For my 100th post on this blog, I thought I would share all 100 insights in one place. Each listing is a link back to the original post.
100 Insights For New Media Marketing:
For my 100th post on this blog, I thought I would share all 100 insights in one place. Each listing is a link back to the original post.
100 Insights For New Media Marketing:
Dean Obeidallah starts off a recent CNN article with “Who could’ve ever predicted that 140 characters could screw up so many people’s lives?” His article was about the now famous ex-PR professional Justine Sacco’s regretful tweet before hopping on a 12 hour flight.
I am sure you can think of numerous “think before you tweet” movements. Below is a recap of the top ten from 2013.
70 years ago our 33rd president Harry S. Truman practiced a good policy when it came to writing letters. Any letters written in anger sat on his desk 24 hours before they could be mailed. If he felt the same, he sent the letter, but by the end of his life he had a large desk drawer full of unmailed letters.
How prevalent are social media mistakes? A study finds that 1 in 4 adults regret posts they have made on social media. Emotionally charged posts are the most regretful, with 29% of people saying they’ve feared getting fired or turned down for a job over a post.
With an instant mass publishing medium in our hands at all times, it’s harder than ever to have a “cooling off period.”
So what can we do today? This blog provides some useful tips.
1. Use Evernote As Your Desk Drawer. Get those thoughts out in a notes program as a draft. Check it the next day to see if you still want to send it.
2. There’s An App For That. The app “Social Interlock” forces you to perform sobriety tests, if you fail, you’re locked out.
3. Phone A Friend. Angry? Give your phone to a friend until you calm down.
4. Plan Ahead. Make a list ahead of time of what you will and will not post on social media. Thinking this through and consulting before you text could save you and others a lot of heart ache.
5. Use A 24 Minute Rule. When you get the urge to tweet, set a timer or alarm on your phone. If it’s still a good idea after time has passed, go ahead. Or perhaps that Tweet will no longer seem so important.
6. Be An Editor. If you do post something you regret, go back and edit or delete your posts. This is not full proof, but can be much better than doing nothing.
Don’t be fooled by the childhood saying “Stick and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.” It is simply false. Your words are a powerful weapon that can be used for good or bad. Think them through carefully. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason.
What’s your personal social media policy?
The 2014 Super Bowl is over and even though there wasn’t much plot development in the game, the winning Super Bowl ads knew the power of a good story. As I posted on Saturday “Shakespeare Predicts Super Bowl Commercial Winners” Budweiser’s Puppy Love won USA Today’s Ad Meter voting.
Our two-year analysis of 108 Super Bowl commercials found that dramatic form impacts favorability in advertising rating polls – consumer ratings went up as ads had more acts in a the five-act dramatic form expressed in Freytag’s Pyramid and used by William Shakespeare.
Did story win out this year? Let’s take a look at the top spots in the 2014 Ad Meter results and one at the bottom to see if they have five act dramatic form:
1. “Puppy Love” – Budweiser: This has five acts of story from the inciting moment of the puppy pound, and rising action of a new animal friendship to the climax of Clydesdales surrounding the car, falling action and moment of release when the puppy finds a home.
2. “Cowboy Love” – Doritos: The mom and younger brother win out over the bratty kid in this complete story in five acts.
3. “Hero’s Welcome” – Budweiser: The beer brand delivers another heart felt complete story. The plot in this story heightens knowing it features a real soldier returning from war.
4. “Time Machine” – Doritos: This snack brand has been telling good stories for years with their “Crash the Superbowl” contest. Here the complete story shows how a kid tricks an adult out of his Doritos.
5. “Phone Call” – Radio Shack: This is a story of Radio Shack getting a makeover. A simple story, but the real drama (climax) comes as 1980s stars come in and slowly dismantle the store leading to the falling action and moment of release with the two store employees left alone.
That is the top five, but does story appear in the Super Bowl poll losers? At the bottom of the list we have a Bud Light commercial “Cool Twist.” This Super Bowl ad is 30 seconds of spinning bottle with a voice over talking about the bottle. I see no plot or story development in any acts. Budweiser uses the power of story to earn two top 5 spots, why are they so flat with this effort?
This disparity has happened before. In the first year of our Super Bowl analysis, Budweiser had a top 5 hit with “Clydesdale’s Friend” or “Fence” that leveraged the power of story. However, in the 2010 Super Bowl, Budweiser also had a bottom five spot with Select 55 “World’s Lightest Beer” that simply featured a spinning bottle with an announcer talking about the beer – no story.
