Monday, September 30, 2013

Takeaways from the Twitter-CBS video ads deal

Twitter used Advertising Week to announce a new ad deal with CBS that means clips and highlights from 42 shows will be promoted across the social network this fall. Both Twitter and CBS will sell the new distribution to advertisers in packages that could also include TV. 
Twitter's Glenn Brown visited Ad Age @ Advertising Week to explain how the joint venture will work.
Reference:  Advertising Week Video: Inside Twitter's Ad Deal With CBS.

If you're a small business owner, this major deal between Twitter and CBS may seem rather complex, out-of-reach, and thus irrelevant for you.  But my takeaway from this deal may jog creative ideas that you can use.

Amplify is Twitter's advertising program, and what it does, using my commonplace parlance, is this:  (a) It repurposes existing content, actually just clips of existing video content, of media companies, like CBS and ESPN; (b) ties it with video content of advertisers, like Ford and AT&T; and (c) actively promotes it on Twitter.

Amplify deploys its algorithms to target select users among the millions and millions on Twitter, based on users' data, such as following, tweets and profile.

A small business owner ought to have some videos that promote their products and services, and the takeaway is to repurpose clips of these videos, say, into another edited video, to promote them actively on social media.  Besides Twitter, you have quite a host of options freely at your disposal, of course:  from Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn, to Pinterest, Tumblr and Instagram.  You can easily use tags to help your target audience find your promotional video posts.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Big Dogs speak their voice on social media

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Dustin Stout posted 5 Social Media Tips for Becoming one of the Big Dogs on Google+ recently:
In case you missed it over the weekend, I shared my thoughts on why it doesn't matter how large your social media following is, your voice is important. You should never have to qualify any statement with, _"well I'm not one of the "big dogs" of [social network]..." because your voice and your opinion matters! 
And even if you're still a bit intimidated to throw your voice in, these 5 tips can help steer you in the direction of becoming one of the big dogs of social media yourself.
I shared it, and commented:

How to be a Big Dog on social media: It takes time and effort, but it's quite doable as Dustin W. Stout points out.

My comment: Just to reinforce a point you mention in your note, Dustin: Whatever content you post ought to be something you're truly interested in and speaks your genuine voice. I get the sense that some people are liking, posting or sharing, simply for the sake of liking, posting or sharing. There isn't much of their voice in it.

Thanks to Mike Allton for sharing.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Website essentials to attract leads

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This is quite a useful infographic from Entrepreneur: 7 Website Essentials to Land More Sales.  How well does your website engage visitors, attract leads, and land you more sales?

Monday, September 23, 2013

How we social networked, before social networking

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Scott Torrance posted this image on Google+, and asked How ever did we cope before social media?

I shared it, and quipped: There, you see, some of us have been social networking, even before social networking was in vogue.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Taco Bell jumps in with tweets and video ads

Tressie Lieberman
There's a wonderful, potentially mysterious story on this one.  Trust me, and bear with me.

Tressie Lieberman is Director of Digital and Social Marketing at Taco Bell, and she know very well that nowadays you have to have a pulse on what's hot and trending, socially speaking, and you have to act quickly on your marketing ideas.

Of course, she cannot just do anything her pulse or creativity tells her to do.  I don't imagine she has a limitless budget.  But while some ad campaigns do require time, effort and planning, some must move, move, move without hesitation.
There was no time for rest this past Labor Day for Taco Bell’s social marketing team, busy shooting a YouTube video about a fan who started a drawing club out of the chain’s Pacifica, Calif., location. 
The concept was pitched the previous Thursday, then developed and filmed over the holiday weekend. 
... Lieberman describes her job as a “daily adventure” where each morning begins with a staff meeting in which ideas just like this are hatched.
Whether it's the your iPhone videocam, or a easily portable Toshiba, you have to be ready to shoot and shoot well, and edit quickly, too, of course.  

"Bo, stop trying to make fetch happen"
Apparently Lieberman saw a chance, when The White House tweeted the message and photo above, in reference to the 2004 film "Mean Girls," and Taco Bell jumped right in.  I threw in my two cents, too.
If you saw 2004's "Mean Girls," you know the line. High-schooler Gretchen throws out the word "fetch" as a synonym for "cool," and head Mean Girl Regina blows up at her with "Gretchen, stop trying to make fetch happen! It's not going to happen!"
Reference:  'Mean Girls' fan Bo Obama is making 'fetch' happen.

Someone perpetuated a hoax on the remote town of Bethel, Alaska and convinced them that a Taco Bell was opening soon. Then they found out it was all made up. When the story started making headlines and we caught wind of it, our team decided to do something about it. "Do something" like drop a Taco Bell Truck in town by helicopter and serve the whole town Doritos Locos Tacos. 
In a matter of days, the team went from idea, to production, to live on air and on the web. In social media, we live tweeted #OperationAlaska as it was happening and fans began to follow along to see what came next. 30 second TV spots aired just days after shooting, which drove viewers to see the full story online. At the website, viewers could also explore bonus footage, and react through social media. It became the feel good taco story of the year.
Reference:  Operation Alaska.

