Filter The NoiseBlog

We blog about design, technology, internet marketing and business on the web. As the name implies, we aim to "filter the noise" and share only the most relevant information. Feel free to chime in anytime with your thoughts and comments. Established 2004 in Colorado Springs, Colorado by HighTouch Web Design and Internet Marketing.

Adobe's CS5 Launch Video for Business Catalyst

Dave Kolb - Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Here is a preview of Adobe's CS5 launch video for Business Catalyst. Adobe director of product management, Bardia Housman demonstrates this new hosted application for building and managing online businesses.

Great Job Bardia and the Business Catalyst team!

Telephone Books : Inbound or Outbound Marketing

Kim Kolb - Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Remember the Telephone Book?  I think ours use to rise to about 5-8 inches.  As a kid, I thought this book was awesome!  Why?  Well, not only did it have a ton of phone numbers but my mom used it as a lift in the chair so we could reach the dinner table.

Telephone books were a place to advertise your business, because if you were in the Telephone Book and you had a really large ad, then you would probably get the call.  I remember how used our Telephone Book looked... It was "the one that got used" as they say.

My question is... Who uses the Telephone Book anymore, let alone, who actually spends money to advertise in it? Do you consider this outbound marketing?  I guess you could say that as a person picking up the Telephone Book to actually look something up would be similar to going to the internet to look something up, right?

I consider the Telephone Book to be like getting junk mail in my mailbox.  I know, harsh, right?  Let's think about this.  If about 95% of American's are on the internet searching for what they need which would also include mobile devices, what makes the people who make the Telephone Book think that it is actually a needed item?

I wish the people who delivered these or whoever is in charge of printing these books, would send a postcard out to everyone and ask people to let them know if they wanted one.  The street number painter left a card and all we did was tape it to our garage so he knew whether to paint a number or not.  I think that is how the phone book people should do it.  I feel disappointed when I get one because 1) I didn't ask for it 2) It is going to end up in the trash because I don't have a recycling service, which then makes me feel even worse.  But should I feel bad or should the people that dropped this book off?  Usually I am home when they come by and I just tell them I don't want it.

I would love to hear what you have to say about the Phone Book..

You Are What You Post

Kim Kolb - Tuesday, April 06, 2010
Over the last 10 months I have watched a variety of people in what and how they post.  Let me do a disclaimer right now.  I am not a perfect blogger, nor do I want to be.  I am a "Balanced Poster", but like to be an "Original Poster".  I have my favorite ways to post and am not being critical of anyone. All I have to say is "You Are What You Post"!

Here are my views of the different kinds of posters out there.  This could be posting on a Blog, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
  • The Re-Poster -  This is the person that finds an article that someone just nails, and you think "I wished that were my idea".  You repost it as a sign of validation to the writer and to your friends that you have found an incredible article you want to share with them.  
  • The Re-Purposer - This is a person that finds a great article, but thinks a little different take or explanation will expand on the article or give it a different view point.  
  • The Original Poster - This is the person who takes time to think about what they want to write.  They write from their experience or about their industry.  
  • The Balanced Poster - This is the person that plays with all the cool kids above.  They have re-posted a great article, re-purposed information to write a great article and they have come up with their own original thoughts.
What kind of Poster are you?  Do you have any additional Posters you think I should add?

Small Businesses Using Blogging and Social Media WIN

Kim Kolb - Friday, March 05, 2010
Are you still dragging your heals on getting into the Social Media world?  Have you started a Blog yet?
There is a huge amount of data about there that says the Blogging is one of THE BEST, way to get leads.

According to the Small Business Success Index (SBSI), Social Media has doubled to 24% over the last year. There were 500 small business owners surveyed on their Social Media usage.  61% of the small businesses said they had used social media to attract new customers.
It was also noted that 45% of those small businesses reported that blogging and social media was a great contributor to lead generation.
According to SBSI, this is how small businesses are using Social Media:
  • 75% created a company page on Facebook or LinkedIn 
  • 69% post status updates on Facebook or LinkedIn
  • 26% use Twitter to talk about their industry expertise
  • 39% have a blog to talk about expertise
Blogging has become one of the most used tools for lead generation according to HubSpot, "State of Inbound Marketing Report."

