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Deconstructing User-Generated Content in 2016


At its best, UGC (user-generated content) appears to be an easy win for the marketing world, where genuine, satisfied customers publicly and voluntarily sharing their positive interactions with your brand have a compelling authenticity that money can’t buy.

A recent survey of 2,000 consumers has found that 66% of people prefer to hear brands’ stories from “real people”, as opposed to high-profile public figures, CEOs or employees. Although celebrity campaigns can still gain huge traction when done well, little to none viewers will believe that the smiling celebrity on their television screen is motivated by pure love of the product. An ad where a public figure enthusiastically celebrated his car insurance deal was ineligible to become one, as the company does not offer insurance to entertainers.


Billed by many experts as “the modern version of talking over the garden fence”, UGC taps into the fact that real fans of your brand exist and are often happy to engage on social media. By publishing those conversations and interactions, you can prove that you value their contributions and gain significant insights into who those fans are and what they think you could be doing better. The report found that 48% of B2B and 70% of B2C marketers listed “Leveraging user- or fan-generated content” as an initiative that they were either working on now or would be within the next 12 months.

However, UGC campaigns can be something of a double-edged sword, particularly when it comes to maintaining control over the wave of incoming content. For instance, a promoted Twitter campaign from McDonald’s encouraging users to share their #McDStories in 2012 rapidly backfired, as negative tweets poured in mocking the brand. The promotion was pulled within two hours, but the hijacked hashtag continued to trend regardless. The old marketing adage that the satisfied customer will tell a few friends while the dissatisfied customer tells everyone they know has repeatedly proven itself to be painfully true in the age of social media.

Other examples of successful UGC, Marketing Week honed in on brands that have embraced the good, the bad and the ugly responses, seeing even negative feedback as a chance to improve. The Weather Channel doubled its video completion rates after incorporating footage from social media, while allowing consumers to refute their forecasts. By opening up a conversation with their consumers and showing a willingness to improve, the brand now stands in a much stronger social position.


For travel brands, the imperfection of users’ holiday content is exactly what sells it as authentic and attainable. “People can imagine themselves in that situation far more easily than a beautiful picturesque magazine photo shoot,” explains TUI’s Group Head of Social, Rachel Hawkes. In a UGC pilot across its Greek resorts, the firm recorded an average monthly increase of 45% in resort-specific social media conversations. With more ways than ever for consumers to discuss, rate and recommend your brand, it’s essential for marketers to get in on the conversation and take advantage of their ready-made content contributors.

15 Luxury Brands Who’ve Done Content Marketing Correctly


Being a luxury brand, creating an effective and relevant content marketing strategy is not automatically easy.

While social media proposes accessibility, luxury brands tend to keep a sense of exclusivity. They often reaffirm their position as an elite, full of aspiration force to be reckoned with (like how Chanel follows no one on Twitter). However, nothing conjures up a fantasy like quality, immersive content. In today’s post, we will share 15 luxury brands which are creating the stuff dreams are made of. Below you’ll find great content marketing cases studies demonstrating what these luxury brands have done to make content work for them.


Key Takeaway: Allow editorial and audience flexibility In 2010, leading luxury group LVMH launched, a self-described “daily resource for the culturally curious.” In 2011, the site was awarded a Webby for Best Fashion Website and a Clio Award for Best Interactive Website. Even after careful perusal, it’s not apparent the site is branded; LVMH allows Nowness to have its own creative, free-flowing voice.


Content is accessible without a membership, but a registered login permits users to curate their own content experience by “loving” videos, photos and articles. Capturing this data allows Nowness to send registered users personalised recommendations via email as content is produced. Members can also view one another’s “loves” while checking out contributor favorites. Featuring a variety of original content from celebrities, rising stars and industry notables, Nowness brings it all together with polish and style.

2. Jaguar

Key Takeaway: Encourage user participation In 2013, Jaguar launched #MyTurnToJag, which called upon consumers to state why they should win an opportunity to test drive the brand new F-TYPE convertible. The campaign lived primarily within a Facebook page comprised of posts, tweets, Instagram photos, and even a couple of Vines, proving that Jaguar has an avid fan base willing to endorse the brand publicly. At the end of 2014, the brand launched Why Jaguar, a section of its site detailing its car models and customer photos and reviews. The luxury car dealer asks users to submit their photos and reviews, and proudly shows them off on its website. Jaguar isn’t afraid to put their users’ content on a prominent place on its website, showing that they are confident in their product and respectful of their customers’ opinions.