Of course, this video took more production planning, time and effort.  But I really love it!  Definitely a feel-good story.

But then I wondered, Who perpetuated that hoax?  Hmm.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How McDonald's does a video ad

Using online video for your business is not about sharing your commercials or recycling something that aired on TV, says Shira Lazar, host of What's Trending on YouTube. Instead, Lazar advises thinking about how to create a new experience for viewers, like a recent McDonald's video [below] that took viewers behind-the-scenes of an ad shoot to answer a customer's question [emphasis, added].
Isabel M from Toronto asked "Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?"

Our answer? An exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of a McDonald's Canada photo shoot.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Building a social media audience

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Kimberley Drobny walks us through Three Steps to Captivating a Larger Social Media Audience, with my commentary:

Know the networks

Google+, Twitter and Facebook are not all created the same, even though they fall under the umbrella of social media.  If you're not familiar, then get to know a site by joining up, exploring it, and participating.  It's easy enough to post stuff, but I find that commenting and discussing, asking and listening do not happen nearly often enough.  So don't fall into the trap of merely posting stuff.  

Search with keywords

There are search bars or drop-down menus on social media.  Remind yourself what audience you may be targeting, then enter keywords that describe or fit them:  for example, by city, title or industry.  Also, search for groups or communities where your audience gather, and get familiar and participate actively.

Use engaging content

Experts often advises to post content that engages our audience.  That's very true.  If they don't like it, if they don't need it, or if it doesn't something satisfy a need, then you are likely to fall short of your aims.  The other half of the equation, however, is that the content you post must be genuinely of interest and agreeable to you, too.  Building an audience takes time and effort, and if you are just halfway enthusiastic about some things you post, then it can be an arduous, even failed effort.  So reflect on that, decide what you need to do differently, and post accordingly.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Attracting visitors to your blog

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The 227% in 10 Ways to Increase Your Business Blog Traffic by 227 Percent is a gratuitous ploy to attract readers, but to writer Norman Schriever's credit, the tips he walks us through are really good ones.  For example, bloggers ought to make sure that what they write adds value:  It is meaningful to the business and it makes a difference to their target audience.  The first without the second probably means that the blog will hardly get read.  The second without the first makes the bog a mercenary (i.e., gun-for-hire) undertaking.

I'd add the following:
  • Consider Blogger and Tumblr.  Blogger is a Google offering, and is part of its enormous ecosystem.  I build a large foundation of content, to start with, before promoting the blog, yet my blogs garnered several thousands of visits.  I'm new to Tumblr, but with content fit for its Millennial demographic, I have had several likes and reblogs right away.  
  • I am very patient and strategic about my blogging, so while I haven't posted my articles yet on social media, I do list my blogs in the profile section.  Google+ and YouTube allow you to insert links into the text itself, while you have to simply post the links on Facebook and LinkedIn.  In either case, be sure to include something easily clickable.  
  • Photos and videos do add visual anchors to your articles, as Schriever emphasizes.  I'd simply add that the over all look of your blog must be appealing.  You can hire a designer, if you like, which I've done.  But she was way too costly for the value she delivered.  You can engage friends, colleagues or contacts to give you feedback, instead.  But the main thing is that design has to be appealing to you and your target audience.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Opportunities and challenges for mobile video ads

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People are increasingly using their mobile phones to watch videos, but the ad revenue isn’t keeping pace. According to online video technology firm FreeWheel’s 2Q online video monetization report, out today, mobile made up 13.2 percent of all video views in Q2 but only 5.6 percent of ad views.
Why the lag? FreeWheel points to consumer viewing habits, measurement challenges and device fragmentation. Brian Dutt, part of FreeWheel’s advisory services team, said people viewing on a small screen tend to watch short-form content and for shorter sessions, not an ideal advertising environment.
“When we’re talking about mobile, we’re talking about a small-screen, short-form content, so the viewer is on the go,” he said. Add the challenges measuring audience on mobile and the multiple devices and screen sizes to create ads for and “it’s a harder form factor to monetize,” he added.
Reference:  Mobile Video Less Than Ideal for Advertising, Says FreeWheel.

Technology will only serve to evolve the platform on which mobile videos are viewed, such as better resolution, streaming or size, and thus improve viewer experience and attention.  But, to be sure, viewing of mobile videos seems to be sustained explosion.  So advertisers have incentive to keep figuring out how to best present their brands, and monetize the videos, while making sure viewers are captivated and not put off.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Social media checklists

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Here are three social media checklists I found on my Google+ home feed and from Search:
I suggest creating one of your own, for example, using an Excel spreadsheet or iPhone Reminders.  First, review or clarify what you're trying to accomplish on social media (i.e., purpose, objectives, priorities).  Then, decide what works best for you in accomplishing your day-to-day To Dos (i.e., tools, apps, notes).  Finally, the amount of items on your checklist has to be realistic and optimal.  Too many, and it becomes difficult to sustain on a daily basis.  Too few, and you're falling short of your purpose.  

