Authentic and Memorable Campaigns

Being the devoted Audi brand fan that I am, I’m not sure how I missed this incredible campaign between Audi & Airbnb. They essentially combined the brands, using the oh-so beautiful Audi R8 to create an experience to rival the best of them. For those who haven’t seen the listing, check it out here.

Instead of just creating advertising or a ‘commercial’ they created an experience. Not only does this speak directly to the new generation of buyers – experiences vs. things – it pushes the traditional distribution model past redline. The current advertising environment is overwhelming, consumers are under a constant barrage of marketing messages which is now just ‘noise’.  Campaigns like Audi & Airbnb are showing us what it means to create great content – authentic and memorable. Personally, I believe we’re in the early stages of a necessary shift in advertising. The bar is higher, and brands must begin to think outside the box. Great content should evoke emotions, excite, and engage the audience. I tip my hat to the creatives that designed and executed this campaign – we need more content like this.

Top 5 Content Optimization Trends

Content optimization combines the power of content marketing and SEO to create a robust, cohesive data-driven marketing plan that drives awareness, expands reach, and improves customer engagement. Organizations are beginning to see the value in implementing this type of strategy, finding that it builds trust, increases leads, and delivers greater ROI than traditional marketing strategies. Mobibi – The Collective Sales and Marketing Platform, is focused on the following 2018 trends.

1. Using the power of micro-influencers.

Influencer marketing has skyrocketed in popularity, with dozens of brands trying to snap up industry experts whose followings number in the hundreds of thousands — this is influenced by the “bigger is better” mentality.

However, high-quality influencers no longer need to have a large number of followers — they simply need to have a fiercely loyal audience in a specific niche. Fans and devoted followers of online personalities and thought leaders feel connected to these individuals, trusting them as though they would a friend or colleague. Influencers are no longer just teens and young adults with funny videos or stylish photos; they have a connection to a specific demographic, such as IT professionals, executives and decision-makers. Leveraging these micro-influencers can be a powerful tactic to gain traction, establish credibility, or simply increase awareness of a product or brand.

2. Creating content for proactive reputation management.

Brands often can’t control what is written about them online — in fact, it’s a feature used as a benefit for some content producers, such as Yelp. But when brands start creating and distributing optimized content, they can exert control over the way it is perceived online. Establishing subject expertise promotes trust, leading to a sense of authority. Not only will the brand voice be trusted, when something disparaging is written (whether true or not), it will be balanced with additional content chosen and optimized by the brand itself.

When brands don’t take the time to optimize their online presence — social media included — the consumers write the narrative. They must take charge of conversations about recent events in the industry, and establish themselves and their organization as an authority.

3. Taking back content ownership from social media.

Social media is a powerful channel, but many brands have begun to rely too heavily on third-party platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Instead of focusing on growing the properties they own, they seek out virality for those brief moments of user attention. Social media has its place and should be a staple in any content optimization strategy; however, brands should focus on using it to drive traffic back to their owned properties and website.

Relying on social media alone is a dangerous strategy. In June 2016, publishers on Facebook noticed their reach per post had dropped 42%, showing that a brand’s reputation and reach on a channel that is not under the brand’s control can be wiped out with a simple algorithm adjustment. Facebook then reported in early December that metrics relating to iPhone traffic for Instant Articles (which hosts content on their platform), were underreported for a “small group of … publishers.” And in October 2016, just four years after launch, the popular video sharing app Vine announced it would shut down. The company said that users of the app can download the videos they created, which will also be available online — but there is no telling for how long. But when a company relies on a third-party platform, small issues can create big problems overnight.

4. Stopping the oversaturation of email inboxes.

Email marketing has always been a top performer in terms of ROI, but customers are beginning to ignore their inboxes. Recent research has shown that sending too many emails — which many marketers are guilty of doing — can actually lower overall engagement. Click-through rates have recovered, but are still in an overall decline since email marketing’s heyday.

Consumers are continuously moving towards real-time interactions with a company. According to Forrester report, online chat as a tool for customer service interactions has increased from 38% in 2009 to 65% in 2015. This method of communication allows the customers to remain on the company’s website and interact without major effort. Live chats are popping up everywhere on websites, and not just for customer service — businesses are adding live chat as a way to promote content.

5. Turning to content optimization.

The biggest trend for 2018 will be creating data-driven content strategies. The powerful impact of optimizing existing content, creating new content, and optimizing the distribution strategy — finding new places to promote content offsite and learning to strategically develop new onsite content — will help brands meet consumer needs at the right stage of the purchase funnel.

Content optimization strategies deliver high ROI, especially when repurposing content that has already been written. Many brands have digital content created years — perhaps even decades — ago that can be optimized, promoted and redistributed, resulting in increased traffic and more leads.

Content optimization is picking up momentum. Brands can use this tactic as a way to approach content marketing and SEO in a targeted, data-driven manner. This year, content optimization trends will shake up the way content marketing campaigns are executed, allowing brands to reap the rewards and ROI.

