Tag Archive: content marketing

  1. Findsome & Winmore Announces Plans to Occupy and Remodel 8,000 Square-Foot Building in Winter Park

    Orlando digital marketing firm enlists help of local clients to relocate headquarters ahead of anticipated agency growth

     

    Findsome & Winmore, the classic digital marketing agency that helps clients find and win new customers, announces today plans to relocate its headquarters to an 8,000 square-foot, full building located at 1550 South Lakemont Avenue in Winter Park. This announcement comes as the company prepares for continued strategic growth in 2018 and beyond.

    In searching for and finalizing the purchase of its new space, Findsome & Winmore enlisted the help of clients Foundry Commercial, Fountainhead Commercial Capital, and Sloane & Johnson. Additionally, Baker Barrios Architects, another Findsome & Winmore client, will oversee the remodeling of the building.

    “We have always considered ourselves to be an extension of our clients’ teams, so involving them in the process of finding our new home was very special for us, ” said Matt Certo, CEO and principal at Findsome & Winmore. “With their assistance, we have found a space that will not only allow us to grow our agency significantly over the next 18 months, but will also provide our team members with a creative, interactive environment they can thrive in. We thank Foundry Commercial, Fountainhead Commercial Capital and Baker Barrios Architects for their continued, invaluable insight as we embark on this journey.”

    Findsome & Winmore’s decision to relocate its headquarters comes just two years after the company expanded its current office space, increasing office capacity from approximately 15 people to 25 people. Now, the company is moving to a building that will sustain its steady growth trajectory while permitting extra room for a kitchen, coffee bar, multiple meeting spaces and more.

    In 2017 alone, Findsome & Winmore’s growth involved the onboarding of multiple new clients, including Virgin Produced, Tijuana Flats, Children’s Home Society, onePULSE Foundation, Park Square Homes, and more.

    Following a five-month construction period, the Findsome & Winmore team will relocate to its new office in May 2018.

  2. Email Design 101: Tips for Better Email Marketing

    email design

     

    We’ve all been there. You go to check your email and BAM, that eyesore of an email newsletter comes through and you immediately want to unsubscribe from ever receiving it again.  

    No one likes to read a lousy, long email, so how can you prevent yours from being categorized as one? We’ll walk through the steps to ensure that you are on top of your email design game so that you can send something to your audience that is worthwhile and engaging.

    Why is Email Design Important and How Can It Play a Factor in My Overall Results?

    If your email design isn’t easy to follow, chances are, your audience will quickly “x” out and possibly unsubscribe from your emails completely. Your email design should help navigate users to main call-to-action (CTA) areas of your email. Ask yourself, “What are the most important parts of my email and how do I attract users to these specific buttons or articles?” When you address these questions in your email design, you’re promoting areas of clickability, which help your overall click-through ratings. Another item that is often forgotten is linking your imagery and headers. You wouldn’t believe the number of areas where your users will click. It’s important to capitalize on this in order to make your email as engaging as possible. This practice also prevents users from being able to download your imagery.

    Check out this feature example showing the number of clicks (green bubbles) our newsletter, HOT AIR, received on its June 2017 issue. Users clicked on every available link, especially imagery.

    email design

    Design for Your Audience, Not (Necessarily) You

    Understanding your audience and clientele will help determine what works and what doesn’t work. Not everyone wants to read pages of your company updates and read about Suzy Q’s birthday (sorry Suzy). Think about what they’re looking for and design for that. Keep your content quick, easy, and on point. Information that is highly visual, easy to read, and of interest to the user are emails that tend to perform very well.  

    Beyond design, emails that produce positive results are ones in which the user knows what they’re signing up for and can expect the type of information they receive.

    What We Can Learn from Recent Email Design Trends

    • The use of GIFs

    With our current HOT AIR newsletter, we’ve incorporated a moving hot air balloon to provide playfulness and visual appeal to our newsletter logo:

    email design

    We’ve even changed it to incorporate the holidays:

    email design

    Nike does a great job of employing this tactic into their emails by taking snippets of their video content and turning them into GIFs. The one shown below was created to inspire Crossfitters to buy their equipment:

    • Clean design:

    Mineral Emporium: 

    email design

    • Using color & large imagery

    Handy:

    email design

    Elements of Creating a Clean Email Design

    Have clear CTAs. Buttons that are descriptive and visually clear:

    email design

     

