The real power of user generated content

Here is my deck from this years #searchleeds.
The talk centres around the power of UGC (user generated content) and inspiration you can take from integrating user generated content into your business.

Companies like Amazon and Airbnb heavily rely on UGC, not just for product descriptions but for feedback loops and helping to work our their priorities in their algorithms.
I also highlight how Tripadvisor went from a review engine to a “Booking engine” from it’s huge and trusted database of reviews and useful information.

I also provide insights into JustGiving and how important UGC was for the $4billion raised for good causes in 15 years.

Slides 38 to 41 offer free tips on inspiring you to introduce specific types of user generated content into your business.

Check out crowdfunding pages Bring Raheem Home and Roger Gower crowdfunding page

There are some great feedback from the event I received: 

Here is the video from slide 17 and why Red Bull and GoPro joined forces

All visibility indexes are from Sistrix, Wikipedia index, Quora visibilty

All gifs were from giphy

The 6th Life Changing Technology Shift Presentation

A client was running a series of company wide talks in which they wanted to challenge the thought process of their staff and tell a number of stories or presentations around core topics. I was asked to present and here is my slightly amended presentation with a few notes:

In 2015 we live a very different life to 30, 20, 10 or even 5 years ago.

Life is shaped very differently to how it used to be:

  • We lived through the TV revolution and we are still in love with the TV and it’s power,
  • We thrived (or mostly) through the computer revolution,
  • The internet generation is in its own third gen and still a great opportunity source,
  • Through to the fourth tech shift; search and social which controls most of our answers and discover in everyday life,
  • To potentially biggest life changing shift the mobile – the mobile has become more than tech, its now worshipped and many cannot live without!
  • To what I predict to be the next big shift (the giveaway is in the URL – VR / virtual reality).

Here are is my amended deck, let me know if you agree, disagree or think something else might be the next big shift

Hire Info

The Best Productivity Mobile Apps

There is nothing more satisfying than finding an app that saves you time, energy and works across multiple devices. As a iPhone and a mac user it’s often easier to work on an app than through the web version of a product. After being asked regularly which apps I use I thought I would put together my list of must have apps that will make your business and professional life easier and hopefully save you time (and money) moving forward.

Email

  • Outlook is by the far the best email app on the market, not only is it super fast it handles numerous email accounts and from numerous providers including exchange, office 365, outlook/hotmail, gmail (including professional google mail), Yahoo mail, icloud and iMap. The Outlook app also has inbuilt calendar management and customisable swipe options that allows you to achieve, delete, snooze etc. Outlook also has seamless integrated file sharing; providers including OneDrive, Dropbox, box and Google Drive. The focus inbox is also a stand out feature and allows you to concentrate and manage the important emails.
    Links ? – Google PlayiOS – Chrome
  • Spark is my second favourite email app, its super easy to use, offers swipe management to control your inbox. Spark has inbuilt read notification and allows you to pin emails so when they are replied to you have an in-app notification of a reply, so you do not have to worry about missing an important response, you can also program so you can get notifications from VIP’s. The one simple feature which is underrated is the quick responses; you can reply with one button with a like, a thanks or a smile ?.
    Links ? –iOS
  • Inbox by Google is a good email app, obviously as a Google product it works well, has good email management options and very easy to use. Google have clearly thought through how it look and operates and I know most Googlers use it. Two features which stand out are the bundles which automatically puts together your purchases, finance, updates and forums (social) emails with cool previews of the attachments, it can be annoying but you do get used to it.
    Something you will end up doing is training inbox what emails are important to you (it takes time but I know a lot of people like that).
    Links ? –iOS – Google Play – Chrome

