New York Fashion Week is one of the most anticipated events on the fashion calendar, occurring twice a year in February and September. With events taking place all over New York City from Lincoln Center to Milk Studios, how does a fashion marketer create a digital campaign that will set their label apart?
Here are two examples of successful digital and social campaigns by some of the world’s hottest fashion brands from this year’s January event:
The renowned American fashion designer showed that he’s up-to-speed with social media when he hosted the first ever runway show InstaMeet during his fashion show this past February. Hilfiger collaborated with top instagramers Brian DiFeo and Anthony Danielle to host the InstaMeet, as well as hand pick a group of New York-based instagramers to take pictures during the show. Over 300 people applied but only 20 were selected.
Fans were able to get an in-depth look at the backstage and show through these images by following the hashtag #tommyfall14 and #nyfwinstameet – including one that had earned over 6,500 likes.
Marc Jacobs’ fragrance division launched a pop-up shop during NYFW to coincide with the launch of their new print campaign to promote their fragrance ‘Daisy.’ To create a big splash in the already-noisy week, the brand launched a campaign where interested buyers couldn’t purchase the fragrance with regular currency. Instead, they could pay with social media posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter with their curated hashtag #MJDaisyChain as payment.
Daisy was already using this hashtag to encourage users to create a virtual “daisy chain” with photos of daisies and this pop-up shop social media spin just put fuel on the fire – huge volumes of tweets and instagrams were posted, helping drive awareness and sales for the new fragrance.
How can you maximize the social impact of your next campaign? Every marketing team can and should be thinking about how to scale their efforts around visual content with a focus on their audience. At Percolate, we’ve created host of tools that help with sourcing, editing, and distributing images in real-time, with brand governance baked in. Two to highlight today are Fanbranded and Photographer.
Fanbranded allows marketers to request permission for images from fans that have been posted through Twitter and/or Instagram. This tools streamlines the licensing process, giving marketers, a legal framework tool to acquire user-generated content for the first time. A great example of this is Shinola, a lifestyle brand based in Detroit, who uses this tool to grow its media library without expensive photo shoots or recurring legal fees to boost their image posting frequency.
Photographer is a mobile that app allows brands to deploy to their employees to create content for the brand on-the-go. Braun, a men’s personal care brand that’s part of the P&G portfolio, uses the Photographer app at a variety of live events, includingone in Miami to capture dozens of images in real-time in collaboration with their agency partners.
When it comes to planning for upcoming events, launches, and announcements, creating compelling visuals is vital. Smart marketers will leverage innovative tools that maximize their team’s effectiveness.
The post How Marketers Can Do Social Like Tommy Hilfiger and Marc Jacobs appeared first on The Percolate Content Marketing Blog.
Across both B2B and B2C, the largest challenge digital marketers face is reaching their audiences with relevant content. Now that content has become the core vehicle for brands to connect with their audiences, it’s imperative that marketers seek efficient, cost-effective content workflows to engage their audiences – which have fragmented across mobile and social.
At this week’s AdAge Digital Conference in New York, Nestle revealed that its teams produce more than 1,500 pieces of marketing content each day for its 800+ Facebook pages.
— Dina Fierro (@eye4style) April 1, 2014
What type of investment does that entail? For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume each Facebook post takes 2 hours of work, with 30 mins spent on each of these four steps:
For the moment, let’s ignore ad spend, analytics, monitoring and reporting on post performance, as well as overhead, administrative, licensing and additional agency costs. This means a global brand like Nestle is investing at least 3,000 effort hours a day to bring digital content to their audiences at that scale.
What does that look like from a cost perspective? Again, for easy math, let’s assume the average marketer makes $75,000 a year, works 50 hours a week and spends 50 weeks a year on the job. Annualized, that equals 2,500 effort hours per year per marketer, costing roughly $30 per hour.
At that rate, a large brand is investing $90,000 a day of effort to produce marketing content it can deliver its Facebook fans. While these numbers are simplified, outside-in estimates, the implications of scaling similar output across Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social channels are momentous, reinforcing why a global marketing giant like Unilever employs nearly 7,000 marketers and brand partners worldwide. Moreover, the resource-intensiveness of brands’ digital content appetites will only grow further with the rise of ephemeral media on networks like Twitter, Vine and Snapchat, where content’s half-life is further diminished.
