Netflix Goes Live In Australia And New Zealand, Its First Launches In Asia Pacific

Netflix spoke of aggressive international expansion ambitions in January, and a major step towards its two-year globalization plan was taken today when its video-on-demand service went live in Australia and New Zealand.

Those launches are notable for being Netflix’s first moves into Asia Pacific, and it is planning to follow up with an entry into Japan, which is slated for this coming fall.

Customers in Oceania can pay A$8.99 (US$7) per month for standard access to its catalog. HD and 4K quality streams are charged at A$11.99 (US$9.40) and A$14.99 ($11.77) respectively.

Those in Australia will suffer from a somewhat streamlined selection of content, initially at least. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian/New Zealand service offers 220 TV series and 900 movies, compared to 940 TV series and 6,170 movies in the U.S. That’s down to Netflix’s efforts to secure release rights in Australia, which are still in their early stages. There are, however, “several hundred” titles that are unique to the region, and the company has said that it is working to beef up the selection for Australians and New Zealanders.

Asia looks like it will be a major focus for Netflix as it embarks on a quest to reach 200 countries worldwide by 2017. It won’t be without competition in the region, as 2015 has already seen two new video-on-demand companies surface. Operator Singtel partnered with Sony Pictures and Warner Brothers to launch HOOQ in Southeast Asia, while iflix is another newly created competitor with regional aspirations.

How to Get 60 Leads in 24 Hours With a Landing Page and a LinkedIn Group

How to Get 60 Leads in 24 Hours With a Landing Page and a LinkedIn Group

A few weeks ago a startup asked me to figure out the cheapest and most sustainable way for them to get 25 qualified leads to try their product. Like most startups they did not have a big budget for marketing experiments and needed to bootstrap to get some initial customers in the door.

24 hours later I generated 60 qualified leads for them using nothing but a simple landing page and a LinkedIn group. This process was so successful that they decided to repeat the experiment again.

I’ve done this many times and it works like a charm every time. Here is a step by step of how I did it.

Step 1: Nail Down Your Target Audience

There are billions of articles and books on the importance of defining your target market. I’m not going to give you a lecture on how to define your target market. I will say that for this technique which I’m about to outline you have to know exactly what type of people you want as leads.

In my situation above it was CIOs of enterprise on-demand companies. Some examples would be CIOs at Verizon, Comcast, Merry Maids, Home Depot, Geek Squad, etc.

In your case it’s whoever you think your customer is. Not too long ago I wrote an article titled ‘How I Sold My App to 10 People Before I Wrote a Line of Code and Then Launched It’.

In the article I share how I pitched my app idea to tons of different types of people to see who would actually pay for it. The goal was to get 10 people to pay me money before I start work on it. I ended up getting those 10 people to pay me and that’s how I knew who my target market really was before I started building the app.

That’s just one way to do it. There are millions of other ways to do this, which I will not delve into now. So as mentioned: know who your target market is.

As I said my target market for this example above was CIOs of on-demand enterprise companies.

Step 2: Largest LinkedIn or FB Group for Your Target Market

You need to find the largest and most active group there is on LinkedIn or Facebook for your target market. Notice the underline on ‘most active’. There are tons of groups which consist of a bunch of robots. You need to find the biggest and most active group for your target market.

In my case CIOs usually hang out on LinkedIn (not FB). So I did a few searches and found this group:

The CIO Network group on LinkedIn is 140,000+ members strong and extremely active. Taking a look at their discussions I knew this was the one to go after. Here are some of the discussions and frequency of posting:

Another thing to look for is any promotional materials being advertised in the group. After all you will be marketing to this group so you want to know how people do this. In my case I found some updates which looked like promotions:

Become a member of the group and test it out. Post some updates yourself, get a feel of the discussions which are added and how people respond to them. Get familiar with the group overall. Make sure this group has the types of people you want to have as leads.

Step 3: Write a Killer Piece of Content for This Group

Now find an old piece of content written by yourself or your team or write a new piece of content. This content must really engage the people in your target group. I’m talking about something that stirs folks up, gets them to reply and upvote and read at least 80% of what you’ve written.

In my case I picked the following article:
A Letter to the CIO of a Services Enterprise from the COO

See how this article speaks directly at CIOs about something they are all facing today? This grabs them and pulls them in, exactly what I’m trying to achieve.

