Marketing

Integrated Marketing – My #ASW13 Presentation

It has been a long time since I have added a new blog post, but I have been busy, honest! In fact, this is a presentation that I gave at Affiliate Summit West 2013, also known as ASW13.

Sixty-five years ago, James Culliton described the role of the marketing manager as a “mixer of ingredients”; one who sometimes follows recipes prepared by others, sometimes prepares his own recipe as he goes along, sometimes adapts a recipe from immediately available ingredients, and at other times invents new ingredients no one else has tried.

Part of mixing your marketing ingredients is knowing which channels to focus on and which to avoid, kind of like the Food Network TV show Chopped where chefs take a mystery basket of ingredients and turn it into something amazing…or else they get chopped. For example, in one of the first episodes of Chopped, the chefs were given ground beef, wonton wrappers, cream of mushroom soup, bananas in the appetizer round. One chef refused to use the bananas in his appetizer and was eliminated. With help from Google’s Zero Moment of Truth and Chris Penn’s New Media Trinity, I’ll try to give you some tips that will help you to mix all the right ingredients to keep you from being eliminated.

In that episode, bananas were definitely the causes of concern or conflict. In today’s presentation we’ll also talk about marketing channel conflict and how to minimize conflicting channels by mixing all the ingredients properly.

And finally, we’ll take a look at the integrated marketing pyramid. Like the food pyramid, there is a hierarchy to integrated marketing and I’ll tell you what needs to be the base and the top of your marketing priorities. While mixing ingredients was great in 1948, in 2013 we’re not about mixing, we’re all about marketing integration, in fact Search Engine Watch declared 2013 as the year of integrated marketing.

According to Search Engine Watch, 2013 is the year of Marketing Integration and there are 3 levels of integrations you need to check out in 2013 in order to hit the marketing jackpot.

Marketing basics haven’t changed in 2013 (and probably never will). New channels, new tools, new platforms and new ideas, they are all new ways to achieve the same old goal – generate demand for your products and services.

–       Channels: More channels will start to integrate and consolidate as offline and online begins to work in concert together and the integrations of channels become more possible through new tools and solutions. For example, Social Media will become measurable and accountable. If you’re not on social media, you’re not doing your job. You don’t have to be on every social media channel, but you need to be measuring the activity (whether it’s visits, leads, sales or something else) coming from your social media and acting based on those results.

–       Campaigns: Integrated campaigns will become the everyday for marketers who are trying to leverage content across multiple channels and make the most out of their media spend. Ann Handley and CC Chapman wrote a book called Content Rules which outlines how to reimagine a single piece of content, like a blog post, into white papers, ebooks, podcasts, webinars and even videos. One thing to remember is that even the coolest, most engaging content in the world will fail if you don’t use manners and smart business skills to share it with others. The same way you wouldn’t go up to everyone at a conference and immediately try to start selling them on your product, the same rules apply to your content. People like to be approached in different ways and your marketing campaigns need to be integrated enough to help everyone without being too pushy.

–       Tools: Tools like Google Analytics become more important as marketers look to streamline their process, cut operational costs (time and money) and leverage the effect of seeing all their campaigns, channels and data in one place. You’ve heard talk about Big Data – using tools and gathering insights from the tons of the measurable information about your business and using that business intelligence to create actionable goals is becoming a priority.

Integrated marketing is a way to take different marketing methods such as mass marketing, one-to-one marketing, and direct marketing and create a seamless experience for the customer. A content marketing plan that combines paid media like PPC, earned media like your social following, and owned media like your blog, is a simple strategy that leads to success. By presenting a similar tone and style across all of your marketing methods, it reinforces your brand’s core message. The goal is to make all aspects of marketing communication such as online and offline advertising, public relations, direct marketing and social media work together as a unified force, which maximizes their market impact and cost effectiveness. The “Big Data” generated by all of these channels can be used to influence product development, pricing, distribution, etc. so you use the banana in the Chopped basket to enhance the marketing strategy rather than throw a monkey wrench into it.