3. Gucci

Key Takeaway: Let users interact on the go Luxury customers are busy people. They may travel often for business or pleasure, and they rely on their mobile devices to pass the time. To ensure that the movers and shakers buying their products can be tuned in with the brand wherever they are, Gucci created Gucci Style, a “shoppable magazine” that allows users to shop on the go.


The magazine features fashion photos and tips, as well as shows users Gucci’s social feeds and lets them formulate product wish lists. If users want to buy products, they can go to the navigation and look at the store locator.

4. Bergdorf Goodman

Key Takeaway: Forge frontiers while staying true to your roots Bergdorf’s online presence is inextricably linked to its New York City locale, with blog posts such as, “Best New York City Closets,” a Tumblr page filled with city-centric Instagrams, and a Pinterest board that shows classic New York sites and fashions.


Bergdorf Goodman is an iconic, 110-year-old brand that has successfully made an energetic leap into the social media space. Cannon Hodge, the luxury retailer’s former social media manager, established the brand’s bubbly voice which stands out in already noisy landscape. Bergdorf’s maintains a presence on at least thirteen different social media channels, all firmly tied to its historical, local roots. The brand shows that a prolific presence doesn’t have to be divided when it comes to content, and sticking to a local theme doesn’t mean limiting creativity.

5. Standard Hotels

Key Takeaway: Express culture through content Standard Culture, the official blog of Standard Hotels, is the ultimate virtual concierge. Part city guide, part entertainment resource and part fashion diary, the site is a destination for both guests and locals with a love for travel and a flair for culture and good taste. Featuring original content on the latest happenings in New York, LA and Miami, customised playlists, guest photos and exclusive e-commerce partnerships with eyewear outfitter Warby Parker and artist Julia Chiang, the blog serves as a real-time account of the hotel group’s cultural ethos. And the best part about Standard Culture? Even when no rooms are available, users can still spend a night with The Standard.

6. OMEGA Watches

Key Takeaway: Promote a cause On its Facebook page and website, OMEGA is simultaneously promoting, showcasing the company’s history with, and selling watches geared towards women.


7. Louis Vitton

Key Takeaway: Show off your influencers Want people to be drawn to your content? Give them a look at how influencers are interacting with your brand. The Louis Vitton Instagram page, which has 6.8 million followers, is a great example of this.


The company posts photos of celebrities wearing its clothes and walking around with its bags. These trendsetters determine what’s cool right now, so if people follow a page that showcases the products, they’re going to be at the forefront of fashion as well.

8. Barneys New York

Key Takeaway: Give your audience exclusive content On The Window, the branded content hub for Barneys New York, readers are given a behind-the-scenes look at their favorite designers. They are taken into designers’ worlds, and learn about the inspiration behind the clothes and jewelry they wear.


9. Burberry

Key Takeaway: Focus on one product Burberry recently re-launched The Art of the Trench, a campaign that features professionals’ and users’ photographs of people wearing Burberry trench coats. It spans across the brands’ social media pages, and highlights people from around the world.


The trench coat is one of Burberry’s iconic products. On “The Art of the Trench,” they can showcase models and customers from all over, and demonstrate how their products are loved and worn by people of all different backgrounds. For Burberry, the trench coat is a true unifier.

10. Four Seasons

Key Takeaway: Provide opportunities for unique experiences Customers are already checking into their hotels physically, so why not ask them to check in online? On the Four Seasons Foursquare page, which has more than 29K followers, the hotel chain showcases its discounts and posts up about its events happening at hotels throughout the US. Once customers log on, they can see if anything is happening at the hotel in which they’re staying, while local users are able to see if it’s worth stopping by the Four Seasons and partaking in their experiences.


11. Tag Heuer

Key Takeaway: Hire brand ambassadors Tag Heuer, in what can be assumed is an effort to connect with younger buyers, promotes brand ambassadors on its Twitter feed. One of the ambassadors is Martin Garrix, a 19-year-old electronic musician, and G.E.M., a singer in her early 20’s.


12. Tesla Motors

Key Takeaway: Humanise your brand Teslas are expensive cars. They cost more than $100,000, and aren’t on the radar for most American families. However, Tesla aims to change the way the brand is viewed with its customer stories section of its website. Mainly featuring photos and stories of families enjoying its cars, these first hand testimonials humanize the brand and show that regular people drive these products as well.


Tesla is now gearing up to release a $35,000 car; this part of its site is going to come in handy for families who are considering buying the more affordable version when it comes out.


Key Takeaway: Create an all-in-one destination for customers Fashion enthusiasts read Vogue, Nylon, and Elle. Instead of having its customers go to these publications for advice, issues its own magazine instead. The magazine includes a mood board of the latest looks, notes from the editors, photos of trending fashions for the upcoming season, a feature on one of the designers whose products are being sold on the site, and tips from stylists.


