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Brand communities are making a comeback. Where companies once relied on their own message boards and communities to get their messages out, social media sites took over to a great degree--but now the tide is slowly turning the other way. According to Forrester's "Predictions 2015: Marketing Leaders Mix Data, Content, and Insight To Craft Brand Experiences," written by Luca S. Paderni and Shar VanBoskirk, branded communities will enjoy a resurgence in 2015.

Posted Apr 15, 2015

Even brands that have a ready supply of customer advocates sometimes fail to make the most of them. Sales people are connecting with prospects, and prospects are connecting with each other in more ways than ever, so marketing teams must provide advocacy and reference content to best showcase the customer and their successes. Ready to shake up your customer advocacy programs? Here are 10 new rules that every marketer should follow.

Posted Apr 09, 2015

Content Marketing is not about production. High level executives hell bent on production over substance constantly ask, "What else are we doing?" Then they want you to draw up some elaborate content calendar that "says" that you are going to do something every day. This is wrong and should stop.

Posted Mar 19, 2015

The latest research from Constant Contact, Inc. says it has identified the ideal number of images and lines of text small businesses should include in email marketing campaigns to optimize click-through rates. Compiled from the analysis of over 2.1 million Constant Contact customer emails sent to more than 100 recipients over the course of 13 weeks, the research finds that-with some industry-specific exceptions-emails with three or fewer images and approximately 20 lines of text result in the highest click-through rates from email subscribers.

Posted Mar 05, 2015

You hay have heard that Apple turned its homepage into a showcase for photography this week--a brilliant content marketing move. In the World Gallery Apple featured photos taken with the iPhone 6 across the globe. Not only did the company reward its notoriously loyal users, it took a swipe at competitors (like the Galaxy S6 which launched on the same day) that claim to have better cameras, and drew in photography buffs who may or may not care about iPhone cameras.

Posted Mar 04, 2015

Nielsen data supports what most already know: apps are in. In fact, their research indicates that, in the U.S., Android and iPhone users 18 and older spend 65 percent more time on apps today than they did just two years ago. How much time? On average, it adds up to 30 hours and 15 minutes a month. That fact hasn't missed the attention of CMOs around the country.

Posted Feb 25, 2015

Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show, did something recently that I never thought I would see again in my lifetime. This moment gave me such joy that it was almost embarrassing. What made this magical eight minutes of late night TV so amazing was that Jimmy Fallon made a dream come true for all of us kids who were glued to every episode of Saved By the Bell in the late 80's and early 90's. Fallon, who is notorious for his YouTube gems, amazed and fascinated me. I watched the video three or four times.

Posted Feb 19, 2015

Virtual reality isn't a new concept, but it is quickly becoming a new reality. Just under five years after the release of the Microsoft Kinect, and amidst growing buzz around Oculus Rift, Microsoft announced the release of the HoloLens in conjunction with Windows 10. While HoloLens, Google Glass, Oculus Rift, and other wearable technologies are often discussed in the context of gaming and social media, it's important for marketers to consider these devices and their implications customers and on content strategy.

Posted Feb 12, 2015

If you were one of the record 114.4 million viewers who tuned in to the Super Bowl earlier this month, you were likely inundated with ads, each of which cost a cool $4.5 million. But while you may have chuckled at spots like Esurance's featuring Lindsey Lohan poking fun at her DUI-checkered reputation or Budweiser's lost puppy tug-on-the-heartstrings pitch, ask yourself: How motivated were you to act on those ads and purchase these products/services, and, if you were that company, could your ad dollars have been better spent in other channels, including digital?

Posted Feb 06, 2015

Opentopic, the content marketing platform that enables companies to engage and acquire customers through curated content, announced the launch of Opentopic Enterprise Workflow & Collaboration. Opentopic Enterprise Workflow & Collaboration says it streamlines content marketing for large organizations, or any organization that aims to support their content marketing initiatives through a simple, collaborative, and customizable process.

Posted Feb 05, 2015

Today, content marketing is a thriving industry showing no signs of slowing. However, Pulizzi--widely considered a leading expert on content marketing--notes that while "almost 90% of marketers are using some sort of content marketing approach, according to our latest content marketing research, just 38% of those marketers are effective."

Posted Feb 02, 2015

For Dummies, a Wiley brand, now offers custom digital products as part of its line of Dummies B2B services for businesses. Partnering with Dummies B2B services allows businesses to leverage the recognition of the For Dummies brand to achieve their marketing and communications goals. In addition to custom print content, adverting, sponsorships, and brand licensing, businesses can now also take advantage of a range of digital products from Dummies B2B including: videos, infographics, and mobile applications.

Posted Jan 29, 2015

Gone are the days of the Mad Men of Madison Avenue. Sad as it is, not only is the midday drinking and smoking gone for good (mostly anyway), but the ads of old are gone as well. Advertising in 1950, 1960, and beyond, was about a cheesy, geo-blanketed, retail-heavy message. And that is where the paradigm shift comes into play. Smart advertisers are now focusing on a different form of advertising. And it looks a lot like its marketing brother from another mother, content marketing.