Inbound Marketing using Social Media and Blogging is far less expensive than traditional marketing.  Don't delay getting on this train... It is fast and furious and you certainly don't want to be left at the station.

How is your company increasing it's Social Media presence?

Social Media Efforts Paid Off

Kim Kolb - Wednesday, March 03, 2010

As you know I have been on this blogging kick of late.  No, I have not made my goal of blogging every day, but I have definitely written more than I ever have.  Today, I write this blog because I had a really awesome experience that I wanted to share.

One of our clients called me today to tell me what a great job he thought I was doing on blogging.  He said that he felt that they really hit the point for someone struggling or just getting started.  He said he didn't comment on them because he felt there was nothing to add and that instead he wanted to call and tell me this. He said "Kim, I know many people read your blog and I too read everyone, I just wanted to let you know that I think they are great and that although I don't comment on them, know that I really liked them."  He said that he was in the "silent majority" of people who often read blogs and really feel impacted but that don't leave a comment.

I did explain to him that once his blog is up that he will indeed want to leave the "Silent Majority" and start leaving comments on the blogs he reads and feels impacted by, as this leaves inbound links back to his site. He was way excited about this new discovery that I am sure he will be leaving his comments behind from now on.

I just want to "Thank Joe" for sharing his thoughts with me.  You really made my day.  Like I said, most people will probably not receive a call thanking them for their posts, but I am sure you will receive an email or a comment left by someone that let's you know that you are indeed doing a great job!

So, what is the take away from this...BLOG! BLOG! BLOG!  People are waiting to hear what you have to say. For the skeptics out there, here is quote from one of my favorite authors (Avinash Kaushik) who says, "If at first you don't succeed, keep on sucking till you do succeed.”  Because if you never suck at something, then how do you ever improve it?

Has anyone else had any really cool kudos they want to share?  I would love to hear them.

Blogging : Try it, You'll Like it

Kim Kolb - Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Blogging, why is this such a scary concept to a lot of people? If you can write an email, you can blog! Remember that Life Cereal Commercial, where the two boys don't want to try the cereal, so they get Mikey to try it? That was one of my favorite commercials growing up. It was catchy and you remembered it. Just in case you are too young to remember the commercial, I have included it in this post. Mikey wasn't afraid to try the cereal because it was good for him and you shouldn't be afraid to try blogging, because it is REALLY good for you. Blogging is one of the greatest ways to increase your search results by Google. When you blog, because you are talking about a specific topic, you tend to use all the keywords you need to have google index your site for relevance. Most times your blog will be found before your website will be. The reason is because the content on a blog is always changing. By people commenting on your blog causes the content to change. Commenting on blogs you read that provide you with remarkable content is another way to increase traffic to your site. By commenting on a blog you leave behind, your name, email, an the option to enter a web address. Don't pass up this free opportunity to link back to your site. So, how do you get started Blogging?
  • Find a blogging platform. Wordpress.org is a self hosted solution that many bloggers use and are very happy with. Wordpress has zillions of templates to choose from so you could be up and running in minutes. It also has a CMS built in so you can actually create pages. We call this a Blog First website.
  • Go out and find other blogs that you find interesting and start subscribing to their feeds through RSS. As you comment on other blogs and your leave behind remarkable content, you build a reputation of being a "Thought Leader".
  • START BLOGGING and COMMENTING.
  • Submit your RSS feed to Technorati. Technorati is also a great blogging repository that indexes tons of different blogs. Go search and find some to subscribe too.
  • It is recommended that you try to blog at least 3 times a week. Do what you can, once you get into it, it will become habit.
  • Don't make your blog posts too long. Try to do about 400 words. Blogs that are too lengthly can lose the reader and they will abandon your post. Or break it up into multi blog posts over time.
I hope this helps those that haven't quite bought into the whole Blogging thing. Please let me know if you have questions or if you want to leave some of your wisdom for others to read. Enjoy this video (thanks panbiscuit for sharing)

Are you a Digital Native or a Digital Immigrant

Kim Kolb - Saturday, February 20, 2010
Are you a Digital Native or Immigrant?