14. Cartier

Key Takeaway: Don’t send mixed messages If luxury brands want to successfully reach their customers, they have to coordinate uniform looks for the content. For example, they may put together fashion lookbooks for the season on Instagram, or follow Cartier’s lead and showcase multiple images from the same campaign all in a row.


When scrolling through the Cartier feed, it’s apparent that the brand aims to drive home certain messages at specific times. Instead of having a seemingly scatterbrained feed like many brands, Cartier hones in on one product or theme, and posts numerous images revolving around it. Recently, they uploaded photos of celebrities wearing their jewels at the Met Gala and images of their summer jewelry collection sitting poolside.

15. Land Rover

Key Takeaway: Show users the dream Luxury brands are focused on providing users with exceptional experiences. To give its audience a glimpse into the Land Rover lifestyle, the company launched OneLife, an iPad magazine that features a Land Rover owners’ story and exciting journey. The latest issue, for example, is about surfer Chrystal Jameson Fitzgerald, who goes to Alaska with her Range Rover Evoque and tries surfing in the chilly waters.

A commercial that shows a Land Rover driving in remote places wouldn’t be enough. Firsthand content from an actual owner is much more effective at selling the car and getting prospects tuned into the possibility of one day owning the vehicle.

11 Wonderful Content Curation Tools You Need To Use


For those who are still unfamiliar with the concept, content curation is the process of finding relevant information about your audience from a variety of sources and sharing it strategically through your communication channels.

The need for great content curation apps has never been more urgent. There are simply too many social networks, news feeds, emails, and infographics putting demands on your time and attention. Without trusted content curators, how else are you going to stay on top of your industry’s latest trends and enjoy your life? A successful content curator is no different than a successful journalist. If your selections are ad hoc, safe, and uninteresting, you don’t really know your audience.

However, if you know your audience, you can accurately gauge the temperature of the room and have the confidence to give the people what they want. In an attempt to help streamline your content curation efforts, here are 11 content curation tools every marketer needs.

Content Curation For Beginning Marketers

1. Pocket


If you’re content curation is ad hoc, Pocket is the perfect place to start and get you in the habit of accruing content to use and share later. Instead of a laundry list of bookmarks or countless emails you’ve sent to yourself with links, Pocket keeps all your interesting images, articles, and videos in one place for reference. You can group articles by tagging and built-in search functionality makes finding those articles easy.

Install Pocket’s button on your browser for easy curation and download the app on your smartphone for cross-platform usage. And that’s just the beginning. Pocket integrates with over 500+ other apps (like Evernote) for easy saving and reference.

And as a bonus, Pocket tweets out their @PocketHits for the most-saved articles on their platform. A must-follow for Twitter users.

For other “read-it-later” apps like Pocket, check out Instapaper and Readability.

2. Twitter Lists


As most people may already know, Twitter can be a horrendous, streaming mess if you’re not using Lists to organise the accounts you follow. A list is a curated group of Twitter users that you can create or follow. For example, at the end of every year, sites will release their content marketing “must-follows” on Twitter. Rarely do they create a list to make following these people or companies easy. And here’s the beauty part: If you create a Pocket account, you can easily save articles from Twitter directly into your Pocket account. In Twitter’s attempts to make their service more approachable and user friendly, Lists continue to be vastly underrated. Learn how to get your first Twitter list started.

3. Newsletters

Newsletters are back in the light again and they are a great reminder to get your content curation done. The key to successful content curation, especially if you’re doing it on the cheap, is making sure to duplicate your efforts. Whatever industry you’re in, stay on the lookout for newsletter subscriptions. If a good one doesn’t exist in your industry, that’s the perfect opportunity to create one. Also, before creating a newsletter of your own, it is important to learn from what others outlets are doing.

Content Curation For Intermediate Marketers



This is the nexus of content curation and social media with a Pinterest-esque user interface. Start with a topic of interest and will not only generate the most relevant articles to view and share, but it will also include complementary topics and other users to follow. will send a daily update of the topics you follow to keep pace with the most relevant articles to share.

The free version allows you to monitor one topic for posting on two social media accounts. For a more robust platform that follows multiple topics for share across all your social channels, you’ll pay $11/month (minimum).

5. Feedly


Feedly is a supercharged RSS Feed and an ideal replacement to those who loved Google Reader.

Content curation takes two routes: There’s web browsing 1.0 which is essentially visiting one site at a time, copying a URL, and pasting it accordingly. Then there’s the news aggregation route powered by Feedly. By simply adding a few of your favorite sources to Feedly, you can aggregate and browse these feeds in one place from your desktop and mobile devices.