    Keep your content brief and to the point. If you provide all of your answers in your email, then why would anyone click for more information? Keep in mind, your objective is to have users engage. Give them just enough to interest them in hearing more about what you’re discussing:

    email design

     

    Providing imagery will keep users intrigued.  Full-width imagery is a trend for 2017 and 2018:

    email design

     

    The result? It could look something like this clean and intriguing design:

    email design

    Email Design Done Better

    If an email is not aesthetically pleasing or not easy to read, the likelihood of having a good open rate or click through rate will be slim. In addition, you may have users opt-out of your audience list. Email, after 30 years, continues to be the king within your marketing deck of cards as it allows you to interface directly with your audience and not be hidden amongst an ever-scrolling social media news feed. Make sure you put the time and thought into designing not just for your brand’s needs, but, for your users interests too. The end result may surprise you.

     

  3. How to Go Viral: The Science and Social Media Behind Creating Online Epidemics

    How to Go Viral

     

    It hits you when you least expect it. There you were, picking up your annual report from the printer when you notice a few of your coworkers crowded around Bob-from-accounting’s smartphone. Intrigued, you peer over their shoulders.

    “What are you all watching?”

    “Wait, you haven’t seen this yet?”, a coworker jeeringly asks, “It’s SodaStream’s new ad campaign with Paris Hilton.”

    Oh yes, you had seen it. How could you not? In a matter of days, every one of your social feeds was inundated that ridiculous video, featuring a reality star trying to vaguely sell you that odd contraption you pass by at the superstore. Despite the video’s vague, soft sell of the actual product, it worked–they gained your curiosity and your attention.

    The video in question is quite perplexing. One drop of a miracle liquid is said to have the hydrating effect of one full glass of water, putting an end to the disastrous environmental effects of plastic bottles. The claim is preposterous, but you are thirsty for more information and follow the link to purchase a SodaStream, the in-home soda and sparkling water maker.

    The question is, how did a campaign that was intentionally misleading and only tangentially related to the actual product become so pervasive on social media? Why do some campaigns go viral and others never seem to reach the ever-important untapped target audience? There really is no one-size-fits-all solution that will tell you how to go viral. However, successful viral marketing campaigns have a few commonalities that can be replicated and turn ripples into waves. Viral marketing campaigns act very similarly to their etymological counterparts, viruses.

    • Attachment: Viruses are useless without their host and must identify, then attach themselves to a living cell in order to reproduce. If you want your social media campaign to spread, you must identify, and “attach,” to the target audience who is most likely to engage and spread your message.  

      In the case of Soda Stream’s campaign, their target audience was the environmentally conscious and social-media-obsessed millennial. SodaStream not only ensured that the subject matter, messaging, and aesthetics of their campaign appealed to their target audience but also understood the economics of that audience. SodaStream understood that a larger portion of the millennial audience is beginning to acquire more disposable income to spend on products they want, instead of just need. To put it bluntly, SodaStream’s Nano Drop is essentially how to go viral 101.
    • Entry (Into the Market): In order to spread, viruses must enter an unsuspecting host cell by penetrating the protective membrane and then releasing the nucleic acid that will facilitate further growth and development.

      In order for a social campaign to penetrate the market and begin proliferating the brand’s message, one must take the information gathered in the stage above and ensure that it is released at the most optimal time. Start too soon and the message will fizzle, too late and you’re simply riding in the wake of someone else’s success.

      Timing is vital. If you want your campaign to go viral, you have to be willing and able to follow and seize the opportunity that comes with popular trends at a moment’s notice. SodaStream understood that millennials LOVE their reality stars, past and present. SodaStream also understood that millennials value brands that are environmentally conscious. By taking a non-essential product, packaging it with a socially conscious mission, and using a pop culture icon to spread the word in a tongue in cheek way, SodaStream capitalized on phenomena particular to the times we are living in.
    • Replication and Assembly: Once a virus penetrates the host cell it must replicate to ensure it spreads. In order for social media content to go viral, just like the virus, it must be replicable. In other words, it must not only attract the attention of the audience but also be engaging enough for it to be shareable.

      All viral content on social media has one thing in common: It’s enjoyable enough that users want to share it with the rest of their peers. This piece is vital. Unlike most traditional marketing tactics, the success of viral content is not rigidly tied to the amount of money behind the campaign but rather the intrinsic likability of the subject matter. It’s not about how much money you spend, it’s about creating the right content that moved the company’s target audience to like and share the content for FREE.

