Tag Archives: collective bias

Effective Facebook Marketing for Businesses

Despite losing its “cool” factor over the past few years, Facebook is still the king of social networks with 71% of online adults using it. That is more than triple the usage rate of social competitors like Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. With this in mind, Facebook should still be a key facet of every company’s marketing mix. Casey Petersen, Director of Audience Development here at Collective Bias, gave insights into effective content marketing on Facebook in a recent podcast with KBInsider.

According to Casey, the key first step in any Facebook marketing plan is seeing yourself as a content producer, not just a content poster. Producing content that is relevant, unique and interactive will get the most engagement from your audience. Make it sharable!
Paying attention to the analytics of each post is also crucial to cultivating a wider Facebook audience. Taking the time to look at what posts performed poorly or particularly well in the past will bolster your knowledge for future posts. To learn how to get more likes on your page, what content works or doesn’t work and more, listen to the full podcast on KBInsider.com.

Choosing the Best Mobile Device for You

Choosing the best mobile device for you can be complicated. Depending on the things you want to be able to achieve with your mobile device, can determine which device would work best for you. Consumer needs vary and with so many choices it’s good to know what you’re willing to compromise on. Here’s a list of things to consider when choosing the best mobile device for different people.

Mobile Devices for Parents

When researching mobile devices for families it’s important to consider what they expect from the device.

  • Will they be accessing social media apps? –Parents like to post statuses too!
  • Is being waterproof a plus? If you are a parent you know this all too well. Water & any electronics are in danger.
  • Does the megapixel capability of the camera important? Pictures anyone?
  • Mobile Device security. What is the availability of apps for security personal and online? Viruses anyone?

Mobile Devices for Teens

Teenagers are prime consumers for the latest and greatest mobile devices. Accessing social media, playing games and text messaging are huge proponents of mobile device teen use. Here’s a few other things to consider when shopping for your teen:

  • Data Usage –It might not be application related, but keeping a close eye on data usage is key when handing over a mobile device to your teen. Will the parent be able to monitor his/her activity?
  • Most of the mobile devices now are smart phones; but you can find some phones that are not. Handing a teen a smart phone will increase the charges unless you a family plan is used. Or you could have a very unhappy teen.
  • Parent accessibility.

Mobile Devices for New Users

If you can imagine, besides pre-teens and teens getting their first phone there are some adults who have held off on the phone trend as long as they can. There are new users of mobile devices at all ages. Here are a few of the things to consider for the older new user.

  • What will the phone’s main purpose be for? Some only use for emergencies or quick calls. They could benefit from a smaller data and minutes package for savings.
  • Simplicity- Unless you have stayed with the same brand, it will require you do some studying of the manual before you use your device for the first time.
  • How tech savvy is the user? An appropriate question for a new user.
  • What types of apps interest them? Andriod versus an Apple operating system could make all the difference. A good idea is to try out someone else’s phone. Get an idea of what you’ll have in your hands prior to.

When purchasing the mobile device that best fits your needs it’s best to pre-inform yourself before heading out to shop. One can become blinded by this new trick a phone can do only to purchase the wrong phone for you. Have a short list of phones you are considering and stick to your list. You wrote it out for a reason. Or make a trial visit. If you are a parent, you’ll want to consider what you feel most comfortable with your child having as well. You are not obligated to buy your first time out. A better informed consumer makes for an even better mobile device user.

Candy Olivares is the owner and Content Creator at Candypolooza.  She loves to write and share her family’s adventures as an active duty Army family. She has guest written on Armywife101.com & Spousebuzz.com, two influential Military Spouse websites. Candy is happily married to her hero of 13 years and follows him around the country with their two boys, a funny and smart first grader and a feisty and loving preschooler. Tweet her at @Candypo.

 

 

 

Connected Moms on the Global Stage

Despite having fully-packed agendas in their hometowns, today’s socially-connected moms are finding the time to voice their concerns about causes based in other countries, continents, even hemispheres. Social media brings the world to one’s fingertips, meaning moms are able to stay in the know about an array of issues that are both locally and globally-impacted.

Holly Pavlika explains just how influential globally-connected moms are when paired with major corporate charity efforts in her latest MediaPost article, “Have You Heard Of The Global Zip Code?” Campaigns such as Girl Up and brands like Johnson & Johnson’s Clean and Clear are achieving powerful resonance with moms and through moms by putting them at the center of engagement strategies that drive conversations around important causes such as healthcare, education and economic development. These unique but ever-increasing partnerships induce principal governments and corporations to listen up and take notice to the causes these moms hold to high regard.

Today’s global moms are highlighting the importance of corporate social responsibility and how it plays into not only current conversation but future support by customers. Learn more on MediaPost Engage: Moms blog.

I Want It All and I Want It Now!

I Want It All and I Want It Now! Aggregation Tool RebelMouse

Do you wish you could have the real-time big picture overview of your social media presence? Do you long to create one place where you can view everything you publish, plus track responses and see the chatter about your brand? Aggregation may be the solution.

RebelMouse, the First All-In-One Publishing, Advertising and Social Conversation Platform, makes it easy for brands to create an organized collection of their social-media posts, articles, videos and other online content. It is a ‘Social Front Page’ of sorts, which can be a useful low cost marketing tool.

RebelMouse, created by former Huffington Post CTO Paul Berry, reached 17 million unique visitors in November 2013. Fast Company recently named RebelMouse one of “The World’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Social Media.” They must be on to something with this revolutionary publishing platform.

With its Pinterest-like interface, RebelMouse allows brands to show-off their content in a familiar visual style. That is progress over scrolling through an endless feed. The easily embedded tool, which allows brands to create a Social Home Page, is a prime way to use content as advertising.

Early adopters of RebelMouse, like Burger King and Pepsi, realized the value of displaying thousands of tweets and images from their customers. You can and should find a place in your marketing plan for the powerful tool.

How RebelMouse Works

RebelMouse uses a freemium model—the basic plan is free. The Primetime level costs $500 per month, while the Enterprise level costs up to $5,000 per month.

It is simple and easy to set-up your site. After opening an account, you create a page and decide what you want to share. RebelMouse then captures your feeds from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, etc. You can use tags, keywords or hashtags to cull the information.

You may opt to allow RebelMouse to choose which content is displayed or you can customize your page to fit your needs. You can also add original text, photos and video directly to your RebelMouse page. There are many options for topic-specific tabs and visual themes. You can add multiple sub-pages to your RebelMouse site too for a broader share of voice.

Once established, you use your RebelMouse page(s) to create a stand-alone website or you can add it to your existing website or blog. Your page can embedded in a sidebar of a preexisting page or blog for a real-time feed. There are many uses for a variety of PR needs.

The best way to understand the power of this tool is to look at what brands are doing with it. Here are a few examples:

 

The Wall Street Journal’s Coverage of Fashion Week

T-Mobile #BreakUpLetter

Burger King’s SatisFries Campaign

#SamsungFrontRow

General Electric Social Media Page

RebelMouse for Personal Use

This platform is not just for mega brands. Bloggers will find RebelMouse useful in promoting their content. You can use your social media presence to create buzz and establish expertise in your niche. Some are even using it to find a job.

Any online content (articles, blog posts, guest posts, photos, videos, designs, etc.) can be placed on your RebelMouse page. It is a great way for a web designer or photographer to present their professional portfolio.

RebelMouse is still evolving as new features and functionality are added. It is unbelievably easy to use, yet incredibly powerful while living up to its slogan— “making content more” and its promise to “let your content roar.”

Read More about RebelMouse:
RebelMouse Blog  
RebelMouse for Individuals

 

Interview with Courtney Lawless on Mommy Blogging

Mommy blogging, and blogging in general,  has come along way over the past few years.   What started as a hobby of posting pictures and talking about daily challenges and adventures, has become a true means of income for women.  With advertisers, marketers and entrepreneurs investing money into mommy blogging, it has opened a new set of doors for mommy bloggers.

But long gone are the days when a blogger is known merely as a “blogger”.  They are real people sharing real experiences that are influencing consumers online, they are Influencers.  These influencers are opening the doors of their home to their followers through visual content and storytelling, producing trustworthy content.

Courtney Lawless, VP of Community, was interviewed by NPR and shared why bloggers and brands like to work with a shopper social media company, Collective Bias. Click here to listen to Courtney’s interview, it starts at the 17 minute mark.

Bill Sussman on Millennials: Part 2

The second part in a two-part series on “8th and Walton” expanded on the first edition’s insights into the importance of understanding millennials (the generation born between 1984 and 2002) when it comes to their shopping habits and workplace values. Collective Bias CEO, Bill Sussman, was joined by Fernando Salido from IRI Worldwide and Denise Natishan from Cameron Smith & Associates, to equip viewers with acumens about where and why millennials choose to shop and how to work effectively with them on the job.

Target is the only brick-and-mortar store currently performing well with the millennial demographic, according to the news segment. Millennials value low prices and quality design, which Target has effectively paired in their stores. Bill elaborated on his message that authenticity is also an absolute must when targeting millennials, especially when it comes to promises made by retailers such as Walmart with its “Every Day Low Prices” tagline. Bill warned retailers to “do not try to be something you’re not.” If companies do not deliver on their marketing promises, millennials will hold them accountable.

To find out how the boundaries of work and home life are being blurred by millennials, watch part two of the 8th and Walton segment here. Observations about how authenticity plays into social space interactions can be found in part one.

How to Cultivate Blog Ideas Part 1

Written by Jamie Smith

 How to Cultivate Blog Ideas Through Blog Marketing Part 1: Methods For Growing Blog Ideas

So you’ve been writing a personal blog for a while now or perhaps you’ve been ghostwriting a company blog. When you first started, you were filled with ideas but over time the zeal—and the ideas—have run dry.

Or perhaps you want to start a blog and are scared there just isn’t enough to talk about?

Writer’s block can be frustrating but a few simple tools and resources can help ease the pain and bring you some much-needed insight and inspiration.

Whether you’re writing a personal blog or business blog, easy-to-follow methods can help fill your editorial calendar for weeks, if not months.

Build a blog “library”: Libraries are supposed to hold volumes of valuable information, right? Build a resource of information about your company or niche blog topic. For company blogs, a “library” would have blog topics such as: how to hire for their specific services (what questions to ask or what criteria to follow); what makes a good service provider for their specific services; and perhaps a glossary of terms for the industry that a consumer would encounter but might not find familiar.

What about for personal blogs? A blog “library” would require a bit more creativity but topics such as what each main category is about and why it fits the blogger are important. Readers desire real stories and desire to understand why bloggers write what they do. Within the specific categories, a “how to” or “resource” blog could also be useful. For example, for a gluten-free foodie blogger it’s important to explain what gluten-free means and what kinds of food can or cannot be incorporated in a gluten-free lifestyle.

Create a series: Blogs really should be no more than 300 to 700 words. If you find that you’re writing and it goes over that, or if you have multiple points under the same topic, consider using a series. For example, with a company blog “library,” it’s easy to create a “how to hire” series if you have more than one key service. In a series, it’s always good to refer to the previous blog and then allude to the next blog’s upcoming topic. A summary blog can also be done at the very beginning or end of the series that gives a brief synopsis of each topic. Publishing the summary before the shorter blogs would let you introduce the series but publishing a synopsis afterwards would make it easier to link to all the previous blogs in the series.

Repurpose/update old blogs: This is mostly for already established blogs but finding a new way to express old topics not only creates more blog fodder, it might spark a new interest from readers. Another way to repurpose old blogs is to create a series, like is described above. Say you have a post about the top five uses for Borax (a common household chemical). That could be expanded into five different new blogs.