Digital Native according to Wikipedia is a person for whom digital technologies already existed when they were born, and hence has grown up with digital technology such as computers, the Internet, mobile phones and MP3s.  This can refer to people born from the late 1970s and beyond, as the Digital Age did begin at this time, but generally, the term focuses on those who grew up with 21st Century technology.

Digital Immigrant is a person who grew up before the digital age and is fairly new to the internet. Basically anyone over the age of 28.

I was born in the late 60's, and although I am technically a Digital Immigrant, I am a wanna be Digital Native ONLY because I can't live without my technology.  I grew up with manual typewriters, no cell phones, and no computers.  I don't think I was introduced to a computer until my Junior Year in High School (DOS prompts, oh yuck!).  I got my first cell phone when I was 25 years old, only because my boyfriend, now my husband..Smart guy, thought I needed one.  Now, I have 2 computers, 1 cell phone and all that I do is online.  I can't imagine my life without technology.  I moved into the age of technology willingly. I think about my kids 20, 17, and 7 who have never known anything else but computers, cell phones, and MP3 players.  The only place they will know that typewriters existed is in antique shops and history books, until they replace all that info with computers.  

In today's technology if you are not on a computer or cell phone, I think you are alienating yourself from the world.  There will come a time when the only way you can manage life is with technology.  

I have both types of clients.  Ones that embrace technology and then those who think they can't do it.  I say to those who think they can't or don't want to do it, you will want to get over that and start practicing now. If you are a business owner and are not embracing technology, you are missing out on Inbound Marketing and getting to your customers.

  • What do you consider yourself, Native or Immigrant?
  • If you are an Immigrant, what do you remember about coming into technology?
  • If you are a native and have a burning question about what the "Old Days" were like, ask away?

Super Bowl XLIV : Tweeters Talk About Your Brand

Kim Kolb - Monday, February 08, 2010

Super Bowl XLIV brought Tweeters from all over to talk about the Super Bowl ads that were aired.

Mullen, and Radian6, a leader in social media measurement, created BrandBowl2010, a Twitter/Super Bowl experience that combined tweeting, ad reviews and a host of metrics to let viewers generate and view real time ratings of the TV commercials that ran on the big game.

It was determined that there were a total of 98,656 Tweets collected at BrandBowl2010.

This is a perfect example of being part of the conversation and listening to what consumers are saying about your Brand.  I wonder if any of the companies actually were on this Tweetfest last night?  The feedback on all ads had positive and negative results.  

It was amazing to see the amount of tweets.. At times there were over a 1000 updates as once.  It was hard to keep up with them all, but the experience was a great one.

In light of Inbound Marketing being such a great focus right now, last night we experienced OutBound Marketing at its fullest.  How many of us watch the Super Bowl for the Ads?  I am guilty of this since I am not a huge Football fan.  Why do we watch the Commercials if we are so about Inbound Marketing?  For me, knowing what I know about Outbound and Inbound Marketing I do it just to see who spends the most.  Budweiser, from the amount of commercials I think spent the most.  My question is Why?

Pepsi decided this year not to use their money on commercials, instead they decided to use their money on Social Media by starting the Pepsi Refresh Project where they are looking for people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive impact. They have hundreds of people fighting for their cause.  What an impact this is having.

What are your thoughts on the Super Bowl Ads?  Did it persuade you to go out and act on any of the ads?

Better yet, are you going to continue using your marketing dollars on Outbound Marketing or are you going to give Inbound Marketing a try?

Are You Part of the Conversation about your Company

Kim Kolb - Friday, February 05, 2010
As an Inbound Marketer, I am schooled by the best.  When one of the industry experts says "Blog", well I blog.. I might not be excellent at it but I am doing what I am told.  Why? Because the Industry experts have been doing this way longer than me and who am I to argue with a proven fact!

