Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 10-12-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to another edition of #SundayMusings – the top news and stories that caught our attention from the past few weeks.  We have wrapped up our focus on LinkedIn and this week’s musings take us back to the core principle of branding.  Here are several branding-related stories that caught our attention:

#1 – 10 Social Media Mistakes That Could Be Hurting Your Brand – via HuffingtonPost.com

Premise: The vast majority of Americans are on social media which means your brand needs to be there (somewhere) too.  However, one mistake can be costly.  The writer puts together a list of 10 common mistakes that have been made in the past and continue to be made seemingly on a regular basis.

Thoughts: Interested in annoying your audience?  Do you want to cost your brand the equity that has been built over a long period of time in 140 characters or less?  If you answered “No” to these questions, you probably want to check out this list as, at the very least, a good reminder of what not to do with your brand’s social media pages and/or presence.

My “favorite” one here is #3 – “Getting too personal” and the examples from Amy’s Baking Compnay and KitchenAid.  You might want to take a step back from the keyboard before posting anything remotely similar to the meltdowns these brands had in the past.

#2 – “Six great automotive content marketing campaigns” via econsultancy.com 

Premise: The author has found six examples of various content marketing efforts being made by automakers.  The efforts themselves are largely different and go across various mediums.

Thoughts: What I loved about this article right from the beginning is the author’s comment, “I’m not sure I’ve ever been able to properly define content marketing …”.  That is a nice synopsis of my thoughts on the niche that has become content marketing.  It is branding.  No, really, it is.

The efforts of two automakers caught my eye here.  The Nissan Leaf community is a great way to bring together current (or past) owners of the car to provide honest feedback.  The other is Honda’s YouTube channel, Honda Stage.  I’ve mentioned my loyalty to Honda in the past so this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.  Partnering with various music brands that are relevant to a younger audience will/should help Honda gain and build brand salience with present and future car purchasers.

#3 – “The 13 Steps to Content Marketing Success” via ClickZ.com 

Premise: Success in content marketing builds value in your overall company – whether that be through customer engagement, sales, or elsewhere.  The author puts together a list of tips for consideration when drawing up your content marketing plan and how to measure its success.  From ‘setting a goal’ through bringing your content marketing efforts to life, following these steps will help increase your chances of success.

Thoughts: Here we are again with ‘content marketing’.  The beginning four steps here are critical to your success.  While many of the middle steps listed here are straightforward, there is also an important stage at the end of the writer’s list to consider.  #11 – ‘Set up tracking’ is an important element if you want to better understand where your viewers are coming from and can help you adjust your current efforts or note for future efforts.  

#4 – Adweek’s Top 5 Commercials of the Week via Adweek.com 

Premise: At the end of every work week, Adweek compiles a list of the top ads.  Last week’s ads included ones from GE, Strongbow, Starbucks, Volvo, and Dove.  Readers can vote for their favorites on a weekly basis.

Thoughts: If you don’t have this bookmarked or in your Feedly feed, you probably should.  What caught my eye about last week’s ads were the first three in this list.  GE’s ad with Jeff Goldblum is so bizarre I still don’t know what to think about it.  See below, as I had to put in this write-up so that it isn’t a click away.

The same agency that worked on Heineken-owned Newcastle Brown Ale is at it again with another brand under the Heineken umbrella – Strongbow.  This ad cracked me up.  The Starbucks ad is the brand’s first global campaign, which actually surprised me that it has taken this long for a more broadly distributed campaign.

Tweet of the Week:

Interbrand’s 2014 “Best Global Brands” report is out and you need to take a look.  Follow the link in the Twitter ad above to the landing page of the report.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page you will find all of the content that was put together for this year’s report.  This includes the list itself (which highlights the top risers year over year), the methodology, interviews, etc.  There is a tremendous amount of information here to digest and is well worth the time.  Enjoy!

What news or stories caught your eye this week?  Enjoy your Sunday and have a great week ahead!

