Counselor magazine wants to know, how hot are you? Hot enough to make Counselor’s 2012 Hot List? If so, we want to hear from you!
But instead of soliciting an email or comment proclaiming why you think you belong on this year’s list, we took it a step further - we want you to send us a video response! Do something creative and fun, or something basic and simple … whatever you do, just do it on camera!
To enter, simply watch this YouTube video for more information, then click on the comments field (on the YouTube page) and add your own video response. It’s that easy.
Starting Monday, April 9, the editors at Wearables magazine will begin counting down the top-15 all-time promotional T-shirts. Coinciding with their 15th-anniversary issue, they’ll reveal one T-shirt a day for 15 business days, ending with the top T-shirt on Friday, April 27 at noon.
Come take part in our T-shirt countdown! Participating is easy. Just send us a picture (or post it on Facebook) of you with a classic decorated T-shirt. It can be one from our list or something else from back in the day. You’ll be entered into a random drawing for a $50 Visa Gift Card. Finally, that Wham! 1985 World Tour shirt won’t go to waste.
In addition to tips, steps to success and a great case study, this edition also features a very informative Q&A with Douglas Karr, author of Corporate Blogging for Dummies, about blogging. Here it is:
Q: What is the most common mistake you see corporate bloggers make?
A: They underestimate the effort that it takes. They may hire someone to help them design it and blog for a week or two, but if they don’t get any leads, they quit. You have to approach it as something that grows over time, so at the end of the year, you have maybe 250 topics that are valuable to readers, capturing a hundred different keyword combinations. Then you start seeing really great return on investment. Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint.
Q: Is it really worth it for a business owner to hire an SEO expert or outside consultant to help with blogging?
A: A few years ago it might have been worth it to hire an SEO consultant who would tell you what keywords to go after, but honestly, the algorithms that Google has developed recently work so well that really it is not necessary. If the content is compelling, it’s going to rise in the search.
Q: If SEO is not as much of a focus today, what should bloggers be concerned with?
A: Social integration with Google is huge right now – 30% of all searches are customized based on your network. You want to position yourself as a thought leader within your network so people you know are sharing your posts. Talk about your clients, so clients in your network will point to your article and say, “Hey, that’s us!” Then you’re all talking about each other, and a rising tide lifts all ships.
Looking to get started with online video? This month’s Counselor feature on company operations, titled “Tech Tune-Up,” not only contains great advice on how to make your company more efficient with technology, but a great sidebar on how to get started with online video. Check this article out by clicking here, and in the meantime here’s the sidebar:
Not sure how to get started with online video? Michael Miller, author of YouTube for Business, says business owners should have three pieces of equipment before creating an online video:
A high-definition camcorder – available from Sony for $600. Yes, a Flip camera or other handheld can be used, but for sustainable use of video on your website, an investment here is worth it.
An external microphone – available from Sony for $50-$100.
A supplemental lighting kit – available from Sunpak or Smith Victor for $100-$200.
In terms of content, Miller says there are three types of videos that get watched by casual Internet users. “It can be something purely entertaining; it can be something that is informative, like if you’ve got the latest industry news; or it can be educational, like if you’re showing customers about new products,” he says. “These videos really do get watched.”
Miller recommends placing any online video on YouTube. “YouTube makes it very easy,” he says. “You can upload it in mpeg or Windows Media format. If you have a high-definition camera, you can do it in a 720p resolution.”
To place a video on YouTube:
Mouse over to the Upload button at the top right corner of www.youtube.com, and click Upload Video File.
Enter information about the video, including the title, a brief description and tag words that will allow YouTube users to find the video by typing in keywords.
Only stipulation: Videos must be one gigabyte or less.
“You can host videos on your own server and write in the HTML, but you might not have the bandwidth to handle the traffic,” Miller says. “You can have YouTube host the video that’s on your own website. YouTube supplies you with a little snippet of HTML code so you can embed it into your website. The video will look like it’s on your Web page, but it isn’t. The bandwidth isn’t coming to your site; it’s going to YouTube. So, you aren’t going to be overloaded.”
Got a question you’re just burning to ask an industry supplier, but don’t know how to go about doing it? Advantages magazine has got you covered!
As a complementary online exclusive to an April article on how to be better partners with suppliers, Kim Newell (at right) of World Wide Lines is available to answer any supplier-related questions you may have. Just send an email to Staff Writer Jennifer Vishnevsky (email@example.com) with your question and she’ll forward to Kim. Once Kim has had a chance to respond, all of her Q&A’s will appear here.
Good luck, and don’t miss out on this chance to ask a well-respected industry supplier a question!