GMT NewYork London Moscow Tokyo Sydney

Oct

20

2017

Did Samsung Just One-Up Apple on Its Cool Factor?

Let’s cut right to the chase: At this week’s Samsung Developer Conference, the event’s namesake announced a bunch of really cool new stuff.

And we’ll get to it — I promise.

But before we do, I want to point out what really resonated with me — perhaps even more than all of the neat new products and features: the emerging topics and trends.

These are things that many of we marketers, in our day-to-day work and responsibilities, don’t give much thought to. Things like, say, a virtual-assistant-equipped refrigerator, or the latest and greatest software development kits (SDK). 

But it’s time that we do. Think about some of the pieces of technology or up-and-coming topics that, maybe five years ago, we thought had nothing to do with us. Those of us who ignored them quickly fell behind the curve. And so, over the next few weeks, I’ll be dissecting the following topics and breaking down why they’re important for marketers to keep an eye on.”

So let’s stay ahead of it. In addition to the below summary of everything that was announced at the Samsung Developer Conference, over the next few weeks, I’ll be dissecting the related topics — breaking down why they’re important for marketers to keep an eye on.

Here Are the Samsung Announcements You Missed

1) Bixby

To put Bixby in context, some describe it as Samsung’s version of Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. It is, in fewer words, Samsung’s own virtual assistant, and it’s becoming increasingly built into a range of the brand’s products to create what it calls an “intelligent ecosystem.”

Bixby isn’t exactly new — but Bixby 2.0, which took center stage at the opening keynote and subsequent breakout sessions, is. One of the biggest differentiators for 2.0, said Vice President and Service Intelligence Team Leader Brad Park, is that it’s open, which essentially means that its code is available to developers to use, modify, and redistribute by way of something original that they use it to build. That availability will begin with a private beta program and become available to the general public in 2018.

The process, he said, was to “make everything voice-first … and then, see what the user wants.” That’s important — remember, this event is first and foremost designed for developers. Within the context of that remark from Park, that’s why w the open source nature of the Bixby SDK is so important. By making it open, developers will be able to personalize the technology in a way that helps determine how users actually want to, well, use it.

Yay, a Bixby demo! Rhee is showing how it works by asking assistant to bring up photos of his daughter (who’s serving in Iraq). “Proud dad.” pic.twitter.com/qnvUIksh1I — Amanda Zantal-Wiener (@Amanda_ZW)
October 18, 2017

And as marketers, that’s where we potentially play a vital role. It’s our job, in large part, to understand and reach the end user — and now, we have a greater opportunity than ever to partner with developers to reach these users in an innovative way.

The other main emphasis, however, was on Bixby’s availability across a number of devices — like Samsung Smart TVs and the Family Hub refrigerator — which is where the ecosystem comes into play. That’s where another key differentiator of Bixby 2.0 — the aforementioned “voice search” approach, which gives it better natural language capabilities that can help it distinguish between users.

That was one of the biggest early issues that users took with Alexa, for example, illustrating the growing influence of a demand for personalization. But it goes beyond voice recognition — Bixby uses machine learning, too, to anticipate what individual end users will ask it to do. 

2) The Internet of Things

First, a brief vocabulary lesson. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the technology that uses internet connectivity to allow in-home devices and appliances — like your lights, security system, or refrigerator — to be controlled remotely by devices like our phones. In other words, it’s the thing that allows you to turn your lights on or off from your phone when you’re out of town.

Okay, back to that “intelligent ecosystem” and where Bixby plays a role within it. Previously, Samsung had a handful of fragmented IoT platforms: SmartThings (a suite of products that would help “smartify” the otherwise disconnected or “dumb” things in your home), Samsung Connect (the automation system that allowed users to actually execute the smart technology), and ARTIK (the platform that connects and adds security to all of the pieces of a user’s IoT experience). 

But during the opening keynote, Samsung announced the cohesive SmartThings Cloud, which brings all of the above under a single hub that allows all of these previously fragmented IoT pieces under one, central “touchpoint.” 

Here, again, is where the ability for Bixby to be broadly applied and personalized becomes crucial. Within the announcements pertaining to these new IoT initiatives came the unveiling of Project Ambience: a noticeably small dongle that can be plugged into home objects and devices — like an everyday speaker, for example — and turn them into “smart,” connected devices that are equipped with the Bixby experience.

Project Ambience demo is up next with a living-room-like set. “Only cleaner,” says Rhee. #sdc2017 pic.twitter.com/BUTmcYI3q7

— Amanda Zantal-Wiener (@Amanda_ZW)
October 18, 2017

So, why does that matter to you? Think about it: as the technology to turn anything into our homes into something that’s “smart” and connected, not only will it become increasingly easier for users to request and receive information, but the demand for quick solutions will also continue to grow. We’ll get into the specifics of how marketers can leverage these developments in future posts, but for now, it’s certainly an area to watch.

3) An AR Partnership With Google

If you read the previous section and thought, “Sounds like Samsung might be trying to play on Google’s playing field,” you’re not alone. I had the same thought — and then came the announcement of a partnership.

Surprisingly, there weren’t any explicit product announcements about virtual reality, which came as a personal surprise given the heavy presence of the Samsung Gear at last week’s Oculus Connect event. But to continue its progress within VR, Samsung implied, it has to also focus on building an augmented reality (AR) presence.

And that makes sense. Throughout last week’s Oculus Connect keynote, for example, numerous speakers spoke to the importance of making VR accessible, but failed to identify the tangible and incremental steps they would take to make it so. AR, which will be available on a significant number of recent phone models from a variety of manufacturers, is something of a gateway to VR, particularly when it comes to an untethered (not requiring connection to a larger piece of hardware) experience.

Now, Samsung has partnered with Google for yet another open source initiative. Developers will have access to Google’s ARCore SDK to create AR experiences that will be available on such Samsung devices as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note8.

And now Google’s VR chief Clay Bavor is onstage to talk about ARCore on Samsung phones #SDC2017 pic.twitter.com/rtoEnzsCdC

— Karissa Bell (@karissabe)
October 18, 2017

Pardon the pun, but this move seems, well, smart. It could be interpreted as a response to Apple’s ARKIT, which provides developers with open source code to create AR experiences for Apple devices — namely, the iPhone and iPad.

Here’s another opportunity for marketers to leverage this information availability to create immersive experiences for their audiences. Not ready to build a full-blown VR experience? Start with AR. It will likely be available to a larger pool of users (after all, they can access it right from their mobile devices), and allows them to integrate your product or service into their respective environments, just by downloading an app.

I mean … I’m excited. As both a marketer and a journalist, these developments are huge. And if you take advantage of them now, I might even consider you a trailblazer — and your peers likely will, too.

But there’s still about half a day left of the Samsung Developer Conference, so feel free to follow along with all of the cool stuff I’m learning about here on Twitter, or let me know if you have a question about it.

Sep

22

2017

Google Acquired a Team From HTC and It Surprised No One

Late last night — at least, here on the East Coast — a formal announcement was made that, if you’re as obsessed with the business of mobile as we are, didn’t exactly come as a surprise.

The word: Google had acquired a team from mobile electronics company HTC in a $1.1 billion deal.

When the Taiwan Stock Exchange opened at 9:00 AM local time, where HTC is headquartered, many suspected the announcement was coming. The company, which has been struggling with its valuation for quite a few years now, had already planned to freeze trading on Thursday, sparking rumors that some sort of major organizational move would take place.

Source: HTC

Finally, at 10:00 PM EDT, the announcement came on Google’s blog: The search giant had signed an “agreement with HTC, continuing our big bet on hardware.”

The announcement, penned by Google’s SVP of Hardware Rick Osterloh, explained that the acquired team would be joining primarily to work on the company’s Pixel devices. It’s just one of many announcements, confirmed or not, leading up to the major October 4 event where several products, including the Pixel 2, are slated to be announced.

Google’s relationship with HTC isn’t new, nor is its move to acquire a mobile electronics manufacturer — in 2012, it acquired Motorola, only to amass several financial losses and eventually sell the company to Lenovo for $9.6 billion less than it bought it for. As Osterloh said, representatives from both companies have been collaborating for 10 years, a partnership which in its earliest days resulted in the first-ever Android phone: the HTC Dream. While Google builds and owns the Android operating system technology, it’s largely used by non-Google mobile manufacturers, like Samsung and LG, where the search giant has very little, if any, creative license over how those companies use it.

Which is part of what makes this deal so interesting.

It’s been a long time since HTC was considered a leader in the world of mobile devices. It hit the market with flashy TV commercials and a “fresh face” in 2008, but since then has faced numerous operating losses resulting in budget cuts that caused a blow to its research and development. In 2016, it managed to catch up a bit in the VR market with its Vive headset, over which HTC will retain control even with the Google deal. 

All of that, to us, suggests two main implications from the deal. First, on the mobile device side, both Google and HTC stand to benefit. HTC will receive financial assets in the form of the deal’s monetary value, while Google can boast the growing buildout its mobile hardware team. It also moves the spotlight back onto HTC’s mobile innovation, especially at a time when Google is making headlines leading up to its October event. If Google is enlisting the help of HTC employees, one might say, then the latter must be doing something right.

It’s an interesting move on the heels of Apple’s many product announcements earlier this month, notably the launch of the latest generations of iPhones, including the iPhone X priced at $999. While the feedback on the first Pixel edition was largely positive, it hasn’t exactly garnered quite as much buzz as Apple or Samsung devices since its release. That raises the stakes for Google — will it be able to beat Apple’s latest mobile photography, user recognition, and AR features, and at a more competitive price?

Aha — note that last part about AR. Well, that’s where things really get twisted.

Despite the fact that HTC will retain control of its Vive VR properties, keep in mind that, as per the deal’s terms, Google will gain some non-exclusive licensing of HTC’s IP. It begs the question of whether this team acquisition will somehow play into Google’s potential attempts to compete with Apple on the mobile VR/AR front.

Source: HTC

Google has already been manufacturing its own VR headsets for quite some time now, with products ranging from the extremely affordable Cardboard to the $79 Daydream View. In fact, on the morning leading up to the official HTC deal announcement, Google published a design-focused post on its blog regarding the “best practices [of] creating art assets for VR.”

Source: Google

But both of these devices require VR-ready phones for a full experience — compare that to the $599 Vive, which comes with built-in hardware. The whole thing leaves us wondering if Google will “pull an Apple,” and create standalone AR experiences that don’t require additional gear.

In the weeks following Google’s October 4th event, we’ll be heading to both Oculus Connect and the Samsung Developer Conference, where we predict there will be talk — and perhaps even contention over — various VR and AR platforms. Where Google’s headsets and the Vive will specifically come into play is yet to be determined, and it will be nothing if not intriguing to hear developers’ perspectives on the deal’s implications and chain reaction.

Whatever they are — we’ll keep you posted.

Featured image source: Google

<

p class=”wpematico_credit”>Powered by WPeMatico

Sep

18

2017

13 Things You Should Never Say in a Job Interview

I never used to understand what people mean when they say that they “interview well.” 

How was that possible? If you’re too prepared, your answers sound robotic, and if you’re too unprepared, you start most answers with a long sip of water to gather your thoughts.

Now, I understand (or at least, I think I do) what it means to interview well: Interviewing well is possible when you speak with confidence and competence about your experiences and your capabilities.

This is easier to accomplish when you apply for jobs you’re qualified for — I definitely wouldn’t come across as confident or confident if I applied to be a neurosurgeon. But once you’ve come across the perfect job opening and have an interview on the books, start thinking about yourself and how you’ll fit into the company, and the role — and the answers will flow naturally, without seeming rehearsed.

That being said, there are a few things you should prepare — what not to say. Below are 15 responses, questions, and words you shouldn’t drop in an interview — if you want to come across as confident and competent, that is. We’ll review what not to say, why not to say it, and what to say instead.

What Not to Say in an Interview: 13 Phrases to Avoid

1) “What do you do here?”

Why Not:

You should know the answer to this question already — because you thoroughly researched the company and your interviewer. Make sure you prepare for your interview by learning about who will be asking you questions so you can start an interesting conversation.

Instead, Say: 

“I read that you helped launch a new product last year. How was that experience?”

Ask a question that shows you’ve done your research — and starts an interesting discussion.

2) “I’m really nervous.”

Why Not:

Confidence is a big part of preparedness, and the role you’re interviewing for will most likely require you to be decisive and confident so you can get things done. So don’t say you’re nervous — it will probably make you more nervous, and it won’t do you any favors with your interviewer, either.

Instead, Say:

“I’m excited to be here!”

It’s okay to feel nervous — just don’t say it. This phrase expresses what might be behind that nervousness — enthusiasm — and will (hopefully) help you relax a little bit.

3) “Um … “

Why Not:

Filler words like “um,” “like,” and “well” are a no-no. You have limited time in your interview to make a great impression, so use the time you have to speak eloquently and thoughtfully.

Instead, Say:

“That’s a great question … ”

If you need to buy yourself some time to answer a question, start your answer with a phrase like this instead. It’s understandable if you need a moment to collect your thoughts, just use the right words to do it.

4) “[A lie.]”

Why Not:

As tempting as it might be to differentiate yourself from other applicants, don’t tell a lie in your interview that might come back to haunt you if you get the job. Whether it’s knowing how to use a certain software or familiarity with a social network’s ad platform, a lie could hurt you if the truth comes out later.

Instead, Say:

“I’m not familiar with that, but I am experienced in …”

It’s okay if you don’t know how to do or use something your interviewer asks about — after all, learning on the job is a real thing. If you run into this question in an interview, pivot to something you do know how to use that’s related — and note that you’re excited to learn more.