    The bottom line is, the question should NOT be how to go viral, but how to produce beneficial and relevant content that appeals to your target audience.  If you do it right, the audience will do the work for you!

  4. Give it Away: 3 Reasons Why Your Company Should Create Shareable Content and Distribute it for Free

    Shareable Content

     

    The world has changed since I founded my digital marketing agency, Findsome & Winmore, in 1995. Hashtags were pound signs, dial-up internet tied up our landlines and web 2.0 hadn’t shown its full potential. But we have evolved with the times, adopting tactics that may have once seemed ludicrous or impossible before the renaissance of shareable content truly began.

    Today, your marketing doesn’t stand a chance unless your strategy embraces a singular fact: traditional, sales-heavy ads will often be far less engaging than quality, shareable content distributed for free. Need proof? According to the Content Marketing Institute, 2oo million people use ad blockers and, though content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing, it yields three times as many leads.

    This is one of the lessons that propelled me to begin outlining and writing my latest book, Formulaic: How Thriving Companies Market from the Core, which led me to find examples outside of my own firm of this practice that yields powerful results for companies like Patagonia and Dollar Shave Club.

    Patagonia, the outdoor apparel giant, puts what I’m sure amounts to thousands of dollars of time and work into their catalog. But this is more than a simple sales brochure. The Patagonia catalog features in-depth, magazine-quality stories from people who actually use their products.  The publication puts the customers–not the company–in the spotlight and simultaneously conveys the spirit of the brand. Add to it some high-quality photography, and they have a product that people would pay for (but don’t have to). Even better, the content itself is largely contributed by the audience it targets.

    Dollar Shave Club, the rebellious facial hair aficionados, have been known for their quirky online ads. However, it’s their “Bathroom Minutes” tips series that I find most influential in creating shareable content and giving it away for free. Though not written by their customers, this series still speaks directly to its audience. From “The Plumber’s Guide to Not Clogging Your Sink When Shaving” to “5 Non-BS Health and Grooming Life Hacks,” this is content that could easily be featured on Men’s Health, but Dollar Shave Club is giving it away without the subscription fee. Why? Because it is valuable for their audience and will result in clicks, attention and, hopefully, brand awareness that will lead more people to that “buy” button.

    But what can other businesses gain from giving away quality content for free? If Findsome & Winmore’s success is any indicator, quite a lot.

    • Public Relations: The more you do outside of the confines of your product or service, the more the media’s ears may perk. Barring an exciting new menu item at your restaurant or the announcement of your real estate firm’s new big project, public relations experts will have much more to run with if your brand positions itself as a thought leader in your field. For our marketing firm, that included Formulaic and the events we centered around it. Though the book is for sale, we have used it as a marketing tool and launchpad for multiple blogs, speaking engagements and events that not only inform our audience, but help us assert our place as leaders in marketing strategy while gaining media attention along the way. You can do the same by creating content that speaks to your audience in the format they most often use: podcasts, online tutorials, printed catalogs–nothing is off the table.
    • Global Search Traffic: SEO is a major influencer in everything we do. From crafting web copy to writing blogs, we do our best to ensure our content is following the latest search engine standards while remaining a good read for the audience. Creating quality content that can be shared across multiple channels brings your brand to a larger audience, simultaneously increasing your global online coverage and searchability. Findsome & Winmore regularly produces blog content and shares a monthly newsletter with clients and industry contacts, and has seen large increases in website traffic as a result.
    • Credibility: Would you buy the third-best cereal from your town’s fifth-best supermarket? Credibility is key to building confidence in your brand’s quality, but you can build this trust outside of doing your job well. Through sharing content with your audience for free, you allow them to preview your abilities and plant your flag as a resource in your specialty. The one-two punch of quality products or services and free, quality content is often a formula for credibility and long-term success.

    As a small business owner myself, I absolutely understand the reluctance to give away anything of value for free; businesses are run on hard data and ROI, after all. But assets like PR opportunities, global search engine traffic and credibility should not be discounted by demanding all marketing directly drive sales. Through committing to viewing your brand as a publisher instead of strictly a salesperson, you can provide free, creative and highly shareable content that will keep the attention of your audience far more effectively than the pushy, “BUY NOW” ads of old

     

  5. Findsome & Winmore Maintains Growth During First Half of 2017

    Findsome & Winmore, the classic digital marketing agency that helps clients “find and win” new customers, had a successful first half of 2017, adding eight new clients across numerous industries during the first two quarters of the year.