In our own industry survey work, 79% of marketers cite content creation and sourcing help as one of their top three needs. In interviews with brands and agencies that aren’t currently using Percolate, 51% say their current workflow doesn’t meet the realities of their job, and they need better tools and resources to meet their content goals. These results are consistent with Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 findings among B2B marketers, who cite lack of time (69%), producing enough content (55%) and producing the kind of content that engages (47%) as their top three challenges. Quality content marketing comes with clear costs, and many marketing departments are struggling to keep up with the demands of a changing media landscape.
The data shows there is a large, underserved opportunity to help marketers and agencies with better technology for managing, governing and scaling content. At Percolate, we’re excited to be leading the charge to create more efficient, effective and audience-centric solutions for the world’s best brands.
The post The Real Cost of Creating 1,500 Pieces of Marketing Content Per Day appeared first on The Percolate Content Marketing Blog.
“China, not the U.S., is the most important country to watch as it relates to social and mobile.” -James Gross
With each passing day, our co-founder’s statement sounds less like an educated opinion and more like a hard fact. Simply consider the scale of the Chinese social + mobile market. The country has 618 million Internet users, and 500 million of them primarily access the web through mobile. The United States only has 319 million people in total.
But in order to understand China’s social + mobile landscape, you have to go beyond its massive scale. You have to understand what makes the Chinese market and the platforms that dominate it distinct from those in the United States.
At the start of 2014, when most American marketers talked about Chinese social media platforms, we talked about “Weibo.” In China, Weibo actually refers to a type of microblogging platform, but we were all referring to Sina Weibo, a private company that operates a version of that kind of platform. In order to capitalize on the misunderstanding, the company actually dropped Sina from its name. It is now known simply as Weibo.
Weibo, which has a format similar to that of Twitter (users are limited to 140 characters per post), was on the lips of so many American marketers because of its massive user base. It had around 308 million users at the start of 2013. However, over the course of the next 12 months, 9 percent of its users – 28 million people – abandoned the platform. This exodus, which was largely in response to a government-mandated requirement that users register with their real names, didn’t stop the company from filing for an IPO in the U.S. on March 15th. But it has caused marketers here in the States to ask what other platforms might one day eclipse the microblogging service.
Owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent, Wechat is a mobile messaging service that boasts over 300 million active users. Because it offers comparatively private forms of communication, it’s also where many former Weibo users fled to.
With 82 percent of the market share, WeChat dominates mobile messaging in China. And given that mobile messaging services have overtaken SMS as the largest communication channel among the Chinese, that’s no small achievement.
Like many other Chinese social media platforms, WeChat has a swiss-army knife approach to functionality. In addition to mobile messaging, users can send voice messages, share social moments, purchase virtual goods, send mobile payments, and meet new people via a format similar to that of chat roulette.
The success of WeChat has caused major competitors, most notably Facebook and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, to give the mobile messaging market increased attention. Facebook acquired WhatsApp and its more than 450 million global users for $19 billion. Alibaba, whose intense competition with Tencent for dominance over China’s Internet landscape is well documented, launched a mobile messaging app called Laiwang in 2013.
Simply put, China’s social + mobile landscape is massive, complex and wholly distinct from the social + mobile landscape of the United States. As China’s population of Internet users grows – the country is expected to have over 800 million Internet users by the end of 2015 – it’s increasingly important for American marketers to understand what makes the opportunity in China unique.
At Percolate, we make it our business to stay on top of global trends in audience and content as it relates to brands. If you want a leg up on the world’s most important country when it come to social and mobile, get a free copy of our latest report: Beyond 1.3 Billion: Understanding Social Media in China.
The post Weibo, WeChat and the Future of Chinese Social Media appeared first on The Percolate Content Marketing Blog.
At Percolate, one of the ideas we’ve developed to think about content marketing is the idea of content building blocks – key objectives and elements that every marketer needs to be able to address in their content.
