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…

Top 5 Tips from a Webinar Connoisseur

I LOVE webinars!!! I consider myself a “webinar connoisseur” because I view several webinars each week, either live or recorded. The insights that I get from these web conferences are unique and extraordinary knowledge that I can obtain in few other places. In the past week alone, I have attended nine webinars:
– Listrak’s Best Practices for Proving Marketing’s Value
– Search Marketing Now/iProspect’s PPC Strategy & Tactics from the Experts
– Zuberance & WOMMA Word of Mouth webinar, Creating & Energizing Brand Advocates
Webmarketing123’s SEO Webinar on Content Optimization
– Awareness Networks’ Maintaining Your Brand on the Social Web with Scott Monty of Ford
– MarketingProf’s Anatomy of Buzz with Emanuel Rosen
– Blue Sky Factory’s Shake & Bake Your Email Campaigns Into 2010
– Ion Interactive’s Advanced Landing Page Strategies for Lead Generation
– And just a few hours ago I attended MarketingProf’s Word of Mouth Marketing with Andy Sernovitz

Plus, next week I’ll be attending at least five webinars, including the All About eMail Virtual Conference & Expo 2009.

So, as an “expert” webinar attendee, here are my top five must-have webinar tips:
1) Easy to Learn: Unique, relevant content is the most important part of a webinar. If the topic is the same as everyone else is presenting or the webinar doesn’t help me solve a problem or answer a question, I’m likely to pass. If your webinar has a “sponsor” then you need to make sure the sponsor fits with the content.
2) Easy to Engage: Make sure that have an engaging, enthusiastic and knowledgeable speaker who knows the topic on which they are presenting and can communicate that knowledge in an exciting manner to keep the interest of your webinar viewers. One thing to remember in “sponsored” webinars is that you’re giving implied endorsement to everyone there – basically from the user’s perspective you’re saying “this speaker/company/product/etc. meets our standards of quality.”

3) Easy to Share: Have the speaker’s Twitter handle and/or the hashtag on at least the opening and closing slides, and if possible on every slide (perhaps along the bottom). I would expect people who are interested in online webinars to want to share on Twitter and it makes it more difficult to share info with others without a Twitter handle or hashtag.

4) Easy to Find: When you search for a webinar title on any of the major search engines, you need to make sure that a) your site is in one of the top positions naturally or via paid search and b) the links go to matching landing pages which change before and after the webinar has been recorded.
– Before the webinar, you need a sign-up page that contains a simple description of the event (including topic, date, time, speaker, etc.) and asks the minimum of details to qualify an attendee. This may be similar to your email newsletter sign-up page and you may want to include a subscription to your email newsletter on the form. As long as there is content on the slides and not just a bunch of pretty pictures, I really like having the slide deck early, especially if there is Q&A time planned, so that I can formulate my questions and see if they’re answered in the presentation or if I need to ask during Q&A.
– After the webinar, you should go to the download page with the slide deck (possibly in 2 forms – black and white “notes” form and full page slides form). Also, include the Q&A chat thread and a link to the Twitter hashtag recap so you don’t lose that aspect of the “conversation” about your topic.

5) Easy to Remember: Don’t forget to Tweet about your webinar when it gets close! You should also send a reminder email and/or provide an “Add to Calendar” function so attendees will remember your event. Keep emails to once the day before the webinar and one email shortly (an hour?) before the event. If you use an Outlook meeting invite, make sure it includes details about the webinar in addition to the title and a URL to join the webinar so users know who is the presenter, sponsor, etc. Set a reminder for 15 minutes before the event (a personal pet peeve because I have a tendency to forget about meetings without them).

Bonus Tech Tip – Easy to Enjoy: From a tech standpoint, make sure your web meeting console/interface works across multiple browsers/platforms. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been excited to attend a webinar only to cancel out when the slides wouldn’t advance because I was using Firefox or was on a Mac. Focus Research recently came out with a list of Top 12 Web Conferencing Vendors that might be helpful, but check with the vendor to see if anything has changed since the article was published. Also, test to make sure that everything is working properly – speakers and moderators can be heard and their volume is set to the same level, the slides or video works correctly, chat is functioning, etc.

If you follow my 5 (+1) tips, I guarantee you’ll have at least one happy webinar attendee – me! Did I neglect to mention something that you really like or dislike in a web conference? Please comment below to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

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