Read my full breakdown and review of the best email apps for iPhone

Instant Messengers and communication

  • Slack is my favourite way of communicating with my clients and colleagues. I have implemented it with two clients and it’s reduced hundreds of cc’ed emails and silly FYI emails. Slack allows open and transparent conversation in large groups and rooms. I personally prefer the mac app over the web version and the mobile app is one of the stand out apps on the iPhone. Slack’s search functionality, private chats and previews make it a must have product in any organisation and will reduce email stress. It is definitely the go to instant messenger / communication tool of today and the future.
    Links ? – Mac – iOS – Google Play – Chrome
  • Skype; what more do you need to say, great for international calls, reliable IM and very good for video calls and conferences (depending on your connections). The Mac version is highly customisable and slightly better IMHO than the windows version. The iPhone version does run your battery down very quickly but super useful and clearly Skype have thought about how opt in notifications should work. Essential app if you work internationally or have international clients.
    Links ? – Mac – iOS – Google Play
  • Whatsapp, Facebook’s 19billion dollar purchase is not one many people think is a business app but definitely is. Whatsapp has 900million MAU’s and in many countries is the default communication app. Whatsapp web is a stroke of genius and really handy if you have a professional network and can ask questions quickly to group chats. The iOS app is super simple and if you hate relying on SMS whatsapp is a great replacement (especially with conversation archiving and emailing conversations). Personally I would say it’s the best Western IM around. Also the call option is actually really good if you are in 4g or wifi zones.
    Links ? – WebiOSGoogle Play
  • Hangouts, Google talk / gchat whatever you call it yourself, Hangouts is a solid platform I cannot live without. Hangouts is super easy to use, often more reliable for video conferencing than Skype and other apps and integrates particularly well with google mail / gmail. It’s another app that will drain your battery however for an app that you can use anywhere and can quickly address problems and have a quick face to face meeting it is an important app. I know the android users love hangouts and it’s integration into the Chrome browser makes it even easier to use.
    Links ? – iOS – Google Play
  • Messenger; it might surprise a number of people for me to add Facebook’s messenger to the list, Facebook messenger in many countries is actually the preferred method of communication and in some parts of Asia actually is considered a typical business tool (think LinkedIn). Messenger is truly cross platform, it’s HD calling and video calls are great (depending on your 4g connection or how good your wifi is) and is good for quick and searchable conversations. It’s not for everyone and now you can have a messenger account that’s not connected to a Facebook profile it’s a great tool to use.
    Links ? – WebiOSGoogle Play

Productivity

  • Sunrise is the best calendar (so much so Microsoft spent a lot of money on it) there is. I really like the ease of use and the number of integrations (icloud, google mail, office 365, Facebook, wunderlist, todolist, evernote, basecamp, trello, twitter to name a few) makes it more of an essential tasks / reminder tool.
    It pulls in the location of the meeting from google maps and breaks down your day in morning, afternoon and evening sections with cool icons highlighting what type of appointment you have. The “meet” feature is where you can outline your available times and share with colleagues and clients to accept and plan meetings.
    Links ? – MaciOSGoogle PlayChrome
  • Evernote is a great note taking app, I use it for a blend of tasks, notes and a personal wiki. The reason why evernote worked for me is how simple it is, how seamlessly it syncs across browser and app and tagging works better than most other apps. I really like the mac app over web app, the web clipper is another great app to compliment the main app. Give it a few days and you won’t need anymore notebooks or stick notes.
    Links ? – Mac iOSGoogle PlayChrome
  • Pushbullet is my favourite basic app, it allows you to send links between mac and phone, it’s great if you are looking at something on your phone and want to send to your mac and then share onwards. I find it great for when you are talking on IM on your phone and you push the link from mac to iPhone and have seamless chats rather than email links or open different apps and try to share etc.
    Links ? – MaciOSGoogle Play
  • Product Hunt, as a previous Head of Product I love tools (as you can see by this post) and products that come out, finding great products used to be difficult and often relied on the same people or sites to review products. Product Hunt if you do not know is is a website and app that surfaces great content, submitted by a great community and then voted up by the community. There are great notes and questions so you won’t have to download every tool on there.
    I have found many of these apps via Product Hunt and love what Ryan and co are doing. Definitely download if you are looking for the best apps or SaaS solutions out there.
    Links ? – iOS – Chrome
  • Pocket is my favourite read it later / save for later article to read when I have time or read offline while I commute. Pocket is super simple and concentrates on the text of the article. You can save directly from your browser (Chrome extension is great) and sync on your phone and read on the train, tube or toilet like a lot of people do. The read (it reads the article to you, great for lazy people like me) service on the iOS app is pretty cool.
    Links ? – iOSGoogle PlayChrome

Podcasts are an essential part of my development and whenever I take a walk, between meetings or travel I always have a podcast on, here are my list of most recommended must listen to podcasts.

Travel

  • Citymapper is Google maps with a personality, as living and working in London I often struggle to find my way around or work around the tube delays or strikes. Citymapper allows you to get from A to B in the quickest or best possible way, you can see walk times, bus and tube times and also integrates with trains also. It is integrated directly into online services so if your tube is delayed its updates and is often ahead of other apps.
    You can also order an Uber directly from the app, I find it easier and quicker to get a taxi rather than using the Uber app.  Citymapper recently added recommendations for where to get on the tube (what carriage sector) and are adding worldwide cities all the time. I always use Citymapper over Google Maps and is a utility over an app for me.
    Links ? – iOSGoogle Play
  • Google Maps: You know what Maps (offline mode is great) does so I’ll leave you with the app links anyways – Links ? – iOSGoogle Play
  • Uber is definitely the go to taxi app of choice for me. Ease of use, direct payments on your card and pricing are all reasons to download alone. With the number of international trips I make it reduces stress and gets you between airport, hotel, offices and off site meetings.
    Links ? – iOSGoogle Play
  • Surge is a great way to understand where there is surge pricing on Uber, often if you walk for a few minutes the surge is not on in that area, this app allows you to see where the nearest place to you is surge free allowing you to save money and burn a few more calories. I also use it to understand how busy an area is or if I should get an uber or is the tube the better route. Smart hey.
    Links ? – iOSGoogle Play

