Online Brand Management

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Behold, the Future of Content Marketing

Posted by Benjamin Porter

Behold, the Future of Content Marketing

The current formula for turning web content into a viral sensation may be tried and true, but the future for that kind of content marketing is limited, according to digital analyst, author and futurist Brian Solis at Altimeter Group. Solis recently spoke with Technorati about the future of content marketing, reserving his harshest criticism for clickbait articles and current engagement measurement practices, and reinvigorating our faith in quality content.
Solis expressed his exasperation with clickbait articles that promise to “blow your mind” without offering real value to visitors. Sure, these posts capture a good deal of attention, but as people learn how empty the promises are on the other side of the click, their popularity will die a quick death. This model simply is not sustainable, Solis notes. Tricking visitors into jumping through a hoop only tires them out, he explains. Rather than clicks, the goal should be interaction, engagement. Visitors should think about and share the content, he adds. But that all starts with good content rather than sensational headlines.
Another frustrating thing about content marketing practices today is the continued emphasis given to impressions rather than expressions, Solis says. Getting eyeballs on your brand is the low-hanging fruit of content marketing; meaningful engagement is key. But just what is meaningful engagement? In a word, it’s a relationship, he notes — meaning interactions between companies or brands and their target audience need to be both two-sided and genuine.
We here at Brandsplat couldn’t agree more. But that kind of relationship building takes a lot of time and energy. It requires companies to write and promote engaging blogs plus stay on top of their social media feeds — all while presenting a consistent message in one voice to their audiences. If you’re running a small- to medium-sized business, this is probably one of just 17 hats you rotate daily. And that means it’s not being done well — or at least that it’s not being done as well as it could. If you’re tired of losing customers to your competition, reach out to us. We’ll take a look at your digital presence and recommend what changes you could make to increase your engagement (hint: the first one will be to let the experts do it for you so you can focus on the rest of your work).

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You Are What You Read

Posted by Benjamin Porter

You are what you read. So we’re glad you’re reading our blog, packed with content tips and social media management tricks. After all, we’re experts. But what else should you be reading to ensure you get a balanced diet of noggin nutrients to maximize your digital engagement strategies?

Social media watcher Mark Hayes recommends Social Media Examiner, an information-dense, main dish type of resource. It’s the meatloaf of social media information consumption, if you will.

“This user-friendly site offers valuable tips for leveraging your opportunities on Facebook, Google+, Twitter et al,” he writes. “Whether you’re using Facebook for contests, Twitter for quickie ads or message forums to provide links to sites, you’ll find ways to enhance your marketing strategies. Social Media Examiner offers everything from advice on how to deal with website emergencies (such as security issues) to how to set realistic goals for your marketing campaign.”

Favorite side dishes around the office here at Brandsplat include Social Media Today for timely insight and analysis (like a spinach salad to add muscle to your social media plans), 12 Most for list-building inspiration (sweet potato fries, anyone?) and the smart, once-weekly Brain Pickings for discovering interesting new things (our version of spicy Indian-inspired green beans).

We also like Mashable for dessert. You don’t want too much of this sugary, image-dominated sweetness, but it’s a nice way to wrap up your reading. If you’re more of a cheese plate aficionado, try Forbes’ Social Media section. Less fluff, more substance.

Still, like any good diet, variety and moderation are the keys to good health. You wouldn’t want to consume information from just one of these sources and consider yourself well-informed. And don’t forget to exercise: Take some of the ideas you read out for a walk with you. Clear your mind and use them as a springboard for fun ideas you’d like to implement in your own diet (ahem, website). Then give us a call and put us to the test as to how we can help you realize those dreams.

But what say you, readers? Which blogs, news sites or other web-based sources do you rely on to ensure you’ve got a healthy amount of social media know-how? Sound off in the comments section below!

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5 Things for October 4: Kleenex's Signs, Twitter's IPO & Fandango's Screams

Posted by Benjamin Porter

If you only read five awe-inspiring, toe-tapping, marker-moving stories this week, make it our weekly list of five things you might have missed!

1.) Sweet Screams: Fandango wants fans to scream their heads off on social media. According to ClickZ, “From October 1 to 18, Scream-Off fans can submit videos of their best ‘blood-curdling, skin-crawling screams’ on Instagram or Twitter, with the hashtag #FandangoScreamContest and @Fandango.” Fandango will pick a Scream of the Day and feature it on the site before moving it to the next round of competition. The best screamer gets a stay at the legendary Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where The Shining was filmed.

2.) IPOh!: Late Thursday afternoon, Twitter filed its paperwork with U.S. securities regulators in hopes of being a social media IPO that really delivers. Twitter is hoping that the ever-exploding mobile market will give it a leg up on Facebook. Social media marketers can expect Twitter’s decision to go public to mean a larger emphasis on advertising and mobile-friendly campaigns. But Twitter (or TWTR, as it will be known on the stock ticker) has a long way to go until it can bring in the ad bucks like Google or Facebook, so it’ll be interesting to see how it all plays out.

3.) Drawn Together: Beer maker Steinlager wants its consumers to “be the artist, not the canvas” in a new spot which shows a mischievous young man who draws on his friends who have had too much to drink. The smart and funny commercial is accompanied by a “be the artist” app which gives users a chance to make and share their own ink masterpieces. 

4.) Adstagram: We knew it would come to this… Instagram announced this week that it would finally start delivering on the promise of introducing advertisements into U.S. feeds. Only a select group of brands that are already Instagram users will get to show ads first. The ads will slowly start appearing over the next few months. In contrast, complaints about the ads have already appeared on pretty much every other social network. 

5.) Bless You: Wrapping up our list is a little slice of online video creation that perfectly mixes “eww” with “aww.” The fine folks at Kleenex remind us not to get caught without a tissue by using people with signs telling their true sneeze confessions. It’s a simple, short and very memorable spot for a brand on the verge of a hipper, lighter digital makeover.