I’ll be honest, it’s not always easy to convince VPs and CMOs that digital content marketing is much more effective than mass reach ad spends. It can be daunting to reverse the course of traditional thinking. However, if you’re armed with real-world examples, you’ll probably be more successful.
One great way to build relationships is not by knocking on doors but, rather, by opening your own. Reach out to the people you want to build relationships with and involve them in the creation of content that speaks to them and to their audience.
Alas, today is the last day of my internship here at Tippingpoint Labs, and time to reflect on just what it is I have learned over my four months here. Here are a few lessons from working at this branded content agency. So what? This, to an extent, is the purpose of this post: So what? What did I learn?
Large companies cannot afford to communicate in a highly individualized way with every individual customer. They can however avoid making that customer feel like just a number out of millions of other numbers.
CHALLENGE: Position Tippingpoint Labs as a thought leader in the new media space. SOLUTION: Write a controversial post about competing sites with growing popularity. Going out on a limb is occasionally fruitful.
One thing I give a great deal of thought to in technology is the line between use and abuse. Surveys are no different. They have beneficial uses, but can just as easily, if not more easily, be abused. Here are five ways to make sure you make good use of surveys.
Every type of advertising has its own unique use and value — including online advertising. Maximizing the value of online placed advertising should be a key part of your advertising strategy. But you have to look beyond the clicks and concentrate on the overall impact that content can have on your audience. By crafting a whole experience incorporating banner ads, you will get far more return on your ad buy.
The fact that the audience of the internet is referred to as “users” shows how interactive the medium is. With this in mind, user-generated content and user interaction contribute greatly to the overall engagement and retention of visitors and potential customers.
While discussing online content for a client this week, we came to the topic of what belongs on a companies home page, and why their website doesn’t have to (or rather shouldn’t have to) be a destination.
My thought on the matter was that if I were looking for content about the company’s brand identity, I would go first to the company’s website to try to find that information. Brad Schwarzenbach, Tippingpoint Labs’ Senior Strategist, replied to this by saying, “I’m going to try to get to you before you have to start looking.”
Provide quality content and a clear path of progression to channels that generate high quality, highly active traffic, with the goal of shortening the path to the end goal. In a world of six degrees of separation, use connections to efficiently shorten the path to your website.
How do you create the right portfolio of support channels and platforms to create an transparent and honest approach to solving consumer challenges in a rapid and scalable way without ignoring social media channels? Here’s our take on delivering a content-based online support system…
The Influence Pyramid is designed to show how any brand should start dissecting and defining their online universe. Last night, I had a wonderful conversation with Dan Blank about the Influence Pyramid. Dan, and others, have pointed out that the pyramid doesn’t account for the two-way nature of today’s online universe and they are absolutely right.
The Influence Pyramid is a conceptual framework for building outreach strategies to communities online and off. It helps you define a methodology and an architecture to target your content and media efforts.
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of speaking at American Business Media’s Annual Conference yesterday and during a fast-paced, hour-long luncheon session I promised to deliver ten things I would start doing today if I was an executive at a publishing company. So, as promised, here’s what I’d start doing today.
Each year American Business Media brings together some of the most powerful b-to-b media industry leaders for their annual conference. Next week, in Charleston, South Carolina, luminaries from organizations like McGraw Hill, the U.S. House of Representatives, Omnicom and Ziff Davis (among others) will spend three days sharing, discussing and debating how business media is evolving.
In the age of transparency, marketing is not about crafting artificial or half-true brand stories for consumer audiences. Marketing is about uncovering, fostering, sharing, and engaging with employees and consumers around the true stories that make your brand unique. Let’s take a look at how a few of the departments in your organization are the real marketing departments.
The word ‘syndication’ in the media world is a loaded term. If you’re in traditional broadcasting you understand syndication to be the licensing of programming for broadcast in your market. If you’re in the newspaper business you might refer to syndication in a similar way – as in a syndicated columnist (where the full body of content is reprinted as part of a licensing deal exclusively to newspapers around the world.)
On the web, you’ve got to embrace the fact that syndicating content (using these traditional models) isn’t a great idea. That’s why even Wikipedia distinguishes between broadcast, print and web syndication. They are entirely different.
