Promoting Your Crowdfunding Campaign

Fundraising has always been a hectic task for those who have ideas. The idea might be a creative one, technology related or any social cause. A crowdfunding campaign is an alternative way of raising funds it has already gained momentum in countries like the US and UK where people easily raise funds for their projects by utilising the power of the crowd.

imagesRaising funds through crowdfunding is not a hard nut to crack once you know what you are doing. To convince the crowd that your project is genuine and the money they are putting will be utilised in an appropriate way, you need to build a campaign that is attractive enough. Do not forget to incorporate videos and images as people prefer images and videos over simple text. Make sure your project has an angle that touches people straight away.

Create a buzz, at least, a week before your campaign goes live. Notify your friends and family about your project and try to get feedback from them as it is always better to get advice from people you know and trust. Your activeness on social media will also contribute in the success of your campaign. Social media plays a very important role in the success of your crowdfunding campaign as you never know where you could find your next potential backer. Be it twitter, Facebook or Instagram, try to make maximum people aware about your campaign.

The success of your crowdfunding campaign also depends on what platform you choose to raise funds. The amount of traffic it generates, payment options available, accessibility, and terms of use. Do keep your researches ready, so that your hard work does not go in vain.

A contributor will always look for what they will be getting in return. Build a reward structure that is appealing. It might be a coffee date or a beautiful handwritten letter. Those things that express your gratitude towards the backer that money can’t buy.

crowdfunding would not only help you to raise funds but also to connect you with your patrons and people who genuinely care about the success of your project.

How Do You Drive Traffic From Social Media To your crowdfunding Campaign?

images
crowdfunding

How do you use the power of the crowd or network you have been building for the past few years on your Facebook or through your Twitter followers?

In the current financial market raising the funds to expand your business idea or launch a new product can be tricky. However, crowdfunding is becoming a popular choice for the businesses. There are a large number of online crowdfunding platforms that offer the chance to fund your business idea using the power of the community.

Anyone who is interested in funding can share the information on social media platforms by emailing, blogging, tweeting and sharing the links. Social networking platforms make it easy for the people to find your crowdfunding campaign and fund if they like your idea.

However, the question is how can you ensure that your crowdfunding campaign is a successful one? With more and more companies turning to crowdfunding platforms, you need to make sure that your campaign pitch should stand out from the crowd. Here is a guide including the best ways to make your crowdfunding campaign successful by leveraging the power of social media:

1. Plan Your Campaign Pitch

Plan Your Campaign Pitch  that stands out from the crowd needs a lot of planning, and this is an important first step you can’t ignore. Plan carefully for the amount you want to raise, how you are going to raise this money and how would you use this money. How you are going to reward people who invest in your campaign? To create a good pitch, you need to provide info on the industry that your business is in and create a prediction report regarding growth and value of your idea.

2. Believe in Your Product

In general terms, it sounds very easy to say, but if you are passionate about your idea, this will shine through your campaign pitch. Attract people to find out more about you and your business idea, include as much information as you can about your idea and the product offering. Excite the audience through a well written script, with a well captured and edited video.

3. Make use of Images and Videos:

The pitch needs to be visually appealing if you are going to grab the attention of the people. Every time you reach a milestone create customised eye-catching images as this will create a talking point for the potential backers. Social media makes it easier to leverage networks visually, platforms like Pinterest and Instagram gives you the opportunity to post interesting images of your campaign.
The use of Video adds alluring appeal ensuring people spend more time learning about your pitch. You should use the power of sites like YouTube and Vimeo to drive traffic from there to your crowdfunding campaign.

4. Market your Pitch:

Social Media plays a vital role in the success of crowdfunding campaign. If used effectively, it can not only drive traffic but also increase the engagement of the people, which is a critical factor for crowdfunding.

Here are some ideas to market your pitch effectively:

• Facebook & Twitter. Sharing regular posts on your Facebook and Twitter are most appropriate for your target audience. Facebook and Twitter are a good way to show that your campaign is widespread and driving traffic.

• Emailing: Sending messages and emails to your connections or contacts through emails, LinkedIn, Social Networking Groups and newsletter list shall also have a real impact.

• Ask people to share the pitch of your campaign. Create an image or video that people can host on their blog.

• Design a new web page on your website to tell people about your campaign and update them.

• Spread your pitch to the press. Start with the local newspapers then move to national press and industry publications and blogs. A well-written and gripping PR will go a long way in getting your idea heard.

5. Communicate

Make sure that you respond to all the questions as soon as they are posted and keep in touch with your backers. You should also be active on your social media accounts and make sure you answer all the queries. If you keep in touch with your backers, it becomes easier to raise additional funds from the existing investors so always keep communicating with them.

 

The Magnificent 7 Content Marketing Tips

I am always looking for creative ways to clearly communicate with my audience, and while I regularly test new things, it’s easy to get caught up in a routine instead of stopping for a moment and trying out something new. There is risk involved in moving your content marketing in a different direction, but if you know your audience well, you can experiment with them. Your content can be universally appealing to them while trying a different approach.

imagesThe great thing about a failed content marketing approach is that it teaches you a lesson about what your target audience responds to, about what they want to see, about your voicing and your approach. However, it takes making a risk with your content approach to learn these invaluable lessons. I know this because I have spent a lot of time failing. These failure gave me the information I needed to really succeed.

In spite of my many failures, I found a few channels that consistently gave me powerful returns. Here are my top seven recommended marketing methods.

 

Tip 1: Creative lists
Some of the best content that marketers can offer their audiences is through a creative list. This is the classic Buzzfeed mentality. But even Buzzfeed is not committed to a mindless list.

