Agencies are parlaying their expertise in marketing the brands of other companies into creating and marketing their own.
Before you create a blog, draft content for your brand-spanking-new website or start tweeting, first define your “brand voice.”
Puma can’t yet legally discuss its Olympics marketing strategy, according to Remi Carlioz, the company’s head of digital marketing. But to get an idea of how Puma will promote its star athlete and three-time Olympic gold medalist sprinter Usain Bolt, one need only turn to the Middle East. In mid-January, Puma sent 10 bloggers to Abu Dhabi to cover the company’s sponsored boat, Mar Mostro, as it competed in the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. Puma has recruited bloggers to talk about the brand before, but this event marked the first time it tested Tumblr. (The bloggers were also encouraged to post to Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #marmostro.)
In a significant defection for the book industry, best-selling marketing author Seth Godin is ditching his traditional publisher, Portfolio, after a string of books and plans to sell his future works directly to his fans. The author of about a dozen books including "Purple Cow" said he now has so many direct customer relationships, largely via his blog, that he no longer needs a traditional publisher. Mr. Godin plans to release subsequent titles himself in electronic books, via print-on-demand or in such formats as audiobooks, apps, small digital files called PDFs and podcasts. "Publishers provide a huge resource to authors who don't know who reads their books," said Mr. Godin in an interview. "What the Internet has done for me, and a lot of others, is enable me to know my readers."
By now, plenty of traditional media companies have hopped on the social media bandwagon, pumping out news updates on Facebook and Twitter. But do those companies have the time and resources to work yet another Web outlet into their daily routine?
A corporate blog is one tool in a strategic mix of communications media that a company can use to reach and interact with its customers and prospects. It can be an excellent communication and recruitment tool when created with a clear voice and a consistent content schedule. But before you sign up, here are eight tips to consider.
Is the Real-Time Web making news consumption better or worse? In a Wired magazine article, book author Nicholas Carr argues that the Internet is reducing our ability to comprehend content on the Web. In a separate blog post, Carr even suggests that websites and blogs should move hyperlinks from the body of an article to the bottom - apparently, links distract readers and cause them to understand an article less. I don't buy that particular argument, but it's clear that we need better strategies to cope with news overload. Particularly as these days we're not only getting more content, but getting it much faster.
Social media might be old. It might even be a dead buzzword. That’s why you need to paint a picture that’s more meaningful and encompasses what “social media” as a label really is. Some of us have been thrust into social media simply because the online landscape showed potential for online conversations. Others have been there for over a decade. Regardless of the many years of experience you have in the online space, the ideas behind social media and social media marketing are applicable to everyone. Let’s take a look at some lessons, takeaways, and tips.
More brands will compensate bloggers and social media users in an attempt to generate chatter about their products, a new study found. PQ Media said such "sponsored conversations" -- which compensate social media users for discussing brands' products -- grew to $46 million in 2009, a 14 percent increase from a year earlier. Even so, that figure represented a tiny chunk (2.7 percent) of the word-of-mouth marketing category, according to PQ.
There's a battle brewing in the San Francisco Bay Area over how to win over one very important consumer group: moms. MomsLikeMe, a Mclean, Va.-based blogging network for moms across America, announced today plans to team up with the Bay Area News Group, San Francisco's biggest print and digital media company. The mommy blogging site focuses on local communities of moms and launched in 2008 as a unit of newspaper giant Gannett. It will syndicate its content to the News Group's local papers, such as The Contra Costa Times and The San Jose Mercury News, and the two media companies will split the local and national ad revenue they pull in.
Yelp has found a work-around for those wicked extortion rumors (and that pesky lawsuit). In a blog post with the no-nonsense headline "We're Increasing Transparency and Eliminating 'Favorite Review'," Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman explains its plans. The "transparency" part is met by allowing users to see reviews that would otherwise have been obscured by the review filtering system. Whereas the Favorite Review part sees this entire segment of the advertising package deleted from Yelp.