    Clients enlisting the services of Findsome & Winmore during the first two quarters of 2017 include Orlando Health, a network of community and specialty hospitals, Tijuana Flats, a national Tex-Mex restaurant chain, onePULSE Foundation, an organization dedicated to honoring those that lost their lives in the Pulse Nightclub tragedy, Westgate Resorts, one of the largest privately-owned timeshare resorts in the world, Kore Alliance, an investment group, National Christian Foundation, a Christian-based non-profit organization, Centurion Business Finance, a financial lender, and D+H, a global payments and lending technology provider. D+H was later acquired by Finastra, the third largest Fintech company in the world.

    In addition to the successful onboarding of each of its new clients, Findsome & Winmore also launched two websites, including Children’s Home Society and Lake Nona. Findsome & Winmore also added four new employees with backgrounds in event planning, social media, and website maintenance to its growing team.

    “We definitely got off to a great start in 2017 and are excited to have new clients from such diverse backgrounds,” said Matt Certo, CEO of Findsome & Winmore. “Having such prominent businesses turn to us for assistance in accomplishing their goals gives us a great feeling. As the year progresses, we look forward to continued growth and expansion of our portfolio.”

    In addition to Findsome & Winmore having a successful first half of 2017, Certo also published a book, Formulaic: How Thriving Companies Market From The Core, in January. Formulaic reveals the ordinary things that even one-person firms can implement to achieve the extraordinary over time and brings to light several key elements that drive brand marketing momentum.

  6. Spinning a Yarn: The Science of Storytelling

    science of storytelling

    From cave paintings to the latest Star Wars movie, storytelling is something intrinsically human. There’s something about it–the structure of beginning, middle and end–that has entranced and satisfied our minds since before even the development of the written word. In my new book, Formulaic, I’ve shared how incorporating this powerful tool into our own marketing techniques has been vital for our agency (and countless other companies) to make deeper, more personal connections with our clients’ customers and our own audience.

    Like me, you probably grew up with the stories of a grandparent, parent or teacher, and have since sought out the narratives shared from Netflix to NBC, podcasts to PBS. Even the blog in which this post resides is a storytelling medium of sorts. Though they often transport us to places both real and imagined, stories are not (solely) things of magic. No–there is a science behind our insatiable appetite for being sat down and told, “Once upon a time…” Let’s examine how stories work and why they’re a trusty tool for marketers in any industry.

    The Scientific Facts Behind Fiction and Nonfiction

    People are emotional creatures. Yes, even the most stone-faced tough guy or gal has a song, movie or book that’s sure to evoke nostalgia, sadness or a smirk (even if internal). Enter: oxytocin. That stirring emotion of human connection you feel when watching your favorite film or hearing Johnny Cash belt out those Folsom Prison Blues is largely connected to the release of the neurochemical, oxytocin. Though you may not know it by name, you surely know how it feels — the pleasure you feel when meeting with friends, are complemented by colleagues or have the door held open for you by a smiling stranger.

    science of storytelling

    What’s paramount for marketers and brand managers to pull from the connection between storytelling and those oxytocin-fuelled warm fuzzies is that these feelings of engagement and connection aren’t unlocked with a paragraph of facts, hard data, or otherwise flatly presented pieces of information. So often, brands that are able to connect to their audiences with storytelling instead of dry, cold lists of benefits are more effective by being more emotionally affecting. The story of how a product or service has changed (or could change) someone’s life for the better often sticks with an audience far longer than the new, shiny features of the thing.

    Which is more convincing: a personal anecdote about how much my work has improved now that I’ve enjoyed full, restful sleep on Brand X mattresses or a paragraph on spring and wooden frame technology? If the thought of option B made you yawn, you’re not alone. By harnessing the deep-rooted, primordial power of storytelling, brands could very well write their businesses a “happily ever after” through this innately human connection.

    Crafting a Marketing Story Worth Telling

    Knowing the benefits of storytelling is all well and good, but you must also learn the tenets of good storytelling. Though there are many ways to tell a tale, you may want to keep these three common facets of effective storytelling in mind before spinning your own company’s yarn.

