Managers around me get confused about the trend content marketing. What exactly is, and where does it start? A promoted tweet? A long branded status update? An advertorial? Promoted or sponsored content? A commercial that does story-telling? I have decided to discuss this a bit when I came across a great commercial yesterday as Pepsi turns the tables these days again.
But let’s start with another commercial that AUDI launched at Super Bowl this year called “Prom”. Watch it first, so you know what we are talking about. Cool commercial. Nice story. Well thought. No doubt…
Many digital experts defined this in posts or in their presentations at marketing events as content marketing. Somehow, they might have been right as it is telling a story with a beginning, a turning point and an end. And it is not just a well-produced commercial highlighting a product. It is not focused not on pure selling or promoting it.
Former commercials from Volkswagen “Star Wars”, Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” or Blendtec’s ongoing series of product tests on Youtube already went towards the content marketing direction. In their line of mention, they were evolving from a traditional commercial into some form of viral advertising series. These clearly differed from the AUDI commercial as their story-telling was neither epic, nor f(r)iction.
Now, Pepsi comes up with some really clever advertising approach in my eyes. And the question I would like to raise is: Is this content marketing or story advertising?
Most of us have seen the movie “Blues Brothers”. In that film, Elwood must reunite the old band and go on another “Mission from God”. Based on that plot, the Pepsi MAX commercial series gets their food.
After introducing Uncle Drew in the first commercial, the second series starts with a conversation between Uncle Drew and basket ball legend Bill Russell (well played by Morgan Freeman) who sends him on a mission “Get out there and get your team together again!” He shall teach the young boys how to “get buckets” – the claim of the series.
The third commercial just recently came out and takes this form of story advertising to another level. Uncle Drew visits an underground jazz club in downtown Chicago to convince his old point guard “Lights” to re-live their glory days on the court. Although his wife disagrees, he gets his friend to go out again. What happens thereafter? Just watch it…
Obviously, players and spectators at the basketball courts in all three versions were told that they would be filmed for a “basketball documentary”. However, they enjoyed some special show of basketball magic by Kyrie Irving.
Story advertising could become a new form of content marketing. Pepsi MAX doesn’t even play a supporting actor in these films. It is a series around a brand, but the brand is not the star. It is there but just doing what it’s meant to do: Max taste – sugar-free. Pure enjoyment. By creating a series of commercials with main characters coming back, a real plot around a team reunion, and some really extraordinary testimonials doing what they can do best, consumers feel like being somewhere between the movies and the sports stadium. Illusions made real. They will be waiting for the next part to come out, and hope they become part of it. It’s branded content but not in a traditional way. It is like “24″ or “Mad Men”, just in the commercials. It creates excitement for the next version, engages the audience to talk about basket ball (the sports that Pepsi MAX spends their marketing bucks “buckets” on), and will become viral. This is a new dimension. This is what I would call: Story Advertising.
PS: Maybe they could have left it open until the last version when the team is together again, how Pepsi did this human transition. But that is my view, how about yours…?
There are some secrets in online marketing, and there are those that have become common knowledge which people might spread in infographics. However, it is still a challenge for most marketers to detect those inbound marketing insights that simply come from the structure and content of a website. If you as a marketer are looking to increase the data you generate through your landing pages, this infographic might offer some more food for thought.
Whether you know what it means to create a user-friendly website structure, a clever banner campaign to get more potential customer data, or not. Reach Local states in their advice that almost half of the users come to research your service or products via the mobile website. So, did you ever invest in a mobile-friendly website? Or have you ever thought about a video and the time people invest to watch it? Often you loose a sales pitch in 10 seconds but according to the infographic your clients might spend 60 seconds at least to watch a video about your product or service.
Check out which of the seven hints might help you drive more leads through to your sales team.
And, whether you believe it or not, there are three more hints in this text that might foster lead generation for The Strategy Web. If you have found them, share them with a comment below. If not, get in touch and we will help you.
They are on increasingly on Twitter (77%), Facebook (70%) and Youtube (69%): Fortune 500 companies. However, in terms of blogs (34%), Google+ (35%) or Pinterest (9%) they seem to be a bit behind or not seeing the value. And the report obviously forgot to look at LinkedIn. This is the findings of one of the latest research pieces of the Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth.
Although from our perspective, blogging is seen to be the essential starting point of a social media strategy, most companies are not there yet. Not all industries see corporate blogging similar. The use varies significantly by industry. It is striking that no company in the pharmaceutical and tobacco section blogs. In contract, 53% of Fortune 500 companies in the telecommunications industry do. Almost 80% of the blogs show regular activity, have got RSS feeds, appreciate comments and offer subscription.