A more strategic approach to digital marketing is required this year – but often a firm’s ability to acknowledge this necessary change occurs only after months of failure, pain, and anguish. To the exhausted and bloodied, there is indeed a better way. And to the ones just getting into the ring, learn from those who have fought before you …
2010 will see the idea of tactical engagement and “I need to get on [INSERT SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE DU JOUR HERE] now!” change into higher-level and thoughtful questions like, “What can I provide to new media channels?” This kind of thought makes your web marketing more future proof. When Twitter falls from favor, but all of your social media “experts” turn out to be “Twitter experts,” those with strategies defined by clear goals will be ready and able to distribute and promote the right kind of content on any platform to any audience.
If clients are more inclined to “date their agencies” throughout the life of the relationship, at what point should the agency start hinting at a ring? Do project based arrangements have any benefit to clients or agencies.
Madison Avenue is infamous for generating expensive, overwrought creative presentations that hijack agency resources and time for days (if not weeks). Under this model, when responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP) generated by the potential client, agencies compete and the winner is rewarded with a long-term retainer that justifies the energy expended on the pitch.
We thought a lot about the future this year at Tippingpoint Labs. Here are some of our favorites.
The internet has an ever-growing reach into different areas of life. Your brand has correlating opportunities to market in these emerging spaces and gain customer trust. Even when it’s cold outside.
Don’t fall into the trap of just handing out some money or a product through a random drawing from a million apathetic participants who dropped their business card into a cardboard box. Zappos and Steve Madden have succeeded in creating a contest that attracts the right consumers and results in content that contest participants and non-participants alike can create, share, and have fun with.
If you’re launching a web-based promo campaign, success won’t be found in the traffic peaks, rather, the valleys. Holding the audience is where real value is generated.
Anyone can create a web traffic spike at launch. However, to extract maximum value, you need to prepare for the follow-through.
Back in March, I wrote a very provocative post about Twitter versus Tumblr. I predicted that Tumblr might very well surpass Twitter as the next big thing. Now, it hasn’t happened yet, but Tumblr is evolving nicely. We’ve seen the demographics shift from more than 40% of the audience under 24 to an even spread across the demographic spectrum.
How much of your methodology and business insight should you give away? As much as you can. Someone’s always willing to pay for a little bit more … just like the bikini.
We were recently asked how we would craft an online content strategy if we only had 40 hours a month to do it. It’s an interesting idea. The most important thing is identify, identify, identify.
I don’t know how many people have received Google Wave invites. In September, we were told 100,000 users would be invited to participate. I opened my Gmail account last weekend to find my invitation awaiting my attention and with great excitement I clicked through to start my Google Wave experience. I am ready to change the way I communicate online. There’s only one problem: with so few early adopters invited to participate I don’t have anyone to communicate with.
That being said, I’ve had my first valuable interaction on Google Wave and feel confident in telling you what I think about my initial experience.
Last week, I spent some time analyzing a new channel I happened on called TheHotList.com. In my analysis, I attempted to coin a new phrase to describe the channel – micro-apps. As I’ve watched new channels emerge, even just over the course of the last week, I’ve found more and more applications that fit the definition of a micro-app so I thought it might help to better define my new term:
A micro-app is an application the sources very specific content from at least one external source and manipulates the information to display it in a new or inventive way.
Here’s a great new example of a micro-app called Social Great.
Today on the Tipping Point we’re getting out our trans-temporal spyglass-microscope hybrid and take a look at the future as it stands right now. Inbound marketing will never be the same.
I’ve been using FourSquare for months now. I can’t recall where I heard about it, but I immediately signed up and started using it on my iPhone. If I was pitching FourSquare as a television show I’d pitch it like this:
FourSquare is Facebook meets Twitter meets Google Maps meets Yelp meets the Boy Scouts.
This morning I happened on TubeRadio.fm. To be blunt, TubeRadio is awesome! Basically,TubeRadio uses YouTube to deliver music videos in an iTunes-like interface on your web browser. TubeRadio is an evolution in the delivery of music to your desktop, built by the team at Last.fm. TubeRadio calls itself “YouTube for music.” But is it?
Okay, so I just made up a new term “micro-app.” That’s the only way I can describe TheHotlist.com — it’s a micro-app. Basically, TheHotlist uses Facebook Connect to deliver a rich interface for your Facebook events. The interface is intriguing, delivering you a map and a calendar and showing you who’s attending what, where. It’s interesting and it may highlight something we’re going to see more of: deeper web applications built as massive mash-ups using networks like LinkedIn or Facebook as their core.
