social media killed the blog

Social Media Hasn’t Killed Company Blogs

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Is the corporate blog dead, thanks to social media channels? With all the current hubbub and mindshare about social media, such as the current darling Google Plus, you could be forgiven for thinking that the importance of a company having an interesting, regularly-updated blog has diminished. Well, according to inbound marketing software developers HubSpot, a corporate blog still plays an important (and growing) part in an organization’s online lead-generation strategy. What’s perhaps the least surprising thing about their State Of Inbound Marketing report is the growth in using social media channels as part of a company’s online marketing efforts. But what’s interesting to note is that companies still see blogs as being a key component. You can download the report here (it’s free, so you have no excuse not to read it). Here are a few interesting findings: If your company doesn’t have a blog, you are now in the minority: 65% of the surveyed companies had a blog (up from 48% two years ago). Most of the companies surveyed (71%) blog at least once every week – and there’s a clear reason for that: The report shows a direct relationship between frequency of blog posts and acquiring new customers. …

importance of relevant content in business marketing

Content Isn’t Everything. It’s The Only Thing.

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Business, Communications, Marketing, Social Media

A quick question for you: For most businesses, where would you say is the first contact point between the company and a prospective customer? Before they see your ad, read your postcard mailer or receive the sales cold call, the first engagement point with your company is most probably your website. So why don’t more companies take their website seriously? I don’t (just) mean the design and having up-to-date information on your business value offering – i.e. your product or service: whatever it is that you’re selling. I mean having content on there that existing and prospective customers want to read. I mean having a ongoing and regular program of delivering new content designed and researched in such as way for your audience to find interesting. So interesting that they’ll come back again, to consume even more of it. So interesting that they’ll talk about it with their friends. Today, before a customer ever buys your product or service, they “buy” into your company. They listen to your story, the narrative of why you do what you do. Why you sell, as much as what you sell. I’ll bet you, just as with our company, that if you checked your website …

changing my company logo

When’s The Best Time To Change My Company Logo?

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Perhaps it’s something in the air. Or sunspots. Or climate change. Something akin to how birds instinctively know when to fly South for the winter, or when hedgehogs decide to hibernate. Or maybe how baby turtles know to head towards to sea as soon as they hatch. It’s like an unconscious calling that emerges from the deepest, darkest recesses of a company owner’s psyche, usually after about 4 or 5 years: Someone thinks that it’s time to redesign the company logo. The suggestion usually comes either from the boss, or the Marketing Director – especially if the latter has recently joined the company. It’s often that case that one of the first things a new marketing person does is change/update the company logo. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the most “visible” changes that can be made and realized in a short space of time. I’m more inclined to think it’s more about personal ego. For anyone thinking about it, allow me save you the time and money: Don’t bother changing your logo. Customers aren’t suddenly going to take notice of your business value offering because you’ve now got a shiny new ID. Nor will a customer walk away from …

Roger McNamee Presentation

“Google & Microsoft Are History” Video

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Communications, Marketing, Technology

I like to think that I’ve watched enough video presentations given by self-proclaimed tech gurus predicting the “Next Big Thing” to be able to smell the bovine excrement from 100 paces. It’s usually the same people that crop-up over and over again, prophesising that “..the way that we do (whatever) is dead!  This new thing that’s coming along is going to sweep everything else away in a blink of an eye!” You know the sort. However, I really can’t argue with the points made in a presentation that I recently found from Roger McNamee, MD and one of the founders of venture capital company Elevation Partners (who clearly need to get someone to redesign and update their website. Not only is the footer out of date, but the site uses Flash. Flash? Really ?). McNamee’s been investing in tech companies for nearly 30 years, including names such as Facebook, Forbes and Yelp, so in my book here’s a guy who probably knows what he’s talking about in terms of the trends taking over the tech world. I would love you to watch the whole video of his presentation. However the video’s been taken down, and a brief Google search (yes, …

QR code movie

QR Codes Aren’t Just For Print

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

You probably already know about QR codes. You can’t really escape them from at the moment – they seem to be everywhere. QR Codes are those square 2D barcodes (right) that were invented by Toyota in 1994, that the Japanese have been using for about the past fifteen years. However, because mobile technology in Europe and the US has only recently caught-up, QR codes seem to be enjoying something of a revival lately. Listen to most US-based marketers and you’d be forgiven for thinking that they’ve just invented the things. Printing companies are one of the biggest fans of QR codes – and it’s no wonder. QR codes not only bridge the communications gap between ink-on-paper (or maybe that should be “toner-and-substrate”) and the internet. Their current “flavor of the month” status is helping to make print relevant again in a world where marketers are increasingly spoiled for choice in finding the most relevant communication medium for their target audience. Unfortunately the vast majority of QR code-based campaigns are painfully ineffective, since it often seems to me that the the thinking behind them didn’t really progress much further than “Hey, let’s use a QR code to get people to our …

three monitors with currency signs

The Death of “Three Screens”: Content Has No Limits

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Not so long ago, many marketers used to talk about the notion of “three screen” communication. Essentially, the concept was recognizing and adapting marketing collateral to follow the “Three Screens” of Computer, Television and Mobile. The thought processes were along the lines that, even though convergence continues to move forward, each “screen” has a unique and specific role in media consumption. More than that, the Three Screens needed to work together to help create a cohesive experience – customers have certain “consistency of message” expectations that needed to be met. When Screens Were Screens Let me give you an example. Supposing you wanted to watch a TV show, but you couldn’t get in front of a television at the time it was due to be broadcast. What you used to do was set the video recorder and record the show, watching it at a time that was more convenient for you. Today, TV shows continue to be scheduled on a set day and time. However, now they can be viewed in a variety of places. Not just on the internet via YouTube or on the TV station’s own “catch-up” website. But via your SlingBox, or on your cellphone or tablet. …


Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

Gee Ranasinha Business, Marketing

We’ve all heard the phrase “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.” Asking a question means that you’re listening, absorbing, trying to understand. Religions are born. Regimes are created (and overthrown). Companies, products and services are conceived because someone asked a question. Too many times, at the end of a report or presentation, we ask the audience if there are questions with regards to the subject matter that was just delivered. Usually the reply is a pregnant, awkward silence. Does that mean that no-one in the room needs some clarification on whatever’s been proposed to them?  Usually not.  It usually means that no-one has the fortitude to start the ball rolling and ask the first question. More often than not if two or three questions get asked – and answered – quickly, more questions will follow. We should question the absence of questions. Asking questions is how we learn, how we understand. Questions are the beginning of how we effect change. So why do so many organizations effectively neuter their own innovation and development potential by instilling an aura of fear for asking questions? A lot of people in business behave in the same way that they did in …

keeping your social media fans happy

Keeping Your Fans Happy With New Content

Gee Ranasinha Advertising, Communications, Customer Service, Marketing, PR, Social Media

So, you blog regularly. Maybe you tweet as well. Perhaps you have a company Facebook fan page too. Good for you. Well done. By now you may have seen tangible results from your efforts. More and more people are reading your content. Maybe you’ve converted interest into leads, and into sales. Hopefully you’ve taken my advice and have a content strategy in place that helps you and your colleagues keep that social media ship on course. You’ve got followers, fans and evangelists and they like what you do. They’re on your side. But there’s a problem. Your most devout followers have been reading your stuff all of these months and, by now, they pretty much have a handle on what you’re saying. The problem is, that you’re saying the same thing again and again. Your most loyal of followers are being done a disservice since they feel that they’re reading the same message – even if it is being regurgitated and rewritten 101 different ways. They’re not being pushed, challenged, educated or informed any more. You’ve made your point to them – and they’ve got it. The only question now is how long they’ll continue to hang around reading your stuff …

kexino test with The Biggest Development In Online Video?

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

As regular readers to this blog (hello Mum) will know all too well, I’ve been banging-on about the importance of video within a company’s sales, support and marketing strategy for years. Hopefully, we all know now that video is too powerful a medium to be ignored. That if a visitor clicks on a video they are more likely to watch it until its end, then read a swathe of text. That producing and distributing video has never been easier or more affordable. Yadda, yadda, yadda. Today, we’re living in what some people are calling a Post-PC age. We no longer need PCs or laptops to do most of what we used to use computers to do. Emailing, surfing the web and (of course) watching video – whether that’s dogs on skateboards on YouTube, or any of the various TV channel catch-up services such as the BBC’s iPlayer. As I wrote in a previous article, today there are a plethora of video formats for all types of devices.  Different web browsers like different types of video format, as do various smartphones, not-so-smartphones (dumbphones?), tablets – even video games consoles. Well, I recently saw the future of online video for businesses. And …

short attention span

The Attention Span Of A Goldfish

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

One of the challenges in communicating online – websites, email, whatever – is how to get to your audience before they click off to somewhere else. The internet may be vast, but with the consequence that your online audience has a vast choice – and a tiny attention span. So how do you get your complex point across, in a world where your target market has a shorter attention span than Granny’s pet goldfish? The impact of the Internet has meant that many content creators feel that they can write at extravagant length, not only waffling on about their key idea but adding all the fine detail they think is important. After all, it’s not like it has to be squeezed into a magazine page or brochure, right? The problem is that the recipient is making a snap, two-second decision about what to look at and what to ignore, based on viewing maybe 20 words of that content. If they do look at it, they’re actually ‘scanning’ rather than reading. Even worse, they may ‘save’ the email to go back to later – which realistically means that they’re never going to view it again. End result? You think you’ve written …

winning in business

Playing To Win In Business

Gee Ranasinha Marketing

Imagine that you’re playing Blackjack at a swanky casino in Monte Carlo, Macau, or maybe Las Vegas. The cards are dealt out. Your hand adds up to 16, while the dealer is showing a ten. What do you do? Statistically, the chances that taking another card doesn’t push you over 21 is less than 40% (depending on how many decks of cards are in play). The odds that your card gives you a total of 18 or greater is around 25%.  Not great odds, I think you’ll agree. Based upon the chances of busting, maybe you decide to stick with what you’ve got. However, if you describe the above situation to any experienced Blackjack player, they would all advise you to take another card. Why? Because they will remind you that the aim of playing Blackjack is not to avoid going over 21. The aim of Blackjack is to win – and the chances that you’re going to win with a hand of 16 is slim at best. It’s the same in business. When we’re presented with a business opportunity, we make an assessment as to the likely probability that the decision that we make will yield a favorable result. If we …