On a brisk Saturday morning this month, a dedicated crew of about 90 women, most in their 30s or thereabouts, arrived at a waterfront hotel here, prepared for a daylong conference that offered to school them in the latest must-have skill set for the minivan crowd. Teaching your baby to read? Please. How to hide vegetables in your children’s food? Oh, that’s so 2008. The topics on that day’s agenda included search-engine optimization, building a “comment tribe” and how to create an effective media kit. There would be much talk of defining your “brand” and driving up page views. You know. For your blog.
At a time when other financial services firms are rolling out flashy multi-million dollar advertising campaigns aimed at rebuilding consumer trust, Citigroup is unveiling something that seems far more simple: a blog and videos featuring top executives. The company this week launched a new branding campaign including a fresh Web site, new.citi.com, and print ads directing people to it. The Internet roll-out features personal blog posts from Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit, as well as testimonial videos from CitiMortgage President Sanjiv Das and CitiRisk's Chief Risk Officer Brian Leach. By featuring the executives, the company aims to position Citigroup ( C - news - people ) as a more transparent, accessible and conversational corporation.
You should pay attention to the backgrounds and stories of these 5 entrepreneurs. It's in the details that you learn the most -- and they give away quite a bit of detail, given how they make their income. The first thing you need to understand as you read these profiles is that although these entrepreneurs all built a platform with their blogs, your blog is not a business.
If you’re ready to think of your blog as a business (one of the hot topics over on Third Tribe Marketing), one way to do that is to start thinking of your blog content as the core of a distribution flow. In the little drawing to the left, I’ve put your subject matter at the heart of your system, and then have recommended you look at your blog, other products, education, and partnerships as the four areas you might consider. Note how I’ve moved your blog off to a branch and not to the heart of the drawing. Let’s talk through it.
I spend a great deal of time working within the B2B sector, among other things, and social media is a growing and or pervasive program within a comprehensive, integrated communications and service strategy. In almost every scenario I’ve encountered, executives, marcom and service executives, and brand managers have generally assumed that social and interactive activities and programming were ideally best suited for consumer applications. However, as we recently explored, in Social Media, it’s not just business, it’s business-to-business.
Mark Titus is smart enough that he was recruited to play basketball at Harvard and missed one question on the math section of the SAT. He is bizarre enough that he spent spring break of his senior year of high school attending WrestleMania XXII dressed up, with his best friend, Andy Keller, as the 1980s tag-team duo the Rockers. They also attended a live taping of Jerry Springer’s talk show. Those smarts and verve have helped make Titus one of the popular players in college basketball, a mind-boggling anomaly given that he is a little-used walk-on with a career high of 3 points. His Club Trillion blog — clubtrillion.blogspot.com — chronicles “Life Views from the End of the Bench” and has been visited by more than 1.9 million people in a little more than a year.
Social media has appeared because the web is here and people are talking to one another online, consumers create content without needing media intermediaries and as a result are free to talk about products, brands, ideas and society. Consumers now expect companies will conduct a dialogue with them online. Companies like Dell, Comcast and Zappos have changed customer expectations about what it means to reach out to a company for the simplest of requests or the most complex of complaints. Instead of calling a call center on their time, the consumer simply writes a blog post, Facebook update, or tweet anticipating a company will respond. To write well in social media is not about being the most polished writer, or a creative copywriter, rather the skills that are needed to succeed are an ability to listen, be empathic, admit mistakes where necessary, and take a stand knowing the customer is not always right. Online, the good writer is outpaced by the good conversationalist.
The power of social media marketing is that it is immediate and direct, allowing brands to engage customers in a real-time dialogue, but it's important to beware of the short window during which your message remains relevant (an hour, a day, a week) in each of the social media channels such as blogs, Twitter, and social networks. Think of message relevance in terms of "half-life" and durability. The half-life of a social media message is the time it takes for the message to begin losing relevance. The durability of a message is how long it takes for it to fade completely from view. If you give this concept careful consideration, you can create the right messages for the right audiences based on your predictions of how long the messages will last in each channel. Match the social media message and its expected duration to the appropriate online channel, and over time, your audiences will come to expect different types of communications from your brand on each channel.
