A Fun Video Made With a Fun New Service!

I came across a new video animation service available at goanimate.com and made this silly short video using their free tools.  I’m going to sit down and make up some more intriguing scripts to see if I can get enough benefit out of it to pay the $4.50 per month personal account fee.

See what you think!

 

What’s the Difference? by Justin P Lambert on GoAnimate

Animated Presentations – Powered by GoAnimate.

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Answering a Question About Ghostwriting

{EAV:c5027ab294e393fc}  — Please disregard this code.  It’s my Empire Avenue confirmation code, and needs to be on this post for a day.  Sorry for any inconvenience.  :)

 

Last night I had the privilege of speaking to a group of folks at the local library.  They invited me to come to speak about my writing (both commercial and non-commercial), to read some of my poems and a short story, and to answer questions from the audience.

One of the audience members was specifically interested in ghostwriting: what it was, why and how it was done, and who took advantage of the service.

The following video includes my answer to those questions.  Enjoy!

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WTBWY TV: How Much? How Soon? How Often?

This is the fourth video in a series on the basics of content marketing.  The transcription is below for those of you who can’t stand looking at my ugly mug for five minutes.

 

Transcript:

Thanks very much for joining me again, this is Justin P Lambert from Words That Begin With You, Customer-focused Content Marketing.

Now the questions that we’re going to review today are: how much? How soon? and How often?  The reason being that if you’ve done anything at all with content marketing thus far, you’ve probably already realized this, but it takes a lot of content put out there very often in order to put a dent in the huge amount of information that’s already flowing, especially online these days.

So, it takes a certain level of commitment to succeed at content marketing.  It’s not to say that it’s impossible, especially for an individual who’s working on their own.  It’s possible, and actually many people have succeeded very well with content marketing, but it’s definitely not an overnight success.  It’s something that takes time and commitment.

The Content Marketing Hurricane

This is an analogy that I like to use.  I actually did a blog post about it not too long ago.  I call it a content marketing hurricane.  The reason I call it that is if you think about the way a hurricane develops, it begins way off in the ocean where no one lives.  Nobody notices this happening except maybe those few weathermen who’s job is to keep their eye on this sort of thing, and it’s just basically a thunderstorm.  It’s just a little bit of a storm.  But it’s in the right conditions where it begins to build.

Now, as these conditions coalesce and as the wind and the temperature and the amount of moisture that it’s picking up, it might be upgraded to what’s called a tropical depression.  Then, the meteorologists, the weathermen, are starting to take notice of this, they’re keeping their eye on it, but it doesn’t amount to much just yet.  People on the mainland certainly don’t care about it.

But then, it begins picking up a little more steam.  Some more wind, some more moisture are added, and suddenly it’s a tropical storm with winds somewhere in the 30′s or 40 miles per hour.  Now, at this point, people do start taking notice.

Nobody’s leaving their homes, nobody’s boarding things up, nobody’s considering moving things up out of the way of the storm, but they’re keeping their eye on it.  It’s going to be on the news.  And a lot of times, at that point, weathermen are able to predict, if it continues to progress, where approximately it’s going to hit the land.

Then, things continue to progress from there.  There’s yet more wind, more power.  Momentum is being built in this storm.  The wind speeds pick up, and eventually it’s a hurricane.  Now at this point, people definitely are taking notice.  Wherever it is that that storm is expected to hit land, people are leaving their homes in many cases.  People are putting up boards on their windows, they’re taking action, because they know that this is going to be a powerful event.

And when that hurricane hits land, it has a tremendous effect doesn’t it?

See, it’s very similar with content marketing.  When you start doing it, it’s going to be like you’re out in that ocean by yourself.  You’re going to put a few blog posts out there, and you’re going to work your butt off to make them the best they can be, but you’re not going to get a huge response right up front.  You shouldn’t expect that you would.

But as you continue to add to that content that you’re putting out, and you continue to make sure that it’s constantly building momentum, that it’s constantly of such a high quality that people have to start taking notice of it, it’s just like that storm brewing out in the ocean and starting to move toward land.

The more high-quality content you add to that storm, the more momentum it picks up and the more power it has, the more people are going to take notice.   And when you do finally “hit land” so to speak, when your content marketing starts really bringing in results, it’s going to be a powerful effect because all of the momentum of all of the content that you’ve already created is behind that effect that your marketing plan is going to have.

