7 Excellent New Features For Brands On Snapchat, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook

At Social Media Week LA 2016 there was a lot of discussion about how brands can look to market effectively on newer platforms such as Snapchat. It was generally agreed that brands should focus on utility, rather than message amplification. Offer the user something than improves their existing communication on the channel, rather than try to interrupt it. At the same time all social media channels are continuing to add features to their platforms that improve their effectiveness for marketers. Here are some examples:

 

  1. Snapchat Updates Stories and Discover Pages: “The Discover page now features a Pinterest-style mason grid of tiles, while the Stories page now combines the two rows of static Discover channels and Live Stories into one scrollable row of non-friend content.” TechCrunch reports that this recent update makes “professionally made and community-curated content just as attractive as what friends share on the app” and “should make building the channels more lucrative for publishers.”

 

  1. Twitter Introduces Twitter Insiders: Twitter introduced Twitter Insiders, “a one-stop solution for recruitment, design and collection of live research – and its goal is to make consumer and market research more timely and accessible.” According to Twitter’s company blog, this new program is comprised of “a network of more than 12,000 Twitter users that participate in research studies… [and] act as an anonymous virtual panel from across the US and the UK, inspiring businesses to make a more customer-centric decision.” Twitter gives agencies and brands the option to work directly with Twitter Insiders or “design studies with the help of C Space, a team of consultants who specialize in fostering collaboration between companies and their customers.”

 

 

  1. Facebook Rolls Out Video in Comments Worldwide: Facebook announced that “videos in comments are now available worldwide! You can upload them as replies to posts by people and pages, as well as within groups and events. It’s supported on desktop web, iOS and Android.” This feature can be accessed by clicking the camera button in the comment field.

 

  1. Twitter Makes Embedding Twitter Timelines Easier: In March 2016, Twitter “upgraded the embedded timeline to a modern new design that beautifully showcases Tweets across your desktop and mobile sites.” This past week, Twitter announced that it’s “made it easier than ever to add these rich, responsive Tweet displays directly to your website or CMS.” Rather than needing to create timeline widgets for their accounts, users can customize an embeddable timeline display on Twitter Publish and simply copy and paste the code into their website.

 

  1. Facebook Rolls Out Support for 360 Photos on the News Feed: “For the first time, you can now easily share 360 photos on Facebook. Simply take a panorama with your phone or capture a 360-degree photo using a 360 photo app or 360 camera, and then post it on Facebook as you would a normal photo. From there, [Facebook will] convert it to an immersive 360 photo that people can explore, similar to how people experience 360 videos on Facebook.” Support for 360 photos is now available worldwide on the web and the latest versions of the Facebook app for iOS and Android.

 

  1. LinkedIn Introduces Premium Insights: LinkedIn Premium subscribers now have access to Premium Insights, a new feature that provides “unique and timely data about the companies that interest you – their growth as well as hiring trends by function.” According to LinkedIn’s official company blog, these new company insights are currently only available with Business Plus, Sales Navigator, and select Talent Solutions subscriptions.

 

  1. Tumblr Adds GIF Button to Messaging: Tumblr rolled out a new GIF button that’s “especially useful for starting conversations, ending conversations and as word alternatives in the middle of conversations.” Simply open a conversation in Tumblr’s messaging feature and click on the GIF button to add an image to your conversation.

 

How To Structure Your Blog For Maximum SEO

Regular blogging takes time. But you can reap tremendous rewards in traffic to your website and valuable leads. But you need to make sure that your writing is SEO friendly. What is the difference between regular blog and an SEO friendly blog? Read below to find tricks to make your blog more SEO friendly.

There isn’t much difference between a regular blog and an SEO friendly blog. But the little difference helps the blogger get the most views. An SEO friendly blog is optimized and written with little tweaks which help the blog show in result of search engines keyword searches.

An SEO friendly blog is written around a keyword. You have to make sure to have the keyword cleverly used at least in the headers and if possible in the paragraphs. The Google crawlers while looking for a particular keyword reads through the headers first and the blog with higher usage of the keyword gets chosen to be shown in the top result. Also make sure your title as well as the headers use the keyword. Search engine crawlers assume that the article with the keyword being used the most in the title and header would be the best representative of the keyword. So make sure you are using your keyword wisely.

 Must haves for an SEO friendly blog:

For starters pick a topic and search keywords on search engines for that topic. Make sure your title of the blog consists of the keyword and is catchy enough that the reader would click it. After picking your keyword follow the following steps.

  • Headline: Make sure you write compelling headline, your headline helps readers make a decision if the article is worth reading or not.
  • Your Opening statement: If you have a good opening sentence then your reader would most likely read the entire article, so try to connect with your readers.
  • Sub Heading: Good subheadings are the ones which give the readers a benefit and also make them promise which you keep under the heading.
  • Content: Make your content more practical and keep the promise you made in your sub headings by answering the compelling questions you asked before.
  • Image: An important factor for your SEO which we usually look over. Search engines also crawls through the images on the blog post, so make sure you have a keyword related picture complementing your blog as well.