It looks like story is the ingredient needed to make Super Bowl ads super. SpotBowl.com voting is still open, polls close at 3:00 p.m. today. People think it’s all about sex or humor or animals, but what we’ve found is that the underbelly of a great commercial is whether it tells a story or not.
This year marketers are paying a record $4 million for a :30 second Super Bowl ad to reach a record of over 111.3 million viewers. Yet, for that money it’s not enough, advertisers need their ads to go viral. Knowing what makes a Super Bowl ad buzz worthy is important in this high stakes marketing event. There are a lot of predictions and theories out there, but research my colleague and I conducted found that the underbelly of a great commercial is whether it tells a story or not.
What does William Shakespeare have to do with Super Bowl Commercials? Our two-year analysis of 108 Super Bowl commercials found a significant relationship between dramatic form and favorability in consumer Super Bowl ad rating polls such as USA Today’s Ad Meter and Spotbowl.com. The research pulls from Aristotle’s Poetics and “Freytag’s Pyramid” five act plot structure popularized by dramatist such as Shakespeare to reveal the power of story.
According to Freytag, a drama is divided into five parts called acts, and these acts combine to form a dramatic arc: Inciting Moment, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Moment of Release. We found that consumer ratings were significantly higher for commercials that follow a full five-act dramatic form compared to commercials that did not. Additionally, the more acts commercials had (3 versus 2) the higher the ratings.
Based on this analysis and advancement of narrative theory, my prediction for this year’s Super Bowl ad winner will be Budweiser’s Puppy Love. Viewers favor ads with dramatic plot lines. Plot is what Aristotle emphasized in Poetics as early as 335 BC.
The power of story has already drawn 30 million views on YouTube and significant press coverage for “Budweiser Super Bowl XLVIII Commercial — ‘Puppy Love'” two days before the actual game and official airing of the spot.
“What Makes A Super Bowl Ad Super for Word-of-Mouth Buzz?: Five-Act Dramatic Form Impacts Super Bowl Ad Ratings” is being published Fall 2014 in the Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice. The more complete a story marketers tell in their commercials the higher it performs in the ratings polls, the more people like it, want to view it, and share it.
What are your predictions for Sunday’s Super Bowl ad winners?
The term Best friends forever (BFF) is a close friendship developed by teenagers and young people. We may be friends with a few or a lot of social media sites, but I bet you have your favorite.
The Pew Research Center’s Social Media Update gives us a look into how social media use is evolving. As of 2013, 73% of online adults used social networking sites. Facebook was many people’s BFF in terms of number of users. But Pew Center Research also found that a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms.
Results of the survey indicate that some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites. What’s more, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis. Have you starting exploring personal, career, or business relationships beyond Facebook?
But even this information from the Pew Center Research study can be limiting. It only looked at Facebook, Linkedin, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram. We know there is a lot more out there. It seems that every month another social media star is rising. Lately you may have been hearing about SnapChat or Quora, and Digg reinventing itself and gaining ground. Plus, you can never count out Google+, which keeps adding features to gain users. Let’s face it, social media can be overwhelming.
The key to success is realizing you don’t have to be in every social media channel to see real results. How do you choose? Start by organizing them into categories. You probably have high school and college BFFs, family BFFs, Work BFFs and neighborhood BFFs. They are all your friends, but you do different things with each. Below are the main categories of social media that I have developed with a list of the main players in each
Social Media Categories:
For personal, business, or career, you have to decide who you want to talk to and what you to say and how you want to say it. Wikipedia says BFFs are common when you are young, but you may grow out of them as you get older. Perhaps it is time you grew out of your social media BFF and start exploring some of these other options.
Last fall my colleagues and I published research in the International Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications. Our study “IMC and The Effies” analyzed integrated marketing communications touchpoints used in 421 Effie Award-winning campaigns from 1998-2010 – campaigns awarded for marketing effectiveness.
In case you are not familiar with them, Effie Award-winners are proven success stories. Each campaign has supported its effectiveness with verifiable data that demonstrates it has met its marketing and advertising objectives. As indicated below, what we saw was an increased use in the number of marketing touchpoints from roughly two (such as TV and print) to six (such as TV, print, radio, PR, Interactive, Consumer Involvement).