Content Marketing for the Enterprise

The power of content marketing is quite clear. Those businesses that employ a content marketing strategy have conversion rates that are six times higher than competitors that don’t. It’s no wonder why businesses are spending more on content marketing. For those enterprises looking to do more with content marketing, here’s what you need to know.How to Identify Content Topics

There is no point in creating content that won’t connect with your audience. Creating content requires investment in time and resources. To identify winning topics, you can use this process:

1. Research Keywords

Organic search drives 51 percent of traffic to websites, as search engine giant Google handles more than 3.5 billion searches per day. Take advantage of the wealth of data readily available to you. Use keyword research tools to help you discover the kinds of searches that are driving people to your site, as well as content topics that, if covered, will drive more visitors.

2. Analyze Interactions With Customers

If you want satisfied clients, solve their problems. That’s the way you build loyalty. Your content should be serving the same purpose. Talk with your sales and customer service teams about their interactions, and look at Internet forums discussing topics in your industry. Questions, complaints and general observations customers frequently have can give you golden ideas.

3. Examine Data

Regardless of the amount of research you do beforehand, some content is going to do better than other. Data is increasing in importance in content marketing, because it will give you insights into what will perform well. In short, data is the key to improving your content’s performance.

How to Increase the Volume of Content

The “quality versus quantity” argument hasn’t been settled in the content marketing world. You should be consistently producing and updating content, as there is much evidence that fresh content influences search rankings.

Here are some things you can try:

1. Hire freelancers: Whether you need blog posts, YouTube videos or infographics, freelancers are available to help increase the volume of your content.

2. Repurpose content: For instance, if you write a white paper, you could use information from there to create a series of blog posts. You could even use stats for Twitter posts. Get the most out of your content through repurposing.

3. Stick to your strategy: While 80 percent of marketers have a content marketing strategy, only 32 percent have documented that strategy. You need to flesh out a concrete strategy — and stick to it.

Winning With Content Marketing

A solid content marketing strategy can help you create a sustainable business. Follow these pieces of advice for finding great topics and creating solid content at the scale you want and you’ll be on your way to winning over more customers.

Choose Your Own Brand-Venture: How to Go From Top to Favorite Brand

You’ve put out your name, you’ve shown your product, people know about your brand; what comes next? Taking a brand to the next level usually means making sure your customers keep coming back to the point where they spread the gospel of your product for you. After all, there is no marketing tool more powerful than word-of-mouth testimony. But how do you make loyal converts out of repeat buyers?

Make your Values Transparent

People respond better to a brand that is clear and consistent with their representation. Being clear with your company values sends the right message to the appropriate channels. Dove’s beauty campaign, for example, expresses their belief that beauty comes in all shapes, sizes, and ages. In this case, being a brand synonymous to acceptance and celebration of all women makes it easy for customers to identify with their message.

Content Still Matters

By this time, everyone knows that content is still king when it comes to marketing. But consider this: is what you’re saying connecting you to your audience? Does it match your public’s interests and needs? When you plan for your campaign’s content, the focus should not just be on what your brand is about; you should also tilt the focus on how your brand can fit into and improve their lives. Your choice of voice, tone, and delivery of the content should also match your demographics’ style and culture.

Old School Marketing Moves

Whatever the current marketing trend, some areas in marketing don’t change– correct pricing and positioning factor in/are still factors when people make the decision to support brand X instead of brand Y. A customer may opt out of upgrading a service if the perceive upgrades as expensive. A customer may shirk away from purchasing a product with a questionable name (can you imagine buying Cocaine Energy Drink?). Language and context are significant aspects of whether or not your brand becomes the first choice in the market.

When strategizing on how to stand out on the search pages, explicitly saying you’re the best doesn’t account for anything of value to both SERPs and marketing. It only matters that you stay honest with your audience and communicate your brand message in a relatable way. Consider their customer journey. You are providing the experience– make it a good one.

Ad Blocking Is On Fire

Display ads have been dying for a long time. Click rates have plummeted. Browsers support ad-blocking.

With iOS9, Apple made it possible for app developers to block certain kinds of advertisements. Developers created apps within the first few days of iOS9’s launch that blocked everything from pop-up ads and display ads to sponsored content. Digital marketers now have to think differently about mobile and where they focus time, energy and budget.

Truthfully, apps are better for user experience and better for companies when it comes to tracking and personalizing the customer journey. With Apple essentially ripping out the revenue rug from mobile analytics companies, publishers and advertising agencies, there’s really nowhere for companies to go but to apps.

Consumers, per Tech Crunch, spend 75% of their time on mobile within apps.

Apps are in; display ads are out. Marketing budgets need to be recalibrated accordingly. This is an opportunity for marketers to take a step back and think about all of the channels at their disposal – and strategically allocate resources to the ones becoming more popular on mobile.

Read more about what marketers should spend more time in a post ad-blocking world:

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