As you launch your new online product or service I’m sure you’re excited to get some real-world feedback. Perhaps you’re launching a private beta, or maybe you’re going full bore and opening up the floodgates to the whole world. No matter what you do, don’t give those initial users too much credit.
Hyundai Think Tank is a gated customer outreach community that attempts to bring customers and potential customers together and give them an opportunity to participate with the brand on a deeper level. It seems to accomplish, in theory, the goal of being more participatory as a brand. If you look at the Google trends for the automotive vertical, you can clearly see that brand interaction is a plateau. Hyundai is right to try and engage customers more deeply.
Successful web content doesn’t promote your brand or product. It promotes the themes and subjects that surround them. It prompts discussion or adds to it.
Conferences, seminars, mixers, even fund-raising event management On September 10, 2009, all around the world, thousands of people gathered at restaurants and bars to support a local charity. All of these events were coordinated locally and attended internationally. Of course, … Continued
I am a frequent early adopter, and any invitation like this is really intriguing. Pinyadda looks promising (take a look when you have a second), but something I noticed early in my interaction on the new platform highlights one of the major concerns I have with early-phase new media channels: the integration of features that increase reach too fast, too early.
TGI Friday’s fell victim to a social media one-night stand with their Fan Woody campaign. Promising free hamburgers is no way to build a lasting, valuable relationship with consumers.
Building a relationship with a consumer or a partner can be difficult. Today, there are business models based on exactly this premise – deliver a quality product each and every month and meet or exceed your customer’s expectation. Content creation is no different.
The way you measure success of your web marketing efforts has changed. Traffic goals are poor metrics. You need to be measuring quality traffic and quality leads that actually lead to conversion. Don’t sell cars at a boat show.
Remember Citysearch? Well, Citysearch is dying. Four or five years ago, Citysearch was where I went when I needed to find something new to do in Boston — or in any city I was visiting, for that matter. It was a great resource. But it wasn’t consumer (or visitor) focused and it didn’t evolve fast enough.
A couple of weeks ago, Jim Cosco wrote a great post about how to make your podcast a success. We produce a podcast every week (well almost every week), and we’re really proud about the audience we’ve built. Within three months we hit the 20K downloads marker, and we’re chipping away at the next 20 thousand. But how do you know if your podcast is really successful? How do you measure its reach? What can you infer from the stats you’re collecting?
When a cable company in South Carolina pointed a camera at a fish tank, they thought they were just filling a gap. Instead, they struck niche content gold.
I’m sure whatever you’re bringing to market is awesome. I’m sure it’s different. I’m sure it’s nothing like anything else on the market. The problem is that it’s hard to describe whatever you’re selling to the rest of the world.
At this point, you’ve probably explained what you do and how you do it a million times and you’re confident that you understand the right vernacular and verbiage that leads to immediate comprehension and interest.
However, I suggest you take some time to use a valuable online tool to help you take advantage of big market opportunities by changing the way you talk about your products or services online.
Word-of-mouth Marketing can be much more powerful than TV ads. But making it work isn’t as simple as buying air time. The Tippingpoint Labs Online Brand Value chain demonstrates how brands can produce and distribute content online that reaches their audience better.
It’s the end of summer and the beginning of Football season. It’s a wonderful time of year. Bars fill up on Sunday afternoons and we start looking forward to Mondays.
Let’s get something out of the way right now: I’m not talking about Social Media “listening” or “sentiment monitoring.” That stuff is in its infancy. I’m talking about the real, hard stats already collected on almost any platform; and I’m talking about bringing them together in a way that allows a human (or eventually the machine) to draw correlations between channel activity and something like e-commerce sales.
He’s the linchpin of the entire campaign, yet he and his wisdom are conspicuously absent from the microsite. The real opportunity of a site like this is to expand upon the content being served up at the mainstream level (TV and radio).
It’s the end of summer/back to school Tipping Point. How time flies …
Our latest New Media Life Cycle Analysis takes a look at Get Satisfaction’s evolution. If you’re a marketer, venture capitalist or a content creator of any sort working on, with or for a brand you must get familiar with this new support paradigm. This New Media Life Cycle analysis will help prepare you or your client for what’s to come in the online support community.