There is always an internal or external catalyst for a piece of marketing content. This is what we call a trigger – the reason for why this content is being created and published. The trigger leads to an outcome: what do you want the content to do? Assuage an angry customer? Stay ahead of breaking news? Demonstrate leadership in the market? Capture leads from a new customer segment? Your trigger provides the inspiration or incentive to create.
Ultimately these triggers fall into one of the four quadrants of real-time marketing shown above. Historically brands have been really good at the top right (brand campaign) and have been getting to know the bottom left (customer service) via social. Where things get interesting is in the other two quadrants, where you use situational cues, trending activity and user generated content as triggers to create new brand content.
At Percolate we think of triggers as the way to help brands solve for the classic blank box problem: “what should I say to my audience that’s interesting, relevant, valuable and compelling?” A trigger could be an event that’s happening within one of the brand’s focus areas, a trending link or topic from the web discovered in a monitoring feed, a customer service interaction, or an idea shared by a teammate.
Without a clear trigger, your content doesn’t have a purpose.
Audience is one of several key objectives and strategies that emerge from the challenges that content marketers face. For a free, comprehensive report on this topic, download our free white paper: The Building Blocks of Content
The post Every Piece of Content Starts With a Trigger. What’s Yours? appeared first on The Percolate Content Marketing Blog.
At Percolate, one of the ideas we’ve developed to think about content marketing is idea of content building blocks – key objectives and elements that every marketer needs to be able to address in their content. The first building block is Audience.
All marketing content needs to take into account the audience it’s trying to reach. No marketer would deny this, and yet often we see content being created without a strong idea of who the targeted audience might be – and as a result, the content often falls flat.
What is audience exactly? It is the broad set or sets of people your brand is seeking to reach, influence, and engage. Your audience may be customers, potential customers, or even people who are new to your brand.
Audience understanding is an element that must be attached to each piece of content: Who is this aimed at and what will this person or group of people respond to best? This includes basic demographic information (Who old are they? Where do they live?) and extends to insights into what motivates and inspires the group (Do they most value their career? Their friends? Their health?)
The signal is clear from social platforms about what they offer marketers: massive scale and the targeting data to make good use of it. As targeting capabilities mature, the real-life audience applications become almost ridiculous – for example, the ability to message several million moms 34-45 in the southwest United States that have purchased frozen pizza in the last six months.
When you understand your audience, your content has a strong impact, no matter if you’re talking to tens of millions of people on Facebook or a single individual replying for the brand on Twitter. Marketers must tailor content to audiences both massive/general and niche/targeted.
If you expect audiences to respect and appreciate your content as a marketer, you should pay them equal respect and first learn what content they consume, how they consume it (Do they use an Android or an iOS device? Will they consume your content at work, while on the road, or at home?) and what triggers them to share it on social.
Distributing content to a platform without understanding what that audience values is one of the most common pitfalls in modern marketing, and something well-designed content that’s part of a larger, thoughtful content strategy avoids. Make sure your team and your company devote a good chunk of resources continuing to understand your audience or you’ll find yourself falling behind.
Audience is one of several key objects and strategies that emerge from the challenges that content marketers face. For a free, comprehensive report on this topic, download our free white paper: The Seven Building Blocks of Content
In the past week, we’ve seen a flurry of activity from social platforms experimenting with changes to longstanding elements of their services.
In an effort to streamline conversations in Twitter, the company recently experimented with removing the @username at the beginning of tweet reply for certain users on the Twitter Android client. Not content to run just one experiment at a time, today The Verge reports that certain Twitter users can now see how many views their tweets received. For advertisers, this is nothing new, but it looks like the product team wanted to see how revealing this data to consumers would affect user behavior.
Meanwhile, Facebook is rolling out changes that make it easier for brands to manage their Facebook presence with a Business Manager dashboard. While only available to a pilot test group, this change unifies control for Facebook pages, ad accounts, and admin users from a single location. In addition, Facebook’s news reader and sharing mobile app, Paper, is partnering with TED to highlight videos, blog posts and exclusive content from TED fellows. Framed as a trial run, Facebook says that if the content collaboration is successful, they would consider partnering with other organizations down the road.
What does all this mean for brands?
