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June 2015 - Posts

  • Empathizing with Your Target Audience’s Content Overkill

    Jun 10 2015
    aaron-dubois-content-consumption-phelps

    Are you bombarded every day with an avalanche of content — emails from brands, newsletters from trade publications, articles galore, links a-plenty, a video smorgasbord and a plethora of commercials? It’s enough to make anybody go bananas! But, I have to admit…I love it. I eat it up…daily.

    And, as marketers, we’d be crazy to ignore it. Stop being a professional and start being a consumer.

    At this very moment I have roughly 60 browser tabs open across four consumption-enabling devices — Apple devices, of course — with everything from technology trends and what was unveiled at Google IO to the summer’s best new TV shows (they all sound bad) and where to get not-on-the-menu burgers in Santa Monica (they all sound awesome).

    Am I showing off? Maybe. But, if you’re a marketer, it’s your professional duty to hurl yourself in front of the oncoming semi-truck of content that consumers are barraged with on a daily basis, to ensure that you know what they have to endure. On behalf of your brand, you need to know how much noisy, pointless content their target market is wading through. Only with that understanding will you know how to create brilliant brand storytelling that cuts through the mundane.

    Most importantly, selfishly gorge on content for your own benefit — after all, we’ve all been consumers at some point. Learn and evolve from the content flowing into your inboxes and digital channels. Own it. The world of content, messaging and storytelling on behalf of brands will only get more complex.

     

    Aaron Dubois - VP, Digital

  • Pinterest: Is it Social or is it Search?

    Jun 10 2015
    alexis-reza-pinterest-phelps

    “Social media” has become an all-encompassing term that marketers sometimes throw around to mean anything digital. But Pinterest has publicly rejected “social network” to describe itself, instead identifying as a “discovery site.”

    While the purpose of a social network is to connect and share with friends, Pinterest has shifted its experience to focus on what the individual user wants, which includes superior search tools and bookmarking.

    Of course Pinterest does have social elements — you can follow other users, re-pin images and send private messages — but as with any brand, you need to find your niche and stick with it.

    When Pinterest introduced Guided Search a year ago, the comparisons to Google were immediate — but Pinterest helps users by suggesting relevant descriptors for each search query to easily narrow down exactly the right niche content. With Google, you need to know descriptors beforehand, but Pinterest serves them up at the point of action.

    Pinterest says its other major individual function is still pinning, but instead of pinning to boards to get more engagement, the purpose is to save pins for yourself for later. Social sharing in a traditional sense is to show others and then forget about it; Pinterest creates visual, niche bookmark folders.

    Pinterest isn’t the first social network to evolve, but this is a great case study about putting the user first — finding a void in the market and pivoting if necessary.

     

    Alexis Reza - Social Media Specialist

     

  • Do You Need Mobile Video in Your Media Buy?

    Jun 10 2015
    jason-smuckler-mobile-video-phelps

    While consumers watching cat videos on the YouTube app is nothing new, more and more money is being funneled into acquiring mobile ad space to play video. Think of how much money you spent on mobile video last year and consider the trend.

    U.S. mobile video ad spend is forecasted to reach $6 billion by 2018, as increasing data speeds and scalable video production continue to flood the space (eMarketer). How is your brand taking advantage?

    Traditionally, mobile video content has been restricted to YouTube pre-roll, with a handful of streaming video apps thrown in for good measure. With the rise of programmatic advertising services that connect brands with apps that make sense, it’s now easier than ever to find your target audience at the right time with the right message and execution.

    Mobile video is especially thriving as screen size is getting bigger. This allows for a richer user experience that increases time spent on mobile, which in turn gives your brand a bigger opportunity to catch your target’s attention.

    Screen size works to your advantage in the case of video and interstitial ads that take up the entire screen. With nothing  competing with your ad, buying space here gives your brand total share of voice — and video has a better chance of increasing awareness and recall than a static ad.

    In fact, awareness isn’t the only area where mobile video excels — mobile video ads average a click-through rate of 1.09 percent, 18 times greater than 0.06 percent for display (Google’s Rich Media Gallery)!

    With proven results and seemingly no ceiling, mobile video will continue to innovate through content and influence action. Don’t let your brand be left behind.

     

    Jason Smuckler - Media Specialist

  • 5 Reasons You Need a Content Strategy

    Jun 10 2015
    andy-kaufman-content-strategy-phelps

    When it comes to using content to support business objectives, the goal is to deliver the right content to the right user at the right time — in order to achieve measurable results.

    A content strategy plans for the ongoing creation and maintenance of content that serves user needs while delivering on business objectives.

    1. Failure to Plan = Planning for Failure (and Over-budget Projects)
    Failure to adequately plan for content is one of the most common reasons projects go over budget and under deliver.

    Any experienced project manager will tell you that content needs to be considered from day one. If not, you’ll likely end up spending much more money (and time) than planned.

    2. Google Loves Content
    Any serious SEO campaign is centered on high-quality, relevant content. Forget keyword-stuffing and instead write useful content that directly addresses your customers’ needs.

    Organic search traffic is highly qualified because consumers are actively seeking information on your industry. Google’s keyword tools reveal what people are searching for, allowing you to create content that targets those needs.

    3. Content is a Business Asset
    Content is as much a business asset as the products, people and services you offer — and it transcends “selling” and marketing.

    Content can provide an improved experience throughout the customer life cycle – even reducing call center volume, complaints and pre-purchase drop-off.

    4. Content Drives Personalization
    Create personalized customer experiences to engage and motivate your target audience — make them feel like your product is designed specifically for them.

    Use rich metadata and structured content models to tag content to match target audience segments. Then serve it up at the perfect time to influence purchasing behavior.

    5. Mobile Content
    Customers expect the right content on every device they own, regardless of screen size.

    When using responsive design, you need a clear understanding of your content priorities to help users take action with limited space.

    To compete in an increasingly mobile marketplace, your content must be mobile, too.

     

    Andy Kaufman - Content Strategist