Rather, a really great list provides invaluable, insightful information in a fun way. Consider a pest control company that gives its audience a list of the top bugs to look out for in the summer. Identify what you can uniquely offer your customers and then come up with a creative list to showcase your expertise in a fun way.

Tip 2: Live video
Video is becoming more relevant and trendy than ever among social users and this is one area that content marketers really should be investing in to get their messaging in front of potential customers.

Customers want an inside look at your company. They want exclusive access to their brand and producing a live video will give them that access. For Video Marketing tips check out this blog post.

Tip 3: Spin-off audiences
As a content marketer, you need to know your target audience like you know your closest relative or your best friend. You need to know who they are, how old they are, what they like to buy, and most importantly, what their additional interests are. From there, you can identify spin-off audiences that may be interested in your products and services.

Do target audience research using Google Analytics and surveys, and then identify the other audiences you can reach out to online to begin pushing your messages.

Tip 4: Have an eye for traffic
There are sites out there already that you can use to your advantage because of the sheer number of users they get. For example, consider the amount of traffic to sites like Etsy or IMDb.

If you can write unique content for one of these sites with high traffic, then you can send those users back to your website. You just need to make sure that what you are selling relates to one of these big sites.

Tip 5: Utilise LinkedIn
Expand your social stretch to sites like LinkedIn, where you can post valuable business advice that relates to your company and brand. LinkedIn users are business-minded, and they want tips that will push them forward in their careers.

If you can create content that fits in that category, you can drive them to your website. Think creatively about how your products can aid them and make life easier for their work lives and careers.

Tip 6: Start snapping
Snapchat is becoming one of the most trendy and popular social networks to reach Millennials. You can introduce your brand and messaging in fun and compelling ways through the function of the Snapchat “story.”

It’s important, however, that your content marketing does not appear to be promotional. What you are really trying to do is give your users that immediate, live look into what matters about your business. You want to create energy around your brand and show those younger users why it matters that they have you in their lives.

Tip 7: See where your audience is on social
imgresIf you’re thinking about expanding your social platforms to beyond the traditional or trendy ones, then try to find out first where your target audience is on social. One great resource is a site called Buzzsumo.

You can type in a keyword related to your business, and Buzzsumo will tell you what the most shared content is related to that keyword and where it is popular on social media networks.

Conclusion
In conclusion, if you’re not using these seven content marketing tips to get the most profitable return you can, then you’re missing out on easy ways to make big changes for your brand.

These seven areas often go untapped in our field because they are not the most popular or visible approaches. But sometimes, what your customers need is a surprise or a shift in your content marketing in order to really get their attention.

When users hear the same messaging over and over agai or if they become too accustomed to just one mode for your content marketing, such as a video then you’re setting them up to expect too much regularity from you. Shake up your content marketing with these seven tips and determine what failures can turn into successes over time. You’ll be glad you tried.

VidReaper Review

video marketing is about to change for ever, here is a review of Vidreaper which put simply, takes all the hard work out of finding profitable niches & topics to rank for and gives Youtube marketers the raw data on how to get videos to the top of Google search.

Just imagine being able to do a quick search through 200,000+ pre-qualified profitable videos to find the ones that rank the best with the minimum of effort and time on your part.

Vidreaper sorts through the millions of videos on youtube to find those that really make money and reverse engineers exactly how you can out rank them. With over 3,000 new videos being added daily, the database is massive and constantly growing, giving you an unlimited supply of new topics and niches to target and benefit from.

Vidreaper is a ground breaking new discovery that pulls in the highest quality data from SEMrush and AHrefs to give the members all the insights they need right at their finger-tips. This means that there is no need to spend endless hours of manual research sifting through mountains of data to find the info you really need.

It doesn’t matter what your skill set is in the video marketing field, having the research already done for you will save you time, effort and money. Finding profitable video topics has never been easier, this system is like having your own team of researchers & outsourcers working for you 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. Discover the true value of a niche, what the audience count is, how much traffic it gets and much more

imgresInside Vidreaper there is a full walk through video tutorial program, showing how the system works and also how to get the best out of the software. You will be shown what are the golden nuggets and how to implement them correctly in your marketing. The interface is extremely user friendly and the support desk is within easy reach too.

So Just Who Is Vidreaper For?

List Builders who want to grow hyper targeted lists of eager-to-buy subscribers.

eCommerce Sellers who want to send their conversion rates through the roof and get more sales than ever before.

SEO Marketers who want to reduce their bounce rates by keeping readers on their website pages longer, which Google rewards with better search engine rankings and more organic traffic.
Bloggers who want to want to increase reader engagement and create compelling content that drives sales.
Social Media Marketers who want to capitalise on the growing number of video views on social platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Vine.
niche Marketers who want to grab immediate attention and engagement with niche audiences, and build authority in their niche.
Video Marketers who want to fill the gap between creating videos with the new video making softwares – and actually making money with them.
In conclusion: If you feel that your current chosen market is overcrowded with competition, stop struggling and discover new and untapped profitable niches that can help you to make high profits online. You owe it to yourself to become an awesome online marketer, vidreaper can and will show you the best way forward.

 

Video Marketing Tips

video marketing

In this post you will learn why video is a must have and some simple video marketing tips and strategies to make your videos shine.

When it comes to content marketing, the role of video is becoming increasingly clear. Today, more than ever, companies are realising that video has a key role to play in the content marketing strategy. It is a tool for capturing the user’s attention and delivering a brand message in a memorable and meaningful way.

If your company has not made the move to incorporating video into the content marketing mix, it is a must. The following information will provide some background on why video is an integral part of any successful content marketing strategy and also provide some useful tips as to best practices for doing so.

