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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Five $5 Dollar Marketing Strategies with Fiverr

Monday, September 26th, 2011

Efficient marketing has been and will always be a key function of business, especially when dealing with small businesses. Most small businesses do not have the financial capital to support a full-fledged ad campaign and have to find other, relatively cheaper marketing tools and techniques to find their target market and attract customers. In this day and age, the internet provides many cheap and free marketing tools, such as blogging, e-mailing, and operating social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. These are great tools to exploit when marketing, but another trending site to utilize is www.fiverr.com.

Fiverr is a social marketplace website that allows for the purchasing and selling of a magnitude of services for only $5. Yes, you read it right: only $5! This website is an excellent source for inexpensive outsourcing of a wide variety of different services. The services provided on the site, called “gigs”, range from video marketing to advice to SEO building. While you may find some offbeat and bizarre services offered, such as “I will cry and put any text on a paper” or “I will be your girlfriend/wife or anything else on facebook for one week”, this website is actually does offer many great opportunities for small businesses. Here are five marketing tactics that you can implement through fiverr:

1. Video Marketing

Making videos is extremely time consuming and requires a lot of technical work for your company; instead, for only $5, you can outsource this work to a freelancer on fiverr and with your vision and guidance, he/she will make you a commercial within 2 weeks! In fact, it was too great of a deal to pass up so we at KikScore capitalized on a fiverr “gig” and had a professional video made. All we needed to do was provide the freelancer with the text and photos we wanted to use, and they put the entire video together. Check it out below!

embedded by Embedded Video

2. Writing

In addition to have a video made of virtually anything, whether it is a professional commercial or an animated cartoon, there are also a bunch of talented writers on fiverr, both business and song writers. There are many people offering to write jingles or raps on your company and what it provides and those funny and creative tunes can definitely bring in new customers! In addition to song writing though, there are also many “gigs” offering to write press releases or just articles on any topic.

3. Market Research

While I wouldn’t solely rely on fiverr freelancers for an extensive market research report, I would use their service for some basic research. For only $5, you can pay someone to conduct brief research for your business while you focus on more productive business tasks.

4. Graphics, Banners, and Logos

Similar to making videos, oftentimes designing new banners or graphics for your business’ website requires expensive graphic design work. Instead, you can outsource that work to the fiverr community, where there are a good amount of awesome, professional graphic designers.

5. Search Engine Optimization

SEO optimization is extremely crucial for all small online businesses. All businesses strive to be on the first pages of search engines like Google and Yahoo!, and employing effective SEO optimization techniques is necessary. On fiverr, many sellers offer “gigs” that will improve your business’ SEO, whether it is by social bookmarking, promoting your links on social media outlets or different directories, or helping you build a LinkedIn following.

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Super Bowl Ads – 6 Steps for Small Businesses and Startups to Get In the Game?

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

The Super Bowl was Sunday night and thank goodness the Steelers lost.  Didn’t you just get the feeling when they had the ball at the end of the game that they would yet again pull out another victory.  Good job Packers to play strong defense at the right time to cut that off.  I hope someone from my beloved Browns takes a few lessons from them for next season and maybe we can win a few more games!

Well this post is not about the game, but those commercials.  You have heard about the hype.  There is the yearly run up to each Super Bowl where huge brands (and late stage startups with lots of VC money to blow like Groupon) go “all in” usually to the tune of $3 million bucks for a 30 second ad.  Is it worth it?  Really?  Thinking back over the last decade I was trying to remember what were the best and most memorable commercials that still leave a mark on me.  I could only remember two.  Somewhat surprisingly each commercial was from the career placement and job advertising industry.   They were from CareerBuilder and Monster.com and I included them at the top of the post and below.

So what do these two ads have in common.  Dead simple delivery and execution and story that everyone can relate to.  It helps that they use two main ingredients that are so often successful to any campaign: little children and animals (especially cute ones!).

The point of this story is really not so much about these commercials, but that these days any of us can now try to compete at the level of these large brands in order to spread the word about your product and business.  Here are some steps that can help:

Story Counts Advertising is viral now so take the time necessary to create a good story that is engaging and means something not just to you, but to your audience that you are going after.  Make sure that story is simple in your ad and that people can relate to that story in a real world practical way. Tara Jacobsen from the Marketing Artfully blog has some good tips about making your story funny for your video ad.

