Monthly Archives: June, 2013

From the Website to the Check: Why Your Restaurant Needs Content Marketing

Every hamburger lover has heard of California’s In-N-Out burger. Its greasy, delicious legend has managed to traverse land, sea and air—has traveled thousands of miles—to reach the salivating mouths of consumers from San Francisco to New York City.

And while I’ll admit they make a pretty decent burger, and have withstood the test of time—In-N-Out has been in business since 1948—it’s not the restaurant’s meat that interests me so much as it is In-N-Out’s marketing strategy. And it’s one that restaurants everywhere should be paying attention to.

What makes In-N-Out so great is that it has a secret menu, which only exists online. And while the secret has gotten out at this point, and is in fact now referred to as the Not-So-Secret menu, the concept is simple: it is a brilliant marketing gimmick that drives users to the website, and from the website to the food company’s store.

 

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How to Bring Social to Your Business Model

Have you ever noticed that many of your favorite TV shows—especially reality-based ones—have a new reoccurring character each episode? Its name is Twitter. From regular series promoting show-specific hashtags to reality TV programs displaying live tweets, there are very few shows on prime-time television that have not made a main character out of Twitter. The Bachelorette, America’s Got Talent, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, So You Think You Can Dance… the list goes on and on.

twitter stream

We have become so accustomed to Twitter on TV – whether it’s  live Twitter streams at the bottom of the screen  or the redundant plea of TV hosts to follow or vote for contestants,  – that in just a few short years, this type of social behavior has become commonplace.

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Facebook Leaks Shadow Profiles

After last week’s Facebook security breach which leaked contact information for approximately six million users, many are outraged. The leaking of confidential data seems to be just a small part of this story. What has people furious is Facebook’s collection of data that you didn’t even know they had – your “shadow profile.”

What’s a shadow profile anyway?

By now, you probably know—and have accepted—that Facebook tracks certain data about you. But the social networking giant may also have information that you’ve never shared with it before like your phone number and additional email addresses for example. This information is now included in your shadow profile.

Through Facebook features such as “Find Friends,” which grants access to address books, the network sifts through contacts listed in your friend’s phone to make it easy to find people on Facebook. When a friend does this, Facebook saves information about you including your phone number and email address. Continue reading →

ContentGems’ New Hootsuite Integration Will Skyrocket Your Content Marketing Capabilities

I love Twitter. It wasn’t love at first sight, but after getting to know the social platform better and, more importantly, understanding how it can optimize my content marketing agenda, it quickly stole my heart. However today, it’s not enough anymore to just follow people on Twitter. It’s not enough to follow Gartner if you’re in the tech space; you’re missing the mark if you’re only following Bobby Flay as an aspiring chef; and it just doesn’t cut it anymore to follow that top social media influencer or communications strategist as a content marketer.

contentContent marketers are being pushed now more than ever to proactively find exciting content and deliver this content to its target audience as quickly as possible. In other words, there’s always a way to further surpass standard practices to find those “diamonds in the rough” type of material. While Twitter is great to get you started, it’s certainly not an end-all solution. This is where platforms like Hootsuite come in.

I might just be addicted to Hootsuite. In my ever-filled tab bar throughout the day, Hootsuite’s infamous owl icon serves as my content marketing compass. It’s a directional guide of which I can always return to manage, organize and discover new content from those I’m following and keeping a close eye on.

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Always ‘Thinking Outside the Box?’ Maybe Something is Wrong with Your Box

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend last week in Verona, N.Y., at the NY Tech Summit—a two-day business-to-business exhibition and educational technology conference hosted by CXtec and Teracai. In addition to great networking events, top-notch exhibits by companies like Dell, Plantronics and Schneider Electric, and bleeding-edge classroom sessions, there was also a riveting keynote presentation by Travelocity Founder Terry Jones.

Terry JonesAs the Founder of Travelocity and Founding Chairman of Kayak.com, Terry knows a thing or two about innovation. That’s because Terry has a wealth of experience to pull from—from his time at American Airlines as a Director of Product Development to his 24 years at Sabre heading up the computer services, applications and product development sections to leading Travelocity since its inception in May of 2012.

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The Rise of Native Advertising for Content Marketing

Have you ever been on the Web and seen an article that really appeals to your interests, only to find that it’s an advertisement? All of a sudden that really funny, interesting, insightful article you couldn’t wait to explore is stripped bare, exposing its true identity: A fallacious marketing ploy to gain your attention. This type of scheme – called an “advertorial” – can feed a customer’s distrust in a company rather than destroy it. And that’s exactly where native advertising comes into the picture.

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Did You Miss us On Yesterday’s Webinar?

Yesterday, TMC CEO Rich Tehrani and I had the pleasure of spending our afternoon with marketing directors, CMOs, social media managers and a group of dedicated content producers for a Content Boost webinar titled “9 out of 10 Companies Leverage Content Marketing. Be in the 10% who do it Right.” If you were able to take the time out of your busy work day to listen in, we sincerely hope it was worth the pause from your normal work flow! And if you missed us yesterday we wanted to give you a quick recap of what we covered.

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Thursday’s webinar pulled back the curtain on the new marketing landscape that is content marketing. We started with the basics, enlightening everyone about what exactly content marketing is—a comprehensive marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing relevant, customized, insightful copy, with the end goal of helping a company bolster brand awareness and drive profitability.

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Fashion Brands and Instagram: A Match Made in Marketing Heaven

instaBefore there was Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, fashion fanatics had to score a ticket to Fashion Week and sneak behind the forbidden curtains in hopes of getting a glimpse of their favorite designers. Today, however, is a different story. From Burberry to Micheal Kors to Bergdorfs, retail companies are giving customers an all-access pass into the world of design. And let me tell you, it’s even more fabulous than you imagined!

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Instragram Incorporates Video

Instagram revealed this week that it will be rolling out video to its users. As noted in a blog post:

Over the past two and a half years, Instagram has become a community where you can capture and share the world’s moments simply and beautifully. Some moments, however, need more than a static image to come to life. Until now those stories have been missing from Instagram.

instagramvideoThe new video feature comes with thirteen filters which allow you to change the colors and feel of each video. The addition of video seems like a natural fit for Instagram, which focuses on everything visual. Businesses will now be able to share more interactive, behind-the-scenes moments and users are sure to download fun videos to share with their friends in short, 15 second clips.

With online video accounting for 50% of mobile traffic, it’s no wonder that social networks are jumping on the video train – and this number is predicted to grow to 55% by 2016. For businesses, this can mean huge marketing opportunity, especially when you factor in that 52% of consumers say that watching product videos makes them more confident in online purchase decisions.

What kind of impact will video have on Instagram? When Vine was introduced to Twitter, it didn’t seem like as natural of a fit. I predict video being more widely accepted on Instagram.

How will you use video in your Instagram strategy? Let us know!

Foursquare’s ‘Time Machine’: A Content Marketer’s New Best Friend

When the commanding forces of social and mobile combined – widely known as the “social revolution” – companies were pushed to accelerate content marketing strategies to further engage existing customers, to pique the interest of those uninterested and to keep their brand at the forefront of as many churning minds as possible.

Having said that, we’ve read countless articles jam-packed with pieces of advice about how Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram can help secure leads, increase traffic and establish companies as thought leaders in their respective spaces. I don’t know about you, but it’s all beginning to morph into one giant, redundant social marketing entity. Where’s the splash of uniqueness that keeps these words of wisdom fresh? That’s exactly what sparked the light bulb above my head when I caught wind of a new tool, Foursquare Time Machine.

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