Tag Archives: content development

Using Video As A Business Tool

With the way mobility technology and media trends are going, we are seeing more and more content being delivered in videos.

Improved transmission speeds and communication infrastructure as well as short-format videos have made this possible, as well the the spread and market penetration of smartphones. Think of how video use has surged in promoting small business enterprises among various social media platforms. Think of the short 6 second format of Vines, or Snapchats, that make it incredibly easy for one to be shared and go viral.

From another aspect, think of the video-on-demand streaming services like Netflix that made it possible for thousands of people to “cut the cord” (referring to cable) and choose their own preferred shows for information and entertainment.  In production, presentation, and consumption, video is a very powerful platform for communication, especially when the power to choose is in the hands of the consumer.

Think of the following:   Education, communication (business, entertainment, and leisure), sciences, and innovation. There’s an incredible amount of overlap in these areas — are you poised to leverage this trend within your own market? Continue reading Using Video As A Business Tool

The 5 Email Bloopers You Wouldn’t Want To Make

Email is the mainstream communication tool for business, and to be professional, you need to be seen as professional. Not just in your personal presentation and the way you conduct yourself in the flesh, but also in the way you communicate electronically. Small things like misspellings or bad formatting can leave a bad impression, whether it’s an inter-office memo or a mass  mailing.

In the sales game, the power now is in the hands of the market. Consumers vote with their money, and they votes decides how business will thrive. Businesses need to make sure that their strategy and tactics to engage their market are relevant, engaging, and personal. While various  social media and mobile platforms are popular ways to connect with target markets, email slips directly into people’s in-boxes, as easy as a newspaper delivered to their front door.

When you commit to using email as your main method of communication with your customers, clientele, and mailing lists, you have to make sure that you come across as someone who is a professional, and a professional is someone who doesn’t cut corners, and does good work. Making mistakes using your email channels can cost your business sales and tarnish your reputation.

 

What are the top email marketing mistakes? Continue reading The 5 Email Bloopers You Wouldn’t Want To Make

A Guide To Making Friendly Documentation

A good friend is supportive. Non-judgmental. Helpful. They’re there when you need them. I don’t know about you but doesn’t this sound like the kind of thing that would very much apply to good documentation?

What does good documentation do anyway?

  • When new users get lost in the details of figuring out how an unfamiliar system works, leaving breadcrumbs can help them find their way back to the basics and walk them through it, slowly this time, and at their own pace.
  • Sharing helpful tips is one way we build a community on-line.
  • Showing lessons step by step helps people learn to trust themselves as their build their skills, and develop a sense of self-reliability and accomplishment.
  • Giving strong sources lets people do additional research on their own and strengthens your position as a generous source of reliable, trustworthy information.
  • Showing people the evolution of your products — in updates and build specs, or versioning data — helps them understand what changes have taken place and can assure them that errors and bugs have been addressed.

In short: good documentation shares helpful information. Continue reading A Guide To Making Friendly Documentation

Editing For Blogs And Business Management

 Edit – from the Latin edo, editus – “bring forth; bring about.”

When we say the word ‘edit’, the meaning is taken to suggest “taking away’ or ‘whittling down’, and that’s true when it comes to writing.

Editing in a blogging contexts means taking out the parts that don’t quite scan, refining the whole, and preparing the article so it will present a coherent, cohesive message.

But, adding the original meaning of ‘bringing (something) forth” , a slightly different angle reveals itself. Refining means removing the extraneous parts to reveal the essential structure beneath.

For instance, paring down an article to remove filler, awkward sentences and unrelated ideas helps make the core message clearer by bringing it out from under all that obscuring material.

Editing, in nearly all contexts, makes it easier to get a bead on things. Clutter –mental or physical –doesn’t get in the way of vision, and you can focus better on fewer items.

When life today seems to be on a perpetual treadmill chasing after just-this-one-more-thing-to-do-right-NOW, rendering things to their cleanest, simplest forms can help you find a sense of balance, control and even gratitude in your life.

Editing and blogging
Blogging is textual sharing, and as can happen with any kind of sharing, things can get in the way: irrelevant details, awkward sentence construction or run-on sentences, etc.

Editing is refining the message so you end with the best presentation you can have: the message exactly as you want to say it.

You present knowledge into linked concepts– specially crafted passages that act like bullets aimed right at eliminating problems, or resolving issues, or stating a particular call to action.

Editing as a practice leads to precision sniping, and leading away from a scatter-shot approach, helps get the message delivered every time. Continue reading Editing For Blogs And Business Management

What Makes For Good Content?

You know, what with the running theme we had these few weeks about content — making it, spreading it around and marketing it (and marketing with it) — we may have looked past some things that are so simple we take them for granted.

  • Content is messages. You got something to say, and you share it. People can listen or read, and respond.
  • Content calls for engagement, response and reaction.
  • Content is giving form to your thoughts, or voice to your words, and sharing that. Content calls for sharable media in a public forum.
  • Online content is intent captured in ink and pixels: to share, to sell, to uplift, to inform, to teach, to show.
  • Content differs with each creator, but all content-creators want to feel their voice being heard, and to have registered with their audience.
  • Content needs an audience to resonate with.

We are a story-telling race. We tell stories to make sense of the world, to explain things, to teach. We use stories to call attention, incite, and educate. From the first cave-drawing to the little flash-ads scrolling on your screen, people want to get their message across. It’s in our nature.

Now the internet has given us a multitude of platforms on which to stand, and a very big bullhorn with which to reach our audiences. Content is words, and art, and sound, and video. Content lets you tell a story and helps you connect. What else is the internet but an virtual net connecting everyone through posted messages, and reactions sent back and forth? There are great watering holes where we gather to drink our fill of the information we want and need. As long as they don’t run dry, we’ll keep coming back.

What kind of content do we go for anyway?
Blogs, newsletters, and videos for daily updates. E-books, pod-casts, and e-zines to keep current. Webinars, whitepapers, and articles to educate ourselves… Whatever the platform, the content trickles into niches and targeted audiences. Whatever the niche — financial, information technology, entertainment, health and beauty, DIY crafting, self-help — the possibilities to share are endless.

Nobody knows exactly what new things will pop up in the next 5 or 10 years. That’s why we talk to one another and share things over the internet. Continue reading What Makes For Good Content?

Blogging Your Way To Your Market’s Attention

Social media’s power lies in numbers, in networks, and in its immediacy. One of the most popular social media platforms is the blog, and having one for your business can help you in many ways. You probably have your own favorite bloggers to follow (and blogs to visit) as there are a lot of them that have risen to the top of their niches in terms of popularity and reach, in no smart part due to the trustworthiness, value and reliability built with each post, and how bloggers engaging with their followers and subscribers.

The speedy evolution injected by the internet into our communication media exploded the ways we used to talk to each other. Snail mail was superseded by email, the numbers of long-distance calls fell once Skype was stable and running, and anyone could make their own free website — remember Geocities?

Blogging is no longer a recent phenomenon — not when you think in internet time. But it addresses the same ancient longing to make a connection, only now we can use Wi-Fi to do so. Whatever medium we use –social media, blogging platforms, networking apps and websites, we use it to connect, find information, share it, and motivate people to act on it for our benefit or on behalf of others. Continue reading Blogging Your Way To Your Market’s Attention

Blogging Tips: Creating a Course on Your Favorite Topic 2

13 September 2008, by A. Cedilla

Part 2 of 2

In the first half of this series we covered the first three steps of the ADDIE model: analysis, design and development. In this last part, we’ll finish up with implementation and evaluation.

Implementation
This is continuing the action to completion. This is the moment you’ve waited for, finally presenting your project to the world!

Depending on your delivery format, this step is your upload, blog post, product launch, course roll-out, first class, or the day you come face to face with the learners wanting to take your course.

Evaluation

Once you’ve presented your course, regardless of the medium, you must evaluate, evaluate, evaluate! This isn’t only the evaluation of student progress in your course (which can show you if your lessons are easily absorbed or not, or how effective your approach is, among other things), but also an evaluation of YOUR content, design and delivery.

Ask these questions during your evaluation: Did the students enjoy studying my presentation? Did they reach the learning objectives? Where can I make improvements to content, activities and delivery of my course?

Continue reading Blogging Tips: Creating a Course on Your Favorite Topic 2

Blogging Tips: Creating a Course on Your Favorite Topic 1

12 September 2008, by A. Cedilla

 Part 1 of 2

If you have a particular field of interest that you feel very passionately about, and you want to create a tutorial about it so you can share the love, you may be a little fuzzy on where to start.

Whether you plan to make a short tutorial or a formal course that would require more time and effort, you don”t need to worry because there’s a way you can use to get your course or tutorial completed.

It’s called the ADDIE model. It isn’t a template or a document; it’s a process to help you in creating your course efficiently and effectively.

The steps of the process are:  Analysis -Design – Development – Implementation -Evaluation

Analysis
This initial step identifies your audience, and covers the following areas:

  • How to get their attention and keep it on you (E.g good title application, excellent lead-ins to your offered tutorial which list the benefits they could get by availing of what you offer.)
  • Finding out what they need from you, and if you can give it to them, and how (in what medium, under what time constraints, etc.)

Continue reading Blogging Tips: Creating a Course on Your Favorite Topic 1