    • Characters: Your story is only as good as its characters are believable and relatable. Fill your brand storytelling with fully realized people who your audience can root for or against, depending on the needs of your story. Name them, imagine what they look like, where they are from and additional details that may illustrate them within your mind before you put them down on paper.
    • Conflict: Any traditional story needs a conflict for our heroes to overcome. Within your brand’s storytelling, this conflict should be relatable to common conflicts within your audience’s lives, thereby, creating an instant relatability to the story unfolding.
    • Memorable Moments: Beyond just catching the attention of your audience, you want to craft a story that will stick. Remarkable tales, whether humorous or harrowing, may stay with potential customers far longer than more mundane, dry explanations of your product or service’s key benefits. Take, for example, Founders Insurance. Founders’ “Hall of Coverage” series features truly unbelievable–yet 100% true–stories of claims they’ve actually satisfied. Sharing incredible tales rooted in the services they’ve actually provided customers has made Founders’ efforts hugely successful at sticking with people long after first viewing.

    Learning how to tell an effective story as a brand may seem like a lot of work, but if done correctly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more effective means of connecting your company with its customers–which is most certainly a story worth telling.  

    Looking for more marketing insights like the ones above? Check out my new book, Formulaic: How Thriving Companies Market from the Core, and stay tuned to the Findsome & Winmore blog for more tips on how to unlock the formula behind effective marketing for your brand.

  7. Check, Please!: One Writer’s Blog Post Checklist

    You see that overly serious woman at the typewriter down there? Yes, her, in what appears to be a hazy nook, probably situated between a quaint haberdashery and a sleepy pub, tucked somewhere abouts London or Cork. This, my friends, is what many people fantasize as a writer’s life. It is also patently false (unless you’re an Irish or English hipster who can afford some prime-time real estate). Us modern/non-Irish or English hipster writers instead often fold open a laptop and get to work on a standing desk, sitting on a beanbag chair, lying on the floor or slouching at the kitchen table. Writing has become something that no longer requires setup and preparation — at least for the physical act of it. The creative planning process and strategy of writing is another story altogether.

    Blog Post Checklist

    At Findsome & Winmore, I write a lot of blog posts. That’s an understatement — I’m a blog-post-writing machine (official title change pending). That being said, I still have to put in time to prep for every single blog post I commit to writing. It’s an unglamorous-but-necessary step toward not only writing with quality, but also writing proficiently. This is a factor that many writers forget — speed is as important as consistency is as important as creativity.

    In an effort to build your blog posts on a consistent foundation and make the entire writing process altogether quicker, I present to you my blog post checklist.

    Adam’s Unimaginatively Titled Blog Post Checklist 2016

    Title

    Your title needs to run the line between SEO friendly and creatively intriguing, unlike my blog post checklist title. This is no easy feat, but crafting a title that includes search terms, or even an entire search phrase, can dramatically boost your chances of being read.

    Article Titles

    Though it’s a point of contention for many content writers and SEO strategists, I have to err on the side of creativity. If an SEO term is in a cage match with a catchy title that may hook my audience, SEO’s getting tapped out. Sorry SEO, you’re still valuable and I still love you. But as often as you can, do try to combine both SEO and title catchiness.

    Imagery

    People love pictures. I can write for days, eloquently describing a concept to the best of my ability, but if there is not some kind of visual break to give my readers a breather, chances are, they’ll be out quicker that you can say, “short attention span.”

    Camera

    However, never include imagery that you do not have the right to use. Though there are a multitude of free image sites, always ensure that the image does not require a specific level of attribution before plastering it on your post. My personal favorite resource: Pixabay.com.

    SEO

    As mentioned above, SEO plays an important role in getting your content discovered. I focus less on inappropriately stuffing my content with keywords and, instead, use my selected keywords strategically. For instance, section titles and passages in which keywords naturally fit are prime ways to enrich your content for search engines without sacrificing readability.

    Keywords

    Also, I make an effort to minimize linking to outside websites, unless necessary for the reader’s education or reference on a given subject. On the other hand, linking to one’s own website is a best practice if you have additional information that can enrich the reading experience. Lastly, and most importantly, writing quality, original content is always a major SEO boost.

    Metadata and More

    Utilizing the WordPress platform with the Yoast SEO plugin, I am able to add an SEO title, meta description, categories and tags. We recommend using your keyword and brand name within the SEO title, writing a meta description that also utilizes the keyword and quickly states the purpose of your blog.

    Beyond that, categories should be established on your blog so readers can easily navigate to the content they care most about. If I’m on a boating blog, for instance, but I only care about sailboats, I don’t want to slog through dozens of articles on powerboats or jet skis. Set categories like you may set up file folders on your computer and try to limit each blog post to only one or two categories, max. These are meant to be specific, so adding a “Boats” category to your boating blog may not make much sense.