Of those communications touchpoints, public relations, interactive marketing, guerilla marketing and consumer involvement showed noteworthy increases over time. Over the last 13 years, marketing has changed dramatically and the practice of IMC (Integrated Marketing Communications) has increased greatly. Successful Effie Award marketing has increasingly used more multimedia communications campaigns and less single-media touchpoint campaigns.
What can we learn from this?
First, marketing campaigns should be built on multimedia touchpoints. I talk a lot about the power of social media, but what you will notice here is that interactive (social media) alone is not the key ingredient to success. Traditional media such as TV is no longer the dominate medium, yet it has not gone away. Integrated multimedia efforts are needed today to break through the media clutter and reach an increasingly fragmented audience. Have you been so caught up in the social media hype that you have forgotten traditional advertising media?
Second, public relations and interactive media play an increasingly important role in effective campaigns and should be considered as a part of an integrated multimedia marketing campaign. It’s hard to ignore digital efforts, but are you leveraging PR to its full extent? Public relations is especially important for Startups. Can you hold an event around your product or campaign? How can you turn your marketing into a news story? I saw Alex Bogusky speak at an AWEEK Creativity conference years ago and he said CP&B always tried to create PR-able Advertising. The result was viral successes such as BK Subservient Chicken to their Mini campaign.
Finally, our study over 400 successful campaigns gave another insight. In addition to public relations and interactive media, marketers should also consider direct email, design, cinema, sponsorships, guerrilla, and consumer involvement media. Any surprises here? You’re probably using email, but what about sponsorships? Sponsoring local activities ties into PR and event tactics. Sponsoring non-profit / charity events that your target cares about taps into the increasing influence of cause marketing. Consumer involvement is word-of-mouth, consumer generated media and viral, which should be the fuel adding to your integrated flame.
The Super Bowl is a prime example of these changes – watch the TV ad hype leading up to the game in the next couple of weeks. Even though the Super Bowl is one of the last remaining mass media outlets, advertisers now depend on pre- and post-game public relations and digital media tactics to generate buzz outside the actual broadcast. Successful marketers who have won Effie Awards are adding more communication touchpoints over the years, but not dropping traditional outlets. So as we continue to hype up new media, don’t forget the old.
A couple of years ago some professors conducted research published in the Journal of Marketing. Using social practice theory, they studied 9 brand communities from various product categories to discover 12 common practices consumers realize value beyond what firms create or even anticipate. I thought I would take some time to explain these practices with examples, but also ask you to consider whether you are leveraging these insights to optimize collaborative value creation. Through these 12 practices, consumers can affect the entire marketing mix, enable brand use and encourage deeper community engagement.
1. Welcoming – Greeting new members and assisting in brand learning and community socialization. Welcoming can also be negative and discourage participation. When I started following @JHUCarey they sent a quick note welcoming me to their Twitter brand community with, “@Kquesen Great to connect with you! Looking forward to your tweets. 🙂 ”
2. Empathizing – Lending emotional support to other members, including support for brand-related trials (product failure) or life issues (job). Apple’s new version of Keynote is simplified, but also deleted features upsetting Apple community members. Here is one member empathizing with those trials starting by saying, “Relax and breath.”
3. Governing – Explaining behavior expectations within the brand community. I return to Apple Support Forums for their governing example. The Community Etiquette guidelines are simple, yet enforced. One member remarked how his first post expressing frustration over Keynote ’13 was removed for obscenities. He removed them and the comment was returned to public view.
4. Evangelizing – Sharing brand “good news” and inspiring others, which may involve negative comparison to competing brands. This summer the Android Community website published a blog post evangelizing Android, “iPhone 5S specification rumor wrap-up: this is no Android competitor.” It spurred 26 emotional comments from brand enthusiasts.
5. Justifying – Rationale for devoting time and effort to the brand. Lego Certified Professionals does a great job of justifying more time spent with the brand by explaining their existence as “… a community-based program made up of adult LEGO hobbyists who have turned their passion for building and creating with LEGO bricks into a full-time or part-time profession.”
6. Staking – Recognizing variance within the brand community membership and marking intragroup distinction and similarity. Yahoo Answers provides staking with Top Contributor badges for its most active brand community members.
7. Milestoning – Milestoning is noting seminal events in brand ownership and consumption. When Facebook surpassed a billion users it was a big deal. The facesoffacebook.com is milestoning by cramming every user onto a single page of over 1.2 billion colored pixels that can be zoomed to reveal individual faces.