5) “I grew our blog traffic a lot.”

Why Not:

If you’re going to toot your own horn, make sure you have some data or evidence to back it up. Anyone can say they excelled in a previous role, but numbers or examples will make you stand out to your interviewer.

Instead, Say:

“Over the course of two years, I grew blog traffic by 150%.”

If you don’t have numbers to use, you might consider leaving out this tidbit — or using qualitative data to toot your own horn instead. “Customers said it was one of the best events with the company they had ever attended.”

6) “I hate my job.”

Why Not:

You’re interviewing for a new job, so obviously your current role isn’t perfect for you. There’s no need to editorialize your reasons for seeking a new role with complaints or bad-mouthing — it makes you seem immature, and it won’t curry you any favor with your interviewer, who, among other things, will be evaluating your emotional intelligence and maturity. Maybe you do hate your job, but don’t say it — instead, explain why you’re seeking a new opportunity.

Instead, Say:

“I like what I’m working on, but I’m ready to learn more about inbound marketing by taking on a new challenge in a content creation role.”

Say what you like about your current role, but frame your desire to seek a new role as an interest in learning more, taking on a new challenge, or expanding a skillset.

7) “My boss is the worst.”

Why Not:

Just like the previous question, it’s critical that you don’t speak ill of your current role or your current team when discussing why you want to pursue a new role. It’s immature and petty — not to mention, your interviewer could be your boss if you get the job. They might not be interested in hiring someone who might turn around and speak ill of them in a future interview.

Instead, Say:

Nothing.

Seriously, don’t say anything personal about your current boss. You could offer an answer like, “It’s challenging to hit goals when leadership priorities are constantly changing,” but honestly, we don’t recommend saying anything that could be perceived as a personal slight.

8) “I don’t know.”

Why Not:

It’s okay to not know the answer to a question, but don’t leave it at that! Make sure your answer acknowledges a gap in your understanding in a way that still gives you authority.

Instead, Say:

“I’m not certain of the answer, I’d need to dig into more data from the email marketing team to know for sure.”

Sometimes, interviewers will spring questions on you to test your on-the-spot critical thinking skills. If you can’t answer the question, at least demonstrate how you’d figure it out if it happened to you in the role.

9) “My greatest weakness is that I’m a perfectionist.”

Why Not:

Self-compliments disguised as critique make my eyes roll so hard. Your interviewer has heard every one of these in the book, so don’t try to trick them into thinking your “greatest weakness” is anything but a special skill on your resume.

Instead, Say:

“My greatest weakness is public speaking, something I haven’t had many opportunities to do in my current role, so I’m hoping to expand on those skills working with a bigger team at this company.”

Be honest and use a real weakness — but make sure you caveat that with what you plan to do to make it a strength, whether that’s by taking a class or by simply practicing.

10) “Sh*t.”

Why Not:

Even if your interview drops a profanity, and even if you know the company culture allows for F-bombs, it’s best to keep your first impression appropriate for all ages. Interviews are a formal setting, and if the role you’re interviewing for involves representing the company externally, your interviewer will want to know that you can rein in your vocabulary if it’s particularly profane.

Instead, Say:

Nothing. Don’t swear.

11) “What’s the salary?”

Why Not:

Don’t ask questions about salary, company policies, or benefits until you’ve been extended an offer. It’s a fair question to ask your recruiter, but don’t waste time during your interview — when you should be talking about skills you’d bring to the role — by asking about salary, work-from-home policies, or how many vacation days you’ll have.

Instead, Say:

Nothing. Wait until you receive an offer to ask specific company policy questions.

12) “I don’t have any questions.”

Why Not:

Come on! You need to come prepared with a final question when you’re inevitably asked this at the end of your interview. It shows that you’re engaged, interested, and that you’ve been paying attention to what your interviewer has said over the course of your time together.

Instead, Say:

“What do you wish you’d known before starting here?”

“What’s the biggest challenge about working in this industry?”

Ask an open-ended question based on what you know about your interviewer to learn more about the company culture or team priorities. This will be useful information for you, and it’ll help you end your interview on the right foot.

13) “When will I hear back about the role?”

Why Not:

When we say you should have a question at the end ready, we don’t mean this one. This is another question for your recruiter, not your interviewer — so don’t be too pushy.

Instead, Say:

“Thanks so much for your time, I really enjoyed learning more about you and the company.”

Or something along those lines. Be gracious, humble, and kind when signing off of your interview to leave your future new employer with the best possible impression.

<

p class=”wpematico_credit”>Powered by WPeMatico

Aug

23

2017

7 Digital Marketing Strategies That Work: A Complete Guide

There’s no question that, in the modern landscape, a big part of your marketing strategy is digital. Consumers and businesses alike are almost always online — and you want to be able to reach them and observe their behavior where they spend the most time.

But when you’re growing a business, it seems like this ever-evolving landscape can quickly become overwhelming. There’s already enough to do — how are you also supposed to create, fine-tune, and maintain an agile digital marketing strategy?

We’ve compiled a list of seven digital marketing strategies that marketers can adapt to help their teams and businesses grow, as well as a crash course on the meaning of digital strategy and marketing campaigns.

Click here to download our free guide to digital marketing fundamentals.

What is Digital Strategy?

In short: Your digital marketing strategy is the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s) using online marketing. The term ‘strategy’ might seem intimidating, but building an effective digital strategy doesn’t need to be difficult.

In simple terms, a strategy is just a plan of action to achieve a desired goal, or multiple goals. For example, your overarching goal might be to generate 25% more leads via your website this year than you drove last year.

Depending on the scale of your business, your digital marketing strategy might involve multiple goals and a lot of moving parts, but coming back to this simple way of thinking about strategy can help you stay focused on meeting those objectives.

Despite our simplification of the term ‘strategy’, there’s no doubt it can be difficult to get started actually building one. Let’s see what a digital marketing campaign looks like, and then, we’ll jump into those seven building blocks to help you create an effective digital marketing strategy to set up your business for online success.

What is a Digital Marketing Campaign?

It’s easy to confuse your digital strategy with your digital marketing campaigns, but here’s how to distinguish the two.

As we’ve already outlined, your digital strategy is the series of actions you take to help you achieve your overarching marketing goal. Your digital marketing campaigns are the building blocks or actions within your strategy that move you toward meeting that goal.

For example, you might decide to run a campaign sharing some of your best-performing gated content on Twitter, to generate more leads through that channel. That campaign is part of your strategy to generate more leads.

It’s important to note that even if a campaign runs over the course of a couple of years, it doesn’t make it a strategy — it’s still a tactic that sits alongside other campaigns to form your strategy.

Now that we’ve gotten to grips with the basics of digital strategy and digital marketing campaigns, let’s dig into how to build your strategy.

How to Build a Comprehensive Digital Strategy

1) Build your buyer personas.

For any marketing strategy — offline or online — you need to know who you’re marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies are built upon detailed buyer personas, and your first step is to create them. (Need help? Start here with our free buyer persona kit.)

Buyer personas represent your ideal customer(s) and can be created by researching, surveying, and interviewing your business’s target audience. It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data wherever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to take the wrong direction.

To get a rounded picture of your persona, your research pool should include a mixture of customers, prospects, and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.

But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy? That depends on your businesses, and is likely to vary depending on whether you’re B2B or B2C, or whether your product is high cost or low cost. Here are some starting points, but you’ll want to fine-tune them, depending on your particular business.

Quantitative (or Demographic) Information

  • Location. You can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to easily identify what location your website traffic is coming from.
  • Age. Depending on your business, this may or may not be relevant. It’s best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and customer database.
  • Income. It’s best to gather sensitive information like personal income in persona research interviews, as people might be unwilling to share it via online forms.
  • Job Title. This is something you can get a rough idea of from your existing customer base, and is most relevant for B2B companies.

Qualitative (or Psychographic) Information

  • Goals. Depending on the need your product or service was created to serve, you might already have a good idea of what goals your persona is looking to achieve. However, it’s best to cement your assumptions by speaking to customers, as well as internal sales and customer service representatives.
  • Challenges. Again, speak to customers, sales and customer service representatives to get an idea of the common problems your audience faces.
  • Hobbies and interests. Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience. If you’re a fashion brand, for example, it’s helpful to know if large segments of your audience are also interested in fitness and well-being, as that can help inform your future content creation and partnerships.
  • Priorities. Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience to find out what’s most important to them in relation to your business. For example, if you’re a B2B software company, knowing that your audience values customer support over a competitive price point is very valuable information.

Take this information and create one or more rounded personas, like Marketing Molly below, and ensure they’re at the core of your digital marketing strategy.

2) Identify your goals & the digital marketing tools you’ll need.

Your marketing goals should always be tied back to the fundamental goals of the business. For example, if your business’s goal is to increase online revenue by 20%, your goal as a marketer might be to generate 50% more leads via the website than you did last year to contribute towards that success.

Whatever your overarching goal is, you need to know how to measure it, and more important, actually be able to measure it (e.g., have the right digital marketing tools in place to do so). How you measure the effectiveness of your digital strategy will be different for each business and dependent on your goal(s), but it’s vital to ensure you’re able to do so, as it’s these metrics which will help you adjust your strategy in the future.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, the Reporting add-on in your HubSpot software brings all of your marketing and sales data into one place, so you can quickly determine what works and what doesn’t.

 

3) Evaluate your existing digital marketing channels and assets.

When considering your available digital marketing channels or assets to incorporate into your strategy, it’s helpful to first consider the bigger picture to avoid getting overwhelmed. The owned, earned, and paid media framework helps to categorize the digital ‘vehicles’, assets, or channels that you’re already using.

Owned Media

This refers to the digital assets that your brand or company owns — whether that’s your website, social media profiles, blog content, or imagery, owned channels are the things your business has complete control over. This can include some off-site content that you own, but isn’t hosted on your website, like a blog that you publish on Medium, for example.

Earned Media

Quite simply, earned media refers to the exposure you’ve earned through word-of-mouth. Whether that’s content you’ve distributed on other websites (e.g., guest posts), PR work you’ve been doing, or the customer experience you’ve delivered, earned media is the recognition you receive as a result. You can earn media by getting press mentions, positive reviews, and by other people sharing your content on social media, for instance.

Paid Media

Paid media is a bit self-explanatory in what its name suggests — and refers to any vehicle or channel that you spend money on to catch the attention of your buyer personas. This includes things like Google AdWords, paid social media posts, native advertising (like sponsored posts on other websites), and any other medium for which you directly pay in exchange for visibility.

Gather what you have, and categorize each vehicle or asset in a spreadsheet, so you have a clear picture of your existing owned, earned, and paid media.

Your digital marketing strategy might incorporate elements of all three channels, all working together to help you reach your goal. For example, you might have an owned piece of content on a landing page on your website that’s been created to help you generate leads. To amplify the number of leads that content generates, you might have made a real effort to make it shareable, meaning others are distributing it via their personal social media profiles, increasing traffic to the landing page. That’s the earned media component. To support the content’s success, you might have posted about the content to your Facebook page and have paid to have it seen by more people in your target audience.

That’s exactly how the three can work together to help you meet your goal. Of course, it’s not compulsory to use all three. If your owned and earned media are both successful, you might not need to invest in paid. It’s all about evaluating the best solution to meet your goal, and then incorporating the channels that work best for your business into your digital marketing strategy.

Now you know what’s already being used, you can start to think about what to keep and what to cut.

4) Audit and plan your owned media.

At the heart of digital marketing is your owned media, which pretty much always takes the form of content. Every message your brand broadcasts can generally be classified as content, whether it’s your ‘About Us’ page, your product descriptions, blog posts, ebooks, infographics, or social media posts. Content helps convert your website visitors into leads and customers, and helps to raise your brand’s profile online — and when it’s optimized, it can also boost any efforts you have around search/organic traffic. Whatever your goal, you’re going to need to use owned content to form your digital marketing strategy.

To build your digital marketing strategy, you need to decide what content is going to help you reach your goals. If your goal is to generate 50% more leads via the website than you did last year, it’s unlikely that your ‘About Us’ page is going to be included in your strategy — unless that page has somehow been a lead generation machine in the past.

It might more likely that an ebook gated by a form on your website drives far more leads, and as a result, that might be something you want to do more of. Here’s a brief process to follow to work out what owned content you need to meet your digital marketing goals:

Audit your existing content

Make a list of your existing owned content, and rank each item according to what has previously performed best in relation to your current goals. If your goal is lead generation, for example, rank them according to which generated the most leads in the last year. That might be a particular blog post, an ebook, or even a specific page on your website that’s converting well.

The idea here is to figure out what’s currently working, and what’s not, so that you can set yourself up for success when planning future content.

Identify gaps in your existing content

Based on your buyer personas, identify any gaps in the content you have. If you’re a math tutoring company and have discovered in your audience research that one of your persona’s biggest challenges is finding interesting ways to study, but you don’t have any content that speaks to that concern, then you might look to create some.

By looking at your content audit, you might discover that ebooks hosted on a certain type of landing page convert really well for you (much better than webinars, for example). In the case of this math tutoring company, you might make the decision to add an ebook about ‘how to make studying more interesting’ to your content creation plans.

Create a content creation plan

Based on your findings and the gaps you’ve identified, make a content creation plan outlining the content that’s necessary to help you hit your goals. This should include:

  • Title
  • Format
  • Goal
  • Promotional channels
  • Why you’re creating it (e.g., “Marketing Molly struggles to find time to plan her blog content, so we’re creating a template editorial calendar”)
  • Priority level (to help you decide what’s going to give you the most “bang for your buck”)

This can be a simple spreadsheet, and should also include budget information if you’re planning to outsource the content creation, or a time estimate if you’re producing it yourself.