It reinforces the social + mobile worldview our co-founder James Gross established earlier this year. TV is now the second screen, finally overtaken by smartphones. The rapid pace of experimentation by these platforms, driven by a need to dominate consumer attention and activity, is what fuels their mindshare in our lives and world. Brand marketers require expertise, technology, and a close eye on the market if they want to stay relevant in this dynamic environment.
Over the past six months, we’ve spent a great deal of time talking with brands both large and small to identify the key challenges and components of content marketing. While there’s a diversity of perspectives and certainly every brand has a different spin on content, we found three major challenges that were shared across the industry.
These challenges drive the need for a more systematic approach to content creation (which we’ve identified as a major trend for 2014) and will be top of mind for CMO’s into the foreseeable future.
As we outlined in The Content Marketing Revolution, the scale and pace of sharing on social networks is now measured in not millions but billions, both in terms of audience and individual pieces of content. We live in a world dominated by social + mobile, engulfed by infinitely scrolling streams of brand and user generated content.
What we need is greater efficiency, which can only come from new processes and systems.
The assembly lines implemented by Robert Domm, Henry Ford and others were leaps and bounds beyond prior manufacturing practices. Ford was able to churn out cars 8x faster than before – with new Model-T’s coming off the line every 3 minutes. Every automotive company had to adopt this “technology” or go out of business (and over 250 companies in fact did). In the same way, brands have to adopt new technologies that increase efficiency if they hope to deal with the volume of new posts, photos, videos, tweets, and comments that exist today.
But speed and scale are only part of the equation.
Everybody had the first couple of years where it was “let’s get going on social” so everyone went crazy and started dumping content across channels, opening up separate handles. There was no rhyme or reason other than to show the executive pool that we had a digital footprint. And then what did you get? - Andrew Bowins, SVP at MasterCard
Community managers and CMO’s have to understand what kind of impact their content really has, and how they can increase it. What’s more, as new targeting options, markets, and platforms emerge, these challenges only grow in both scale and complexity. It’s for this reason we see a real need for modern brands to find ways to streamline and introduce automation and organization into every step of the content marketing process
Consistency is the final challenge, one we hear over and over again from the biggest global marketers to digital teams at fast-growing startups. As brands expand and diversify their digital footprint, marketing teams need to ensure that the core equity and identity of the brand they represent is carried throughout every piece of content. Losing control of the message in the name of speed and volume is never a good deal, especially when brands are so publicly humiliated by their social media missteps.
This problem is all the more acute in a global environment where cultural differences across regions and audience demographics can lead to major challenges in maintaining a consistent voice of the brand. Additionally, with big brands now relying on more than one agency at a time, the need to avoid crossing wires and work as a team is paramount.
What’s the answer to these challenges? We believe it is in the seven building blocks of content. They are the first step towards systemization: a set of rules that govern every piece of content we create.
In a sentence:
Great marketing content is aimed at an audience, fit to a topic, associated with an event, pushed to a platform, triggered by an internal or external force, aligned with a business objective, and represents the brand.
Over the next few posts, we’ll be exploring what each of the building blocks means for brands and content creators. For a comprehensive treatment, you can also learn more at: The 7 Building Blocks of Content.
As part of Percolate’s programming track, The Content Marketing Revolution, we hosted a panel discussion titled “The Biggest Challenges for the Biggest Marketers” – a 30 minute discussion on how the world’s largest organizations were dealing with the dramatic shifts in content marketing.
Joining us were representatives from three major brands – Brandi Boatner, Digital Experience Manager at IBM, Andrew Bowins, Senior Vice President of Digital Corporate Communications at MasterCard, and Michelle Klein, Vice President of Smirnoff Global Marketing Communications in Digital at Diageo.
In the final summary the program, our panelists discuss broader industry shifts in digital and social, moving from campaign-based to sustained communications, and what needs to happen next for the industry to continue to move forward.
We’ve mentioned before that the industry is moving from campaign-based to sustained communications. That takes an awful lot of content and a lot of expense. Why is creating content worth it?
We have to. We’re a technology company. We’ve always tried to stay ahead of the paradigm shifts with technology in social. We were always early adopters of social computing and social media guidelines. What we realized is that as our customers changed, as consumption and buying behaviors change, we needed to adopt.