Why is it that when I tell my clients, "You Need to Blog", they say yes, yes I do.  Yep, and that is the last time it is spoken.

When a company doesn't take advantage of Inbound Marketing and Blogging, I just want to scream.  I think I would be rich if I got paid a $1 for every time I heard "I am working on it".  Really, how long does it take?

How do you plan to be part of a conversation about YOU if you never enter the room?  Companies that are slow to respond or better yet, talk about it and never act, are missing opportunities to be in on the conversation that their competitors are having.

Your future clients are not talking about you, oh no, they are talking about your competition, because your competition is out there talking to them.  They can't talk to you because they don't know you exist.  If your future clients don't know you exist you won't get any leads.  Better yet, you can't show them how great your product is because your competition is dominating the space.

Blogging much? No?  Your competition is.  They are writing articles that show future clients and others that they are Thought Leaders in their space and that they should follow them.  They get comments from current and future clients that provide valuable feedback to the their product and service.  How do you improve if you don't have any feedback?

If you are a company that is still thinking about blogging and have yet to get on the bus, NOW is the time. Don't waste another moment.  You have tons to tell people and they are waiting to hear from you.  

If you have Inbound Marketers around you that are trying to get you involved in Social Media and Blogging, listen to them.. They know what they are talking about.

I know this blog sounds a little harsh, but as your parents use to tell you "I am not telling you this to listen to myself talk, I'm telling you this because I LOVE YOU!"

Don't be left out of the conversation about your company!

Twitter : Quality vs Quantity

Kim Kolb - Thursday, February 04, 2010
What is your goal for your Twitter account?  Do you follow everyone that follows you?

When I first started on my Tweeting Adventure, the person I started following first was Ashton Kutcher.  It was a little frustrating because I only got half of a conversation, "Hey man, no, I stayed home last night".  It was really frustrating to follow a bunch of people that I couldn't actually carry on a conversation with.

Then I started on my Inbound Marketing adventure and learned the right people to start following.  Duh, people who did what I did.  So, I probably did something really mean by unfollowing a bunch of people, even Ashton.  I also blocked all the Bambi types.  But I had to get myself on track.  

The next hurdle I faced was that I was still getting way too many comments from people that I really didn't have anything in common with or that offered me any information I needed.  I really don't care to "Make Money with every Tweet" or "Get Thousands of followers".  Spam on Twitter is just as bad as Spam in my email.  

So, I cleaned house.  I unfollowed some more people.  Now, I have people that I follow that provide valuable information in my field of interest, "Inbound Marketing, Social Media, Blogging, and Analytics".  I also found a great tool to track all my Social Media Platforms called HootSuite.

Now I follow people that I value their opinions and who have Remarkable Content to offer to me and others.  So if you think having thousands of followers regardless of what they can offer is Cool, then sorry, this post will not apply to you.  If you are just starting in your Social Media venture, this post is definitely for you.  Be cautious and choosey.

Quality of follower is more valuable than Quantity.  

Here is how I go about letting someone follow me or me following them.  When someone follows me, I click on their link.  I look at the Bio... NO bio, I don't follow, they can follow me as long as it isn't Bambi the pole dancer.  Sorry Bambi, but I don't have anything to offer you.  Next, if they have a bio, I read that and then look at their posts.  If they talk too much about personal stuff, I don't follow but let them follow me.  If they have valuable posts, then I follow them.

How do you get people to follow you, and then you can follow them?  Attend a webinar.  Most of my followers and people I follow come from the webinars I have attended.  They are like minded people who share my interest of Inbound Marketing.  We offer each other valuable content and live happily every after.

What is really nice about following people in the same circles, is that you actually start building bonds.  You miss them when they haven't tweeted in awhile or blogged.  Isn't that what Social Media is all about, building relationships?  You know that when they post something, it is of value and you can't wait to read it and comment on it.

What are your thoughts on Twitter Followers?  Are you "I take everyone" or "I am choosey follower"

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