Your Own Video Camera Now take that story and it is as simple as getting a decent video camera from Best Buy to film your own commercial. Even better is that most computers now come with video editing software that is easy to use or if yours does not there are a number of vendors online that provide editing software for low prices.

Crowdsource Actors/Actresses Try to look somewhat professional when you are filming. But that does not mean you have to pay big bucks for known actors and actresses. This only means put some real thought into props, actors, actresses that can include employees, friends or even your own pets.  Your costumes for the commercial are as close as your own closet or even the nearby Salvation Army store.

YouTube Once you complete your video ad, upload it to YouTube.  That is your first step and then make sure you title the clip in a way that grabs your audience’s attention.  Also remember to use keyword tags that are relative to the content, your product and company so that the video ad will appear in relevant search results.  This is a key component that will help drive traffic and page views so take the time to think about how people will search to get to see your video ad.  Here is an excellent article from Mashable on Top 10 YouTube Tips for Small Business.

Distribute Your Video Ad After the video is uploaded, create a blog post around the video and give that clip a story and some context in your blog post.  Also post the video on your blog, your website and even try to submit it to other video distribution sites through Tube Mogul.  This helps get your video in as many places as possible. Remember the more places the higher the chance more people will see your video ad.

Social Media Channels Do not stop at your website, make sure you use Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other bookmarking sites to get the ad out. That way your followers, customers and friends can help you distribute that ad!  If you video is funny or has a viral element to it, that will give the community even more reason to pass it along to others.

So using the above 6 steps is your first step to advertising with the big brands.  All you need is a video camera, a little creativity and some of your own co-workers, friends, family and pets.  Any startup, small business or even non-profit can use these tips to get the word out about your product, company or cause.  Now I am not promising you huge overnight success with these steps, but what you will get is the beginning of the process for pushing your brand out there.  And isnt Super Bowl advertising all about just that.  So on a slightly smaller level you can do what the big brands do all by yourself.  Who knows, if you are creative enough you may just land yourself a hit on YouTube!

Let us know which Super Bowl ads were your favorite and what video ad you would put together.

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Google's Next Game Changer: Google TV?

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

I was reading this article in the USA Today the other day about how Google’s next big product launch this Fall is going to be Google TV.  Google TV promises to bring a more user-friendly web interface to our TVs than the consumers in this country have ever seen.  Google’s vision seems to be to offer up web content side-by-side with the same television programs that we have been watching for years. Google also plans to offer an “app store” where consumers can buy free and paid applications that can run on the set-top boxes that will also be required to use this new service.

Whenever I think of the Internet on my TV I always think of those annoying wireless keyboards and terrible user interface that I have been finding in hotel rooms for over a decade for a $5 per day fee.  I always thought that the major flaw in these systems was the terrible user experience – it is always very difficult to navigate the web on these systems because of the lack of a usable mouse and the slightly different web browsers that never seemed to support the web content I wanted to see.  Google seems to be promising a solution to these problems by simplifying the browser and keyboard and supporting all standard web technologies.

I am still going to wait until I am able to use the new Google TV interface to form my opinion but I am hopeful that if any company can successfully bring the Internet to our TVs that it is Google.  If they can convince consumers that the Internet on their TV is the same or comparable to the Internet on their PCs, then I think they have a good shot at being successful here.

On a side note, I also wanted to mention that today Skype announced that they have released a version of their product that is compatible with Android, the up and coming operating system for smart phones. Watch for the popularity of these mobile video calling applications to grow in the near future!

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Online Shopping & Security Tips from CrunchGear's John Biggs

Friday, April 16th, 2010

This is an excellent four minute video that KikScore recommends for both the small business community and online shoppers on tips to stay safe online.  The video features the author of Black Hat: Misfits, Criminals, and Scammers in the Internet Age, John Biggs.  In the video, John covers steps for staying safe when sharing data and information about yourself online, interacting on social networking sites, buying online and accessing the internet outside of your home. He has a lot of good guidance in the video including his rule to live by that you should not say or share information online that you would not be comfortable sharing in a crowded room.

Take a look, it is a good video.

Please tell us what you think about the tips John Biggs provided in the video in the comments section below.

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

PressTV Interviews KikScore on Hot CyberSecurity Issues

Monday, April 5th, 2010

Late last week, PressTV asked to interview KikScore about some recent developments in cybersecurity and cybercrime.  PressTV’s Rhonda Pence sat down with me to discuss a number of topics related to online fraud, safe online shopping, the security of our networks and the rise in power and damage that hackers inflict on the public.  Her report also covered a recent study that found that 1 in 5 online shoppers have experienced a cybersecurity issue when they shop online.  This echoes what we previously covered in an earlier post about a March 2010 government report that found a 22% increase in cybercrime complaints.

