Blab: A Group Video Chat Platform for Your Business

Blab Interview on 207Have you checked out Blab yet? It’s a new video chat platform that’s incredibly powerful and easy to use. “Blabs,” as the shows on Blab are called, are publicly viewable.

Up to four people can be on video at one time (as you can see from the image here or in the video replay below), but hundreds more can watch and leave comments in the side column.

If you’re just watching (and logged in), you can pose questions to the moderator and his or her guests, and the moderator can even pull you into the Blab if you both are interested in that! (Imagine watching Oprah from home and being able to ask the guest your own question, and then having Oprah put you on the air!)

You can watch Blabs without logging in, but if you want to participate, you’ll need a Twitter account to log in. 

Blab for Business

Video is obviously huge these days…besides YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and SnapChat, you have new streaming video platforms like Periscope and Meerkat. However, I think Blab has a real shot of earning a place at the table, and your social media marketing.

Blabs can be recorded, and then downloaded as audio or video files. Some people have already started using Blab as their platform of choice for recording podcasts or YouTube videos because of it’s ease of use. I think it’s a great way of creating real community engagement, and I can’t wait to see how businesses start using this intriguing platform.

I plan on writing another post soon about ways you can use Blab to grow your business, but I wanted to share a recent Blab I put on, because we actually used it on an episode of 207, the evening news program on the NBC affiliates in Maine!

I got a chance to talk about our Agents of Change Digital Marketing Conference, and even bring on two of my presenters, Sue B. Zimmerman, the Instagram expert, and Steve Dotto, a YouTube marketing guru. 

At the time, Steve was in Vancouver and Sue was in Boston at the Inbound conference…but Blab allowed us to all be on the same interview with no additional software or hardware. We just opened up our computers (Blab is also available as an app on iOS and Android coming soon) and began the interview. It was truly a Jetsons moment. 

You can watch the craziness below!

What do you think? Is there an opportunity for your business to grow it’s audience using Blab? 

Let me know, and share your Blab handle in the comments below. You can follow me on Blab here.

Rich Brooks
Blabbing On

12 Reasons You Should Attend Conferences

There are so many great ways to learn and sharpen your skills these days: you can read blogs, listen to podcasts,  watch how-to videos on YouTube, and attend webinars, just to name a few. Why bother with the time and expense of an in-person conference or workshop? 
 
12 Reasons You Should Attend ConferencesIf that’s your attitude, then you may be missing out on one of the best opportunities to take your game to the next level. Live events—conferences, workshops, lunch & learns–provide unique learning and career building opportunities that you just can’t find anywhere else. 
 
Below you’ll find 12 reasons why you should attend live events and consider sending your employees to conferences as well. 

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Take the “Geddon” Out of Mobilegeddon

mobilegeddon-phone-bombYes, Mobilegeddon has arrived, it’s been here a few months now. Google now favors mobile-friendly sites versus non-mobile formatted sites. Your search engine rank has already been changed behind the scenes. It’s a wake up call, but it’s not too late.

If you have a mobile website design, then you’ve made your digital bomb shelter and have brushed off the ash of the aftermath. If not, then you need to read this NOW. Make your site mobile-friendly with a redesign or plugin option. There’s no reason left to not update it. It’s time to file the teeth of this Mobilegeddon monster for good.

Take a look at your site on a mobile device.

Navigate to www.yoursite.com on your phone, tablet, phablet, laptop, newton, Palm Pilot, 3DS, whatever. If your home page is truncated, cut off on the right, won’t load your fancy flash animation, has huge fonts, or fits the entire page into a 3 inch thumbnail, then your site isn’t mobile-friendly.

One easy way to clarify your site is or isn’t mobile-friendly is to use Google Developers’ Mobile-Friendly Test page. Go here and give it a try.  (more…)

Back to Basics: Your Business Website

Website BasicsSometimes we get too carried away about using the newest tool or distracted by some shiny new app. Sometimes we need to walk before we can run.
 
Hell, sometimes we just have to crawl.
 
To that end, I wanted to put together a series of blog posts about what you really need to succeed online. What are the basics that you need to cover to increase your online visibility, drive more qualified traffic, and generate more leads and business?
 

Know the basics and want to skip ahead? Download Website Basics 201 for free now!

Download Website Basics 2.0 Now!

With this post, we’ll focus on the hub of you digital marketing: your website.
 

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What Are YouTube Cards and Why Are They The Future?