So now that you understand what integrated marketing is, how do you take that strategy and use it to manage multiple channels?

First, collect all of the information about your company, your product, your competition and your target market. Going back to our Chopped example, think about the different ways you know how to cook your core ingredients and what tastes best to the judges who are your website’s audience.

Take all of that information to outline your integrated marketing communications plan from beginning to end – is the dish you’re going to make sweet, savory or have elements of both and how does that compare to your competition? This is one of the most important pieces of your marketing plan as it lets you see exactly what media and messaging they use in their own marketing campaigns, as well as how they reach their market and generate business. Create a SWOT analysis and capitalize on the things your competition isn’t doing well, or isn’t doing at all.

Review your integrated marketing communications plan. Take the extra minute to make sure your dish is complete and exactly what you think the audience will like best based on the info you collected. Unlike Chopped, if there’s anything you feel needs more research or additional information, you have time to do the extra work. Make sure promotional garnishes like coupons, rebates and discounts are considered, but don’t make them a main ingredient.

Periodically review the results of your plan, and adapt any aspects you need to in order to achieve better results. Take the feedback that you get from analytics and eliminate what isn’t working, concentrate on fixing what has promise and expand what is working. Stay on top of the activities and tools that your major competitors are using so you don’t get blindsided.

Hubspot has an ebook comparing SEO and Social Media in order to determine which is best for getting the most traffic to your site – and the answer is “it depends” – but it’s always better to do 1 thing well than 2 things not well. So you need to know which channels to focus on and which channels won’t deliver the results you need and should be avoided until you have the available resources.

Where the consumer spends time is where the advertiser must follow. A user may end up interacting with a website after being exposed to various online advertising vehicles. Considering that today consumers are using channels most convenient to where they are and what they are doing, all of this makes it tough for marketers to understand the actual impact of their campaigns.

Slingshot SEO analyzed more than 23 million conversions and found that paid advertising, referrals and SEO were most often undervalued with Organic Search undervalued by as much as 77% percent! On the other end of the spectrum, Direct Visits were overvalued by as much as 82% percent – which makes sense if your brand message is strong enough in paid, earned and owned media during the consideration process, then it’s understandable that people will remember your site and come back directly when they are ready to convert. Just because it is the last touch before purchase doesn’t mean there weren’t other factors in their decision-making process.

Google calls the online decision-making moment the Zero Moment of Truth – or ZMOT. They’re found that 84% of Americans perform some sort of ZMOT activities prior to purchase. The average shopper used 10.4 sources of information before buying. That’s a lot of shopping around! You have to be there when people are looking for things about your company, product or service.

Three really great ways of being there when people are starting the buying process are described by Chris Penn, VP at Shift Communications, as the New Media Trinity.

–       Content on your website and blog – since it is static, it’s always there for people to find you.

–       Conversation via social media – at the Zero Moment of Truth, people want to be part of the conversation or community.

–       Distribution via email – push media to inform or remind people where to find the information they need to make your product or service their decision.

When these three work hand-in-hand you have a well-balanced dish or in Vegas terms, Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!

So what happens when your marketing channels don’t work together? There are 4 main causes of channel conflict that could happen when your marketing channels aren’t aligned.

–       Goal incompatibility – this is especially tough when you’re mixing online and offline goals. For example, getting a consumer to purchase in-store vs. online. Each sales channel wants to make the sale and this could be problematic without some method of looking at the big picture to acknowledge that overall sales goals were reached.

–       Territory disagreement – when something is available on one channel but not others, for example discounts on coupon sites that aren’t available to customers who found your site through search, that could cause channel conflict and artificially inflate the results for a certain channel. This needs to be taken into consideration when you determine your best-performing channels.

–       Inadequate communication – this sometimes causes a difference in perception. It’s important that all of your marketing channels communicate the same message, whether it’s online, offline in paid, owned or earned media.

–       Competition for resources – sometimes in the dessert round of Chopped, both competitors want to make ice cream but there is only one ice cream machine. Sales exclusivity is a perfect example of how competition for scarce resources can cause channel conflict.

