Hi Everyone! I wanted to share my latest post on everyone favorite condiment - mayonnaise! If you haven't heard their is a "Mini-Niche" revolution happening out there and this post on THE FIVE breaks it all down for you.
Money making bloggers have always known that people search for super specific things. If they tailor their blog content to answer the specific need of the searcher, they can ensure that their post will be among the top five search results. This hooks the searcher in and then targeted ads drive them further down the funnel, providing Google with a click and the advertiser with a potential customer or sale. They call these super-focused sites “Mini-Niche” and they are everywhere online. The offline equivalent of this would be walking down the street and on the way you ask someone - “Excuse me? - Where is the nearest grocery store, I need to buy some mayonnaise?” and they smile and say “You don’t need to go to the grocery store, because there is a mayonnaise store right there and they have every mayonnaise flavor you could dream of!” Wow! Who knew that mayonnaise came in different flavors? and that there were stores that sold just mayonnaise. For most of you the thought of 31 flavors Baskin Robbins Ice Cream store for mayonnaise may be scary, but for others this would be a dream come true. The truth is that this mayonnaise store is real and is soon opening on Vanderbilt Ave in Brooklyn. Yes, I know that Brooklyn is a “Mini-Niche” lovers paradise, in fact the sign coming over the bridge says “ Welcome to Brooklyn, Name it... We Got It”, but that’s not my point...or is it?
You may have heard that Facebook recently updated their "News Feed" and to no surprise there has been a backlash from their users. Much of this backlash has been around the removal of the option to choose between "Most Important" and "Most Recent" News and the new creation of one consolidated News Feed that automatically aggregates both most recent posts and most relevant. The most relevant posts are now called "Top Stories" and "Most Recent." Facebook has also added a new feature called "Ticker" and this is a real-time feed that sits on the far right hand side of your screen. The big question for marketers is what does this mean for brand pages?Despite some recent posts that state that the changes will not benefit brands, the more I dig into the changes, the more it looks like the new format could be very beneficial for brands. Here's how:1. Social actions you take on a brand page, "like" a post, comment, etc. pop up in real-time in your friends Ticker. Your friend has the option to roll over the Ticker and expand the conversation seamlessly. The fact that a lot of the social actions that may not be the most important news for everyone (status updates, likes, friending and comments) are now real-time in the Ticker offer instant visibility, where before they were often hidden in the cluttered old feed. It gives most social actions an equal opportunity to be seen. Albeit the opportunity is shorter because the ticker moves quickly, but the new dashboard approach taken by Facebook offers people a "Twitter-like” interface while maintaining the ability to have weighted more relevant conversations bubble up to the surface similar to a Google+. 1a. Since many of the social actions are now in the Ticker, I’m seeing more posts by brand pages in the updated News Feed design then in the previous. Because many of the social actions have been removed from the News feed and into the Ticker highlights the brand page posts more in my feed than in the old feed system.[j1] The new cleaner "News Feed" provides significant exposure to brand page posts and this clears the way for more opportunity to engage. It seems like most of the posts in my "Most Recent" feed are brand page updates.2. How do your brand page posts become "Top Stories?" What happens is that when a post by a friend or a brand page becomes "hot" and people are engaged then it moves up to the top. If you check Facebook a couple of times a day then your "Top Stories" go away and it is replaced by the "Most Recent." If you are like me and check Facebook more that once or twice a day, it quickly switches to "Most Recent" news and "Top Stories" fades away. The goal for brands pages is to create enough engagement and update frequently to ensure that you build a great relationship with your fans and that will get you in their "Top Stories." But don't fret if you miss this opportunity, because you can also reach them by posting consistently, but make sure that the content is exciting and relevant as you don't want them to hide your posts. An ultimate goal would be to get your fans to add you to their "Top Stories." This can be done in the little arrow at the upper right corner of each Top Stories" post. Fans have the option of adding you to their "Top Stories." This is what I call the Pandora "Thumbs up" - the more you add things you like to your top news the more content they will share from those sources. It might be as simple as to ask your fans to do this or to make sure you are providing them with the most relevant content that they don't want to miss so they do it on their own.Overall the new changes will take some time to fully digest and evaluate for brand pages, but for now I think that these exciting new developments will only help your chances to build deeper relationships with your fans.