    Metadata

    Tags, on the other hand, are a bit more free to use, but still not irresponsibly. Continuing the boating example, if I write a blog on fishing, I can tag key terms that I discuss within the article (such as “tuna” or “fishing rods”) but I would not tag “Miley Cyrus” just because she’s a popular search term and may have, at one time or another, been on a boat.

    When you combine an attention-grabbing title with eye-catching visuals, appropriately implemented keywords and accurate metadata, you may just find yourself ready to write a blog post that delivers the goods. Create a template from which you start every one of your posts. I use Google Docs, mostly for its ubiquity on desktop and mobile, but also because it allows for quick sharing and copy proofing from my compatriots.

    Whatever your subject or limitations, building content from a solid foundation always leads to better results. Taking the above points to heart, do yourself a favor and work from a template that frees up more valuable time to do what you set out to do in that imaginary, vaguely European nook in the first place: be creative.

  8. 2015 Marketing Campaigns We Loved

    angel-1070418_960_720

    Did you know that every time a bell rings a marketing campaign gets its wings? Well, maybe the wings part is fiction, but they sure do sprout into this world at a rapid pace. With 365 days for different marketing initiatives across a variety of mediums (think email, web, social, native, etc.), there are plenty. Here’s a little breakdown on digital campaigns we FOUND and think WON this year.

    Geico’s Unskippable YouTube Ads

    If you’re like me and every other person I know, you typically tune out the preroll ads on YouTube right when you click play. You know they’re coming up, so you check out for a couple of seconds until you’re ready to watch your intended video. Knowing this, Geico’s marketing team opted to strategically alter their content to combat this issue.

    What Geico did was hook the viewer during the first five seconds, knowing that if they couldn’t get them then, they’ve lost them forever (or until the desired and intended video starts). They did this by creating digital ads that concentrated all messaging efforts on the first five seconds of the video while rolling funny, albeit ridiculous, footage afterwards for pure entertainment purposes. The real pull was that these ads put a new spin on preroll video and grabbed the attention of Geico’s peers, other digital marketing strategy agencies and yours truly. Check out one of the videos below for yourself.

    Domino’s Tweet-to-Order

    Pizza. Check. Twitter. Check. Emojis. Huh?

    pizza emoji

     

    You would think I was checking off a weird lunch/work list, but no, it’s just me talking about the Domino’s 2015 campaign and long-term strategy that struck a chord with millennials and more. Speaking to the five seconds that resonated with Geico, Domino’s understands that getting your message across in a clear, concise and clever way matters more now than ever. They also understand that ease and speed is more important to customers than ever too. Understanding that, they’ve given the ability to TWEET AN ORDER FOR PIZZA IN JUST ONE EMOJI. Right? It amazes me too. We might not be living the Jetson’s lifestyle I thought we would be by now, but we can tweet for pizza! That’s a win in my book, as it’s way more efficient than signing in online or calling in an order.

    All you need to do is register your Twitter handle on your Domino’s Pizza Profile. You can then tweet the pizza emoji or #EasyOrder to the Domino’s Twitter handle and, BOOM, you get a direct message confirming your order. Then pizza will be on its way to your home, office, bodega, wherever. Joy!

    This newfound system is a part of Domino’s AnyWare ordering technology. Not only can you order food from your computer and phone, but your smartwatch and smart TV as well. The digital options are nearly endless.

    The future is here my friends.

    Always “Like a Girl”

    A smart and heart-tugging campaign will, of course, be in the mix. You’ve got funny (the Geico campaign), the genius tech-centric (the Domino’s one) and now you have the smart, empowering and beautiful one.

    The Always “Like a Girl” campaign did exactly what it intended to:

    • Brought attention to the limitations put on girls by social norms
    • Established Always as an ambassador for equality

    The campaign first drew attention on SuperBowl weekend, with the Always 60-second spot airing during the big game. The reason this commercial stood out in its time slot was that it was so different from any of the previously played commercials. The spot challenged the idea that doing something “like a girl” is an insult, which is what it’s commonly thought of. Instead, it promoted the idea that anything performed “like a girl” could and should be associated with strength.

    The video was inspired by a study sponsored by Always. The results found that more than half of the respondents experienced reduced confidence during puberty, which occurs between the ages of 10-14 in girls. At the start of the video, it shows a group of kids, ages 10-14, acting out what “like a girl” means when speaking about certain activities. Those in this group presented themselves as weaker when acting out what “like a girl” means. When asking a younger group, the individual kids responded with assertiveness and power, showing the strength in what being a girl means and is.

