Say Goodbye To Clicking And Swiping

Every Monday morning at 7:10 am, I am a guest contributor on CHOM 97.7 FM radio broadcasting out of Montreal (home base). It’s not a long segment – about 5 to 10 minutes every week – about everything that is happening in the world of technology and digital media. The good folks at CHOM 97.7 FM are posting these segments weekly to SoundCloud, if you’re interested in hearing more of me blathering away. I’m really excited about this opportunity, because this is the radio station that I grew up on listening to, and it really is a fun treat to be invited to the Mornings Rock with Terry and Heather B. morning show. The segment is called, CTRL ALT Delete with Mitch Joel.

This week we discussed: 

  • I was not able to make it to the studio this week, but figured that I would share the stories that I wanted to discuss with Pierre Landry, who sat in for Terry and Heather B. I’ll be back on air next Monday at 7:10 am with Terry and Heather B.
  • Is you car about to become KITT from Knight Rider? While Amazon Echo‘s amazing voice-activated assistant, Alexa, is still not available in Canada, the technology is going to change how we interact with technology. Say goodbye to clicking, swiping and those greasy fingers you use on your iPhone. It’s all going to be voice. BMW just announced that they are soon going to open up control of its cars to Alexa, as it looks to increase the tech in their vehicles (and compete against Tesla). You’ll soon be able to speak to your car, and find out how much fuel is left, to unlock the doors and much more. Voice will be the way we navigate our technology in the not-to-distant future. So, imagine yourself as Captain Kirk hailing your computers for everything. 
  • If using your voice to control your tech (“Hello, Siri”) still seems too weird, how about a smart tattoo? A group of PhD students from the MIT Media Lab and researchers from Microsoft Research have come up with a new kind of wearable: a temporary tattoo, that can turn into a touchpad, remotely control your smartphone, or share data. The technology, which will be presented at a wearables conference next month, is called DuoSkin. The researchers say you can design a circuit, using any graphic software, stamp out the tattoo in gold leaf (which is conductive to electricity), and then apply other commodity materials and components that would make the tattoo interactive. Who doesn’t like to touch themselves? 
  • Posting almost anything to Facebook can make you look like a narcissist in this day and age. Well, check this out: Researchers from the Brunel University in London have conducted a study on why so many people share every workout on social media. While your body may look great, the results of this study are less flattering. “People who are always keen on documenting their gym activities (or every time you simply go for a good, old-fashioned run) tend to be narcissists. According to the researchers, the primary goal is to boast about how much time you invest in your looks. Apparently these status updates also earn more Facebook likes than other kinds of posts.” So, if you post about it your a narcissist. If I like it, I’m just fuelling your deep-seeded issues. 
  • App of the week: Fender Tune.

We will have the regular audio feed back for you next Monday.

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Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #322

Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, Solve For Interesting, the author of Complete Web Monitoring, Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks and Lean Analytics), Hugh McGuire (PressBooks, LibriVox, iambik and co-author of Book: A Futurist’s Manifesto) and I decided that every week the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person “must see”.

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another: 

Feel free to share these links and add your picks on Twitter, Facebook, in the comments below or wherever you play.

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I Got You vs. I Keep You – The Mobile Brand Crisis

Brands are going to confront a huge challenge as their consumers become more and more mobile.

In the past, I have written about the massive chasm that is developing between consumers and brands, as our consumers become more mobile and smartphone enabled. Please read: Mobile Breaks Search… And Your Brand (from March 2016). Yes, brands will continue to struggle with a mobile web experience vs./plus a native mobile application for iOS and Android. Which is the better venture (or both) are tough, expensive and timely decisions that should have been made a few years back, but are being battled over in the boardrooms and budgets today. There is no choice, but to move forward as mobile has evolved from another channel to the primary way that consumers interact with information, one another and, of course, your brand. Search is a problem because discoverability of these mobile applications is a real chore for brands. The user experience is not like the desktop web experience of search and click. Consumers now have to go to the app store, and look for your brand. In short, discoverability, serendipity and more is all but lost for most brands today.

Let’s say a consumer did find your app… are they sticking with you?