This year’s SXSW created another must-have bright shiny object in the form of GroupMe and millions of people are grouping together and texting about it as you read this. I can hear your inner voice screaming - Another group to join? Another social channel to manage? Another community to create content for? I already use Yahoo! Groups, Google Groups, Facebook Groups, LinkedIn Groups, Groupon... How can another GROUP help me or my business?
Many apps add things to your fragmented digital life - more content to create, more games to play, more people to follow - GroupMe tends to simplify things by creating a useful layer on top of the way we interact already. GroupMe lets you group text/chat with a group of people on any phone. It allows people to maintain relationships in clusters and stay privately connected to friends, colleagues, family, travel groups, teammates, businesses, parent teacher associations, conference and event attendees and now brands.
Today GroupMe launched “Featured Groups” and gave us a glimpse into how they will work with brands. Brands can connect to private “Fan Clubs” and offer exclusive benefits to these intimate groups. Their initial brand partners include MTV "Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew.", Oxygen “Bad Girls Club”, Bon Jovi, and the Bonnaroo and Coachella music festivals. Brands will be able to engage the private GroupMe groups by sending messages, answering fans’ questions, sharing photos or posting special promotions, among other possible activities. Sounds a lot like a Facebook page right? They say that the you will not become part of some huge group about Bonnaroo, but it will only include the people that you or your friends invite to the group. The “brand” can join your conversation and keep you all informed as needed. Imagine you are with your friends at a concert and Jon Bon Jovi himself stops by to say “hi” to just your group. For example: MTV promises that a few lucky groups will receive a "visit" each week from one of the crew members at its show "Randy Jackson Presents America’s Best Dance Crew."
In a world of millions of fans and followers GroupMe is a great way to personalize and reward your strongest advocates. Create a group for your blogger ambassadors, create a group for your exclusive media launch partners - provide intimate behind the scenes content and connection for a select group of VIP’s, create a group for clients and business contacts, the sky is the limit and public Facebook Pages are not always an option.
What do you think? Useful? Have you seen any other brands using this service well?
My son just started asking the question “Why?”. If you read my about section you would know that I think that this is the best possible question that he (or anyone) could ask. Questions are the key to our survival and growth and it keeps us all informed and moving forward. Sir Francis Bacon famously stated that “Knowledge is power” and Google and Wikipedia have given us answers to many of life’s greatest questions and seemingly more power and control over our environment and the world. Built on the back of Yahoo! Answers, the retired Google Answers, Mahalo, LinkedIn Answers and Facebook Questions - Quora is the latest social version of Q&A that has the industry buzzing. The site is “a continually improving collection of questions and answers created, edited, and organized by everyone who uses it”. I signed up for Quora when it launched about a year ago to see what all the hype was about and to answer the question “what exactly is Quora and why should I care? Since then I have watched it grow and seen its usefulness increase exponentially. After all a site is only as good as it is useful.
How to Use Quora as a Marketing Tool?
A. The first step for using Quora for Marketing is to establish yourself as an expert. This is easier said than done, but you or your clients must be an expert at something? So make sure you answer questions that are in your comfort zone and you truly are credible. (Quora offers a unique ability to create separate profiles, so you can be Brooklyn expert on one and Photo expert on another) This will help better position you as a thought leader. As of now you must be a person and no brand pages are allowed, but you can be Suzy from brand X.
B. If you are interested in building relationships and generating leads once you start answering questions you can see who reads your answers and then you can reach out to them to see if there is a way to work together.
C. Quora is a market research goldmine. As it expands to all categories there is a wealth of information on your competitors and your industry that could be used in new business pitches, proposals, positioning, whatever the scenario, start here and ask questions if you can’t find what you are looking for.
While everyone these days is screaming “location, location, location”, WeReward is screaming about incentives. Their bet is that people want more than points and mayor-ships. They want cash to go along with their location based check-in’s.
Their service Sponsored Checkin™, encourages people to explore their neighborhoods and earn money for making purchases at local businesses. This allows people to earn cash while simultaneously unlocking badges and sharing experiences through their social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Foursquare. Keep on doing what you do, only you can get paid to do so. For all of you out there who feel a tingling of your spider senses, your feelings are correct. Yes, these are the same folks who brought you the controversial “Sponsored Tweets” and “Pay Per Post” re-branded as Social Spark.
One of the big problems with WeReward is the amount of check-ins you would have to make, to make significant cash. It’s similar to playing Skee-ball until you have enough tickets to get the prize of your dreams, which never happens! You usually go home with a plastic ring or a superball and that may not be enough to get most people to really use this service continuously.
I know we all need cash these days, but what if you could tweak the service to help raise money for local charities, communities and small businesses. If the money isn’t significant enough, we should have the ability to team up with others, to raise money in groups, for causes that we all care about. If you could be incentivized by doing good for your community and the cash is an after thought then I think we would have a REAL winner.
Is the 2010 World Cup "The No. 1 event in all of sports"? - For Coke, Hyundai, Nike and Visa it is, according to a recent Adage article.
To be an official sponsor requires huge upfront costs and enormous advertising budgets, it costs a lot of money to reach half of the world. What may surprise some, is the fact that much of the marketing budget is being invested in integrated, social, local, and experiential marketing programs. An event like this requires that people engage in authentic experiences and they better be fun, sharable, social, and if they can improve the live of others and live past the closing match, you are bound to create a mini-movement.
I am amazed at how many tactics are "old" (or proven) in terms of social engagement and many of them are expected, but what stands out is the fact that they almost all have integrated marketing elements and use digital technologies to spread online to offline.. offline to online.. to mobile.. to ebillboards and beyond. The engagement elements are usually simple and clear and allow people to be either content creators, critiques, viewers or sharers and this opens up many possibilities to engage with each other and the brands. Here is a look at some of the programs.
CokePowerade Global Marketing Program
In the brand's first-ever global integrated marketing campaign, Powerade will give athletes the inspiration and ability to "Keep Playing," through a comprehensive campaign highlighted by an innovative online experience and the presence of Powerade on the pitch during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ South Africa
2010 FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour
World football's greatest prize is set to start the second leg of its biggest ever global tour with a stop in India. Having visited 50 African nations, traveling more than 72,000km, the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy Tour - Coca-Cola continues its five-continent journey to another 33 countries around the world.
Global Music Anthem
'Wavin' Flag – Coca-Cola Celebration Mix,' the uplifting soundtrack recorded by K'NAAN for Coca-Cola and its sponsorship of the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, has already broken into the top ten on music charts in eleven countries including peaking at number one in China, Mexico, Germany, Canada, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Building on the success of this music collaboration, Coca-Cola today debuted a digital radio station, "Coca-Cola Celebration Radio,"
2010 FIFA World Cup™ Longest-Ever Goal Celebration
The Coca-Cola Company is celebrating the countdown to the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ by encouraging people around the world to take part in the longest-ever online goal celebration. The 'Longest Celebration' competition will offer fans the opportunity to win a range of prizes, including tickets to 2010 FIFA World Cup matches.
Hyundai (have to say that an all Flash site is super annoying)
Inspired by previous Fan Fests staged during the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups, Hyundai is expanding Fan Fest beyond the host country shores to major football capitals around the world thus further elevating the fun and Hyundai’s visibility. To be staged in the major cities of the qualifying countries, Hyundai Fan Fest will conveying thrills and excitement to fans worldwide. Cities include all nine South African Host Cities as well as Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Sydney.
‘Fan of the Match’
One of the FIFA World Cup programs that is exclusive to Hyundai, ‘Fan of the Match’ aims to stir up fun and excitement at the match venues by rewarding the most outstanding fans. The fan with the most colorful, zaniest costume will be presented to the crowd on the giant screen on half-time at all Hyundai 38 matches. All 38 ‘Fan of the Match’ winners will automatically be entered into the ‘Fan of the Tournament’ contest at FIFA.com. The winner of the ‘Fan of the Tournament’ will be awarded a valuable prize.
1 Million Soccer Balls to Africa
The balls will be delivered to African children under the names of people who purchase a Hyundai vehicle or members of an official micro-website set up for this year's soccer event.
The first ball was donated by Korea's figure skating gold medalist Kim Yu-na and was delivered to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at an event in Johannesburg on Tuesday.
