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How To Build An Online Personal Brand (Infographic)

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In the era of modern marketing, having a personal brand is a must to build  the loyal customer base.

A personal brand on social media should allow people to recognize you and your content. Your brand is what you stand for and what people should expect when they click on your social media posts. After reading this article, you will fully understand what a personal brand is and what it will take to create a successful one.

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Infographic credit: Headway Capital

2016 Ultimate B2B Online Marketing Guide (Infographic)

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Nowadays, everybody is doing B2B. If you are not updating your knowledge concerning the latest B2B news and techniques, you’ll definitely miss a big point.

Simply “doing” B2B online marketing is not going to maximise success. Truth to be told, your website isn’t going to just magically generate new business just because it looks good and you “employ” B2B. You need the right strategies to attract visitors and convert them to customers.

There are a lot of moving parts with a B2B online marketing and lead generation program. Take a look at the following infographic to help you visualise the components and all the important process you need to know.

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Infographic credit: Circle Studio

Digital Trends for Small to Medium Businesses in 2016 (Infographic)

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Small and medium businesses need to move beyond vanity metrics and put more focus on the sharp end of the sales funnel.

In today’s post, you will find the essential digital trends every small to medium sized businesses need to focus on in 2016. Among the other important points contained in the infographic, there are enhanced data analytics, influencer marketing and even virtual reality. There are also some points on enhanced personalisation, how the brands that take the time to get to know their customers and deliver on their expectations by connecting with their personal preferences, stand to win out in the new social media-driven age, where all consumers have a platform to share their voice – and they expect to be heard as a result.

There’s something for everyone here, including some helpful notes on mobile adoption and wearable devices. Take a look at the full infographic below.

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Infographic credit: Cube

30 Impressive and Inspirative Online Portfolios

The age of traditional print-based portfolios are gone. These days various technologies allows you to implement the wackiest, most creative and outstanding of ideas on your design portfolio, online.

Numerous designers have put a lot of thought and care into creating a portfolio that impresses. In today’s post, The Website Marketing Group are introducing to you, via their portfolios, some of the most talented designers around the internet. Take a look at the following work of art. Keep in mind that the example of these designers do no justice to what they are capable of. There are also plenty of ways you can contact them; all the info are available at their respective sites.

1. Irene Demetri

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2. Dawid Stasiak

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3. Pauline Osmont

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4. Guillaume Juvenet

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5. Melanie Daveid

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6. Weblounge

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7. Anakin

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8. Impossible Bureau

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9. Bryan James

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10. Bethany Heck

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11. Robin Noguier

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12. Sheena Flynn

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13. Ben David Sandhu

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14. Mike Kus

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15. Active Theory

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16. Fixate

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17. Big Drop

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18. Leg Work

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19. ?hilid

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20. eDesign

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21. Pixel Bytes Media

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22. Gareth Strange

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23. Tim Smith

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24. Stilt Media

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25. Philippe Hong

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26. Toasted Digital

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27. Twofold

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28. Andrea Puccini

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29. Cüneyt ?EN

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30. Alice

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Australians Prefer Online Shopping For Their Christmas Needs

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Online world is exceeding the real-world experiences, especially at Christmas time. It turns out the new research from Yahoo7 has revealed.

The latest report highlights some key points on Christmas shopping trends and behaviours of Australian consumers online, to provide marketers with an enhanced understanding into reaching their consumers this holiday season.

According to the research, Australians have reached a tipping point, with more people opting to hunt online in order to avoid tackling shopping centres. Some 39 per cent of those surveyed even admitted they were stressed about dealing with crowds when Christmas shopping, while a third were worried about finding the time to shop.

The research also found that more than half of all Australians have already started their Christmas shopping but 62 per cent of Australians are not sure about what to buy our loved ones. Despite this, what is clear is that parents will be the most impressed come Christmas Day with respondents more likely to buy something special for their parents, followed by partners and siblings.

“Our insights assist marketers and advertisers plan and adapt their strategies to effectively reach different audiences. In particular, with more Australians revealed to be doing their Christmas shopping online this year, it suggests that used effectively, online advertising stands to be more valuable this Christmas compared to previous years” said Peter Hammer, the head of data and insights at Yahoo7.

