Tag: video

Mobile AppsNudge Blog

Mobile – tips every entrepreneur should know

It’s 2012 and smart phones and tablets are taking over the world!

Well, not quite, but according to whichever facts you read (yesterdays are already out of date), there are more devices than people in the United States! Many organizations are already employing a “Mobile First” strategy whenever they deliver content for the web. It’s all about design and user-experience and less about “shiny new objects.”

A few of my devices – Ipod and blackberry are missing!

That’s a big deal.

So, what does this mean for your business?

Should you jump on the bandwagon and create an app? Should you invest in a “mobile-ready” website? Is this really expensive? Do I need to hire a programmer?

All great questions, but feel free to take a deep breath. “Mobile” has been around for years. In fact, one of my expert friends, Judy Brown, has been pursuing mobile learning studies for over 15 years. It’s not new, but the ways we can use the capabilities of the new devices are and continue to progress.

Before you go and spend $100k on a robust app (I know some who have done this in the corporate/government world), take some time to think on a few thoughts and learn more about the following:

  • Who is your target audience? – Perhaps your target audience doesn’t use devices that much OR maybe they just won’t be using them for the purpose your product or service. Or, maybe they don’t live or work in an area that has great reception for mobile access.
  • Are you already mobile?– Chances are you didn’t know that your very own website is already mobile friendly. In some cases you need to modify the settings in the administrative section, but most are making mobile-read formats a default option. In fact, you’ll notice some websites looking more simple and elegant now to ensure that they easily translate into the many different browers available on devices. Online options that already have templates that serve up your content differently when people access your website from a mobile device:
  • What are downloadable apps vs. web-based apps?
    • Downloadable apps (typically through app stores) are often based upon a particular activity that the user is going to perform (e.g. play a game, draw something, calculate using built in equations, etc.) The programming involved and the amount of interaction the user has with the screen often makes the “app” a pretty big file size. We all know how difficult it is for the web to handle really large movies, games, etc. A downloadable app allows you to download that huge file to your device and play it “offline.” Now, some apps we like to call “blended apps” because you download them, but they still pull pieces and parts live from the web while you are using it. Of course all downloadable apps aren’t Angry Birds in complexity. Some use simple HTML templates (e.g. jquerymobile) that create a look and feel of an app, but they could technically just be offered through a normal web-page…which leads me to web-based apps.
    • Web-based apps (mobile apps)– sometimes the terms get all intertwined, but many of you probably have experience with web-based apps. For example, if you want to pay a bill from your phone, you may go to your bank website and it looks different on your phone than it does on the desktop.

  • Who is your target audience? – Perhaps your target audience doesn’t use devices that much OR maybe they just won’t be using them for the purpose your product or service. Or, maybe they don’t live or work in an area that has great reception for mobile access.
  • Are you already mobile?– Chances are you didn’t know that your very own website is already mobile friendly. In some cases you need to modify the settings in the administrative section, but most are making mobile-read formats a default option. In fact, you’ll notice some websites looking more simple and elegant now to ensure that they easily translate into the many different browers available on devices. Online options that already have templates that serve up your content differently when people access your website from a mobile device:
  • What are downloadable apps vs. web-based apps?
    • Downloadable apps (typically through app stores) are often based upon a particular activity that the user is going to perform (e.g. play a game, draw something, calculate using built in equations, etc.) The programming involved and the amount of interaction the user has with the screen often makes the “app” a pretty big file size. We all know how difficult it is for the web to handle really large movies, games, etc. A downloadable app allows you to download that huge file to your device and play it “offline.” Now, some apps we like to call “blended apps” because you download them, but they still pull pieces and parts live from the web while you are using it. Of course all downloadable apps aren’t Angry Birds in complexity. Some use simple HTML templates (e.g. jquerymobile) that create a look and feel of an app, but they could technically just be offered through a normal web-page…which leads me to web-based apps.
    • Web-based apps (mobile apps)– sometimes the terms get all intertwined, but many of you probably have experience with web-based apps. For example, if you want to pay a bill from your phone, you may go to your bank website and it looks different on your phone than it does on the desktop. Bank of America – desktop versionThat’s because they’ve (usability experts and interface designers) determined that you are most likely to perform certain banking actions on the phone compared to actions you would have taken on your desktop. They arrive at this from beta tests, usability studies, and customer feedback. Plus, they see the backend and know where you click…every.single.time. So, they want to create the best user experience possible while not creating more work for themselves.

