Content Marketing Strategies
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12 Most Blissful Reasons to Become More Mindful

12 Most HE6TKNU4H59Q By Becky Gaylord
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Break the Social Media Value Chain in 2015

I like to break things. It's not for the fun of breaking things, but more for the thrill of the challenge of rebuilding them. In 2015, it is my hope that certain processes in the value chain will be trashed and rebuilt to produce a successful year in digital and social media.I anchor my recommendations in the model of the value chain, a construct I learned years ago that addresses the systems that every business is built upon.The foundation: the value chain Continue reading at AdAge.com
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How to Measure Digital Content More Effectively

With all the advances in content marketing in the last few years, there's still an enormous, unaddressed problem relating to how marketers feel about their efforts.Consider this: 54% of marketers feel they are falling well short of their most important content marketing objectives. Surprisingly, only 15% see measurement as their biggest challenge, with 29% and 25% seeing business results and creation respectively as more pressing concerns. Data may be the marketing buzzword du jour, but understanding its complexity and how it can best deliver business results for content marketing is still a riddle to be solved.While there are few who would argue that we need to be better at measuring the return on content marketing, it's important to unpack that idea in some more detail. Here are the most important areas of measurement digital leaders we've spoken with want to start seeing more of on their dashboards -- and how we can start closing the gap between expectations and reality:1. Provide
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'Pretargeting' Can't Work on Inferences Alone

Despite advances in advertising technology, retargeting is far from an exact science. Ads that follow consumers who seem like good prospects are often actually hitting too late in the buying cycle, after the consumer has already made a purchase. (That's how ad tech often determines that you're a good prospect.) So retargeting can result in ineffective campaigns, often missing the mark on truly "in-market" shoppers.To address these inefficiencies, the ad tech community has recently adopted the psychological concept of "priming," in order to "pretarget" audiences. Marketers can now screen audiences to find the consumers that are in-market and have declaratively expressed their purchase intent. The net result is custom audience segments of consumers that are ready -- or primed -- to buy.Priming, a term from the field of psychology, refers to an implicit memory effect in which exposure to a stimulus influences an individual's behavior toward a later stimulus or event. The individual may b
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How to Cure 'Notification Numbness'

"Notification numbness" is spreading through today's mobile society. When driving down the street, we can predict with a high degree of accuracy when our devices will push us a notification telling us about a local savings offer at the business we just passed. The first couple of times this is fantastic. Knowing there is a BOGO offer or savings now at our favorite store catches our attention immediately, but it quickly wanes as it becomes routine every time we pass and ignore, delete or turn the notification for that app off.Notifications are a core component to effective one-to-one mobile marketing and app retention. This is not to critique push notifications, but to highlight how optimizing delivery can help brands and consumers both win. Notifications provide consumers with highly valuable time-sensitive information and will continue to grow in usage as wearables become more entwined in our day-to-day activities and beacons proliferate into all aspects of life. The core way people
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Mobile Is Shaking Up Traditional Loyalty Marketing Programs

Loyalty programs have been incredibly enduring -- from that very first American Airlines frequent flyer program in 1981 to the Starbucks Card Rewards program nearly 30 years later. The average U.S. household now takes part in 21.9 loyalty programs every year, according to Colloquy research.Yet mobile is shaking up the traditional loyalty model, just as it's shaken up so many other things. The mobile phone has become the remote control for life, and we're using it to change channels on our loyalty programs as well. More and more digitally-savvy consumers are giving up on traditional one-size-fits-all loyalty programs and choosing mobile-driven offerings that fit their specific needs.And that's very good news for brands. Because the mobile phone is where brands can reach consumers anytime and anywhere -- where they'll find engaged users who are ready to receive valuable and relevant messages. Continue reading at AdAge.com
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Cultivating Relationships Not Worth The Time?

Proactively cultivating relationships is often an afterthought. But with all the talk about how important relationships are – why don’t we spend more time focusing in this area?  The fact is that we often are just too busy trying to get through the work of the day. And, relationships are not what we DO in our businesses, right? Most firms are not in the “relationship business,” we are in the [INSERT your core offering] business. Intuitively we know that relationships are important, but let’s focus on the quantitative reality. When you look back on your previous sales, try affixing a reason that you acquired your best clients and your biggest sales. When you evaluate your business in this way, you may notice that the way others “feel” about you is critically important. They certainly would not go out of their way to do business with you or talk about you with others simply because of your product or service offering. There are likely many others who can do or provide the
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Marketers: Make Cyber Monday More Than a One-Day Deal