Not too long ago my friends from BuzzSumo wrote an article titled: ‘Why Content Goes Viral: What Analyzing 100 Million Articles Taught Us’ where they report on what types of titles get most social media shares and why. I suggest checking that article out as you come up with your title.

So in short you need to have a killer piece of content for your audience. Want examples? Go to BuzzSumo and type in the keyword for your target market, you’ll find the most shared pieces of content.

Got your piece of content written and published? Ok, let’s collect some leads!

Step 4: Create a PDF Whitepaper Out of Your Article

This step is pretty straight forward, create a downloadable PDF out of your article. Format it nicely with your company bio or info all the way at the end of the whitepaper.

I ended up turning the LinkedIn article into this PDF.

The PDF is pretty basic, see how there is some information about the company towards the end? That is really the only thing you need to add to it.

Take out any dates associated with the article. You do not want your readers to know that it was an old piece of content or written and published somewhere else.

Step 5: Create an Opt-in Landing Page for Your PDF Whitepaper

These are typically called squeeze pages, the idea is that you’re “squeezing’ an email out of your visitor in exchange for something in return. In my case I created a page which looked like this:

Check out the live page here.

The page showed the very beginning of the article and asked the visitor to put their email address in to get the full PDF of the whitepaper.

The idea is that you pull them in with the copy on the landing page and then try to get an email address out of them. So be very picky with the copy you have on this landing page.

There is an article out there titled: Proof of Heaven, Propaganda and Feeding Your Audience Exactly the Meal They Asked For by Joanna Wiebe of Copy Hackers which is a gold mine when writing copy for pages such as this one. Read it, it has awesome tips in it on how to make this copy as best as possible.

I know people are going to ask so I’ll just say it, I used Unbounce to make this page above. However I’m a huge supporter of LeadPages as well. Both are awesome products and you can make a page like the one I made above in 5 minutes with either product.

Step 6: Make Sure Your Landing Page Is Hooked to Your Email Provider

You want to collect an email address and make sure people who sign up get a nice email back with the PDF they want to read. So make sure to integrate with MailChimp or another email provider such as Aweber which will send out emails to your subscribers automatically. Here is what my auto email looked like:

Subject: A Letter to the CIO of a Services Enterprise from COO

Hi Jerry,

Thanks for downloading my letter titled “A Letter to the CIO of a Services Enterprise from COO”. To access the PDF just click on the link below.

[DOWNLOAD PDF] A Letter to the CIO of a Services Enterprise from COO <–

I hope you enjoy this content! I’d love to hear your feedback and thoughts on the 5 most important market dynamics for the technology leaders in 2015 I talk about in the letter.

Best,

Alex Beletsky
COO, Dispatch

http://dispatch.me

Just make sure this email is working well. Test your landing page out.

Step 7: Find the Owner of the Group and Ask for Promotion

Now you are ready to get traffic to your landing page from the group you identified. The idea is to get emails of leads who are interested in your content. Once they sign up to get the PDF you can follow up after and try to sell them (more on that later).

In my case I find the owner of the LinkedIn or Facebook group and reach out to them asking the following:

I’m a member of your LinkedIn group and recently came across one of your articles on your blog about the changing environment for CIOs. I really enjoyed the article.

I’m currently in process of writing a guest article for CIO.com and wanted to see if I could interview you for the article. Your group and company would get good exposure form it. I have another opportunity to publish a similar interview on CIO-Today.

Let me know if you’d be interested.

Cheers,

-Dmitry

In most cases the person responds and says “sure”. They have nothing to lose and a potential to gain some good exposure. After they respond with an email I end up writing this email:

Sound good, I’ll interview and promote you on these top three CIO sites. In return would you be able to promote a whitepaper for CIOs which I just wrote to your group? Just a quick update to the entire group. Here is the link:
http://try.dispatch.me/lettertocio/

Now I wait until the owner responds. The idea is that you scratch their back and they scratch yours. You interview them and promote the interview to three different sources which are well known. It can be three slightly different interviews.

Most of the time the owner of the biggest LinkedIn or Facebook group for your target demographic is some type of expert or at least well regarded in the field for what they do. So getting an interview published with them in a targeted publication should not be that hard.

