Entries with tag marketing .

Generate Buzz: 6 Tips for Making Content Go Viral

Why is it that some videos go viral while others don't get shared at all?  To answer that, we turn to the book, Contagious: Why Things Catch On.  In Contagious, marketing professor Jonah Berger identifies a framework, STEPPS, which explains why certain things gain immediate popularity.  Berger recommends that to create viral content, organizations use as many of the key ideas depicted in STEPPS as possible:

  1. Social Currency.  We care what our peers think. As such, we share things that make us look good.  For instance, Berger mentions how people like to feel like insiders and so information about discreet bars, secret dining clubs, etc. is more likely to be passed on to others.

  2. Triggers.  We typically don't plan our conversations in advance.  So, if you're trying to promote a product, it's helpful if it can be linked to a common trigger—something that people are reminded of frequently so that a conversation about your product occurs organically.  By way of example, Berger says that the Mars company experienced unexpected higher sales of its Mars candy bar when NASA Pathfinder landed on Mars.  Why?  Because people remembered Mars Bar based on something that was happening in their external environment.

  3. Emotion.  Content that generates strong emotion—even if that emotion is anger—is more likely to go viral.  This explains the plethora of animal videos and outraged petitions in your Facebook feed.

  4. Public.  Want content to cause people to take a specific action?  People are a lot more likely to take action if it's something they see others doing.  For instance, the Movember Foundation encourages men to grow a mustache during the month of November to raise funds for men's health.  This idea caught on rapidly, because it's something that takes place in public—people actually see more men walking around with mustaches which naturally, generates curiosity.

  5. Practical Value.  We like to help others.  If we have knowledge that will make someone's life easier, we're more likely to share it.  That's one reason you'll see so many how-to's and helpful hacks online.

  6. Stories.  While people may not remember the specific features of your product, they are likely to recall a memorable story about it.  If you can tell an interesting story about how someone used your product, people are more apt to pass the information along. 

A New Mobile App Pays for Selfies

With a click of the camera on your phone, you may not get Hollywood to come calling, but you could make some extra money.  Pay Your Selfie, an app that launched late last year, pays you for selfies.

The process is a fairly straightforward one.  After downloading the app, you can view a list of selfie tasks.  These can range from things like taking a selfie while you're brushing your teeth with Crest or posing with your favorite energy bar.  Each selfie task pays between .20 and $1.  Once you've banked $20, Pay Your Selfie mails you a check.

Naturally, that leads to the question, “Why would a company pay for images of strangers?”  The answer is data.  By viewing the time of day, gender, and location in a person's home, marketers can obtain valuable information that they may not be able to get otherwise.

For instance, when P&G's toothpaste division ran the aforementioned Crest task, they learned that a lot of people brush their teeth before dinnertime between 4-6pm.  Marketers can use information like this to drive product sales.  For instance, Crest may choose to use this data by running advertisements with a marketing message about the importance of freshening your breath before an evening meal.

As you can see, Pay Your Selfie sounds intriguing, but is it worth it to give up some of your privacy to earn a little extra cash?  It depends who you ask.  Common Sense Media reports that Pay Your Selfie incentivizes sharing by rejecting selfies that don't share enough information.  The organization suggests that the app “ultimately sends unhelpful messages about what's valuable and acceptable for kids to share online.”

On the other hand, millennials who are already comfortable sharing through social media may find that the extra pocket money overrules any concerns about privacy.  In fact, according to Adweek, the app has attracted 100,000 users and has received over 500,000 selfies to date.

Say cheese!

4 Creative Ways to Market your Business with Snapchat

Snapchat, a mobile app that allows users to send videos and pictures that self-destruct, has grown increasingly popular with millennials.  That said, if millennials are your company’s target audience, you may want to consider using this app for brand promotion.  Below we offer up some creative ideas for doing that:

  1. Offer Access to Live Events.  Want to promote your product launch or trade show?  Social Media Examiner suggests that Snapshat is the perfect vehicle for doing just that.  By providing your audience with special access to live events (with behind-the-scenes videos or celebrity interviews, for example), you can generate interest and excitement in your event.