Channel conflict WILL happen, both in your marketing and sales channels. So what do you do about it? There are 4 ways to minimize channel conflict:

–       Pricing approach – Many retailers price everything the same whether it’s online or offline, but sometimes pricing your products differently based on what channel they came in on makes sense in minimizing channel conflict, for example if online sales have shipping and handling it could offset the costs associated with your online marketing efforts or the lack of sales tax in states not impacted by the affiliate or Amazon tax could make the price differences negligible for the consumer. Mattel toys has in the past charged as much as 15% more for their products online in order to avoid channel conflicts with their retail merchants. Auction pricing offers companies an opportunity to sell products cheaper online without causing channel conflict.

–       Product approach – By offering a unique product or product or product bundle that is not available through all the company’s marketing channels, to minimize channel conflict. Ducati sold accessories and apparel online only, which gave people the opportunity to purchase their brick-and-mortar locations to buy motorcycles yet visit their website for other items to make their buying process complete. The product approach also allows the merchant to test pricing and product variables, without upsetting the consumer.

–       Brand approach – The decision of whether or not to use different brands in different marketing channels often comes down to a choice between flexibility and trust. Scandinavian Airlines launched a brand called Snowflake to compete in the low-cost carrier marketplace. Snowflake quickly became a well-known and reputable brand for travelers who were looking to travel without any extras that they might find on Scandinavian Airline’s flights.

–       Promotions approach – Estee Lauder is an example of using the promotions approach to minimize channel conflict. Although they sell directly to consumers online, they encourage brick-and-mortar purchases through high-volume retailers like Macy’s by the use of free products given away when a customer purchase price exceeds a certain sales threshold.

All of these approaches have their pros and cons, so it’s important to consider what will work best in your specific circumstance.

Like the food pyramid that Chopped contestants need to be aware of, marketers need to be aware of the integrated marketing pyramid:

–       Start by creating an effective, well-integrated plan, set goals for content, distribution and communication blending offline and online methods

–       Strategically link and leverage all elements in the communication mix across channels to be at the right place and the right time with the right message

–       Evaluate the contribution, not just the last click, of each element —including advertising, direct marketing, Facebook, Twitter and blogs—to maximize communication impact

–       Develop an effective content strategy, and build an editorial calendar, to make sure your messages are consistent and reach customers across all marketing channels

–       Use your editorial calendar topics to create engaging content to reach, impact and engage customers

–       Differentiate your brand – remember to use the power of the employee voice to humanize your brand – people buy from people, not brands.

What have I left off my integrated marketing shopping list? Please leave a comment below to let me know.

They Left Us Too Soon

Engadget Tribute To Steve Jobs

Engadget Tribute To Steve Jobs

The past week has been a tough one. I’ve lost two close friends in separate incidents, and it was the one-year anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs. They say these things come in threes, so let’s hope that does it for this week.

Another loss from about a year ago was that of Trey Pennington, a popular marketer with over 100,000 Twitter followers. Trey and I interacted in many Twitter chat sessions and I was always impressed with his marketing knowledge and insights. The loss of his social media interactions is felt in Twitter chats each week.

Steve Jobs was an amazing innovator and his loss is something Apple is only just beginning to feel. One of my favorite Jobs’ quotes was about viewing things in a pragmatic manner:

I’m sorry, it’s true. Having children really changes your view on these things. We’re born, we live for a brief instant, and we die. It’s been happening for a long time.
— Steve Jobs, 1993

Speaking of kids and Steve Jobs, here’s a little humor to let you leave this post with a smile. During a conversation with my son (who is normally a very empathetic kid) he said, “Mom, are you upset about Steve Jobs dying?” Thinking he was looking for an explanation for why I was sad for the loss of someone I had never met, I explained, “Yes I am. Steve Jobs was a pioneer. Without him we wouldn’t have many of the innovations you take for granted each day: Mac computers like my MacBook Pro, iPods, iPads, iPhones…” To which favorite son interrupts and says, “There’s an app for that.” Ba dum dum.