In return ask for a direct email blast of the group but an update is also acceptable. Never hurts to ask for an direct email blast of course.

If it’s an email blast you’ll need to do more copy editing to make sure the email speaks to your recipients. Come back to that article ‘Proof of Heaven, Propaganda and Feeding Your Audience Exactly the Meal They Asked For’ by Joanna Wiebe, it will help you craft this email.

A very good friend of my Dan Fagella built his entire business to $40K/month in 2 years just by following this very same approach:

  1. Find an expert in the field
  2. Interview them
  3. Promote them and ask to be promoted in return

Here is an article titled How I grew my Startup to $40K Using Emails and Good Content detailing the complete procedure and how you go about accomplishing this.

Remember to make sure the group owner promotes the landing page you created.

Step 8: Watch the Leads Roll In and Follow Up

That is it really. You get a few interviews published with the group owner on hot publications. The group owner gets some exposure. In return the group owner promotes your landing page, the group members see it, click it and subscribe to read the PDF. Your job now is to:

  • Count the number of total leads you got
  • Follow up with the leads within 2-5 days of them singing up to get your PDF

Unbounce or whatever service you use keeps tracks of the leads. You can integrate it with Salesforce if you like.

You have about 5 days until your leads become completely cold and forget all about you. So you want to follow up and ask how they liked your PDF within 5 days.

Also remember it takes about 5 follow ups to close a deal. A very good friend Saph runs a site helping people write better email copy, I suggest you take a look at this section on sales follow up emails to make sure you’re effectively following up.

My sales follow up email looked like this:

Hi (First Name),

(Insert Your Name) here from (Company Name). Alex mentioned that you just expressed interest in his ‘Letter to the CIO of a Services Enterprise from the COO.’ I wanted to follow up and make sure you received the PDF in the email OK.

I was just checking out your profile and saw that (Insert personal bit here)

(Insert question about the personal bit above)

We’d love to learn more about you and your work at (Insert Their Company Name)

Looking forward to connecting.

-(Your Name)

Conclusion

That is it! Give it a try. I’d love to hear your feedback and comments as you get going with this approach.

If you want to get some quick qualified leads you do not need fancy ad campaigns and you most certainly do not need to spend a lot of money. A targeted piece of content toward a popular and targeted LinkedIn of Facebook group will do wonders in terms of generating leads.

Reddit now lets you embed comments on other websites

Reddit stickers

Reddit can be a goldmine of memes and grassroots news, so the platform is today making it easier to share comments on on other sites with embeddable comments.

Rather than copy, pasting and formatting text, you can now embed a small window into your blog or website to link towards comments.

To generate the necessary code simply click on a comment’s permalink page, then select ‘embed’ to generate the code you need to copy. You also have the option to include parent comments.

Reddit says the embeds will display any edits to the original posts however, so if you want to share something potentially time sensitive or that’s likely to be deleted, you’re still better off copying the text or just capturing a screengrab.

Still, it’s a nifty feature that’s sure to come in handy next time you need to link to cute animals or a clever comment.

[Image credit: Eva Blue, Flickr]

Rival smartphones in exchange for iPhones in Apple’s upcoming trade-in program

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In an apparent effort to boost in-store iPhone sales, Apple CEO Tim Cook is spearheading a trade-in program that’ll reward shoppers with gift cards to put towards the purchase of a new smartphone.

Sources familiar with the matter tell 9to5Mac that the unannounced recycling and trade-in program will notably accept both Android and BlackBerry devices. Trade-in value will reportedly be determined on the spot by Apple retail store employees based on the device, its condition and functional status.

The program is expected to get under way in the coming weeks which will give Apple enough time to train its retail employees. Said training programs will begin later this week, we’re told. The only other detail we’re privy to is that Apple employees will be able to transfer address book contacts from other phones to a new iPhone. Everything else, however, will have to be moved manually by the customer.

apple android iphones google iphone smartphone cell phone handset mobile phone trade-in phone trade-in program

The upcoming program is not to be confused with Apple’s iPhone Reuse and Recycle program. That one kicked off in mid-2013 in an effort to encourage existing iPhone users to trade in their older model handsets for something newer which, at the time, consisted of the iPhone 5, iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c.