Posted Jan 22, 2015

There's an all too familiar pattern many businesses, especially startups, face when they are trying to get their content out there - they spend hours and hours working on high-quality videos, or online advertisements, and yet, the following just isn't coming in the way they want. It doesn't matter how many times you Facebook post or Tweet your new video; the following remains at a frustrating standstill.

Posted Jan 19, 2015

Adobe announced the new Digital Publishing Suite for Sales Enablement solution, which allows companies to produce and deploy sales apps quicker using a set of sales enablement features in Digital Publishing Suite (DPS). The solution includes the expertise of Adobe Consulting to help companies swiftly build engaging apps from start to finish-using trusted, enterprise-grade technology that has been field-proven by some of the largest enterprises in the world.

Posted Jan 15, 2015

Marketing to busy audiences is increasingly complex. It requires strategies to engage multiple stakeholders throughout multi-stage sales cycles, conducting an intelligent dialogue, and making a well-reasoned case for engagement. Successful marketers take a comprehensive view of their customer by considering their changing industries, job roles, jargon, challenges, threats, pain points, aspirations, and opportunities. What remains eternally true throughout the marketing process is that the customer is at the heart of every business' success.

Posted Jan 15, 2015

Finally, 2014 is officially over. The ball has dropped, and it's time to turn our sights to the year ahead. If you are anything like me, you've already had your fill of "New Year, New You" mottos being blasted around social media. So in the spirit of the New Year, I've decided to reexamine 2014 and what I've learned.

Posted Jan 08, 2015

Welcome to 2015, and a whole new era in social media marketing on Facebook: the "post promotional post" era. That's because, beginning this month, Facebook will be instituting new content and volume controls for organic posts that are promotional in nature. This includes posts that push users to purchase a product or install an app, reuse the exact same content from ads, or impel people to enter promotions or sweepstakes without context. Facebook is making these modifications in response to results of a survey of its users who reported being unhappy with the amount of promotional posts infiltrating their News Feeds.

Posted Jan 05, 2015

It's time to face facts: Everything is a numbers game. From fantasy football to digital advertising campaigns, we yearn for more numbers and more analytics. Content marketing is no different. On a podcast called ConversionCast (it's a great one if you haven't subscribed), the host Tim Paige and guest Brian Dean (from Backlinko) spent an entire episode talking through the tactics and metrics behind a single post from Dean that garnered more than 5,000 shares on social media.

Posted Dec 30, 2014

Developers who want to enable physical objects to communicate with smart phones and other personal gadgets can now order Blesh PW Beacons and the Blesh PW App and participate in the public project called "The Physical Web", an initiative that plans to let people walk up to smart objects and with a single tap interact with them on demand.

Posted Dec 18, 2014

I've been thinking a lot about attention span lately. Since the advent of Twitter, we've been told that our audience is no longer capable of maintaining interest in what we have to say if it's more than 140 characters long. Then Vine appeared on the scene with 6-second videos, and panic nearly ensued. Meanwhile, though, millions of Americans sat down on their couches to binge watch entire seasons of Orange Is the New Black. Clearly, the public at large is perfectly capable of paying attention when it wants to. So what are we to conclude from this information? The problem isn't your audience's attention span--it's your content.

Posted Dec 17, 2014

As the line between editorial and advertorial continues to blur, so does the public's confidence in content from publications versus brands, as evidenced by new industry research that explores this topic-with some unexpected results. A new study by Vibrant shows that only 2% more of consumers trust content from publications (35%) than from brands (33%); and yet, there are more consumers who distrust content from publications (18%) than there are who distrust content from brands (15.5%). Additionally, the number of consumers that distrust content from media titles they know (12%) is double the number who distrust content from brands that they know (6%).

Posted Dec 17, 2014

Addvocate and Trapit, two providers of content discovery and curation, social selling, and advocacy services for marketers, announced the signing of a definitive agreement to merge. The new San Francisco-based company will change the way organizations discover, publish, share, and amplify content across websites, blogs, social networks, newsletters, and other destinations.

Posted Dec 11, 2014

With Americans now spending more time on mobile devices than on desktops or laptops, brands need a marketing strategy that embraces mobile. And yet, many brands are struggling to find a coherent mobile strategy. One mobile media company says that brands that don't "get mobile" must overhaul their marketing strategy in 2015 or risk becoming as obsolete as a flip phone. Companies can no longer create a responsive website and claim that they have a mobile strategy.

Posted Dec 10, 2014

Smartling announced the results of a new survey that polled 160 U.S.-based, senior-level content marketers working for emerging brands to determine how they are marketing to multilingual audiences around the world. Nearly 63% of respondents acknowledge that between six and 50% of their customer base is located outside the U.S. Yet, survey data shows that translation budgets are nonexistent, forcing marketers to reach multilingual audiences using only English-language content.

Posted Dec 09, 2014

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