Another Penn State Scandal? Email Marketing Problems Now

In the next year and a half, I’ll have TWO kids in college – yikes! And since my kids both took the SAT test, our family email inbox has been overflowing with emails from colleges that the kids may or may not be interested in attending. While I’m not thrilled, I do understand that since they didn’t opt-out when they took the test, the colleges’ emails are CAN SPAM compliant. However, there might another Penn State scandal – this time in their email marketing opt-out practices.

In April, our home email address received an email from Penn State inviting us to spend a summer day at Penn State.

Penn State Email

Penn State Email

Thanks, but neither of my kids is interested, so I’ll just Unsubscribe. I click on the link and I’m taken to a page with the following info:

Unsubscribe Email Address

Please enter the email address you would like to unsubscribe from our events and communications lists.

Email Address:

You will receive an email at this address which contains a link to confirm your unsubscribe request. Thank you.

SUBMIT

WHAT??? You’re sending me another email? I know DJ Waldow says it’s ok to break the rules and send a post-unsubscribe email, but I’m not sure an email with a link to confirm my unsubscribe request is exactly what he had in mind… I’m feeling agreeable so instead of clicking the “This Is Spam” button on the original email, I insert my email address and click Submit.

I received the email confirming my unsubscribe selection:

We have received a request to have this email address removed from our events and communications mailing lists. If you wish to complete the unsubscribe process, please click the confirmation link below.

http://admissions.psu.edu/resources/unsubscribe/?confirm=XXXXXXX

Your web browser will display a confirmation notice when your email address has been removed.

Confirmation Number: XXXXXXX

Phew, I click on the link and I’m done, right?

By having to visit two separate pages, the Penn State email unsubscribe process could be considered in violation of the portion of the CAN SPAM compliance guide requirement #6 Honor opt-out requests promptly which states “You can’t…make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request.” But it’s ok, because I’m done so I won’t create another Penn State scandal by ratting them out on my blog.

Unfortunately, we’re not done yet. I then received ANOTHER email from Penn State Admissions stating:

This email address has been removed from the events and communications mailing lists of the Penn State Undergraduate Admissions Office.

Please allow 24-48 hours for the change to take effect. If at any time you wish to begin receiving email messages from our office again, please send an email to admissions@psu.edu indicating your preferences. Thank you.

Sincerely,

The Undergraduate Admissions Office at Penn State

http://admissions.psu.edu

Two emails after the original marketing message when my kids didn’t overtly subscribe to begin with, and I had to click on two links and go to two separate web pages in order to unsubscribe, but wait there’s more…did I mention I got another email from them and started the process all over again in May??? Let’s hope that’s the end of email marketing messages from Penn State coming to my email address.

Have you ever experienced anything like this? Were you mad? Did you delete the email or choose the “This Is Spam” option or contact the sender directly? Please let me know what you did and if you got any positive results in the comment section below.

Leap List: 29 People to Help Your Marketing

The kids getting ready to "leap" off a terrain jump in Park City

The kids getting ready to "leap" off a terrain park jump in Park City

In 2010, I posted the Olympic Dream Team for Internet Marketing – a list of people from all aspects of the Marketing world who were providing thought leadership at that time. In honor of Leap Day (February 29th), I’m revisiting that list and giving you 29 Online Marketing thought leaders. Some of these people have remained on the list because they are consistently providing compelling and insightful information. People have dropped off the list, not through their own actions, but because my focus may have changed and others became more important to my current Marketing information needs, or it could be that we have simply lost touch. There are a few new names on the list that either I should have included back in 2010 or that we’ve only become acquainted since the original online Marketing Dream Team list was created. There is no particular order to the list, I’m excited to see posts from any of them in my Twitter stream, Facebook timeline, Google+ circle, or email inbox.