When marketers think about “going viral,” they think about creating infectious content and getting it in front of the right people. And while that’s a great place to start, contagious design can also go a long way to help. Here’s 7 things to think about when designing a blog or site for maximum viral effect.
Back in May, Mike Bender and Doug Chernack, a pair of screenwriters in Los Angeles, got together for lunch. Bender told his friend about a trip back home where he noticed a particularly embarrassing old family photo on his dad's desk. "I've got plenty of those in my house," Chernack remembers responding. And so the idea for Awkward Family Photos was born with the mission of "spreading the awkwardness" by collecting those snapshots that make us wince.
Young Chinese today are consumed by all things digital. Internet bars, bursting with netizens, are the size of football fields. More than 600 million individuals carry mobile phones and more than 60 million blog, double the number in the U.S. What is less understood is how they engage with new media -- and whether their emotional urges and self-expression are fundamentally different from Western kids.
Where do you start? That’s the question I get often when I’m asked how to help a company market using social media tools. The people who contact me are smart. They tell me things like, “Yeah, they said we should start with a blog, and we said, ‘like the blog we already have?’” But what comes next is rarely a simple choice. I wanted to take you through some thoughts on what the basic building blocks of social media might be for a business (in the context of marketing, but then stretching a bit further out). Remember, roadmaps don’t work really well until you have a solid goal or destination in mind. None of this matters unless it feels right to you, regardless of my advice. You know your company’s boundaries. You know what your comfort levels are. Proceed at your organizational pace.
GM is continuing to push ahead with a company reinvention and in an unprecedented move, has created The Lab blog to post concept work from the design studios online. Two concepts have just been added which are results of an ECOinitiative project aimed at understanding and developing greener transportation alternatives. The two concepts explore the theme of the ‘Bare Necessity’ which as GM Designer Therese Tant writes is a back-to basics approach, less is more, less cost, less complexity = efficiency.
Colleen Padilla, a 33-year-old mother of two who lives in suburban Philadelphia, has reviewed nearly 1,500 products, including baby clothes, microwave dinners and the Nintendo Wii, on her popular Web site Classymommy.com. Her site attracts 60,000 unique visitors every month, and Ms. Padilla attracts something else: free items from companies eager to promote their products to her readers.
As Edelman Chicago's senior VP for consumer brands social media, Danielle Wiley's job is to establish and manage 2.0 digital practices and strategies for the agency. The mother of two came to Edelman's attention as a result of the Foodmomiac blog she launched in 2005. She now heads an in-house team of four that spends much of its time researching, recruiting and managing bloggers for various brands' marketing campaigns.
At the excellent MarketingProfs B2B Forum a couple of weeks back, I had the pleasure of attending “Marketing 2.0: Integrating Social Media into Your Marketing Mix” a session hosted by IBM’s Sandy Carter. Carter’s presentation offered a variety of valuable social media insights and strategies on three interesting projects at IBM. The lessons learned from one case study in particular stuck out as worth sharing.
Marketers can take full advantage of Gen Y's unique situation in the workforce. Members of this demographic can add value to their companies by being corporate citizens and brand ambassadors. They are marketing tools that can be leveraged by their own marketing organizations to reach customers, prospects, the press and various other stakeholders. As long as they maintain a positive reputation, their companies will benefit, and they will have better careers as a result.
Nokia set up an intranet soapbox last spring known as Blog-Hub, opening it to employee bloggers around the world. Posting under aliases such as the Hulk and the Needle, the workers can be savage as they flame their employer for everything from its purchasing practices to the speed of mobile-phone software. Rather than shutting them down, Nokia managers want them to fire away.