The customer journey on social media can be simplified like this -- brands spend countless hours engaging an audience, working hard toward that elusive moment when a Facebook or Twitter user converts into a customer. The idea is that repeated engagement eventually leads to a sale.Cyber Monday presents an opportunity for marketers to reverse that journey. With customers flocking to online sales, the opportunity to turn customers into an engaged audience -- and even more ambitiously, turn them into marketers -- is ripe for brands looking past the holiday shopping season. On no other day is there this much opportunity to leverage online sales to build a loyal social following and a strong base of social influencers.The job of the marketer on Cyber Monday changes dramatically. Instead of working hard to generate sales and gain customers, marketers will be handed thousands of new customers. What they do with them will most likely deeply impact their marketing success in the future. Continu
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It's Time for Media CMOs to Step Up and Lead

Imagine you're a media company CMO and you have to figure out what to do in 2015. You're probably like the 93% of executives of all industries Forrester surveyed early in 2014 who told us their industries would suffer digital disruption in the year. Now the year is over and you realize that by and large, you haven't moved the ball as far as you would have hoped. You look around and see that digital disruptors like Uber and Square are transforming staid industries such as transportation and banking, and you realize that if those businesses are being disrupted, then the media biz is surely due for another round. Just like Spotify is disrupting iTunes, which disrupted Napster. That makes YouTube Music Key round four, depending on how you count.How to prepare? You take an inventory of your resources. Your CEO is committed to leading in digital, but uncertain exactly what to commit to. In fact, in our surveys of all industries, just 39% of CEOs believe they own the company's digital strate
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The Best Music Marketing of 2014

Nothing drives fresh thinking and new ideas like an industry in the grip of ongoing disruption. Until recently, it looked like the album to go platinum in 2014 was going to be the "Frozen" soundtrack. This year, artists and labels continued to search for new formats and promotional tools to sell records and drive relevance.Billboard recently announced it will be including streaming consumption in its charts, and as the industry continues to change, music marketing becomes more important than ever. Great ideas capture the audience's attention and consumption is only a click away. Here are the standouts for this year:Wu-Tang Clan: single copy release Continue reading at AdAge.com
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How to Fight Traffic Fraud in Online Video Advertising

Traffic fraud costs marketers billions of dollars in wasted ad spend annually. Ever since it emerged out of the pay-per-click model in the late 1990s, traffic fraud has evolved into a constant game of cat and mouse -- creating real and expensive problems for advertisers, agencies, intermediaries and publishers.Traffic fraud has changed a lot over the last 20 years. Originally, fraudsters hired actual humans to click on search and display ads (remember click farms?), but it was expensive to scale so they began building scripts that simulated humans clicking on ads. Today, the fake-impressions business has grown more sophisticated, with hidden and laundered impressions being sold to unsuspecting advertisers through a number of sophisticated technologies.Originating with search ads, and making its way to display, ad fraud has matured and bled its way into the highly lucrative online video ad landscape -- and for good reason. The sheer volume of budgets flowing into digital video -- U.S.
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Predict Your Marketing Success for the Year

Take this quick assessment to predict your marketing success in 2015 and find areas to improve. 1. Do you have an up-to-date website with at least one call-to-action to get people to interact, sign up for an email newsletter, request valuable information, download a whitepaper, register for a seminar, or another way to interact? Value: 5 points for one or more calls to action:  _______ Value: 5 additional points for each call to action that is already generating qualified leads: ______ 2. Do you have video on your website? Value: Give yourself 5 points:  ______ 3. Do you have a marketing activity that will generate a minimum of 5 new qualified prospects each month (seminars, events, mailing, email campaign, networking, strategic alliance referrals, client referrals, etc)? Value: 5 points for each activity/strategy that has been proven or will be likely to produce qualified prospects: ____ 4. Do you have a list of more than 500 prospective prospects to mail and/or email? Value: 
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Best of 2014: Top Financial Social Media Blogs This Year

2014 was a great year for social media in the financial and insurance industries! A lot of progress was made, with limits being pushed, regulations clearly defined and the number of professionals getting involved increasing even more. At Financial Social Media, we always like to help you stay on top of what’s going on and changing in the digital marketing world, so just incase you missed some of them, we have put together a list of our most popular blogs from 2014 by category What Changed, FinServ Statistics, & New Networks/Methods. What Changed? What the New SEC Social Media Guidance Update Means for Advisors The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) needs to stay on their toes to keep up with platform changes. In an effort to address the changing social media landscape, the SEC released a long-awaited social media guidance update in April, 2014.  5 Ways Financial Advisors Can Leverage LinkedIn’s Recent Changes  Here are five LinkedIn updates from the last year (which may h
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Social Media Benefits Financial Advisors, 2014 Study Shows