  1. Chris Penn
  2. Geno Prussakov
  3. DJ Waldow
  4. Wil Reynolds
  5. Chris Jones
  6. Dawn Westerberg
  7. Stephanie Miller
  8. Jen Goode
  9. Avinash Kaushik
  10. Andy Wetzler, Danielle Leitch and the MoreVisibility team
  11. Ann Handley
  12. Mike Volpe and the Hubspot team
  13. Shawn Collins, Missy Ward and the Affiliate Summit team
  14. Shelley Ryan
  15. Beth Harte
  16. Jeremiah Owyang
  17. Joseph Ruiz
  18. Elizabeth McCaffrey
  19. Jim Kukral
  20. Kristina Allen
  21. Cathryn Hrudicka
  22. John Foley Jr
  23. Megan Leap, Kathy Bushman, Penny Fiederlein and the MarketingProfs team
  24. Scott Brinker, Anna Talerico and the ion interactive team
  25. Scott Hardigree
  26. Amber Cleveland
  27. Lewis Poretz
  28. Alasdair Munn
  29. Michele Price

Bonus: Rachel, April, Andrea and Sara Beth – the ZipSetGo team (I added the ZipSetGo team and their #TNI Twitter chat as a bonus because their focus is travel rather than marketing, but I think it’s a great example of using social media marketing for the travel industry!)

OK, I cheated a little by combining people and companies on a few of the entries, but sometimes there were just too many smart people in one company to list them all! I consistently get valuable information and insights from these people and I respect their opinions. Even though we may not always agree, they always give me something to think about. Whose Marketing insights do you look forward to reading each day? Please add them in the list below…

3 Things The Ravens Taught Me About Marketing

Ravens - good Marketing teachers?

Ravens - Tough To Beat The Home Team

Wide left. That’s how the Raven’s 2011-2012 season ended when Billy Cundiff‘s 32-yard, game-tying field goal sailed outside the uprights with 11 seconds left in the AFC Championship game. Their dream won’t be coming true this season. Although the game left a hole in my heart, it also taught me a thing or two (ok, three) about Marketing.

It’s hard to beat the home team. The Ravens went undefeated at home in the 2011-2012 season, showing that having fans (or in the marketing world, brand advocates) behind you makes a big difference.

Win or lose, play as a team. Make sure your marketing tactics complement each other. You need to balance every marketing “player” or the whole marketing team will fail. Even though both Joe Flacco and Tom Brady went 22/36, Flacco had 67 more yards (28%) but the Ravens still lost the game.

Every play has the potential to be the game winner. If Lee Evans could have held on to the ball just a few more seconds in the end zone, or if the play had been reviewed, there could be a different team headed down the road to Indy. Take the time to review your marketing results and make sure a dropped pass wasn’t in fact the next Championship winner.

This was to be the Raven’s “Relentless” season, but perhaps being unyielding in severity, steady and persistent isn’t the best way for a team to win the Superbowl…or for a Marketer to win additional customers. Maybe you need a little flash. What do you think? Please leave a comment below and let me know!

The Ravens, Ravens logo and all mentions of Baltimore Ravens are Copyright © 2012 Baltimore Ravens.

2011 – Year in Review

2012 New Years Fireworks photo by Meaghan Mostyn

Happy 2012!

Here’s my recap of 2011 in numbers:

15) Flights of steps I had to walk down TWICE – during both a fire drill and an actual earthquake!

10) Number of #smchat Twitter chats I hosted this year. Please join #smchat every Wednesday at 1P ET, especially on the 3rd week of the month when I moderate the #smchat Marketing topics!

7) Nights in Turks and Caicos (my favorite vacation destination).

5.8) Magnitude of the August 2011 earthquake that shook most of the East coast including my office building (see 15 flights of stairs above).

3) Events I spoke at in 2011 – Affiliate Summit, Marketing Profs and Baltimore AMA in the AM  – and the number of Proms that the kids attended!

2) Number of “day jobs” in 2011 – more on that as the new job is ready to be “launched” in mid-2012!

1) Number of completely available (no planned events) weekends in 2011… AND the number of times I was on TV talking about social media!