How can you make your blog stand out on search results?

If you follow the above helping steps and optimize your blog, your blog should stand out. Make sure you have a good title, headlines and relatable content for the users. If you are new to blogging, best way to write a good SEO friendly blog would be to look at other blogs. Blogs help business website to show up more in search engines results and if you want to optimize your business site may be hiring a marketing company would be the best option.

Our writers specialize in writing SEO friendly blogs and when you are up against other businesses, hiring specialized writers is your best option.

Doug Baxter is CEO of Cut to the Content, an agency that provides content strategy, creative and production to brands and the agencies that serve them.

 

 

The 3 Ingredients In A Successful Content Marketing Plan

We estimate that up to 70% of the investment in producing content is wasted. From a marketing investment perspective this is a disaster. There are a number of reasons that contribute to this failure. Chief among them are:

 

  • The fact that content is frequently produced, and then not utilized, or under utilized. A lot of the time it is buried somewhere on a website where no one will ever find it.
  • Content is not formatted correctly for the channel in which it is deployed
  • Content is just not developed in a way that it is interesting to the audience

The final factor is something that we encounter with clients every day. Their natural inclination can be to focus on developing a message around their brand, and getting it out there in the way that they did with traditional marketing. The fact is that this way of communicating, the push method, really doesn’t work any more. Brands really need to communicate in a way that that pulls audiences towards them with by educating, rewarding or entertaining them.

 

So, when we look at content strategy for our B2B clients at Cut to the Content we really focus clients on 3 brutally simple ideas:

  1. Hold the sell. As most readers are looking to learn more about a topic, do not start bombarding them with promotional jabber. Content sharing focuses on engaging them through quality articles packed with valuable insights to encourage them to learn more. Remember, in the sales process it takes anywhere between three and thirteen interactions for a prospect to turn into a qualified lead, so starting a “social conversation” with a sales pitch baked in will chase away potential customers, so the goal is to get them to stick around to learn something.
  2. Think of your audience, not your product. When creating and sharing content, always prioritize an audience first approach. What would the readers want to learn more about? What obstacles are they encountering and how can you overcome those? When you tap into your prospects’ needs and issues, you can create content that they can align themselves to and encourages them to continue the education process.
  3. Become a valuable information resource. Publish helpful content on a consistent basis will give readers a reason to visit your blog time after time. Becoming a go-to resource is critical to building up followers and readers. We also suggest that carefully offering a white paper, e-book or case study to visitors is a way to gain more in-depth information.

 

As brands increase their investment into content marketing, they need to remember that telling is not selling so put your audience’s interests before your own. Content will only grow in quantity on the web, and the way to avoid content blindness and do it right is never use sales pitches disguised as articles. Instead they should focus on sharing their expertise and insights. Always write to benefit the reader. As time progresses readers will take note of their genuine approach to offering solutions and then will be happy to engage with the sales process.

Please contact us if we can help you with content strategy, creative or production:

 

Three Golden Rules for Job Interviews

I have been interviewing potential employees for 30 years now. It’s something that I really enjoy. It’s not just about finding the right person for the job — it’s a great way to keep a finger on the pulse of what is going on out there in the market. What is shaping the ambitions and dreams of the new generation coming into our industry? What does the future look like to them?

Overall, the quality of candidates is very high in Los Angeles. Standards of education are very good and even junior candidates have generally interned in relevant organizations, giving them the potential to play important roles in a busy agency environment.

However, three recurring failures will turn a candidate into a definite No:

  1. TARDINESS – It’s a respect thing. You are turning up for the first time to see senior people. We are here and prepared. By being late you are making a statement about your future commitment that may or may not be true. It’s actually much easier and less stressful to be early.
  2. LACK OF RESEARCH – Make sure you have spent a reasonable amount of time going through the company’s website and social media presence, becoming familiar with the client base and recent campaigns. In our case, show us that you understand why we believe so powerfully in Brutal Simplicity of Thought. We realize that it is complicated, but candidates regularly confuse us with our similarly named competition at interviews. This is an immediate fail. It demonstrates a complete lack of preparation.
  3. LACK OF FOCUS – Don’t try to portray yourself as great at everything. We are a team of highly developed specialists. In most cases we are trying to find talent that is focused on a specific set of skills.

Pretty straightforward, really. You would think that these situations would be easier to avoid.

The only other tips I have are: smile, enjoy the experience of learning about a new company and a new opportunity, and be yourself. Above all, we are looking for people who we can enjoy working with and will add to our amazing culture!

Social Media Breakfast LA

Social Media Breakfast LA

Discussing Brutal Simplicity of Thought at Social Media Breakfast LA

Many thanks to everyone who attended my presentation at Social Media Breakfast LA yesterday. I talked about M&C Saatchi’s belief in the power of Brutal Simplicity, and how it applies to the modern marketing landscape. In doing so, I was able to show some powerful case studies from our offices around the world.

