Sep 12, 2014

There’s a Time and a Place for Pizza…and for Crisis Management

By Dina Ely

Pizza and Crisis ManagementOh, DiGiorno. What a week you’ve had.

In the wake of the Ray Rice video and ensuing controversy, the Twitterverse showed some true vulnerability and profound emotion with a trending topic #WhyIStayed. Domestic violence survivors used the hashtag to tweet incredibly honest and visceral stories about their experiences. The hashtag has been used more than 92,000 times, according to The Huffington Post.

And then there was DiGiorno.

DiGiorno’s reputation on Twitter has always been fairly good. They usually have their fingers on the pulse of Twitter trends and frequently play off hashtags and memes with great speed and clever wit. However, they made a massive mistake at the height of the #WhyIStayed trend. Not bothering to read any of the tweets actually associated with the hashtag, they simply tweeted, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.(more…)

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Pizza and Crisis Management
Sep 10, 2014

Study: Social Media Usage in the Midwest

Social Media Usage in the MidwestSome time ago I was happy to participate in the Social Scene Midwest study of social media usage in the Midwest. In exchange, they promised us participants a copy of their final report, which they recently delivered.

The results were quite revealing, particularly from a regional marketer’s perspective.

First, a little background about the survey:

  • 10 Midwest states were included
  • A total of 1,339 responses were collected
  • Conducted by two firms (Brand Driven Digital and Vernon Research Group) with an interest in both individual and business usage of social media throughout the Midwest

(more…)

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Social Media Usage in the Midwest
Sep 3, 2014

Interactive Content is Coming. Are You Ready?

The Presets - No FunFor years, the tried and true adage has been “content is king”. That hasn’t changed much – content still rules the ‘net, whether it’s user-generated like CNN iReport, click-baited goofiness on Viral Nova, time-wasting inanity on Buzzfeed, professional advice on Inc., breaking news on MSNBC.com, the eclectic mix on HuffPo, tales from the parenthood trenches on mommy blogs, fandom obsessions on Tumblr, video treasures on YouTube or Vimeo, infographics galore or storytelling through photos on Instagram or Pinterest. Content is everywhere and we consume it in incredible quantities. Thus, content marketing is included in any good integrated marketing communications plan.

But there’s a new kid on the content marketing block, interactive content. Specifically, interactive graphics, or interactives as they’re casually called. Karl Schutz of the visual.ly blog recently talked about what interactives are and why they are the wave of the future. Schutz explains:

Interactive graphics, or ‘interactives’ for short, are like the Transformers of visual content: They can take on a variety of forms. You can find an interactive that’s a microsite, dashboard, or a map, to name a few. But at the core, they’re all visualizations that allow viewers to explore the information presented for themselves.

By definition, interactives engage viewers in a very active way – and that engagement can be incredibly powerful to marketers. People viewing interactives spend more time on the page, seeing a brand associated with content that interests them, all at their own pace.

If infographics blew up because they caught people’s attention where a boring report wouldn’t, interactives are blowing up because they catch people’s attention – and hold it.

The difference comes down to being active versus passive. People consume information in infographics and motion graphics passively, by sitting and staring at whatever’s on their screen. Interactives, however, are more dynamic: The information you see can change depending on where you click and scroll.

Interactives make consuming content an active, not passive, experience.

You could say the first hint of interactives came with services like ThingLink, which allows you to add interactive elements to your images and videos (sort of like captions on-demand when users hover over certain portions of your image or video). But they’ve come a long way in a very short time. A great example of interactives was recently launched by Australian band The Presets in partnership with Google Play. It now dominates The Presets’ website in an immersive, interactive experience that involves a cube with a different music video on each face. Users can switch between sides, while listening to the same (new) song on each, but with a unique visual. The song is made easily available for purchase on Google Play. The interactive sets the ear worm in place, keeps users on the site longer (thus listening to more and more of the song) and makes them more likely to fall in love with and purchase it for later listening. But at the same time, it’s providing entertaining content for fan consumption free of charge. Remember – content is king. Clever.

The potential for interactives is a “sky’s the limit” situation. Learn more at the visual.ly blog.

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The Presets - No Fun
Sep 3, 2014

This is Why We Love Bloggers, and You Should Too

Blogs in PRWhether you’re a public relations specialist whose primary contact with blogs comes from relationships with bloggers themselves – not unlike media relationships – or whether you’re a diehard blog reader returning to your favorites every day for your dose of posts, blogs are a phenomenon that’s meteorically risen in significance and really can’t be ignored in PR.

Jessica Edmondson at The Moz Blog recently published a very insightful article about the power of bloggers today and why PR specialists and brands should include them in their outreach. For one thing, bloggers are influencers and their words carry tremendous weight with their readers. It’s the best of word-of-mouth marketing that also carries side benefits like purchasing influence, back links for SEO, brand awareness and more. Also, consumers flock to blogs to find out about new products and services and according to Technorati, 31% of online shoppers get their advice from or do research through blogs. 70% of online shoppers learn about products through blog posts and 61% of online shoppers say blog posts influence their purchasing decision. Convinced yet?

Even more interesting statistics from the article:

And while not everyone who blogs is considered an influencer by definition, bloggers with smaller communities are proving more influential than their celebrity counterparts, as Technorati also reports 54% of consumers believe that the smaller the community, the greater the influence.

All in all: bloggers, even the smaller community ones, are influential.

When looking more specifically at demographics, Nielsen reports that most bloggers are women, and 1 in 3 are moms. Overall, 52% of bloggers are parents. This is why you’ve probably heard the term “mommy blogger”. But more importantly, this large demographic is perfect to tap into with family-friendly B2C clients.