8. Badging – Badging is translating milestones into symbols. Samsung Nation is an online loyalty program that offers virtual rewards to consumers who talk up the electronics giant and offers badging such as a virtual “Twitterati” turquoise circle for posting links to samsung.com.
9. Documenting – Detailing the brand relationship journey as a story. Chipotle Grill’s “The Scarecrow” does an excellent job at documenting their brand story as over 11 million now know their commitment to food with integrity.
10. Grooming – Caring for the brand and optimizing use patterns. The Home Depot’s YouTube Channel is a great place for grooming the brand’s “You Can Do It” image including their “How to Tile a Bathroom” video with over 1.3 million views.
11. Customizing – Modifying the brand to suit group or individual needs by changing factory specs or enhancing performance. NikeiD has built a community around customizing by allowing “you to personalize your performance, fine-tune your fit and represent your style.”
12. Commoditizing – Recommendations directed at other members or at the firm (you should fix this/do this/change this) improve products brought to the marketplace. Five years ago Dell brought commoditizing to a new level with IdeaStorm, which has received nearly 15,000 suggestions and has made 500 refinements based on them.
That is my year end top 12 list. I hope you found practices to implement this year that will add value and increase engagement in your brand communities.
The other night I was watching The Voice and admiring their innovative use of social media to engage their audience. With a Web staff of 10 constantly updating 110 Web pages about the hosts and contestants, the Hollywood Reporter said in 2011 that the NBC hit was already closing in on “Glee” with user engagement. The Voice provides engagement by: fans tweeting their favorite finalists and coaches (often responding), the stars rally viewers for votes; finalists solicit their followers for advice, and producers mine the scroll of memes for comments on song selection, lighting, or Carson Daly’s hair.
This year fans got another social media treat. As explained by Entertainment Weekly – Voting via Twitter, fans can prevent one of the bottom three singers from going home when Carson gives a signal to start casting votes. For five minutes, you can save your artists by tweeting their first name with hashtag #VoiceSave. Retweeting is a vote, but only one tweet per ID. The singer with the most tweet-votes remains, and the other two go home.
I put this live Twitter voting to the test with one of my local favorites James Wolpert. While tweeting and retweeting #VoiceSaveJames I noticed something strange. A lot of people kept saying they were “tweeting this for their mom.” A look at some of the tweets I collected in the image to the right will show you what I mean.
My theory was that moms watch The Voice, but are not on Twitter and want their teens to save their favorite singer. This thought does seem to pan out when you look at the latest eMarketer report on Twitter use. Between 2010 and 2013, the percent of internet users on Twitter more than doubled for every adult age group except over 65. But as you can see in the chart on the left, 30% of Twitter users are in the 18-29 age group compared to only 17% for 30-49 year olds and 13% for 50-64 year olds.
And who watches The Voice? Recent Neilson numbers reveal that the show continues to win the ratings war among the key 18-49 year old TV demographic – beating out the other networks. And it seems moms are watching with their teens.
HubShout, a SEO reseller and online marketing firm, noticed all this social media activity on The Voice as well. In fact, they developed a SMAP (Social Media Average Points) score that is reported as having predicted the winners for season three and four. A couple of weeks ago HubShout used the SMAP system, to evaluate the remaining season five contestants and predicted the winners to be: Caroline Pennell, Matthew Schuler, and Jacquie Lee.
I guess hind sight is 20/20 and social media monitoring isn’t perfect, but you don’t have to be on Twitter to engage with Twitter and your favorite TV program. How can marketers leverage these social insights during commercial breaks or via product placement? Package goods marketers may have been staying away from Twitter because most of their prime target of middle age moms are not on Twitter, but perhaps we should follow the producers of The Voice’s lead and not let that stop us. Could a food brand consumed by teens, but bought by moms leverage a Voice sponsorship and Twitter campaign?
The Online Marketing Institute (OMI), ClickZ, and Kelly services released results of their 2014 State of Digital Marketing Talent report. This survey of 747 Fortune 500 marketing executives reveals there is a serious digital marketing talent gap. What’s more, this shortage of digital marketing skills is hurting sales and marketing ROI. The good news? If you have these skills, you are in high demand.
In my post “What To Do With Out-of-Date Advertising Professors?” I spoke about an Advertising Age article that talked about the underperformance of undergraduate marketing and advertising classes. An advertising agency owner quotes students saying things like, “Subjects like mobile marketing aren’t even offered at their schools” and “classes promise integrated marketing while delivering insights about only traditional tactics.” In light of this education gap, I would like to highlight one course that I offer through the Center for Leadership Education at Johns Hopkins University. Blogging & Online Copywriting is attempting to build a bridge to the new digital language.