Plus more emergency room / urgent care visits than I’d care to admit, so let’s just say we’re still keeping our “frequent flier” status!

Leave a comment below and let me know your “numbers” for 2011!

Book Marketing Recap – Part 2 Marketing Methods

A few weeks ago, I was the moderator for a great #smchat conversation on book marketing and publishing. There were so many insights that not only was I able to compile one post-chat blog post, I created TWO! The first half of the chat was on book publishing and the post below contains some of the book marketing insights I learned from the lively #smchat discussion:

Q4 You’ve written a book-now what? Do you need special book marketing skills? What role does social media play?

@JimKukral: Book marketing starts at book conception. BEFORE it’s written.
@WhereitBlooms: But SM does help in determining your audience. Is there a need for the book? Who will have interest?
@ambercleveland: A4. Tons of book marketing resources available, do your homework. Social media plays a huge role, gives audience access to authors

Q4b: How soon should you begin promoting your book before it is finished & is it possible to promote “too early”? @akstout18 asks, “Is there a risk in letting ppl know about your book idea before it’s finished?”

@thehealthmaven: Use SoMe to find out where your target market is & what they are taking about, build & leverage tribes before book comes out
@AndreaPatten: Non-fiction gets submitted as a proposal. fiction needs 2b complete
@novelpublicity: For fiction, you definitely want a completed and polish manuscript before submitting. Nonfic has different rules
@CreativeSage: For non-fiction, submit an outline + 3 chapters and your marketing position (after your research) to agent/publisher (cont.) For novels/memoirs, the writing is more key, often need to finish book & get editor before submitting manu.
@JimKukral: Nobody is going to steal your idea. Block and tackle. Ideas are worthless, implementation is everything
@novelpublicity: New authors often worry about ideas being stolen. Once you see how hard it is to sell an idea, you’ll get over that 😛

Q5 Videos, TV spots, print and online display ads – what’s the most inventive way you’ve seen a book marketed?

@ambercleveland: A5. Use a QR code on your business card that takes them to your site where they can purchase your book
@CreativeSage: Inventive video “trailers” & author interviews; integrated approach w/ social media, PR, targeted mktg, crowdsourcing
@novelpublicity:Do you see the little button on my Twitter avatar? That’s called a PicBadge, and it’s another creative marketing tactic (cont.) PicBadges are all about solidifying your brand – keep a primary author page, integrate book in picbadge (cont.) I actually blogged about that today with a step-by-step guide on how to create a PicBadge for your book > http://t.co/DIP2u4CN
@tcgagency: Q5 Sending advanced copies to a small group of people and asking them to leave an Amazon review, good or bad.
@sharonmostyn: A5 I love book trailers! Author @ToniMcGeeCausey talks about them here http://t.co/WuNE0TIn

(cont.) Also interesting when authors interviewed-ex. @barbaravey interview of Tori Carrington http://t.co/N5cWerOl (cont.) Also love videos by fans/friends about #books, like this by @shelleyryan http://t.co/n91EgOL0 for @thecontentrules
@novelpublicity: Create a truly engaging book trailer, then purchase PPC advertising on YouTube. I’m doing that with > http://t.co/VyS53lLU
@ProminencePR: The hangout feature on google + is really great. You can invite key people that you want to network with.
@LarsDHHedbor: What’s the best way to reach out to book clubs? GoodReads presence? Amazon Author pages? Other?
GoodReads.com got a mention by several of our participants, one going so far as to say it is “is the single most important site for writers, even more so than Twitter and Facebook.”

If you are really interested in the book marketing topic, @ambercleveland recommends #BookMarketChat with @ClaudiaC Thursdays at 4PM ET. And we’ll end with this reminder from @JimKukral: Nothing can happen until you write something. Get to work.

Book Marketing Recap – Part 1 Publishing

A few weeks ago, I was the moderator for a great #smchat conversation on book marketing and publishing. There were so many insights that not only was I able to compile one post-chat blog post, I created TWO! The first half of the chat was on book publishing – different ways to have your book published: traditional or crowd-funded, indie publisher, self-publish, e-books and their formats, etc.

