The world of film is constantly evolving, and thanks to nearly-ubiquitous broadband access, it isn’t just for the creative elite anymore. In the age of powerful, humorous, and emotionally gripping user-generated content, there’s a filmmaker in all of us, even if you’re capturing your child’s first steps and sharing it with family online or writing, producing, and directing your own in-depth documentary.
MOFILM, myself, and some of the most recognizable brands in the world are partnering together to invite you, members of the huge creative and innovative talent pool of providers here
on Elance, to try and become the next influential director in this new age of UGC.
The brands, 12 in total, include Best Buy, Doritos, Kodak, HP, and AT&T, and they’re in the hunt for creative minds to give innovative and fresh perspectives on their favorite brands. The 12 best videos will be awarded with prizes worth over $100,000, and the top three will be given an all-expenses-paid trip to the Cannes Advertising Festival in Cannes, France to see their work on display.
I’ll be judging the competition along with four leading marketing professionals from around the world, and the winner of the competition will walk away with €12,000 and an apprenticeship with me to study film. The contest runs until June 8, 2009, so get your creative juices flowing, fire up your camera, and show the world what kind of talent Elance has got.
For more information, terms and conditions, and the full list of brands, visit the MOFILM website.
The social-networking, micro-blogging, global-instant-messaging service has businesses, individuals, corporations, celebrities, dogs, cats, and more reporting their lives in under 140 characters. Even we’re giving it a go.
Using "tweets" (seriously, that's what they're called) to help drive actual business is still something of a global experiment, so it's hard to say what the rules are, let alone an actual playbook. But here are a few innovative ways businesses are Twittering.
Kogi BBQ: Half taco truck, half Korean cuisine, and 100 percent down with the Twitter game, this fusion Korean BBQ truck is a prime example of using Twitter to market a great product in a clever and unique way. The diner on-the-go travels all over the greater Los Angeles area, but the only way to find out where it will strike next is by following the truck’s Twitter feed online (@kogibbq). The feed, currently with almost 10,000 followers (myself included), leaks out the location only several hours in advance, creating a fanatical, cult-like following of hungry bulgogi seekers. I’ll be having the Korean Short Ribs, thank you very much.
According to Technorati, a leading authority on the so-called blogosphere, there are more than 100,000,000 blogs that have launched since 2002. Yes, you read that right. One hundred million. But let me be honest. It is my (admittedly) unscientific opinion that 95 percent of blogs on the Web today range from generally mediocre to digital train wrecks.
Great blogs stand out because they have great content. It’s why you bookmark, subscribe to RSS feeds, and generally come back for more. If you want to take your material to the next level, you’re going to have to pay attention. Get ready to take notes — we have a lot to cover.
Let’s look at some of the basics of creating a winning content strategy:
Determine your publishing frequency. Different blogs have success with different publishing schedules, but the key to this equation is to remain as consistent as possible. Elance user Tim Ferriss crafts no more than two-to-three posts a week on his blog, while sites like the uber-popular TechCrunch publish five-to-ten new posts everyday. While there is no definitive answer for how many times a week you should post, just remember that as unpredictable and fickle as blog readers may be, when it comes to frequency, they appreciate consistency.
You no doubt are thinking about leveraging Digg and StumbleUpon to reach your target audience, but have you heard of Reddit.com, Sphinn.com or a vertically-oriented social media site like Tipd.com? The social media arena is rapidly changing, with new entrants and opportunities sprouting up, and so we asked Chris Bennett, an internet marketing expert and a friend of Elance, to discuss some of the newest and growing social media sites best suited for viral marketing … and more importantly, tell you how you can use these outlets to reach your audience.
Digg.com and StumbleUpon.com are incredibly popular social media sites. They can help you find your target audience and drive massive traffic to your website… but there are also other games in town. Let's take a look at a few other social media sites you may want to consider as sources to drive traffic and build relevant links for your website:
Hiring a full-time designer to join your staff may not be in the cards this year, but making sure your website, brochures, business cards, and other marketing materials are up-to-date and well-designed should be on your must-do list in 2009.
Want to know the top five pieces of marketing material you should keep current and professionally designed? We asked experts in the design field – experienced designers on Elance – for their top picks of materials every business needs to make pop, and here’s what they said:
Effective marketing doesn’t happen by accident. Targeting the right customers and crafting a message that’s not only eye-catching but also creates sales is both an art and a science.
To help freelance marketers – actually, to help any small business or entrepreneur gather and analyze data, find up-to-date information, and develop new marketing ideas, we’ve put together the following list of online resources:
“Build it and they will come?” Not anymore (if that was ever really true).
Chris Bennett - Guest Contributor
Just building a feature-filled social networking site with a sound infrastructure is only the start of your website journey. Don’t fret, though, because it’s an exciting journey: social networking sites are the most visited area of the Internet. According to recent statistics from Hitwise.com, social networking actually accounts for 11% of all web visits.
Do you want to record a radio ad for your business, a voice greeting for your inbound customer service phone number, the names of your employees for a dial-by-name company phone directory or audio for your sales demo? Then you’re probably in need of a voiceover artist.
We asked top voiceover providers on Elance for project posting tips and here’s what they had to say:
Meet Sandy Sandler, corporate gift expert and creator of Bowdabra, a bow-making tool.
Sandy started her product development/marketing business, Nuvelle Crafts, in 1996. Like most businesses, Sandy started small – only employing herself and one part–time assistant to run the day-to-day operations. Her business strategy has also included the idea of hiring on demand. She started the business knowing she would hire contractors and service providers to help it grow.
Do you feel as informed about your customers and their needs, or about your industry and recent market trends as you want to be? It's easy to stay up-to-date when you work with a qualified professional to do market research for your business.
Market research can provide you with valuable information to help drive the strategic direction of your business, and your business will reap the benefits: