Tag Archives: social shopper media

To Catch A Blogger: How To Hire The Right Blogger For Your Campaign

Want a piece of the new media pie? Bloggers are a great place to start. They are professional, knowledgeable, influential and for hire.

How do you land a blogger that is both a great fit for the campaign and will deliver the goods?

There are three main phases for ethically snagging a great blogger: Investigation, Communication and Compensation.

Investigation

Investigation, or “Stalking” is time consuming but a necessary step of the blogger hiring process.

First, identify your niche. Bloggers exist in every niche, ever. Try to think of a niche that a blog is unlikely to be written on, and google “(unlikely thing) blog”.

Exhibit A: the taxidermy blog http://www.ravishingbeasts.com.

No matter the blog niche, use your stalking skills to find a cache of bloggers. Search twitter, twitter lists, industry conference hashtags, google.

When you find a blog that resonates with your target audience, stalk the people who are following it.

Like begets like.

Once you have identified a blogger who you think might be a good fit for your campaign, stalk them more.

Read a variety of their most recent blog posts, the content of their tweets, the amount of followers on each platform, the comments on their blog posts, Google their blog name, their name, check out the Instagram feed and  their Facebook page.

Make sure there is no controversy surrounding the name of the blog or blogger.

Check that their content is at a level that you think could represent your brand to their audience in a way that is in line with your goals.

Communication

Now you are ready to contact the blogger. Time for Communication!

Bloggers are self-employed. They are used to working by themselves and they cannot read your mind. Bloggers appreciate clear and concise communication regarding

·      What exactly it is you want them to do

·      How exactly will this benefit them

Do you want them to write a blog post? How many words? How many photos? What are the key messaging points to be included in the blog post? Should they write a tweet? What about a Facebook post? Use a certain hashtag or keywords or phrases?

Lay it ALL out in a logical manner. Don’t make them guess. Bloggers are far to busy to do your job for you. The most successful bloggers are in high demand and are selective about who they choose to work with.

Give them every reason to say YES to you!

Compensation

Gone are the Wild West days when bloggers worked for free, for link swap or for coupons.

As someone providing a service to you (amplifying your brand message on their carefully cultivated social channels), bloggers expect to be compensated.

When contacting the blogger to propose the partnership, make an offer. They are free to accept, reject or counter.

Do not contact a blogger and ask them to spam their audience.

This is an example of a real PR pitch that was ignored by bloggers everywhere. Names changed to protect the innocent:

Hi CanCan, Just wanted to share a few the latest family-friendly deals and happenings from A Cool Tourist Place Out West! I thought you may be interested in sharing them with your Mom’s Most Traveled readers. In addition to the deals, below is an image of the mountains At The Cool Tourist Place, so you can get a feel for how breathtaking the scenery is.
I’m happy to answer any questions or provide additional information, images and video, if interested!
Thanks!
PR Minion

This pitch offered no compensation and no communication. What do they want the blogger to do? Something like this:

Hello readers! Look, the mountains of the west!

NE WAYZ! Back to blogging! LYLAS!

By sticking to the formula of Investigation, Communication and Compensation, you can avoid pointless exercises like the above pitch and land incredible reach and impressive impressions with top-notch influencers!

Collective Bias and Tyson to Speak to Shopper and Brand Marketers Next Week

If you’re attending any one of the big industry events going on next week in Chicago, be sure to catch our session featuring Tyson. Jon LeMire, SVP of Business Development at CB, and Karen Doan, Sr. Manager Customer Marketing at Tyson Foods, will be revealing some impressive metrics on a recent cause marketing program that integrated social media to solve its shopper marketing problems at Sam’s Club.

Speakers
Jon LeMire, SVP of Business Development
Collective Bias

Karen Doan, Sr. Manager Customer Marketing
Tyson Foods

Path to Purchase – Shopper Marketing Summit, March 26th
The Power of Influence with Today’s Digital and Social Savvy Shopper

Recent research by Cisco has shown that for a majority of shoppers, online digital content has the most powerful influence on buying decisions. New technologies and social platforms are driving shoppers online, shifting how they consume, engage and interact with brands and retailers. Take a deeper dive into this new social shopper landscape with Tyson Foods and Collective Bias. See real-world examples of how integrating creative social and digital strategies and sharing branded content effectively boosts sales, increases brand loyalty and overall engagement.

BAA Annual Marketing Conference, March 27th
Shifting Media for Better Social Communication & Engagement

New media and social platforms are driving shoppers online, shifting how they consume, engage and interact with brands and retailers. Collective Bias, joined by a brand partner, will together showcase specific activation and engagement – and ultimately demonstrate increased sales.

High End Production For a Low End Cost

Written by Mike Abb

Every business large or small wants to get the best value they can when producing and purchasing media. Many times they talk themselves out of the media due to costs or perceived difficulties in the production process. There are many factors that can contribute to the lack of production, but the main culprits are access to equipment and technical expertise.  This blog is intended to debunk those as factors and turn them into excuses at best. 

I HAVE THE POWER

Major shifts in production capabilities have happened over the last 5 years. The main catalyst has been the smart phone. With these devices now holding powerful computing chips, high mega pixel cameras, Internet access and a range of editing apps they are the perfect production machines.  It doesn’t stop at smartphones, the cost of DSLR cameras have dramatically decreased and with the added ability for these cameras to shoot HD video they have literally changed the production game.

APPLE VS. PC

There is a stigma out there that if you don’t have a Mac you don’t have the ability to produce high quality content. Well that simply isn’t true.  Windows operating systems from XP, 7, to the latest version have just as many capabilities built in.  Both Mac and PC have built in video & photo editing software, audio editing software, and music production software.There is no reason you have to buy professional grade software if you are just beginning to produce.You have plenty of built in options to get you started before making any additional purchases. 

FREE 99 

There are so many options for free software and apps for your home computer to your mobile phone. Check out this list of my favorite free apps and software. If you have any additional free ware you like let us know in the comments!

  1. Audacity: Windows & OSX audio recording & editing software. This software is perfect for recording anything from bands to voice-overs. I really love the ability to sample out room noise from your recordings!
  2. GIMP: Windows & OSX photo editing software.
    This software is a Photoshop equivalent giving you every feature you can imagine for your entire photo editing needs.
  3. MPEG StreamClip: Windows & OSX video conversion software. This is a great tool to edit, compress, and conform your video for professional delivery to clients and the web.
  4. PhotoShop Express App: IOS & Android photo editing software. This is an ideal app to do most any change to your smartphone photo. I primarily use it to increase exposure and add contrast.
  5. PicStich App: IOS & Android photo editing software. A great tool to combine multiple pictures into a montage. I use for event coverage and foodie adventures.
  6. FLIPAGRAM App: IOS & Android photo slideshow software. An easy slideshow creator that allows you to make videos set to fun music. Great for quick event coverage and cooking tutorials.
  7. Studio App: IOS & Android photo editing software. An easy to use app that allows you to add creative text to your pictures. Perfect for the final touch on a great image.

 

 

Who Really Won the Super Bowl?

Today the Super Bowl seems to be known for one thing: the ads. Sure, you have sports fans tuning in to watch the game but more than likely the 111.5 million viewers that tuned in Sunday night were not all Broncos or Seahawks fans. The 2014 Super Bowl ads are what entice most viewers and the way companies are marketing during the event is changing. Of course you’ll have the staple advertisers; it wouldn’t be the Super Bowl without beer and car commercials. However, there is a trend toward social media and professional blogger opinions that is giving the antiquated commercial some added value.

Social Media Interception

I’m not going to say that the much-anticipated Super Bowl commercial has no value. That would be as outrageous as saying the Broncos had a chance in the last quarter of their imminent defeat. The commercial is giving brand visibility to the hundred million Americans that are watching the game. I will say however, there are more valuable spends for your brand. Most brands cannot afford to commit to the $5MM ad spend (not to mention the production costs.) The alternative could be taking your creativity to social media.