What is the Market Like for video marketing?

imgresWhen assessing the market for video, marketing numbers tell the story well. More users, are watching more videos, more frequently than ever. According to comScore, a company which tracks online engagement, just over 45% of internet users viewed at least one video per month, and the average user is exposed to an average of 32 videos per month.

Looking further into the data we see that the average number of internet users who watch video each day has reached 100 million. When it comes to video in the retail space, 90% of shoppers at major retailers indicated that video played an important part in making purchasing decisions. Within companies themselves, video is also proving to be important, as 75% of executives told Forbes that they watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week.

The key takeaway here is that video is no longer an optional part of a comprehensive content marketing strategy, it’s crucial.

How Many Marketers are Using Videos?

A recent report of almost 400 marketing and business professionals, conducted by Demand Metric in conjunction with Ascend2, revealed that 69% of respondents had already begun to make use of video marketing. On the other hand, 31% were planning to integrate video marketing into their strategy moving forward (anyone not interesting in video marketing was removed from the survey).

What Are Videos Being Used For?

While the survey conducted by Demand Metric and Ascend2 indicates that video is quickly becoming a preferred form of marketing content, it is worth examining its role within the context of content marketing to understand the purposes for which video marketing is proving to be effective.

According to the survey, when it comes to making use of videos in marketing, video is the preferred form of content used for building brand awareness (52%). It is followed by lead generation (45%) and online engagement (42%).

How Effective Are the Different Uses of Video?

Although research indicates that videos are being used primarily for building brand awareness, lead generation and online engagement, it’s also worth examining their effectiveness when being utilized in the following contexts to obtain a better understanding of where video marketing is most effective.

According to the survey by Demand Metric and Ascend2, the primary placement of videos was on the brand website (81%) – but videos were most effective in the second most popular placement location – video sharing sites such as YouTube (26%). The brand website was in fact, found to be the second most effective distribution channel.

Marketing Results for video marketing

No examination of the use of video in online marketing would be complete without looking to some of the benefits, so let’s dig into the important metrics which highlight the positive results for video marketing:images

According to the Online Publishers Association, 80% of internet users recalled watching a video ad on a website they visited within the last 30 days. Of those, 46% took some sort of action after viewing the ad by searching for more information, visiting the advertiser’s website or purchasing the product featured in the ad.

Further examination of other statistics included in the report, supports the evidence that video marketing increases sales and leads. Additionally, it shows that those businesses who are not leveraging video marketing, are losing customers to those who do.

How to Make video marketing More Effective

Now that we now know just how important it is to include video in your marketing strategy, let’s examine some techniques for making your videos more effective in driving brand awareness, lead generation and online engagement.

Video Length Matters

Research by Visible Measures said that marketers have 10 seconds to grab the viewers’ attention in a marketing clip. Furthermore, 20% of users will click away from the video in 10 seconds or less. Then, by the 2 minute mark, you can expect to see 60% of users clicking away. These numbers seem to hold true irrespective of the video duration. When it comes to platforms, desktop users seem to have an attention span of around 2 minutes or less, while mobile users seem to stay a little longer, around 2.4 minutes.

In order for your video marketing efforts to be truly effective, in addition to being engaging right from the start, it’s important to pay attention to your video analytics data to gain insight into user behavior. You can then tweak and improve your messaging.

New Trends in Video Distribution

The next important factor is where you place your videos. One of the major trends important to note in video distribution is YouTube’s declining market share. An increasing number of content marketers are opting to upload their videos directly to Facebook, rather than publishing them to YouTube and sharing the links on Facebook. The end result is that Facebook is retaining traffic at YouTube’s expense. Keep this in mind when deciding where and how to post your videos.

Quality Content

Next is the quality of your videos. As with all forms of content used in the marketing mix, quality counts. Here are a few tips for producing stellar video content which not only engages users, but can offer SEO benefits as well:

Video content should solve problems and provide new information
In order to produce engaging videos which rank well, you need to solve user problems and provide new, useful information.

Make videos user friendly

Make your video content easy to browse, link to and share. Create a user-friendly video section where your users can easily search and view your content. Try to focus on creating a separate landing page for each of your videos, rather than embedding several into a single page.

Use interactive elements
Make use of interactive video elements to connect with viewers. These include in-video links, quizzes, surveys and forms, all of which can create engagement opportunities at the correct moment and prompt users to take desired actions.

SEO Content

You spend a lot of time and energy creating video for your audience, so make sure that you make the most of it by optimizing it for search. Well optimized and relevant videos can deliver traffic over a long period of time.

Use Transcriptions
Transcriptions can have a major positive impact on your search rankings when utilized properly to improve indexing, usability and content quality. To unlock the content of your video, and make it available to search engines for indexing, include a transcription directly within the HTML of the pages that the videos are hosted on. This also benefits users who are unable to watch it or listen to the audio.

Host Videos on Your Own Domain
This is possibly the most powerful tactic which can be leveraged to extract the maximum SEO value from your videos. Video sharing sites have their place, but by not hosting your own videos, you’re passing traffic off to other sites and giving away the credit.

Allow Embedding
By making it easy for users to share and embed your videos on their sites, you’re essentially increasing the potential for building inbound links to your own site. This is a major bonus in terms of SEO, as well as increasing your exposure.

Use Keywords
When creating your videos, remember which keywords you’re targeting in order to include them in your transcripts and titles. You then maximize your chances of generating traffic from search engines for relevant searches being performed by users.

Create Catchy Titles
Making use of catchy titles in not only something reserved for content writers. By ensuring that your videos have catchy, memorable titles, you’re maximizing your chances of user engagement and driving traffic from searches.