The most popular gift ideas this year have been revealed to be experiences, electronics, home appliances and clothing, while 46 per cent of respondents noted they will purchase a charitable gift this year. Toys, jewellery, travel and cosmetics also rated highly on the list.

The 7 Christmas Insights research is part of Yahoo7’s new Insights Series, aiming to provide advertisers with a greater understanding of the behaviour of their target consumers.

Zulu Alpha Kilo: “Say No To Spec” Video Campaign

The advertising industry always demands creative pitches and great work by testing out agencies to see if they like their ideas, on a simplest and briefest example, often with only a 2-3 weeks to deliver an entire multi-million dollar campaign idea, for free. Is it unbelievable?

Well, Zulu Alpha Kilo will say NO. The company has created a video that highlights just how the rest of the world works. The goal is to showcase how other industry gives away creative ideas and IP for free. Perhaps the best line in the video is “You guys could make me a spec breakfast, right? And then if I enjoy it, I’ll make you guys my ROR: my Restaurant of Record.” What a classy response!

KitKat: The World’s First Massage Billboard

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Free massage, anyone?

There is an ever lasting battle for agencies and brands to create the next big billboard, not just in awards speak, yet because Adshells / Billboards are being reinvented every day, with custom installations and technology being baked in be media owners and agencies alike.

The following campaign is awesome. It’s called “The World’s First Massage Billboard” from KitKat. With a bunch of locations across Columbia, anyone tweeting about being stressed, tired or or just needing a break, was replied to with a message from KitKat and location details of where to find one of their special Massage Billboards.

The 4 Best Classic Halloween Online Campaigns Of All Time

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Last month, many brands launch Halloween-themed campaigns. While we’ve seen some great Halloween ads over the years, what about campaigns that go beyond the typical TV spot?

Let’s explore five of the best Halloween content marketing efforts in the past and learn some takeaways that you can apply to future campaigns.

1. Ford: “Spooky Car Wash Prank” (2014)

It was a simple stunt: dress some actors as monsters, cut the lights, and scare the life out of costumers during test drives. Devised by Detroit-based creative agency The Work, Ford’s three-minute video, “Spooky Car Wash Prank” and immediately went viral.

Since its release on YouTube, “Spooky Car Wash Prank” has been viewed more than 1.7 million times to be named one of the “World’s Most-Shared Halloween Ads.”

With Halloween marketing, concept rules. Campaigns don’t have to be elaborate. In fact, the holiday provides the ideal opportunity to use a documentary for videos with techniques like hand-held filming and found footage that are so prevalent in horror films. In other words, brands don’t have to invest much to make an impact online.

2. LG: “So Real It’s Scary” (2012)

Product demos have a reputation for being dry. But in 2012, LG found a way to transform the unimaginative format of old into a thrilling testament to the quality of its products.

In the opening seconds of this video, LG claims its monitors have “lifelike colors.” Viewers don’t have to take the company’s word for it. To promote the LG IPS TV screen, the brand worked with agency SuperHeroes Amsterdam and installed a grid of monitors on the floor of a public elevator. It then filmed the response of riders when they saw the floor fall away beneath their feet.

Since its launch on YouTube three years ago, “So Real It’s Scary” has gone on to generate 24 million views and counting. And there isn’t a zombie in sight.

 

When it comes to showing off the unique features of your product, video is a must. Earlier this year, video production service Animoto conducted a survey that found four times as many consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it. Additionally, 80 percent of respondents believe that videos demonstrating how products and services work are “important.”

Couple an event like Halloween with a theme-friendly pun—like LG did with “So Real It’s Scary”—and you can showcase your product in a way consumers are sure to remember.

3. Target: “Halloween Hills” (2014)

DIY content has long been a staple of Halloween marketing campaigns—seasonal recipes, costume ideas, and party tips are all part of the holiday fun. With this crafty demographic in mind, Target created a home for DIY digital content on Instagram. The retailer called it “a trick-or-treating adventure for grownups—no costumes required.”

