Wednesday, September 10, 2014

You Might Think Everybody Does This. Uh… no. But Everybody Should.


Writers tend to do a lot of online research. As the editor of a marketing newsletter and a relentless blogger, I visit hundreds of websites, download dozens of whitepapers, pile up racks of statistics, and read a lot of blogs.

Sometimes a website will ask me to leave an email address and I will (though often reluctantly) IF I want the product badly enough. That’s what happened when I visited Vidyard.com to download their whitepaper “Video: the New ROI Star of Marketing.” What I never expected was the simple, non-pushy “nice-to- meet you” email that arrived 24 hours later:

Hi Nancy,

Thank you for stopping by the Vidyard website. I wanted to reach out to you to see if you were looking to learn more about video marketing or if you have any questions about Vidyard.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or if you think Vidyard might be a fit for your specific use case.

All the best,
Ally

From all the websites in all the urls in all the world, this is the first-time I’ve ever received an email like this. Phone calls from salespeople, yes. Thank you for downloading XYZ, yes. Glad you downloaded, now how about buying this, definitely.

But a simple, short, no-pitch email offering help if needed? Not once.

This classy follow-up tells me these folks are very good at what they do.


-- scrubbed by Marketing Brillo

Monday, August 11, 2014

A Spin Around the Web Shows How Nonprofits Are Using Tumblr

Photo by Debbie Courson Smith
Boise State University
Jason Keath on SocialFresh cited 60 brands using social media come-lately Tumblr, including IBM, Huggies, The Atlantic, and NPR. So, yes, Tumblr has commercial advocates. But what about do-gooders?

Nonprofits are also rolling with Tumblr: Doctors Without Borders,  Mercy Corps, Robin Hood NYC, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and The Trevor Project have all taken a ride on Tumblr. A quick visit to NP Tech for Good shows more nonprofits who are Tumbling.

But why?
ArtezInteractive (artez.com) cites five reasons your charity or nonprofit should be on Tumblr, including: simplicity, Tumblr’s mobile app that facilitates mobile optimization, content aggregation ad sharing, ease of getting started, and Tumblr’s penchant for reaching the young 25-34 audience.

If you follow the blog, “When You Work at A Nonprofit,” you’ve seen Tumblr at work and the picture is clear.

And how?
For terrific tips on getting started on Tumblr, check out Mashable’s “Beginner’s Guide to Tumblr.”


-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo



Friday, August 8, 2014

Don't You DARE Touch Me!


The Real You Is Sexy. No Retouching on These Girls.
On MSNBC's "The Cycle: yesterday, the show’s young hipster crowd was talking about the anti-photo-retouching movement that’s calling for magazines and advertisers to stop photoshopping models. In particular, the cyclists were talking about a National Journal  article titled “the Great Photoshop Crusade.”

In the article, ex-advertising executive Seth Matlins speaks out against the trend of many years to change the female body in print. “In my estimation, [Photoshopping to enhance breasts, slim stomachs, define cheekbones, erase skin perfections] is as big a public health crisis as anything we have faced as a country," he says. "And there are people who think I'm being hyperbolic, but I think the data makes it absolutely clear. ... This is an issue that has affected, and I'd argue, infected, generations of Americans—and promises to continue to affect generations more, unless we do something."
  
According to the National Journal article, in 2013 former ad executive Matlins, decided to advocate for a bill in Congress. He teamed up with various groups, including the Eating Disorders Coalition, to get a bill introduced by Democratic Rep. Lois Capps of California and Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida. He has been commuting between L.A. and D.C. to build support for the bill. In April, Matlins and others went to Capitol Hill to hold a briefing on the bill, and in June they returned to present Capps and Ros-Lehtinen with a Change.org petition signed by 28,000 peoplebacking the legislation. Since then, the petition has reached 35,000 signatures. The bill has also picked up Democrat Ted Deutch of Florida as a cosponsor.

It looks like the no-touch photo movement is spreading. This morning, I received an email from Aerie, retailer of bras, undies, clothing. At the bottom of the pitch, #aerie zeroes in on a young gal in a pair of undies and then makes this announcement: “The Real You Is Sexy. No Retouching on These Girls.”

Whatever the outcome of Matlin’s legislative efforts, this movement will have impact.

It would seem wise for marketers to touch base now with this no-retouch point of view.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

For Content Marketing, Headlines Power Tiny eNewsletters

Headlines rule Facebook's PAPER app.
Digg does it. Huffington Post does it. Even NAPL VP Bill Farquharson is going short. And you know what? I read at least one piece from each of these content providers during my morning "keep up" ritual. Why? I can't resist clever headlines.

DIGG
Consider this NPR headline featured by DIGG. "So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent." The story focused on "the wisdom of crowds" — ordinary people who, as a group, forecast better than the CIA or the experts. Killer interesting.

Huffington Post
HuffPo's "Morning Email" opens with two or three catchy headlines and brief copy blocks (mostly sans graphic), followed by more terse headlines within come-hither sections. The Scuttlebutt, Top Stories, Culture Catch-up, Sports Scouting Report, Other People's Business, International Intrigue—these sections are broken into paragraphs and one-sentence copy blocks with links. For me, short works. I'm scanning; I'm reading maybe only two pieces … but I'm reading.

Farquharson Has A Short Attention Span newsletter
Bill Farquharson started his "Short Attention Span Webinar" series in February 2009. These little gems run about 5 minutes on Bill's YouTube channel and  typically get 700 to 800 views. The first time I saw Bill refer to "short-attention -span," I knew he was on to something .. and he is. It's now 2014. Bill is still cranking out the webinars and promoting them in a short-attention-span eNewsletter that also features minimal copy, several headlines, and some links.