Provide Thorough Descriptions
When embedding or publishing your videos to social sites such as YouTube, it’s essential to include a thorough description (which includes your keyword) telling users (and search bots) what your video is about. This maximizes the chances of getting traffic and exposure from searches.

Use Tags
When it comes to online video, tags make a difference. Consider using your keywords, as well as words which your target audience may use in searches when tagging your videos.

Use Sitemaps
When embedding videos on your own site, it’s important to make use of video sitemaps to assist search engine bots with accessing and indexing your self-hosted video content. Google provides excellent guidance on this subject.

Internal / Outsourced Mix of Getting Videos Made
No longer is video production confined to large companies with big budgets for resources and equipment. With the advent of modern technology, and outsourcing solutions, it’s becoming increasingly less expensive to produce video content.

Make Quality Videos with Good Content

With the right content strategy, and combination of inexpensive production tools, it’s possible for small businesses to get onboard and produce high quality videos with good content.

Videos Must Be the Appropriate Length
Depending on the nature and purpose of the video being produced, a video only needs to be long enough to engage the user and deliver the message in a meaningful and memorable manner. This can be accomplished with short videos of 3 minutes or less. 9% Increase in Conversions for Websites Using Video
The research conducted found that the average conversion rate for video content users was 1.9% higher than that of non-users.

New Trends in Video Distribution

One of the major trends important to note in video distribution is YouTube’s declining market share. An increasing number of content marketers are opting to upload their videos directly to Facebook, rather than publishing them to YouTube and sharing the links on Facebook. The end result is that Facebook is retaining traffic at YouTube’s expense. Keep this in mind when deciding where and how to post your videos.

Predictions

It’s clear that video is becoming increasingly important part of digital strategy and that the medium will continue to mature and evolve.

Gone are the days of corporate-speak messaging and dull, boring campaigns. Instead, we’ll begin to see more marketers incorporate human-speak into their messaging – videos, pictures, humor, and human!”

Through this article you have learnt the importance of incorporating video into your digital marketing strategy and how to get started. The important takeaway here is that it’s better to start now and get to grips with the medium, rather than start later and lose ground to competitors who are already taking video onboard. Make this your year for rolling out an engaging content marketing strategy which includes video content, you’ll be glad you did.

Try Click Webinar

Click Webinar offers you enough features to help you make the most of your online seminar, without cluttering your screen with unnecessary items. This webinar service allows you to use any browser that you like to connect to your meetings, as well as giving you the ability to record your meetings for future viewing. Click Webinar also offers the ability to conduct polls during your meeting, which can be helpful for encouraging interactivity.

This webinar service will allow you to record your meeting, which will allow those who were unable to join the conference to see what they missed. Having the option to record your online seminar can also work to your advantage for creating training material for others to watch. It also is a great way to share the meeting with people that may be in different parts of the world and in a different time zone.

This webinar service also allows you to create different polls and gather the results. This is something that can work well if you are in need of people’s responses during your online seminar. It is also something that is helpful to have when trying to narrow down the list of ideas that have been gathered during a brainstorming session.

In order to get into your webinar with Click Webinar, you enter a password. This allows you to feel more confident that your meeting is secure. They also allow you to privately chat with members of your audience. This is an important feature to consider because it can help a minor misunderstanding from becoming a larger problem. One of the features we really like about their chat feature is the ability to translate languages. If your preferred language is English but you are having a discussion with someone who speaks Polish, both of you can enter your information in using your preferred language and it will be translated correctly into the other person’s language. This will practically remove the language barrier.

Click Webinar offers you the ability to design your meeting room so it’s customized for your own company. You have the option to add your company logo to your meeting room as well as the lobby. You also have the flexibility to add your company colours and graphics to these rooms. This is sure to impress those who are attending your webinar.

Because this webinar service will work with any browser, you will not have to worry about downloading any software on to your computer. This also means you don’t need to worry that your system is up to date and running smoothly before joining or moderating your webinar. Your participants will also be grateful they don’t have to waste time downloading new software onto their computers. This should almost entirely remove the need for tech support during webinars. They also offer a mobile app so this application is more widely available to your audience on their mobile devices.

We like the toggling views feature that comes with this webinar service. This feature allows you to upload and share several different views of the document you are working on. Switching to a different view is as simple as choosing a different tab, as if you were using a multiple-tab web browser. This feature is great for those times when you are trying to illustrate a proposal to your audience and want them to see different options.

This webinar service is simple to use. They offer an intuitive interface that allows you to share exactly what you want the audience to view. As long as you have a webcam, you can allow the audience to view you as the moderator while also sharing your computer screen. A presentation is much more engaging to participants when they can see the presenter’s face.

Scheduling an online meeting with Click Webinar is quick and easy to do. Once you log into your account you have the option to start a meeting immediately or set up a future meeting. Once you enter in the start and end times of your online meeting, you are ready to go. You will also have the opportunity to log in and prepare your documents for the meeting before allowing other participants to join. You can do all of these things with just a click of the mouse.

This webinar service offers a great section of help and support options. They have an ample FAQs page that will answer questions ranging from the basics of getting started with this service to the more complex items regarding communication problems. Additionally, they have tutorial documents that you can download that will explain the ins and outs of this application.

We also like that this webinar service offers tutorials to help you use their product to your full advantage. They are also prepared to have a member of their IT team join your conference remotely, if you are experiencing difficulties that you are unable to fix.

Summary:

Click Webinar online meeting service comes with great features for anyone who is planning to host an online meeting. Because it allows you to create a custom look in the meeting room and the lobby, you can impress all of the audience members who join your meeting. Additionally, your meeting will be user-friendly because your participants will not have to download any extra applications in order to join your meeting. Because this software is browser based and works with all browsers, you do not have to download any special software for this application, which will save you time.