    Social experiment campaigns (remember Dove’s Real Beauty?) that help shift social norms to a positive are always something that we can back…like a girl. 😉 WINNING!

    The above are just some of the many smart and creative campaigns that have grabbed our attention this year as the time ticks towards 2016. We hope the campaigns of the future present us with many more thoughtful, smart, creative and engaging campaigns to look forward to. Remember, the foundation of these campaigns is always a strong marketing strategy.

  9. 20 Marketing Lessons Learned from “The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing”

    I’ve long been a fan of the Content Marketing Institute, an organization whose mission is to advance the practice of content marketing. Watching and learning from the Content Marketing Institute was a part of the inspiration that led me to write Found: Connecting with Customers in the Digital Age.

    The institute just released a very useful documentary for marketers called, “The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing.” I would highly recommend watching it, as it does a great job of framing the fact that marketers have to begin to create truly compelling content if they want to stand a chance at connecting with their audiences in a way that matters.

    Less than hour long and containing some very useful content marketing concepts and stories, this documentary is well worth your time.

    I took away 20 key quotes that we can all learn valuable content marketing lessons from:

    1. “Content is really the only marketing that’s left.” — Seth Godin
    2. “[Content Marketing] is really the only way that a business (going forward) is going to differentiate itself in a very crazy, noisy marketplace.” — Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Officer, Content Marketing Institute
    3. “Marketing, for a long time, has been about interruption.” — David Meerman Scott
    4. “Brands have come into their own when they’ve realized, ‘We don’t have to go through a third party to reach this audience; we can actually try to achieve that directly.’” — Todd Wheatland, Global Head of Strategy, King Content
    5. “Instead of having to advertise in someone else’s channel, I have the opportunity to create my own valuable, relevant, and compelling content in our own channels to really create loyalty, build relationships directly with what we like to call subscribers, instead of going out and having to pay for that attention.” — Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
    6. “I think we have to change the way we think about getting access to the mind of the consumer we want to have a relationship with and one of the best ways to do that today is through content.” — Andrew Davis, Author, Brandscaping
    7. “I think the brands that really get it are focused on being part of the information you want to consume. they’re focused on creating higher quality content that inspires people to buy something they didn’t know they needed.” — Andrew Davis, Author, Brandscaping
    8. “Obviously content marketing has been around forever, but there’s a whole new thing when content marketing collides with the Internet and with digital.” — Doug Kessler, Creative Director & Co-Founder, Velocity Partners Ltd.
    9. “If I’m trying to get their attention, I’d better be creating some pretty fantastic information on an ongoing basis to get their attention.” — Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
    10. “Content at this point is a form of currency that brands and storytellers use to have a conversation with somebody.” — Katrina Craigwell Director, Global Content & Programming, General Electric
    11. “Search, by definition, doesn’t create demand. It just fulfills demand. Nobody goes to Google and says ‘Hey, I’d like to buy something… I don’t really care what… Just surprise me.’” — Jay Baer, Founder, Convince and Convert
    12. “Nobody cares about your product. They’re trying to solve a problem.” — David Meerman Scott
    13. “The consumer has incredible amounts of information. Marketers are not accustomed to that. Marketers are accustomed to control.” — Don Schultz, Professor Emeritus-in-Service, Northwestern University
    14. “We’re seeing this transformation of marketing departments that were set up long ago in those mass media days. They’ve transformed into publishing departments.” — Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute
    15. “Like a halfway decent human being, brands have to be about more than themselves.” — Kirk Cheyfitz, Co-CEO & Chief Storyteller, Story Worldwide
    16. “We say that if you can’t rely on the media, you have to become the media.” — Lasse Hoegfeldt, Editor-in-chief, Jyskebank.tv
    17. “The content business is the only part of this business that I can see credibly leading this new practice of advertising and I’m moderately upset because not enough of us are trying to do it.” — Kirk Cheyfitz, Co-CEO & Chief Storyteller, Story Worldwide
    18. “Storytelling helps cut through, helps us make sense of the world. Content that has a storytelling backbone to it is just easier to consume, easier to remember, it’s more engaging.” — Christie Poulos, Global Head of Video, King Content
    19. “What brands have to be in this new age, they’ve got to be a coherent, core narrative because that’s the only thing that’s going to remain consistent and distinguishable and differentiating across all kinds of channels.” — Kirk Cheyfitz, Co-CEO & Chief Storyteller, Story Worldwide
    20. “The only way- The only right way to do content marketing is to be a story.” — Kirk Cheyfitz, Co-CEO & Chief Storyteller, Story Worldwide

    Though the “content is key” maxim is often scoffed at as cliché, it’s important to remember just why it’s cliché to begin with: It’s true. Watch this video and see if you become inspired, just like I was. There are always new lessons to learn and stories to tell in the world of content marketing.