There's more. Even Facebook's app Paper is geared toward promoting tiny content with a “newspaper” feel. Text and link posts are designed to resemble paper, while clicking unfolds the link like a newspaper.

Perfectly petite!

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Panda Pounds PR Regurgitation, Pleas for Fresh Content


Alan Caulfield, CC By

Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land's News Editor has covered search news for over five years. Upon the release on May 20 of Panda 4.0, Google’s latest search engine algorithm, Schwartz noted that public relations web services got hammered. “PRWeb.com, PR Newswire, BusinessWire, and PRLog all seem to have lost significant rankings in Google. PRNewsWire.com seems to have shown a significant drop in SEO visibility, dropping 63% after Panda was released.”

Say What … Say Why.
Jacco Blankenspoor, a website developer from the Netherlands, concludes, “If there’s anything to learn from this Panda update, it’s that Google prefers longer, broader posts over the shorter, more targeted ones. Also, although there are some exceptions, they really don’t like pages consisting of tons of links. More importantly, they are actively enforcing these policies.”

SEER’s Sean Malseed commented on lower traffic at hoovers.com, businesswire.com, prweb.com, prlog.org, and sbwire.com, noting that “Google has been saying for more than a year that links in press releases shouldn’t carry any value.”
So what Does Panda Like?
Tender Nuggets. If you got hit by Panda or want to please Google in the future, Blankenspoor suggests you focus on quality. “Use a healthy combination of content and links, and make sure people stick for a few minutes so Google know your page is worth sending visitors to.”
Fresh Fodder. Writing on the Moz Blog, Cyrus Shepard noted five things to reach for going forward:

• a high ratio of original content
• pages devoid of empty content that merely links to the meat elsewhere
• sites that reject content “farming”
• sites with a low ad ratio
• pages free of affiliate links and auto generated content.
In short, Panda likes to chew on fresh content, new grown insights, and blooming branches of original thought. Ya gotta love it.
-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo

Monday, June 16, 2014

Duck! It's the New REALITY Wave in Digital Marketing!

In their podcast on June 15, social media guru Mark Schaefer and Mitch Joel, president of Twist Image, talked about the future of digital marketing. Here are 10 points delivered in the podcast.


1. To date, digital marketing has evolved in three waves:
    a) In the early 90s, we responded to the emergence of the World Wide Web.
    b) In the mid-90s, we were on the Web, figuring out how to broadcast our presence to others.
    c) In the mid-2000s, social media and mobile moved us from marketing to creation, usefulness, utility, and customer service.

2. As we reach the end of each wave cycle, large numbers of us figure out the technology, but competition gets harder and more expensive and the market becomes crowded.
Enter the new wave.

3. The coming wave is exemplified by such emerging developments as augmented reality and wearable technology (for example, Oculus and Google Glass) and will culminate in the creation of interactive, immersive, useful products and services.

4. In this wave, we'll be learning how to merge the digital and physical. As demonstrated in the failure of many Kickstarter projects, we're also learning that "physical production" takes big bucks and expertise that few have.

5. Nevertheless, ultimately we can imagine a world where virtual reality is the norm, where people spend increasing amounts of time in an immersive virtual world.

6. What does this merging of digital and physical mean to marketers? The amalgamation will embody "integrated marketing." And, though it won't die, advertising will become out of place in this environment that dislikes interruption and favors message merged with actual experience. Meanwhile, product development, too, will be forced to shift, change, and integrate.

7. Customer engagement will build and compound on apps like Zite (recently purchased by Flipboard). Technologies of this type will become irresistible as they learn about individual choices and the content we love.

8. The best managed companies -- for example, CocaCola, Nike, Proctor & Gamble -- are already knocking on the door of Oculus and Google Glass and will lead breakthroughs in this new wave. They are already looking at how to leap the gap between serendipity and targeted marketing in order to take users to a full substantive experience.

9. Ideally, marketing will move from its current position in the corporate vertical structure to a multi-disciplinary position in the evolving horizontal corporate structure. Hopefully -- though not necessarily assuredly -- marketing is poised to take on a key role in the new multi-disciplinary environment, moving beyond its current role as the advertising or communications layer to a new position that can influence the process of bringing products to fruition.

10. With each wave of change, agencies are seeing greater pressure to be both integrated and highly specialized. Trying to be everything to everybody is getting more difficult, while business is being lost to boutique agencies with new specialties and niches. Figuring out the dynamics of this fragmented service environment will be profound.

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo











Monday, June 2, 2014

Talk Nice and Other Tricks to Make Your Email Kissable

In April, SilverPop released a white paper useful to any marketer responsible for “talking to” customers, particularly when the channel of conversation is email.

The essential message of “5 Tips for “White Space” Emails,” is keep it useful and make it look good.

To that end, fill promotional emails with useful, educational, enteraining content—photos, humorous stories, info graphics, tips from other customers/donors. 
For example:

1. Seasonal tips and stories that tap into your customers’ time-sensitive needs: spring clean-up, holiday recipes, December charities, March madness, etc.

2. Personality and humor. Write chatty copy that reflects your customers’ attitudes and interests.

3. Other-user-generated content. Search out customers’/ donors’ own words. Find them in social media comments, letters to customer support, etc. 

4. Buying tips: Customers don’t just buy; they interact with products and services for a reason. Broaden everybody’s buying experience through education. Political donors go to the polls and have experiences to share; nonprofit supporters embrace values and belief systems with a community of people; folks who “like” products are interested in how other customers make choices.

5 Usage tips. Focus copy on innovative ways customers can use your product or get involved in your charitable activities. For copy ideas, talk to customer service reps who hear feedback in customers’ own words.


Source: SilverPop white paper,  5 Tips for “White Space” emails, April 2014, http://www.silverpop.com/marketing-resources/overview/

-- scrubbed by MarketingBrillo