Take a look at the video report. It is short and about 2 minutes long.

After watching the video, you may want to take a look at our 5 Must Read Tips for Safe Online Shopping.  It will help you increase your chances of staying safe.  Also special thanks to Rhonda and Nick Ewing for helping me with getting a copy of the video interview.  Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Small Business Interview with History In Action Toy's Sterling Ashby

Monday, March 8th, 2010

We met Sterling Ashby at the KikScore sponsored Social Commerce Camp DC and he has a very intriguing story that any small business would be interested in hearing.  Sterling is a lawyer by trade (like a couple of us at KikScore), but his real passion is his business that sells children’s toys that are based on real-life American heroes. Using real heroes from history, Sterling has created a series of action figures for children that are fun, can be positive role models, and whose real-life stories awaken both a child’s imagination and appeal to the kid within us all. History in Action Toys was born from this.  He now sells these highly popular action figures online at www.hiatoys.com. I can tell you when my two month old gets a little bigger, I am buying some action figures from Sterling’s site!

In this 5 minute small business video interview of Sterling, we cover a wide range of issues including:

1) the challenges of having a business online;

2) crowdsourcing  marketing and ideas;

3) building buzz on Twitter, Facebook and other social media channels for your  online store and business;

4) a few of the tips that Sterling learned from Social Commerce Camp; and

5) a few examples of real life heroes that Sterling now offers as action figures at HIA Toys that the community should check out.

Please tell us your thoughts on this interview in the comments section below.

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Use More Cowbells to Keep Your Business Focused

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

SNL_Fever_Cowbell_Black_Shirt

If you run a small business, we all have the challenge of staying focused.  We are pulled in a hundred different directions.  You have customers calling you, that new product or service you want to launch, your accountant keeps calling you about this year’s taxes and oh yeah that employee you hired that is just driving you nuts because they are jamming to Lady Gaga’s Poker Face all day at work and not helping you at all.

This Saturday Night Live skit has a good lesson for all of us.  Christopher Walken plays THE Bruce Dickinson during the taping of one of the 1970′s classic songs by Blue Oyster Cult, “Dont Fear The Reaper.”  Walken playing Dickinson implores the band to focus on one critical element to make the song successful.  You will have to watch the video to really see.

What can small businesses learn from the video?

1. Every day make sure you are focusing on the central pillars of your business.  If its marketing to a niche, make sure you are doing everything possible to support your efforts doing that. If it is creating a consistent and coherent brand and then building it. Make sure you have laser focus on this pillar.

2. Eliminate or reduce the distractions of other tasks throughout the day so you can focus on the tasks that grow your business. Here is a great post on how to eliminate distractions in your business.

3. Try, and try again.  Even if you do get distracted.  Stop just like Dickinson does when he interrupts the band’s jam sessions and he makes the band focus on what he sees as the critical element!  If you get distracted, acknowledge it and get back to your core tasks. Yes, that means stay off TMZ and WaitingforNextYear (side note: great Cleveland blog – everyone growing up in CLE knows the refrain with our sports teams…”There is always next year.”)

4.  In the video, learn from Will Ferrell, that even if focusing on a critical element makes you look odd in your business or you have to anger some people by telling them to take a back seat while you focus on More Cowbell go ahead and do it. That focus will only help you and your business to grow, even if it has lots of cowbells.

5. At the end of every rehearsal (i.e. after you end a business day) look back and do a post-mortum: did you focus on the areas of your business that were most important? If not, figure out what you will do to refocus tomorrow.  If so, go celebrate and have a margarita – just dont spill it on your pants!

Did you learn anything from The Bruce Dickinson’s demand for “More Cowbell!” Please tell us in our comments section.

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Art of Innovation in 10 Steps – Video Flashback

Friday, January 15th, 2010

On a Friday before the long, Martin Luther King weekend,  we thought we would change things up a bit here.  We would hit you with a 2009 masterpiece from the startup master, Guy Kawasaki.  If you do not already know, Guy is a venture capitalist who did a couple of early tours at Apple and is the author of a start-up must read, the Art of the Start.  He is now the Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, is running his latest company, Alltop, and continues to give speeches and talks across the country on startups, innovation, entrepreneurship, social media and small business success.