Here are some of the book publishing answers I learned from the #smchat participants:

Q1 What is the difference between “traditional” and “crowd-funded” book publishing? Advantages to each?

@JimKukral: Crowd-funding, or crowdsourcing is how I’m pre-funding my next new book series. Raised over $20k so far.

Q2 Everyone’s an author these days, is it getting easier to get a book deal or is self-published the way to go?

@DigitalKaitlyn: A2 I think it’s almost harder to get a book deal because there are so many writers now, self-publishing is a great way to start
@tcgagency: A2 At the same time, I read about one author who left his publishing house to pursue a bigger audience/profits with self-publishing.
@ambercleveland: A2. If you self publish, important to use multiple available platforms – Smashwords, Kobo, PubIt, Amazon, eBooks…etc
@JimKukral: Best advice. No agent or publisher needed. Write a book, get it out there. Learn how to market it. Over and over.

Sounds like the consensus to Q2 is self-publishing – so Q2b why would anyone go through a big name publisher?

@ambercleveland: A2.b. Advantages to big publisher is better access to libraries and bookstores
@adinfini: I think the big guys do have a better understanding of the marketing side of selling the books than most authors

Q2c: If self-publishing, are there any aspects that really would be better if you enlisted the services of a professional?

@ambercleveland: A2. c. Get professional assistance with editing and designing the cover (unless you have great graphic skills)
@CreativeSage: You may need to hire yr own publicist because trad. publishers won’t do enough—AND you promote yr book too

Q2d from @WhereitBlooms: If you self-publish do you hire an editor for proofing and input?

@tcgagency: Editors give you a fresh set of eyes on structure, flow, where needs beefing up, etc. That always makes for better writing.

Q3 Do formats matter? Is it better (or more-effective) to publish an e-book before you try a printed version?

@adinfini: Q3 in some ways ebook is harder to market
@CreativeSage: It would make sense to try e-book format 1st, but a good editor & book designer are most important, look professional

There were several sub-questions on the ebook publishing topic – the first from @akstout18 – Is CreateSpace the best platform for self publishing?

@sharonmostyn: Instead of CreateSpace, @JimKukral suggests BookBrewer & @ambercleveland likes LightningSource

@thehealthmaven asked, “Curious: How many books do u order/month? I love books – my ipad, book shelves are filled, but rarely walk into a book store anymore”

@lesleyridge: …my rule of thumb: reading for fun – iPad; book I will want to markup/underline for future reference, in-store buy
@sharonmostyn: ebooks are convenient but prefer “physical” book-like bookstores who can help recommend books I’ll like.

 

Want to know what else we talked about? Please visit the second part of the Book Marketing Recap – Social Media and Other Marketing Methods. One of the most provocative Tweets was from @jettzworld, “Everyone may be an author but ever few are writers. #justsaying,” to which Alex from @tcgagency replied, “I’d say it’s the other way around. We all write emails, Tweets, etc. But how many complete a creative work like authors?” So maybe there’s hope for me yet!

Marketing and Social Media – Community Building

Join #SMchat Wednesdays at 1P ET
Join #SMchat every Wednesday at 1PM ET

The Twitter chat #SMchat is a community that I have been a part of for quite some time now. Every Wednesday at 1PM ET, there is a great conversation about a social media topic. Since March 2010, on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, I have been moderating the Marketing session of the Twitter chat #SMchat. Occasionally there will be guest moderators when I’m not available, but generally a few days before the chat, I write a framing post so people joining the chat can have the questions in advance. It’s not required that you read the framing post to join the Twitter chat, but it does give you an opportunity to read the related links and to formulate thoughtful answers to the topic.

The Marketing and Social Media topic for June 2011 is Building Communities and starting this month, you can find the framing posts on the new #SMchat website at: http://socialmediachat.wordpress.com/

Please feel free to leave a comment either below or at the new #SMchat website and join the conversation every Wednesday at 1PM ET to chat about social media.