Be There with Hyundai
Create your own slogan for the national team buses. Winning supportive slogans are also branded on the team buses. A total of 55,000 slogans were received and the 32 final slogan winners were invited to watch the FIFA World Cup™. This is one of Hyundai's most effective global program
All I have to say is watch this again. Yes I know its advertising, but normal ads don’t set viral records and inspire millions of blog posts and they also allow people to “Write your own future”
From June 1 through July 11, fans can visit www.youtube.com/visagofans to upload and view videos and an opportunity to enter the Visa Watch your Way to Brazil Sweepstakes each time they find a goal call video with a golden tint treatment. In addition to the grand prize trip to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, fans will have the chance to win weekly prizes including $100 Visa gift cards.
When the gates open on match day in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, Visa's Go Fans experience will give fans the chance to have their face painted, be photographed in front of a Go Fans billboard of the competing countries and shout goooal for their teams as inspired by Andrés Cantor
"Citizens are connected like never before and have the skill sets and passion to solve problems affecting them locally as well as nationally. Citizens are empowered to spark the innovation that will result in an improved approach to governance." - Tim O’Reilly
Tim O’Reilly the man behind the term Web 2.0, is pushing for the Government to move beyond their current use of social media as a communication tool and for Gov 2.0 to become a "platform". He says that most people believe the term Gov 2.0 is about having a social media presence, being more transparent or making government sites more open. He acknowledges that Gov 2.0 is all of those things, but to truly become a "platform" it has to build an environment in which people can innovate on top of a foundation. The government needs to provide web services to people, not just web sites.
This approach is best exemplified by the site data.gov. Data.gov is leading the way in democratizing public sector data to drive innovation and mashup applications, some that deal with crime data, graffiti, crisis action plans and best places to find jobs. The data is available to researchers and developers to perform their own analysis and build useful applications that may not have been conceived by the government on their own. (Think Apple and iPhone Apps) - This is a core tenet of a true platform. Allowing people access and the ability to contribute.
Watch O'Reilly at the recent Gov 2.0 Expo
Here are ten examples of Gov 2.0 related programs in action.
Apps for America - a developer contest for building socially responsible and useful applications. They judge their awards on it usefulness to constituents for watching over and communicating with their members of Congress, potential impact of ethical standards on Congress, Originality, and usability.
Apps for Democracy- The granddaddy of the Apps Contests - “Apps for Democracy produced more savings for the D.C. government than any other initiative.” − Vivek Kundra, former CTO of Washington, DC and current Federal CIO
Design for America - The design community stepped up and showed amazing visual ways for us to view government and imagine new ways for government to serve citizens. The one that really took the cake was a redesign of IRS.gov.
Graffiti Tracker - provides clients with GPS-enabled digital cameras to use to photograph incidents of graffiti. Photos are uploaded to our secure, web-based system and analyzed within 24 hours of submission and alert law enforcement to potential threats. Graffiti Tracker has analyzed nearly 2 million images to date.
EveryBlock- filters an assortment of local news by location so you can keep track of what’s happening on your block, in your neighborhood and all over your city. - They aim to collect all of the news and civic goings-on that have happened recently in your city.
Manor Labs- Manor Labs is an open innovation platform designed to allow you to help us solve problems that plague our local government agency. This is also a place for you to submit ideas on how we can do things better.
CrisisCommons - is a global wiki network of volunteers who use creative problem solving and open technologies to help people and communities in times and places of crisis.
Community Health Data Initiative - Secretary Sebelius of HHS brings us a major new public-private effort that aims to help Americans understand health and health care performance in their communities It utilizes open data to create Applications, Interactive health maps, “Dashboards” that enable mayors and other civic leaders to track local health performance and issues, Competitions regarding how communities can innovate to improve health performance, Viral online games that help educate people about community health, Integration of community health-related data into new venues, such as real estate websites. - This probably needs it's own blog post.
Open Government Initiative- On April 7th, 2010, every Federal department published an Open Government Plan – a concrete and specific roadmaps for making operations and data more transparent, and expanding opportunities for citizen participation, collaboration and oversight.
Who Paid Them - WhoPaidThem peeks at our understanding of political campaign funding through a series of interactive graphics.
Ask yourself this question - If your brand was an app for social change, community improvement and good, what would it be?