But, the only way that you can continue to build such a strong momentum in your content marketing program is if you continue to add quality content on a consistent basis, and it has to be done strategically.  Now strategy is something that we’re going to discuss in the next video, but for now, just keep in mind as I said before, there is a level of commitment necessary, it’s going to take time, but by all means it’s possible – even likely, if you’re willing to put in that effort – that you’re going to have that tremendous effect with your content marketing program.

I look forward to witnessing that, and I hope you’re enjoying mine as well.  Thanks very much and have a great day.

 

 

 

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WTBWY TV: How Can You Market With Content?

This is the third in a series of videos covering some of the basics of Content Marketing.  Please let me know what you think in the comments, as I’ve never done this before!

 

Transcript:

Hey, thanks for joining me again.  This is Justin P Lambert from Words That Begin With You, Customer-focused Content Marketing.

Now, this video’s talking about a pretty broad question and I’m not going to try to cover it completely.  You wouldn’t want to sit here that long, and I wouldn’t either.  But the question is, how do you go about marketing with content?

Probably, you’ve already experienced all manner of content marketing.  You may not realize that that’s what it’s called.  But basically, any time that a company or an individual has a message to share and they do so in an entertaining and engaging way, it’s a form of content marketing.  Especially if it’s done in a strategic way where they’re really focusing on finding their target audience and giving that target audience information that they’re really looking for.

So, you’ve probably experienced it a lot.  And if you’re trying to do it yourself, probably the best and easiest method you can come across is using a blog.  Now why is that one of the best methods of content marketing available to business owners and individuals today?

Well, there are a few reasons:

Cheap

First of all, it’s cheap.

And by cheap I mean that it’s possible to get started in content marketing, with a blog that is respectable, for free.  And it only takes a few minutes.

I’m not going to go into all the details now, but if you’re not familiar with WordPress, look it up on Google.  You can go to WordPress.com, just pick one of their many templates, and you can start blogging in ten minutes.  And it’s free.

It’s a little more complicated to download wordpress.org software, because you need to have it on your own hosted site, but a lot of bloggers who are putting a lot of effort into content marketing prefer that platform because it gives them a lot more leeway and a lot more opportunity to do things the way that they’d like, to set things up in a customized way.

But again, it’s free.  And if you know what you’re doing, or if you can follow instructions pretty easily, you can be started in an hour or less.

Fast

Also, it’s fast.

As I just mentioned, you can get started very quickly.  But even maintaining a blog can be fairly quick. Generally, blog posts are anywhere from 300 to, let’s say, 1000 words.  It’s not long as far as articles go, because most people who go to look at blogs are not expecting to be sitting there reading for a long time.

So as long as you have a grasp of the English language (or whatever language you’re looking to write in,) and you’re able to formulate your thoughts in a logical way and put them out on the screen in a way that people can understand, you should be able to get a blog post done in a very short time.  And publishing it is a click of a button.  And then it’s available for the entire world to see.

Flexible

A third reason that blogging is so effective for content marketing is that it’s flexible.

Blog software, such as WordPress, can accept regular text articles, or can include videos like the one you’re watching now, it can include podcasts, which is basically audio recordings as if you were listening to someone on the radio, and any number of other combinations of these.

So one blog, which, as I just mentioned, can be quickly put together for free, can include many different types of content.  And all of these different types of content can appeal to different audiences as I discussed in a previous video.

Powerful

Finally, blogging is powerful.  And by that I mean it provides many of the aspects that content marketing needs to be successful.

For one thing, as I just brought out, it’s very flexible and able to include many different types of content.  Which is important when you’re trying to appeal to your target audience.  Not everybody likes to sit there and read text.  Some people prefer the visual element, such as videos.  Some people prefer to be able to download a podcast to their iPods and listen away from their computer.  And other people do enjoy searching through text itself.

But when you’re writing a blog, or you’re including a video or a podcast, it also has the benefit of being searchable by Google.  As I mentioned in a previous video, Google is the main source for seeking out information these days.  So, if you’re trying to market with content, and you’re doing so in a way that Google isn’t going to find and register on their search engine, you may as well not be doing it because nobody’s going to find it and nobody’s going to care.

