Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 10-20-13

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome back to Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding, the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week.  We are going to continue with the ‘Tweet of the Week’ that started last weekend.  We’re simply looking for a tweet from a brand or company worth a little extra discussion.

#1 – Big news: today we’re opening up Foursquare Ads to all small businesses around the world – via blog.foursquare.com 

Premise: On Monday, foursquare rolled out ‘Foursquare Ads’, their own ad platform that will help small businesses connect with local (potential) customers.  With over 1.5 million businesses on the site, foursquare is now allowing businesses to set up advertising campaigns and easily track its performance – knowing who saw the ad, who checked-in at your business, etc.

Thoughts: There is nothing like writing a new tips article earlier this week and putting the “forthcoming” ad platform as a ‘keep your eye out for this’ recommendation … only to have them deploy it the day you are about to publish.  C’est la vie I guess.  Foursquare is looking for revenue builders and this is a potential blockbuster for the platform.  The ability to see who is reacting to your ad/campaign and managing your budget accordingly puts more power right in the hands of you and your business.  If anyone is testing this out already, I would love to hear your feedback – whether that be early successes, ideas for how it could improve, etc.

#2 – “10 Brands with Great Google Plus Pages” – via JeffBullas.com    

Premise: The writer put together a list of ten brands that have strong Google+ pages, for one reason or another, offering up the highlights of each page in an effort to show you how the network can and should be used to grow your business.

Thoughts: There are excellent examples shown here, using varying techniques of building engagement.  One theme revolves around the use of Hangouts (Toyota, NASA), while other brands go the route of visually appealing pictures, behind the scenes photos and video, etc.

Personally, I have always been impressed with NASA’s Google+ page and the images that they share and the Hangouts conducted.  This article pointed me in the direction of Toyota though and I have to say that their use of Hangouts is brilliant – a highly engaging way to not only connect with customers that are already engaged with the brand, but bringing in others to help them make choices on how to customize their car, and potentially hook them as well.

#3 – “15 Ideas That Would Vastly Improve Travel” – via Mashable.com

Premise: This article caught my attention for two reasons: 1. Travel write-ups always catch my eye and 2. This article is part of “BrandSpeak” on Mashable, which is “a program that gives voice to Mashable advertisers’ best content”.  Written/Sponsored by Marriott, the article takes a look at how technology could help improve travel and is helping promote their TravelBrilliantly.com site.

Thoughts: Taking a look through the list of 15 ideas, I thought there were several here that would be really helpful while on the road.  The ‘Social Concierge’ sounds amazing.  The ability to receive recommended tips based on your own interests, without feeling like you are being sold something with a hidden agenda would be a great tool.  The ‘Stock my Fridge’ idea would be nice to have as well, instead of the chips, candy bars, and $10 cans of soda.  I can’t imagine the ‘E-Check-in’ is very far away from becoming a reality, i.e. checking into a hotel via your smartphone.

#4 – “How to Create a YouTube Video Ad Campaign and Why It Matters” – via HigherVisibility.com   

Premise: The author takes you through several different paths towards advertising on YouTube – In-Search, In-Stream, and In-Display, and thoughts on the benefits of each, as well as where clicks would take you based off each type of campaign.

Thoughts: While In-Search and In-Display would direct you to a brand’s YouTube page, you are starting to see more and more In-Stream ads in the background on YouTube, taking visitors to the advertisers’ desired page.  At the end of the write-up there is a link to YouTube’s advertising page, though it would have been good to have run through the basics here as well.  Have you tried advertising on YouTube yet, and if so, what did you think?

#5 – “How Virgin used big data to inform its new content strategy” via eConsultancy.com

Premise: Over the past 10 years, Virgin.com has redefined its content strategy online by analysis of behavioral data.  Working with an agency, the team broke consumers up into behavioral segments.  After sifting through the data, it was decided that Virgin would have three groups to strategize against – Entrepreneurs, Music, and Travel.  Despite having three very different groups, Virgin managed to develop a unified strategy that helped ladder them up to one overall message.

Thoughts: This is an excellent example of breaking your audience down based on behaviors and developing a strategy to target each with the right message/content, but also bringing it all back together to one, ultimate message.

Tweet of the Week:

It is no secret that JCPenney has had a rough couple of years in the recent past.  This tweet caught my eye for some reason and I wound up checking in on the brand’s feed each day.  It left me frustrated and confused.  You will see above that they are promoting “#JCPRewards” on the feed.  However, this tweet was obviously posted on 10/16, while they say that the promotion runs from 10/15-10/17.

For some reason, I went and looked at their Twitter feed and guess what?  The tweet on 10/16 was the first mention of the promotion!  There was no effort made, on Twitter at least, to lead up to the first day of the promotion and they missed the first day of it.  How did this happen?!  As an added bonus, there was only one additional tweet sent on 10/17 and started with, “Last chance! …”.

For my own displeasure I guess, I searched the hashtag on Twitter and no one used it during the “three day” promotion.  Let this (please) be a lesson – if you are going to run a Twitter promotion, you need to spend “at least” a few minutes to come up with a plan of how it will be promoted and what you will do leading up to and during the campaign.  Just awful.

Hope you enjoyed the top stories in branding and digital marketing from the past week.  Have a great week ahead!