Marketers are after one thing – and it’s not the Lombardi Trophy. They want to break through the clutter and stand out during the Super Bowl. They don’t do it through X’s and O’s, but by drawing up marketing strategies centered around social media. If you can produce the most buzz on social media about your brand, you take home the trophy. So who won #SuperBowlXLVIII?

Standard Forward Pass

As one of the top advertisers for the Super Bowl, Budweiser has always been the quarterback, leading the competition in ads for the big game.

This year, Budweiser was already receiving praise prior to the big game for the commercial that they pre-released, titled #BestBuds. The commercial featured the infamous Clydesdale, the “Budweiser Man” and a story meant to bring the audience to tears. Essentially, it’s the same commercial as last year, they just added a puppy. Don’t get me wrong; I may have shed a few tears while watching it. It was definitely a safe play that only earned modest coverage.

Hail Mary

No one expected JCPenney to have a shot at the Super Bowl but it is clear that they had a plan in place. During the game, a series of posts came from the JCP Twitter account that appeared to be #DrunkTweets. This particular tweet got over 20,000 retweets, 10,000 favorites and grew 10,000 additional followers for the brand.

The brand later revealed that they were #TweetingWithMittens, a promotion for the “Team USA” mittens.

Of course, people all over the twitter-sphere replied. Some were confused while others were entertained. Brands hopped onto their strategy, offering up advise to the seemingly intoxicated tweeter. Coors advised JCP to “tweet responsibly.” Snickers jabbed that JCP isn’t itself when hungry and Kia Motors offered a designated driver. Overall the strategy proved to be successful for JCP and even caught the attention of a few big name advertisers.

Touchdown

The MVP of the marketing game was, hands down, Esurance. Their strategic buy for the immediate ad after the big game was a huge play. Not only did their timing save costs, it was in-line with their brand messaging: saving money. Jim Halpert – err John Krasinski – appeared on air to reveal that the $1.5MM savings would be awarded to one lucky viewer. Each time someone tweets #EsuranceSave30 they are entered for a chance to win.

The hashtag has been trending nationally and globally for over 24 hours. Since the cost of trending on Twitter is assumed at around $250K, the brand continues to save money.

Final Score    

All of these brands deserve some glory for their successful marketing tactics. Now that the playbook has been revealed to the public, we see they have one thing in common: social media. Without having a social media strategy incorporated in your marketing plan, you can’t expect your fans (aka brand advocates) to rally behind you.

 

What was your favorite Super Bowl commercial?

Apps Rule the World

There is an app for everything these days. They truly do rule the world now. Want to pay for your drink at Starbucks? Use your app. Want to find out who is singing the song you’re listening to on the radio? Use your app. Need to pay a bill that’s due? Use your app. I know I have some essential apps that I use daily. Most of these include checking the weather, my bank account, taking and sharing photos, calculating my exercise, plugging in my food points, checking Facebook and of course the all needed Flashlight App which I seriously use all the time. Some apps I’ve downloaded to try and just don’t love them, so they eventually get deleted from my phone. I always love trying new ones though and learning about them. I decided to set out and ask some people in our community, Social Fabric, “What is the App they Cannot Live Without!” Here are a few cool responses I received:

Red Laser – If there ever was an application that should be in the default OS, it is this one.  Red Laser uses your phone’s camera to scan all types of barcodes and then uses that data to look up corresponding information online. One of the first apps to provide this utility and still the best-of-breed among the many copycats, you’ll find their software being licensed by many other apps that have a need to implement barcode scanning (such as store shopping apps, Amazon lookups, etc.). But what really makes this my go-to barcode app is what it does after it scans your image. If it is a UPC barcode it goes out and tries to find pricing comparisons at all the major shopping websites. If you’re scanning a QR code, it will read the data and allow you to open it in your default web browser. Lastly, it remembers your scanning history – great for shopping in-store and then finding it cheaper online later!  Available for iOS, Android and Windows phones and already downloaded over 27 million times!

Cozi- I have searched high and low looking for something that can help my family coordinate shopping. “Honey, we’re out of milk” doesn’t actually put it on the shopping list, but Cozi app does. I love that I can create different lists for different stores – one for online shopping, one for a grocery store, etc. Here is my favorite part – linked to the same account the app syncs between phones, so at any point of time you have up to date shopping list.

Evernote is a truly powerful app for moms who like to stay organized and keep their information in one place. This handy little app is so versatile and you can access it anywhere, anytime. With apps for iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, and iPad, you’ll never have to be without your important shopping list or information on your current room re-design or renovation. When you update information in Evernote on your iPhone, it automatically syncs on all your devices via the web. Personally, I have used Evernote to keep up with each child’s Christmas list, and utilized the checkbox feature to easily mark each item off my list; it’s a great recipe book, organized into meal courses or main ingredient; and, keep all those sweet pictures your little one brings home from school in a digital format. I create a calendar in a new note each month to track my blogging tasks {no more carrying around an unhandy spiral notebook} and I can snap photos right in the app to add to any note! And, the best part? It’s free! Sure, you can pay for a premium account, but I have all the storage I need with the basic account. Connect other apps to Evernote for an even more powerful experience.

MSecure- It is a password management application and the one reason I haven’t lost my mind! I started using it around the time I began working in Social Media. It quickly became my one can’t-live-without application. Between a gazillion passwords that include capital letters, special characters, and inconsistent usernames, I was spending an embarrassing amount of time trying to recover my passwords. There is just no way to remember it all. MSecure became the external storage for my forgetful mind. I started using it as a database for all the important information in my life. I have all my credit card information, insurance policies, vehicle information, including VINs, device lock/unlock codes, membership information, and even passport data. All the information I always feared ever being lost is now safely recorded in my MSecure program. It works on desktops/laptops, tablets, and phones of Windows, Android and Apple. It has wireless sync capability, quick and easy backup, and an auto-destruct in case one my my devices is ever lost. I can set the amount of times the password can be put in incorrectly, before the program auto-destructs. I still have the info available on my other devices. It also allows user defined categories, types, and even the specific fields that are included in each type of file. The truth is, I’d give up my shoes, all of them, before I ever give up my MSecure application. I just love it!

I love hearing about new apps that can make life easier, keep you organized, and are just plain cool to use. You can guarantee I’ll take these bloggers suggestions to heart and check out these apps. What are the apps that you cannot live without? I would love to learn about some apps that you use in your daily life to make things just a little bit easier.

 

Curiously Creative Compelling Content: Part 1

Copycats abound in the blogosphere. Creativity trumps them every time. Dig deep and dust off your creativity–the dynamic component of effective blog writing. Follow the lead of professional bloggers.

Of course, the writer must think of his/her audience and offer something of value for the reader on a continual basis. However, they also need to use their unique style of self-expression to set themselves apart. That is a tall order in this copycat world.

In this series of posts, I offer some remarkably easy approaches to step out of the ordinary and produce Curiously Creative Compelling Content . Your readers will love the fresh and fun way to interact with you and others and, hopefully, return for more.

  1. Giveaways and Contests. These are often in connection with a brand or brand campaign. I challenge you to think outside the normal box and find a way to engage your readers in an unusual competition…perhaps one for one of your products. Ask readers to create a 30 second video commercial for the brand or your e-book. Task them to write 50 words about why they read your blog. Have a contest to find your biggest fan. Make the prize one of note that people will talk about and share. They work because they increase traffic and brand awareness, and promote social engagement while creating links to your blog and the brand’s site.
  2. Podcast or Audio Post. You have something valuable to say or you would not be blogging. Once a month, read your blog post to your readers, or interview someone your readers would love to know about. You can post a player on your blog for them to listen. The easiest way I have found to do this is Blog Talk Radio. It’s free if your audio will be less than 30 minutes. It works because it strengthens your level of expertise and the relationship with your readers. It also adds another layer of connection between you and your readers. Your audience can download and listen in the car, at the gym or while jogging.
  3. Resources (Free or Paid). You probably have existing content that is useful or beneficial to your readers, which could be considered a resource. Create a resource tab on your navigation bar and become the go to place for your audience. Anything goes here: Printables, templates, kids activities, recipes, how-to posts, user guides, gift roundups, or decorating ideas. These work because they help expand your fan base, promote loyalty, add substance to your blog and raise awareness of your brand. Create a badge for your readers to display on their blogs or websites.

Stay tuned for next week’s post, Curiously Creative Compelling Content: Part 2.

 

Gotta See it to Believe it: User-Generated Video

Written by Mike Abb

PROVE IT

How often when people go to describe a story or item do they struggle to communicate the nuances and detail necessary to allow us to truly get what they are speaking about? Those people stammer and fidget and end up saying, “If I could only show you.” They’re right, an image is worth a thousand words. There’s a reason we quote that old saying. We need visual evidence to support our claims, making video – specifically user generated video, the number one media for brands today.

SINCE WE COULD

Since we have been able to fathom the recording of images they have played a crucial part in our culture. From the early camera obscura to the 4k resolution cameras of today, there is no substitute for capturing life so precisely.  We all know why you come to this blog. You care about marketing and more importantly shopper marketing. You want to know more about what makes the difference between buying or denying. Well, I can tell you right now that the difference is video.

A GAME OF HALVES

Home movies have always been a fad; something we all dream of doing but very rarely do these recordings see the light of day. The main reason is editing. Editing is a pain and it’s where the game is really won and lost. I tell people all the time that content is a game with two halves. The first half is where you concept, arrange and record your content. But no championship trophies are awarded after the first half, it’s all about the second half. So let’s talk second half strategy shall we? The second half is where you edit and syndicate your content. Tailoring the content to the crowd you are trying to reach is where the game is won. Easier said than done though, editing is the crutch here. If you never make your way to editing or do a poor job the message you are trying to communicate becomes harder to promote.

EVERYONE’S DOING IT

With cell phones and DSLR cameras now staples in the household, everyone has become a documentarian. Couple that with the rise of social media and YouTube and we all want to share our recordings. Content is king and the more we share, and the higher quality it is, the more popular a person can become. These abilities are low hanging fruit to the big brands that spend fortunes on media campaigns that often end up being so outrageous or contrived the public simply dismisses it and thus the “buy it now” message that accompanied it. Yet tons of high quality content is being produced for free by the populace every day, and the brands are now trying to tap into this resource.

TAP THE WELL

We’ve talked in previous blog posts about people trusting other people and with video this trust is reinforced. It’s one thing to talk about some product or service, but it’s an entirely other thing to show what you’re talking about. A picture is nice but not completely trusted thanks to the miracles of Photoshop. Video on the other hand is much harder to tamper with, making it very, very valuable to brands. They need the consumer base to verify the quality or lack thereof of their products. Yes, even videos that expose something negative are valuable to brands. If you’re not actively trying to capture what people are creating visually about your product or service, you are missing out on the future and effectively burying your head in the sand.

LIGHTS CAMERA ACTION

Remember that it’s not enough to simply hit record and post to the internet, you must make a concentrated effort to provide quality and ease of understanding. Today’s cameras, computers and smart phones have amazing performance for the price point, leaving no excuses for not having access to video and editing equipment. Gear alone isn’t what makes a quality product. The more work upfront planning your creative and production requirements the more you set up your media to achieve the messaging and reach you desire. So, the next time you’re telling your products story you can just show someone what you mean.

 

 

 

What’s your Social Resolution?

Every year people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, cook more, start working out, go to church and so on, but have you thought about making a New Year’s resolution based off of Social? A social resolution could mean a lot of different things: trying to grow your Twitter following, dedicating time to produce better quality pictures before uploading online or even start using a new social platform.   eMarketer calls 2014 the year of “social acceptance” because more marketers are committing budgets to paid social media advertising in the form of blogger outreach and more.

Some of our employees have come up with their own social resolutions for 2014; maybe some of these will help you come up with your own!

Less quantity, More quality – Planning to prune my platforms and lists of people I follow to make the content I consume more relevant to my needs. - Brad Lawless

I want to continue using social media to help explore and learn while using it to express my own opinions.  I also want to focus on finding what my personal brand would be, and build something that is a representation of me! - Lisa Pruniski

Stay involved more with social media by networking and engaging with followers and friends. I want to be a curator of relationships, not an observer. - Susie Dagastino

I want to continue to expand my voice on all platforms in more ways than just expressing personal feelings and ideas. I want to share things that interest me along with things that are important in the social, tech and digital world.  I also want to continue to find better ways to utilize existing platforms as well as try any new social media platforms that come about. - Brett Sosnik

My resolution is to purge my accounts of connections I no longer truly interact with, whether in real life or only on social. I want refined content streams in my networks. - Spencer Sonaty

I want to Focus on the visual platforms; Instagram and Pinterest as my main social tools and syndicate to Facebook and Twitter, work on my photography by making sure every photo tells a piece of a story and to focus on quality vs. quantity when sharing socially. - Courtney Velasquez

I’ve grown up hearing that it takes 21 days to form a habit, start today and in three weeks your resolution could become a reality!

 

 

4 Dale Carnegie Principles Social Marketers Can Implement

Think about every interaction you had with people today.  How much of it was face-to-face, and how much of it was digital – via social media, email, text, etc.?  If the majority was digital, you’re not alone.

I recently graduated from the 12-week long Dale Carnegie course, “Effective Communication and Human Relations”. My primary goal was to become a more confident public speaker (key word “public”). In addition to improved communication skills, I gained some confidence and learned how to be a better coach.

As I review the principles, though, I realize most of my communication happens digitally and wonder if these principles, developed over 100 years ago, are as relevant and effective in today’s digital world as they are in the workplace? I think so!

Here are 4 Dale Carnegie principles social marketers can use to effectively communicate with their consumers:

1. Show genuine interest

Building relationships is key in today’s digital world. Social marketers must show genuine interest in their consumers by asking questions. We all know the beauty of social media marketing is that it’s a two-way street. Marketers actually get to have conversations with their consumers. Don’t ask questions just to ask questions though – be sure to ask meaningful questions and engage back. You’ll be surprised at what you find out.

2. Be a good listener

Social media has made it easy for marketers to understand what their consumers want. Marketers can gain great insights if they simply pay attention and listen to the social conversation. The use of hashtags has made it even easier. Peruse  the social space and see what people are talking about, how are they feeling, are there any trends happening that you can take advantage of? This might be the only time stalking might be acceptable…so take advantage of it.

3. Show respect for the other person’s opinion

Every once in a while marketers will experience an opinionated consumer. For some, the first instinct is to delete the comment or post. This is bad social media etiquette. Leave the comment and if it warrants, respond politely. Sometimes these types of comments are the best – they provide honest feedback that allow us to act on an opportunity.

4. Make them feel important

You’ve grown your social following….so what? These people are following you because they like your brand, but if you don’t make them feel important then they are just a number. There are numerous ways you can make your fans feel important via social. Give them a coupon or discount just for being a fan. Feature their content on your channels, retweet them, reply to them, and the list goes on. Whatever you choose to do, I promise you’ll be making their day.

These principles aren’t anything ingenious, but a good reminder of simple ways to effectively connect with your consumers via social media. If you’re familiar with Dale Carnegie’s principles, which ones do you use when you communicate digitally?

For those of you who don’t know anything about Dale Carnegie, here’s a brief overview. Dale Carnegie was an American writer and lecturer. He is the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and developer of the highly successful and proven corporate training course mentioned above. The course started in 1912, is represented in more than 80 countries and has had over 8 million graduates.

Happy Holidays!

Tis the season for being social and holiday shopping–music to our ears.

But as we start to bring 2013 to a close, we find ourselves in a period of reflection– a time to sit back, reflect, unwind and spend some time with friends and loved ones.

So before the festivities start, we want to stop for a minute and thank everyone–our employees, our advertisers and our community for helping to us to make this year such a resounding success.  We can’t thank you enough for your support, hard work and dedication, and commitment to Collective Bias.

From all of us at Collective Bias, we wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, or “Joyful” Kwanzaa and here’s to a happy, healthy New Year!

Bill & Amy

holiday card