It turns out that discoverability, getting a consumer to download your app and use it isn’t even half of the challenge. Churn is going to be the bane of a brand’s existence for the next long while. In fact, the assumption would be, that as consumers get more adept at mobile, the easier this hill would be to climb. That would be wrong. When it comes to apps, the data is frightening. Back in September 2015, MarketingCharts reported on something many of us marketing professionals knew: smartphone users spend the bulk of their time with a few of their favourite apps (Smartphone App Users Spend Half of Their Total App Time With Their Favorite One). From the article…

“Exactly half of all time spent on smartphone applications occurs on an adult’s single most-used app, says comScore in a new report that contains a host of intriguing data points about mobile app reach and engagement. The study shows that app time is even more concentrated on tablets: fully 87% of tablet app time is spent with users’ top 3 apps. This demonstrates that app discovery isn’t the only challenge faced by marketers… As is well known by now, time spent with mobile apps is growing quickly, up 90% between June 2013 and June 2015. As previously noted, this growth isn’t coming at the expense of web access, as mobile browser use is up 53% over the same timeframe, and desktop use is up 16%. Still, smartphone (65%) and tablet (12%) apps have combined to contribute almost 80% of the growth in total digital time spent over that 2-year period.”

Guess which apps?

By pure data, we know that it is probably mostly happening on Facebook/a Facebook owned app as well. This should be sobering to brands today. Now, let’s assume that you were so good as to overcome all of this. You got them. You got the consumer to find you, download your app and engage. Have you kept them? Back to the churn problem. Two days ago, MarketingCharts published another important article titled, Uh Oh. Mobile App User Retention Rates May Be Worsening. From the article…

“…preventing churn is a whole new ball game. And it’s not getting easier… In fact, fully 63% of app users will become inactive within 30 days after downloading an app… That churn rate is up from 58% in last year’s analysis… the figures are also slightly down from Q4 2015 rates, so it may well be that retention is indeed becoming more difficult to achieve. Perhaps these high churn rates are to be expected, given comScore research showing that half of smartphone users’ app time is spent with their single favorite app. (Which could well be a Facebook property.) Nevertheless, what Localytics has called a ‘Mobile Engagement Crisis’ seems to be getting worse, rather than better, over time. By the third month post-download, 80% of users have abandoned an app, per this latest research, up from 75% in the earlier analysis.”

The solutions may be more challenging than the problem.

How does a brand overcome this discoverability and churn problem? A simple platitude like, “be awesome” or “provide utility” may not be enough. The MarketingCharts article suggests in-app messaging, creating more things that hook users in earlier in the process, and great deals as possible solutions. Candidly, this may not be enough. What we do know is this: mobile, apps and this space were not created as a media platform for a brand play. This is not like television that was created with advertising in mind. In fact, looking at mobile experiences and usage, it would be fair to say that we have never seen a media platform so anti-brand and advertising before. Finding the solution in an article like this would be amazing. Realistically, brands need to think about their mobile planning now in two (very large) perspectives:

  1. What are we doing to get consumers? What is the app/mobile experience really going to bring to them in terms of value, utility, information, entertainment, etc… that will help them embrace it?
  2. What are we going to do to keep them? What will the app/mobile experience have that will always make it relevant/important for them to have over a lifecycle?

No solution. Just two very tough questions that all brands should be working on.

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Keeping Social Media Fresh With Jason Keath – This Week’s Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #528 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

This past week was a tough one for me, and owe Jason Keath a huge apology. I was supposed to be one of the main speakers at his incredible Social Fresh conference (which took place over this weekend in Orlando, Florida). I had a sudden and scary medical issue come up that precluded me from travel, and I had to cancel on him (and another event, out in Los Angeles). It’s a terrible feeling knowing that you are letting someone down. That is only made worse, when it’s someone as kind as Jason. Thankfully, Sally Hogshead came to our rescue (thanks, Sally… you’re the best!), but still… it sucks. Jason works hard as the founder and CEO of Social Fresh Conference. He has a passion for bringing together the smartest voices in marketing, and getting them to share what really works. He’s also a keynote speaker, in his own right and a podcaster over at Social Toolkit Podcast. With that, he has many thoughts on the current state of social media and what it is going through. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast #528.

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Is Your Brand Story Documentary-Worthy (Like Shopify)?

Tell your brand story!

How often have you heard someone (usually in marketing) say this in a meeting? Brands have been trying forever to tell a unique, powerful and emotive story. The reason for doing this is simple: connection. A brand that can connect its story (attributes, values, benefits, etc…) to a consumer (and keep it) will win. It’s tough out there. There’s no denying that legacy doesn’t ensure your future (just ask the folks at Macy’s this week). Plus, every day more and more people are looking to grow their business… and it’s all happening online.