Although convenient for shoppers, such trade-in programs are rarely the best way to go if you’re after top dollar for a used phone. Amazon, for example, offers instant quotes online and even covers the cost of shipping. But above all else, you’re likely to get the greatest return by either selling locally to someone you know, using Craigslist (be careful) or trying eBay.

By

A Luxury Smartwatch by Intel, Google, and Tag Heuer Team

In a surprise press event today in Switzerland, Tag Heuer, one of the more notable watch companies in the industry, announced that its next project would make the leap from traditional watches to smartwatches. But it’s not going to do it alone; the Swiss company is partnering with Intel and Google in the hope of giving the watch a technical and fashionable edge in the market.

To help announce the partnership, Tag Heuer CEO Jean-Claude Biver invited along David Singleton, Android Wear’s engineering director, and Michael Bell, one of Intel’s corporate vice presidents (and more importantly, the general manager of Intel’s New Devices Group).

The trio, along with Guy Semon, Tag Heuer’s general manager, didn’t offer many technical details about the new watch, unfortunately. At the moment, all we know is that it’s coming at the end of the year, with the pricing, specs, and features revealed shortly before the launch. We also know that the device will be running Android Wear, and Singleton confirmed that the partnership will produce the company’s first luxury Android watch.

Android Wear already runs on smartwatches created by LG, Samsung, Motorola, Sony, and Asus, but grabbing a prestigious watchmaker like Tag Heuer definitely gives the platform a new market angle.

But what about Intel’s part in all this? Based on our interview after last year’s IDF with Ellen Healy, Intel’s PR manager for wearables, Tag Heuer would seem to just be the latest partner in Intel’s effort to work with as many reputable fashion brands as possible to increase the demand for wearables (in this case, specifically smartwatches). Bell echoed that same sentiment at the announcement.

“We believe wearable technology is going to take off, but this is not something to be driven by tech companies only,” he said. “We believe that it requires a real partnership between established players in the space who understand customers and fashion and objects of desire.”

But that’s only part one of Intel’s plan. Even though its partners get support by utilizing existing technology, Intel has a roadmap for creating an SoC specifically for its wearables partners. What’s more interesting is that Healy noted that it won’t be just one platform for all of its products, so maybe we’ll see multiple variations of Intel wearable SoCs in the near future.

By partnering up with Tag Heuer, Intel gains another foothold in the wearables market. As long as you buy an Intel-powered wearable device, the company gains a profit. Before Tag Heuer, Fossil announced its partnership with Intel last September, and even with the partnerships, Intel already has its own smartwatch in the market called Basis, which works as a sleep and fitness tracker.

With this latest development, maybe other big watch companies will take the next step and talk to Intel to power their own wearables. It will be interesting to know how this luxury smartwatch will fare compared to Apple’s luxury smartwatch. Both devices are aimed at higher-end consumers, but the approaches are completely different.

Source

Microsoft releases Office 2016, Skype for Business previews

microsoft, office, preview, skype, lync, skype for business, office 2016

Get ready for a new selection of preview software from Microsoft to test out: today the company launched both the Office 2016 IT Pro and Developer Preview, and the Skype for Business Preview.

After being in a private preview program for several months, Microsoft is now “ready to expand the (Office 2016 Preview) program to our commercial Office 365 customers, an important milestone that gives IT pros and developers an opportunity to start testing the upcoming release.”

Some of the new features in Office 2016 include a refreshed, more colorful interface (seen above in a leaked version), improved search functionality, a wealth of technical and performance improvements to Outlook, expanded Data Loss Protection, and more. For business users, Microsoft hasn’t made any changes to Add-ins or Macros, which should help with compatibility.

At this stage, the Office 2015 Preview doesn’t come with the full selection of features that Microsoft expects to ship in the final version, although the company will continue to update the Preview monthly with new additions. Eager testers can join the Office 2016 Preview program here and download it today, ahead of the final version launching in the second half of this year.

microsoft office skype business preview lync skype for business office 2016

Alongside a preview of Office 2016, Microsoft is also launching the Skype for Business Preview. Replacing Microsoft Lync, Skype for Business features a familiar Skype interface and includes tight integration with Office for a cohesive productivity experience.

Anyone who is a current Lync customer can now download the Skype for Business Preview here through the TechNet Evaluation Center, with the final version set to roll out next month. The Skype for Business Preview is also included with the Office 2016 Preview, so if you want to test out both, you’ll only need to download Office.

