Target’s “OCD” Holiday Sweater Stirs Up Controversy

If there is one thing people love about the holidays, it’s ugly sweater parties (or maybe that’s just me). And, over the years, Target has met consumers’ unfashionable, but festive, demands by selling “ugly” sweaters throughout this time of the year.

These swoooopps2eaters are usually a big hit amongst holiday shoppers, but this year one sweater‘s message is creating chaos on social media.

The controversial sweater reads “OCD Obsessive Christmas Disorder,” and it’s generating a storm of backlash on Twitter. This is because the message seems to blatantly trivialize mental illness, specifically Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

For example, one angry individual responded on Twitter by saying “Hey @Target this sweater isn’t cute or funny. OCD is a serious mental illness that shouldn’t be mocked.”

Continue reading “Target’s “OCD” Holiday Sweater Stirs Up Controversy”

Let’s Talk About That Blog of Yours

At this point, you’re already sold on the idea of starting a blog for your business, and using it to move forward with content marketing like 81 percent of B2B organizations are currently doing.

So what’s holding you back from getting started?

shutterstock_230245711You have questions. Lots of them. And so you’re dragging your feet about moving forward with the project, as you don’t want to rush into the process and risk painting your organization in the wrong light. Meanwhile, your competitors are pumping out multiple blog posts per week.

If this describes your situation, I understand what you’re going through. After all, there are a lot of things to consider when starting a blog, such as:

Tone and style: Should your blog be loose and creative, or strictly business? A blog is a direct reflection of your corporate brand, and so it’s vital that your messaging aligns with the image you are trying to create for your company.    Continue reading “Let’s Talk About That Blog of Yours”

How The Travel Industry Can More Effectively Market Towards Millennials

Let’s get one thing straight: I love the experience of travelling, from packing my bags and heading out the door to adventuring and exploring new and exciting locations. So in most cases, if you approach me and say “let’s go on vacation,” I’ll probably agree on the spot.

shutterstock_234823648Getting me to follow through with the process, on the other hand, is like pulling teeth.

Allow me to explain why.

First, a bit about myself: I’m 28 years old (that’s right, I’m a millennial), have two dogs to look after, a full time job, financial obligations, and a tight schedule.

So while it always sounds great to plan a vacation, it’s difficult for me to actually make it happen. I say this from experience; right now my girlfriend and I are trying to plan a trip to Denmark. It’s just not easy. We can’t up and leave on a whim, even when we see amazing travel deals.

But alas, you say! Aren’t all millennials freewheelers like the ones the mainstream media likes to portray? Continue reading “How The Travel Industry Can More Effectively Market Towards Millennials”

3 Unexpected Benefits From Outsourcing Content Production

You’re still trying to decide whether a content strategy vendor is right for your business. After all, partnering with any vendor is a big decision and one that requires a lot of trust.

By outsourcing either some or all of your content needs, you can spend less money on the resources required to obtain professional, compelling copy. There are also several hidden benefits to outsourcing content production that you may not be aware of.

Here are three unexpected perks of working with a content strategy vendor:

shutterstock_194954891Fresh perspective about your brand: As a marketer, it’s easy to spend so much time thinking and talking about your products and services that you become bored with them.

What winds up happening is you lose the spark of interest that is needed to make your brand exciting to consumers. Continue reading “3 Unexpected Benefits From Outsourcing Content Production”

Retooling Your Brand? Make Sure You Have Supporting Content

Back in April, PepsiCo made headlines when the company announced plans to stop shipping bottles of Diet Pepsi containing aspartame—a widely used but controversial artificial sweetener. And this week, the first shipments of its new aspartame-free beverages, containing the sweeteners sucralose and acesulfame potassium (or “Ace-K”), will slowly make their way onto grocery store shelves.

shutterstock_178657133It’s a big change for the Diet Pepsi brand, and one that comes at an important time as we’re exactly one month away from the big September 10 kickoff to the NFL season. So executives at PepsiCo are waiting with bated breath to see how customers will react to the change.

The big question is, will the change encourage consumers to continue reaching for Diet Pepsi? Or will more people start reaching for Diet Coke? Only time will tell how consumers react to the new product.