It’s bad enough that society is already suffering from M.D.D. (Media Deficit Disorder) – a modern day, technology led version of A.D.D. We can’t seem to do any one particular task well anymore, because we’re so busy juggling multiple things at the same time. Our attention spans have shrunk to the size of a newt. We can’t even seem to hold a thought consistently without drifting…….what was I saying again? Now along comes Twitter, which totally reduces our collective thought leadership to 140 characters or less and in doing so, belittles and minimizes every big thought into a punch line or social limerick. It’s premature articulation if you ask me and it’s very unsatisfying. Even with products like Twerbose (seems like it was made for me) which tries to cheat on Twitter’s size limitations by linking to a (gasp) blog post of sorts, the problem still remains and isn’t going away anytime soon.
For Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor, social networking is not working. Which might seem strange to hear from a man who was presented this week with a special achievement award at the Webbys. Still, in a blog post written Wednesday, Reznor seems to have come to an emotional fork in the road with Web 2.0. And he's decided to stick the fork in it. "I will be tuning out of the social networking sites because at the end of the day it's now doing more harm than good in the bigger picture and the experiment seems to have yielded a result. Idiots rule," he said.
This is one area of social media and especially blogging that has always irked me. The belief that if you create great content, you are set. That your blog will be inundated with thousands of visitors just dying to get the chance to glimpse your verbal greatness.
Earlier this week SeaWorld invited me out for a press event for the opening of their newest roller-coaster, the Manta. Usually, these things involve doing something that would theoretically be fun if it wasn’t for the fact that you have to spend the entire time being pitched.
When you start something new, especially if it's something you've not done before, you really have no idea how you will organize around it. One of the most frequently asked questions - and objections raised - to the use of social media is that of time, or rather lack of.
Martha Stewart has amassed an impressive 600,000-plus followers on Twitter (marthastewart), which she’s used to broadcast everything from photos to last night’s dinner menu to her fervent fans. But she conceded having reservations about the social networking site.
One of the best ways to grow your blog, is to leave it. What I mean by this is leaving comments on other blogs is a great way to create value for others, and ultimately grow awareness for your own blogging efforts. But not all blog comments are created equal, and here's some of the tips I've learned over the years for writing great blog comments:
Most people and most businesses don't think they need a blog. In the next five minutes, I'd like to convince you that you have to jump into the world of blogging and Twitter and Facebook.
Traditional music charts are based on shipped albums, or units sold. While this may have been an accurate method to judge music popularity in the simpler times of top-down, centralized music distribution, today’s media-consumption behavior patterns do not always adhere to such direct paths.
The best non-fiction books today either deliver a complex message that takes more space and attention than a short series of blog posts can deliver, or they are convenient packages to spread an idea from person to person in a more powerful way than an emailed link can. Books can take their time and build an argument, while blog posts are constantly fighting the reader's ability and desire to click away.
People simply won't get excited about a blog unless there's something in it for them. But the big stumbling block for many bloggers, is how do they create that value?
Passionate New York Jets fan. Keen Knicks fan. Spends hours a day on the social networking sites Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Imbued of an entrepreneurial spirit — he even dreams of owning the Jets someday. Gary Vaynerchuk may sound like an all-American boy, but at 33 he is a successful, grown-up businessman who has put his enthusiasms — and his penchant for publicity — to work in achieving 15-fold sales growth in his family's wine business in the last decade, to $60 million.
Too often, I hear about businesses that just might be a dream come true for their owners, but hardly for the people they seek to recruit or the customers they hope to snare. What do your prospects dream of? What would get them to wait in line?
Today’s parents see Facebook the way earlier generations of parents probably saw the Beatles — as a threat to the known universe that could actually be fun once you stop panicking and really listen.
Did you hear? The Mrs. O blog -- which I'd never heard of -- is actually written by a Bartle, Bogle Hegarty employee and, further, is funded by the agency. Someone press the scandal button quick -- one of them there evil corporations is mucking about in the web again.