25 January 2016

Why Snowfurnace.com

Snow Furnace logo

Why snowfurnace.com?

We’ve recently spun off Snow Furnace as a consultancy focused on using B2B SaaS Content Marketing techniques to maximise sales.

A consultancy which helps clients to take advantage of rapid advances in CMS, IOT and M2M technology to enhance CRM.

There are a few reasons for the reboot.

As I explain these I’ll also cut through the jargon above!

Discovering how a whole raft of the world’s hottest software companies are using content to drive sales was like walking into a dark room and finding a light switch.

Having entered the tech world wondering what someone from a media background had to offer it all became clear.

Content is the glue that brings together so many pieces of modern business that it is moving centre stage.

Business as story telling is the simplest way to describe it.

‘Always be closing’, goes the jokey business mantra which really means ‘you’re always selling’.

All of us who are trying to progress, whether we’re aware of it or not spend a lot of time selling.

Not just products or productised versions of ourselves but ideas, workflows, worldview, beliefs.

Social media has become the distribution channel for a constantly multiplying torrent of concepts.

Sharing your content has become the default way to build a following today.

What’s gone hand in hand is the rise of the multiplying big data torrent.

As a content creator who used to have to wait days to get Television Audience Measurement, I can now get an instant overview of not just who is consuming the content I create, but what brought them to it, how long they stay for, what they do next, what they thought of it and who they share it with. And all that’s just for starters.

No longer do content creators have to stab in the dark and trust their gut to figure out what resonates with an audience.

If you’re a business trying to build a community around what you do content is becoming far more effective than more traditional forms of marketing.

As a business you can talk about what you do and why do it and see who it attracts. As your content gets less general and more specific you can tell who is most interested in what you do.

Content is inverting traditional logic about the relationship between sales and marketing.

More and more of the smartest, leanest, fastest growing firms in the world are using content to generate qualified leads at a cost that’s allowing them to leave competitors gasping.

We are only at the beginning of feeding content driven customer intelligence into CRM databases.

What’s coming further down the line is a massive explosion of data sources utilising IOT (Internet Of Things) and M2M (Machine to Machine).

Standing in a once dark room that’s now filled with light prompted this Snow Furnace rebrand.

scanarama.ie was just concerned with Ireland, snowfurnace.com addresses a globalised market.

We’re just at the beginning of a long journey with many exciting developments ahead and this rebrand reflects the breadth and depth of our ambition.

Donal Scannell

24 June 2015

How to sell yourself online

MY NAME IS __________-4

Start by filling in these blanks:

My Name is ___________.
I Make _____________.
For _____________ people.
When they are __________.

Once you’ve filled in the above you’re already on the road to achieving product-market-fit.

If you’d like some detail listen to this workshop I led recently at the Youbloom Conference.

It was for a room full of musicians but applies to anyone who needs to get their product out there.

One of the constant struggles I have with musicians is trying to get them to market themselves.

It’s actually the single biggest issue with breaking acts.

Great music is a given.

It’s not easy to make great music but without it you’re nowhere.

Once you have the great music what comes next?

What comes next if you have limited resources?

I passionately believe in the power of online video to help spread a message.

If you have something amazing you can get it out there.

Virality is like lightening – it’s impossible to predict – even Upworthy can’t do it.

Putting some creativity into the process can massively increase your chances of success.

That’s what this workshop is about.

Join in where-ever you are.

I’d love to know how you get on.

Please tweet me @donalscannell or respond here and let me know what you think and/or ask some questions.

12 June 2015

Periscope and Meerkat open up massive opportunities.


Periscope and Meerkat have transformed live video streaming in just three months.

Live streaming now requires just the push of one button.

Periscope is Scanarama’s favourite of the two because it’s got a larger audience thanks to the Twitter tie-ins. It archives your streams so people can watch them later and you can save them to your phone’s camera roll for uploading elsewhere. With Meerkat you can’t do that in-app.

One big disadvantage of both apps is that recordings come with comments burnt into the footage. This will limit your options if you want to edit the footage later.

A really interesting development is that shooting video in portrait now works – it’s time has finally come.

Comedian Tom Green also clearly prefers Periscope. He’s been filling the dead time between when he arrives in a city and when he plays a gig walking around, chatting to who-ever he bumps into. It’s inane and compelling at the same time.

Watching it on Youtube isn’t as thrilling as watching it live on Periscope. Download the app and browse around yourself. You’ll find it more engaging than flicking through random TV shows that all feel like you’ve seen them before.

Periscope democratises something that used to be very complicated. Scanarama have produced loads of big live-streamed events like Smartsounds, Imelda May and Biffy Clyro yet we don’t feel threatened by something that makes streaming so simple. Far from it.

We’re busy writing Periscope into our plans because we love the possibilities it opens up. It’s so simple now to stream live that it’s thrilling.

Others are embracing Periscope too – even Uefa – at Enterprise Ireland’s Sports Marketing Conference yesterday, their marketing manager Noel Mooney was full of praise for the app’s potential to increase demand for live events.

Television started as a completely live format. You needed equipment the size of a house to do it then. Now all you need is your phone.

We are only at the beginning of what Periscope and Meerkat can do.

Let us know if you’d like to be informed the next time we go live with a stream so you can join in with the fun.

02 April 2013

Five questions to consider before commissioning video.


Five questions to consider before commissioning video:

All of these questions may seem obvious but you’d be surprised at the conversations which they start.

1. Why do you want this video?

2. Who is the audience?

3. How do you want to be perceived?

4. Who needs to approve it?

5. When do you want the content delivered and ready to go?

These are the questions we always start with. Figuring out the answers makes the entire production process quicker and smoother.