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Inbound marketing Infographic (2013)

1 May

Dan Bosomworth of Smartinsights.com recently made some fundamental amends to an infographic he conceived last year, visualising the inbound marketing effect. It made me think how the world of content marketing has evolved in the past 12 months, and how digital and traditional (multi-channel) integration is inevitable more than ever before.

Inbound marketing 2012 Inbound marketing 2012

Here’s SI’s 2012 infographic on Inbound Marketing (a diagram I’ve referred to many times with my own clients): Here, we see a really sweet visualisation of how published content plays a key part in the inbound marketing effect – all the while ensuring that relevant listening tools are utilised properly to evaluate campaign effectiveness.

Inbound marketing 2013

inbound-marketing-infographic

Inbound marketing 2013

Moving a year on, Dan and the guys at SI have considered the obvious need to compliment published content with paid media. In this case, Dan highlights (in the ‘Tape Deck”, as he calls it) not only PPC, social, display and affiliate channels, but also ‘offline’ media as part and parcel of this driver. Naturally, these paid media options must drive the consumer to brands’ digital hub and I like the idea that offline (interruptive) media can be used to do this in more creative and tactical ways going forward. Equally, with the emergence of the likes of Tint (a new social media tool, designed to integrate all of your social platforms into your online hub), the ‘Owned Media’ element will play a crucial part in the evolution of content marketing strategy in the coming months; encouraging consumers to engage more fully with brands online.

Thanks to Dan for his continually inspiring infographics on this subject; you can read his blog about the new inbound marketing (2013) infographic here.

Brands and social media honesty

2 Nov brands and social honesty bodyform

I read a really interesting blog by a chap called Jonathan MacDonald the other day, as he discussed ‘The Fallacy of Social Media’.

What sparked his thinking was the recent video that Bodyform released as a response to a member of the public’s comment on Bodyform’s Facebook page.

At length, Jonathan discusses the validity of the video – and whether, as a creative piece, it has any real consumer engagement value – especially since the video is of an actress, purporting to be the ‘CEO of Bodyform’.

He wasn’t the only person to write about Bodyform’s video; in fact, it’s been well documented about featured in the majority of the marketing press – heralded as creative genius. In addition, many people have speculated whether the original Facebook posting (by a chap called ‘Richard’) was fake and part of the campaign.

All-in-all, Bodyform has created a great topic for discussion. On the one hand, the creative industry is congratulating them for a sweet idea – well scripted, well presented, simple and fun. The idea that the CEO of Bodyform would honestly and frankly refer to menstruation as a “crimson landslide” was certainly evocative (and honest). On the other hand, digital purists and marketers are bringing into question the manipulation of social media by brands, and whether brands using social media in such a way makes for an effective social media campaign.

For me, the ongoing use of brands of social media it comes down to three things:

  1. Are brands being honest and truthful when using social media?
  2. What (aside from an increase in sales) constitutes an effective social media campaign?

The essence of social media (in the context of brand interaction) is about brand loyalists sharing their views and opinions on brands/products. The issue is that many brands are still not getting the honesty factor and are still (as they’ve always done) considering ways to manipulate the social sphere. Sadly, this can be said across all digital channels, and I wonder whether that will ever fully change.

I’ve always believed that this arena will ultimately force brands to be honest and true. Don’t try to manipulate it, because you’ll be found out – and your #epicfail will be shared by countless consumers, at the click of a ‘like’ or a ‘share’.

Was Bodyform’s response funny? Oh yes it was. Was it honest? Sort of. I did enjoy it – as did 3 million other viewers. Great copywriting (and delivery) and certainly along the lines of what we’ve all been thinking over the decades of watching these ludicrous happy-go-lucky-menstrual-lady-solution ads.

So what’s the answer on this occasion? Perhaps, if the ACTUAL CEO of Bodyform had replied to Richard via Facebook directly and said something similar..? Perhaps that would’ve been just as shareable – and indeed honest.

In fact, it would’ve been truthful brand interaction with a consumer, via a social media channel. Which is what it’s all about and where the opportunity lies – isn’t it..?

Social vs traditional – the ongoing debate…

2 Jun

“Is social media negating the need for traditional marketing as we know it?”

If I had a quid for every blog I’ve read around this subject of late… Granted, the majority of people posting this sort of question are not likely true ‘social media experts’.

The answer to the above quandary is of course no, don’t be daft. Social networking is another communications channel. A relatively new communications channel, which is still finding a place in the world, thanks to its fast development. It’s by no means the Emperor’s New Media (pardon the shit pun) but it’s amazingly valuable and offers all-manner of opportunities. However, there’s a still a long way to go for it to find itself – oddly (in part) due to the fact that many marketers are trying to shape it into yet more interruptive marketing, rather than simply let it be.  Regardless, there are clearly countless possibilities around the corner, which I (and we) will be interested to explore when it comes to creating our brand stories.

In addition, I’m intrigued about what it’s doing to twist the arms of brands, into completely re-evaluating how they communicate their values and propositions (i.e. driving honesty).

A friend of mine recently wrote  about content being viewed in some circles as theonly form of marketing going forward. I find this to be a fascinating point, and one of the concepts that’s resonated most with me when it comes to brands communicating via social media.  Dan’s point derives from the simple view that social media is a conduit for content. Potentially massive amounts of content. The key, however, being that the content has to be TRUE and has to be HONEST. I.e. it has to be on-brand.

Now then, I don’t profess to be a social media expert – nor am I a digital evangelist. But I do know a little about brand marketing. And I’d be utterly rubbish at my job if I weren’t already acutely aware of the astounding opportunity that social media content has to offer to brands that truly understand their values – and are fully prepared to bare all in digital spaces: Not in a contrived manner (as is happening now), but with all the honesty they can muster. This way brands can use social media/digital marketing as a far-reaching extension of their brand message.

So maybe it’s more the case that the advanced use of social media by brands will bring about a healthy and vast reduction in bull-shit marketing messages – rather than the media formats used to carry them..? Entirely possible. As always though, I’d exercise caution in using any marketing channel, until the brand message is absolutely right (cart… horse…).

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