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Top 5 TED Presentations for Inbound Marketers

This post originally appeared on Domesticating IT and is reposted here with the author’s permission.

The first rule of inbound marketing is buy propecia online

om/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/Creating-Great-Content-Notes.pdf” target=”_blank”>Creating Great Content (PDF). Since you won’t get far without it, and because so few people provide advice on exactly how to create remarkable content (except for this guy), I thought I would share my five favorite talks to help and inspire inbound marketers.

#5: Jacek Utko designs to save newspapers

What happens when an architect is hired to redesign a newspaper? He treats the pages as a canvas for creating posters that tell stories. The inbound marketing lesson is to pay attention to design. And by “design” I mean creating something the world did not know it was missing (Paola Antonelli). This means fully leveraging the form, fit, and function of all of the electronic canvases available to us.

#4: Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man

Think “45 degrees.” In this talk, Sutherland discusses how to add product value by changing perception – in one case by turning something 45 degrees – and hilarity ensues. It’s worth watching for the entertainment value alone, but the inbound marketing lesson here is that remarkable content can actually add value to your products and/or services by changing their perceptions.

#3: Scott McCloud on comics

Fasten your seatbelt for this one. Scott McCloud whooshes down his road to discovering the answer to the question, “What does a scientific mind do in the arts?” He describes how comics funnel words, pictures and symbols through the single conduit of vision. The inbound marketing lesson in this talk is… well… there isn’t one, there at least a dozen but he covers them so fast you really need to buy his book, “Understanding Comics” to get the full picture (pun intended). I think his lectures and writings are pure marketing and advertising gold for our highly visual Age of Content.

#2: Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

OK, I cheated a bit because, technically speaking, this isn’t a TED talk. But I don’t care because it’s important enough. History will remember Steve Jobs for many things, and his communication skills and persuasiveness will likely be very near the top of the list. In fact, there was a terrific book written on this skill – The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs (highly recommended). His commencement speech at Stanford is well known and has been watched by millions. The inbound marketing takeaway in this talk is simple: it’s simplicity. After a quick, self-deprecating joke about never having graduated college, Jobs gets right to the heart of the matter by saying, “Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal. Just three stories.” In all of his presentations and speeches, Jobs is ritualistic about setting expectations up front. He tells you exactly what he’s going to say, continually reminds you where you are in that continuum, and always manages to under-promise and over-deliver. His presentation style is an entire encyclopedia on being remarkable.

#1: Seth Godin on standing out

Who better to teach how to be remarkable than the guy who wrote a book titled “Purple Cow” and marketed it by giving it away in a milk carton? Godin is Remarkable Royalty, the Earl of Extraordinary, the Duke of Different, the King of Compelling, etc… The inbound marketing lesson from this talk is that success “is not always about what the patent is like or what the factory is like. It’s about can you get your idea to spread.” At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.

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Twitter: To Follow, Or Not to Follow?

This post originally appeared on the Domesticating IT blog and is reproduced with permission from its author.
"Hamlet habla a su padre" courtesy of FunKa-Lerele on Flickr

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous spam,
Or to take arms against a sea of multi-level marketers
And, by opposing, unfollow them.

How many people should you follow on Twitter?  And should you automatically follow any one who follows you?  If not, how do you decide?  I’ve been asked these questions many times and so it is finally time to write a post about this topic.

How Many Is Enough?

This is not a simple question and there are several schools of thought.  In one corner, we have the “less is more” camp who believe that a smaller group of higher quality connections works better.  Seth Godin recently endorsed this approach in his blog post “Bullhorns are overrated.”  And in the other corner, we have the “strength in numbers” camp who believe that if 100 followers is good, then 100,000 followers is, well, a thousand times better.  Chris Brogan spoke about what he calls his “serendipity engine” in his post, “Depends How You Define Value.”

Personally, I come down more on the serendipity side of the fence.  I will follow back just about anyone who is a real person and seems to be using Twitter in a genuine manner.

Is There Any Risk?

There is no overt risk in following someone.  It’s not the equivalent of granting them access to your computer in any way.  However, it does give them the ability to send you a Direct Message (DM), which could conceivably contain a link to a malicious web site.  I never click on a link in a DM from someone I don’t know.  And in most cases, I will immediately un-follow anyone who sends me an unsolicited DM with a link to a web site.

How Do I Decide?

I have a two-layer system for deciding whether or not I will follow someone back.  In the first test is to analyze a few metrics directly from the email notification.

Twitter follow email

Click to view full image

  1. The name is obviously the first thing to look at.  If it is something like “Porn Galore” then it’s a pretty quick decision.  Conversely, it could be a company or brand you don’t necessarily have an issue with, but neither are you particularly interested in what they may have to say.
  2. I look at their follower ratio (number of followers versus number they are following).  In this example, there are no particular warning signs, as people with new accounts will frequently start by following a bunch of people.  If this ratio is more like 4 (followers) to 800 (following), this is a warning flag to me because it suggests this person is trying to quickly accumulate followers (and likely is using a computer program) and not looking to form connections.
  3. The second metric is the number of tweets compared to the number of followers.  The idea here is that I am looking for people who have built a following over time, not over night.  In this case, there’s no particular warning flag either.

If none of these three metrics presents any show-stoppers, then I will click on the person’s profile and take a look a little more deeply.  Keep in mind that between the time when you received the follow message and then visit the profile, those metrics in the email could have changed dramatically so I will take a second look at those first.

Twitter profile page

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  1. Case in point – notice that now the follower ratio has changed to 12/625.  This is now screaming, “Spammer!”
  2. The next thing I look for is real profile information, like a bio and web page.  Taking the time to fill out this information is an indication that the person is genuine.  If a web page is there, it can be another warning flag if it looks suspicious.
  3. Last, but not least, I will examine their Twitter updates to see what they are saying.  In this example, we have an obvious spammer who is trying to con people into signing up for programs that may or may not be legitimate.  Many of these scams will hijack your Twitter account and send out spam messages.
  4. Bonus Tip:  One other red flag is when the line below the Tweet says, “from API.”  This means that the Tweet was sent from an automated program and not a person.  It’s not hard evidence that someone is a spammer, but it’s a strong warning sign.

If you have any other tips or tricks, please leave them in the comments for everyone’s benefit!

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