Learn more about the importance of including bloggers in your PR plan and what the different types of blogger relationships look like over at The Moz Blog.

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Blogs in PR
Aug 29, 2014

The Social Video Starter Guide

By Ivan Serrano

Back in the day, marketing was done Mad Men style – advertisements on large banners and in pages of magazines, advertising “Buy One Get One Free” and spamming potential customers with snail mail campaigns and emails.

Soon enough, social media was born. Customers and clients discovered how to block annoying, unwanted messages from coming in, and the amount of information available from the Internet induced a sort of sensory overload campaign of information. Companies had to change their style, and thanks to websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google +, they could. The social media revolution made it easy for companies to get information out in an educational, attention-grabbing way. Not that traditional marketing is dead altogether.

But now, the rise of platforms like Youtube, Vimeo and Google Hangouts are transforming the industry again. With so much information available, companies are scrambling to create ads that will hold attention… And video is the new way to do it.

Social Video

This post is presented by Ivan Serrano, a web journalist and infographic professional from California. Ivan’s niche is in social media, content marketing and technology.

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Social Video
Aug 28, 2014

How Google Has Ruled Online Communications

By Ivan Serrano

In 1985, just when the mobile phone was getting on its feet, the idea for Google was born. Two 22-year-old Stanford graduate students decided the Stanford campus needed an online database, as opposed to the physical database in libraries, to store, collect, share and search data. Soon enough, Google was born, until it became so popular on the campus that storage space ran out.

Less than a year later, Google became a public online encyclopedia that was spread nationwide. A year or so after that, it became global. Derived from the mathematical term “googol,” which is a symbol of near-infinity, the term caught on, and an angel investor wrote a check to the company for a mere $100,000. The rest is history.

Google, which now operates on every continent and has billions of worldwide users every minute, is more than just a company: it’s a concept. The idea has created a digital revolution, with Google dominating the Internet’s search engine by creating an immense sea of information, email, cell phones, marketing and even now, an automatic self-drive car. The question we’ve all been waiting for: what’s next, Google?

Google Communications

This post is presented by Ivan Serrano, a web journalist and infographic professional from California. Ivan’s niche is in social media, content marketing and technology.

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Google Communications
Aug 25, 2014

Featured in PRNewser’s List of PR Blogs to Bookmark Today

PRNewserImagine my delight when I discovered that PRNewser recently included the Wax blog in its list of The 25 (Other) PR Blogs You Should Bookmark Today! The PRNewser team wrote:

Some blogs are teeming with snark. Others are focused on just the facts. Wax has a personality of its own, probably because it is the brainchild of Wax CEO Bonnie Harris, who has a great reputation for light-handed detail and pragmatic understanding of PR.

I’ve made the list with some pretty illustrious company, so I highly suggest you visit the post & check out their recommendations. You’ll get your daily dose of PR, and then some.

With many thanks to PRNewser for the inclusion and compliments!

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Aug 18, 2014

The Power of Customer Reviews & How You Can Capitalize on Them

customer reviewsCultivating a steady stream of positive customer reviews is a surefire way to set your business apart from competitors. Many companies even gain an edge by incentivizing their customers to leave a positive review after service or orders have been completed. According to SearchEngineland.com, 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews, and most of those people believe positive reviews enough to make online purchase decisions based off that brief snippet of information. Here are some other things to keep in mind as you consider how to take advantage of positive customer reviews.

Benefits of positive reviews

Because customers have demonstrated trust in online reviews, they have a measurable impact on converting potential leads into sales. In fact, Unbounce.com reports that some surveys have shown that customer reviews boosted online conversions by as much 35 percent. “Nothing breeds trust quite the way an unfiltered customer review stream does, but that doesn’t mean you should just add a template review form to your site,” Unbounce.com’s Pratik Dholakiya advises. Companies still need to have more control than just opening an online forum for people to post whatever they’d like.

Angie’s List and Yelp still top the list for trusted Internet sites for customer reviews. These types of sites require some attention to drive customers to your business.

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Aug 15, 2014

A Book by Its Cover? No More! A Case for Traditional Marketing

Book CoverAs someone who has become adjusted to digital marketing, having grown up with the web, it feels out of place when I begin to look around my physical settings and engage with marketing efforts since so few of them seem to reach me on the same level as I’d expect online.

As someone who has applied digital marketing strategies for various projects, it was easy to become wrapped up in the methods frequently used by others. It was equally easy to dismiss traditional marketing methods (namely… print) compared to what was possible online (thanks to flexibility, features, and tracking) until I began to realize that much of what is done in the physical space actually applies to much of what happens online (in a complimentary way).

I think of it similar to how we say “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

We are quick to dismiss traditional marketing methods if we have been conditioned to the online method because of cost and efficiency.

What can traditional advertising teach us about online advertising? (more…)

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Book Cover
Aug 14, 2014

Defining Long Tail Keywords: Content Marketing’s New Best Friend

Long tail keywordsBy Tyler Weber, Marketing & Communications Director, Digital Solutions, Inc

How often do you find yourself conducting a web search?

To give you a little perspective, in 2013 over 100 billion searches were conducted on Google every month! And that number is expected to be even higher during 2014.

The Internet is a vast sea of information and search engines were created to help us navigate the waters to find the destination that will satisfy our initial goal.

Human beings are utilizing search engines to find information more than ever before, and the usage is only increasing. We use the Internet to do a variety of things, from shopping, to socializing, to keeping up on current events. We use the search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to find information. (more…)

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Long tail keywords
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