Check back on the CB blog for additional ways to break your writer’s block in “Part 2: Best Places to Find Ideas!”

Bill Sussman on Millennials: “Authenticity Works”

Born between the years 1984 and 2002, the 80 million-plus people that make up the Millennial generation are one of the most critical (and currently, most targeted) marketing demographic groups out there. The emergence of this generation and its impact on shopping, marketing, and more was the focus of a two-part series on “8th and Walton.” Along with Denise Natishan from Cameron Smith & Associates and Fernando Salido from IRI Worldwide, Collective Bias CEO, Bill Sussman, provided key insights on what Millennials desire and expect from their workplaces, the brands they follow on social media and the ways they shop.

Millennials will make up 75% of the workforce by 2025, according to the news segment. How does this play into the workplace? Bill shared that they are the most-connected of any generation, meaning this should not change during work hours. A strongly-connected and authentic company culture is essential to fitting the environment Millennials crave at their everyday jobs.

To find out how authenticity also plays into retail and social space interactions with Millennials, watch part one of the 8th and Walton segment here.

 

So You Want To Work With Lifestyle Bloggers?

It seems that many industries are starting to notice the strong influence female (mom or not) lifestyle bloggers have with their online communities. Their widely shared opinions can directly affect public opinion on brands, products, and services amongst their tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of readers and social followers.

Some companies are trying to take advantage of this outlet by looking for impressive stats and a few keywords. They initiate a huge outreach only to find bloggers aren’t interested in working with them or the bloggers they do work with create less than stellar buzz. With first-time experiences such as these, some shy away from blogger-based campaigns.

So how can companies tap into that powerful brand awareness that may later lead to solid sales and loyal customers?

Do your research

Unlike traditional media, numbers aren’t everything. Niche, reader interaction, quality of content, personal voice, and online social influence play a big part in successful campaigns.

Take the time to actually read several posts and find out if the tone and subject of the blog fit your brand. Ask yourself: Do they often post about product/services similar to yours? Do they include original photos and/or video? Do they have a dedicated audience that consistently returns to fully read the content? Will their coverage do your brand justice?

Quality over quantity (though that is important too) should be your aim. Choose the right bloggers for the job.  Shopper marketing agencies, such as Collective Bias, can assist you with this as they have access to detailed analytics and dedicated team leaders can dig deeper to hand-select the ideal blogs for your brand.

Build Professional Relationships

Bloggers are not free press, they are small business owners. Many spend 40+ hours creating engaging content and building their communities online. All this while raising families full-time. Would you go to your job everyday in exchange for coupons or in hopes that you’ll be the one to receive a salary that month? Would you toil for hours on end, hoping someone will repay you with a high-res image? Neither would they.

Set aside a reasonable budget. You’ll want to fairly compensate bloggers for creating original content to be used for promotional purposes. Quality posts can take 1-4 hours to craft, which includes testing, taking photos, editing them to be Pinterest-worthy, writing copy, entering SEO information, etc.  After that, content will be syndicated via social media and appropriate tags and hashtags will need to be added.

If you want results, treat bloggers with respect and in a professional manner. Brands such as Alamo, Disney, and DriveSTI do this and have seen amazing returns in online social engagement and subsequent sales. Also, posts generally remain online for the life of the blog. You are investing in something that has an extensive shelf life, as opposed to a print advertisement that is replaced in the next issue.

In addition to sponsored posts and banner advertisement, agencies like Collective Bias take it a step further. They aim to build long-term relationships through networking events and community-based conferences. These brand-blogger relations then grow into trusting partnerships.

Realistic Expectations

The success of a blog post should not only be measured by how many immediate sales are generated. That is not the purpose in working with lifestyle blogs. It’s all about brand awareness and being on a potential customer’s radar. When they are ready to purchase a particular product or service, you want them to think of your brand first.

