Don't "Silence" Your Cell Phone!
We've all heard it. At a conference, business meeting and virtually every public event we attend. And, of course, turning the ringer off is a protocol I personally wish more people would be cognizant of.
So am I contradicting myself? Not at all. When it comes to your mobile phone, it's not about what's incoming that's critical in these situations. It's about what's outgoing!
Are you taking advantage of your phone’s content creation potential - not just when you're in these venues, but throughout your business day? Most people aren't. And that's where you can get a leg up on your competition.
Often in these public situations, including when we're in our place of business doing our daily routine, we see, hear or even say something ourselves that has great marketing value. But just as often, we don't take copious notes. So that pithy comment, clever analysis or striking visual moment disappears into the ether. That's where keeping your cell phone at the ready can make all the difference.
Here are five ways you can—and should—use your mobile phone every day.
1. Take notes as you move through your day.
Instead of carrying around a notepad everywhere you go, use your smartphone to record ideas you can save and revisit when you’re ready.
Content creation often begins with a spark of an idea that needs fleshing out. For small businesses and nonprofits, some of the most interesting and engaging content can come from the most basic and routine parts of your day. Conversations with customers or clients, chatting with employees, observing an activity or event—are all great sources for marketing ideas that you can use in the future.
2. Bookmark stories that you find impactful
Almost as bad as not remembering a great idea is reading an article or story you know your customers will love and not being able to find it when you need it. With your smartphone, you can now bookmark those stories and revisit them when you’re ready. Personally, I peruse dozens of marketing oriented emails, blogs, etc. every week. When I find something interesting, I bookmark it; and often some part of it eventually ends up in one of my Marketing Tips & Tricks newsletter!
3. Record your thoughts
One source of rich media people often overlook is audio. Capture your reaction to events or interactions in your own words, brainstorm out loud or capture a brainstorming session, create educational content for your customers or employees. Often what we now refer to as "podcasts" can become an effective method to communicate with your local network of customers and employees—or to the entire world!
If you want to make your audio easier to share and integrate with your social media marketing, check out the app tips below.
4. Shoot video to bring your ideas to life
Smartphones have given small businesses and nonprofits amazing new tools that let them shoot, edit and share videos that are actually pretty amazing. With the quality of cameras continuously improving and video sharing sites like YouTube making it easier to share videos, marketing with video is no longer a Hollywood affair.
As a small business, you can shoot videos anywhere, then either save them for later, upload them to YouTube or share them with your social networks in a matter of minutes.
Of course, shooting a video that will make your business or nonprofit look professional and credible takes more than a phone that shoots 1080p video. Content creation is an art, so make sure you're putting your best face forward when you enter the public arena!
5. Take photos that tell your story and compel your audience
Except for a few exceptions, like celebrity profiles or product shots, the most compelling pictures in most marketing material are candids. People love to see what's going on "behind the curtain." Show your staff interacting with customers, show your customers themselves (everyone loves to see themselves in print—and will often drive their own contacts to your website or forward your emails for you—just to show their friends). Show off your latest award, newest or recently promoted employee, use photos of previous events to drive this year's event attendance.
Photos aren’t just incredibly effective, they are also incredibly easy to use—especially when you have a smartphone. Find something you want to take a picture of, snap a photo, log on to your phone’s Facebook or Twitter app, upload the photo with a caption or create a tweet, and press ”Send.” That’s it! You can also save those same photos on your phone and use them again when you’re ready to design next month’s newsletter or update your business’ website.
With practice, you’ll be using your smartphones to develop valuable interactive content during your day-to-day operations and during live events. You won’t just be telling your customers and clients what you’ve been up to; you’ll be showing them—with text, candid photos and short videos. The best email marketing and social media campaigns include brief stories and compelling visual content!
Thanks to Ryan Pinkham @RyanPinkham for his insights on this subject.