From the category archives:

Weekly Update

Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

Banishing Short-Term and Shiny: A Look at Vail Resorts

This is how everyone should be thinking about digital marketing.

Via @ClarkKokich

Your Company Has Social Media Nailed. Now What?

An excellent series of questions to ask after you’ve reach the first level.

Via @RichardLevick

Facebook to Brands: You’re Posting Stuff Wrong

The subjects brands post about is the key to engagement. That’s why text analysis is the key to knowing what works on Facebook.

Why CMO Tenure is so Short

This has long been a known problem for both clients and agencies, and it’s interesting reading what some of these industry leaders have to say about it.

Via @emarxe & @djgeoffe

Facebook Dominates Mobile Social Networking

Facebook’s big story to me has always been the amount of time and frequency with which people use the site. Now it looks like that same behavior is tracking over to mobile. And to think they bought Instagram to better succeed in mobile.

Via @JackMarshall

Ad Account Guy Gets Man Lessons

I like this because a lot of people want to publish content, but aren’t sure what to write about. This guy found a way to get over that hump.

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

The Rise of the Visual Social Network

Infographic on the increasing use of photos in social media. Several weeks ago I posted a report on the Zuum blog on research we found that indicates that photos and videos drive sharing much more than status updates and links. Although these visual forms of content are often more difficult (read: expensive) to produce for brands, they’re also seeing better response rates. And that can justify the added expense.

Via @adverblog

Mark Zuckerberg joins Viddy – it might really become ‘Instagram for video’ now

If you’re wondering what the next Instagram might be, that headline pretty much covers it. Unless you want to see Zuckerberg’s first video upload — of his dog. To manage your expectations, I’ll just say that David Fincher’s job isn’t in jeopardy with this.

Via @Aerocles

Hertz Creates Their Own Groupon Style Deals on Facebook

While this isn’t a new idea, that doesn’t mean it can’t work. I guess the real question is, What’s a Share worth? If it’s $20 like this offer would indicate, then a lot of speculators are going to have to recalculate what a Facebook fan is worth.

Via @jasonkeath

More PR Agencies Get Into Media-Buying Game

This is a big indicator of the content marketing trend. PR agencies as much as anyone understand the media value of a good story. Once you have a good story, paid media becomes a way to distribute it. Of course, the biggest question is still, What makes a good story. That’s where understanding what engages your audience comes in. And developing content accordingly.

Via @alexbruell

How Microsoft Leveraged Bloggers for a Successful Product Launch

Remember when a social media campaign was mainly about engaging bloggers? It can still work.

Via @Mike_Stelzner

Not-So-Slow Recovery: U.S. Agency Revenue Surges Nearly 8% in 2011

Remarkable, industry-leading 17% revenue increase last year for digital shops.

Via @bradage

No UGC, please – but will the Olympics’ social media strategy work?

The Olympic Committee’s dilemma captures the challenges media companies and corporations all over the world are facing regarding social media. And like most, they don’t have a clear cut policy, which is probably impossible outside of complete openness, anyway. Click through to see one of the better editorial images I’ve seen in a while.

Via @gigaom

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

Inside The AP’s Social Strategy

Great read for both a brief but interesting backdrop to the APs history, as well as how a 150 year old news organization is using Facebook and Twitter. They state that Twitter is their primary engagement vehicle, but Twitter is where they find the breaking stories, which I definitely agree with.

Via @joshsternberg & @bmorrissey

Market With Messages That Tap Into Man’s Primal Urges

Sometimes we get caught up in trying to rationalize strategies and key product benefits. I like this level-set on how it all tracks back to very core emotions.

Nike Auction – Bid Your Sweat

I really like this as a way of rewarding what in this case is literally Nike’s ‘most active’ customers. It would obviously have to be a very limited offer, but instead of just throwing out a 10% off sale, why not give the discount to loyal customer’s who’ve worked for it?

Via @adverblog

Content Strategy Ain’t Just For Large Companies

Good article with three key points for getting started in content marketing. Not only is it also for small businesses, when you consider the costs of paid media, it could be even more for small businesses than large.

Via @Robert_Rose

Top 5 News

A very simple content curation site. The top 5 stories from the top news publications.

Via @learmonth

How tech’s giants want to re-invent journalism

Since we have a bit of a news theme on this post, I’ll continue with a look at how news publishing really isn’t changing, despite the technical advances. In a content marketing world, how news is gathered and distributed will always be a key topic to be on top of.