Weather

  • Dark Sky is iOS only currently, its £2.99 and has only ever been wrong once. My old boss recommended it to me and by his recommendation alone I happily paid and haven’t looked back. Dark Sky tells you when it might rain, what % chance it is to rain and how heavy. It’s very accurate on local temps, wind speed, how humid it is and the UV index, great for hayfever suffers too. The app is also has great UI and I would highly recommend spending the small amount of money on it (it’s less than the latte you drink).
  • BBC Weather was always my trusted weather app and is when looking at the forecast for destinations outside London it’s the app of choice. It’s super simple, beautiful looking and rarely wrong. As you would expect it’s free and definitely an upgrade than the pre-installed weather app on both OS’.
    Links ? – iOSGoogle Play

Newsreaders

  • Feedly is doing a great job in keeping the RSS feed alive and has really helped me move away from content and social media fatigue. With some tweaks feedly instantly transforms content discovery and allows you to remove the noise and just read good content. Categorising sections of content is a great idea and something that helps me stay on top of the most important news. I love the mac and iOS apps and have struggled to use any other RSS driven apps. If you update to the fee paying model you can share your feeds and people can follow your most important content which is kinda cool, especially with over 1% of traffic (from all clients stats) coming via feedly.
    Links ? – MaciOSGoogle PlayChrome 

A bonus round…..File management and sharing

There are so many to choice from, I really like the following apps/solutions and well worth looking at for business or personal use:

  • For best security for your documents SpiderOak is one solution you should check out, does not offer as much free space but is super secure and mac app is great. It was Edward Snowden’s recommendation, take that as you like.
  • For ease of use and huge free space check out Copy just as easy as Dropbox & box and any other free / business hosting service. It also has an easier interface and categorising important sub folders etc. It’s owned by one of the large hard drive manufactures so you know they take cloud storage seriously.
  • An alternative with loads of free secure space and super cheap is Sync, I actually really like Sync and even a couple of clients have moved across too.
  • And lastly there is always Google Drive that many business use, the mac version is very easy and although unbundled their mobile apps its really useful if you want to quickly share directly to colleagues.

If you would prefer please go to see my collection on Product Hunt where I have added a few select social media apps and voted up other apps.

Let me know if you have any top apps I have not added.

Pinterest Buy It Now Button What You Need To Know

Here are the points you need to know about buyable pins:

  • Buy it now are approved by Pinterest (manually)
  • Buy it now will appear in blue on the top right hand side
  • The Buy it now button will only work on iOS (working on both iPads and iPhones)
  • Buyable Pins will not appear and not on either Android or desktop (due to be released in the future)
  • It is US only – It does not work outside the US (and no mention on release in other countries to date)
  • You will be charged through Apple pay or your credit card and will be charged natively from retailer
  • Buyable pins will not cost retailers anything (we will have to wait and see if this changes)
facebook instant articles

Facebook Instant Articles

Facebook Instant Articles will be great for storytellers and brands wanting to capture and delight audiences instantly and on the platform their audiences uses the most. Articles directly readable from the newsfeed will encourage more engagements (think more about publisher KPI’s like reads and then shares) of your articles in the most organic way.

I really like how Facebook discuss experience and increasing the quality of experience through page speed, auto play of videos and ability to view and move your mobile device to see the image in different ways.

Facebook data will allow publishers to create truly interactive content for their audience and reduces the fear of both publishing on “rented ground” and not being able to measure success.

I can see many brands wanting to leverage this platform and wanting to experiment with quality content.

 

Things to know:

  • Facebook instant article is only available on iOS devices
  • The service is invite only for now
  • Large and Buzzfeed, BBC, The Guardian are on the first run (be interesting to see their results as have very large share numbers)
  • Facebook are offering shares across other social networks – not an expected move but smart move for Facebook
  • Apple will be happy with this move, Google will not (Apple want move to app, Google still need web)
  • If you are on iOS and want to see an article in the live check out https://www.facebook.com/NBCNews/posts/1082337485119614 – very quick, very engaging, visually great.

danny denhard podcast

Content Marketing Podcast with Render Positive

I was invited to be interviewed for Render Positives third video podcast. I really enjoyed their original podcast with ad legend Rory Sutherland (definitely check out his interview) and was great to be involved in this podcast.