5) Audit and plan your earned media.

Evaluating your previous earned media against your current goals can help you get an idea of where to focus your time. Look at where your traffic and leads are coming from (if that’s your goal) and rank each earned media source from most effective to least effective.

You can get this information from tools like Google Analytics, or the  Sources Reports in your HubSpot software.

You might find that a particular article you contributed to the industry press drove a lot of qualified traffic to your website, which in turn converted really well. Or, you might discover that LinkedIn is where you see most people sharing your content, which in turn drives a lot of traffic. The idea here is to build up a picture of what earned media will help you reach your goals, and what won’t, based on historical data. However, if there’s something new you want to try, don’t rule that out just because it’s not yet tried and tested.

6) Audit and plan your paid media.

This process involves much of the same process: You need to evaluate your existing paid media across each platform (e.g., Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to figure out what’s likely to help you meet your current goals.

If you’ve been spending a lot of money on AdWords and haven’t seen the results you’d hoped for, maybe it’s time to refine your approach, or scrap it altogether and focus on another platform that seems to be yielding better results. (Check out this free AdWords guide for more on how to leverage it for business.)

By the end of the process, you should have a clear idea of which paid media platforms you want to continue using, and which (if any) you’d like to remove from your strategy.

7) Bring it all together.

You’ve done the planning and the research, and you now have a solid vision of the elements that are going to make up your digital marketing strategy. Here’s what you should have so far:

  1. Clear profile(s) of your buyer persona(s)
  2. One or more marketing-specific goals
  3. An inventory of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
  4. An audit of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
  5. An owned content creation plan or wish list

Now, it’s time to bring all of it together to form a cohesive strategy document. Let’s revisit what digital strategy means: the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s) using online marketing.

By that definition, your strategy document should map out the series of actions you’re going to take to achieve your goals, based on your research to this point. A spreadsheet is an efficient format — and for the sake of consistency, you might find it easiest to map out according to the owned, earned, and paid media framework we’ve used so far.

You’ll also need to plan your strategy for a longer-term period — typically, something like 12 months is a good starting point, depending on how your business is set up. That way, you can overlay when you’ll be executing each action. For example:

  • In January, you might start a blog which will be continually updated once a week, for the entire year.
  • In March, you might launch a new ebook, accompanied by paid promotion.
  • In July, you might be preparing for your biggest business month — what do you hope to have observed at this point that will influence the content you produce to support it?
  • In September, you might plan to focus on earned media in the form of PR to drive additional traffic during the run-up.

By taking this approach, you’re also creating a structured timeline for your activity, which will help communicate your plans to your colleagues — not to mention, maybe even help keep you sane.

Your Path to Digital Marketing Strategy Success

Your strategy document will be very individual to your business, which is why it’s almost impossible for us to create a one-size-fits-all digital marketing strategy template. Remember, the purpose of your strategy document is to map out the actions you’re going to take to achieve your goal over a period of time — as long as it communicates that, then you’ve nailed the basics of creating a digital strategy.

If you’re eager to learn more about this realm, and how you can build a truly effective strategy to help grow your business, check out our simple guide to digital marketing strategy.

 

 
Free Download Beginner’s Guide to Digital Marketing

Aug

18

2017

10 Ways to Distribute One Piece of Content (Besides Social Shares)

Long gone are the days of the old publish-and-pray method of content distribution. And even if it ever did work — it was far from effective.

Today, planning the actual distribution of the content you’ve spent so many hours and resources expertly creating is just as critical to your marketing strategy as the quality of the content itself.

Unfortunately — for audiences and marketers alike — too many would-be content marketing rockstars give themselves a nice pat on the back for sharing content on Twitter and Facebook and calling it a day. So before you toast to your status as a progressive marketer who also publishes on LinkedIn and posts on Reddit, consider this: There are dozens, if not hundreds, of methods for content distribution beyond social that you might be overlooking.

But we’re not about to leave you empty-handed. Below you’ll find 10 creative ways to distribute your content — with a little bit of background to set the stage.

The Content Distribution Strategy Experiment

A few months ago, my team — the marketing department at Influence & Co. — sat down for a meeting to accomplish one mission: to come up with more than 50 ways to distribute one piece of content, which was our latest industry research report, “The State of Digital Media.”

We spent a lot of time surveying editors. We analyzed millions of pieces of published content and pored over the results, before we created, designed, and edited this report. We knew our findings were valuable to our audience, so the last thing we wanted to do was publish this report, share it on Twitter a few times, and let it collect dust.

So we gave ourselves one hour, four cups of coffee, and a huge whiteboard — and got to work brainstorming creative ways to distribute this content.

First, we divided our distribution tactics into different categories, based on the departments they benefited, the goals they achieved, and the extra resources they required. For example, the tactics that leveraged our publication relationships would fall under marketing and sales enablement categories. Those with a more educational perspective, on the other hand, were a better fit for HR, because they complemented that department’s recruiting and training efforts.

With a whiteboard full of over 50 ideas, we began executing our new distribution strategy — and just four months after the launch of the report, we already saw impressive results. When we compared that to the performance of a whitepaper we previously published, we found that this experiment resulted in a nearly 150% increase in page views, and a nearly 40% increase in submissions.

To help you get more creative — and effective — in your content distribution, here are 10 unique ways to distribute content, broken down by department.

10 Ways to Distribute Content Beyond Social Shares

Marketing

As marketers, many of us frequently think about content distribution tactics that fit within — and give a boost to — our marketing goals. Among them are the obvious and necessary tactics like social sharing, but there are others that can help you achieve greater brand awareness, influencer relationships, industry leadership, audience engagement, and more.

1) Personalized emails

Segment your email list down to the exact audience that would benefit most from your piece of content. Write a custom email to each of these audience members to add a level of personalization to your message. Explain what the content is, and why you think he or she will enjoy it. Personalized emails have shown a 6.2% higher open rate than those that aren’t.

2) Guest posting

Write an article that discusses — in a non-promotional way — the key findings or points within your content, and send it to the editor of an online publication that reaches your target audience. But be strategic about it. Make sure the publication not only helps you achieve your own reach goals, but also, has something to gain by sharing your insights, from your particular brand.

3) Influencer outreach

Reach out to relevant influencers in your industry for quotes to include in your content, and send them the piece once it’s published for them to share with their networks. Remember, personalization plays a role here, too — being able to personalize and segment emails is one of the most effective tactics for about 50% of marketing influencers.

Sales Enablement

The Influence & Co. sales team uses content just about as much as — if not more than — our marketing department. Our reps use it at every stage of the buyer’s journey to educate, nurture, and engage leads, and overcome objections with prospective clients. Use one of these distribution methods to do the same for your team.

4) Follow-up emails

Encourage your sales team to include a link to your content in their follow-up emails to prospective clients, to answer their questions and position your company as a resource they can trust. Note: This tactic works best when the content you create is educational and addresses specific questions or concerns your leads have — and is actionable enough for them to immediately apply it to their own plans or strategies.

5) Lead interviews

Work with your sales reps to identify prospective clients you can interview for your content. Include a quote in your content, and share it with them once it’s published. Not only can that keep your leads engaged over time, but they’ll appreciate the opportunity to be featured — and you benefit from the additional exposure to their networks when the content is shared with that audience.

6) Proposal references

The best proposals are often supported with relevant data that corroborates the solutions you’re suggesting to a prospect. And while we suggest citing a variety of authentic, reliable sources — otherwise, you might look biased — referencing your own research content can be effective. Not only is it another way to distribute your work, but also, it illustrates the time and thought your company has invested in this school of thought.

That said, some prospective clients like proposals to be brief. In these cases, if you preemptively anticipate additional questions, you can amend your proposal with a link to the content as a source of further reading and information.

Client Retention

Marketers who overlook their current customers in favor of prospective ones risk missing out on a major opportunity. Keeping in touch with your current clients and helping your customer service teams do the same can have a positive impact on both the customer lifetime and the potential for referrals — so don’t forget these internal distribution methods.

7) Client drip campaigns

If your content is related to your clients’ respective industries, or products and services, sharing it with them can enhance your collaborations and further nurture that relationship. Remember, it’s called client retention for a reason — you want to continue being a valued resource and partner for your existing customers. Consider creating something like an email campaign that uses your content, to continually educate and engage your clients.

8) Email signatures

Encourage your customer service reps or account management teams to feature your content in their email signatures. That can help to keep those cornerstone pieces of content top of mind for both current and prospective clients each time they receive an email from someone on your team.

Recruitment

People want to work with trustworthy companies that are true leaders within their industries. Content can communicate expertise and build trust. In fact, we used content to hire more than 30 people in one year.

But for many teams, unfortunately, content is often most underutilized in the areas of employer branding and recruitment marketing. Take advantage of content in HR with these tactics.

9) Content-rich job listings

Include your content in job postings. HubSpot, for example, links to its Culture Code at the end of every job description. By providing educational content up front, applicants can gain a more comprehensive understanding of your industry and how your company approaches it — directly from you.

10) Interview materials

When a job candidate progresses to the next step in the hiring process, share your content with her prior to the following interview, and ask her to come prepared to discuss it. That helps to get your content in front of qualified people in your industry — plus, it gives you the chance to talk in-depth about the concepts and ideas behind your marketing strategy. Even better: It can help you weed out candidates who don’t follow directions.

Whatever tactics your team uses, the most important thing to remember is that content distribution shouldn’t be an afterthought. With the right distribution strategy in place from the beginning, your team can more effectively put your content to work for you, reach more of the right audiences, and drive results for your company.

Aug

16

2017

22 Companies With Really Catchy Slogans & Brand Taglines

Keep it simple, stupid.

We don’t mean to offend you — this is just an example of a great slogan that also bears the truth of the power of succinctness in advertising.

It’s incredibly difficult to be succinct, and it’s especially difficult to express a complex emotional concept in just a couple of words — which is exactly what a slogan does.

That’s why we have a lot of respect for the brands that have done it right. The ones that have figured out how to convey their value proposition to their buyer persona in just one, short sentence — and a quippy one, at that.

So if you’re looking to get a little slogan inspiration of your own, take a look at some of our favorite company slogans from both past and present. But before we get into specific examples, let’s quickly go over what a slogan is and what makes one stand out.

What Is a Slogan?

In business, a slogan or tagline is “a catchphrase or small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a product or company,” according to Entrepreneur.com’s small business encyclopedia.

In many ways, they’re like mini-mission statements.

Companies have slogans for the same reason they have logos: advertising. While logos are visual representations of a brand, slogans are audible representations of a brand. Both formats grab consumers’ attention more readily than the name a company or product might. Plus, they’re simpler to understand and remember.

The goal? To leave a key brand message in consumers’ minds so that, if they remember nothing else from an advertisement, they’ll remember the slogan.

What Makes a Great Slogan?

According to HowStuffWorks, a great slogan has most or all of the following characteristics:

It’s memorable.

Is the slogan quickly recognizable? Will people only have to spend a second or two thinking about it? A brief, catchy few words can go a long way in advertisements, videos, posters, business cards, swag, and other places. 

It includes a key benefit.

Ever heard the marketing advice, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”? It means sell the benefits, not the features — which applies perfectly to slogans. A great slogan makes a company or product’s benefits clear to the audience.

It differentiates the brand.

Does your light beer have the fullest flavor? Or maybe the fewest calories? What is it about your product or brand that sets it apart from competitors? (Check out our essential branding guide here.)

It imparts positive feelings about the brand.

The best taglines use words that are positive and upbeat. For example, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups’ slogan, “Two great tastes that taste great together,” gives the audience good feelings about Reese’s, whereas a slogan like Lea & Perrins’, “Steak sauce only a cow could hate,” uses negative words. The former leaves a better impression on the audience.

Now that we’ve covered what a slogan is and what makes one great, here are examples of some of the best brand slogans of all time. (Note: We’ve updated this post with several ideas folks previously shared with us in the comments.)

22 Companies With Really Catchy Slogans & Taglines

1) Nike: “Just Do It”

It didn’t take long for Nike’s message to resonate. The brand became more than just athletic apparel — it began to embody a state of mind. It encourages you to think that you don’t have to be an athlete to be in shape or tackle an obstacle. If you want to do it, just do it. That’s all it takes.

But it’s unlikely Kennedy + Weiden, the agency behind this tagline, knew from the start that Nike would brand itself in this way. In fact, Nike’s product used to cater almost exclusively to marathon runners, which are among the most hardcore athletes out there. The “Just Do It” campaign widened the funnel, and it’s proof positive that some brands need to take their time coming up with a slogan that reflects their message and resonates with their target audience

nike-just-do-it-2.jpg

Source: brandchannel

2) Apple: “Think Different”

This slogan was first released in the Apple commercial called “Here’s to the Crazy Ones, Think Different” — a tribute to all the time-honored visionaries who challenged the status quo and changed the world. The phrase itself is a bold nod to IBM’s campaign “Think IBM,” which was used at the time to advertise its ThinkPad.

Soon after, the slogan “Think Different” accompanied Apple advertisements all over the place, even though Apple hadn’t released any significant new products at the time. All of a sudden, people began to realize that Apple wasn’t just any old computer; it was so powerful and so simple to use that it made the average computer user feel innovative and tech-savvy.

According to Forbes, Apple’s stock price tripled within a year of the commercial’s release. Although the slogan has been since retired, many Apple users still feel a sense of entitlement for being among those who “think different.”

apple-slogan.jpg

Source: Blue Fin Group

3) Dollar Shave Club: “Shave Time. Shave Money.”