Marketing With Podcasts

Introduction To Marketing With Podcasts

The term podcast is a combination of pod (Portable On Demand) and broadcast. You can use any MP3 portable music player to create or listen to a podcast. Think of your podcast as your own radio show where you say what you want, when you want. It’s your private thoughts gone public. Your words for the world. Your commentaries and reflections. Your video and audio recordings, even documents delivered on the Internet using RSS (Really Simple Syndication) that people can download to their computers or portable music or video devices to listen to or watch wherever they want.

Mic HeadphoneA quick question for you. Do you actually realise how much work goes into publicising the spoken word?  These days with a computer, Internet connection, mic, and some software, you can podcast alongside the largest media companies and the many other independent podcasters around the world.

You need more than your voice to begin podcasting, but not too much more. Once you have the equipment, setting up a podcast generally takes from several hours, not much time when you consider how long it would take to set up your own radio station, and after you’re set up, making podcasts won’t take much longer than it takes to speak the words.

You can use a mobile PC or a desktop computer with an Internet connection to create a podcast. Some podcasters prefer to work with a mobile PC so they can podcast from any location they want. If it has a microphone built into it, you can also record your podcast on a portable MP3 player and then transfer the file of your recording to your computer to edit and post to the web.

Your computer’s microphone probably won’t give you the sound quality you’re after for a podcast. For one thing, it’ll likely pick up background (also known as ambient) noise. Mine picks up the furnace switching on and off—even my computer’s fan. You might have the same problem with a portable MP3 player’s mic. All of this ambient noise could be a neat effect (“Listen everyone, I’m giving you a tour of the basement plumbing in my home!”), but before you choose to join the ranks of the sonic avant garde, it’s probably best to focus on getting your voice heard, and heard well.

For quality podcasting, get an external condenser mic that plugs into your computer. This kind of mic will reduce the background noise so your voice comes through loud and clear. If you get this kind of mic, get a stand, too. This will eliminate the noise you’ll pick up from adjusting your hands on the mic during your show. You’ll probably also want a headset that’ll allow you to monitor your recording levels as you speak. You can’t use speakers while recording because the speaker sound will be recorded and you’ll risk getting audio feedback.

Go online and take a look at some of the USB headset/microphone pairings for an all-in-one solution—or you can get the separate mic, stand, and headset (usually pricier) like the pros. There are even several podcasting equipment packages that include a microphone, headset, audio mixer, and audio recording and editing software. Using one of these packages doesn’t give you much of an alibi for not sounding your best.

Recording and editing software

To create a podcast, you’ll need software that can record sound on your computer. An obvious choice is Sound Recorder. While Sound Recorder is fine for recording, you can’t use it to edit audio, and editing your recording a big part of creating a podcast. I know that on the first take I don’t always say exactly what I want exactly the way I want to, and you might not, either.

Windows Movie Maker has some basic audio recording and editing features. For more information on how to use Windows Movie Maker to record and edit sound, see Add narration to your movie. You might also consider downloading and using a program that can both record and edit your audio, such as the free software available online from Audacity. With it, you can record several audio tracks, such as your voice, music, and other sounds, so that your podcast can use a variety of sounds at once.

You can also get an all-in-one record, edit, and upload podcasting program that has multiple recording tracks, a teleprompter, and voice effects. (If you choose this route, you can skip the “MP3 converter” section below and go directly to the “Plan your podcast” section.) Such end-to-end podcasting programs also often allow you to create RSS feeds that help tell people that you’ve posted a podcast, what it’s about, and how to find it. There are many of these podcast recording and editing software solutions available.

MP3 is a standard podcast file format, which means that the greatest number of people will be able to hear your podcast if you make it available to them using this format. If you haven’t already recorded your podcast using the MP3 file format, then you’ll need to take your recorded file and convert it to an MP3 file. To do this, you need an MP3 converter. There are many free programs and commercial MP3 converters to choose from.

Plan your podcast

Sometimes ideas come to me in a flash. Other times, I have to sit down and hammer them out. While you’re waiting for your podcasting equipment to arrive, think about what you want your podcast to be. When you at last press record, you don’t want to sit there just drumming your fingers trying to think of what to say. It’s a good idea to plan—at least in general—not only what you want to talk about, but how you want to talk about it.

Picture of guinea pigs being interviewed for a podcastFrom podcast to “pigcast”—Your podcast can be about anything, even interviewing guinea pigs

Overall, what to talk about is probably easy—it’s whatever interests you. You can podcast about anything—from your criticisms or praise of local government to your search for the most talkative parrot in New Jersey. There are no rules! But since ideas are likely to be the core of your work as a podcaster, why not write them down? An outline of what you want to say can help your podcast recording go more smoothly, although some podcasters feel most comfortable with a script.

How you do your show is a different challenge. Will your podcast be a monologue, a talk show, a restaurant review, a walking tour of your favourite hiking trail, an interview with your pets? Of course, it could also be something different each time, and it can evolve.

Listening to other podcasts is a great way to get ideas. Here are some online podcast directories to explore:

Blubrry

iTunes

Odeo

Podcast Alley

Podnova

Record and edit

Okay. This is the moment you’ve been preparing for—recording your voice. Before you click the Record button, check to see if your microphone came with information about how to speak into it for clearest audio quality. There is a technique to using a mic correctly, such as speaking directly toward it, over the top of it, or off to the side.

