According to marketing guru, Stephan Spencer, now that YouTube is more popular than all the sites of the TV networks combined, it may well become more important for your brand or company to be on YouTube than to be advertised on TV.

How can you make your YouTube marketing experience a success?

1. Produce a video that is fun, something people will want to share with their friends.
The more a video is ‘shared’, the more exposure you’re getting. For the same monetary input, you’ll reach a much larger audience.

2. Be clear about the product you’re marketing.
While it may be great to have your video go viral, if you don’t properly showcase your product or service, it won’t bring in sales.

3. Encourage your viewers to participate and support you.
Remember to have a call to action; you want viewers to click through to your website.

4. Take advantage of YouTube tags.
YouTube viewers often search based on mood, e.g. funny video, happy music, etc., be sure to use these keywords in your tags. Also match your title and description to the tags for stronger SEO.

5. Use YouTube’s Guru channel and market yourself as an expert.
YouTube has channels that viewers can subscribe to or watch, their Guru channel is for how-to videos and advice. If you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field, posting advice on YouTube can boost your sales. Remember to embed your videos onto your website.

According to online statistics, using video marketing can boost interest in your product by 66%. So hop on the multimedia bandwagon, take out your webcam (or hire a professional), and join Generation Z.

Photo Courtesy socialsignals.com

When doing business on an international level, as most technical writers do, it is important to study the culture of the audience you are writing for. Not only do different cultures have different ways of doing the same thing, but it is also common for the same thing to mean different things in different cultures – and not always in a good way!

Take Coca-Cola as an example, when moving into the Chinese market, Coca-Cola branded itself with a word which sounded like ‘Coca-Cola’, but translated as ‘bite the wax tadpole’ or ‘female horse stuffed with wax’, depending on the dialect. When this was pointed out to them, they withdrew their thousands of printed signs, and after studying 40,000 Chinese characters, came up with the more positive ‘happiness in the mouth’ – also phonetically similar to ‘Coca-Cola’, but infinitely more appropriate!

While cultural differences are more pronounced when also dealing with language differences, one should still be aware of them when dealing with different dialects of the same language. Imagine the confusion when American negotiators proposed to ‘table’ a motion, meaning to discuss the motion; their British counterparts understood that they wanted to ‘table’ the motion – to dismiss it. While misunderstandings can be cleared up face-to-face, it is not as easy when dealing with printed documents.

So, when writing technical or marketing documentation it is vital to research the culture of the people you’re writing for, and probably a good idea to find someone from that culture to proofread for you.

Coca-Cola photo courtesy of popsop.com,

A recent study shows that only 47% of companies use social media for marketing. The organizations that do use social media are happy with it. Among savvy social media users, Dell announced that it realized over $3 million in revenues from using Twitter alone. Other businesses report that their use of social media resulted in up to 800% more.

There are various excellent reasons to join the social media wave: lead generation, branding, customer loyalty, direct marketing and e-commerce are just a few…..

Make sure to formulate a social media policy, select the social media that fit your company and maintain them.

There are quite a few options to choose from – so select what fits your organization’s needs best:

  • Business profile on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook
    Start yourbusiness profile with a business account using your company logo as your picture (avatar). Unless you are your own brand (e.g., lawyer, artist, photographer, etc.), it’s wise to stay away from using your own headshot. Avoid mixing personal and business profiles or messages at all times.
  • Develop a marketing strategy specific to this media
    Avoid usingthe same message on Twitter that you developed for email blasts and postcard blitzes. The reason is simple: social media demands two-way communication. By nature, outbound media such as emails are one-way. Make sure to keep tabs on your viral marketing campaign; find out where your message will end up (and how!)
  • Start social networking with peers
    LinkedIn, Yammer and Facebook are great ways for P2P communications. Use them to leverage your networks to invite peers to attend your tradeshow, convention, or webinar. It’s also a great way to find out what other people are doing, and are excited about. Don’t forget: your peers love to share what they know!
  • Experiment with social media tools
    Use basic platforms like Twitter and Facebook and figure out all the features. Also use YouTube for video sharing, and Blogger and WordPress for blogging. They all add a human element to your business or service.
  • Proactively learn from the experts
    Sign up for a few free Webinars to get valuable advice. There are lots of free resources available on the Internet; all that is required is your investment in time!
  • Define relevant metrics and measure
    Organizations need some baseline measurements for checking your efforts; otherwise you will never know if you are making progress. You need to measure and learn what works for your organization and at what cost.

If used correctly, social media marketing can improve your business with new leads. It can bring traffic to your website and create buzz for your product or brand. It can also create inbound links to increase SEO ranking, and improve loyalty and trust with customers.

Skilled grant writers are hard to find. Due to an increasing need to find new prospective money donors (individuals, corporations, foundations, and others), non-profits are seeking grants. They are therefore looking for professionals who can help them with grant writing.

Grant writing consists of developing and writing grant proposals. This entails consulting, needs assessments, and brainstorming, followed by setting goals and objectives. You will match project needs with available funding and the process normally involves preparing and writing documents for submission, proofreading, submitting to the funding source and follow-up.

What makes a great grant writer?

Excellent writing skills
Grant writers need not only know how to write, but need to write extremely well. A client’s success in obtaining the grant hinges in large part on the quality of the written proposal. Whether writing for a request of $1,000 for a community activity or a $5 million research project, the grant writer must clearly communicate how the funds will be effectively used to reach a worthwhile goal.

Clear understanding of the project process
A grant writer must convert clients’ ideas and concepts into a workable and concrete program, acting as the bridge between the grant applicant and the grant provider. A grant writer has to put the clients’ concepts into writing and transform them into a project that the funding institution will support. The document must assure the funding institutions that their funds will be put to the best possible uses.

Strong research skills
A grant writer needs to have strong research skills. Part of the work of the grant writer is the identification and selection of appropriate potential donors. Researching grant-making organizations and analyzing them helps to identify potential funding sources for specific projects and programs.

Discipline and organization
A grant writer must be able to keep track of grant application deadlines and follow-up on submitted applications. It is also essential to keep track of trends in the field and be aware of changes in the priorities of funding institutions, as well as new funding sources.

 

It takes all of three seconds for someone to decide if your website is worthy of their time. Three seconds might seem like no time at all, but when it comes to catching someone’s eye or supplying needed information easily, that’s all it takes to decide the fate of your site.

Want to create a successful site? Here’s a few tips to help you along:

1. Keep the flash and bang to a minimum.
While the temptation is there to make text blink and scroll, all it does in the end is annoy your audience. It’s alright to do it here or there, but not in abundance.

2. Use complimentary colors.
Clashing colors will make your audience flinch away from your site, finding it unappealing and quickly moving on to a different site.

3. Keep the scrolling down to a minimum on the homepage.
The more information someone can take from your site from the initial click the better. In general, people are lazy and don’t want to have to scroll forever to find what they are looking for.

4. Easily understood navigation.
Your audience shouldn’t need instructions when trying to find their way around your site. Keep the fonts legible and make the navigation area standout. If it’s too difficult, then they lose interest and move on.

5. Make the point of your site clear.
Who you are and what you are selling/marketing/informing about should be instantly clear to your audience.

6. Make sure grammar and spelling are correct.
Nothing says unprofessional more than displaying a site, in whichever language you choose, riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes.

(Image courtesy of XKCD.com)