Five Tips for Great Storytelling

By Jordan Ruden 

The best way to engage an audience is with a great story. You can’t just be promoting all of the time. Here are a few basic tips on storytelling that can be applied to a social media campaign, an online video, or even a blog post.

1. Think about who is hearing your story. Who is your audience and what do they care about. Think about what will engage them to read another tweet, click on a story or keep watching an online video. Are you a local business trying to reach new customers or a fashion blog working to drive traffic to your site?  The idea is the same. Know your audience.

2. Organize the story around an act structure.  Acts are not just for plays. They can be a great tool to organize your story for articles, videos and even social media. You want to guide your audience through a series of emotions. Think about where to “turn” the story to create a reveal or change the tone.

3. Understand the medium. Twitter is words, Instagram is images, YouTube is motion pictures and music. Each of these forms require a different approach. Gary Vaynerchuk nails his story telling via Twitter. Max Joseph’s video work is exceptional: music, images and text on screen all come together perfectly in Follow the Frog.

4. Get advice. Whenever I write a story or produce a video, I get input from as many colleagues as possible. You can get so intertwined with a story you own that some aspects may not come through to the average reader or viewer.   If you’re stuck, or even if you’re not, a simple suggestion can turn a good video into a great video.

5. Have fun. If you enjoy writing, tweeting and making videos it will come through. Creativity is an incredible feature of the mind. Learn to use it and have fun.

There are many more things you can do to help tell stories. If you have some suggestions add in a comment below.

 

 

Five Tips for Successful Business Twitter Posting

By Jordan Ruden

Twitter is an incredible platform, but like anything else, those 140 characters are merely a tool, and you want to use your tools wisely. Here are a few tips that can help you engage and build your audience. 

Think about who is the audience, and what do they need.  

This seems simple enough but there is some nuance to thinking about who your followers are and what they need. You need to step out of your shoes and into the those of your customers or clients. Find out who your consumers are and how they engage on social media. 

Keep it conversational

Let your brand personality come through with each message. All of your tweets don't need to be about a product or service. Give your viewers access into your world. Give them the inside scoop of your company or event. View yourself as a content producer.

Engage with your audience

Make sure to respond to favorites, retweets and shares. Always respond to questions or inquiries.

Keep it timely

In today's fast moving informational world, relevance is key. It does not mean you need to talk about every current event. Just what is relevant to your niche. 

Understand the platform

As Gary Vaynerchuk says:  "Facebook is like TV, Twitter is like a billboard, Pinterest is like a magazine"

 

Best Tools for Managing Local Listing Sites

By Jordan Ruden 

One of the best ways for local business to extend their online reach and build awareness is to use local listings sites. These can include Yelp or Angie's list, but now also include Google+ and a growing number of websites specific to a city or region. The trick is to know how to best utilize these sites, which sites to spend time on customizing your message, and if and when to spend any marketing dollars on these sites. 

One great resource is getlisted.org. They are a one stop shop for seeing how your business is listed on Google, Bing, and other local search engines. All you need to do is put in your business name and zip code and it finds your company on the web.   I advise clients to work with their local search engines to make sure they remove any duplicate listings and get their message and information consistent across all the sites. 

Local listing sites are a great way to increase your search engine results because they provide inbound links to your site.  I have seen great improvement in traffic and search engine results for my clients resulting from careful addition to these free resources.

Search Engine Optimization Techniques​ for Non Profits

By Jordan Ruden 

When a client wants to increase web traffic the first tool I reach for is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is the strategic building block used to increase not only traffic but placement on search engine results pages (SERP).  

The trick with any business, but especially non profits is to figure out how to reach and engage the right audience. This is something that the search engine software alone simply can't do. Working with the organization, we find the right keywords to facilitate targeted non branded organic search visits.  The best keywords will depend in part on the organization’s (or your) target audience and how they (you) will be measuring success.  

Once the strategy is set and the goals are clear, then it's time to think about the mechanics of how to implement the strategy on the site. This involves reviewing the: 

  • Page Titles
  • URL's
  • Page Headers
  • Content 
  • Meta Descriptions

Sites that were buried deep in Google SERP can gain first page placement with good SEO technique. The right placement can increase page views and is an important first step in building or improving your web presence.

