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3 Tips to stop producing boring content

In order for your business to gain a cult (or commercial) online following, you’re going to need to provide your fans and followers with something to sink their teeth into, something to while away their online hours. The key is that they should be thinking of your brand while they are consuming this content – be it videos, blog posts, infographics, cartoons, eBooks, charts, Twitter chats or webinars.

It’s not always easy to produce original, engaging content on a regular basis. It takes time that you may not have, but it always pays off! Whatever you do, don’t reproduce other people’s content. Rather spend a little time repurposing other content you find to make it your own.

Here are three tips to keep your online audience enthralled with your content.

1. Appeal to the Emotions

Humans are emotional beings. If you’re feeling stressed at the end of the week and could do with a laugh and a drink, it’s likely your fans do too. The most powerful and viral content online is undoubtably humourous. Funny, cute and emotionally charged images, videos and stories will always win the day.

2. Aim to Inspire

People today are surrounded by a fair amount of negativity – in the news, online, at home, at work. More than anything, sometimes people just want to feel inspired and reassured with a positive message. Use your platform to do that and chances are people will share and ‘like’ a lot more.

3. Be Mysterious

By appealing to human being’s innate sense of curiosity your target market won’t be able to resist getting sucked in to your campaign. Serving up small titbits of information in anticipation of a big reveal is a great strategy, as is giving people only half the story and waiting to supply the rest. You can bet they’ll be checking in regularly to see when the next instalment appears.

Read:

21 Types of content we all crave
22 Ways to Create Compelling Content

Mango’s new mobi hits the sweet spot

I have to applaud Mango Airlines. While all the other low budget airlines are struggling to keep airborne, they’ve come out with something fairly revolutionary (in South African terms) - a mobisite with booking capability!

I’ve said many times how great it would be if more businesses would enable actual booking, ordering and purchasing capabilities on mobile and this is an example of someone thinking ahead and realizing the possibilities!

The question remains whether Mango have done a good job with it. I tend to say, yes. It’s simple and effective with no frills and that’s something we like in a mobisite!

They’ve put all the focus on booking so there’s very little else on offer. When you click on “Book your flight” you can follow the exact same process you would on the main site to do just that. The writing is all legible and the process completely optimized for the mobile platform. They could have simply replicated the web experience but it would have been clumsy and ineffective. Thankfully they realized that.

If you already have a booking you can check your details easily using the “My Booking” link. I think it’s great that they also have an “Important Update” section – presumably for customers who are on the move and need to know if there have been any major delays etc.

I only have one complaint about this very smart and seamless mobisite. The special offers are not displayed or offered anywhere? I know for a fact that Mango are running a 24 hour sale today, but nowhere on the mobisite is there any mention of it.

The mobisite is very new though and perhaps this is something that will be added in the future. Overall I love the clean, hassle-free interface. It’s fast, efficient and extremely handy.

Well done Mango for leading the way and understanding the true power of the mobile market.

9/10

How to: Start tweeting for business

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to get new interest in your business from Twitter because you’re not sure where to start. Start here!

Step 1: Go to Twitter, enter your name, email, and a password and click Sign up.
On the second screen where can select a username – the name by which you will be known on Twitter.
Try to stick as close to your business name as possible. You may find it’s not available. If so, try using _ somewhere (logical) in the name or incorporate other prefixes like, “the” or “real”. Use caps for each separate word if possible as this makes your name easier to read. Once you’re happy with your username, click on the “Create my Account” button.

Step 2: Read through the Twitter prompts explaining what a tweet is and take the opportunity to “follow” any friends the network might suggest. If your contacts are in a supported network like Gmail or Hotmail, Twitter will find your friends who are on Twitter. If you prefer to move on, skip these steps for now. You can always add your friends later.

Step 3: Tweak your settings using the Settings link under the Account tab. Set the time zone and make any other changes, for example, how and when you would like to receive updates/notifications via email etc. Click Save.
Under the Profile tab you can upload a picture/logo for your business. Don’t skip this step. Many Twitter users (including me) will not follow profiles without photos. Your photo can only be 700k in size so you may need to resize. Also under the profile tab, you can add a small biog for your business and link to your website or blog. Keep your biog short but informative so that people can easily see who you are and what you do. When you’re done, click Save. Continue reading

5fm’s mobisite is a chart flopper

It would have been so easy to create a really cool, interactive mobisite for 5fm. I would have loved to have told you to go out there and check it out immediately because it’s just so brilliant and fun and awesome, but I can’t. All I can tell you is that it sucks.

I’m not sure why 5fm would choose to ignore such a crucial area of their brand. The market they appeal to is the mobile generation. They broadcast in Africa, where the majority of internet users go online on their phones and a great deal of people enjoy listening to the radio on their phones. So why is their mobisite so dismal?

Let’s start at the beginning. You wouldn’t know they even had one if you didn’t search expressly for a mobile option. There is no redirect from the main site. The home page is unexciting and, like the rest of it, features mostly barely legible writing matched with teeny-tiny pixellated images drowning in a sea of black background.

There are three reasons I, as a listener, would want to access 5fm on a mobisite and all of them involve interaction: to engage with DJ’s, to listen online and to enter a competition.

The only way I can interact with a DJ is to click on their profile and email them using a contact form. The DJ profiles are so basic, they don’t even have a Twitter handle or Facebook link in case you’d want to interact that way.

In all the menus of the mobisite, not one gives you the option to listen live! You need to exit the mobisite altogether and search or head to the main site to find the live listening area.

The competitions are is pretty dismal too. Both comps invite you to call in to enter or tell you to go to Facebook. Nowhere can you enter a competition directly from the mobisite. There’s a Coolness Radar promotion happening, but the only way you can take part is via Twitter. Why not just add a few buttons where people can vote right away? I don’t find this very cool…

I’ve never really liked the main website. I find it disorganised and unattractive and even though they’ve made some positive changes, navigating it still makes me ill and this mobisite has the same affect on me.

One can only hope that some of the advertising revenue from the Steve ads is going towards designing new mobile applications for 5fm that will actually allow their listeners to get involved no matter where they are!

2/10