  • Who is your target audience? – Perhaps your target audience doesn’t use devices that much OR maybe they just won’t be using them for the purpose your product or service. Or, maybe they don’t live or work in an area that has great reception for mobile access.
  • Are you already mobile?– Chances are you didn’t know that your very own website is already mobile friendly. In some cases you need to modify the settings in the administrative section, but most are making mobile-read formats a default option. In fact, you’ll notice some websites looking more simple and elegant now to ensure that they easily translate into the many different browers available on devices. Online options that already have templates that serve up your content differently when people access your website from a mobile device:
  • What are downloadable apps vs. web-based apps?
    • Downloadable apps (typically through app stores) are often based upon a particular activity that the user is going to perform (e.g. play a game, draw something, calculate using built in equations, etc.) The programming involved and the amount of interaction the user has with the screen often makes the “app” a pretty big file size. We all know how difficult it is for the web to handle really large movies, games, etc. A downloadable app allows you to download that huge file to your device and play it “offline.” Now, some apps we like to call “blended apps” because you download them, but they still pull pieces and parts live from the web while you are using it. Of course all downloadable apps aren’t Angry Birds in complexity. Some use simple HTML templates (e.g. jquerymobile) that create a look and feel of an app, but they could technically just be offered through a normal web-page…which leads me to web-based apps.
    • Web-based apps (mobile apps)– sometimes the terms get all intertwined, but many of you probably have experience with web-based apps. For example, if you want to pay a bill from your phone, you may go to your bank website and it looks different on your phone than it does on the desktop. Bank of America – desktop versionThat’s because they’ve (usability experts and interface designers) determined that you are most likely to perform certain banking actions on the phone compared to actions you would have taken on your desktop. They arrive at this from beta tests, usability studies, and customer feedback. Plus, they see the backend and know where you click…every.single.time. So, they want to create the best user experience possible while not creating more work for themselves. Bank of America – mobile browser versionOn the backend they put certain tags in the code that pulls content from one page and displays it on another in a mobile-ready format. That way, if they change content on the main site, it will automatically be updated on the mobile-ready pages. Other coders just put pieces of code in their pages to tell them which pieces of content do/don’t show when the page shows on a device and when/if it should show on the desktop. This is becoming fairly normal and many organizations now have a “Mobile First” strategy for presenting content on the web. Here’s an example of a site I’m very familiar with where the programmers “pull” content from the main website to display in this web app so they update content in one spot and it populates to this site. http://www.dau.mil – Check it out on your device? We’ve even set it up for tablets to display the mobile version.
  • How do I know if I need any kind of app for my business?
    • First of all, if you have a website created in the last couple of years it is most likely already mobile-friendly …or the provider is in the process of making it so. After all, they are competing for your business.
    • Secondly, you might not need one if all you are doing is presenting content, sharing typical info through typical online mediums (e.g. video, blog entries, discussion boards, etc.).
    • But, you might need one if you want to provide any of the following:
      • Personal Support Tools – need to track miles run, weight loss, calories consumed?
      • Reference Information – glossary, dictionary, tips and tricks.
      • Process Flow – step-by-step process to help remind people how to perform a task.
  • Is mobile here to stay? Yes. Need I say more? No, but I will. It is here to stay and it continues to be an innovative powerhouse for delivering content.
  • What “counts” as mobile?This is really important. A lot more “counts” as mobile than you might think. Smart phones and tablets have blown it wide open. In Africa most people don’t have a computer, but they have a cell phone. Text messaging has been huge there for years. Asia too. The U.S. has actually been somewhat behind. Text messaging can be a powerful way to deliver messages, spaced learning and drip marketing. Now that we are beyond cell phone into the smart phone and tablet era, there are so many options – email, phone, text messaging, video, web-apps, native apps (from the app stores), regular websites, cameras, recording options, etc. Mind blowing to actually have all of these capabilities at your fingertips!

Stay tuned for more!

Full Disclosure: Part of my day job is leading a Mobile Learning Initiative. So, these are thoughts off the top of my head, but I promise to follow up this post with well thought out info and more examples.

MarketingStoriesStorytelling

Tool – YouTube Search Stories

So many tools and so little time, right?

But, we want to keep sharing tips and tricks to get your message out to your users.

Here’s one that helps you tell a story through search. Not sure the value of it yet, but could be a small part of your overall marketing campaign.

http://www.youtube.com/searchstories

Here’s what one of the companies we’ve highlighted, Kuru Footwear, has done.

 

Customer RelationsMarketingVideo

Hiding – or not

Do you hide? Hide from customers, shy away from certain marketing activities, try to find excuses not to pursue something you know you really should?

We do too – especially the Chief Nudger of Nudge Village!

The Chief Nudger didn’t want to be “seen” in an online format for a while. But, through some of the tips provided through Villager Barbara (http://www.bijacoaching.com), the Chief Nudger decided it was time to come out of hiding and create a couple of videos!