The folks at Dollar Shave Club have made their way onto quite a few of our lists here on the blog, and it’s safe to say that when it comes to marketing and advertising, this brand’s team knows what it’s doing. And its slogan — “Shave Time. Shave Money.” — is an excellent reflection of their expertise.

This little quip cleverly incorporates two of the service’s benefits: cost and convenience. It’s punny, to the point, and it perfectly represents the overall tone of the brand.

Dollar-Shave-Club-Slogan.jpg

Source: TheStephenHarvey.com

4) L’Oréal: “Because You’re Worth It”

Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re worth it? The folks at L’Oréal worked with the theory that women wear makeup in order to make themselves appear “beautiful” so they feel desirable, wanted, and worth it. The tagline isn’t about the product — it’s about the image the product can get you. This message allowed L’Oréal to push its brand further than just utility so as to give the entire concept of makeup a much more powerful message.

loreal-slogan.jpg

Source: Farah Khan

5) California Milk Processor Board: “Got Milk?”

While most people are familiar with the “Got Milk?” campaign, not everyone remembers that it was launched by the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB). What’s interesting about this campaign is that it was initially launched to combat the rapid increase in fast food and soft beverages: The CMPB wanted people to revert to milk as their drink of choice in order to sustain a healthier life. The campaign was meant to bring some life to a “boring” product, ad executives told TIME Magazine.

The simple words “Got Milk?” scribbled above celebrities, animals, and children with milk mustaches, which ran from 2003 until 2014 — making this campaign one of the longest-lasting ever. The CMPB wasn’t determined to make its brand known with this one — it was determined to infiltrate the idea of drinking milk across the nation. And these two simple words sure as heck did.

got-milk-slogan.jpg

Source: Broward Palm Beach News Times

6) MasterCard: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”

MasterCard’s two-sentence slogan was created in 1997 as a part of an award-winning advertising campaign that ran in 98 countries and in 46 languages. The very first iteration of the campaign was a TV commercial that aired in 1997: “A dad takes his son to a baseball game and pays for a hot dog and a drink, but the conversation between the two is priceless,” writes Avi Dan for Forbes. “In a sense, ‘Priceless’ became a viral, social campaign years before there was a social media.”

One key to this campaign’s success? Each commercial elicits an emotional response from the audience. That first TV commercial might remind you of sports games you went to with your dad, for example. Each advertisement attempted to trigger a different memory or feeling. “You have to create a cultural phenomenon and then constantly nurture it to keep it fresh,” MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar told Dan. And nostalgia marketing like that can be a powerful tool.

7) BMW: “Designed for Driving Pleasure”

BMW sells cars all over the world, but in North America, it was known for a long time by its slogan: “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” This slogan was created in the 1970s by a relatively unknown ad agency named Ammirati & Puris and was, according to BMW’s blog, directed at Baby Boomers who were “out of college, making money and ready to spend their hard earned dollars. What better way to reflect your success than on a premium automobile?”

The newer slogan, “Designed for Driving Pleasure,” is intended to reinforce the message that its cars’ biggest selling point is that they are performance vehicles that are thrilling to drive. That message is an emotional one, and one that consumers can buy into to pay the high price point.

bmw-designed-for-driving-pleasure-2.jpg

Source: Brandingmag

8) Tesco: “Every Little Helps”

“Every little helps” is the kind of catchy tagline that can make sense in many different contexts — and it’s flexible enough to fit in with any one of Tesco’s messages. It can refer to value, quality, service, and even environmental responsibility — which the company practices by addressing the impacts of their operations and supply chain.

It’s also, as Naresh Ramchandani wrote for The Guardian, “perhaps the most ingeniously modest slogan ever written.” Tesco markets itself as a brand for the people, and a flexible, modest far-reaching slogan like this one reflects that beautifully.

tesco-slogan.jpg

Source: The Drum

9) M&M: “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands”

Here’s one brand that didn’t need much time before realizing its core value proposition. At the end of the day, chocolate is chocolate. How can one piece of chocolate truly stand out from another? By bringing in the convenience factor, of course. This particular example highlights the importance of finding something that makes your brand different from the others — in this case, the hard shell that keeps chocolate from melting all over you.

10) Bounty: “The Quicker Picker Upper”

Bounty paper towels, made by Procter & Gamble, has used its catchy slogan “The Quicker Picker Upper” for almost 50 years now. If it sounds like one of those sing-songy play on words you learned as a kid, that’s because it is one: The slogan uses what’s called consonance — a poetic device characterized by the repetition of the same consonant two or more times in short succession (think: “pitter patter”).

Over the years, Bounty has moved away from this slogan in full, replacing “Quicker” with other adjectives, depending on the brand’s current marketing campaign — like “The Quilted Picker Upper” and “The Clean Picker Upper.” At the same time, the brand’s main web address went from quickerpickerupper.com to bountytowels.com. But although the brand is branching out into other campaigns, they’ve kept the theme of their original, catchy slogan.

Bounty_Paper_Towels_Slogan.png

Source: Bounty

11) De Beers: “A Diamond is Forever”

Diamonds aren’t worth much inherently. In fact, a diamond is worth at least 50% less than you paid for it the moment you left the jewelry store. So how did they become the symbol of wealth, power, and romance they are in America today? It was all because of a brilliant, multifaceted marketing strategy designed and executed by ad agency N.W. Ayer in the early 1900s for their client, De Beers.

The four, iconic words “A Diamond is Forever” have appeared in every single De Beers advertisement since 1948, and AdAge named it the best slogan of the century in 1999. It perfectly captures the sentiment De Beers was going for: that a diamond, like your relationship, is eternal. It also helped discourage people from ever reselling their diamonds. (Mass re-selling would disrupt the market and reveal the alarmingly low intrinsic value of the stones themselves.) Brilliant.

de-beers-slogan.jpg

de-beers-slogan-old.jpg

Source: Sydney Merritt

12) Lay’s: “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One”

Seriously, who here has ever had just one chip? While this tagline might stand true for other snack companies, Lay’s was clever to pick up on it straight away. The company tapped into our truly human incapability to ignore crispy, salty goodness when it’s staring us in the face. Carbs, what a tangled web you weave.

But seriously, notice how the emphasis isn’t on the taste of the product. There are plenty of other delicious chips out there. But what Lay’s was able to bring forth with its tagline is that totally human, uncontrollable nature of snacking until the cows come home.

lays-slogan.jpg

Source: Amazon

13) Audi: “Vorsprung durch technik” (“Advancement Through Technology”)

“Vorsprung durch technik” has been Audi’s main slogan everywhere in the world since 1971 (except for the United States, where the slogan is “Truth in Engineering”). While the phrase has been translated in several ways, the online dictionary LEO translates “Vorsprung” as “advance” or “lead” as in “distance, amount by which someone is ahead in a competition.” Audi roughly translates it as: “Advancement through technology.”

The first-generation Audio 80 (B1 series) was launched a year after the slogan in 1972, and the new car was a brilliant reflection of that slogan with many impressive new technical features. It was throughout the 1970s that the Audi brand established itself as an innovative car manufacturer, such as with the five-cylinder engine (1976), turbocharging (1979), and the quattro four-wheel drive (1980). This is still reflective of the Audi brand today.

audi-slogan.jpg

Source: Cars and Coffee Chat

14) Dunkin’ Donuts: “America Runs on Dunkin”

In April 2006, Dunkin’ Donuts launched the most significant repositioning effort in the company’s history by unveiling a brand new, multi-million dollar advertising campaign under the slogan “America Runs on Dunkin.” The campaign revolves around Dunkin’ Donuts coffee keeping busy Americans fueled while they are on the go.

“The new campaign is a fun and often quirky celebration of life, showing Americans embracing their work, their play and everything in between — accompanied every step of the way by Dunkin’ Donuts,” read the official press release from the campaign’s official launch.

Ten years later, what the folks at Dunkin Donuts’ realized they were missing was their celebration of and honoring their actual customers. That’s why, in 2016, they launched the “Keep On” campaign, which they call their modern interpretation of the ten-year slogan.

“It’s the idea that we’re your partner in crime, or we’re like your wingman, your buddy in your daily struggle and we give you the positive energy through both food and beverage but also emotionally, we believe in you and we believe in the consumer,” said Chris D’Amico, SVP and Group Creative Director at Hill Holiday.

dunkin-donuts-slogan.gif

Source: Lane Printing & Advertising

(Fun fact: Dunkin’ Donuts is testing out rebranding — and renaming itself. One store in Pasadena, California will be called, simply, Dunkin’.)

15) Meow Mix: “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It by Name”

Meow meow meow meow … who remembers this catchy tune sung by cats, for cats, in Meow Mix’s television commercials? The brand released a simple but telling tagline: “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask For It By Name.”

This slogan plays off the fact that every time a cat meows, s/he is actually asking for Meow Mix. It was not only clever, but it also successfully planted Meow Mix as a standout brand in a cluttered market.

meow-mix-slogan.jpg

Source: Walgreens

16) McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It”

The “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign was launched way back in 2003 and still stands strong today. This is a great example of a slogan that resonates with the brand’s target audience. McDonald’s food might not be your healthiest choice, but being healthy isn’t the benefit McDonald’s is promising — it’s that you’ll love the taste and the convenience.

(Fun fact: The jingle’s infamous hook — “ba da ba ba ba” — was originally sung by Justin Timberlake.)

mcdonalds-slogan.gif

Source: McDonald’s

17) The New York Times: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”

This one is my personal favorite. The tagline was created in the late 1890s as a movement of opposition against other news publications printing lurid journalism. The New York Times didn’t stand for sensationalism. Instead, it focused on important facts and stories that would educate its audience. It literally deemed its content all the real “news fit to print.”

This helped the paper become more than just a news outlet, but a company that paved the way for credible news. The company didn’t force a tagline upon people when it first was founded, but rather, it created one in a time where it was needed most.

new-york-times-slogan.jpg

Source: 4th St8 Blog

18) General Electric: “Imagination at Work”

You may remember General Electric’s former slogan, “We Bring Good Things to Life,” which was initiated in 1979. Although this tagline was well-known and well-received, the new slogan — “Imagination at Work” — shows how a company’s internal culture can revolutionize how they see their own brand.

“‘Imagination at Work’ began as an internal theme at GE,” recalled Tim McCleary, GE’s manager of corporate identity. When Jeff Immelt became CEO of GE in 2001, he announced that his goal was to reconnect with GE’s roots as a company defined by innovation.

This culture and theme resulted in a rebranding with the new tagline “Imagination at Work,” which embodies the idea that imagination inspires the human initiative to thrive at what we do.

19) Verizon: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good.”

Here’s another brand that took its time coming up with something that truly resonated with its audience. This tagline was created in 2002 under the umbrella of, “We never stop working for you.”

While Verizon was founded in 1983, it continued to battle against various phone companies like AT&T and T-Mobile, still two of its strongest competitors. But what makes Verizon stand out? No matter where you are, you have service. You may not have the greatest texting options, or the best cellphone options, but you will always have service.

(Fun fact: The actor behind this campaign — Paul Marcarelli — now appears in competing advertisements for Sprint.)

verizon-slogan.jpg

Source: MS Lumia Blog

20) State Farm: “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There”

The insurance company State Farm has a number of slogans, including “Get to a better State” and “No one serves you better than State Farm.” But its most famous one is the jingle “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” which you’re likely familiar with if you live in the United States and watch television.

These words emphasize State Farm’s “community-first” value proposition — which sets it apart from the huge, bureaucratic feel of most insurance companies. And it quickly establishes a close relationship with the consumer.

Often, customers need insurance when they least expect it — and in those situations, State Farm is responding in friendly, neighborly language.

StateFarm_Logo.png

Source: StateFarm

21) Maybelline: “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”

Can you sing this jingle in your head? Maybelline’s former slogan, created in the 1990s, is one of the most famous in the world. It makes you think of glossy magazine pages featuring strong, beautiful women with long lashes staring straight down the lens. It’s that confidence that Maybelline’s makeup brand is all about — specifically, the transformation into a confident woman through makeup.

Maybelline changed its slogan to “Make IT Happen” in February 2016, inspiring women to “express their beauty in their own way.” Despite this change, the former slogan remains powerful and ubiquitous, especially among the many generations that grew up with it.

maybelline-slogan.jpg

Source: FunnyJunk

22) The U.S. Marine Corps: “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.”

The U.S. Marine Corps has had a handful of top-notch recruiting slogans over the decades, from “First to fight” starting in World War I, to “We’re looking for a few good men” from the 1980s. However, we’d argue that “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.” is among the best organization slogans out there.

This slogan “underscores the high caliber of those who join and serve their country as Marines,” said Maj. Gen. Richard T. Tryon, former commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command. In 2007, it even earned a spot on Madison Avenue’s Advertising Walk of Fame.

US_Marine_Corps_Slogan.png

Source: Marines.com

 

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2012 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Aug

11

2017

The 5 Best Messaging Apps for Marketing in 2017

Remember only being able to send 1,000 texts each month?

My mom definitely remembers our phone bills when I doubled that amount every week in middle school.

Thankfully, companies created messaging apps to provide free and unlimited messaging, which was a refreshing solution for rigid text message limits and their lofty costs.

Click here to download a free, 5-part kit to help you grow your mobile  audience.

But messaging apps refused to be just another form of text messaging. They kept innovating and evolved into apps for almost every digital interaction possible.

Now, within a single app, you can chat with your friends, communicate with brands, make calls, play games, consume content, buy products, and even call a cab.

These added functionalities make messaging apps sticky. They draw users to the app more often and keep them there for a longer time. Today, messaging apps have over 5 billion monthly active users worldwide.

Most messaging apps also let businesses market to their massive, engaged user bases. Marketers can now use chatbots to provide customer service, send content to users, sell products, and advertise.