This video is a (well) sliced version of a presentation he gave last year where he discusses in about 8 minutes the 10 steps (plus a bonus one) for innovation and making your startup a great company.  Since KikScore is a startup we pay particular attention to the guidance, like Guy’s presentation, that is given on startups. In fact, you can see that in our series where we narrate some of the issues we face building our startup into a viable business.

Please check out the video of Guy’s presentation below so you get context for these ten steps that he covers:

1. Make Meaning

2. Make Mantra

3. Jump to the Next Curve

4. Roll the Dice

5. Don’t Worry be Crappy (no that is not a typo)

6. Let 100 Flowers Bloom

7. Polarize People

8. Churn Baby Churn

9. Niche Yourself

10. Follow the 10/20/30 Rule

11. (Bonus) – Don’t Let Bozos Grind You Down

Please tell us what your thoughts are on the 10 steps.

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

2010 Is Here: 10 Rules for Killer Business Card By Steven Fisher

Friday, January 1st, 2010

We all use business cards.  Can you tell me the last one that made an impact on you?  Some people would say that cards are just supposed to convey basic contact information.  But think about it.  A business card is the first item that a business contact sees that conveys your personality and creativity after a conversation.  So why not actually use your business card to make that impression?

As 2010 gets rolling, we at KikScore thought this would be a good 10 minute, highly enjoyable video of  a presentation from the GrownSmartBiz Conference that Steve Fisher gave on business cards (the presentation starts a little after the 5 minute mark).  Check it out and let us know if you are going to make a change to your business cards in 2010 so you can start making an impression.

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Archive for the ‘Videos’ Category

Why Online Stores Should Blog

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

We get the question a lot these days about whether small businesses and in particular online stores should have blogs?  Often, the question is asked why should a store owner spend their precious time blogging.  Here are some reasons that an online store should blog:

1. SEO Value: It is no secret that Google and other search engines really like and prefer fresh website content.  A blog is a quick, easy way to continually provide new and fresh content related to your store and your website.  The more posts that you create and publish and then syndicate to various blog search engines like Technorati, MyVenturePad and SocialMedian the better.  Also when you incorporate relevant keywords into posts, that content is spidered by Google and other search engines, and that then helps your overall search results for those keywords.  That is because you are creating more relevant content and website pages related to those keywords for your store.

2.Humanizing Your Store: Shoppers and people in general like to shop and interact with businesses that they can relate to and like.  Use your blog to educate your customers, prospects, the community and the industry on who your business is, your business culture and ideals and the personality of your business.  There are many ways to do that including using videos on your blog to introduce employees as we described previously.  Giving shoppers and your customers a more in depth look at your brand and your business allows customers to create a bond with your business.  This can help drive word of mouth marketing of your store by these customers and shoppers.

3. Another Channel to Feature Products:  Online stores can use a blog to describe and introduce new products or product lines to your customers and the market.  You can also have blog posts that describe a special discount on a product.  Some stores even use their blog to outline special features of their products that may not be obvious.  You can even use a blog to create  your own Frequently Asked Questions for your products which can help reduce your customer service calls and call drivers.

4. Way to Engage Your Customers: Having a blog is a great way to interact with your customers.  Your customers and the greater community can visit your blog, read the posts and then comment on those posts.  When they do, it gives you and your store and opportunity to have a conversation with your customers.  This also has the benefit of giving your customers a forum to discuss your products.  That is a great alternative to your customers not having a forum and then posting negative feedback on a third party website that you do not control.

5.  Linking And Traffic Benefits: If you have a blog, it gives you a great opportunity to link to third party websites. BUT, it also allows other websites to link to your posts and your store.  If you can combine this, with an affirmative strategy on your own where you go out and post comments to other blogs, those bloggers will eventually return the favor and post comments on your store’s blog. For some more context, here is a good post from blogging experts on getting more blog comments. If you are active with other blogs,  those bloggers will often also add links to your site and in some cases they will feature your products and store on their blog.  All of this taken together can really help increase the visibility of your store and drive new traffic. It all begins with your blog!

Now let us note that, having a blog is just one step in your overall marketing, social media and branding strategy.  Combine your blog use with a strategy that uses Twitter and Facebook like we outlined previously here and here and you can really begin to extend the reach of your store to new communities, customers and industry experts that your business never would have reached before.

Let us know if you have any tips for using a blog for your online store.

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