As you can see in the graph above, the ClickZ, OMI, Kelly Services report highlights the missing skills that are creating the talent gap and potentially costing corporations market share. In my Blogging & Online Copywriting course we cover all these subjects: analytics, mobile, content marketing, social media, email marketing, marketing automation, SEO, digital advertising, and more. For example, one former student is now working at digital marketing tech firm HubSpot, the 2nd fastest growing software company within the INC 500.
Another insight from the study is that hiring managers say “sorting through resumes is time-consuming and applicants do not differentiate themselves from one another.” Blogging & Online Copywriting also teaches students to create their own professional blog that has helped many land valuable internships and their first jobs out of school. This helped that one student get her foot in the door at HubSpot as she talks about on the CLE Student Blog.
So for corporations saying they, “… haven’t been able to hire the specialist we need due to lack of talent or experience in our area.” I know of at least 19 Johns Hopkins students you may be interested in this Spring.
Yes, there is a digital marketing talent gap as much as 27% to 37% in key skill areas at Fortune 500 companies – Imagine what it is at other corporations, startups and small businesses. But with the gap, comes opportunity. ClickZ, OMI, and Kelly Services sum up the rewards of investing in digital marketing education:
From top global brands to local businesses many are jumping into social media by opening accounts. Opening a social media account is easy, staying active (be social) is the hard, yet very important part. Inactive social accounts are like inviting your fiends to a party, but then not talking to them.
How can you be active?
Be prepared. That is the advice from Imperial College of London’s Employee Social Media Guidelines. Before opening a social media account and inviting people, have some content ready for the first few days/weeks (tweets, posts, events, notifications etc.) Imperial suggests the information be interesting, relevant and useful, but not always all three. Then the college raises an important question that too many of us forget, “Do you have adequate time to dedicate to this?” Social media is an active conversation with your audience. You must be prepared to be social and spend the time doing it.
Brandginuity advises some simple ways to stay active even if you don’t want to invest the time to write a blog. You can search and filter news from the vast Internet and share what is relevant to your consumers in your field. Glean information of interest from: 1. Online news alerts. 2. Forums, other blogs and relevant message boards. 3. Content from your every day life (observations). 4. Reposts of great past content. 5. Ideas sparked by other posts. 6. Tidbits and history from your industry. There is value in filtering through content and presenting what you feel will be of interest to your target audience.
ClickZ offers further advice for building an active social media community. They say the key is giving your followers value and that value can take many forms. Start by learning what your customers like and then giving it to them. It can be videos, PDFs, photos, infographics, etc. Ask yourself, What’s in it for them? But simply answering questions, being consistent, and saying thank you can have a huge impact. Here are ClickZ’s top 5 suggestions: 1. Be transparent. 2. Be consistent. 3. Don’t blatantly sell. 4. Appreciate contributions. 5. Say thank you. Common sense, when you think about it from the perspective of being social in a personal context.
Where should you be active?
Deciding where to be active can be just as important as being active. It also can help you optimize your efforts. First let’s look at how top brands are using social platforms. The International Business Times reports that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube remain the most popular platforms globally and point out that Pinterest is more popular than Instagram. Vine, though very new platform, has also seen a lot of activity.
Search Engine Watch looks specifically at Fortune 500 companies and reports results from a new study to see how they are using (or not using) social media. Among these top performing organizations 77% have active Twitter accounts, 70% are on Facebook, 69% have a YouTube channel, 35% have Google+ pages, and 34% have active corporate blogs. Good to know, but the bottom line here is to do some individual research on your target consumer and find out where they are most active. Be active where they are active.
Still, Nigel Hollis from Millard Brown makes an excellent point to close off our topic, “Unless you have a clear rationale for why your brand should be active in social media, perhaps it would be better off not wasting time and resources on doing so.” That’s right. Don’t bother opening an account if you aren’t prepared to be active, but also don’t open an account if you are not sure how it fits into your business and marketing strategy. Too often too many of us treat social media as a separate project and not part of a coherent strategy. How does your social media fit with and leverage your traditional marketing efforts? If you don’t immediately know the answer, you need to go back and revaluate those efforts.
Before you throw a social media party, make sure the effort is strategic, integrated, and plan on being active.