Video Conferencing – Good Alternative to In-Person Presentations?

Earlier this morning I’ve spoken in Riga, Latvia at iLive Internet marketing conference. However, I didn’t have to fly over the Atlantic for this one. This was my first time to present via video conferencing (see image by Dāvis Zeps below).

I’ll be honest with you, I was somewhat nervous about the whole idea (strangely, I would much rather be on the stage than in front of a web camera). However, after seeing that now and then others are doing this — e.g.: Bryan Eisenberg at GPeC (Gala Premiilor e-Commerce) 2011 in Romania, Smithsonian’s Michael Edson doing a number of his presentations via Skype — I decided to give it a try.

And it went very well. I would still much rather be on stage; but taking into account the time, money, and energy saved on not undergoing the transatlantic travel, it may be a good alternative in some situations.

Apparently, the audience accepted it well too; and even liked it (the first of the below tweets called it “the best presentation” of the day):


What do you think of video conferencing as an alternative to in-person presentations?

Mobile Apps More Engaging Than Websites

Earlier today Google has published a post on multi-channel attribution, where among other things they’ve pointed out:

We’re …seeing channels like mobile grow tremendously. For instance, mobile is now 8% of all conversions that we’re seeing in Google Analytics, and mobile conversions have grown by about 180% in just the last year.

Being a fervent believer in the future of mobile commerce, I tweeting the above stats; and received an immediate reply from an old-time affiliate marketing friend, Richard Gaskin of Fourth World Systems. Here’s our mini-coversation:

I agree, it is shocking. However, an even more enlightening fact to me is that, apparently, 81.5% of smartphone users find mobile apps more engaging than websites.

A week ago comScore published the following data:

Top Smartphone Properties by Total Unique Visitors (Mobile Browser and App Audience Combined)
March 2012
Total U.S. Smartphone Subscribers Age 18+ on iOS, Android and RIM Platforms
Source: comScore Mobile Metrix 2.0
Audience Engagement
Total Unique Visitors (000) % Reach Browser % Share of Total Time Spent App % Share of Total Time Spent
Total Audience (Browsing and Application combined) 97,007 100.0% 18.5% 81.5%
Google Sites 93,954 96.9% 18.9% 81.1%
Facebook 78,002 80.4% 20.0% 80.0%
Yahoo! Sites 66,185 68.2% 25.3% 74.7%
Amazon Sites 44,028 45.4% 14.3% 85.7%
Wikimedia Foundation Sites 39,073 40.3% 99.8% 0.2%
Apple Inc. 38,309 39.5% 0.3% 99.7%
Cooliris, Inc 28,543 29.4% 0.0% 100.0%
AOL, Inc. 28,021 28.9% 47.4% 52.6%
eBay 27,190 28.0% 17.6% 82.4%
Zynga 26,619 27.4% 0.4% 99.6%
Twitter 25,593 26.4% 3.5% 96.5%
Rovio (Angry Birds) 25,057 25.8% 3.7% 96.3%
Weather Channel, The 24,131 24.9% 47.1% 52.9%
Microsoft Sites 23,938 24.7% 82.1% 17.9%
ESPN 23,317 24.0% 56.8% 43.2%


However dated, here’s another interesting piece the puzzle: about a year ago Kony Solutions reported that they were “seeing over 30% higher conversion for iPhone native app customers vs. mobile web customers” [source, emphasis mine].

Does your business have a mobile app yet? Or at least a mobile website [some guidelines here]?

Viral Marketing Idea: Optical Illusion (and How To Create One)

A really amazing optical illusion has been making the rounds on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms lately. And, I must admit, I couldn’t help but participate in spreading it too. Here it is [Instructions: look at the red dot on the lady’s nose for 30 seconds, then turn your eyes on a plain surface (white ceiling or clean sheet of paper) and blink as fast as you can]:

If you do it right, you’ll see this picture of Deepika Padukone, a famous Bollywood actress. Regardless of that “HM” in the bottom right-hand corner, I couldn’t confirm that the spread of this viral optical illusion “campaign” was initiated by H&M. In fact, it appears that this particular illusion is based on a photo taken from Padukone’s endorsement photoshoot of Sony Cyber-shot cameras (which you can see her holding in her hand).

Whatever it was, this brings up a very interesting idea for creating viral marketing campaigns based on optical illusion. And it is also very easy to create these negatives! For example, as shown below, to do it in Photoshop you go to Image > Adjustments > Invert (or simply hit Ctrl+I). Just remember that the colors of the original “focus dots” will change too.

If you have Windows 7, the Magnifier tool will do this for you too [see “how to” instructions here].

Are you using optical illusions for viral marketing yet? I say, it is worth a try. Coupled with smart Social Media marketing, it can bear really good fruit. Just remember to also look beyond the fun, setting measurable goals (yes, “likes” and “ReTweets” but, ultimately, leads, subscriptions, and conversions), diligently tracking them.