  2. Pair with an Influencer.  Keeping your audience entertained is paramount on Snapchat.  One great way to do that is to team up with an influencer who is appealing to your target audience.  For example, Red Bull allowed snowboarder champion, Mark McMorris, to control its Snapchat account so users could see inside his sports lifestyle.  This campaign was a perfect fit for Red Bull, helping the company to reach McMorris’ large fan base.

  3. Hold Contests.  Want to generate enthusiasm among your users?  Consider promoting a contest on Snapchat.  For instance, you could invite users to submit their best picture, video, or drawing to win a prize.  The prize could be first dibs at your new product line, cash, or special VIP access to an upcoming event.  Think outside the box and plan a contest that is quirky, but still relevant to your brand.

  4. Have Fun with It.  As a platform, Snapchat allows you to be creative and less serious than you might be on other marketing platforms.  Use this to your advantage.  By way of example, Amazon had employees carve pumpkins and then posted their creations to Snapchat, asking users to vote on their favorites.  This lighthearted marketing approach increased engagement while subtly encouraging Snapchat followers to view the company as a fun brand.  

7 Helpful Resources for Bloggers

As we’ve mentioned previously, blogging is one of the best ways to increase follower engagement while improving SEO.  If you took our advice to heart and started your own blog, you’ll enjoy the following links.  Below we share some of the most helpful blogging resources we’ve come across:

  1. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer.  Just enter your headline and this nifty tool will evaluate its length, emotional appeal, structure, and keywords.  Consider this one a great resource for increasing clicks.

  2. HubSpot Blog Topic Generator.  If you’re struggling to come up with topics to write about, you’ll really appreciate this tool.  Simply enter a few nouns and HubSpot will do the rest, offering you multiple potential blog topics.

  3. Freeimages.  Sometimes hunting down images to accompany your blog posts can be difficult.  With over 388,000 free photos and illustrations, Freeimages makes it easy.

  4. Grammarly.  Want to check if your grammar is correct?  You’ll love Grammarly.  This Chrome extension performs checks for spelling, sentence structure, style, punctuation, and more.

  5. Keyword Planner.  To increase the readership of your blog posts, consider Google’s Keyword Planner.  Not only does this tool allow you to enter keywords to see how popular they are, but it also provides related keywords that you may want to include in your blog.

  6. MailChimp.  There are few things worse to a blogger than writing a post that nobody reads.  With MailChimp, you can easily email your contacts to notify them about your new post.  This convenient resource is free if you have less than 2,000 contacts.

  7. Hashtagify.me.  Need help finding the best hashtags to reach your audience?  Hashtagify.me has analyzed over 4 million tweets to make the job easier for you.  This tool offers hashtag tracking, influence measuring, and information about a hashtag’s top influencers.

5 Elements of a Successful Home Page

Would you like to have a website that sets you apart from your competitors?  Of course you would!  Read on to learn how to create a successful home page by incorporating these 5 elements:

  1. Use Mobile Responsive Design.  By this, we mean that your website should automatically change to fit the screen that an individual is viewing it on.  This will present your products and services in an aesthetically pleasing way, preventing users from leaving the site because it didn’t render well on their mobile device.  With nearly 50% of people using smartphones to visit sites, this should be your top design priority.

  2. Keep It Above the Fold.  The most important elements on your home page should remain above the fold, meaning that your site visitors should be able to view these items on your page without needing to scroll.

  3. Include Several CTAs.  A CTA is a call-to-action.  Essentially, it tells your site visitor to take a specific action (i.e. “Try us free for a month,” or “Sign up here for our newsletter.”).  By failing to include CTAs on your home page, you’re missing a huge opportunity to attract more blog readers, sign up people for your newsletter, have your demo downloaded, etc.

  4. Use a Bold Supporting Image.  The web is a highly visual medium.  Select an image that reflects your brand’s spirit and makes visitors want to learn more about your company.  For instance, Inbound Marketing Agents cites the Ralph Lauren website as a great example of this.  The site consistently wins awards for its visuals, because the company does such a great job of embodying the brand’s style and elegance.

  5. Write a Compelling Headline.  According to Hubspot, visitors will assess your website in a mere 3 seconds.  For this reason, you need to write a clear, simple headline that immediately conveys what your site has to offer.