Ice Cream in December: Ben & Jerry’s Dominates Instagram—and Fans Love It

Right now, the majority of Americans are reaching for bowls of hot soup and putting on multiple layers of clothes in order to combat the cold winter air. But not me.

shutterstock_117202792Instead of trying to run away from winter, I like to embrace it by reaching for a bowl of ice cream—the colder the better. After all, winter only lasts for a few months and then everyone starts complaining about the heat again. So when I opened my Instagram news feed recently to see a picture of someone holding an ice cream cone up to a cloud, I was pleasantly surprised—and not at all annoyed about seeing an advertisement in my news feed.

Apparently a lot of other people felt the same way, too. After all, it’s hard to get upset about seeing a picture of an ice cream cone. As it turns out, Instagram’s decision to incorporate ads panned out quite nicely for the company. In fact, Ben & Jerry’s experienced a 20 percent spike in followers after the advertising initiative. Here are some other interesting statistics that emerged as well:

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Content Marketing Lessons from ‘Roseanne’

It’s hard to believe it, but it’s been 25 years since America first met the Connors.

October 18 marks the silver anniversary of “Roseanne,” the comedy television show about a dysfunctional working-class family from the Chicago suburbs starring Roseanne Barr and John Goodman.

Roseanne_CastIn celebration of this classic television program, here are some lessons that we can learn about content marketing:

Don’t Be a Couch Potato—You Have to Produce  

Fans of Roseanne will remember the classic ongoing battle between the father, Dan Connor (played by Goodman) and David, his daughter’s lazy teenage boyfriend. Just like Dan constantly harped on David for not getting off of the couch, he would also harp on you if he caught you slacking with your content production. In order to establish yourself as a thought leader and engage consistently with your audience, you need to produce fresh content on a consistent basis if you want to succeed.

Be Loud and Outspoken, like Roseanne

Roseanne’s character was a bold woman, and when she spoke everyone within earshot paid attention. While this was partially due to her shrill yet charming voice, it also had to do with the fact that she never beat around the bush. Content producers can learn to speak clearly, boldly and plainly. If your content sounds different than the way you speak in real life, you might be trying too hard.

Balance Your Content with Humor

Part of the reason why Roseanne lasted nine seasons was that it had a steady mix of serious and funny overtones. Fans knew that any given episode could either make them laugh or stress them out and teach them an important life lesson along the way. Your content should work to keep readers guessing, yet at the same time it should be consistent. Don’t be afraid to use comedy to enhance your articles as long as your readers know that the content beneath is full of relevant and useful information.

Customers Will Judge Your Content Marketing by its Cover

Readers are constantly warned about the pitfalls of judging a book by its cover. But let’s face it: everybody does it. Just like a book needs to sell itself to a customer walking through an isle full of other novels, your content has to do the same thing to someone who is browsing the Web.

Domesday-book-1804x972Are you having trouble keeping your readers glued to the page? Here is a look at some strategies that authors employ to keep their readers moving along from the title to the last word:

You Need a Beginning, Middle and End

When it comes to sound content marketing production, your best bet is to avoid experimental strategies. Your content should be easy to navigate, like a Stephen King novel—not meandering, like Dickens. Set your reader up with a beginning, have a middle to flesh out your ideas and end it by backing up the point you were originally trying to make. Keep it simple, and remember that you are trying to sell a product or service. While content marketing can be edgy and different, it’s not a platform for an existential rant.

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Why Every Industry Needs Content Marketing

I was recently walking through a pet store, when I happened to stop to look at a tank of rare Japanese Snapping Shrimp. Noticing my perplexed expression, an attendant walked over and asked if I had any questions about the rare bottom-dwelling specimen.

It was while the attendant was explaining how the Japanese Snapping Shrimp could easily be confused with a Mantis Shrimp due to the sound it makes when its pincher opens and closes that it hit me: I had a ton of questions. In fact, I could not tell you anything about shrimp. And in the process, I realized a critical thing: content marketing can be used in absolutely every industry.
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What Can Content Marketers Learn from the Cronut?

Americans are slowly getting their first taste of the newest delicacy to sweep over the Western hemisphere: the Cronut. The harmonious product of a marriage between a croissant and a doughnut, the Cronut is winning over the hearts of pastry lovers from New York to Los Angeles. It is quickly becoming the latest craze in the food industry, and surprisingly has a lot to teach us about content marketing.


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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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Why Should I Outsource My Creative Content?

One of the most comical aspects of watching a Little League game is when a team runs out of pitchers. Some teams don’t even have one kid who can throw a strike, which makes watching a coach scratch his head while searching for someone—anyone—who can get the job done, even funnier.

Major League teams, however, don’t have this problem. There are rotations, and bullpens to relieve starters. You will rarely, if ever, see a position player run in from left field to pitch. While most Major Leaguers know how to pitch, it’s just not their job. An All Star, Triple Crown winner like third baseman Miguel Cabrera probably could take the mound if needed; but he shouldn’t ever have to. And even though he probably has done his share of pitching, it doesn’t mean he is good at it.

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Are You Just Waking Up to Content Marketing?

In Washington Irving’s classic tale Rip Van Winkle, a young man leaves his home along the Hudson River for a sojourn into the Catskill Mountains where he encounters a group of strange, bearded men. As the story goes, Rip proceeds to drink their liquor, and soon falls into a deep slumber.

When Rip finally wakes up, the world around him seems like a very different place. He is startled to learn that he too has grown a long beard. The stock of his gun has rotted away, and his dog has run off. This is because Rip did not sleep for just one night—he was out cold for 20 years. Confusion mounts as Rip walks into town and discovers how everything around him has changed. Continue reading “Are You Just Waking Up to Content Marketing?”

Marketing Lessons from Buffalo Bill’s Wild West

What do blazing guns, bucking horses and covered wagons have to do with your website? A lot.

In fact, one could argue that cyberspace offers much of what our young country did just before the turn of the 20th century—new opportunity, innovation and excitement. Just like miners used to examine mountain shafts and riverbeds for nuggets of gold, today people comb through social media to find new bands or artists. Likewise, finding new ways to edge out your competition online is like striking oil. The rugged, unknown path to glory on the Internet is free for anyone to traverse down just like the journey out West.

The thing is, it took a lot for people to pack up and leave home—which is where people like William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody came in. Cody was a master marketer, whose traveling caravan of “Rough Riders of the World” catered to the imagination of settlers to be. The show would rope people into buying a carefully constructed image of the great American West through his circus-like exhibitions. It was a place where citizens could come face to face with danger, without getting killed. And as it turns out, May 19th marks the 130th anniversary of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West.


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