Month: December 2013

Top 5 Tips on Creating a Real-Time Engagement Strategy

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2014 is going to be an exciting year in real-time marketing and engagement strategies. Brands in 2013 spent time figuring out how to get to their customers at the right time based upon trending data but now brands have an opportunity to be proactive creating real-time events based upon their schedule (e.g. product launches).  The below presentation covers 5 tips on creating a real-time engagement strategy with your community of passionate fans and how to strategically plan and tactically run a branded, moderated, engaging and online event.

5 Tips on Live Blogging Your Next Event

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5 Tips on Live Blogging Your Next Event

Brands have a huge opportunity to engage with their community during product launches. No longer are you just having a press only event but brands have the ability to invite their communities that can’t attend the event in-person to a live engaging online event.  From a tactical standpoint having been involved with over 150+ online events with my clients over the years here are 5 tips:

1. Empower your employees

You might be a one person social media machine at your company but you can’t be everywhere at the event so train your employees to take photos, videos and post messages to their favorite social network about what’s going on from their perspective. A couple of weeks before the event, have a lunch meeting and update the team (product, marketing, event, customer support and pr) on the live blogging & social strategy.

2. Incorporate & Curate from Twitter

It’s without saying with any event that you produce whether in-person or online or a combo, a hashtag is helpful to amplify your message to influencers. Incorporate it into all the presentation decks, speeches, posters, badges, event marketing materials and the live video stream. Once it is incorporated, they key issue as a live blogger for a company is how are you going to curate that content in a moderated fashion. Not every tweet is going into your live blog stream so find a live blogging platform that can help you with the moderation flow/process.

3. Give your online attendees some love

So often in live online events, the online attendees are not highlighted or even given the ability to ask questions. For example, the Salesforce Dreamforce events do a great job of video streaming but a poor job of incorporated real-time user feedback into the presentations. Best thing you can do is the following:

  • Announce attendee locations – simple yet effective.
  • Take questions from the online audience – give a few mins of love and have a platform that can save questions for the right time during your event.
  • Raffle off a prize for online attendees or offer some exclusive content.

4. Have your social media toolkit ready for prime-time

Here is a mini-checklist of tools you should have at your disposal and shared with employees attending the event, if applicable:

  • SLR camera w/ external flash and if possible mobile lighting system (Canon 7D is my choice of camera)
  • Your preferred choice of mobile app publishing tools (depending on the client I use Blyve, Sprout Social or Hootsuite)
  • FAQ that includes answers to respond to common expected questions
  • Social content that can be referenced in the form of product launch videos, how-to videos, datasheets and screenshots. Store everything in Dropbox or similar service and make sure everyone has access to it.

5. Make it an integrated marketing campaign

Market the online event at minimum 2 weeks out if you have that flexibility. When marketing it make sure it is in all your event marketing materials, tell your partners/vendors to tune in and use your employee’s social influence to spread the word. As the owner of the live blog / online event, create a doc that is easy for everyone to cut-n-paste content into their specific channels. Provide small, medium and large copy blocks, imagery, links to share and your contact info.

In the words of philanthropist Margaret Mead:

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

If there is one thing that you leave from this blog post, empower a small team of bloggers with real-time engagement tools and real-time marketing content. If you have that in place you’ll have a successful live blog with community engagement that ties back to your business goals.

As always, comment below or ping me at or @djksar on Twitter.

Happy Holidays!

This blog post originally appeared on the Business 2 Community website & syndicated on Yahoo! Small Business.
Image Credit: Flickr User Zach Scott

Blyve Chat: 3 Marketing Automation Roles to Hire in 2014

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hey everyone. We’ll be chatting with Michael Berger from Marketo and Brian Hansford from Heinz Marketing on marketing automation roles in 2014.  Brian wrote a great blog post titled “3 Marketing Automation Roles to Hire in 2014” where he gave advice to marketing executives on how they should hire, discussed the skillset required and how not to rely your ROI and leads on one person.  It will be an exciting conversation and we invite you to participate in the chat on 12/10 at 2:30pm PT / 5:30pm ET at

Here are Michael’s and Brian’s bio:

Brian HansfordBrian Hansford, Director of Client Services, Heinz Marketing
Brian Hansford manages Heinz’s marketing automation practice and specializes in developing demand generation and marketing automation strategies for our clients. Brian is a 20 year veteran of the technology industry working for organizations such at Open Text, Citrix, Attachmate and Cambridge Technology Partners. Prior to joining Heinz, Brian was the CMO at Zephyr 47 a marketing automation agency where he helped EMC Isilon win an 2011 Eloqua Markie award. Brian is an Eloqua Product Master and frequently speaks on and publishes original content on B2B marketing, database health, content marketing and marketing automation. Brian lives in Redmond, WA with his family and enjoys supporting local Boy Scout troops and he is considered one of the most popular home plate umpires for local chapters of Little League. You can follow Brian on Twitter @RemarkMarketing or Google+ and view his background on LinkedIn.

Michael BergerMichael Berger, Director of Product Marketing, Marketo
 Prior to joining Marketo, Michael was the Sr. Director of Marketing at McGraw-Hill, where he deployed Marketo to help fuel the company’s growth in the rapidly expanding educational technology market.  In addition to growing revenue, he relied on Marketo to precisely measure the return McGraw-Hill was getting on its marketing investments, enabling better decisions on future spend.  Prior  to McGraw-Hill, Michael was Sr. Director of Product and Channel Marketing at Xora, a fast-growing SaaS company in the mobile location–based services space.  Before switching to his current product marketing role, Michael had been managing Marketo’s own lead nurturing programs in order to accelerate leads through the middle of the sales funnel.

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New Chat 12/5 10am PST: Creating Social Videos

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Join video producer Cory Fossum and social strategist Randy Ksar to chat about best practices on creating social videos this Thursday 12/5 at 10am PST / 1pm EST. RSVP to the Blyve event at