With the ability to sort sources by category there’s a limitless ability to scale and organize Feedly. Feedly also offers a Pro service ($5/month; $45/year) with additional features like Evernote and Pocket integration, more search options, and premium customer support.

6. Storify


Storify helps makes sense of an increasingly overwhelming and noisy social web. The concept is simple: Users can search, browse or create stories from social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to, well, tell or follow a story.

Now companies have started using Storify to broadcast the goings-on at events, Q&As, and product launches. For example, Mashable embedded a Storify feed from their Mashable Media Summit to highlight the most salient social media nuggets coming out of the event.

And perhaps best, Storify is completely free to use.

7. Swayy


Swayy takes the work out of finding and tracking the analytics of content curation.

Swayy integrates your social accounts, topics of interest, AND analytics in one place to read and share. The onboarding is practically nil. By adding one of your social accounts, Swayy will start algorithmically curating some of the best and most popular content that comprises your social network. You can add topics and Swayy will broaden its search.

After signing up, Swayy sends a daily newsletter that’s a great reminder to me to share noteworthy content across my social networks (and yes, Swayy allows for sharing capabilities within the app).

Swayy provides a free version that allows for one dashboard to use. For additional dashboards and functionality, pricing starts at $9.99/mo and goes up to $119/mo.

8. Sniply


Sniply isn’t a curation tool per se. But it’s such an essential complement to anyone that shares curated information that I’d be remiss to leave it out. Sniply lets you include a custom message to almost any third-party content you share. There are a few sites that don’t support Sniply, but in my experience, not enough to warrant the tool’s exclusion.

When users click on a Sniply link, they’ll see both the shared content and call-out displaying your message.

Sniply offers a free version that allows for 1,000 clicks/mo for one user. Sniply’s added functionality can go up to $149/mo.

Content Curation For Advanced Marketers

Now we’re getting into some serious, enterprise-level curation software. These solutions work best for companies looking for a proven platform capable of working with a team of users, editors, and content curators. Enterprise-level curation provides users with advanced algorithms to find quantitatively relevant content for your audience, a centralised publishing platform, and the ability to customise content, teams, and publishing channels (to name a few).

9. Curata


The power of Curata starts with its INSPIRE™ discover and recommendation engine capable of finding content relevant to your audience without oodles of human labor. Users can fine-tune, customise, and categorise content sources for review and then disseminate in one place. The publishing and promotion allows you to repurpose curated content across your blog, social, newsletter, and automated marketing platforms.

Pricing starts at $499/mo and goes up to $999/mo depending on needed functionality. There is no free version and you can request a demo before purchasing.

10. PublishThis


Like Curata, PublishThis promotes the reliability of its algorithm to source relevant content for your audience–saving the time and headache that goes with daily curation. PublishThis focuses your communication channels on one platform making publication and posting easier. PublishThis also has an API to publish content to various platforms or apps. You can customise content to specific audiences while mixing in original content as well.

Again, pricing isn’t made available to the public, but you can request a demo via their website.

11. TrapIt


TrapIt allows marketers to set up content collections–called “traps”–then delivers a constant feed of real-time, relevant content based on these trapped topics and how you interact with the content. Here’s how TrapIt describes their discovery engine: “We combine search, artificial intelligence, and human curation to surface original, high-quality content you won’t find elsewhere.”

TrapIt recently merged with Addvocate (a social sharing platform for company employees to contribute content) to create an end-to-end content curation, publishing and analytics platform. Content can be published through TrapIt and shared throughout the organisation with Addvocate.

No pricing is available for TrapIt, but you can request a demo through their website.

What Tool Is Right For You?

Like any marketing software solution, it’s important to understand the role content curation will play in your business and the size of your team. If you’re a one-man marketing department, the beginner and intermediate curation tools should suffice for your needs. As your business and team grows, content curation may play a larger role and require more powerful software.

At that point, some of the advanced tools will help save time curating and getting everyone on the same page. Regardless of your team or business size, content curation should become an element of your content marketing strategy. Great curators build trust with their audience and become an indispensable resource as more and more content comes online and becomes harder to separate what’s worth reading and ignoring.

5 Handy Tips to Improve Your Content’s Quality in 2016


How do you keep writing good content in 2016?

Every digital marketer knows the need for high quality content. It’s not just about being agile in content delivery or being at their feet when it comes to publishing. Quality content is all about being able to achieve savvy marketing campaigns without sacrificing content.

In this day and age when competition seems to be running very close, it is important that you are able to give your customers what they want. You must be able to engage them and keep them reading up to the point of building an intimate circle between you and your target readers. Using these seven ways to improve your content, not only to enhance its delivery but to also strengthen network returns in the long run.