Twitter is used in eight out of the top 10 companies (Apple, Chevron, Exxon, Ford Motors, General Electric, General Motors, Phillips 66, and Wal-Mart). All these companies offer frequently status updates on Twitter. Just Berkshire Hathaway and Valero Energy are missing out. Interestingly enough, Facebook has got most followers on Twitter. Google comes in second, then Starbucks, Whole Foods Market, Walt Disney, JetBlue Airways, and Southwest Airlines.
On Facebook only Exxon is not showing up with an account. The rest, nine of the top 10 companies (Wal-Mart, Chevron, Phillips 66, Berkshire Hathaway, Apple, General Motors, General Electric, Valero Energy, and Ford Motors), has got a Facebook page. Obviously, the special retail shows strong use of Facebook (96% with a Facebook fanpage) versus 44% in the utilities sector. That Facebook has most Facebook fans is not surprising. Coca-Cola is number two with 66 million fans, followed by Walt Disney, Starbucks, Wal-Mart, and Target. These companies all collected more than 20 million fans.
What we found interesting in the report is the mention that 59% of companies link to the social platforms from their corporate homepages, whereas for the other companies it required the research team some additional searching. Looking at further social networks and results shows the different strategies. From companies ranked in the top 10 just Berkshire Hathaway has got its own YouTube account. In terms of Google+, 35% use their Google+ accounts actively while 19% set up corporate accounts which are unactive. 50% of the top 10 companies got actove Pinterest boards (Apple, Exxon, Ford, General Motors and Wal-Mart). And although Instagram is now a part of Facebook, only Ford Motors opened an account here, as Wal-Mart is the only top 10 company making use of Foursquare.
We all experience on a daily business how mobile devices are changing our world. Mobiles become more and more our shopping companion, and with it mobile search becomes more and more popular to satisfy our needs. Google and Nielsen cooperated in a recent report to illustrate where and how people use mobile search, and what purchasing behaviour results from it.
Most mobile search activities happen in the afternoon and evening. However, the activities happen at home (68%) and not from “on-the-go” (17%). The driver for the activity is 81% the need for “speed and convenience”. Funnily enough people believe that doing a mobile search at home is easier than opening the computer (83%).
Concerning the types of mobile search, it varies still. People tend to do food and shopping “in-stores” versus finding travel information which is done from their office or while on-the-go. The interesting finding for marketers is that these searches drive users to do additional activities. 73% trigger additional actions after doing their mobile search.
The study makes clear that mobile searches are pushing fast online and offline activities. More than half of all mobile users do call a business, make a purchase and visit a store in the short time-period of only one hour. Furthermore, mobile searches becomes more and more impactful for businesses. Mobile searches trigger consumers for additional actions and conversions (73%). The respondents of the study also visited a retailer’s website (25%), shared information (18%) and visited a store (17%).
Although this study might have some Google touch, the reports offers some good insight into the offline and online world and how it gets driven by mobile search. We should not be surprised to get further new mobile products from Google for users (mobile value-add) as well as for marketers (mobile ad products).
Which products would you like to see from Google for mobile search that don’t exist yet?
McDonalds is one of those companies where people want to know exactly how their food was made. And sometimes they need to do something not to get into the spotlight of a shitstorm. Now, the Australian team of McDonalds, with the help of DDB Australia, knows how to do some prevention – with their app “TrackMyMacca”.
This app lets Australians have a look in the McDonalds kitchen (and before ingredients even gets there) of their meal. It dives straight into their supply-chain and augmented reality to transmit an interactive experience that makes McDonald’s delivery process transparent, “showing where your ingredients come from you are eating”.
In my eyes, this is an interesting experience, and makes eating your burger alone a bit more exciting… and engages the customers. Ever thought about how you could do that with your product and services? Check it out and let us know what you think.
There were days when I thought it is better to stay out of the discussions around the changed terms and conditions for Frequent Travellers and lounge access. A long time did my trips hit the airports with the lounges where Lufthansa still values the status of a Frequent Traveller (FTL) as a “superior customer”. “Acces granted for FTL passengers!”
Now, in just some weeks it happened to me twice that I got the answer: “Access denied for FTL passengers!” I think, it is time to write some words in order to give Lufthansa the chance to reply to all the clutter that goes live on the Web. So, Lufthansa – please listen up.
Amsterdam Schiphol and London Heathrow! In both airports Lufthansa cancelled their contracts with the lounge partners for FTL passengers. However, there are rumours going on that in 2014 when the new Terminal 2 opens, that situation might change. True? Wrong? We don’t know! Lufthansa, is not monitoring or listening it seems.