By Tim Schiesser

AeroMobil aims to launch flying car in 2017, autonomous version to follow

vehicle, car, self driving car, flying car, aeromobil, autonomous flying car, self-flying car

The flying car that we’ve all been waiting on is just around the corner. During a recent speaking engagement at SXSW, AeroMobil CEO Juraj Vaculik said he aims to launch his prototype flying automobile by 2017.

Having grown up under an oppressive political regime in Czechoslovakia that underwent a revolution, Vaculik said we now need a revolution in personal transportation. Self-driving cars are a step in the right direction but they’re only a partial solution, he said. The true answer is a flying car.

His current prototype, AeroMobil 3.0, is capable of taking off and landing on grass runways. Such setups could be installed near freeways and gas stations, he envisions, but making that a reality could be a difficult task.

For starters, the company would need to get local governments to agree to building flying car runways and navigate what’d no doubt be a bevy of regulations. Vaculik didn’t seem too concerned about the matter, however, noting that his vehicle will slot nicely into pre-existing categories for cars and planes. As The Verge notes, this would mean that you’d need a pilot’s license to be able to fly the thing.

The two-seater model he plans to launch in 2017 will be marketed to wealthy supercar buyers. While not giving a firm price, Vaculik did say the AeroMobil would cost more than a couple hundred thousand euros. After that, the company wants to put out a fully autonomous model with room for four.

By          

The Microsoft’s $70 Windows Phone

microsoft, windows phone, entry-level, lumia 430

What sort of smartphone can you buy for just $70? Well you’re about to find out, as Microsoft just launched the Lumia 430, their latest budget handset that features surprisingly okay specifications for a very low price tag.

Of course the Lumia 430 isn’t going to be a performance powerhouse at its price tag, but it does feature hardware that has been reserved for more pricey entry-level smartphones in the past. You get 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB of internal storage to complement the Snapdragon 200 SoC, as well as cameras on both the front and back.

The cameras aren’t going to be the greatest – the rear sensor is 2-megapixels and fixed focus, while the front camera is merely VGA – but you will be able to send the occasional selfie. There’s also a 4.0-inch 800 x 480 LCD display, a 1,500 mAh removable battery, a microSD card slot, and support for HSPA networks on the 900 and 2100 MHz bands.

microsoft lumia windows phone microsoft entry-level lumia 430

Microsoft also says that the Lumia 430 will be updated to Windows 10 (from Windows Phone 8.1) when the OS is released this summer, which is great to see. Many budget Android devices in this price bracket never see updates, so Microsoft is certainly beating its rivals in this regard.

The dual-SIM Lumia 430 launches in several emerging markets, including India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia Pacific, this April.

By

Microsoft Confirms Windows 10 Will Arrive This Summer

Microsoft confirmed today that Windows 10 will launch this summer in 190 countries and 111 languages. Frustratingly, though, the company isn’t dishing an actual launch date for its hotly-anticipated new platform, but an interesting new nugget of information was let out today.

The company previously voiced its intention to offer free upgrades to “millions” of customers on Windows 7 or earlier, and China — a market synonymous with piracy — is a key focus of that initiative. Speaking at an event in Shenzhen, China, Terry Myerson — Microsoft’s Executive Vice President of Operating Systems — revealed that the Redmond firm will work with three of China’s most prominent software companies — Lenovo, Tencent and Qihoo 360 — to offer free upgrades to their collective customer base. That doubtless spans a huge number of potential users.

But, there’s more, Microsoft is also working Xiaomi — yes, the fast-growing Android phone company — in a partnership that will give selected owners of its Mi 4 the chance to “help test Windows 10 and contribute to its future release later this year.”

Xiaomi has a strong community of users — the company pushes software updates weekly and actively solicits user feedback —  and Microsoft is tapping into that to seed a Windows 10 Technical Preview for initial feedback.

A Xiaomi spokesperson told us that this is “an experimental program entirely led by Microsoft,” and we are trying to ascertain more information about the nature of this partnership. It sucks, but Microsoft and Xiaomi are being vague on this alliance, which, though thrown into today’s announcement as a low-key tidbit, could provide a fascinating indication of the future plans for Windows 10 on mobile.

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