1. Stick to your budget


Good content does not come cheap. Whether you are investing your own time in creating the right content or you are outsourcing, one thing remains the same – it’ll cost you money and time. Throwing cash into content that is not being read will deem itself useless. Take a hard look at the analytics before you decide where you want to put your money. Assuming that Facebook and Twitter are the two largest social media platforms and investing all your good content there does not make sense at all. Before decide and stick to the budget.

2. Make your own guidelines

The content that you write is a direct reflection of the business that you do; thus it is highly important that you make a good reflection of yourself for the success of your business. Make your own guidelines as to what you want your content to target and achieve. You have got to have identified expectations, so you know the feel, the look as well as the tone of the content that needs to be created.

Strong content will give your customers a clear grasp of what your business is all about and what it stands for. The guidelines will also help you be on track when it comes to content writing and idea generation.

3. Decide your goal


If you don’t know what you want to achieve with your content marketing, then you will never be able to achieve it. Goal-setting is the key to your content success. After you have narrowed down your topics and focus of each content form, then it is time to set the goals for each. You cannot produce the same content with the same topics in different words. That’s not going to achieve what you want for your business. Instead, look carefully into varying perspective so you can deliver your idea of your business as a whole.

Also, know when you want to have content released, may it be weekly, monthly, quarterly or perhaps even daily. You need to have topics properly planned out. Have room for improvement of topics based on the demands of your target public.

4. Start scheduling


Your main goal is to be consistent. You should give your readers the feeling for contentment and security by providing them with consistently well-written content. Make a schedule of the content that you want to release and be sure to stick to it. You cannot be the come and go type because that is how your business will be. The schedule of the written content can vary from one platform to another. You may choose to post content on your blog once a week and post content on your Instagram page every day. This is okay.

5. Try different forms

Not all content is written in the form of a blog or a newsletter. Sometimes, it helps if you explore the combination of content and visuals. An infographic or a photo with captions can truly help bring variety to the content that you produce. If you can produce more infographics or pins, then they can easily be repined or reposted and you won’t have to worry about not being read. Keep in mind that you have to produce these with high quality images all the time.

The best thing about creating content is that your goal will help you decide which path to take and which form to explore. Be creative and inspirational at all times.

The Complete Content Marketing Trends For 2016 (Infographic)

When planning for content marketing strategy in 2016, where should marketers even start?

As the fast-changing Internet drives consumers action in 2015 trends, 2016 is shaping up to be a year rampant with custom content, unique videos, and adaptive mobile sites. 2016 is the right time to get creative in the realm of tech. With smartphone users set to top 2 billion in 2016 and over 90 percent of marketers learning on interactive content to educate buyers, mobile optimisation is one of the many keys to a successful strategy through next year.

Today we presents an infographic that reveals various content marketing budgets, benchmarks and the key trends for 2016. Take a good look at it, as there are some hidden gems you might find useful.


Click to Enlarge

Infographic credit: Zen Content

30 Most Brilliant Content Marketing Examples in 2015


Content marketing trend is going for the new, exciting territory in 2016.

A new survey finds that 64% of PR and marketing pros will increase content marketing efforts in 2016. Content marketing will “grow up” in 2016, as content strategists tell bigger stories with a braver focus and a bolder voice. Content made headlines in 2015 for greater adoption and better results. This year, 70% of B2B marketers created more content than they did a year ago.

With so many ways to publish content as a brand, inspiration always helps. In today’s post, we will share 30 most successful content marketing executions of 2015 to inspire you. Whether it’s an individual campaign, a new podcast, or an overall blog property, these companies demonstrate what it means to be customer-focused in every content creation effort. Take a good look at them!

1. Hipmunk: Traveler’s Guide to Tipping


Travel booking site Hipmunk creates a lot of content to answer common traveler questions and other stuffs. It includes guidelines for restaurants, taxis, and hospitality. The point is simple: know your demographic and answer their questions. None of their posts are interactive or flashy, but they provide important and relevant information.

2. Huffington Post: Easy recipe videos


Videos and cooking are a match made in heaven; that’s why people have the Food Network and Top Chef. Huffington Post shows Facebook fans how to craft delicious dishes via descriptive videos in 60 seconds or less. In 2016, attracting and maintaining customer attention will reach new heights of importance. Follow Huffington Post’s steps and focus on conciseness for your content.

3. Farmers Insurance: Inner Circle


Farmers Insurance features an extensive library of helpful tips around home maintenance and repairs, budgeting, auto care and insurance, and more. The content is easily navigable, succinct, engaging, and well designed. It’s a perfect example of a brand prioritising being helpful to people (anyone — not just Farmers customers) instead of selling to them.