YouTube Cards

YouTube has recently released YouTube Cards, which allow viewers to interact with our videos, even on mobile devices.

This is actually pretty cool. I’ve been a fan of YouTube annotations, but the big Achilles heel has been that they don’t work on mobile, where a huge percentage of views happen. Now, YouTube is offering Cards, which do work on mobile.

While mobile web design is critically important to your small business, mobile doesn’t being and end with your website. You can also leverage online video and social media to engage your audience on mobile. 

I have plans to make my own video after I’ve got some experience to draw from, but for right now I’d like to share three videos about Cards from YouTube creators who I absolutely love: Caleb Wojcik (DIY Video Guy), Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social, and Steve Dotto of Dotto Tech.

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Online Reputation Management with Andy Beal

Online Reputation Management

Have you ever Googled yourself and found people talking smack about you or your company? Or discovered an undeserved negative review of your business on Yelp? Discover to how to take control of your online reputation from industry expert Andy Beal in this interview.

Managing your company or brand’s online reputation isn’t just a good idea, it’s a necessity. In a world where social media platforms are endless, even just one negative thread in a forum can snowball into a PR nightmare.

Knowing where and how to monitor what’s being said about you – as well as when to get involved and when to hang back – is the key to building and maintaining your online reputation. With the right tools, you can even build your own ‘army of evangelists’ that will boost your credibility and even go to bat for you if your reputation is questioned.

Andy Beal is considered one of the world’s most respected online reputation management consultants. Highly respected, he has worked with many top companies seeking his internet marketing advice.

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How to Capture Emails from Your Twitter Followers

Cat at computerHaving a big following on Twitter is great, but turning your followers into email subscribers will generate far more leads and sales for your small business. 

Bonus: this title is misleading. With the approach below you can capture emails from anyone on Twitter, whether they follow you or not!

I’ve been asked many times how you can capture email addresses from your Twitter followers. Thankfully, Twitter doesn’t share email addresses with other users. However, there are ways in which you can turn not just your followers, but any Twitter user into an opt-in subscriber to your email list. In this post, I’ll show you how.
 

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Three Content Curation Tools You Should Be Using

Content Curation Blog Post

For the past few years, those of us who are in the digital marketing field have heard the phrase, “content is king” pretty much relentlessly.

And probably for good reason – within your website great content can help you woo customers and search engines alike.

Outside of your website, in social media or email marketing, high quality content can help drive people to your website and also solidify you as a thought leader in your industry – an engaged, informed member of your industry community.

Enter Content Curation

This is where content curation becomes important. That is, sharing content that is of value to your audience that doesn’t come from you. (more…)

Hashtags Explained: The Complete Guide to Hashtags in Social Media

beethoven-hashtags

Or, everything you ever wanted to know about hashtags but were afraid to ask your teenager.

Let me guess: you’re reading this post because you just did a search on “hashtags explained” or “how to use hashtags in social media.” 

You see other people and businesses tossing around hashtags like #seo, #smallbiz, or #b2bchat, and in your mind it’s as accessible as juggling chainsaws.

#donttrythisathome

There’s probably no easier way to tell a digital native from a digital naïve than their ability to use the hashtag. Trying to use hashtags when you don’t understand them sounds as natural as cursing in another language.

Whether it’s during Q&A at social media events, in the comment sections of other posts, or in emails, I’ve fielded a lot of questions about how to use hashtags in social media. I figured I’d try and answer all of them in this comprehensive guide.

Now, there are already a lot of great articles on how to use hashtags. I’ll reference a number of them throughout this article. However, most of them aren’t geared to small businesses and entrepreneurs. (More on that later.) So, I wanted to put together an exhaustive guide to using hashtags in social media as it stands today. 

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32 Marketing Experts Share Tips That Never Go Out of Style

32 Marketing Tips That Never Go Out of Style

Tired of chasing the next “big thing” in marketing? Maybe it’s time to get back to basics.

It’s that time of year again. All the prognosticators are telling us what’s coming next. All the “10 Marketing Trends for 2015” posts. All the advice to make you nervous that you’re falling behind.

But the truth is, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

So, in the spirit of uncovering timeless strategies, we asked 32 of our all-time favorite marketers to share with us their best tips that never go out of style.

OK, we included ourselves, but that’s just because we wanted to rub shoulders with these luminaries. 

Is your “evergreen” marketing tip in this list? If not, make sure you share it in the comments below.

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