Eight Tips When Leveraging LinkedIn Company Pages

LinkedIn Company Pages

As we close #LinkedInMonth (plus) here on Shore Branding, it is time to look at several LinkedIn Tips for building your company page on the network.  We previously looked at improving your own, personal page on LinkedIn but now it is time to focus on business pages.  Several tips are similar in concept, but LinkedIn has rolled out new features that only business pages can take advantage of.

Here are eight tips to improving your business/company page on LinkedIn.

#1 – Maximize the information you put on your profile & consider some of LinkedIn’s special offerings

Provide all of the pertinent information in your company description – who you are and what you do, your company history, corporate portfolio, and a link to your web site.  List your specialties to help with appearing in search within LinkedIn and provide any type of unique selling point (USP) that you would typically promote anywhere else.

Are you looking to hire?  Post your job opening(s) directly on your LinkedIn page and track who and how many people are responding to each posting.

LinkedIn used to have “Products” and “Services” tabs as well but they have since removed this information from company pages.  However, they now provide a “Showcase page” where you can focus your message and target others with your core capabilities.  Take your USP’s and build pages for them, providing enough depth and breadth for others to notice.

LinkedIn Showcase Page

#2 – Publish regularly scheduled content on LinkedIn

Whether or not your company has a blog page, leverage your LinkedIn network to promote your work, white papers, PR, etc.  Update your status on some type of regular basis … whether you commit yourself to a daily, weekly, or monthly update/post, stay true to form over time.  Publishing your material to LinkedIn allows you another avenue to promote your expertise.

Beyond this, make sure you have some type of consistent branding on your posts.  It can be as simple as your brand logo at the top of each page/slide or you can leverage an appropriate color scheme, hashtag, etc.  Add some consistency for your audience.

#3 – Target your status updates 

Have a fragmented audience or do you offer up a number of services?  LinkedIn now allows you to target your status updates by company size, industries, job functions and more.  This obviously says a lot about the data available on the LinkedIn servers and your ability to target down to the right audience.

Targeting your audience on LinkedIn has never been easier!

Targeting your audience on LinkedIn has never been easier!

#4 – Start a LinkedIn group and participate in others 

Vastly similar to what is recommended for personal branding on LinkedIn, this is yet another area and opportunity to promote your core competencies and expertise.  Groups are an invaluable resource for many LinkedIn users and you can find/connect with like minds, while also seeing what your competitors might be suggesting in your space.

Starting a group is another aspect for consideration, allowing you to regularly moderate the group, initiate and steer discussions, etc.

#5 – Leverage SlideShare

Have sales sheets, infographics, training materials, business goals, and more?  Drop any shareable information into SlideShare and upload the information to your profile – whether it be part of your regularly scheduled updates or within your company description, SlideShare adds a level of visual appeal and helps break up the text on your business profile.

#6 – Stay up to date on the latest LinkedIn innovations

As mentioned above, LinkedIn is continually tweaking their offering on both personal and business pages.  As these options are deployed, figured out what makes the most sense for your business page and what you are most comfortable with.

For the latest and greatest news, bookmark this page on LinkedIn.  As you will see in that link, occasionally there isn’t an update to company pages for weeks and months.  However, looking at April and May 2014, there are also times where LinkedIn is continually updating their features.

#7 – Use LinkedIn’s analytics tools

LinkedIn continues to update and improve its analytics offering.  This will allow you to help track your audience on a daily/weekly basis and to begin to understand how your efforts on the platform are paying off (or aren’t).  You’ll understand both reach and engagement on each of your updates and in total.  One of the more powerful pieces of the analytics tool is the ability to understand the success rates of LinkedIn’s advertising platform – sponsored links/updates, advertising your company page itself, etc.

Know your audience better with LinkedIn Analytics

Know your audience better with LinkedIn Analytics

Speaking of …

#8 – Consider leveraging LinkedIn’s advertising platform 

LinkedIn’s advertising platform is easy to understand and incredibly easy to use.  Pick the type of ad that you want to use – text/image, video – and where you want it to appear on the network.  Then, start targeting your message appropriately.  Finally, set your budget.  You can set per day limits and pay by the number of clicks you receive or on the number of impressions out there.