The lounge access topic might have some financial background. Still, I wonder if Lufthansa knows what kind of economical impact this might cause. Lufthansa, do you believe in the power of Social Media? Seeing your massive activities on social networks I assume you do. But, why do you not answer the conversation that is led by some link in position 1 on Google for the quest: “Lufthansa FTL London Heathrow”? Doesn’t that show how much Lufthansa values FTL passengers? Sorry, Lufthansa! In my eyes, you want to get rid of the FTL status. Correct…?
And let me give you another reason why I believe that. I am just illustrating briefly the situation of a business man traveling around Europe quite often, and in my eyes approx. 50 times is often.
If I am allowed to have access to the lounge, I don’t lose time. Time is money, is efficiency, is essential for doing my business. Access means: No need to find a quite and comfortable place, buy my drinks and food, or ask myself why I pay your Bought Media. Lufthansa, understand that FTL passengers think about the benefit of paying you the extra thousand year-on-year to get to that status?
Amsterdam, London, or anywhere else. The lounge is the main value for FTL passengers to continue flying more often with you than with other airlines. No access to the lounge means, I will fly i.e. British Airways, one of you biggest competitors for the UK region. And there are many obvious reasons for this i.e. in London Heathrow: Cheaper flights, newer terminal, nice gates, better shops with more popular brands, a Fish restaurant, and, and, and… Do I have to continue the list? No? Thank you, Lufthansa, for making my time efficient and my critic spot on. That’s what I want you to understand!
In the end, the “lounge-access-thing” is just a numbers game. I doubt that your stakeholders at Lufthansa is good in understanding how to scale the business. Sorry Lufthansa, but I doubt you are clear about the long-term effect this “multi-level-lounge-access-nonse” might cause. Why? Let me tell you what happens, if I don’t have access to the lounge. Quite frankly…
No revenue for Lufthansa
Revenue for BA:
(without tax, petrol & stuff – average deal, booked early in advance, etc.)
Personal or Company Win: 80,- EUR
Result: Me or the company can safe money or be drunk & data addicted (ok, I am…), if I spend that on a bar at the gates in Heathrow!
I don’t believe the lounge rent, my two drinks and one sandwich costs those 80 EUR, right? So, not granting access to lounges for FTL passengers on different airport makes me think whether…
a) Lufthansa is testing whether you kill the FTL status.
b) Lufthansa doesn’t appreciate the money of Frequent Travellers.
c) Lufthansa has not made their business homework.
Lufthansa, please tick!
Taken it from an Earned and Owned Media perspective, I would suggest you know how often people fly with you, how much you could do with that, how you could engage on networks, how this would catalyse your brand perception, what that would do with people usually flying some oither airline, how this scales in sales. If not, contact The Strategy Web and we will tell you how Social Media scales your business, Lufthansa, predominantly if it comes along in a positive way.
Did I make the benefit of lounge access clear to you, Lufthansa? Next time I am flying, I will make sure I get my travel assistant check the lounge access before booking the flight. I cannot believe you are not interested in our business (feeding you), our needs (scaling your business) and our money (enabling acceleration and growth)?!
Gimme some arguments why I shall still fly with you when I am busy…??? Come on, Lufthansa!
Some weeks ago, we have written about the importance to be fast on response time on Social Media platforms. We made clear, based on some research by Convince & Convert, that companies need to react in not more than 60 seconds on complaints, customer enquiries and questions that appear on company’s and brands’ social platforms.
Now, a recent study of some of the biggest brands in the U.S., like Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Visa or Starbucks shows that providing a top standard of customer support on Twitter is not really as fantastic as it seems. Although some readings of all those good posts about these brands and their Social Media efforts might assume the companies do whatever they can in Social Business terms.
In the study, four Software Advice employees used their personal Twitter accounts to address customer service tweets to 14 consumer brands in seven industries – McDonalds, Starbucks (Fast Food), Coca Cola, Pepsi (Soft Drinks), Visa, Mastercard (Credit Cards), Wells Fargo, Bank Of America (Banking), Walmart, Home Depot (Retail), Apple*, HP (Consumer Tech), Gillette and Colgate (Personal Care).
They sent each brand’s Twitter account one tweet per weekday for four consecutive weeks, from “Urgent, to Positive/Negative, or questions about FAQ or technical issue. Then, brands were evaluated on their average response time and rate. See the results in the following infographic…
On their way to the IPO planned for later this week, some new data released by the social marketing firm SocialBakers might boost the company valuation from Facebook to a new level. A new infographic takes a look at which global brands have the best Facebook presence.