These changes do not happen overnight. It sometimes takes a few weeks for Google to reindex the pages and get them in their proper home, but it does work and can drive long lasting results.

Best Practices for Successful Online Video

By Jordan Ruden 

Online video is a great way to create awareness of your company, mission, product or service.  However as inexpensive as it is to create online video today, it still constitutes an investment in time and money.  Getting video done right s critical to its success. 

As GOOD's Head of Production for the last few years I developed some best practices to create both engaging and brand friendly online video. At GOOD we produced hundreds of videos with combined over 40 million views across YouTube and on GOOD's site.  Some videos were viral hits while others served to educate a more targeted audience.  Here are some of my takeaways.

Whether it is a documentary about harnessing wind power in off the grid villages, an animated infographic about the need for clean water in undeveloped countries, an outrageous super cut about kissing or a recruitment video for Starbucks all of these videos share the same best practices. 

reat Storytelling: This is the first and most important part of the video. The story needs to engage the viewer. This holds true for a thirty second clip or a 15 minute documentary. This can be done with excellent characters, both fiction and non fiction. Sharing information can really help build a story.

roduction Value: This does not mean that you need to shoot 35MM film, but great photography, clear audio and a little color work can go along way.  Shooting on DSLR camera is an inexpensive way to create a great look. UGC video has its place too, so make sure you have the right look for the goal you want to achieve. 

Music: Video is not only about pictures; it is a multimedia format.  he right music can change the entire tone of your video. Make sure you don't use copyrighted material and obtain the right permissions for all music. 

Entertaining: People go online to enjoy themselves. This does not mean videos all need to be funny. Even a great and serious documentary can engage the viewer. Online video should be inspirational. 

Title and Description: This can go along way. In 2009 GOOD created a short mini-documentary about the problem of invasive jellyfish off the coast of Japan. Now Japanese scientists are trying to figure out how to harvest and create marketable products from them.  Over the past few years the video has done close to 900K views just from its title Attack of The Giant Jellyfish. Using the right keywords in the title can drive views. 

This is not an exhaustive list by any means, but with these few guidelines and today's technology you can create an engaging video nexpensively. If you have any questions about this feel free to contact us and I would be happy to share more. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creative Colleague - Jeff Conrad

As I get this business started, one of the things I am most excited about is collaborating  again with incredible creative colleagues. Over the last few years I have had the honor of working with Jeff Conrad. He is a talented editor and composer. We worked together on countless videos.  One of my favorites was Inner City Arts. It is about a school program Inspiring inner-city children through art classes. Inner City Arts is giving kids a canvas in Los Angeles's Skid Row neighborhood to help make sure the next generation has the imagination to improve the world. Jeff edited and provided one of the tracks for this excellent non profit mini documentary. 

 

What is the Best Time to Post on Social Media?

What time of day is best to post on social media? This is a question that comes up often. Social Caffeine has put together an informative infographic outlining their suggestions for the best and worst times to post on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest. Interestingly this timing aligns with the times HootSuite often will auto schedule posts.  

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Emerging Media for Non Profits

By Jordan Ruden 

This excellent article, Emerging Media for Non Profits, from Chief Marketer provides five tips for non profits in today's changing digital landscape. They suggest:

 

        1. Start with a plan
        2. Encourage sharing and re-posting
        3. Don’t think of social as just a single medium
        4. Take it slowly and don’t expect miracles
        5. Test and adjust 

        This is very similar to my approach. Creating or reinventing your online presence requires a strategic plan. There are so many levers available to small business and non profits, it can be overwhelming to choose the right tool and make the best use of it. Approaching each platform with a plan and a willingness to adjust as you go will ensure success.   We can make sure we are reaching and engaging the desired audience by reviewing analytics as projects progress.  

         

        One Eyed Acres Launches

        Hello world,

        I am happy to annonce the launch of One Eyed Acres. My goal is to help small business and non-profits with digital, social and content strategy.  This company was born out of my love to help move the world froward in a positive way and create positive impact.