As you can see, making a change to a product can be a stressful experience. This is especially true in the food and beverage industry, where making even a small adjustment—like replacing an ingredient—can have a massive impact on taste, and thus consumer perception. Continue reading “Retooling Your Brand? Make Sure You Have Supporting Content”

How Brands Are Using Your Memory to Their Advantage

Is it just me, or are video ads getting more ridiculous by the second?

I often find myself streaming my entertainment rather than watching live TV in order to avoid advertisements. However, despite my years of experience in avoiding advertisements, there are some commercials that just demand my attention.

For example, the men’s deodorant brand Old Spice is well known for its unorthodox videos. Whether it’s actor Terry Crews powering an entire garage band by hooking an EKG machine up to his muscles or a tree full of moms showering their sons with tears and denouncing the brand for “making men of their sons”, Old Spice’s advertisements just seem to be going over the top.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq2SlCja3zo]

Continue reading “How Brands Are Using Your Memory to Their Advantage”

Top Takeaways From the Content Boost Crash Course, Part 2: Afternoon Sessions

Looking back on the second half of yesterday’s Content Boost Crash Course, the word that comes immediately to mind is “action.” While the first half of the day was focused on educating attendees about the basics of content marketing—the ins and outs of blogging and the need to engage with customers via social media, for example—the afternoon was all about how to put those strategies into motion and move forward with an integrated, revenue-driven content marketing strategy.

shutterstock_134665622What is the best way to get started with content marketing in your organization? As Content Boost Director Carrie Majewski intimated during a presentation titled “Getting the Boss to Say Yes to Content Marketing,” approaching the boss about investing in content marketing may be intimidating. She advised participants to lay such fears aside, however, as, in truth, most decision makers are ready to move forward with content marketing. Majewski backed up her claim with a study from DNN which shows that the top three priorities for marketing executives are to acquire new customers (87 percent), increase customer retention (86 percent) and increase brand awareness (80 percent).
Continue reading “Top Takeaways From the Content Boost Crash Course, Part 2: Afternoon Sessions”

Top Takeaways From the Content Boost Crash Course Part One: Morning Sessions

The morning flew by here at Content Boost, as we’re now halfway through our second content marketing Crash Course; that is, our all-day integrated marketing seminar offering the latest tips and tricks for growing your brand online.

Before we head into this afternoon’s additional seminars and group discussions, it’s a great time to reflect on some of the top takeaways from the morning sessions, led by our in-house team of integrated marketing experts.

Here are three key tips that were discussed:

20150421_112544Be bold with your content: After opening remarks from our CEO, Rich Tehrani, our Director Carrie Majewksi kicked things off with a presentation on the basics of content marketing. One of the most important things she spoke about was the need to be bold and take chances with your content. As she explained, you are already disruptive with your product offerings so it’s critical to be innovative with your multimedia. According to Majewski, content marketing is your opportunity to drive emotion, tell stories and create a “WOW” experience that will resonate strongly with your customers. Continue reading “Top Takeaways From the Content Boost Crash Course Part One: Morning Sessions”

What Can Content Marketing Do For Your Business?

There’s no question that content marketing is increasingly among business leaders. As evidenced in a recent infographic from Smart Insights, 29.6 percent of readers claimed that content marketing is the most commercially important marketing trend in 2015.

That’s more than twice as much as big data, which came in at 14.6 percent. Marketing automation, for that matter, came in even lower at 12.8 percent.

shutterstock_229790977You may be wondering: What exactly can content marketing do for your organization? Stop and think about whether the following needs apply to your business.

Do you need to: Continue reading “What Can Content Marketing Do For Your Business?”

Three Reasons Why Content Marketing Works

While other businesses have been pumping resources into their content marketing strategies, you’ve been waiting on the sidelines assessing the situation to see if it’s right for your business. You’re still looking for proof of how content marketing can help your business grow.

shutterstock_77165428Recent research from Ascend2 sheds some light on this important issue; according to the research, 89 percent of companies surveyed claim that content marketing has helped them achieve important objectives like improving customer engagement, increasing lead generation and increasing brand awareness, among others.

Here are three reasons why content marketing works, as evidenced by the findings from the report:

There are a variety of options to utilize: You may find that one particular content marketing vehicle does not work for your intended audience. For instance, you may start out producing video and find out that your audience is more interested in reading in-depth case studies and white papers. With content marketing, you can easily switch vehicles without disrupting your budget or even your overall strategy. Continue reading “Three Reasons Why Content Marketing Works”