My interview was just over an hour (kindly edited by the RP team) and covers:

  • Content marketing and my love for it
  • Becoming a “habit” in 2015
  • Social Media and the impact it has
  • Creating KPI’s, tracking campaign success for content marketing
    • How to win/borrow budget from other teams
    • What I think should come to market in 2015
    • My desire for content distribution app
  • My thoughts on top publications including VICE, Daily Mirror and Daily Mail
  • The future of apps
  • “New and popular” Social Networks:
    • Why instagram and Pinterest are great social networks and why they are going to be important for businesses this year
    • How to use Snapchat as a business and why you can
  • Behavioural Economics

 

As this was the first time I have been involved with a video podcast it was a really interesting experience and hope you enjoyed the video, if you would like the full transcript please jump over to the render positive post.

Please let me know what you think or if you agree with any of my points.

If you did not already see it my latest conference deck from #SearchLondon might really interest you.

danny denhard search london

Search London Organic Marketing Trends Deck

I was kindly invited to speak at the first #SearchLondon of 2015. The theme for the event was “trends in search in 2015” and had Googler Pierre Far as the second speaker. Pierre’s deck was named Google Indexing in 2015 and was really interesting for the tech SEO in me. It is always interesting to see/hear how Google employees answer questions, especially from SEO with potential issues. With my deck I wanted to cover off two main parts:
1. 2014 across all of organic marketing covering SEO, content marketing, social media and apps,
2. 2015 – I took a look in my crystal ball and offered my thoughts and predicted upcoming trends for 2015.
  • The slides you might want to skip to if you are in a rush:
  • Slides 4 – 25 2014 reviewed with commentary
  • Slides 29 & 30 for SEO trends
  • Slide 31 – What you should be doing for SEO in 2015
  • Slides 33 – 39 for social media trends and predictions (with a challenge for businesses)
  • Slides 43 – 53 for content marketing trends
If you would like to download my deck click the following link: Upcoming Trends for Organic Marketing in 2015 If you do not like emoji’s this deck probably was not for you but please let me know (through comments below or over on Twitter @dannydenhard) how your predictions match up to mine and if you agree or disagree. Final thought, where are you impacted here and where does your business want to position themselves? Final thoughts to consider in 2015
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
If you get chance definitely sign up to the next Search London event, the founders Jo and Tim are great and it is always good to support a smaller conference.

My Favourite Podcasts

As many people who know I am a bit of a podcast geek and listen to too many per week. I am often asked what podcasts I would recommend so here are my go to listens.

For Your Aural Pleasures:

Work Related:

Slightly more educational:

If you like something more deep, longer and entertaining Joe Rogan Experience is a great listen, if you do not like swearing or sports sometimes it might not be for you but I personally love it – http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/.
Check out my favourite recent podcast by Joe Rogan with UFC commentator, ex US Marine Brian Stann – http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/brian-stann

Sports:

If you are into sports and sports banter definitely check out The Magic Sponge by Jimmy Bullard, Rob Beckett and special guests – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/the-magic-sponge/id925021393?mt=2 

Don’t judge me before you listen but the new Buzzfeed Internet Explorer podcast is really funny and well worth a listen to over on Soundcloud. Take a listen to Internet Explorer

Listen to my favourite so far:

 

 

Tim Cook Charlie Brown Interview

Tim Cook talks about iPhone 6, apple watch and the beats by dre acquisition

It was a busy week at apple last week and apple CEO Tim Cook went on the PR and promo offensive for their recent product announcements.

Cook obviously wanted to promote the latest iPhone and the largest phone to date the iPhone 6 plus,  but was clearly pleased with the apple watch (their most personal product to date) and address the beats by dre acquisition, the creative geniuses in the background there and talks about the much publicised IBM partnership.

Lastly Cook also talks about the Steve Jobs office which still exists at the apple complex and the future of the business.

Enjoy the video.

Twitter introduces mobile buy button

Twitter have been working hard on turning its social network into an attractive offering to retailers. This year alone Twitter cards have become common place and more sophisticated, especially with the addition of amazon cart / amazon basket.

Yesterday Twitter announced their latest move into social commerce, the buy button: currently the buy button is only available to a small % of users in the US.

I have two quick notes:

1. This won’t actually help the problem with acquiring new users and keeping existing customers happy, it will probably mean less followers and less people who want to be sold to on a social network with a growth and retention issue.

2. Brands will abuse it until it hurts them and Twitter – Twitter is smart to roll out the buy button (and shows investors it can make money away from it’s questionable ads platform and I have to say the Twitter analytics platform is more powerful than most people realise) however brands are going to try and turn Twitter from an open communication medium into a sales extension or direct shop window and I am sure this will frustrate users.

Marketing teams including their community managers, social media managers, customer services and the sales teams are going to have to work closely together to create attainable goals and targets – this won’t be easy for any team especially ones that have built an engaged community on Twitter.

What are your thoughts?