Naturally, different countries and age groups prefer some apps to others. Read on to learn how you can tailor your messaging app marketing for five different global messaging apps.

5 Best Messaging Apps for Marketing in 2017

1) WhatsApp

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 5.20.08 PM.png

Monthly active users:1.3 billion

Most Popular Regions: Latin America, Europe, The Middle East, Southeast Asia, India, Russia, and Africa

Age Group: 25-44

Marketing Features:

WhatsApp doesn’t sell ads, prohibits third-party bots, and limits its broadcast message feature and group chats to 256 people. How are marketers supposed to leverage the most popular messaging app in the world then?

Since WhatsApp isn’t conducive to large-scale content distribution, marketers must take advantage of its one-to-one messaging capabilities. And by interacting with WhatsApp users like a normal user would, marketers can execute hyper-targeted and personalized campaigns.

In 2014, Hellman’s Brazil created WhatsCook, a live recipe service that connected people to real chefs. This wasn’t a service that just recommended recipes, though. It created recipes with the ingredients users already had.

After signing up for the service on their website, users would send a picture of their refrigerator’s contents to WhatsCook. Then a chef would whip up a unique recipe using the person’s available ingredients and teach them how to cook it using pictures, videos, and other WhatsApp features.

Over 13,000 people people signed up for WhatsCook and each user spent an average of 65 minutes interacting with Hellman’s chefs. The service also received a 99.5% approval rating.

WhatsCook is a prime example of creative WhatsApp marketing. By attracting users with a helpful service, they engaged thousands of more people than they could by blasting content through a broadcast or group chat.

To start a service like WhatsCook, you just need users’ phone numbers or they can add your number to their contact list.

Fortunately, WhatsApp offers a click-to-chat link that you can embed in your website, email signature, or social profiles, allowing you to effectively promote your service.

2) Facebook Messenger

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 5.25.36 PM.png

Monthly active users: 1.2 billion

Most Popular Regions: North America, Europe, Australia, The Middle East, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Africa

Age group: 16-44

Marketing Features:

Facebook messenger offers brands a stockpile of marketing features.

For instance, you can serve destination ads in people’s newsfeed to drive them to your messenger and spark a conversation, send sponsored messages to people who’ve messaged you in the past, integrate messenger bots like Chatfuel and ManyChat to interact with customers, and more.

At HubSpot, we use chatbots to automate Facebook conversations with people. Whenever someone messages our Facebook account, our chatbot will message back with a menu of options.

People can then search and subscribe to our content, check out our software, look at job openings, ask for customer support, and manage their Facebook messenger blog subscription.

FB-Messenger.gif

 

3) WeChat

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 5.29.22 PM.png

Monthly active users: 938 million

Most popular regions: China

Age Group: 18-50

Marketing Features:

WeChat isn’t just a popular Chinese messaging app. Most Chinese citizens use it to run their entire lives.

In one app, they can:

  • Message friends
  • Post social updates in WeChat Moments
  • Read the news
  • Make in-store payments
  • Pay for bills
  • Transfer money
  • Shop online
  • Play games
  • Make voice and video calls
  • Book a taxi
  • And manage their personal finances

WeChat is China’s most popular messaging app for a reason. And it also provides marketers a lot of opportunity to engage and delight users.

But if you want to market to users in China, or 90% of the user base, your business must be registered in Mainland China.

Businesses based in the United States, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Macau, Malaysia, South Africa, Taiwan, and Thailand can only market to around 100 million of WeChat’s international users.

To establish a strong presence on WeChat, you should set up an official account for your business. This will allow you to create a company micro-site, publish content, and provide customer services all within the WeChat app.

There are two types of official accounts. Content publishers usually sign up for subscription accounts that let you broadcast one message per day to your subscribers in their subscription accounts folder.

Big retail chains usually sign up for service accounts that let you broadcast four messages per month to your subscribers in their friend session list.

Verified service accounts have access to 9 advanced APIs and WeChat payment. With access to these APIs, marketers can:

  • Leverage personalized content marketing, location-based marketing, influencer marketing, and QR code marketing
  • Open micro-stores
  • And run lotteries

All accounts also offer bots that can interact with users and deliver keyword-triggered content.

BuzzFeed uses these bots to send WeChat users instant, personalized content whenever they message them a certain keyword like “dogs”, “lol”, or “fail”.

BuzzFeed WeChat.png

 

4) Line

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 5.32.02 PM.png

Monthly active users: 217 million

Most popular regions: Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia

Age group: 10-49

Marketing Features:

Line is a free messaging app that offers a profile page, stickers, games, video calling, music streaming, ride-sharing, and about 30 other features. It dominates Japan’s messaging app market, where 94% of messaging app users use the app.

Line is chock full of opportunity for marketers. In its four most popular countries, 73% of monthly active users use the app every day. This abundance of user engagement allows brands to build huge followings and boost engagement rates.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal acquired 2 million Line followers in only 15 months, which is the fastest social channel growth they’ve ever seen. They also claim that 30% of its followers like, comment, and share all their posts.

When brands sign up for Line official accounts, they can:

  • Set up a profile page
  • Send chat messages to each of their subscribers
  • Post content on their subscribers’ timelines
  • Activate chatbots that deliver keyword-triggered responses and content
  • Optimize Line advertisements based on user demographics and interests
  • Distribute free branded stickers
  • And reward customers with stickers after they buy a product

For Paul McCartney, Line is actually the best way to reach fans. His 12.5 million Line followers are more than all his Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followers combined.

And since he can send private messages to each of his 12.5 million Line followers, he also engages with them a lot more than he can with his traditional social media following.

Paul McCartney.png

Photo Credit: TechCrunch

5) Slack

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 5.38.30 PM.png

Daily active users: 5 million

Most popular regions: United States

Age group: 25-54

Marketing Features:

Slack is the main internal communications platform for many businesses. In fact, 77% of Fortune 100 companies use it. If you work in B2B, Slack could be your most targeted marketing channel.

At HubSpot, we knew Slack could be an effective content delivery channel, so we decided to offer a Slack blog subscription. When users sign up for it, they add the HubSpot Blog app to their Slack profile, where they receive a weekly broadcast of content. They can also search for content in the app.

slack.gif

What messaging apps do you use for your marketing? Let us know on Twitter!

New Call-to-action

 
Free Download Guide to Mobile

Aug

8

2017

10 Examples of Successful Co-Branding Partnerships (And Why They’re So Great)

Who else loved baking brownies when they were a kid? My favorite part was drizzling the chocolate syrup on top as a finishing touch.

As it turns out, one of my beloved childhood memories was a product of co-branding: Betty Crocker partnered with Hershey’s to include chocolate syrup in its signature brownie recipe.

Click here to download our ultimate toolkit for social and PR branding.

There’s something brilliant about that co-branded product: It’s a fun way to marry two classic brands into one delicious experience for fans of baking and chocolate alike. In fact, these brands still create new co-branded products to this day.

Co-branding is a strategic marketing and advertising partnership between two brands wherein the success of one brand brings success to its partner brand, too. Co-branding can be an effective way to build business, boost awareness, and break into new markets, and for a partnership to truly work, it has to be a win-win for all players in the game. Both audiences need to find value — like chocolate-loving fans of Betty Crocker and Hershey’s.

There are a ton of great examples of co-branding partnerships out there — too many to list in one post. Below, we’ve curated a list of 10 examples of great co-branding partnerships to inspire you.

10 Examples of Great Co-Branding Partnerships

1) GoPro & Red Bull: “Stratos”

GoPro doesn’t just sell portable cameras, and Red Bull doesn’t just sell energy drinks. Instead, both have established themselves as lifestyle brands — in particular, a lifestyle that’s action-packed, adventurous, fearless, and usually pretty extreme. These shared values make them a perfect pairing for co-branding campaigns, especially those surrounding action sports.

To make the partnership work, GoPro equips athletes and adventurers from around the world with the tools and funding to capture things like races, stunts, and action sport events on video — from the athlete’s perspective. At the same time, Red Bull uses its experience and reputation to run and sponsor these events.

“GoPro camera technology is allowing us to complement the programming by delivering new athlete perspectives that have never been seen before,” said Sean Eggert, Red Bull’s director of sports marketing. The collaboration allows exclusive GoPro content to enhance both companies’ growth.

While GoPro and Red Bull have collaborated on many events and projects together, perhaps the biggest collaboration stunt they’ve done was “Stratos,” in which Felix Baumgartner jumped from a space pod more than 24 miles above Earth’s surface with a GoPro strapped to his person. Not only did Baumgartner set three world records that day, but he also embodied the value of reimagining human potential that define both GoPro and Red Bull.

2) Pottery Barn & Sherwin-Williams: Color Your Room

One of the biggest benefits of co-branding campaigns is the opportunity to expose your product or service to a brand new audience. That’s exactly what home furnishing store Pottery Barn and paint company Sherwin-Williams did when they partnered together back in 2013.

Together, the two brands created an exclusive product line of paints, and then added a new section of Pottery Barn’s website that helped customers easily select paint colors to complement their furniture choices.

pottery barn color your room.png

Source: Pottery Barn

Customers could coordinate paint colors with picture-perfect Pottery Barn furniture for a mutually beneficial partnership — and style assistance for both brands’ customers to boot. “Paint Landing,” Pottery Barn’s landing page for the partnership, contains helpful blog posts and how-to ideas for do-it-yourself painting and decorating.

3) Casper & West Elm: Test a Casper Mattress

You may have already heard of Casper — it’s an online mattress and bedding brand that sells mattresses in a box.

Casper mattress unboxing videos like this one have become a hit on YouTube, but despite the brand’s 100-day return policy, some shoppers might still be hesitant to buy a mattress without getting the chance to roll around in it first.

Enter West Elm, a high-end furniture company. Casper and West Elm partnered so shoppers could try out the comfy mattress before purchasing — and so West Elm could advertise its chic bedroom furniture.

west-elm-hero.jpg

Source: Casper

This is another example of a mutually beneficial co-branding partnership. It helps both brands appeal to a broader group of shoppers — after all, Casper doesn’t sell furniture, and West Elm doesn’t sell mattresses. It also provides shoppers with options — to try a mattress before buying, or to feel what it would be like sleeping in a bed frame.

4) Bonne Belle & Dr. Pepper: Flavored Lip Balm

Dr. Pepper-flavored lip balm. I mean, it’s genius.

Bonne Belle first debuted Lip Smacker, the world’s first flavored lip balm, in 1973, starting with flavors like strawberry, lemon, and green apple. Just two years later in 1975, they’d forged their first flavor partnership with the timeless Dr. Pepper brand. The result? A lip balm flavor that’s been famous for decades among teenage girls.

If you’re thinking the connection between lip balm and Dr. Pepper is a little thin, consider the copy on one of their vintage ads: “It’s the super shiny lip gloss with lip-smacking flavor… just like the world’s most original soft drink.” And later, “From Bonne Belle of course: the cosmetics company that understands your taste.”

bonne-belle-dr-pepper.jpg

Source: Click Americana

5) BMW & Louis Vuitton: The Art of Travel

Car manufacturer BMW and designer Louis Vuitton may not be the most obvious of pairings. But if you think about it, they have a few important things in common. If you focus on Louis Vuitton’s signature luggage lines, they’re both in the business of travel. They both value luxury. And finally, they’re both well-known, traditional brands that are known for high-quality craftsmanship.

These shared values are exactly why this co-branding campaign makes so much sense. In their partnership, BMW created a sports car model called the BMW i8, while Louis Vuitton designed an exclusive, four-piece set of suitcases and bags that fit perfectly into the car’s rear parcel shelf.

louis-vitton-bmw.jpg

Source: Louis Vuitton

Although the four-piece luggage set goes for a whopping $20,000, the price is right for the target customer, as the BMW i8 starts at $135,700. A price like that kind of makes that luggage set seem like a drop in the bucket.

Not only does the luggage fit perfectly size-wise, but its design and appearance fit perfectly with BMW’s image: sleek, masculine, and high-quality. Turns out both the luggage and some parts of the car’s interior use carbon fiber, strong-yet-light composite material.

“This collaboration with BMW i epitomises our shared values of creativity, technological innovation and style,” said Patrick-Louis Vuitton, head of special orders at Louis Vuitton. “Our craftsmen have enjoyed the challenge of this very special project, using their ingenuity and attention to detail to create a truly made to measure set of luxury luggage. This is a pure expression of the art of travel.”

6) Uber & Spotify: Soundtrack for Your Ride

Music-streaming app Spotify partnered with ride-hailing app Uber to create “a soundtrack for your ride.” This is a great example of a co-branding partnership between two very different products with very similar goals — to earn more users.

Here’s how it works: When riders are waiting for an Uber ride, they’re prompted to connect with Spotify and become the DJ of their trip. Users can choose from their own playlists to determine what they’ll listen to.

uber spotify.png

Source: The Verge

This smart co-branding partnership helps fans of Uber and Spotify alike enjoy better experiences thanks to the app. And they might be more interested in picking Uber and Spotify over competitors knowing they can enjoy their next ride listening to their favorite tunes.

7) BuzzFeed & Best Friends Animal Society

Some co-branding campaigns are more complicated than others. This example from BuzzFeed and Best Friends Animal Society is one of the simplest ones out there — and it goes to show a great co-branding effort doesn’t have to take months of planning or millions of dollars.

For this campaign, the folks at Best Friends Animal Society wanted to leverage BuzzFeed’s readership of over 200 million people. To do this, they partnered with the folks at BuzzFeed to set up and publish an article called, “We Interviewed Emma Watson While She Played With Kittens And It Was Absolutely Adorable,” which you can read here. The article is exactly what it sounds like: Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast star Emma Watson answered fans’ questions while she played with cute kittens.

emma watson gif1.gif

Source: BuzzFeed

The article ends with a CTA advertising that the kittens featured in the video are, in fact, adoptable — a win-win for both partners.