But with a blog, it’s actually set up in such a way that Google really likes.  Because it’s constantly updated.  So Google is going to be sending out their robots to your website on a regular basis and if it finds that your site is stagnant, it’s not going to continue to bring it up in search results as quickly.  But with a blog, if you continue to keep it updated on a regular basis, you’re going to find that Google raises its priority in the search results.  Which means, without much more effort on your part than just getting your message out there, you have a better chance of it being seen than someone who is not actively updating their site.  So a blog makes that possible.

Now, I’ve been focusing primarily on blogging because it’s one of the easiest, fastest, and most powerful means of getting into content marketing today.  But of course, there are literally hundreds of other opportunities available to you.  It really takes creativity, and a special effort to think about and identify your target audience and what type of content they’re going to be looking for.

For example, even offline, you’re going to find many opportunities to get involved in content marketing.  Perhaps through writing articles for newspapers, magazines, trade magazines and the like.  You can write a regular column for your local paper if your target audience is reading that paper.

There are other means of audio and video distribution offline you can get involved with as well.  But content marketing today is primarily focused online because, again, that’s where people go first for their information.  So, in that respect, a blog still remains the easiest, fastest, and probably most powerful means of getting your message out there effectively.

If you haven’t tried it yet, definitely do.  And if you want, you can stop by Words That Begin With You at justinplambert.net for an example of what a blog can do because, for the most part, that’s how I market with content: by means of my blog as well as you’ll find some downloadable free reports there as well.

I encourage you to browse around the site, see what there is to see and leave some comments or get in touch with me at the contact page so you can ask any questions you may have.

Thanks again for your time in watching this video, and have a great day.

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WTBWY TV: Why is Content Marketing So Important?

Here’s the second in a series of brief instructional videos covering some basics about content marketing.  Enjoy!

 

Transcript:

Hi everyone, it’s Justin P Lambert again from Words That Begin With You, customer-focused content marketing.

If you watched my first video, it was on the question of “what is content marketing”?  This time I’m going to talk about a slightly different question: “why is content marketing so important”?

You’ve probably noticed in the last several months, if you’ve been doing any sort of research at all about marketing, that content marketing has really grown in popularity.

In some cases, it’s just the terminology that’s become more popular because people have been doing content marketing for years.  But the entire concept of content marketing has become a lot more popular and there are a few good reasons for that.

First of all, as we know, the economy has changed and marketing has to change with it.  So content marketing, back say 10, 15, 20 years ago, was a fairly expensive way to market your business because producing content, which was generally in printed form, was very expensive.  Then you would need to print it, have it shipped, then mailed out if you weren’t going to distribute it personally.  All of this contributed to the cost of content marketing as it existed 20 years ago.

These days, of course, content marketing is nearly free, at least to those who do it on a small scale, because if you can set up a blog online, at a free site such as wordpress.com, or get the free wordpress software to put on your own site, for a couple of dollars a year for a domain name, you’ve got a content marketing vehicle that’s highly effective at next to no cost.

You can, of course, expand from there.  But that’s one of the major reasons that it’s so popular now, and of course one of the reasons why it’s so important as well.

Now, there’s a few things, specifically three things I’m going to touch on as very important aspects of why content marketing is so effective, and therefore so important, especially for smaller businesses looking to compete in today’s economy.

First of all, an effective content marketing campaign is going to give you excellent search engine rankings.  Now we all know that these days the phone book is hardly ever used.  If somebody wants to look up goods, services or products, they’re probably going to turn to Google.

Now, if you have a website out there, and you’re putting plenty of good quality information that your target audience is going to be looking for, and that’s written in such a way that the terms that they use in Google are highlighted in your text, or your videos, or whatever content you’re using, then there’s a very good chance that they’re going to find your site when they’re looking for something.

And when they find your site, especially if it’s in the top 10 list of Google, there’s a very good possibility they’re going to choose you over your competitors

Secondly, a quality content marketing campaign is going to make you look like an expert to those that are looking for the information you’re providing.  As I just mentioned, if you have high search engine rankings, that’s equivalent to walking from backstage on Oprah to the studio audience while she says, “here’s the guy who wrote the book on…” whatever subject she’s discussing.

That’s a huge boon.  Because if you look like the expert, and people are valuing the information you’re providing, especially since you’re providing it on a consistent basis, which a good content marketing campaign requires, then you become the goto person for that information.