Via @ckanal

Facebook Now Has 901 Million Users

On track to hit 1b by end of year. Remarkable.

Via @AdTech

Facebook generates $1.21 per user on average worldwide in Q1

With all the talk about what a Facebook Fan is worth, this is what they’re worth to Facebook.

Via @brittanydarwell

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

Confessions of an Agency Mobile Specialist

This is a good series from Digiday. Kind of the WikiLeaks for advertising.

Via @JackMarshall

INFOGRAPHIC: How Fortune 500s Use Social Media

23% of Fortune 500 companies have a public facing blog. 58% of Fortune 500 companies have a corporate Facebook page. I get the argument that brands should be driving traffic to their site, but you also have to consider where the masses are gathering. To follow the money, you have to follow the traffic. With these numbers, the top brands are basically saying the money’s on Facebook.

5 Ways Businesses Are Using Facebook Timelines

A quick, fun read with good visuals.

Via @KentHuffman

CP+B Taps Henry to Get Creative With Insights

The best bite is in the last paragraph. Quote: “From a right-brain standpoint, where analytics is really heading is storytelling. Analytics has too often been columns and rows of data, and where that needs to evolve to is creative narratives. There’s a very creative element in driving action out of insights. Left and right brain both need to be used to maximize the impact of what can be seen simply as raw data.”

Via @NoreenOLeary

Facebook becomes No. 1 most visited site in Brazil, according to Experian Hitwise

Brazil has always been an interesting social media study to me, because it’s the one place where Google, via Orkut, has experiences social media dominance over Facebook. Perhaps it’s confusion over Google+, and the Brazilian Orkut users got lost in the shuffle. But even if that was the case, it’s interesting that users there seem to be making the shift to Facebook and not Google+.

Via @brittanydarwell

Proof that Facebook fans are worth more to brands

The finding is that Facebook fans of a brand are significantly more likely to purchase, consider, or recommend the brand than those who aren’t page fans. The obvious caveat is that this survey seems to have been given to consumers in general, and thus the ones who are Facebook fans are also likely already customers. And naturally current customers would be more likely to purchase than non-customers.

Great copywriting in a Craig’s List ad

Artful, long form copywriting is not dead. It’s just moved to Craig’s list. And if you want ROI on this, it sold within two days. Bidding wars, I hear.

Via @_GregCollins

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

New Research: Americans Hate Social Media Promotions

Great point made here, drawing a distinction between companies ‘being social’ and ‘doing social’.

Via @jaybaer

What was it about Instagram that made it worth a $1B acquisition by Facebook?

This is really more about the mobile opportunity Facebook sees, and the value that data will bring to marketers.

Via Via @ckanal

7 Lessons From Content Marketing’s Greatest Hits

As the article says, lately it’s been almost impossible to not read something about the subject of content marketing. So let me add to those odds.

Via @juntajoe

The Digiday Dictionary: What It Really Means

Not sure what all the industry buzz-words ‘really’ mean? This gives you the meaning behind the meaning. (Funny stuff.)

Via @sweissman and @JackMarshall

Wisconsin Cheese Develops Global Following: Case Study

I really like the way they’re working to provide a comprehensive knowledge base on their subject. I’m not sure about spreading the brand across so many properties, as it’s really sub-branding, which always takes more marketing budget than getting a single brand across.

Experiment: “If Anyone Wants to Talk About Anything, Call Me” (or Text If You Prefer)

A human interest story around technology. I like how the writer delves into the fuzzier side of technology. Craig (the aforementioned writer) just joined HuffPo, and it looks like they’re giving him some nice territory to explore.

Via @ckanal

Sponsored Filters? How Facebook Could Monetize Instagram

Another view on what Facebook might do with Instagram.

Via @mcmains1965 and @kheussner

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

Etch A Sketch’s Stock Tripled Overnight After The Romney Gaffe

People are always asking what the ROI is in the area of social media, content marketing, and PR. In this case, we have a stock price tripling in one day. That’s a pretty good “Return”.

Etch-A-Sketch Puts Out Gaffe-Inspired Print Ads

Paired with the above link, this shows how the brand seized the opportunity to make a splash. Nice, simple creative.

Websites as Evening Gowns

Very quirky way to visualize different online properties. And a good example of the randomness you’ll find on deviantART.

Via @Aerocles

Conan O’Brien Takes Over Mashable for April Fools’ Day

One of the better April Fools gags.