4. Birchbox: Personal grooming videos

Beauty subscription service Birchbox regularly publishes excellent how-to grooming videos for men and women on two different pages. These videos often have a seasonal component (like Valentine’s Day makeup or keeping skin moist during dry winter months), encouraging customers to come back and learn more. The above video is a great example of helpful tips for guys seeking to keep long hair healthy.

5. GE: A leader in B2B content


GE is truly a content-focused company. It publishes content in almost every format imaginable, with a variety of content properties with unique focuses. One great example is GE’s online magazine The Txchnologist. It offers “an optimistic, but not utopian, take on the future and humanity’s ability to tackle the great challenges of our era.

6. Moz: Smart thinking for doing business digitally


The Moz blog is a useful source if you have question about the latest Google search algorithm or mobile search statistics. Moz continues to innovate and use data to provide readers with knowledge, not just conjecture.

7. New York Times: Journalism virtual reality


If you’ve followed journalism at all over the past five or ten years, you know the news industry is constantly looking to revolutionise itself to stay relevant and, of course, profitable. NYT experimented with virtual reality (VR) in 2015, launching an app you can use on Google cardboard or your smartphone. The app fully immerses you in news stories like never before.

8. Lush Cosmetics: Fresh and handmade blog posts


Lush runs a lovely blog with tips for beauty and green living — a perfect match with their eco-conscious and all-natural brand.

9. B2B For Dummies


The For Dummies brand is recognised the world over, so Wiley’s marketers and product team capitalised on that with a new content marketing venture. Dummies’ B2B offering gives companies the chance to craft their own branded Dummies content, and from the looks of the case studies, it seems to be working.

10. Betterment: Finance and investing content goes interactive


Investing service Betterment has a great blog and resource center with useful content for investors. It devises one of the best being quizzes to test one’s knowledge of finance and investing, as in this example. Quizzes are definitely not just for BuzzFeed; even financial services can get in the game.

11. House of Cards: The alternate Frank Underwood reality

Netflix’s political drama House of Cards adopts the marketing mindset that Frank Underwood and HoC characters are totally real. With a full election website and commercial that aired during a presidential debate, you forget that these people are acting — and isn’t that the whole point of TV? House of Cards creates a steady stream of content build-up to generate excitement for the new season. It’s a great example of how a few key content pieces released strategically can drum up anticipation for a big launch.

12. Bon Appetit Magazine: Foodcast

Bon Appetit’s podcast features interviews with chefs, writers, and, well, anyone who has something cool to say about food. Topics include holiday baking, why chefs hate brunch, and FAQs for Thanksgiving dinner. Not every company needs a podcast, to be sure, but if you can schedule great guests and figure out the tech specs, this can be a meaningful channel to engage with storytellers over the long term. Think about it: the average podcast is 35 minutes long, much longer than Bon Appetit’s readers probably engage with a single article on their site. If the content is good, people stick with a podcast much longer than they would linger on a webpage, and they subscribe to receive this content right on their smartphone every week.

13. Jack Daniels: The Single Barrel Standard


Jack Daniels’ blog the Single Barrel Standard shows an innate understanding of its core audience and the content they want to read. Moreover, Jack Daniels is committed to a regular cadence of content, showing customers with every piece that they share the same values and pastimes.

14. Square: A Town Square for small business owners


Credit card reader Square’s “Town Square” is a resource center for growing businesses. Many small business owners rely on Square readers for credit card readers, and now they can also rely on Square for super valuable social media for business-type content, like how to do better social media marketing and whether a company holiday party is tax deductible. Compared to many other companies’ blogs, it’s very frequently updated.

15. Basecamp: Signal v. Noise on Medium

Signal v. Noise is strong opinions and shared thoughts on design, business, and tech. By the makers (and friends) of Basecamp. Why choosing Medium? First of all, the writing and formatting experience on Medium is just excellent. It’s hard to find another web editor that makes it as easy to produce great looking articles. Second, Medium has a wonderful community and readership that reaches far beyond our natural sphere of influence. Great advice if your brand is considering Medium for content creation in 2016.

16. Method cleaning products: The Soap Dish blog


Method’s blog contains tips and tricks for house cleaning, cooking, and eco-friendly living. It all ties in with Method’s mission of natural-minded cleanliness, organisation, and comfort within the home. The topic of cleaning a home is so broad, but Method manages to narrow it all down to a tight content focus.