Remember, you are hiring the blogger to not only talk about your brand but to share a story about the role it plays in their life and those of their family. They aren’t just posting a mindless commercial, but are personally recommending something they truly believe in to their close friends (aka readers).

Lifestyle Bloggers Hold the Power

Lifestyle bloggers have a major impact on the consumer market. Online influence will continue to affect public opinion of brands. Don’t jump into the blogosphere blindly, as you will either lose a huge chunk of your budget or have a PR-nightmare to fix. Knowing how to properly work with bloggers will ensure a mutually beneficial working relationship that will increase your bottom line later down the road.

TerriAnn van Gosliga is the main writer at Cookies & Clogs and Driving Mamas. Born & raised in the SF Bay Area but loves to travel. She’s been married to her best friend for almost 14 years, homeschools her 13-year-old daughter, and has an accident-prone lab mix dog.

 

What to Expect from Content Marketing

So you want to build a Blogger Outreach Program?  Before you get started, there are a few key pieces of information you should know about how these differ from other digital programs you’ve done in the past, be they social promotions or display advertising.  Content Marketing with Blogger Programs is a very different beast.  Here’s what you need to know before you dive in:

The content doesn’t live on your site.

That sounds like a given, but the type of data you can get for gauging success is really different because of this fact. In digital and social advertising, you are very accustomed to looking at visitors, click-thru, and the wealth of data you can get based on having an actual landing page for people to go. This simply isn’t the case when the content lives on a site owned by someone else. So what can you expect?

·      Unique Visitors and Pageviews – you may find that the exact way this is measured and reported varies from company to company and blogger to blogger.  Simple views of the blog post page don’t account for all the views of your content on the blogger homepage, so expect these basic traffic stats to take into account general site traffic over a specific period of time.  At Collective Bias, we have developed a method for measuring this information very precisely, accounting for every view of your content on both the homepage and the post page.

·      Engagements – Social shares and Comments on the post.  You’ll find that every blogger has cultivated their audience in different ways.  Some of them may have the bulk of their engaged conversation on Twitter, some focus on Facebook, while others have grown a robust conversation on their actual blogs (although this seems to be more and more rare, these days).

Conversions and Link Tracking

Display and Social Ads offer very specific calls to action, and a very precise sales funnel.  Blogger content is far more nebulous. You may have chosen bloggers because of their large Instagram following, or very active Pinterest community.  Guess what?  You’re not getting much out of that to feed data into your conversion funnel.

The path to purchase for content marketing is very fuzzy.  Someone’s initial influence to buy and their subsequent actions may not be connected in any trackable way.  For instance, I could see a link to an interesting blog post featuring awesome recipes for Nutella.  Even if there is a link to the Nutella homepage, or a big image asking me to register for a chance to win a lifetime supply of free Nutella, I’m unlikely to click either, particularly if my exposure to the content was via mobile. I may decide to look up the recipes later, and pick up the Nutella on my way home from work.

Tracking links, either from your own site analytics or a link tracker like Bit.ly, are a popular way to attribute site traffic, sales, or any other conversion back to a piece of social content.  Unfortunately, they suffer from the same problems I outlined for Nutella – If not one clicks the link, you’re out of luck.  Ads have a simple metric to review – How many impressions does it take to get a click?  The ad is always an interrupting force in a website, so we make them as flashy as possible to make people click them.

Final Thoughts

When you’re dealing with content marketing – the piece of content IS your end game.  People are there to engage with, read, and share the content.  If you can transition people to your site via a clickable link, you should.  However, it’s never going to be a display ad.  This doesn’t mean it’s less valuable than a display ad, it simply means we have to look at the value differently.  You don’t have people spending 2 minutes reading an ad and viewing pictures.  People don’t pin ads to their favorite Pinterest boards to remember them later.  They don’t share them with their friends because they’re so awesome. People do all these things with great content featuring your brand, though, and they’ll do it with a passion you could never buy.