Look at things like cloud computing. There’s the joke with Amy Poehler right now with Best Buy’s commercials – “Are we in the cloud right now?” – but cloud computing has really changed our business. If you look at all of the content that we create just around cloud computing, that content we create has to resonate. Without it, how would we be able to accurately describe what is cloud computing?
IBM has done it so well and have taken a business that is largely enterprise and B2B and made the story resonate down to the consumers, down to the town level, the cities, the government.
These are amazing brands. For this industry to take the next step forward for all brands to have the courage that your brands have, it seems that something needs to happen across the industry. What’s the one thing that you feel could catapult content to the next level?
What’s going to happen is as a consumer we’re going to process it as advertising, and we’re going to tune out. The more and more we go down that route and brands create a 90 second version of something that looks interesting, the more and more people are going to see it as a disruption and not something they want to engage in.
Unless you’re a really brave marketer, the c-suite wants to see their branding in the first five seconds and then wrap it up at the end with some kind of end line that makes it just feel like an ad. I think the cut-through is going to get less and less.
I think we need to step back and say “what’s the difference” and if there isn’t difference, then let’s define exactly how we create films or music or feeds, versus the TV advertising and out-of-home that we are used to creating. It’s at the consumer level more than anything else.
I think there are three things. If you don’t have data and insights, move into big data analytics and out of this buzz-metric world where we’re not going to sustain the kind of investment that’s required to scale as digital publishers, and where you won’t have credibility in the c-suite.
Number two is brand are only as powerful as the conversations around them. You have to continue to educate the organization not to create beautiful polished pieces of material and push and pray. 70% of the time you have to engage in the conversation, and create content that is relevant to those conversations to earn the right to propagate.
And last, there needs to be some technology standard. You can’t have disparate systems all over the world and people with good intent trying to make content work. Whether it’s the Percolate platform or the evolution of content management systems, it has to be an enterprise endeavor with rules, guidelines and frameworks for engagement that allow people to be local and creative. You don’t want to dictate from the center, but if you don’t get those pieces in place, you’re just going to waste money, and we’re just always going to be in a test and learn phase.
It’s innovative branded content that provides a unique digital experience. That is where we as marketers and as brands we need to move towards.
Thanks again to Brandi Boatner, Andrew Bowins, and Michelle Klein for participating as panelists, to Jordan Bitterman for moderating, and to the Social Media Week team. Check out the other two parts: [I: Defining Content Marketing] [II: Defining Success] for more.
As a brand, all communications falls somewhere on the spectrum of unplanned to planned and reactive to proactive. Altimeter has broken this down into a framework of four quadrants that we’ve used to guide our thinking on this topic, shown above.
On the top right, you have traditional media - planned, proactive content, or what brands have been doing for years across channels. Due to lead times and production costs, brands were exclusively focused on campaign-based communications.
When social arrived, brands started focusing on customer complaints on Facebook and Twitter. In other words - unplanned, reactive communications, found on the bottom left. SMMS apps were created to address the explosion of CRM and customer service inquiries that occur on social each day and have been focused on that goal ever since.
Customer service is incredibly important. However, as social has transitioned to a content-driven, mobile-based experience, marketers have been left flat-footed in the other three quadrants. Of course, planned/proactive is perfectly handled by our content planner, sourcing, and collaborative features, but let’s talk about the other two quadrants.
As social has matured, we’ve started to see two new possibilities for how marketers can communicate with audiences. Unplanned, proactive content has emerged as a new tactic for many large organizations. Brands have built newsrooms to understand what their audiences are most interested in, and have created content to fulfill that.
The top left is still a new, perplexing space for many marketers. How can something be both reactive and planned?
This is a new area we’re calling Tailored Content. Brands can monitor audiences and topics that are important to their marketing goals, and use those triggers to create specific, individualized content based on real-time inputs.
Tailored content has become a possibility for marketers as technologies like Percolate dramatically reduce lead times and production costs associated with content creation. Here are a few examples of the forms that tailored content might take in practice:
Target/influencer monitoring: Looking at your core influencers’ interests and responding to them with customized content.