8) Alexander Wang & H&M

Anyone who’s designer-conscious knows Alexander Wang and H&M aren’t exactly the same caliber when it comes to quality. Shoes by Alexander Wang tend to go for around $350 a pair, whereas shoes sold by H&M tend to go for more like $35 a pair. See what I mean?

But that discrepancy in pricing is exactly why the two brands decided to partner with one another. To support their brand positioning as trendy and fashionable, H&M has traditionally paired with high-end fashion brands to offer exclusive branded items for a limited time.

In exchange, those high-end brands — like Alexander Wang — can expose their brand name to “a new generation of potential consumers, who will increasingly aspire to owning more pieces from his high end collection,” writes Michelle Greenwald for Forbes.

alexander-wang-h-and-m.jpg

Source: Snobette

9) CoverGirl & Lucasfilm: Light Side and Dark Side Makeup

Whenever a new installment of the beloved “Star Wars” series is released in theaters, it causes global pandemonium, and the release of “Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens” in 2015 was no exception. The series’ parent company, Lucasfilm, partnered with CoverGirl to capture a broader audience to get fans new and old excited about the movie’s release.

You might be wondering, “What do “Star Wars” and makeup have in common?” And the cleverness of this partnership is evident in the answer.

In the past, the space-age action movies were almost exclusively advertised and targeted toward men and boys. But in this day and age, that’s nonsense — because people of all genders can be interested in space exploration and makeup contouring alike.

The line was designed by famed makeup artist Pat McGrath, and it features two styles: the Light Side and the Dark Side, which loyal “Star Wars” fans will recognize as the sides of good and evil in the movies.

 

In a galaxy far, far away @COVERGIRL+@StarWars have partnered on beauty looks created by @patmcgrathreal and limited-edition makeup inspired by #StarWars #TheForceAwakens. It’s a #beautyforce like never before, channeling the duality that is within us all. #LightSide, #DarkSide—which will you unleash today? #droid #stormtrooper

A post shared by COVERGIRL (@covergirl) on Aug 13, 2015 at 6:59am PDT

This co-branding partnership was a win for both brand. Lucasfilm captured more attention and got CoverGirl shoppers (many of whom are young women) excited about the film’s release. And CoverGirl hopped on the “Star Wars” advertising bandwagon that took over the internet, stores, and TV leading up to the film’s release.

10) Nike & Apple: Nike+

Athletic brand Nike and technology giant Apple have been working together since the early 2000s, when the first line of iPods was released.

The co-branding partnership started as a way to bring music from Apple to Nike customers’ workouts using the power of technology: Nike+iPod created fitness trackers and sneakers and clothing that tracked activity while connecting people to their tunes.  

overview_hero.jpg

Source: Apple

The partnership has since evolved to become Nike+ — which uses activity tracking technology built into athletic clothing and gear to sync with Apple iPhone apps to track and record workout data. Tracking transmitters can be built into shoes, armbands, and even basketballs to measure time, distance, heart rate, and calories burned.

It’s a genius co-branding move that helps both parties provide a better experience to customers — and with the popularity of fitness tracking technology, Nike+ is ahead of the curve by making it easy for athletes to track while they play.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

New Call-to-action

 
New Call-to-action

Aug

2

2017

The 2017 HubSpot Blog Redesign: A Detailed Look At What’s New

Published by in category Blog Optimization, Canonical, Daily, Featured | Comments are closed

I have a long, interesting relationship with the HubSpot Marketing Blog.

Before I became editor, I was a full-time writer for this blog. And before I was a writer for this blog, I was a guest contributor to this blog. And before I was a guest contributor to this blog, I was a fan of this blog — I learned from this blog.

So when it came time to kick off the blog redesign I’m about to walk you through, I had a lot of strong opinions (and arguably too many ideas). You see, our last redesign launched in December 2014. To give you some context, since December 2014:

  • Blog.hubspot.com has more than doubled its monthly traffic, growing from under 2 million monthly views in December 2014 to over 4.5 million.
  • There have been over 20 updates made to the Google algorithm.
  • Snapchat has more than doubled its monthly active users, scaling from 71M at the end of Q4 2014 to 166M at the end of Q1 2017.
  • Facebook Live has been invented, released to influencers, and launched to the general public.

It’s safe to say, even though it’s only been a few years, we’re living in an entirely different time than we were back then. Our team is fresh-faced. Our editorial strategy is new and improved. And our audience is continuing to grow and demand new things.

Notice something different? Click here to learn more about the HubSpot blog  redesign process.

We’ve been overdue for a change for a while now, so a change is what we brought. Now let’s talk about what’s new — and why. 

Why We Redesigned the Blog (And What’s New)

Reason #1: To set the stage for new mediums.

During the back half of last year, we started to incorporate more video and audio content into our editorial strategy. 

We’ve experimented with “posts as podcasts”:

Posts-as-podcasts.png

And short video recaps of popular articles:

This shift in strategy came at a time where you couldn't visit a marketing or tech blog without bumping into a headline like, "Why 2017 Is the Year of Video." But that wasn't the only driving force.

Around this same time, we’d just started to think about overhauling our email subscription, too. In doing so, we collected a lot of feedback from our subscribers that suggested they’d been craving different content formats — such as audio and video — for a while now.

It quickly became obvious to us that this was long overdue. We needed to refresh the blog in a way that lent it to more than just written content. We needed brand new post-level designs that were specific to the medium we were using to tell a story, teach a lesson, share a finding, etc.

How the redesign solves for this:

To create some contrast around all of the different types of content we were creating, we decided that the redesign would offers three distinct post formats: written, video, and audio. 

Written 

Prior to the redesign, this was the only post type we had — though it lacked pizzazz. The new written post design incorporates large block quotes for highlighting key quotes and stats, easily shareable text, and a whole lot of white space to make for a clean, inviting experience.

written-post-features.png

Video 

This new post format allows our video content to take center stage, so it feels less like a secondary element. The best part? When you start to scroll, the video shrinks and hops to the side of the screen so you can keep working through the content while staying tuned in. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-30 at 7.09.59 PM.png

Audio

Between our own audio experiments on the blog and the steady stream of amazing audio content coming from our podcast team, we needed a place to show it off. Our new audio-centric post type includes a sleek audio player that puts the focus on the medium. 

Audio Post

Reason #2: To solve for content discoverability.

After recognizing both a shift in the way search engines deliver results and the way searchers input queries, our in-house SEO experts introduced the team to a new way of looking at content mapping and search engine optimization.

The topic cluster model puts topics before keywords, allowing a single “pillar” page to serve as a hub of content for an overarching topic. From there, “cluster content” covering related long-tail keywords then links back to the main pillar to boost its authority. This approach aims to create a more intentional link structure across the blog properties, making it easier for Google to crawl and rank our content. 

Needless to say, this new approach changed the way we organize content on the blog — and ultimately helped to make related content more discoverable. With nearly 13,000 posts in just the HubSpot Marketing Blog archive alone, we’ve incorporated new functionality that helps us ensure you’re not missing out on any old hidden gems, while also helping you easily surface content you care about.

How the redesign solves for this:

Our blog posts are now systematically tagged based on their associated topic cluster. For example, all of the posts within the “Social Media Trends” cluster receive a “Social Media Trends” tag which links back to the cluster’s pillar page. This link helps to push the authority towards the pillar page, allowing it take more easily rank for the term we’re going after. 

Screen Shot 2017-07-31 at 7.15.56 AM.png

We also added a related articles section at the bottom of each post. This section pulls in articles from the cluster, allowing for more intentional link distribution. 

Reason #3: To introduce new ways of sharing content.

At the time of our last redesign, Slack — a real-time messaging app for teams — had just celebrated its first birthday. Since then, the platform has gained some serious momentum — so much so that it’s referred to as the fastest-growing business app of all time. Here’s proof:

Slack-Growth-Chart.png

Source: Slack

As of October 2016, the platform boasts over 4 million daily active users — including us here at HubSpot. Internally, we use Slack to communicate across our global offices, spark discussions, host meetings, make announcements, and perhaps most often, to share and discover interesting content.

Notice something different? Click here to learn more about the HubSpot blog  redesign process.

That’s why, when it came time to plan this redesign, we knew that we had to find a way to incorporate Slack into the blog’s functionality. 

And then there’s Facebook Messenger. With 1.2 billion monthly active users, this was another channel we’d had our eye on in terms of content distribution — especially after seeing the results from a few Messenger experiments some of my colleague ran. 

Screen Shot 2017-06-29 at 2.48.50 PM-1.png

After testing Facebook Messenger against email as a content delivery system, they saw an open rate of 80% and an average CTR of 13% — this was 242% and 609% better than the email controls.

How the redesign solved for this:

The redesign introduces both Slack and Facebook Messenger as two new channels for sharing content. These additions can be found in the sticky sharing options to the left of the content. As an added bonus, Facebook Messenger has also been added to the hovering share menu that appears when you highlight any string of text. 

new-social-sharing.png

Reason #4: To refresh our branding.

A former boss once said to me, “We really need someone to come in here and call our baby ugly.”

Of course, he wasn’t referring to an actual baby. He meant our content. In a sense, it was our baby — and we’d grown so close to it that it was hard to pull out the flaws, missed opportunities, and so on. 

That was sort of the case here … except we were pretty well aware that our baby was, in fact, a little ugly.

The old blog felt dated and sort of stale. It wasn’t set up in a way that let our content shine (at least not anymore) and it didn’t mesh with some of the newer, more polished pages across the website. But perhaps most importantly, it didn’t reflect our current brand — let alone the direction our brand was going in. 

How the redesign solved for this:

If you’ve been following HubSpot for a while, you may have noticed that our branding underwent a bit of a makeover in the process of this redesign. For example, we’ve implemented new photo filters that reflect an updated color palette:

New Photo Filters.png

These filters, and several other changes, serve as the first step in rolling out a larger visual brand refresh over the coming months — one that is true to our brand and values. Stay tuned. 

Feeling Inspired?

If you’re starting to think that it might be time for your own redesign, we’ve got just the thing. Check out this redesign planning guide for a behind-the-scenes look at how we tackled this project — from start to finish. We’ve peppered it with free resources — like editorial calendar templates and CRO advice — to help you kick off a redesign on the right foot.

Shoutout to the redesign dream team: Matt Eonta, Amelia Towle, Taylor Swyter, Brittany Chin, and Liz Shaw.Untitled design (25).png

HubSpot Blog Design

Powered by WPeMatico

Aug

1

2017

18 Hidden Snapchat Hacks & Features You’ll Wish You Knew About Sooner

Published by in category Daily, Featured, Snapchat Marketing | Comments are closed

Snapchat, the one-to-one messaging app with more than 160 million daily active users, has earned a reputation for fast growth and innovation.

But despite its success, it isn’t the most user-friendly app I’ve ever played around with. Many of its best features are buried so deep in the app that a lot of people don’t even know they exist. In July 2017, Snapchat added even more features in their release of a new version, and some of these features have totally reshaped how people use the app in the first place.

For example, did you know that you can use Snapchat to make a live video call? Or that you can add emojis to your Snapchat videos — and make it so they move and scale with specific objects? What about the trick where you can save data by turning the app on to “travel mode”?Download our free Snapchat guide to learn how to use it for your business. 

There are a whole lot of cool things you can do with Snapchat that you may not have known about. But before we jump into them, it’s important that you know the basics. For more on how to use the platform — as well as a look at how HubSpot uses Snapchat marketingcheck out this post.

Already have the basics down? Read on for some more advanced tips and features.

Note: Before getting started, make sure you’re operating on the latest version of Snapchat. At the time of posting, the latest version is 10.12.5.0.

18 Hidden Snapchat Hacks & Features

1) Use Snapchat for voice and video calls.

One of the biggest changes Snapchat made during an update in March 2016 was the addition of a voice and video chat feature. There are two ways you can use voice and video chats: By sending 10-second recordings (of your voice or a video of you), or by “calling” them to start a live voice or video chat lasting any amount of time.

The voice and video call functionality is located within Snapchat’s chat feature, so you’ll need to open up a chat conversation with someone to begin. If you’ve updated your Snapchat app, you’ll see the phone icon and a video icon below the chat box.

snapchat-live-voice-video-call-1.png

To leave a 10-second voice or video message, hold down on the voice or video call icon and it will begin recording immediately. When you release the button by picking your finger up from the screen, the recording will stop and send immediately with no do-overs. In other words, make sure you’re ready to record and send the voice or video message before you begin.

To start a live voice or video call, just tap the voice or video call icon and it’ll begin ringing the other person immediately. If they don’t answer within a few seconds, you’ll see a pop-up notification asking you if you’d like to send a voice or video message instead. These voice and video messages are identical to the 10-second voice and video messages described above.

Here’s a GIF showing what it looks like to live video call another user:

snapchat-video-call-example.gif

Also, remember that there’s no forewarning once you tap or hold down on one of the icons — it’ll start ringing or recording right away. (I learned this the hard way when I tapped the video icon accidentally.) Otherwise, it’s a very intuitive and easy-to-use functionality.

2) Identify any song playing around you.

If you’ve yet to download Shazam, the music recognition app, Snapchat’s got you covered. That’s right, you can Shazam songs in the Snapchat app.

When you want to identify a song playing around you, just hold your finger down on the camera screen. After a few seconds, a Shazam window will pop up with the song’s name and artist. From there, you can snap your Shazamed song to your friends and even add the artist as a Snapchat friend.

giphy-67.gif

3) Search for stories all over the world.