It’s a good idea to practice speaking and recording a few times. To begin, plug in your microphone and headset into your computer and mute your computer’s speakers. After you record, you can use Windows Media Player to listen to your recordings to make sure everything is working correctly. This is a great time to get comfortable with the equipment and how it works with your voice and style. For more information on how to listen to audio files with Windows Media Player, see Play an audio or video file.

Find a quiet place to record your podcast, and then have some fun. Once you have a recording, many of the audio editing programs let you add effects, such as fade in and out and extra sound tracks. Don’t be afraid to experiment! Check the documentation that came with your software to get tips about the best ways to use the features it comes with, or take a look at articles online or at the library about home recording. If you add effects or music, make sure they aren’t protected by copyright. After you’ve recorded and edited your first podcast and you’ve got an audio file you’re proud of, convert it to an MP3 file using the MP3 converter I talked about earlier.

Publish your podcast

Now, you’re ready to publish your podcast online. To do this, you need a place to put it—your website or a web hosting and syndicating service that distributes podcasts across the Internet. There are a many free and paid options that you can find online. Here are just a few hosting services to compare:

Hipcast

Libsyn

Now that you’ve posted your podcast to your website or hosting service, you need to help people find it. Along with your podcast, you’ll upload an XML file called an RSS feed. This short XML file helps tell people that you’ve posted a podcast, what it’s about, and how to find it. You can enter this descriptive information in an RSS feed generator, such as TD Scripts or RSS Feeds Submit to generate this RSS feed code. If you’re using an end-to-end podcasting program or hosting service, creating the RSS feed might be a built-in feature. Essentially, this RSS feed will produce the link that people click to listen to your podcast.

When you’ve uploaded your podcast and have a link to it, you can take that link and let the world know about your podcast by putting the link on your blog using Windows Live Writer, publishing it to your Windows Live Spaces webpage, posting it into podcast directories, or sending it in e-mail. Now, your listeners are drummiimagesng their fingers, waiting for news that your next great idea is ready to download.

Podcasts offer a fantastic way to catch up news, listen to radio shows, and get great media delivered right to your computer (they’re like newsreaders for media).


Check out these five popular podcast managers and let the entertainment come to you. Extract taken from the Essential Internet Marketers Toolkit

gPodder
gPodder looks like a simple no-frills podcast manager, but underneath the hood you’ll find a huge array of options and some perks—like the ability to sync to iPods, directory-based portable players, and MTP-compatible players. gPodder doesn’t include a built-in player but you can specify your favourite video and audio player. If you delve into the advanced options menu, you’ll find options for nearly every aspect of the software’s functionality—you’ll definitely want to read the gPodder wiki before going crazy with the toggle switches however. You can also access some of the more advanced tools found in podcast managers like iTunes, such as the ability to alter the playback speed of your podcasts, but such tinkering requires a close reading of the manual and isn’t immediately accessible to the user right after installing the application.
Link to Resource

 

Zune
Like you can use iTunes without an iPod, you can use the Zune software without an actual Zune player. Microsoft’s offering in the podcast management department isn’t half bad considering how new to the portable music arena the Zune is relative to the iPod, at least. You can subscribe to podcasts from the greater web, browse the Zune marketplace to select from thousands of podcasts, rearrange the order of podcasts using the order-series function, bookmark your place in long podcasts, and stream over the web through your Zune.net account. If you are syncing your podcasts to a Zune, you can enjoy a few nice perks, like the ability to update your podcasts to your Zune over your wireless network and sharing your podcasts with friends’ Zunes.
Link to Resource

 

Miro
Miro is a lightweight and open-source video and podcast manager with strong emphasis on streaming and web-based media. Although other contenders in the Hive Five support video-based podcasts, Miro really shines when it comes to smooth and pleasant playback of video podcasts thanks to its roots as a video player. You can manage your podcasts, set them to automatically download, or make them wait for your go ahead. You can also set how long they’ll hang around before expiring and set those values differently for video and audio to help manage how much disk space your podcasts chew up. Miro also imports and exports your podcasts in OPML format, which makes it compatible with all major feed readers and other podcasting clients.
Link to Resource

 

iTunes
Not only is iTunes a popular podcasting manager in its own right, it helps that iTunes was the first introduction many people had to the idea of podcasting. Many a new iPod owner has installed iTunes over the years and upon looking at the navigation column asked, “What’s a podcast?” Many of the tricks available in the music-management side of iTunes are available when managing your podcasts. On top of just managing the subscription itself, you can increase the playback speed of your podcasts so you can consume more of them in a shorter span of time, bookmark where you left off both in iTunes and on the iPod, set up smart playlists to blend one podcast into another or make a constantly refreshing playlist of your new podcasts, and tell iTunes how long to archive your podcasts before making room for the new ones. Although iTunes wasn’t designed to be a stand-alone podcast manager, it has done a fine job integrating podcatching.
Link to Resource 

 

Juice
Juice—formally known as iPodder—is an open-source podcast manager. If you’re looking for an extremely lightweight, no-frills podcast manager, it would be tough to get lighter and more streamlined than Juice. Juice is focused on grabbing podcasts, downloading them for you according to their refresh rate or your set schedule, and little else. It has a built-in directory and a few basic tools—like a cleanup tool for deleting old podcasts—and that’s about it. While the lack of bells and whistles might turn some people off from using Juice—it certainly lacks the visually stimulating built-in directories you find in iTunes and Zune—if you just want a program that doesn’t tax your system resources and downloads the podcasts you want, you can’t go wrong with Juice.
Link to Resource 

Up Periscope

I’ve been using the Periscope app to provide daily broadcasts for the past 2 weeks. Below you can read what I learned, but before we get into that, an explanation of Periscope.

imagesPeriscope was bought by Twitter in March this year who relaunched the application on 26 May on iOS. It was released on Android exactly 2 months later. It allows you to live broadcast from your phone or tablet from anywhere; as long as you have a good internet connection. Each broadcast is automatically shared onto Twitter when it starts. As each viewer joins this is announced on screen. Viewers can interact with the broadcaster by typing comments or tapping the screen which creates hearts that float up the screen. Hearts are used to indicate appreciation by the viewer – they are sort of an equivalent to a Facebook Like. The broadcast can be viewed for 24 hours until it is deleted.