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Part interactive game and part tutorial, “Halloween Hills” incorporated an illustration of a neighborhood that linked to separate Instagram accounts offering a recipe or a craft. There were 30 different projects to explore—300 pieces of content in all—from Cauldron Cupcakes and 3D House Cookies to a Storybook Nightlight. The brand encouraged consumers to post pictures of their “trick” or “treat” outcomes using the #HalloweenHills hashtag.

Carrot Creative, the agency behind the campaign, reported that “Halloween Hills” generated 111,000 social actions and more than 28 million social mentions, while producing a net sentiment rating of 74 percent.

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Halloween and do-it-yourself projects will always go hand in hand. Brands can add value to their social media marketing by offering guidelines and ideas that boost both engagement and shares—particularly when they’re delivered in the form of a unique social site.

4. M&M’s: “Dark Movie Challenge” (2006)

Years ago, M&M’s released an online game that became the stuff of legend. “Dark Movie Challenge,” a digital illustration in the disturbing style of 15th century painter Hieronymus Bosch, required viewers to identify visual riddles and surreal references to 50 classic horror films, from The Ring to Rosemary’s Baby (the M&M’s characters played a part, too).

The content was designed by G2 Interactive and included a timer, which added a layer of challenge and encouraged players to compete. Plus, M&M’s “Dark Movie Challenge” was highly relevant to the brand since it came shortly after the candy maker announced that it was making dark chocolate a permanent part of its line. Any teen, office worker, or parent who crossed paths with the game at the time will recall spending hours—yes, hours—fully engaged.

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This scary precursor to the social videos and prankvertising of today had the rare ability to immerse consumers for extended periods of time in spite of the seasonal clutter surrounding them online.

Maybe it’s the singularity of the idea, but M&M’s managed to create content that really stayed with the viewer. Thanks to this campaign, Halloween has become creepier.

Is Mobile-Specified Content The Next Trend in Marketing?

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Have you ever heard of the term “mobile gap”? Mobile usage is vastly increasing, yet publisher ad revenue isn’t keeping its pace.

At the same time, another gap has opened. This one is between the time that consumers spend on mobile and marketers’ commitment to mobile content. As of last year, mobile is the most-used digital platform. Time spent with digital media on mobile has grown 90 percent in the last two years and in 2015, consumers will watch 39 minutes of video a day on mobile devices.

It’s not that people are abandoning their desktops completely. It’s just that they’re spending significantly more time on mobile apps and the mobile web. As expected, marketers are taking action. Mobile advertising is on the rise, with investments expected to surpass desktop ad spending by the end of the year. Will this issue end soon? In spite of increased mobile activity, many mobile mediums—like games and messaging—present an advertising challenge. Although video ads are proving to be highly engaging on small screens, some marketers still struggle to make a true connection with customers through mobile.

Putting mobile users first

One solution to brands’ mobile problem may be to create more content and, in particular, offer it exclusively through mobile. Brands of all kinds have been experimenting with this tactic in recent months. In July, Doritos launched its first mobile-only campaign, enlisting social media influencers to create 3D videos that are only available to mobile users.

It’s a twist on the mobile-first concept we know, which typically involves brands developing content with mobile user behavior and screen constraints in mind. Rather than create a video and optimise it for mobile devices, these brands are creating fun and interactive content exclusively for mobile users.

Leveraging mobile apps

Mobile technology company Zumobi, which has worked with such brands as CoverGirl, Mercedes-Benz, and Snickers, agrees that the time has come for brands to make mobile content a bigger part of their campaigns. Mobile app usage has increased by 63 percent over the past two years, with consumers now clocking more than 37 hours per month. As of 2014, mobile app usage made up 52 percent of total media engagement. A large portion of this time goes to social networking, gaming, or radio. Facebook and YouTube rank among the top mobile apps in terms of unique visitors. Instagram, Twitter, Google Plus, Snapchat, and Kik all make the top 25.

To reach this sizable audience, Heineken made its new TV spot, which promoted its sponsorship of the upcoming James Bond film Spectre, available to Facebook mobile users first. The brand is also inviting smartphone-carrying consumers to scan limited edition Bond-themed products in-store for a chance to win free movie tickets and access behind-the-scenes video footage.