The Twitter Hashtag is the New Neon Sign

A look at some innovative ways Twitter hashtags are being used.

Machinima! Adventures of a Digital Content Company

Fascinating look into the world of Machinima. This touches the ad industry in a number of areas, including content marketing, consumer-generated content and the growth of niche communities as target markets.

Via @digitalshields

An Ingenious, Radical Branding Campaign, Lost In Current TV’s Woes

I have long wondered why brands don’t use subtle animation in online logos. This is a great example of how that can work.

Quaker Oats Man Gets a Makeover to Look Healthier

Odd that the icon for one of the most health-related food products, oatmeal, wasn’t healthy-looking enough. Was a double-chin a sign of health at one point?

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

The $175 Speaker That Lets You Direct Sound Like a Laser Beam

This is one of the best “Blast from the Future” bits I’ve seen in a while. The potential in marketing for this is so over-the-top you have to think that within a few years, pretty much every agency in the country will have tried it, and there will soon be laws against it. But for now, start coming up with ideas. A related awards show category should be here soon.

The Pizza Emergency Button

Brilliant. Need a pizza? Just push this programmed fridge magnet and it’s on the way. Some great thinking out of Dubai that demonstrates that smart marketing knows no borders.

Via @adverblog

Rick Santorum Hit by ‘Klout Bomb’

Whatever you think of hackers of any variety, you have to respect their creativity.

PepsiCo’s Singh: Brand Marketing, Interaction Via Facebook

Good interview with the head of social media for Pepsi. While he’s showing good moderation, I think it’s pretty clear they’re very bullish on Facebook. Also note his clear emphasis on engagement. That’s their big objective, and should be almost everyone else’s, too.

Facebook Gives Comments Permanent Links

This may seem trivial, but it once again demonstrates how Facebook is pushing businesses into creating positive experiences for their Fans. The general tone of this, including speculation over threaded comments — a possible future feature that seems obvious to me — is that it’s all about engagement.

7 New Facebook Changes Impacting Businesses

Facebook has been introducing changes on a number of fronts. This is a good distillation of the biggest changes for page marketers.

Study: 74% Of Respondents More Likely To Buy From Companies With CEO Social Media Engagement

While you can see link between the findings and the sponsor’s business interests, the overwhelming nature of the results speak for themselves.

Via @Robert_Rose

Why Facebook Is Hiring Ad Agency Creatives

While the title sounds like an indication of where Facebook is headed, it takes a turn to be more about the direction people in marketing should be headed.

Via @Aerocles

10 Awesome Examples Of How To Use Facebook Timelines

If you’re in need of some inspiring Facebook creative thinking, this is a great link to check out.

Via @jasonkeath

Phone Lock-Screen App Offers Prime Opportunity for Branding [VIDEO]

If there’s a nook or cranny in our digital lives, ad units will find a way to seep in. That said, many of the biggest press-generating ideas are ones that take advantage of new media units. Like this one.

Via @joe_bunner

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

The Curse Of Meh

A good reminder of how few even good apps make it to the stage of being real businesses. The challenge for brands is to realize what value they gain in terms of customer relations, additional product sales, or other ROI factors that will justify an apps development.

Via @dberkowitz

Eventbrite unveils At The Door Card reader, turns iPads into ticketing terminals

Like Square for iPhones, this is solving a location-oriented ticketing problem for events. And like Square, perhaps the most appealing part of their offering is the data analysis.

Via @Aerocles

The Real Reason Google Bought Kevin Rose And Milk: It Needs Designers

Buying a tech platform for the designers. Nice.

Via @jasonkeath

Jeremy Lin Hired to Endorse Volvo

Putting endorsement deals together at Internet speed.

Via @bupbin

How ‘Hunger Games’ Built Up Must-See Fever

This is sure to be rolled out as one of the years big social media campaigns. And I’m sure it’s been well executed. But keep in mind you’re talking about a product with an existing fan base of 24 million books sold.

Via @Aerocles

Graphic Design by Muggie Ramadani

The designs are nice. If you don’t like them, you might like the name of the site featuring them, “Looks Like Good Design”. If you don’t like the site name, you might like their tagline, “Fucking High Quality Inspiration”.

Via @DesignerDepot

If web apps take off, Mozilla is prepared on mobiles

As much as I love Apple, I’ve posted about the threat to the iPhone market from Android. This is a good example of the power of having people far outside your company developing potential user interfaces for you.