Since the beginning of July I have been broadcasting a daily social media tip on each working day covering Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter. Each Friday I do a weekly wrap of the previous week’s tips, for those that missed them. Over the 2 weeks my audience has grown from 8 live viewers to around 85, with a high of just over a 100 on last week. It is encouraging that I have started to receive questions during broadcasts and more are welcome! Periscope presents a great opportunity for a live Q and A.

Here are my top ten Periscope learning points

 

1.A good internet connection is vital

If the connection is poor the Start Broadcast button doesn’t initialise but I discovered that just because it does, doesn’t mean your connection is good enough. A poor connection will mean freezes during the broadcast which make it frustrating for viewers.

2.Find a quiet environment

A phone or tablet microphone will pick up background noise, so if possible find somewhere quiet to do your broadcast. This is particularly important if you are presenting or running a Q and A.

3.Periscope doesn’t work on Samsung phones

Although there’s no confirmation from Samsung or Periscope it does seems that there’s an issue with the Android app on Samsung phones. I have discovered lots of users with problems of intermittent broadcasts and haven’t found anyone who’s successfully broadcasting on a Samsung. (Update: 8.07.15 – There’s been improvement on my Samsung Galaxy Alpha since last Android update with freezing issue fixed but quality of broadcast via iPad is far superior).

4.Update your profile description

When you sign up to Periscope your profile description is imported from Twitter. To attract more viewers I’d suggest amending to to make it Periscope specific. At present you can only do amend your profile description on the iOS app.

5.Use a hashtag

To make it easier for people to find your broadcasts on Twitter; use a hashtag in your video title which is immediately posted to Twitter when you start broadcasting. At present hashtags don’t work on Periscope, in fact there is no video search but I imagine this will change soon.

6.Use Auto save Broadcasts

I highly recommend checking the Auto save Broadcast option so that all your broadcasts are saved to your device. You’ll then be able to re-purpose your videos such as upload them to YouTube or add to your website.

7.Be ready

When you hit the Start Broadcast button you are live straight away. There’s no countdown or pause so be prepared for this and start talking straight away. It’s also important where you back camera is pointing when the broadcast starts as this opening image is used as the thumbnail when your video is listed.

8.Repeat questions

Comments aren’t viewable on the screen during replays, so for the benefit of replay viewers you should repeat comments, particularly questions, when answering them.

9.Turn on Location Sharing

To attract people from your area and to provide context, make sure that Location Sharing is switched on. This is even more important now that the iOS app has maps showing live users.

10.Switch off Android notifications

It’s not possible to switch off the sounds of Android notifications without switching them off altogether, but you will probably want to do this to avoid being disturbed by sounds in meetings. It’s a shame as you then miss out on notifications of users going live but you can now choose to receive notifications without sound.

imagesI hope the above encourages you to get onto Periscope and to start making some quality broadcasts. Let me know how you get on in the Comments below and I’ll leave you with this thought.

Periscope is going to be a game changer.

Content Marketing Made Easier

Putting my research hat on again I discovered some cool tools to make your content marketing strategies a lot easier.

Content manager and content marketers lives can get a bit hectic. They spend a lot of time identifying what is seen as relevant and valuable content, in relation to their product, with the intent of changing or enhancing

consumer behavior.

That is content marketing and the belief of this marketing strategy is that if you help increase the intelligence of your consumer base by putting more information in front of them, valuable information, then they’ll reward

you with their business and loyalty. This often requires long hours of internet research to find what is considered relevant and valuable information that will elevate your target audience, putting together posts that have both great content and great visuals, and doing it on a consistent basis.

Below are 15 free content marketing tools that will help you deliver that amazing content to keep your customers coming back for more.

Tools for screenshots

Let’s face it, content is always great to have, but human beings are visual creatures. “I’ll believe it when I see

it,” didn’t become an adage for no reason at all. There is universal truth in that statement, which is naturally

understood. Consumers most often prefer to be shown, not told, about the features to help them best make

their decision, or to increase their knowledge of your industry, niche, or products. This is where screenshots or how-to videos come in. These are the tools to help you with them.
1. Jing

Jing is a downloadable tool that allows it’s user to capture the screenshot, alter the screenshot with different

markup features and send screenshots to your social media platforms with easy sharing tools. What sets

Jing apart is its recording feature that is maxed at five minutes for “instant, focused communication.”

2. Awesome Screenshot

Awesome Screenshot is actually a plug-in that is created based on Google Chrome, but also can be used in

other popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s default browser Safari. Its stand-out feature is

that it’s built-in to the browser, so if your work or product is internet based (what isn’t now a days?), it’s

easier to utilize this tool than one that needs to be downloaded and ran separately.

3. Monosnap

Monosnap also comes fully equipped with the expected features of a screenshot tool, allowing you to

highlight the important parts of the screen with pen, text, arrows and shapes. Be sure to use the blur out tool

to blur out your confidential information. This tool comes with free cloud storage.

 

Writing & Editing Tools

The most important part of all content marketers’ job is the content. This is the bread and butter; the chicken

& the gravy. Without professional, accurate, knowledgeable content delivered in an easy to understand

manner, there is no work. There will be no consumers seeking out your company’s service or product.