17. Bumble and Bumble: Video style guides


Regardless of if you use Bumble and Bumble’s hair products, its website answers a multitude of questions about blowdrying, dealing with curls, straightening hair, and much more. The company’s robust library of step-by-step videos show how to create any look with any type of hair imaginable. It’s free content that’s as useful as it is memorable when you want to buy your next styling product.

18. Nasty Gal: Behind the scenes on the Nasty Galaxy blog


Nasty Gal is the glamorous and unreasonably hip fashion brainchild of #GirlBoss Sophia Amoruso. Its blog, Nasty Galaxy, takes fashion fans behind the scenes of company parties and even photo shoots. Guess what lurks behind the scenes of this cool company? Even more enviable coolness, increasing affinity and likelihood to purchase even more.

19. American Express: Departures

Departures is a content brand that encompasses travel, fashion, shopping, arts, and culture advice for American Express cardholders. It’s available in both print and digital formats. Some people are fond of receiving the print version every season; it’s a photogenic taste of what’s of the moment around the world, and it gives me aspirational ideas of where I’d like to visit.

20. Petsmart: Parent resource center


When getting a new pet, the questions can seem never ending: how do I properly train, feed, and otherwise care for this animal? This is the niche that the Petsmart Parent Resource Center fills, which has articles and how-to videos about major pet-parenting topics.

21. Airbnb: The Local List


Airbnb goes a step above just offering great content on top places to eat, hang out, and amuse oneself in faroff destinations. Airbnb offers these lists as PDF downloads — perfect for downloading pre-traveling, as you don’t know what the wifi situation will be. These PDFs are a great reminder to think beyond the blog post or web page.

22. Kayla Itsines: Exercising Instagram and blogging prowess


Kayla Itsines was a personal trainer in Adelaide, Australia with an average number of social media followers just a few short years ago. Now her Instagram boasts more than four million followers and she owns one of the top apps on iTunes. How’d she do it? Amazing content, especially in the form of before and after shots of ladies who purchase her fitness program. She also regularly posts how-to exercise videos on Instagram and healthy recipes on her site.

23. Colgate: Oral Care Center

Colgate’s Oral Care Center presents tons of educational dental information. The effects of alcohol and chlorine on teeth, and the potential causes of toothache, for starters. Anyone interested in oral care is certain to appreciate this blog.

24. Hansens: Surfer’s guides to everything

San Diego surf shop, Hansens seeks to inform surfers of every ability. The company understands that surf gear is a big purchase for the average consumer, so equipping him or her with adequate knowledge is the first step toward conversion.

25. The Honest Company: DIY beauty treatments

The Honest Company is beloved for its honestly natural home and beauty products — and now its content, which includes many DIY and home remedies to help customers help themselves. The Honest Company doesn’t recommend its own products when a homemade version will do. It’s all part of serving customers as a trusted friend instead of a salesperson.

26. Lorna Jane: Move Nourish Believe


Lorna Jane shares more smoothie recipes than your blender can handle, mindfulness articles, and healthy living tips on its blog. Fitness is about more than the workout jackets you choose; it’s an entire lifestyle, and this blog exemplifies that.

27. Vitamix: Be Inspired


Everyone knows a high-speed blender boasts many applications, but Vitamix attempts to explain every use case possible on its Be Inspired site. From champagne cocktails to raw foods, Vitamix’s articles are an incredible resource for creative types with high-speed blenders. Judging from the smashing popularity of Vitamixes, that’s a growing subset of the population.

28. Home Depot: Spreading seasonal knowledge

Home Depot shares excellent content year-round, yet their content is still focused on what’s top-of-mind for customers in the changing seasons. Energy-efficiency during the holidays, selecting a Christmas tree, and how to create a wreath. To ensure timeliness, Home Depot is always thinking ahead to the next few seasons and anticipating customers’ future needs — a great reminder for all brands who create content.

29. Kat Von D Beauty: Fan-curated looks


Curated content is a win for everyone: customers get to be in the spotlight, and brands get a break from creating totally original content. Famed tattoo artist Kat Von D now has her own makeup line, and she’s invited fans to tag their Instagram photos showing Kat’s products on themselves with #kvdlook. Then, the beauty brand uploads them to the website. This tactic shows customers new ways to use products and suggests products they may not yet have, without the headache of photo shoots for every single new item or color.

30. Tortuga Backpacks: Power Trip Travel Podcast

The ad say: “A weekly podcast at the intersection of travel and entrepreneurship. The show is hosted by Fred Perrotta and Jeremy Michael Cohen, the co-founders of Tortuga Backpacks. Join us for the stories behind your favorite travel gear, products, websites, and apps from their creators! Plus, we’ll share the best ways to travel better, cheaper, and with less hassle.”