  10. What Can CrossFit Teach You About Growing Your Business?

    It is hard not to notice the phenomenal growth of CrossFit, the international fitness movement that has taken the world by storm as of late. If you’re not familiar, CrossFit is a global network of independent gyms (called affiliates) that focuses on group exercise. You’ve likely seen these gyms (referred to as boxes because of their raw nature and simplicity) in different cities and neighborhoods. Orlando alone has seven or eight CrossFit locations. The concept is growing like a weed across the globe.

    If you ask anyone why they like CrossFit, they usually say that the alternating nature of the workouts (the sessions tend to focus on variety and muscle confusion) keeps things interesting. There is often a competitive component as well, which adds something. But the element you hear most about is camaraderie and community. CrossFit effectively combines exercise with teamwork in order to foster something unique. Naturally, the community component spills over online with social media. Most CrossFit affiliates leverage Facebook to bolster the community component, taking advantage of the network effect.

    Why does this matter to me?

    As a business, CrossFit has exploded. Recently, CrossFit and its founder Greg Glassman were profiled on 60 Minutes in a piece entitled ‘The King of CrossFit.” The 60 Minutes segment was interesting in many respects, but the biggest take-away for me was the part about CrossFit’s use of content marketing: creating and publishing brand-related content in an effort to inform or influence instead of advertising or selling.

    Founder of Cross Fit

    CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman in a recent 60 Minutes segment and referenced content marketing.

    Reporter Sharyn Alfonsi was particularly interested in Glassman’s use of of giving away free online video to users to help them learn more about fitness. CrossFit has a “media office” in Silicon Valley whose primary purpose is to create and distribute free educational content to affiliates and participants.  

    Baffled by the thought of “giving away” educational content that participants should seemingly pay to receive, Alfonsi posed the following question to Glassman: “How does that make sense?” After all, why wouldn’t customers just perform the exercises on their own at home (for free) instead of visiting the gym and paying for them?

    Glassman’s simple yet profound answer was, “it didn’t until we did it. The more video we give away, the more money we make.” That statement bears repeating: “the more video we give away, the more money we make.”

    Cross Fit-Videos

    The CrossFit website features a ton of free videos and instruction guides for users to learn how to get in better shape.

    Why does this work?

    It does seem counter-intuitive for this to actually work, but it does. Here are a few reasons why:

    1. Providing all of these videos positions CrossFit as knowledgeable experts, thereby enhancing the brand.
    2. Incorporating updated video and content helps to keep the CrossFit website fresh and dynamic.  This gives users a reason to return to the site frequently.
    3. Online videos are great for sharing on social media to keep users engaged and involved in the community.
    4. Fresh content (especially video) helps users find the website on Google and other search engines.
    5. Consuming and sharing the video is essentially free advertising for CrossFit. True, there is a cost to creating video, but the media cost is next to nothing compared to running television ads.

    How can I put this idea to work for my business?

    With a little effort and creativity, any business can put this lesson to work. Here are a few simple steps you can take to use content like CrossFit does:

    1. Let go of the fear that publishing content is going to (a) make customers steal your advice and not pay you or (b) give your competitors your playbook. While there may be some of either, the benefits will far outweigh the costs
    2. Think about what specific areas you know something about and publish. That means write, draw, film, animate and/or photograph your expertise in action.  
    3. Solve your customer problems with your content. If you are not sure of topics to use as the subject of your publishing, start with the questions your customers ask you. It’s a great place to begin.
    4. Be consistent and patient. This approach takes time, so don’t expect results overnight. Give it 4-6 months of consistent publishing and sharing. With a little patience, you’ll start to experience the snowball effect. Content that you created months earlier will begin to produce results far into the future.

    In the end, remember that your customers’ eyeballs are on social media. If you want to reach them, you need to be there. And if you want to make a good impression, your content ought to be strong. Creating content that helps customers learn and/or solve problems is your ticket to building a relationship with them.