A bevy of options with LinkedIn Advertising

A bevy of options with LinkedIn Advertising

There you have it – eight tips to improving your company’s LinkedIn page and to help with your branding and digital marketing efforts on the platform.

If you have any other tips for running a company page on LinkedIn, let us know in the comments below.  If something has (or has not) worked really well for your business, let us know as well.  Thanks!

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 5-25-14

 

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding! (Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

A mobile #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding!
(Photo credit: ZDNet.com)

 

Today’s #SundayMusings puts the focus back on mobile and mobile marketing thanks to last weekend’s “Pin of the Month” from guest writer Dean Olsen. Here are the top stories that relate to mobile from the past couple of weeks.

#1 – Wearable Baby Tech Aims to Bring Peace of Mind to New Parents – via BrandChannel.com 

Premise: There are a number of new products entering the market that bring tech to our children, including wearables. There is the Mimo Kimono that feeds a baby’s information to an app for parents, to a smart sock from Owlet Baby Care. Finally, Leap Frog has a new product called the LeapBand that works vastly similar to adult bands that track your activity over the course of the day.

Thoughts: This caught my attention for multiple reasons. First and foremost, we introduced our first child to the world last week and it has been a whirlwind ever since. Second, I can’t decide whether or not this technology is a good thing or bad thing, as I completely see both sides of the fence. I’m hoping my wife can make the call on this and whether or not we want to purchase any of these products (or similar ones). I’ll keep you posted … [Read more…]

New Poll – Will your brand spend money on mobile ads this year?

Are you budgeting for mobile advertising in 2014?

Are you budgeting for mobile advertising in 2014?  (InteractiveMarketingTraining.com)

 

As witnessed in our May 2014 “Pin of the Month”, mobile and smartphone ownership and usage continue to grow. It seems like every few months, if not weeks, we are spending more time focusing on mobile-related stories in our Sunday Musings (including this coming weekend).

So our latest poll on ShoreBranding.com is simple – will you be spending any portion of your marketing budget specifically on mobile? A simple “Yes” or “No” is all it takes. It doesn’t matter where – whether it be on social media apps, location-based services or companies, or anywhere in between. [Read more…]

Pin of the Month – USA Today’s Super Bowl Ad Meter

 

Infographic credit: USA Today

Infographic credit: USA Today

February’s ‘Pin of the Month’ takes one last look at this year’s Super Bowl advertising.  While many were busy watching the Seahawks bury the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII, a number of others were waiting for the commercial breaks to rate the ads.

This month’s infographic is from USA Today, visual.ly and Keyhole and summarizes the results from the USA Today Ad Meter, an annual look at the best Super Bowl ads since 1989.  The past two years have brought in the public’s opinions into the polling and you see the results above. [Read more…]

Super Bowl Ad Review 2014

This past weekend’s Super Bowl was the most watched event in television history, with over 112 million viewers tuning in!  With the growing popularity of the NFL and a match-up of the two #1 seeds, there was a lot of talk about how good of a match-up it would be.  Well, the game itself didn’t pan out (for the Broncos at least), but the viewership numbers certainly eased the minds of the marketing teams that spent a good penny to advertise during the game.

Here are my personal favorites from the game, with a few comments for each, along with a few additional ads towards the end – two that I didn’t like and two that caught my attention well before kickoff of the Super Bowl. [Read more…]

Super Bowl Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 2-2-14

 

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding - The Super Bowl Edition! (Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – The Super Bowl Edition!
(Photo credit: MixedNutsAndLove.deviantart.com)

Welcome to a Super Bowl themed #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding, the top branding and digital marketing stories from the past week, all of which revolve around today’s Super Bowl here in the US.

#1 – NFL Digital Media Offers Fans the Most Comprehensive Coverage of Super Bowl XLVIII – via NFLCommunications.com 

Premise: The NFL announced their digital plans for Super Bowl XLVIII and it includes the use of NFL.com, SuperBowl.com, a lot of mobile content, and a number of other features – many of which are largely seen or portrayed as being ‘fan-friendly’.