We had a great week of content that generated some wonderful discussions. Here are a couple of the most insightful comments from last week. We appreciate all those who participate on our content marketing posts and hope you’ll continue the dialogue.
If you’re building a new media channel today, you really need to focus on nurturing the kind of content you expect will make the channel successful. That’s exactly what Zach’s done and it works.
Social media sites are growing. Content is being created, and consumed, at an incredible rate. Attention spans are short, and if the beast doesn’t like what’s on offer, it will move on. Only the best content will be remembered. How do you give it what it wants?
As you know, our goal here at Tippingpoint Labs is to create valuable content that builds relationships with you, our reader. Some of our posts generate great content in the form of comments from you, and each week we want to call out some of the best, most insightful, angry, humorous or smart comments. We know that great comments = great content.
As a content creator, a marketer, a strategist, a business man and a realist I know that measuring the impact of my marketing efforts, my content creation strategy and its reach is central to my success. That means that one of the most important assets in my marketing arsenal is the data (or the access to data) for any channel I (or my team) participates on.
Thousands of people are streaming live mobile video every day to Qik.com. However, the production quality and the content quality is so poor that much of the video found on the channel is of little value.
You know the importance of engaging in a channel before trying to promote yourself. But you may wonder how it is possible to engage in all the channels your work calls for — and still actually get some work done.
The online discussion space is a consumer’s paradise and favors their influence over the producer’s. The only way to extract value from the endless conversation that is the internet is to openly and honestly interact with it.
A free API and recent redesign have demonstrated a clearer focus on quality channel growth. Justin.tv has “leveled up” to the Adoption Phase of its Life Cycle. The Adoption phase is marked by a small upswing in a core group of early adopters coming to understand the value of the medium and providing relevant, frequent, high-quality content to a wider audience. It’s also usually when ‘internet celebrities’ for the platform or channel are discovered.
If you’ve approached building your LinkedIn and Twitter networks wisely, they’re great channels for narrowcast promotion. You have an audience with an expressed interest in you and your content. Feed it to them.
Livestream’s move into the Gestation Phase was driven largely by a core group of niche users empowered by Livestream’s intuitive editing tools to create cheaply produced yet valuable content. The overall quality of content in the channel is improving as they make video production and integration with other media channels easier.
Tr.im called it quits in the middle of the gestation phase for one single reason: failure to monetize. I would have paid $10 a month for their stats (far more valuable than Viral Heat) and they could have monetized overnight.
This week on The Tipping Point podcast we strike out in a new direction and experiment with a new format. Traveling to Las Vegas with Andrew Davis, on vacation with Eric Sagalyn, and into the past with Jim Cosco. Featured: Zappos Headquarters; an interview with Eric Sagalyn on Twitter, WordPress, user experience, daddy blogging and more; and John Quincy Adams on Twitter (Readings by David Cutler from Eat Media and Jason Tarre)
Your most targeted promotion will be directly through your personal network. Interpersonal content promotion is more likely to result in a conversation through comments or an e-mail exchange. You may even invite contacts to participate.
Ask these five questions as you consider working with any social media ‘expert’ — the answers will give you the necessary insight to judge any social media strategy.
In the future, search will look, feel, and function much differently. We put on our Future Goggles to take a look. Featured: Bernie Borges, author and SEO expert; Gabriel Weinberg, founder of Duck Duck Go; and Anand Rajaraman, founder of Kosmix.
For a comprehensive social media strategy, reporting back on the engagement can be as time consuming as creating the content. Viralheat attempts to create one interface for monitoring and quantifying your social media interactions.
Indium Corp.’s corporate blogging strategy is extremely effective because it provides highly targeted, valuable content to potential customers in their very niche industry. By understanding Indium’s customers, marketing communications director Rick Short has developed a comprehensive social media campaign that’s producing great content and even better results.
Today’s social media strategies are heavy on the social and light on the media. It’s mostly about getting on a site and getting followers. Or responding to every mention of your company. It’s only a fraction of the overall picture of what social media ought to be.
Micropayments could be the next big thing in web content monetization. While paying one small price for media has worked for iTunes, are people ready to part with a dollar to read a news article they can’t get anywhere else?
Contenture and TipJoy are two new sites experimenting with micropayment functionality.