Did you know that financial advisors who use social media and digital marketing in their businesses are gaining more and wealthier clients than they were even a year ago? Putnam Investments released a 2014 study last week, from a survey of over 700 experienced advisors, which proves social media is on the rise! And not only is it more prevalently used, but it s also growing in proven results. INCREASE IN NEW CLIENTS : 66% of financial advisors have gained new clients through social media, up from 49% a year ago. INCREASE IN AUM : 39% of respondents who reported gaining new clients through social media gained new assets of more than $1 million, with an average gain of $5.5 million. (The median booking was almost $2 million in new assets, close to triple the level reported by the 2013 respondents.) “We’re seeing a remarkably rapid and dynamic evolution of social media use as advisors test ways to make this work for their practices,” says Mark McKenna, head of Global Marketin
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Understanding the Power of Email Marketing Relationships

By Dave Charest.
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How to Market to Online Shoppers Based on Personality Types

Shoppers have always had different personalities. They are motivated to buy for all kinds of reasons, and their shopping strategies can be radically different.In order to stay competitive in an increasingly challenging online ecosystem, marketers need to understand exactly what drives the behavior of the shoppers who frequent their online stores. Here are eight types of shoppers based on personality types and how marketers can provide the best online experiences to reach them:1. The determined shopper. This shopper knows exactly what she wants and will stop at nothing to get the best price and the fastest shipping. Help her find what she wants efficiently with easy-to-use search and clear navigation. Reduce the number of steps required to get from discovery to purchase. But don't forget to show her other related products that might encourage her to purchase additional items. Continue reading at AdAge.com
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Financial Advisors, Release Your Content Powerhouse!

By Samuel Mignot. For the last couple of years, Google’s algorithm has increasingly emphasized the importance of quality content. Therefore, the focus is no longer on how well keywords are picked up and included on your pages, but on how much each one makes sense within a certain context. At this game, financial advisors are stronger than they think! Financial advisors already have all the content needed to succeed! Financial advisors, wealth managers, asset managers, trust officers, lawyers… these people are probably part of your staff and have tremendous experiences and knowledge to share with prospective clients. Therefore, it might not be necessary to seek out great content writers or pay a PR firm to write it for you. You can do it yourself by taking advantage of your staff s great qualifications and experiences. This can be done several ways: A daily tweet commenting the market closure A weekly or monthly article detailing the importance of the latest FED or ECB interest
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Storytelling and User Experience Are on a Collision Course

The disciplines of storytelling and user experience design are on a collision course and it may be the best thing that's happened to brand marketers in a while.Content and wireframes for digital experiences used to be created in silos -- a picture and a frame. But to succeed today, you need to think holistically about the entire experience you are designing for your customers.There are two forces at work shaping this perfect storm. Continue reading at AdAge.com
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It's Time to Balance the Tech-Human Element in Marketing

Advertiser patience is wearing thin trying to figure out if those billions of digital impressions are all that valuable.Today, digital marketing is dominated by conversations around "scale," giving one the sense of falling into a wonderland of ad networks, exchanges, trading desks, mobile and video platforms, all swirling in a cloud of big data. From afar things look normal, but on closer examination, everything is askew.Impressions are arbitraged in a tangle of tech platforms and middlemen that defies attribution. We chase technical metrics instead of human ones. We talk about "brand-safe" ad placements instead of "brand-relevant" ads. And we play whack-a-mole with fraud, worrying about bots instead of aiming for real engagement with real audiences. Continue reading at AdAge.com
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Setting the Record Straight on Viewability, Fraud and Metrics

Practically non-existent 15 years ago, the explosion of the dynamic, digital environment has given rise to many powerful opportunities for marketers to connect brands with consumers and customers. Marketers can create relationships and generate loyalty through advanced connectivity across multiple media platforms -- desktop, mobile, television and social channels.However, such opportunity has created serious issues that undermine marketers' productivity and ROI and destabilize digital as a preferred vehicle for long-term investment spending. The most pressing of these are viewability and fraud.There is a tendency to discuss viewability and fraud in the same breath, since they both represent digital media that do not reach their intended targets. They also both represent waste and rot that undermine the industry's goal of creating a trustworthy and productive digital media supply chain. However, a non-viewable ad is not the same as a fraudulent ad. Of course, some fraudulent ads are al
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