It’s hard to deny the power of Shopify.

Most people know Shopify as the company that just reported a 93% year on year growth. They have more than 300,000 merchants using their platform, generated over $86 million this year, with a market cap of close to $3 billion. I know Shopify since they were this scruffy little startup that my buddy, Harley Finkelstein, got involved with many years back, after trying to sell t-shirts online with their platform. He loved it so much, and saw the potential that he got in on the ground floor of Shopify. Now, Harley is the Chief Operating Officer, and he (along with Tobi Lutke – the CEO and founder – and an amazing leadership team) is trying to redefine retail… and it’s working.

It’s not just what you do, it’s how you tell the story. 

This week, Shopify released their Shopify Roadshow Documentary. It was created and presented to investors in May 2015, prior to their IPO. It’s awesome. Take a look. As a brand, it’s important to watch for the storyboard, the production quality, the arc of how they break up the separate components of the business and everything in between. Ultimately, what makes this work so well, is that it’s a real story. It’s not a PowerPoint deck. For me, it was emotional. I wanted to get on board. Not just to invest. I wanted to become a part of their community. I wanted to sell something on Shopify. I wanted to figure out a business model that I could bolt on to become a valuable partner (and build my own successful business). That’s what every brand narrative should do. It’s amazing how powerfully it speaks to both their B2C and B2B models at the exact same time. It’s a real documentary. It feels like it.

If you’re not motivated by this to tell a better brand story, I’m not sure what will motivate you: Shopify Roadshow Documentary. 

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Winfluencer Marketing: How B2B Companies are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content

Lee-Odden-Uberflip-experience

“Influencer Marketing is the practice of developing relationships with connected internal and industry experts to co-create content of mutual value to achieve measurable business goals.” – TopRank Marketing

Influencer marketing has gained an enormous amount of popularity over the past few years but marketers still have lots of questions. How does influencer marketing work? Is influencer marketing right for my brand? How do I find influencers?

In addition to coming up with a new meaning for B2B (Beards & Bacon) and providing one lucky tweeter a box of bacon covered donuts, TopRank Marketing CEO Lee Odden answered these questions (and more) as he took the stage at the Uberflip Experience in Toronto.

Why the Need for Content Centric Influencer Marketing?

Let’s face it folks, the buyer journey has changed. What was once a clean funnel that followed a predictable path from awareness to action, is now more like this:

New Funnel

This new (and messier) funnel has become very unpredictable and difficult to manage. By incorporating influencers into content programs, marketers are able to help guide the way that buyers move through the funnel.

Benefits of Influencer Content

Many marketers are being tasked with doing more with less. One way to get more bang for your buck is to incorporate influencers into content programs. There are many benefits to incorporating influencers such as:

  • Adding an authentic voice.
  • Increasing content quantity.
  • Improving content quality.
  • Acting as a catalyst for creating relationships.
  • Increasing reach.
  • Tapping into new subject matter expertise.

3 Types of Influencer Content

According to Lee, there are three types of influencer content programs that marketers should be considering and incorporating today. Each of these program types requires different steps and can reap different benefits.

#1 – Influencer MicroContent

MicroContent can take on many forms. One of the most well known is the creation of lists of top influencers within certain industries or roles. Another option for creating influencer MicroContent is to include quotes, tips and insights from influencers into brand created content. In this scenario, the brand will create about 75% of the content and utilize the other 25% in influencer contributions to add credibility and a unique perspective.

An example of influencer MicroContent done well, is Marketo’s new eBook: The Definitive Guide to Social Media Marketing. As you can see in the screenshot below, Marketo used influencer contributions of varying length and type to add to their brand content.

Marketo Influencer Project

#2 – Influencer Content Campaigns

Influencer driven content campaigns are another type of influencer program that brands can implement. These often take on the form of eBooks (with supporting assets) and the influencer content will typically account for most of what is created.

TopRank Marketing recently collaborated with DivvyHQ to produce the Easy-as-Pie Guide to Content Planning. This campaign incorporated a group of content experts and included everything from an eBook to a motion graphic and supporting blog posts.

TopRank Marketing Influencer Campaign

In addition to the larger content assets created, our team also provided influencers with customized social messaging to help inspire amplification. As a bonus, we asked each influencer for their favorite pie flavor and then mailed them a pie. This small act inspired even more unique influencer content.