The power of simple ideas for good cause, embodied by The Street Store concept from Cape Town, South Africa had huge emotional impact. Learn more in this powerful video about the project: http://bit.ly/1nVbkbd.

We also had some interesting questions from the audience. Some of the work involved ideas that were totally new to social media marketing and the attendees were interested in finding out how to convince clients to take a risk on original, untested concepts.

There are really two parts to this answer. The first is that new is a currency that fires the imagination of the social universe. Consumers are looking for new experiences that they can then share as a demonstration of their social savvy. Delivering these new and rich experiences maximizes the return for our clients.

The second simply comes down to trust. Our clients trust us as the guardians of their brand values. When it comes to social media marketing, we need to be able to empower the consumer, allowing them to experience the brand on their own terms. It’s part of becoming a Generous Brand, a core belief of M&C Saatchi SHARE.

The Ultimate Sports Weekend

Chrysler 2014 Super Bowl Ad

An image from Chrysler’s 2014 Super Bowl ad.

This past weekend was an incredible fiesta of watching sport on TV.

I arrived to the US just over 3 years ago, and the single hardest thing I have had to cope with is how much I am missing following Irish sport — and rugby in particular.

This weekend the Six Nations Championship, the oldest and most prestigious rugby tournament in the world, kicked off. I would have loved nothing more than to be watching Ireland play Scotland today at Lansdowne Road. Instead, I was 5,157 miles away in Santa Monica, watching them play at 7:00 AM local time, on an illegal streaming channel with naked lady ads popping up every 40 seconds. Still, they made me very happy by beating Scotland 28-6. Well done boys!

It was also Super Bowl Sunday. I have done my best to get into American sports but I have struggled with the lack of continuity. So many sports are structured around ad breaks. Usually I find this annoying, but as I am not a Seattle Seahawks fan, the ads were about the best things in yesterday’s game. The Seattle Seahawks won by 43 points to 8 in a completely one-sided game in which a dominant Seahawks defense made it impossible for the Broncos to get into the game.

The Battle of the Ads was a much more entertaining affair. Big money and big reputations are at stake. Why is it so important? For starters, it’s all about the exposure on TV’s most watched day. They deliver excitement.

And when you take into consideration that easily over 100 million may tune in and the price tag to get on the air is about $4 million, everyone suddenly plays armchair Don Draper.

So what were my thoughts?

Personally, I am never going to love the cutesy advertising style in the Budweiser ads. Cute but way too obvious, contrived and boring.

Overall, I thought that the best work was delivered by two of the car brands, Chevrolet and Chrysler. Chevy chose to celebrate World Cancer Day that happens today. The ad was touching, solemn, poignant and very beautiful.

What can I say about The Chrysler ad?

Unbelievably awesome. Bob Dylan proves that he still speaks the language of the American soul. It was stunning, incredibly well written, and authentic.

Apart from that, it was fun to watch Gwen Deans quit her job in front of a watching America in the GoDaddy ads, and the much hyped Bud Light ads were pretty funny. I thought the worst ad was definitely the Sodastream Scarlett Johansson spot. The negative controversy surrounding her association with the brand seems to be compounded by the fact the ads are plain dull.

What did you think? Let me know your most and least liked spot.

Digital and Social Events in 2014

As we move into the new year, I can’t help but notice that clients are starting to focus on digital and social marketing more than ever before. I truly believe that brands are lagging behind their customers’ behavior in term of the focus and investment that they have made in these channels to date.

Perhaps 2014 will be the year that the serious catch up will begin.

One way that marketing and brand managers can get up to speed on the latest ideas, technology, and innovation in our industry is to attend the better conferences and events covering the digital and social sector. I have highlighted a few that our team is considering attending in the year ahead.

The highlights for me will be SXSW in Austin and the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) annual digital conference in September. The ANA is a wonderful opportunity to meet people, hear some remarkable case studies and hang out in a beautiful part of Southern California.

Finally, we will be planning a series of SHARE events in the year ahead. These events will be informal gatherings of clients and fellow digital industry professionals. High profile speakers will address a broad cross section of the most critical issues facing our sector.

Be sure to follow me here and on Twitter for further news and dates.

SXSW – Music, Film, Interactive
Date: March 7-16, 2014
Location: Austin, Texas

ANA Digital & Social Media Conference
Date: July 13-15, 2014
Location: Dana Point, California

4A’s Transformation Los Angeles
Dates: March 16-19, 2014
Location: Beverly Hills, California

Adobe Summit 2014: The Digital Marketing Conference
Dates: March 24-28, 2014
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Social Media Marketing World
Dates: March 26-28, 2014
Location: San Diego, California

Ad Age Digital Conference
Dates: April 1-2, 2014
Location: New York City, New York

Gigaom Paid Content
Date: May 13, 2014
Location: New York City, New York

The Code Conference
Dates: May 27-29, 2014
Location: Rancho Palos Verdes, California