Ultimately there is nothing without content. Here are the tools to make sure your content meets all these

criteria, or if you have difficulty generating content, resources that will help you do so.
4. Paper Rater

Paper Rater is a Natural Language Processing engine that runs behind Paper Rater is the stand-out feature

of this website. It not only checks for plagiarism but it seeks to improve the writing of the author by avoiding

false-positives on grammar detection which happens a staggering 50% of the time with other technologies.

5. Essay Mama

Essay Mama is different from paper rater, whereas instead of checking your work, you can purchase essays

or content from writers who hold Master’s degrees and PhD’s in their field. If you have a large enough profit

margin for your business, and think having 100% original content from experts in your industry will help boost

the value you give to your consumer, then Essay Mama is the place for you.

6. Copyscape

Copyscape allows you to protect your content by seeking for exact copies online. It’s been ranked number 0ne by

independent tests as the most powerful and most popular plagiarism detection software. You can purchase

Copyscape premium for upgraded features; therefore, unlocking the full power of the plagiarism detection

software. Copysentry is the second feature of Copyscape Premium, which automatically scans the web

daily or weekly and e-mails you if any copies of your content are found.

 

Image and Design Tools

Beyond the penultimate, valuable content, with how-to tutorials and/or valuable screenshots, consumers want

to know that their decision of utilizing your website for valuable information is the correct one. Having a great

web design and utilizing images, helps increase credibility, and build your brand. Here are a few places to

help make this component of your content grade A.

7. Thinglink

Embed content within your images with ThingLink, from product descriptions, links to purchase pages of

products, tell the story behind the image, etc. all to increase your click-through rate and increase consumer

interaction. They offer real time analytics of consumer engagement, and can even make a ThingLink image

an interactive App on Facebook. Utilizing ThingLink is sure to increase consumer engagement.

8. Canva

Canva is a design tool that was founded by a design visionary to take as much hassle out of design as

possible. Design software has been complicated from the beginning and can take weeks to months of trial

and error before you achieve your desired result, even if you do. Utilize Canva, and you can create beautiful

designs with the simplicity of their stand-out, drag and drop feature. The designs can be made for web or print

and covers things such as flyers, presentations, Facebook covers, blog graphics, business cards, posters,

and invitations.

9. PicMonkey

PicMonkey has a bunch of cool things going on with their team, which includes a monkey of course. Their

features include Touchup, which users can utilize to get the best look out of their profile pictures. They also

have a photo editor, loads of collage templates, and graphics that can be used to customize the design for

your brand, product or service. What is standout about PicMonkey are the tutorials that they offer for support.

So not only do they provide you with the tools for free, they teach you how to use and get the most out of

them for free as well.

 

Creative fonts

Fonts, not just any fonts, but creative ones, help to create the creases and ripples in your brands fingerprint.

If chosen correctly, and adhered to, it will help separate yourself and give you a more defined brand identity.

These are a few sites that offer free, downloadable fonts that you can use as your brands namesake.

10. Dafont

Either if you know it or not, Dafont has been around since 2000! Pushing on their fourteenth year

anniversary is only a testament of how longevity favours simplicity. You can easily find fonts either via

alphabetical order, or type and in a few clicks you can have it downloaded and running in your program of

choice. Use their FAQ and Forums for help getting your newly acquired font, into the software or website

where you want it. They also have a tools section which advertises purchasable font software.

11. Google Fonts

Google just seems to find any and everything they can capitalize on, and then do it. Here is another example

of their subtle monopoly into every possible online frontier imaginable. With over 600 font families, Google

Fonts makes it just three easy steps before the font is running on your website. The standout feature is

simply that – the Open Source CSS font code is already prepared and easy as adding it to your website in

seconds.

 

Infographic and video creation.

If you haven’t seen an infographic, you’re not with the times. These are graphic visual representations of data

or information that’s intended to present information clearly and quickly. The tools for video creation will be

beneficial for the content manager who needs to make more than just a five minute how-to by using a tool like

Jing.

12. Piktochart

Never made an infographic before? This is the tool for you. Hit the ground running with your choice of 100,

fully customizable themes, a library of over 1,000 images to use or upload your own and share it with as

many consumers you can reach. How many more consumers could you inform if you were spreading your

product/service data with infographics instead of old school articles? The standout feature for piktochart has

to be their support. They have the most comprehensive resource list out of all these tools and advertise the

most support. There’s no way you can lose with Piktochart.

13. Infogram

Infogram has already had more than 2.5 million inforgraphics made on their website, and yours should be

next! They offer 30 different chart types, with a backend spreadsheet that allows you to easily edit your data

and alter your charts. No design skills are required to create and you can download your infographics as

PNG or PDF for presentations or to send to consumers via e-mail marketing. If you have any trouble you can

contact them via their support bar on the side, or reach them via a social media channel such as Skype, FB

or Twitter.

14. Wideo

Wideo is an online video creation tool that allows its users to create, edit and share video for free. The videos

are fully animated and are made with their own available images, movement, objects, shapes, audio or text;

or you can upload your own images, backgrounds and music. Wideo has been utilized for business,

education and just for fun! Either way, animated videos are always fun and if utilized appropriately can be very

beneficial for your purpose.

 

15. Stupeflix

Stupeflix, a startup online video creation tool, created in Europe can be used for personal reasons, education,

business, and developers. The videos can be up to 20 minutes long and each one comes with a free theme,

made and ready for the web with a single click. Standout Stupeflix features are its ability to add maps,

custom transitions, add voice-over, set movie pace, individual durations or even slo-mo. Stupeflix does offer a

PRO version with an additional fee.