Divvy Influencer Contributions

#3 – Influencer Community Programs

Brands looking to build an influencer community MUST take a coordinated effort to be successful. In these types of programs, the influencers are aware of each other being part of a common group. They may be paid for some things like writing blog posts or going to events. In order for an ongoing program to work, there must be established mutual value and benefit for both the brand and the influencers.

IBM has implemented a very successful influencer community program that taps into a select group of experts for a variety of different projects over an extended period of time.

IBM Community Program

Building An Influencer & Content Marketing Framework

To help get brands started with influencer content, Lee shared a framework to help guide them down the path to success. The influencer content framework steps include:

  1. Define Goals
  2. Pick Topics, Content
  3. Identify, Qualify & Recruit Influencers
  4. Collect & Co-Create Content
  5. Inspire Promotion
  6. Performance Feedback
  7. Maintain Relationships

Considerations for a B2B Influencer Content Program

Before embarking on a content-centric influencer program, companies should consider the following:

  • Why: Decide why influencer marketing might make sense for your business.
  • Who: Determine what your staffing needs are and what influencers you might incorporate at the beginning.
  • What: Identify the types of content that you plan to create with influencers
  • Where: Choose which content and social channels you’ll use to publish and promote your co-created content.

For Lee’s full presentation you can view it on SlideShare the embed below:

What are some ways that you can incorporate influencer content creation into your current content program?


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The post Winfluencer Marketing: How B2B Companies are Winning Hearts & Minds with Influencer Content appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.

#SproutChat Recap: Social Content & Engagement

Social media managers are often trying to increase social audience engagement. Testing and measuring content and post types across social networks is the best way to see what resonates with your audience. However, there are some proven tactics that tend to garner the best results. This week at #SproutChat, we discussed what content strategies work best for each popular social network.

Engaging on Instagram

We know hashtags and bright photos are necessary for success on Instagram. Beyond your photo’s aesthetics, you can engage your audience by requesting their user-generated images. With an individual’s permission, publish their content on your brand’s account and give their Instagram handle a thank you and shoutout. This personalized connection will stand out with the content owner while the rest of your community will be impressed that you took the time out to recognize a follower. This simple action will make all the parties involved more engaged with your brand and inclined to submit content in the future.

Engaging on Facebook & Twitter

While Facebook and Twitter are very different social networks, images and videos resonate on both. Take advantage of the reach of hashtags and conversational nature of Twitter. On Facebook, try sharing posts with longer copy or test out long form articles.

Measure Extensively

Determine which metrics will effectively communicate your social media engagement goals. Work with your colleagues in marketing to ensure all efforts are working together to impact the bottom line.

Present Metrics in a Format Your Boss Understands

By now you probably already know that measurements such as likes, comments and shares don’t always mean much to senior leadership. While these factors are important, they’re usually not regarded by the people who aren’t managing a community on social everyday. Track the metrics and patterns that do matter to your boss and make sure you format your social media engagement results in a way that’s easy for leadership to understand.

See you next week on Wednesday, August 31 at 2pm CDT when we discuss, how to effectively use video on social with special guest Margot Mazur. In the meantime, join our Facebook group and get to know the other members of our community!

This post #SproutChat Recap: Social Content & Engagement originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Data-led Small Businesses Grow Revenue More than Data-shy Companies

Small businesses that use data to help make decisions are more strongly growing revenue as compared to their counterparts who use data on a limited basis, according to new research from Exact and Pb7. The findings show that businesses across the U.S. and Europe who lean on data insights reported revenue growth of 21% in the last financial year, as compared to 9% for businesses reporting limited use of data. Data-led businesses also experienced a net profit margin of 22%, versus 14% achieved by small businesses in which data has a limited role.

Sizmek and Fuisz Video Partner to Enable Shoppable Video Ad Serving and Reporting

Sizmek, an open ad management company for multiscreen campaigns, announced a partnership with interactive video solutions provider, Fuisz Video, to enable brand marketers and agencies using Sizmek to serve object level interactive videos that propel consumer engagement through a full-service offering that extends the capabilities of interactive video ads.

Keeping Social Media Fresh With Jason Keath – This Week’s Six Pixels Of Separation Podcast

Episode #528 of Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast is now live and ready for you to listen to.