Consistency is one hallmark of a social media campaign, and a simple checklist can keep you active and on track.      

Friday, September 6, 2013

Fashion blogger tapped for Details campaign

If you're a serious blogger who has designs on writing for a bigger brand or publication, consider this article by Emma Bazilian - Details Uses Bloggers for Native Advertising:  Helps brands like A/X Armani Exchange, Prada promote fall looks.
In the latest example of a publisher blurring the line between advertising and editorial, Details is tapping its Details Network, a collective of 150 men’s style bloggers who share their work with the magazine’s website, to create content for advertisers.
In what Details is calling its version of native advertising, where ads are designed to look and feel like editorial content, the magazine tapped nine bloggers from the network to style outfits featuring fall 2013 apparel from advertisers like Gucci, Prada and Versace. For this Style.Feed campaign, stories written by the bloggers that feature their outfits are appearing as posts on the Details Network site (like this entry from blogger Scout Sixteen) and the stylists’ blogs, and on the fashion brands' own promotional and social channels. Photographs and excerpts from the bloggers' stories were also aggregated into a digital magazine that readers can find on Details’ Facebook page or on Details Insider, Details' promotional site.

Tyson Ballou and Emily DiDonato, on the cover of Details
Justin Livingston, founder and editor of Scout Sixteen
Digital magazine, for Details

What tone or plot for our video ad campaign?

I bookmark intriguing commercials, both for personal entertainment and business study purposes.  Some are so well done, cinematic-wise, that they could very well win a short-film award.  Some are a barrel of laughs, plain and simple.

The three commercials below are production-intensive, that is, requiring loads of personnel, resources and funds.  So if you're a small business, any one of these may not be realistic.  Still, I thought, you could have a look, and perhaps come up with a creative alternative that's manageable and affordable for your purpose.  At the very least, these commercials give you ideas about the tone or plot to adopt for your own video ad campaign.  

Some children go hip in the playground, showcasing not just Kmart back-to-school fashion and paraphernalia, but more specifically their layaway payment option. 

Jackie Tohn is the embarrassed woman at an office party.  Secret Clinical Strength keeps check of perspiration and odor.  The director knows to use hashtags to promote conversations on Twitter.  

Finally, EASports draws on a throwback theme.  The old guard of Arnold Palmer and the seasoned guard of Tiger Woods are no slouch, when it comes to defending themselves on some commercial deal with thugs. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Carissa Moore blogs her heart

In Carissa Moore Wins Blogging, Brian Roddy simplifies things to two choices:  (a) blog infrequently, and impersonally at that; or (b) put your heart into your blog, which Moore does indeed.  For one, blogging can be a very meaningful, exciting thing to do. But keeping it up can be tough, for sure, as it requires time, effort and consistency.    

But before Roddy paints you into one or the other corner, be clear about why you blog to begin with.  What is your purpose, what are you trying to accomplish, and what do you expect to gain from it?  Only you can answer these questions.  Indeed you may have sponsors or publishers, to whom you are accountable.  Nevertheless, blogging remains a very personal activity, and how well you manage this figures prominently into the success of your blogging.

Carissa Moore
So I have officially been 21 years old for a whole week now. To be honest I don’t feel any different. I had the most amazing birthday tho. My mom, dad and little sister all surprised me in Waikiki with a family canoe ride. To be together as a family again was the best present I could have asked for. I didn’t realize how much it meant to me until I saw all of them and an overwhelming feeling of happiness came over me. To know that my mom and dad were able to put aside their differences for me really meant a lot. They got divorced when I was ten years old so it has been quite awhile since we have all been together like that. That evening I shared a beautiful dinner at Nobu restaurant with my entire family, as well as Oren and Travis from Red Bull. I had a couple shots of sake and a fruity lilikoi drink that was quite nice but I don’t think that drinking will ever become a habit for me. It was such a special day. I don’t think it could have been more perfect.  
Reference:  One Year Older.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

80% engagement, 20% promotion on social media

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Susan Gunelius expands on the 7 P's Of Social Media Marketing That Drive Results, for example:
Consumers build brands, not companies. You must develop your brand reputation and persona, and you must consistently meet your audience’s expectations in order to create the right perceptions. Follow the Pareto Principle and make sure at least 80 percent of your social media content, conversations, and activities are useful and meaningful to your target audience while no more than 20 percent is self-promotional.
As an entrepreneur, I face the expected pressures of finding clients and developing business.  I knew that relationship-building was key, so I kept at this, while promoting my businesses directly with my target audience.

Five months ago, I paused, reflected, and realized that I was getting some responses from my efforts but that these were relatively far and few between.  I read a draft e-book on marketing professional services, written by Larry Easto, and arrived at a different algorithm:  relationships, before client relationships, before business development.

Practically speaking, I shifted the engagement-promotion balance from 50% - 50%, to 80% - 20% (Pareto Principle).  I am happy to say that I am forging those relationships quite well.  I am finding those sweet spots of engagement, and key colleagues are responding much more to my efforts than before.