Via @gigaom

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

Use of Homeless as Internet Hot Spots Backfires on Marketer

This is a good example of the value of community-generated content. The comments are as insightful as the article, and show much broader viewpoints.

Secret treat buried in the code at BarackObama.com

I haven’t seen many of these Easter egg’s lately, and I get that they’re a little obscure, but certainly add a nice touch of personality to a brand when you hear about them.

Via @lowbrowkate

How Doctors Without Borders is Mapping the World’s Epidemics

They’re using Google Earth, of course. An interesting quote from the head of Doctors Without Borders in Nigeria: “If you’ve got ways to visualize your epidemiology data spatially, it can help you figure out, ‘oh that seems to be along this river,’ or ‘that seems to be consistently in this size of town.’ Those kinds of observations are very hard to make from tables of data, but they’re actually quite easy to make from maps.”

Via @2morrowknight

How the Wall Street Journal used Pinterest for a fashion story

With so much buzz around Pinterest, I’ll be featuring examples of how brands and publishers are using it. For this story, the WSJ set up a Pinterest board to support a fashion story. What’s the benefit of doing this over setting up a photo gallery on Facebook? Right now, simply being on Pinterest is going to generate some buzz and interest. And Pinterest seems a little more flexible in providing supporting content around the photos. But clearly, what Pinterest will be trying to sort out is, How to we help brands promote stories like this.

Via @emilysteel

Zero Moment of Truth: A new ebook from Google

Pretty smart move by Google, and a great example of good content marketing. It’s a free ebook based on a term Google is hoping to embed in the minds of interactive marketiners (shorted to Z-MOT), and is available on all the major ebook platforms. Again, no cost.

Bing violates Facebook’s Timeline graphic guidelines

Facebook has stated that the header graphics on brand Timeline pages are to be photos, and not ads or promotional in nature. I guess Bing didn’t happen to read their guidelines.

Via @ckanal

Coca-Cola’s Latest Facebook Gambit: URL Riddles

I really like to see brands exploring new ways to drive interaction, engagement, and sharing. I did jump over and look at Coke’s engagement rate and sharing data on Zuum (www.ZuumSocial.com) and some of these riddle posts are definitely driving engagement and sharing.

Via @keewood

Ad Execs Bullish On Digital, Marketers More So On Social: Data Reveals ‘Disconnect’ With Agencies

Things are looking up for digital, and especially social.

Digital Production Company B-Reel Launches Product Development Division

While a number of agencies have stepped into the product development world, the projects outlined here are particularly innovative uses of technology, imo.

Via @FastCompany

Facebook vs. Twitter: Old-School Business Models Still Rule

Looking at the real numbers behind the hype, this article explains why Facebook is such an 800lb gorilla in the social media space.

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Links pointing to the future of marketing, from the co-founder of content strategy tool Zuum.

GO Launcher comes to Android tabs, frees you from fixed grid tyranny

I always felt a well-designed Unix skin could have solved a lot of the PC world’s problems. Perhaps the PC platform was ultimately too complex. But mobile could be different. This is an interesting move in a direction of customized UX designs for Android.

Via @Aerocles

Google launches digital media destination Google Play

Another sign of Google trying to play in the Apple-Facebook-Amazon sandbox. This move is an obvious necessity for GOOG.

Via @Gretchen23

The QWERTY Effect: How Typing May Shape the Meaning of Words

Fascinating. Not sure I’m ready to start naming brands or products based on the name’s location on the keyboard, but fascinating behavior research.

Via @Aerocles

TMI: SXSW May Be All About Finding People, But The Location-Based Apps This Year Are Overwhelming

Almost all of these seem focused on finding your friends, or people like you. And I get that need. But it seems like there’s a big need for  finding things around you that map to your interests, and location-based apps don’t seem to be addressing that.

Via @briansolis

11 Amazing Thank You Notes From Famous People

A nice post featuring the power of a few well-written words.

Via @2morrowknight

Smartphones spread out: Pew says 46 percent of US adults now own one

I’ve been posting on smartphone growth for a while, and it’s still a category showing remarkable growth.

‘Kony 2012′ Video Gets 10 Million Views, Celebrity Backers

We’ve certainly seen cause-related videos take off before, but this one seems to have an unusual number of high-profile celebrities behind it. And that would be a logical progression, using social media influentials to further the spread of your content.

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