With 901 million registered global Facebook users, the numbers show that only 17% of the Facebook members are based in the US. The impact and opportunity for companies is massive. The five biggest companies generate each more than 26 million fans with Coca-Cola being the winner, calling 42 million fans their territory on Facebook – more than 21%! The runner up are Starbucks that are best in the food retail sector and Converse.
The SocialBakers figures also show the winning countries where global brands are most engaging their audience. Although the U.S. might be ahead of other countries in population penetration with brands like Starbucks, McDonald’s or Xbox. Brazil is the number two with L’Oreal Paris and Trident (Kraft), India number three with Vodafone and Pepsi, and Germany at least number 10 with McDonalds as well.
It was interesting for me to see that the fastest moving global brands are Halls, Axe, and Nokia – brands that have left my scope of attention in the last three years. Now, it would be freaking cool if we knew which ones of the 488 million mobile users are the most active on brand engagement?
Which brands catch your attention most and where are you most active?
What is almost as important for business travelers as water and food? Smartphones and tablets. They are slowly placing themselves as top necessities. Being accessible at airports, at train stations, or on the tube is simply improving by mobile tools which make them the most connected power users of these tools. The question is whether mobile devices make them more effictient in their business efforts? I think they do…
Have you ever paid a blogger? Paid for your content love? I mean not for writing some good PR for your business. Just for them being bloggers, sharing valueble content, thoughts, ideas, and providing new food for thought. In some days you can do that. The “Pay a Blogger Day” is here to come. Some thoughts that came to my mind with it…
Some months ago, Flattr started their outreach program to bloggers. And some months ago, they were on their way to revolutionize the monetization of blogs. Those days, the Flattr button went live on my blog, and in every post. I rewarded blog posts, and got some rewards. Just the way Flattr works. They had the idea for the “Pay a Blogger Day”.
On Flattr Cents pass from bloggers to bloggers to… Well. Companies never paid anything. They have the biggest budget pockets though. And I asked myself if bloggers want companies to engage in the monetization process, or if reputation is of higher value for them. And why should companies pay a blogger for something they produce for free. Still trying to figure that out…
Some blog posts generated some Cents immediately through Flattr, never enough for some nice ice-cream in a week though. Somehow the activity to “donate” for a well-written piece of thought or idea felt like an act of charity. Some Cents felt like a pat on the shoulder. Sometimes, I discussed with bloggers if that is encouraging, or frustrating? Every blogger argued differently about this gesture. Many were not convinced. I have seen not many buttons on blogs since.
And often when I wanted to spend some Cents, those bloggers did not use Flattr. So, my reward for them often ended in a Retweet. Maybe Retweets are the killer of positive blog comments…
The main problem many bloggers saw in Flattr was that it will be challenging to get attention for this payment theory outside the bloggosphere. Sounded like: “Bloggers will pay themselves and thus reward their work within an inner circle of the blogging community.” One of the reasons why I finally decided to remove the button from my blog.
Now, Flattr starts -in cooperation with Bambuser, Twingly and Posterous- the “Pay a Blogger Day!” on November, 29th. They intend to start a movement with the mission “Give something back to bloggers!” A good idea…
How to reward a blogger’s work?
If I may inspire you -companies, marketers and managers- with reward opportunities for bloggers, then maybe you want to read this…
a) Companies that have used shared knowledge to improve their business could write a reference quote for the blogger why and how they benefit from reading a blog. It could be a comment, tweet or a blog post on their blog. Just be creative…!
b) Managers that have used shared knowledge for their career purposes could send a present when they think the blogger has deserved it (does not need to be on the “Pay a blogger day!”). A flower (digital or real), a freebie of your products or an invite to a paid for workshop about corporate blogging. And hey, chances are high, bloggers might write about it. Just be clever…!
c) Marketers that have used shared knowledge for their campaign ideas could start thinking about whether they shovel money into a print grave, rely on TV reach or hope for radio commercial payback. Maybe they want to start sponsor a blogger who is worth it as they act like brandvangelist, testimonial or brand advocate for a brand or company. And why are not many marketers trying to make use of bloggers in the offline world? Just be curious…!
d) Followers, fans, “plusers” and bloggers that have used shared knowledge could start discussing the monetization of their work in an authentic collaborative manner. Do you want banners ads, text links, affiliate programs, brand advocate prgrams, or…? What is authentic blog monetization? Or is it reputation only? In short: money, products or reputation currency like Floout.me?
Here is how Flattr wants to inspire you to reward a blogger…
Think about the thoughts and then start acting! I am sure, bloggers know how to say “Thank you” and all bloggers would love to see some of these rewarding opportunities. Right…?