?  Give your customers a powerful way to show they love you.
  2. Be sure that you are not “selling” but rather educating or providing content that viewers will value and want to come back for more.
  3. Try the method of the interview, where someone off camera is asking questions.  The person on camera will likely be more at ease when providing answers.
  4. Be sure to rehearse what you are going to say so it doesn’t ramble on
  5. Be brief and concise. Keep the videos to 90 to 120 seconds, nothing more because no one has that much time.
  6. Release new videos over time, not all at once, to derive the most search value.
  7. Make sure that the videos utilize proper descriptive titles, proper keywords, a text transcript, links to related material and useful metadata so the video can be indexed by the search engines.

Come on, this is yours or your customer’s chance to be a star, use video to really boost your marketing message and get results.

All my best,


Your outsourced Chief Marketing Officer

Social Media: It’s Written in Concrete


Remember when you were a kid and some neighbor was pouring a new concrete driveway, or the city was putting in some new sidewalks and what would happen next?  Yea, you can admit it: the temptation to go write your name in the wet cement overcame you and you grabbed the nearest stick and went to work creating something beautiful and yes, permanent.

There is a growing societal change that is taking place in our world.  Years ago, if you were caught stealing candy, breaking street lights, or teepeeing someone’s trees, you may be in trouble at the time, but you sure didn’t have to worry about potential employers doing a background search and discovering that you had participated in these acts.

I wonder how good a job we adults are doing at making sure young people understand that what they put onto Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace is something that may resurface twenty years from now, when they’re trying to land that next great job.  And maybe even if we tried, they wouldn’t listen.  We are all aware of some of the even dangerous activities taking place like “sexting.”

According to The Benenson Strategy Group’s latest research results, parents have a long ways to go toward truly understanding their children’s on-line behaviors.  Their interesting study results can be found at:


What do you think we as a society should do with this new found information?  If you thought it was hard to run for political office now days, just think how easy it’s going to be to find those closet skeletons in years to come.  It won’t work to say, “I smoked but did not inhale,” because it will be on video somewhere.

Do you think in the future that these “youthful indiscretions” will be written off as just what they are?  Will it be possible for our society to sustain the strict rules of former conduct that we have in place today?  Is the permanence of social networks and the information they contain something we can learn to forgive?

I’d love to know your thoughts.