3 easy ways to improve your video content marketing

A few weeks ago, I wrote about live streaming. That is but one tiny part of the major role video is playing in content marketing. According to Cisco, “video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.” Where I work, we’ve had great success with videos, especially on Facebook. The question we’re always asking ourselves is how we can take it to the next level.

Some things we’ve come up with include: Continue reading

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Characters make the story

What makes fiction so compelling and immersive? It’s the elements of a story: character, setting, conflict, plot and theme. How can we use this to tell a story with our marketing?

More than anything, we should make an effort to focus on characters. People are most often the backbone of any brand or company, so it makes sense to focus on those people. When focusing on these characters, every element of storytelling that you add will make your content captivating. Where did they start and where are they now (plot)? Did they overcome any hardships (conflict)? Where does their story take place (setting)? What does it mean and how does it relate to us (theme)? Continue reading

3 easy steps to social media success

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I don’t have one of these. Do you?

Most of us are not large resource-rich marketing departments or advertising firms with social media command centers. A quick search on how to succeed at social media will quickly throw you in the weeds for any individual social network. Let’s make this easy. There are three things you need to do to thrive in the social space. Continue reading

Four things you didn’t know about the Facebook “like”

  1. Facebook_like_thumb green

    Disclaimer: I took the Facebook “like” button and made it green. For illustrative purposes.

    The like button was originally going to be called the “awesome” button, but Mark Zuckerberg didn’t like it. As a matter of fact, it took two years to convince Zuckerberg that a like button was a good idea.

  2. The like button earns Facebook billions of dollars. Those likes help Facebook target ads for companies trying to reach specific audiences.
  3. Facebook’s like button launched Feb. 9, 2009, but it wasn’t the first network to do so. FriendFeed, which shut down earlier this year, had a like feature as early as October 2007.
  4. The like button was almost green. According to Facebook product designer Soleio Cuervo, the team explored a number of different design options for the like, including a green thumbs up, a heart, and a star.

Continue reading

No thanks, I’ll watch it later

The marketing world is latching on to the likes of Periscope and Meerkat as the “next big thing,” They are, but not in the way that you think.

This is what I saw when I opened up Periscope this morning.

This is what I saw when I opened up Periscope this morning.

If you don’t know, Periscope and Meerkat are apps where users can live stream video directly from their mobile device. Like any good social medium, it’s interactive. Viewers can ask questions and make comments while the video is live.

Wired’s David Pierce describes it as “consensual voyeurism.” That’s not far off the mark though, to be fair, that’s not far off the mark for most social media. In a world of time-shifting on-demand viewing, watching something live seems quaint and old-fashioned. Some things are suited to live viewing, like sports, awards shows, or the last episode of the Sopranos. For the most part, live programming isn’t the future.

Until you add interactivity. This interactivity is the selling point for Periscope and Meerkat. Unfortunately, it’s not enough to build a sustainable and sizable community. Instagram did it with photos, but photos are much different. You can breeze through scores of photos with the flick of a finger. Videos take time to watch. Continue reading

Emerging media: It’s new and it’s spectacular

The Awakening

Sometimes when I think of emerging media, I think of “The Awakening,” a sculpture by J. Seward Johnson, located right outside Washington, D.C.

At some point, all media is new and considered emerging. When we speak of emerging media in the year 2015, we’re most often referring to social media, and any other medium that is interactive and collaborative in nature.

Over the next nine weeks, I’m going to explore trends in emerging media, discuss the use of emerging media in integrated marketing communication, and figure out what works and what is on its way out. Hopefully we can even start some great conversations. Continue reading

Listening is the key to social media

I’ve read several articles online, similar to this one by Shel Holtz on Ragan’s PR Daily, talking about social media tactics when tragedies like the Boston Marathon bombing grip the nation. And almost every one I’ve read misses the point.

trending on twitter

Looking at trending topics is the bare minimum of listening

It’s pretty simple, really. Think of a Facebook newsfeed or a Twitter feed as a group of people standing around talking to one another. Most of the time, people are talking about a variety of things: sharing funny stories, talking about their kids, discussing current events or pop culture- you get the point. It is completely natural in these cases to walk up and share something interesting from your company or organization. This is how social media works most of the time.

Sometimes, everyone in that group is talking about the same thing. It could be the Superbowl, the finale of “American Idol,” an election, or anything else non-tragic you might think of. You would seem out of touch if you walked up and shared some random story about your organization. If you tie your content into what they’re talking about, you’re golden.

Finally, tragic events will occur that everyone in your target audience is talking about. If you’re a consumer of social media, you’ve seen it before. Every single Tweet or status update is about the same thing. Our group of people (the ones standing around and talking), are sharing details, asking questions, and looking to one another for emotional support. If you think this is a good time to share your content, you might be in the wrong business.

What are the takeaways? I think there are a few things to keep in mind to be successful in the social media space:

  • Be a social media consumer. You can’t join the conversation without knowing what the conversation is or listening to what others are saying.
  • Be aware of autoposts and scheduled posts. If you’re going to be a part of the conversation, you should actually “be there.”

A lot of people think you should be paying close attention to current events, but if you take just two or three minutes looking at Twitter or Facebook before you post, you’ll have all the information you’ll need.