This past week was a tough one for me, and owe Jason Keath a huge apology. I was supposed to be one of the main speakers at his incredible Social Fresh conference (which took place over this weekend in Orlando, Florida). I had a sudden and scary medical issue come up that precluded me from travel, and I had to cancel on him (and another event, out in Los Angeles). It’s a terrible feeling knowing that you are letting someone down. That is only made worse, when it’s someone as kind as Jason. Thankfully, Sally Hogshead came to our rescue (thanks, Sally… you’re the best!), but still… it sucks. Jason works hard as the founder and CEO of Social Fresh Conference. He has a passion for bringing together the smartest voices in marketing, and getting them to share what really works. He’s also a keynote speaker, in his own right and a podcaster over at Social Toolkit Podcast. With that, he has many thoughts on the current state of social media and what it is going through. Enjoy the conversation…

You can grab the latest episode of Six Pixels of Separation here (or feel free to subscribe via iTunes): Six Pixels of Separation – The Mirum Podcast #528.

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Online Marketing News: Email Workflow, Google Cracks Down, Influencer Marketing Fails

optimize-your-email-production-workflow-infographic

optimize-your-email-production-workflow-infographicHow to Optimize Your Email Production Workflow [Infographic]
This infographic takes a look at the email marketing production processes of over 900 marketers to help isolate helpful tips and tools to help optimize email marketing workflows. Helpful hints include the optimum production cycle, tips for strategy and goal setting, content creation, design and development. MarketingProfs

Google warns it will crack down on “intrusive interstitials” in January
Google has made another bold move on behalf of user experience — cracking down on intrusive interstitials. The platform says that these ads are problematic on smaller screens, like mobile devices. Sites affected are those that show a pop-up, either immediately or after the user has been browsing content for a while, after the user has arrived from search results and those that show interstitials that users have to dismiss to access content, among others. Search Engine Land

Why Marketers Fail at Influencer Marketing (Report)
According to a recent report, the biggest struggle in measuring influencer marketing efforts is proving value. 28% of marketers say gathering data is a challenge, and 13% of marketers surveyed didn’t know what metrics to track. However, over 60% of influencer marketers are tracking more than five metrics, including traffic to a specific web page and social shares. SocialTimes

Report: Video ads on Instagram are more common and getting longer
Marketing Land reports that a recently released report “presents mobile advertising trends on social media sites, and Instagram in particular. The report finds that one out of every four ads on Instagram is now a video ad. This coincides with Facebook’s effort to make “video ads” more broadly accessible to small businesses and in emerging markets.” Marketing Land

56 PERCENT OF EXECUTIVES SAY THAT HAVING ANALYTIC SKILLS ON THE MARKETING TEAM IS CRITICAL FOR EFFECTIVE MARKETING

Study: Programmatic Ads Lead To 55% Lift In Offline Sales
MediaPost reports findings from a recent Accordant Media study: “Overall, there was a 55% lift in offline sales when serving programmatic ads over a control group not served the ad, with 35% incremental conversions, meaning that over one third of conversions would not have occurred without the programmatic campaign.” MediaPost

Facebook Is Letting Brands Build Slideshow Ads Right From Their Mobile Phones
According to AdAge, on Tuesday, Facebook launched tools for creating Slideshow Ads, “including the ability for marketers to create them right from their mobile Facebook pages. Slideshows are basically video ads, but use still images to string together a story.” Ad Age

Twitter’s New Button Enables People to DM you Direct from your Website
On Wednesday, Twitter announced the latest tool in their arsenal to allow users to more efficiently connect with each other, and with brands — a new button for websites that “enables site visitors to quickly and easily fire off a Twitter DM direct from the page,” according to Social Media Today.

Apple Weighs iPhone Video Editing App in Renewed Push on Social
In an effort to integrate more social networking apps in their mobile products, Bloomberg reports: “Apple Inc., seeking to capitalize on the popularity of social networks, is developing a video sharing and editing application and is testing new related features for its iPhone and iPad operating systems.” Bloomberg

YouTube prepares to expand beyond video with more social features
The video sharing platform YouTube is rumored to be adding new features that are out of the ordinary for the platform — its new suite of features called Backstage that will “give subscribers new ways to interact with content creators, including through “rich replies,” which are comments that feature multimedia content, including photos and videos.” ClickZ

What were your top online marketing news stories this week?

We’ll be back next week with more online marketing news. Have something to share? Tweet us @toprank!

The post Online Marketing News: Email Workflow, Google Cracks Down, Influencer Marketing Fails appeared first on Online Marketing Blog – TopRank®.