User-generated content and photo requests: Tracking a series of keywords or mentions that have images, and use that opportunity to thank customers and re-purpose their content (with legal approval)
Individualized content: Creating personalized pieces of content in response to comments and questions
Planned, reactive content seems novel as a practice, but look at any communications role and you can break it down into all four quadrants. This approach is newest for marketers because there was no type of medium that allowed them to communicate in this fashion before, but other communications professions have been doing this for years:
Take a look at the responsibilities of a salesperson:
A PR representative:
And now the marketer:
Marketers have already started to explore planned, reactive triggers – but on a limited basis, and typically with geolocation opt-in or high costs as a barrier to entry. Foursquare allows for stores to coupon customers based on their location. Macy’s has partnered with Shopkick to alert consumers to in-store offers on products they might like through beacon technology. Old Spice famously created tailored YouTube videos as responses to tweets, a limited campaign that required a tremendous amount of prep work.
Marketing communications technology is just starting to allow marketers to capitalize on this opportunity on a scalable level. Whereas SMMS apps are limited to customer service, newer, more complete marketing technology solutions let teams participate in all four real-time quadrants, changing what’s possible with reactive content. If this sounds interesting to you, be in touch to learn what we’ve been building at Percolate.
We’re now just over three years into Percolate and when I look back I tend to split the time based on our fundraises. It’s less because of the money and more about the things that happened to cause us to go raise a round. The first one was the end of our first year, 2011, when we were seven people, a few Fortune 500 clients, and the beginnings of the product that would eventually become Percolate. After building for just under a year, we felt like we had finally built something that answered a fundamental question every marketer was asking: “What should I Tweet about?” We believed we had a unique answer to that question and based on that went out and raised a $1.5 million seed round led by First Round Capital to help hire some more folks and bring Percolate to market.
The next big moment came just six months later in May 2012 when three big things happened: First, Facebook went public, totally changing the conversation around social and content. Second, Buddy Media got bought by Salesforce, which helped solidify to the market that marketing technology was a real category. Finally, Facebook switched over to timeline, declaring the end of the “social web,” as tabs fell to the wayside. Based on those events, plus some good traction, we went out and raised a $9 million Series A led by GGV.
The third big moment came over the summer, when Mark Zuckerberg officially announced Facebook was a mobile company, bringing to bear the fact that every marketer now needs to be a great content creator. We’ve been describing this as the beginning of the 3rd phase of marketing technology: The shift from the social web (Facebook pages and Twitter replies) to distributed mobile + social and all the opportunities that opens up. This shift came to a head last week as Wildfire, one of the poster children for the SMMS category, announced it was shutting down its service. To us that announcement was yet another proof point in our broader third phase story about the shift to a mobile + social world. As James, my co-founder, pointed out in a blog post earlier this year, the opportunity for marketers in this new world is so much greater:
What a marketer needs now is a system of technology that manages the creation and distribution of all this content with centralized oversight. The marketer moves from someone that once only moved content to audiences, to someone that needs to move content through the whole organization. In this new world the marketer has the ability to touch sales, HR and almost any department that puts social and mobile at the center of their activities.
That, in essence, is what we see in front of us: The chance to build a whole category of software and be the first to deliver a true system of record for marketing. It’s that vision combined with our 2013 growth and execution that drove us to decide to go out and raise a $24 million Series B led by Sequoia Capital. We’ve never been shy in laying out our goals and vision, and this gives us some significant firepower to back those up.
Since these are always nice moments to reflect and thank people, let me take a moment to give a heartfelt thanks to our employees and clients, without whom we’d be nothing. We’re now over 100 people and 150 brands and each and every one of them has contributed so much over the last three years. The two most amazing parts about running a marketing technology company are getting to come to work with awesomely talented people on a day-to-day basis who have internalized the vision for the organization and made it their own, as well as getting the chance to work with some of the smartest marketers on the planet and sop up every bit of insight they have to offer. That’s what really drives this business.
Finally, a little pitch for Percolate:
Our vision is simple: we want to redefine marketing through technology. If you’re a marketer and that sounds intriguing, you should get in touch. If you’re working for someone else and you’d rather work for Percolate, we’re hiring all over the world.