Hand-curating an entire community’s snap submissions for a big event’s story, like the Super Bowl, started overwhelming Snapchat. So they implemented machine learning to select only the most relevant submissions for these big events.

The other submissions didn’t go to waste, though. Their new technology curates them into entirely new community stories, which allows users to search for over one million stories on the app and experience an event like they’re actually there.

To watch these stories, just tap the search bar on the camera screen. You can watch the top stories of the day, filter stories by topic, and search for a certain event or location’s community story.

giphy copy.gif

4) Turn on two filters at once.

Can’t choose between giving your photo a blue hue and letting your friends know you’re going 0 mph? Thankfully, you don’t have to make that difficult decision. You can use both filters at the same time with a very simple trick.

To add a second filter to a photo, all you have to do is hold the screen with one finger and swipe left or right with another to find your second filter. (To add that first filter, just swipe your finger left or right over your photo to rotate among them until you settle on one.)

5) Add, resize, and rotate emojis and stickers to your photos.

If you’re looking to dress up your Snapchats outside of the text box, you can add an emoji (or five) and place them anywhere you want on your photo or video.

In addition to the emojis you’re probably familiar with, Snapchat added 200 new stickers in May 2016 that are similar to the stickers that are so popular in other messaging apps like Facebook Messenger. These new stickers are super cute — everything from cacti to snarky kittens to walruses celebrating Hump Day.

snapchat-stickers-1.png

To access the emojis and stickers, start by taking your photo in Snapchat. Then, tap on the folded paper icon on the top of your screen next to the “T” text icon. Scroll through the available stickers and emojis until you find the one you want. Tap on it to add it to your photo, and then use your finger to move it around.

You can use two fingers to rotate it or resize it by pinching and zooming. Add as many emojis and stickers as you’d like.

snapchat-add-emojis.gif

To delete a sticker or emoji, simply drag it to the trash icon, which appears when you hold your finger down on the emoji and move it around.

Another creative way to use emojis on Snapchat? Create your own filters using some of the more transparent emojis by enlarging them with your fingers until they cover the whole screen.

snapchat-emoji-filter.gif

6) “Pin” emojis to objects in your videos.

In addition to adding stationary emojis and stickers to your Snapchat videos, you can also “pin” — or attach — emojis and stickers to different objects in your video. This allows the emoji to automatically move, rotate, and scale with whatever object you pinned it to.

To “pin” an emoji or sticker to an object in a video, start by recording your video in Snapchat first. Then, tap on the folded paper icon on the top of your screen.

Scroll through the available emojis and stickers until you find the one you want. Tap on it to add it to your photo, and then use your finger to move it, and hold it in one place above an object to “pin” it to that object. 

snapchat-moving-emoji-video.gif

7) Make your videos go in fast-forward, slow motion, or rewind.

Snapchat recently added features for videos allowing users to make them go in fast forward, slow motion, or rewind. These features work just like a filter, so to access them, record the video first and then swipe sideways to find them.

Here’s how they work:

  • Snail icon = slow motion
  • Rabbit = fast-forward
  • Backward-facing arrows = rewind

snapchat-video-filters.png

Image Credit: TechCrunch

8) Draw in black or white.

You may have noticed that the color palette in Snapchat’s drawing tool doesn’t offer black and white — but that doesn’t mean that you can’t access both of those colors. All it takes is a few quick finger maneuvers.

To access the available colors, you’re used to holding your finger down on the color palette and dragging it up or down. But to access black and white, you’ll need to drag it toward the upper left corner of your screen (black) or the bottom right corner of your screen (white).

Snapchat-5.png

9) Change the color, size, and orientation of your text.

Think you’re limited to white text? Turns out you can actually change the color of your text to whatever you want, including black (see previous tip).

To change the color of your text, start by taking your photo or video, type your message, and then tap the “T” icon at the top of your screen to make the text larger and open up the color palette. Drag your finger along the palette to change the text color. Finally, tap the “T” icon twice to remove the shadowed background.

To change the orientation and/or size of the text, use two fingers to rotate it or resize it by pinching and zooming. You can move the text around to wherever you want on the screen simply by holding your finger on the text and moving it around.

snapchat-change-text-color-1.png

snapchat-change-text-orientation.png

10) Make your text fit neatly in one line.

If you’re anything like me and hate when your text awkwardly goes just over one line, rest assured: You can actually resize your text so it fits neatly into a single line (or however many you’d like).

To resize your text, tap the “T” icon at the top of your screen, then tap on the text to get into text editing mode. Next, use two fingers to pinch-and-zoom to resize it while it still spans the width of your screen.

snapchat-fit-text-into-one-line-1.gif

11) Turn on “travel mode” to save data.

When I first started using Snapchat on a regular basis, I noticed right away that it was draining my battery faster than any of my other social media apps. Thankfully, Snapchat actually has a built-in feature to help conserve your data, in the form of “travel mode.”

When you set your Snapchat app to travel mode, snaps and stories won’t download automatically. Instead, you can choose when you want to load a snap or a story. It can also help reduce video lagging while you’re recording videos using the app.

To turn your Snapchat app to travel mode, go to settings, which you can access by opening Snapchat, tapping the ghost icon in the top center of the screen, and then tapping the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

snapchat-ghost-icon.jpg

snapchat-gear-icon-settings.jpg

Once you’re on the settings page, tap “Manage” under “Additional Services” and toggle “Travel Mode” on.

snapchat-travel-mode-1.png

12) Create your own geofilter on a desktop or the app.

In February 2016, Snapchat started letting anyone — whether you’re a business or an individual — create custom “on-demand geofilters.” On-demand geofilters are filters users can add when they take photos and videos from specific locations.

There are two different kinds of geofilters: a personal geofilter and a business geofilter.

  • A personal geofilter promotes a personal event or location like a birthday party, wedding, graduation party, and so on, and you can set them for up to 30 days. They can’t include marks, logos, branding, or businesses.
  • A business geofilter promotes a business or a brand, like for an upcoming sale, an ad for a certain location, or something along those lines. Business Geofilters need to meet Snapchat’s Business Guidelines.

snapchat-on-demand-geofilter-examples.png

Image Credit: Snapchat

To create them, you’ll need to upload an image with a transparent background (or use one of Snapchat’s premade templates), upload it to http://geofilters.snapchat.com, pick a date, time, and location for it, and submit it to Snapchat along with your payment. The Snapchat team promises to review submissions within one business day.

This feature is available in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia. You can learn more about how to use them on Snapchat’s website here.

If you’re a Snapchat user in the U.S., you can create on-demand geofilters in the app. Just go to your camera screen and tap the ghost icon in the top left corner. Then tap the settings icon in the top right corner and choose On-Demand filters.

You’ll be asked to select your geofilter’s theme, a premade template, its date and time, and its location. The price will depend on your geofence’s size.

13) Add music to your videos.

Here’s a small tip that can make a big difference in your Snapchat videos. After all, the folks at Snapchat claim that sound is a big part of what makes Snapchat videos so appealing. In June 2016, they claimed that two-thirds of Snapchat’s 10 billion daily video views are watched with the sound on.

Adding music can add a unique touch to your Snapchat videos, and it’s simple to do. All you have to do is play the song you want through your favorite music player app (like Spotify or iTunes), and then record the video on Snapchat while the song is playing. The video recorder on Snapchat will pick up the music and it’ll automatically become part of your video.

14) Turn the sound off in your videos.

If you don’t want sound in your video, it’s helpful to know that there is a way of turning it off. This might be best if you’re recording a video that has unnecessary, loud, or jarring noises that don’t add to the video in a way that you want them to.

To turn sound off on your video, first record your video like you would normally for a Snapchat video. Then, tap the microphone icon on the bottom left-hand side of your screen once so that the sound waves are replaced with an X.

Before:

snapchat-sound-on.jpg

After:

snapchat-sound-off.jpg

15) Save a Story as a video clip by downloading it.

Anyone might want to save a Snapchat Story to view later, but this is especially true if you’re working on Snapchat content for your business so you can show your team the Stories you’ve put together and view them later to see what styles worked well. You can save Stories by downloading them to your device. (From there, I’d recommend emailing it to yourself so you don’t accidentally lose it.)

To save an entire Story as a video clip, open up Snapchat and go to the “Stories” view, which you can do by swiping right from the default camera view. Your Story will appear at the top.

Next, tap the download button to save the entire story.

To save one Snap on your Story as a video clip, open up Snapchat and go to the “Stories” view, which you can do by swiping right from the default camera view. Your Story will appear at the top.

Then, tap on your Story and swipe up on the Snap you want and hit the download button at the top of the screen.

16) Delete single snaps from a Story.

If you’ve published a snap to your Story, you can still go back to it and delete it at any time — even if you’ve published other snaps after it.

To delete a snap form a Story, simply open up Snapchat and go to the “Stories” view, which you can do by swiping right from the default camera view. Your Story will appear at the top. Swipe up on the Snap you want to delete and hit the delete button.

delete-snap.gif

Image Credit: Snapchat

17) Record up to six 10-second videos in a row.

Recording only one 10-second snap at a time can produce some awkward transitions in your company’s snap story. But you can say goodbye to those ungraceful snap stories because you now can record six 10-second snaps in a row, which is basically like recording a minute long video

Just hold record for up to 60 seconds. There will be a seamless transition between each 10-second video.

You can even edit each individual video or delete the ones you don’t want to share. All your recorded videos will be at the bottom of your screen.

18) Add a link to your story.

Snapchat answered every marketer’s prayers by letting users link webpages into their stories. Marketers can now use their snap stories to spark interest in their content and, if their viewers swipe up, they can then seamlessly deliver a video or article to them.

To add a link to your story, just take a picture or video, tap the paperclip on the sidebar, and enter your URL. All shared links must follow Snapchat’s terms of service, community guidelines, and privacy policy.

giphy copy 2.gif

There you have it. We hope these tricks and features help you use Snapchat to connect with your friends, fans, and even customers in a way that’s low-cost, but highly personal and engaging.

Happy snapping!

Register for HubSpot's Free Inbound Marketing Course

 
Snapchat for Marketing Guide

Powered by WPeMatico

Aug

1

2017

How We Booked Over 200 Meetings With a Single Email Send

Published by in category Daily, Email Personalization, Featured | Comments are closed

Here at HubSpot, when we decide we really like something, we go all-in. That includes things like email personalization, a global presence, and seasonality in our marketing.

So when it came time for the Latin America Marketing team — or LatAm — to strategize an email marketing experiment, we wondered if there was a way to combine all three.

It started out simply enough — we wanted to find out if an email sent directly from a sales rep that included a link to book a meeting could convert better than one of our popular offers. But then we thought, “We can do better. Let’s kick the personalization up a notch.” 

And so, we did — and here’s what happened.

How a Single Email Send Led to 200+ Meetings Booked

The Hypothesis

Within our LatAm partner marketing efforts, our inbound funnel often involves directing prospective agency partners to the Spanish version of our Inbound Marketing Assessment (IMA). But when Semana Santa, the celebrated week before Easter in Latin America and Spain, was approaching, we knew that many of our email recipients would be taking several days off prior to the holiday.

That meant we’d have to alter the content and tone of our message. Since these recipients were likely days away from several consecutive days off, we didn’t want to ask them to complete an assessment. Sure, we needed to provide a call to action (CTA). Otherwise, what was the point of sending an email? But it had to be something that took this timing into account — something that still provided value, but acknowledged the upcoming holiday.

That created a foundation for our hypothesis:

By reaching out to people right before a major holiday in their region with messaging that is conversational and tailored, we will see a higher level of engagement in terms of meetings booked.”

The Experiment

The Objective

Our goal was to find out if an email from a sales representative that included a direct link to book a meeting with them would lead to more conversions than our traditional one — the email from a marketer with a CTA to complete the IMA form.

What We Did

To test our hypothesis, instead of directing the reader to our traditional IMA form, we included a link to book a meeting with a sales rep directly. But with the holiday coming up, the way we framed that option to book a meeting would have to be modified.

That allowed us to set some parameters for an A/B test, in which we created two different versions of the same email — one sent from Stefano Gasbarrino, who was a rep at the time, and one from Carlos Villalobos, the LatAm Partner Marketing Manager. Each version contained its own message accompanying a link to book a meeting with a rep:

  • Version 1: An email from Gasbarrino with the message, “Here’s my calendar — book time with me.”

Spanish email preview.png

  • Version 2: An email from Villalobos with the message, “If you want to learn more about the Program, I invite you to book time with my colleague, Stefano, whenever you’re back in the office. Here is his meetings link.”

Of course, the message had to have some additional context other than booking a meeting. So as an alternative to investing time in completing the IMA, we offered the recipient something “nice to read” at their leisure over the holiday — in this case, it was the Spanish version of our Partner Program Info Kit. This was included in both versions of the A/B test.

Partner Program InfoKit - Spanish.png

The Results

Truth time: The results surprised us a bit.

To start, Gasbarrino’s email showed an 8% higher open rate than the one from Villalobos. That could be due to a number of reasons — perhaps recipients were a bit too accustomed to seeing emails from Villalobos, and were intrigued by the new name in their inboxes.

But on the other hand, Villalobos’ email resulted in 10% more meetings booked. Those results suggest that, when people did open the email, they appreciated the more flexible language of this version.

We also wanted to test how an email send of this nature performed against our traditional one, too. So to measure the success of the “book a meeting” CTA vs. the “complete an IMA form” CTA, we also compared the average open and clickthrough rate (CTR) of our typical IMA email sends, versus those of the emails sent as part of this experiment.