So if you happen to be a consultant, or someone who makes a living providing information, a content marketing campaign is going to make you the goto person for exactly what you sell.  Similarly, if you provide some sort of service or product that is in direct relation to the content you’re providing, then of course you’re going to be top-of-mind when someone decides to go forward and purchase whatever you’re selling.

Your competitors are going to be behind you in your customers’ minds.  And that’s exactly what you want to do as far as positioning goes.  So again, content marketing is very important because it puts you in that expert position.

Finally, the third reason that it’s so important, especially these days, is that content marketing is an excellent component of an inbound marketing campaign.

Now, those terms are not exactly synonymous but inbound marketing requires that content marketing be included.  Basically, inbound marketing means the opposite of what for decades has been the standard for marketing, which is basically interruptive, or outbound, marketing: advertisements, such as commercials during a TV show, or those little ads that are on the side of a website.

Now generally, these days, we’re bombarded with so much of that, and have been all our lives, that we pretty much ignore them all.  Inbound marketing, on the other hand, draws people to a company, and generally they’ll do so by providing some sort of valuable content, whether it be actual information such as “how-to” articles and so forth, or in some cases companies have used interactive games and things like that that bring their audience to them.

And then, once the audience is warmed up, and they know, like and trust the people providing that information, then selling to that audience is a much easier transition.

So there’s three main reasons why a quality content marketing campaign can really be important to your business.  It provides search engine rankings, it provides expert status that’s so valuable, and it’s part of a valuable inbound marketing campaign.

That’s it for this video, thanks very much for watching, and tune in for more.  Have a great day.

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WTBWY TV: What is Content Marketing?

Enjoy the first in (what I hope will be) a long line of brief, instructional videos.  It ain’t much, but it’s out here and I’m hoping I’ll get better as I go along.

Let me know what you think!  There’s a comments section below, you know?

 

Transcript:

Hey, how you doing?  This is Justin P Lambert from Words That Begin With You, customer-focused content marketing.

I wanted to put a series of videos together, just to give you a real quick insight into how I view some basic content marketing concepts.  And this first one, the one you’re viewing now, has to do with how I define content marketing.

The reason I think that’s important is because it’s defined in different ways all around the net.  Some people think it’s synonymous with copywriting, but really it’s not.  Other people think that it’s synonymous with pretty much any type of marketing, assuming that as long as you’re marketing your business, you’re creating content.  But that’s not really true either.

So, here’s my definition of content marketing, at least the way I see it:

Content Marketing is the consistent, strategic production of valuable information, through media your current or potential customers enjoy consuming, in order to help them know, like and trust you, viewing you as a valued source of help at the right time.

First of all, one of the main points is that it’s valuable.

Now what do I mean by valuable?

Well, if you’re doing content marketing right, you’re creating content that you could sell if you wanted to.  It’s worth that much to the people that you’re speaking to, your target audience.  But you’re going to be giving it away for free for the most part.  So it’s valuable information.

Secondly, it’s going to be enjoyable to your target audience.  That means it’s going to be done in such a way that it can be entertaining, it can be something that they truly enjoy getting involved in.

For instance, right now, I’m making a video.  For the most part, I haven’t been doing much in the way of videos, this is my first one.  But obviously, many people who go online searching for information search for videos because YouTube is the #2 search engine on the web.

So, all of my text information back at my site is good for those who enjoy consuming text.  But if you’re one of those people who enjoys searching via video, you’re going to find this video about content marketing. I’ve made it for people who enjoy consuming video.

And third, this information’s going to be timely.  And by timely, what I mean is, if you’re doing content marketing right, it’s going to be a consistent flow of information that your target audience is going to want to look into.  It’s not something where you can just put out a site that’s just going to lay stagnant there and forever you’re going to reap the benefits of it.

That rarely happens.

Instead, something like an online blog is a perfect example because one of the main reasons a blog is so effective is because you’re consistently putting out new information so that people can consistently come back and learn new things from you.

And that’s why an effective content marketing program could take some time.  But it’s very rewarding as well.

So basically, just to review the definition that use for content marketing is that it is valuable, enjoyable and timely information that is made specifically for your target audience to consume.

That’s it for this video.  Tune in for some more coming up.  Thanks and have a great day!

 

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