Thoughts: The NFL has slowly but surely transitioned to digital elements over the past handful of years and this year seems to be a heavy turning point towards mobile.  The league’s (very different) partnerships with Verizon and Fox are bringing a whole new viewing experience for the game, as well as providing a ton of content for fans to obsess over leading up to today’s game.

I’m not sure if they have done this in the past, largely because I didn’t have a vested interest in the game like I do this year, but I thought it was a great idea to allow fans to download the official game program to your tablets.  ($1.99 on Google Play) [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-26-14

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Hope you are enjoying another weekend!  Welcome to #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding, the top branding and digital marketing stories from the past seven days.

#1 – The Healthy Brand: Take Your Brand From Good to Great – via ParkerWhite.com 

Premise: The write-up starts out with a good introduction to the importance of branding via 90 second YouTube clip from ParkerWhite Brand Interactive.  How do you make a great brand?  The company provides a thorough checklist of items to consider and answer for your brand/business in order to ensure your branding efforts are doing the most for your business.

Thoughts: ParkerWhite has dubbed brands that are fulfilling items on this branding checklist as “healthy brands”.  I just came across this site this week and will be keeping an eye on it in the coming weeks, given the comments towards the end of the write-up that they will be providing further information in the coming weeks on what makes a “healthy brand”.

As for the checklist itself, “Focused” and “Supported by brand loyalists” are certainly topics that have been discussed quite a bit here in the past within Sunday Musings.  I wouldn’t question any of the items on the checklist at all. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-19-14

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Welcome to #SundayMusings w/ Shore Branding, the top branding and digital marketing stories that caught my attention from the past week.

#1 – The Best-Perceived Brands of 2013 – via AdWeek.com 

Premise: YouGov’s BrandIndex results are in for 2013 and Amazon has become the strongest perceived brand, followed by Ford and Subway to close out the top three.  Banks/Financial institutions started to rebound in 2013 as well, with four out of the top five most improved brands coming from this arena (with the other being American Airlines).  The article includes an infographic of the results and at the bottom you find the top brands by political affiliation.

Thoughts: It isn’t surprising to see Amazon at the top of the list, given their customer service and experience, along with the growth in Amazon Prime and the Kindle.  What is surprising is to see the Kindle itself come in at number 10.  Also surprising are the number two and three top brands – Ford and Subway, respectively.

What brands would be at the top of your list?  I would put Google and Amazon at the top of mine. [Read more…]

Sunday Musings w/ Shore Branding – 1-12-14

 

Branding and Digital Marketing

Branding and Digital Marketing

Happy New Year / 2014 everyone!  I hope you have a great year ahead of you!  This year on ShoreBranding.com we’ll continue with the weekly #SundayMusings, will be putting together several more “Tips” articles, and putting more “Brands in Focus”.  Look for those in the coming days and weeks ahead.

For the first #SundayMusings of 2014, I have broken this up into two parts: reflecting on 2013 and looking forward to 2014.  Here are this week’s top branding and digital marketing stories:

#1 – Signs that you need to rebrand your company – via iMediaConnection.com 

Premise: When is it time, or what are the right signs that point to a need for rebranding your brand or business?  The author puts together a checklist of signs that may help you decide that it is time for a change.  From focus, to staffing, and through the 3 C’s, if your business is failing or in decline, you need to reevaluate your strategies for moving forward.

Thoughts: I would/could easily lump the 3 C’s together with “focus” and make this a two point system.  If you aren’t focusing on the right people with the right message, you need to consider going back to the drawing board.  My wife and I have been binge watching “Bar Rescue” on Spike TV and a recent episode seems to fit this message perfectly.  A family from Long Island opened a bar in North Carolina and their food menu had nothing to do with NC cuisine, trying to ‘force’ NY hot dogs and similar menu items on the local market.  Bad idea.

I also truly believe in the second sign or recommendation in this article revolving around staff buying into your brand/business.  Your team is only as good as your weakest link/player.  An energetic staff can be spotted from miles away. [Read more…]