Now, they aren’t perfect, but somewhere along the way it becomes very apparent that the only way to become better is to get out there and start doing the task that it most scary to do.

So, here you go…some thoughts from the Chief Nudger that stemmed from a Facebook Group conversation about the greatest challenges that entrepreneurs face.

 

You tell us – what does the Chief Nudger need to improve in her:

  • Appearance
  • Presentation Skills
  • Content Quality
  • Filming Capability
  • Other

This is a learning experience and if anyone should be willing to put it all out there – it should be the Chief Nudger!

 

ArtDistributorsWatercolor

Feedback – on ImageKind.com

Feedback is what we all hope for and …are a bit afraid of, right?

We all want to improve, but it can be a bit embarrassing to find out details about our areas of weakness.

However, if you use companies that distribute your product directly to the customer without your interaction, it is REALLY important to find out from your customers if they are happy with the results.

With so many companies available to choose from, there is no reason for you to settle for less than the best.

We ordered a print from Villager Natalierecently and she asked us to provide feedback on the company the company that we ordered from – ImageKind.

Here’s her site at ImageKind – http://nataliecardon.imagekind.com/

And, here is our amateur feedback

Graphic of Mary Kay's face
DesignVideo

Villager Mary Kay – In-Brief Video

Mary Kay Alegre 

Graphic of Mary Kay's face

Artwork by Mary Kay

Website: www.inbriefvideos.com
YouTube: youtube.com/inbriefvideos
Facebook: Search “In-Brief Videos”

 

What motivated you to start your own business?

A couple years ago I saw an instructional video that I loved. It was different from anything I had ever seen.  I wanted to make something like it. After letting the idea simmer, my husband and I tried making our first video in 2009.  We got out an old video camera, learned about lighting and sound among other new things, and found a topic. When the video turned out to our liking, we thought we’d try making a business out of it.

When did you realize you had talent in this area?

This is my dream job. I wanted to be a graphic designer when I grew up, but pursued a career in international studies and adult education instead, which I love too. So, now, sitting at my kitchen table drawing paper cut-outs that will educate and entertain audiences on topics of importance, like trade with China, and public health issues-I’m living the dream!

Do you do this full-time or part-time?

Part time, it is a perfect part time job—with morning and afternoon school pickups. If I (cross my fingers) get too much work, I’ll find people to work with me-and remain part-time.

What lessons have you learned along the way?

I worked in an office for about 10 years. When the little ones came along it was great to work online, from home. Recently, once the kids were off to school, I had to decide whether to go to work full time (job security, but in a “cube”) or try to launch the business (flexibility, creativity, no job security!). My practical side often wins out on decisions like this, but this time I didn’t let it. I concentrated on my priorities of a work/life balance, and told my husband to hang in there while we lived on only his income.

artwork from the InBrief videos

Artwork from the InBrief videos

We told all our friends and family about our first video via email. We posted it on YouTube. Everyone liked it. Friends shared it. The word was spreading. I prepared for an onslaught of contracts. It didn’t happen like that.  But, I’m very happy with our long “start-up mode”.  I’ve learned a lot, read a lot, and have had time to envision the company focus.

At first I did everything on my own. Created my own very basic website, tried to design a logo, etc.  I read a lot about marketing through social media and business development, but had a hard time knowing when and where to start when it came to my own business.  After getting some contracts last year, we felt we could invest in an outside company to help us. It was a great decision.

How do you market your business?

We’re using online social media and social networking as much as possible to spread the word about our videos and our company–Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn. We plan to add meaningful content to our blog on a regular basis, and to create a new video for public viewing every several months. Also, we’re looking into get involved with local organizations whose members might have an interest in videos like ours.

Any special offers to share with our readers?

Find us a new client, and get your video made for half price through 2011.

Can we come back and interview you again in a few months to find out what “next steps” you’ve taken in your business adventures?

Of course.

Welcome to Nudge Village Mary Kay!

Danielle Schuh
Storytelling

Meet Danielle – a little storytelling

A few weeks ago we posted a Nudge about storytelling here at Nudge Village. Check it out here as a reference.

We like to practice what we preach…even if it takes us a while to do so. And, even if the story is really short.

We fished around a bit and found out that our first Nudge Villager – Danielle from Schuh Photography – had a bit of a story.

So, we copied the format we had shared in our daily nudge. Here’s what we copied from and then we’ll show you what we did!

And, here’s what we created!

It took about an hour to put it together, create a Slideshare account and post it here!

We’ll continue to post more stories as you tell us what you are learning.

Do you have stories about your business? How you got started? A story about how your product or service works in the lives of your customers?

Think about it a bit. Bet you’ll find you have a few too.

And…

Please share it with us! We’d love to post it here too!