Simply put, the email sends associated with this experiment performed noticeably better than our traditional IMA emails. In addition to a 15% higher open rate as well as a 7.2% higher CTR, the email sends containing links to book a meeting resulted in 40X the conversion rate of IMA form submissions from traditional emails. We booked 200 sales meetings from this one email!

Where Do We Go From Here?

Next Steps

While the experiment was generally a success, moving forward, we recommend putting guardrails in place prior to conducting tests like these. While we were thrilled to have over 200 meetings booked as a result of a single email send, that was far too many for a single rep to handle. A good problem to have, but Stefano was overwhelmed nonetheless.

In the future, we’ll use more finely-targeted segmentation when planning these email sends, and will assign a lead owner who can send “book a meeting” links on behalf of multiple representatives.

Our #1 Takeaway

Our biggest takeaway from this experiment, however, was its strong reminder to marketers not to lose sight of their audiences. It’s all too easy to forget that there is a human being on the other side of the screen — and overall, humans want quicker, more personalized solutions. Filling out a form requires them to wait to be contacted — booking a meeting, on the other hand, gets that person onto a rep’s calendar right away, at their convenience. Addressing that time sensitivity can make your audience feel valued and prioritized.

Moreover, the ability to book a meeting with a person who has a name, a face, and availability can humanize a brand much more than a form is capable of doing.

How have you used to email improve your conversion rates? Let us know about your best experiment in the comments — and hey, we might even feature it on our blog.

write the perfect email

Powered by WPeMatico

Jul

29

2017

The Future of Social Media Is Here: These Are the Trends You Need to Know

Published by in category Daily, Featured, Social Media Trends | Comments are closed

It’s time we talked about how you’re using social media. That’s right, this is an intervention.

We’re concerned about what you’re doing, and more importantly what you’re not doing. Your lack of adoption of new channels. Your total disrespect of mobile first users. Your reluctance to try video. Your fear of spending money on social ads. Your results. We’re concerned.

image2.gif

We bring up these concerns out of love for you and modern marketing. You see, social media marketing has changed, but most social media marketers haven’t. A modern social strategy is light-years away from the definition we used in 2012 and it’s time to adapt. Adapt to a mobile first, video obsessed audience. Adapt to new tactics that take advantage of new tools. Adapt how we measure success and what we’re trying to achieve.

This isn’t a matter of making tweaks, we need to start over.

We know this because it’s something our own marketing team has gone through here at HubSpot. Over the last few years we’ve had to constantly reinvent ourselves. We’ve learned the hard way so you don’t have have to.

Why do we need a new start?

Things have changed — and that all starts with Facebook.

Flash back to 2012 with me for a moment. It was an eventful year: we were all watching Gangnam Style on our iPad 3’s, mourning the loss of Whitney Houston, and eagerly awaiting the Facebook IPO. An IPO that we were excited but unsure about.

It wasn’t clear at all in 2012 that Facebook had a viable business model. Investors were concerned if they could actually monetize. After the first few months of their IPO their stock was down and the future looked grim.

image4-4.png

The fact that this was only 5 years ago Facebook seems ludicrous. Today Facebook is one of the fastest growing, most well known, most trusted, and most valuable companies in the world. Its only rivals may be Apple and Google.

Screen Shot 2017-07-27 at 11.52.13 AM.png

Facebook’s success as a business is directly related to their success in mobile. In 2012 Mobile represented only 10% of Facebook’s revenue, today it accounts for 82%. They were able to move with users from desktop to mobile and create a totally new stream of revenue that corresponded with a big shift in consumer behavior.

This success has allowed Facebook to expand, given them the means to buy Instagram and WhatsApp, and spend time developing new products like Messenger.

The average person globally now spends 50 minutes a day with Facebook.

…there are only 24 hours in a day, and the average person sleeps for 8.8 of them. That means more than one-sixteenth of the average user’s waking time is spent on Facebook.  – New York Times

These new products are big bets that they hope will have the same impact on their business as their shift to mobile did for them back in 2012. Below is Facebook’s ten year road map. An astonishingly ambitious plan to create multiple new products and revenue streams, most notably around messaging, video, virtual reality, and artificial intelligence.

image3-4.png

Facebook has never been more important than now. They are innovating incredibly fast and changing the meaning of social media. It’s critical to figure out how your audience lives in Facebook (Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp) because they are there, everyone on the planet is. Once you do figure out how you can use the tools Facebook offers to connect with them.

The Trends: New Channels, Video, Mobile, Ads, AI

There are five major trends that are defining this next wave of social media.

1) New Channels

image7-1.png

One of Facebook’s most recent hits is Facebook Messenger. It’s one of a handful of new channels, along with Instagram, WhatsApp and Snapchat that’s dominating time spent on social.

In 2012 Social Media was the big three: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. That’s it. Your goal was to engage and grow communities on these channels via desktop. The idea was to gain enough likes and followers so that you had a reliable distribution channel for your content.

Today, your audience may still be there, but there are many other places as well. Social media usage hasn’t slowed down one bit since 2012, it’s grown and diversified. You must know your audience and you must focus your efforts on the networks that are most relevant for them.

To make this happen, the role of the social media manager / marketer needs expand. They need to understand your target market, and whatever social channel they spend time in. That probably includes Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin, but it’s now expanded to new networks like SnapChat, Reddit, YouTube, WhatsApp, and more.

They should know how those networks work and be able to create the content that does best in those channels. This means that social media marketers need to be experts in ads, creating video, stories, messaging bots, and more.

Furthermore, their goal shouldn’t be to try to turn these places into a distribution channel. Instagram for instance isn’t interested in having users leave their app. They’ve made it hard for marketers to drive people from their app to a landing page without an ad.

A modern social media marketing strategy doesn’t try to drive people out of these sites, they turn these sites into a conversion funnel in and of themselves. They create amazing content that brings attention and use ads and technology to convert those users in network. No landing pages, no emails. This is true for all networks now, not just Instagram. More on this later.

2) Video

image8-1.png

Instagram was one of the first totally visually focused social networks, at first it was almost all pictures. Its massive success served as a spark for the rest of the industry. Quickly other social networks started leaning away from text into images, and that trend continued to evolve towards video.

We all now have super computers in our pockets with strong wifi and cellular networks. This makes hosting, sharing, and serving video a fast, enjoyable experience. The result is that video has become the currency of social media. People want video. You may have noticed how much more video you’re seeing in your Facebook and LinkedIn feeds — expect more.

This may have impacted you, but for even younger audiences social has totally replaced TV. They still want to consume video and now these cord-cutters turn directly to YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook to get it.

All of this has already happened. It’s not new. This means if you haven’t figured out how your company or brand can produce relevant video you must act now or risk becoming irrelevant. Producing video should be something you add to your personal repertoire, but isn’t easy, and unlike blogging a bad product can hurt your brand and image. If you can’t do it yourself, get help. Lean on good freelancers or hire folks with experience to guide the way and help you build your video strategy and production arm.

Video should be part of all your marketing campaigns. It can be live, pre-produced, casual, or polished. You’ll figure out what works for your audience, but you have to get started now if you haven’t already. An easy way to figure out what to create is to always ask, “What’s the video element?” about every single marketing campaign your team creates. Once you get started start reviewing the data. Focus on metrics like watch time over views, and let that be your guide to decide what’s working.

3) Mobile

You, me, and everyone else in the world have relatively cheap, extremely powerful, mobile phones in our pockets. Wifi is now everywhere, and 4G networks can be found in all corners of the globe. This has made accessing the internet and consuming content on mobile much easier. And it turns out that as long as the experience is good, people prefer using their mobile device for everything.

A result of this is that social media is now almost all mobile. 80% of social usage now comes from mobile devices. Social media is growing like crazy and almost all of it is coming from mobile first or mobile only users. That’s right: some users in some regions only access the internet from their mobile device. How are you going to reach those users?

image6-2.png

Obviously it’s important to know your own audiences trends, but the short story is your marketing should now also be mobile first. Assume that the majority of people you engage with or want to reach in social are coming from their mobile phone.

For most B2B marketers this is a hard pill to swallow. The school of thought is that mobile marketing doesn’t work for B2B. That mobile users on the go aren’t interested in a long white paper like someone accessing it from a desktop would be. And that forms with several fields turn off mobile users.

Those concerns are valid and true, but it doesn’t mean mobile marketing doesn’t work for B2B, it just means we need to change our tactics — and Facebook is eager to help.

Recently Facebook introduced Lead Ads, and they can become your mobile marketing strategy. There aren’t many shortcuts in marketing or life, but Facebook’s created a big one with Lead Ads.

The ad unit brings your content to users on the Facebook mobile app and Instagram. Its format allows you to feature your lead gen content, and a strong call to action. This is all great, but the magic comes after a user clicks on the ads CTA, they are served a form that is auto populated with their information by Facebook.

This dramatically increases conversion rates. We’ve seen this totally flip the script for some marketers. They are now actually getting a better cost-per0lead at a higher conversion rate from their mobile campaigns vs. desktop.

Another great option for converting mobile users is Facebook Messenger. HubSpot CMO Kipp Bodnar recently wrote, “Facebook Messenger will be the next great marketing channel, and it is arguably the best way to engage with the Facebook community as a marketer.”

Step one is encouraging users to start conversations via messenger. There are lots of reasons why a customer or prospect would want to chat with you via Messenger. Maybe it’s to aid communications at an event you’re hosting, or perhaps to deal with a customer service question.

Whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to start doing it. Having access to people via messaging means have a direct, mobile first channel to people. In a world where people are ignoring email and spending the majority of their time on their phone in a Facebook property, this will be important. Start building a plan for how you can start messenger conversations now.

4) Social Ads

Most people would agree that a modern social media marketing strategy has to incorporate video and mobile, but do you have to use ads? The answer now is yes.

You don’t have to always be running ads or use them for every campaign. But if you can’t effectively use paid media to amplify your inbound marketing strategy, you’re going to lose to the competition.

Earlier I mentioned we are now in a world where pushing people off of social to your site to convert no longer works. That means ads are your main path to conversion in social now. Before you grab your pitchfork and start chanting “pay to play is wrong” let me say this: a good social ad strategy will make you way more money than it will ever cost you, and will help you compete with much larger businesses.

You also don’t need to have a massive budget to be successful. Ads can be easily scaled up and down, so when you figure out the right conversion path and reach profitability, dial things up.

All of the major social networks are aggressively trying to monetize their audiences. Most of them have been for awhile. Those monetization efforts started with exciting marketing solutions for big consumer focused brands, and they work.

Now Facebook and the others are looking for new audiences to build for. If you’re reading this you’re probably a B2B marketer who doesn’t work at a Fortune 500 company. That’s a great place to be if you want to start using ads.

Facebook and LinkedIn both now have great lead generation solutions built for a mobile audience. This is a big opportunity — and one you don’t want to miss out on. It’s important to build a strong social media advertising muscle now. Ads don’t have to be part of every campaign, but you should always consider it.

When you do decide to use ads, use them in conjunction with inbound. An ad that is only an ad is boring and disruptive. But an ad powered by great content that is part of a well targeted inbound campaign is something your audience will welcome.  

5) Artificial Intelligence 

Machine learning and artificial intelligence are ideas that marketers are chomping at the bit to put to work. But the question that hasn’t been answered is how? Social Media and Social Ads are the answer.

No other marketing channel has grasped AI like social. It defines what content you see, what ads you’re served, and how you engage with your friends. In many ways AI defines social, and it’s important to keep this in mind when creating content. There is no more optimizing for time of day or keywords in social, everything is defined by a machine learning algorithm specific to individuals. When you’re thinking about content try to think like the machines.

Facebook and others have now made the same AI that powers what content is shown to whom, available to better target your ads. When you run Facebook ads for instance, you have a powerful tool set of AI at your fingertips, even if they don’t make that obvious. Leaning on Facebook to target and optimize your ads is a very good idea.

Upload lists of your most valuable customers or highest priority prospect to Facebook and then implement Lookalike Audiences. With this data Facebook will put its AI to work by combining with their global user data to serve your ads to only the most valuable people.

At HubSpot our own ads experts used to manually test and optimize combinations of creative and targeting to get the best results. But over the course of 2017 simply decided to stop. They couldn’t beat Facebook’s AI. We’ve decided at this point it’s just best to get out of your own way and let Facebook do its thing.

Look, things are different. Facebook has changed the world, mobile and video are here to stay, ads are they way forward, and it’s time to leverage AI. But for all the change that has happened, inbound is still the way forward.

The best marketing will always be remarkable and focused on attracting people with the quality of its substance. And for all the advanced technology we have, the best marketing will still always be about people and personal connections.

No technology can replace the feeling someone gets when they feel like you’re talking only to them. It’s important to root everything you do in those concepts. It’s time to grasp these new concepts, tools, and tactics. If you can combine them with the fundamentals of inbound marketing, there is no stopping you.

free trial of hubspot's social media software

Powered by WPeMatico

Nov

14

2016

Black Friday and Beyond!

Published by in category Featured | Leave a Comment

Portal to Genius audio book 
The mind-bending sequel to the Jackrabbit Factor – audio book on 6 cds. Regularly $69.95 – now only $42.95 Bonus: Includes the original Jackrabbit Factor 3 cd set story! Read Portal to Genius free here, but then…
Click HERE to get the Portal to Genius 9-CD set on sale through November 30
(Discount applied at checkout)

NEW (budget friendly) Jackrabbit Factor audio CD gift set
Did you know? The Jackrabbit Factor audio 3 cd set is no longer available without its sequel (Portal to Genius)… until now.
No fluff, no expensive packaging, just the basics:… Read more