Travel and entrepreneurship aren’t always mentioned in the same breath, but the maker of these excellent carry-on-sized travel backpacks has made it work. Power Trip is yet another example of how a podcast opens up a new, deeper way to communicate with existing customers and prospects.

The State of Content: The Rules of Engagement for 2016 (Infographic)


As time goes by, digital content trends are always changing.

The infographic below has presented a survey among more than 12,000 online adults to find out their views on digital content. According to the study:

  • On average, 83 percent of global users report they multi-screen, using 2+ devices.
  • 54 percent listed overall good design, such as appealing layout and visual content, as important.
  • 90 percent consumer say they would switch devices or stop viewing altogether when encountering content that fails to meet their expectations.

The stakes are even higher than ever for marketers to create content that can break through the noise. So, how would you make your content engaging and interesting? Take a look at these five simple rules to engage your audience in 2016.


Infographic credit: Adobe

Eight Ways Consumers Use and Engage with Content (Infographic)


Have you ever wondered what customers really want when creating a piece of content?

As content is one of the most determining factors on a campaign’s success, finding direct paths to target audiences becomes increasingly important. The infographic below offers statistics from a survey over 7,300 moments when a person engaged with specific content and uncovered new findings that can help marketers better develop content.

Marketers are good at knowing when and where consumers access content. The research illustrates some of the missing pieces and gives insight into how and why consumers interact with content. Smart marketers can add this knowledge to their toolbox and develop content that matches the motivation of viewers. Hopefully, they can create a deeper, better and more impactful connections with consumers on any device.


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Infographic credit: AOL Insight

Three Tips To Unleash The Inner Power of Social Media Persuasion


With the trend of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, customers have become core content producers for brands.

When a customer posts positive content about a brand in their social media account, potentially hundreds or even thousands of other potential customers will see it, remember and engage. However, no matter how powerful a piece of content is, it can quickly slip away into a sea of millions of social media posts. Brands can keep these conversations flowing by intertwining the most persuasive social content into current marketing campaigns and owned properties.

With the right technology, integrating user-generated social content into existing digital marketing platforms and campaigns can be simple. This includes dynamic display on branded websites, screens during live events, in-store displays, television broadcasts, corporate websites, Jumbotrons, digital billboards or live TV commercials. Any of these tactics present brands with an opportunity to strategically capitalise on the word-of-mouth marketing generated by loyal consumers across all social channels.

Here are three actionable tips to help marketers tap into the power of social persuasion by integrating user-generated content into marketing tactics:

1. Build up audience enthusiasm for your upcoming events.

In today’s age of Instagram and Snapchat, consumers attending live events are likely posting about it on social media. As a brand, why not capture these moments? With real-time display tactics, marketers can aggregate this content onto in-venue displays to generate awareness and build enthusiasm.

Brands can promote new products or events by encouraging customers to post about recent purchases and then aggregate the content on in-store displays or eCommerce sites. Brands can offer discounts or other incentives to motivate the first consumers to participate. Once the initial enthusiasm is generated, others will begin to follow suit, which not only generates brand awareness, but also encourages engagement.

2. Persuade social activism.

You may have heard that if a person in line at the grocery store puts money into the donation jar, the next person in line is more likely to do the same. It’s the same concept of social persuasion, and organisations can tap into it to drive social activism. Social media can be an incredibly powerful way to influence massive audiences – especially if the ideas are originally generated by peers. If leveraged correctly, cause-based organisations can integrate social media content into digital marketing tactics to encourage activism.

3. Experiment with user-generated content in the purchase cycle.

Research has shown that consumers are highly influenced by real-world recommendations when making purchasing decisions. In fact, user-generated content has been found to be one of the most effective social marketing tactics for increasing conversions. In a world where social media dominates our everyday lives, it’s important for marketers to leverage it effectively. Not only are most consumers actively engaged on social sites, but they also tend to trust their peers on these platforms more so than they trust brands. It’s up to marketers to capitalise on the opportunity. Integrating positive user-generated content into traditional marketing tactics can reach millions of consumers and make a lasting impression in a way we never thought possible.

Why Should You Care About Visual UGC? (Infographic)


Content is very important thing to think about if you want to expand your social media marketing reach, as good content means good customers relationship (if managed properly). However, what is more appealing than having your loyal customers ‘create’ the fabulous content for your brand?

Among all other types, visual UGC (user generated content) is undoubtedly one of the most sought content among marketers and brands. Most of them have been looking for ways to get and maximise its use to drive incredible business results. Yet, most of startups are not even aware on how important UGC is. In the following infographic, you will find several good reasons why you need to pay more careful attention to it.


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Infographic credit: Offerpop