“Our launch with Facebook mobile allows us to quickly reach and engage with a large and extremely targeted audience, while the 1 in 007 free movie ticket promotion actively drives sales and secures in-store displays for the brand,” Ralph Riis, senior vice president of marketing at Heineken USA, told Mobile Marketer.

To promote the early October finale of Fear the Walking Dead, AMC partnered with T-Mobile and Shazam to give mobile users an exclusive bonus video when they used the music recognition app during the show’s premiere.

When developing content for brand apps, Schimke says marketers don’t need to “reinvent the content wheel.” She does, however, recommend offering a mix of both existing and new content.

Zumobi client Bank of America recently took this approach to promote its sponsorship of the Special Olympics. They filled the Bank of America app with inspiring multimedia stories of Special Olympics athletes, some of which couldn’t be seen anywhere else. “Once a brand has injected all content assets into the app, they can leverage dynamic mobile banners and interstitials to drive traffic back to it,” Schimke explained.

Ultimately, these brands are succeeding by taking a mobile-first approach to their content marketing, and the rest of the industry should follow suit. Internet users have wholeheartedly embraced apps and the mobile web. It’s time for brands to keep pace and close the gap.

Four Tips for Online Marketers Implementing User Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) is not a brand new concept in the marketing industry. However, most digital marketers rarely treated UGC as an exciting way for engaging with consumers, building brand awareness, and gathering customers’ loyalty. With the recent acquisitions of multi-million dollar content companies like Instagram and Tumblr, major names in online business are further demonstrating the enormous value of content today. In a January 2013, over 700 digital professionals identified content marketing as the single most significant trend in marketing today.

So, what’s the position of contents in today’s digital era anyway? Content, in short, is king, so it’s incumbent upon brands to make good use of it. However, it’s never as simple as it sounds. With its many shapes and forms, identifying the right content to engage your customer and doing it at the right time on the right channel, requires strategic planning and resources.

One possible solution is to allow consumers to create content for your brand. The rise of social media and mobile technology has made every consumer a potential broadcaster. It is easier than ever for brands to solicit, collect, promote, and analyze content that comes directly from your customer base.

Why?

Nowadays, user generated content is easily accessible for both brand marketers and consumers because of the prevalence of smartphones and tablets. These gadgets make it easier than ever to take photos, make videos, draw pictures, and otherwise broadcast our thoughts and opinions instantly through numerous social channels. When done right, UGC campaigns that make it easy for your consumer to market on your behalf will lead to higher levels of engagement and provide actionable consumer data. Here are four tips for digital marketers implementing user generated content.

1. A Clear Call-To-Action

Although UGC can be easy to accumulate from consumers, it is important for brands to present a specific call-to-action that identifies the objectives of your campaign and outlines the desired contributions you are seeking. It is also critical to recognize that many participants in your campaign may initially just be there to view content, and don’t intend to contribute to it. An inspiring call to action or value proposition will help convert those who were simply bystanders.

Also, you must realise that there are many different levels of contributions you can reach, and each type of content has a different target audience. For example: it is far easier for a user to give a “like” or submit a picture than to create a video. Target the masses with simpler requests. On the other hand, target a passionate community of enthusiasts with things that take additional time and effort like video creation.

Your call to action should include two things: 1) very clearly state the type of content you are soliciting, and 2) provide users with an incentive, such as the promise of status/fame, a prize or exclusive discounts, in order to participate.

In addition, you should use the thrill of competition to get customers excited and their competitive juices flowing. You can also increase the volume of participation and engagement by making it easy for participants to share the campaign across their social channels.

2. Maintain Your Quality Control

One potential risk when opening your brand to contributed content from customers is the potential for your usual quality standards not to be upheld. This is why it’s essential to set clear parameters and expectations at the outset of a user generated content campaign. Offering incentives for winners will also place a premium on quality content by tapping into people’s competitive nature. This is good for consumers because it helps them elevate the quality of their submission, while also preventing results that are off-brand.

3. Depth vs. Breadth

One of the biggest ways for marketers to drive results is by taking steps to ensure their user generated content campaign provides widespread marketing value. Therefore, a key question to ask when planning a campaign is how it can be valuable to more than just those who actively participate.

While you will naturally receive fewer entrants in a contest that asks users to prepare an entry, the entries you receive will likely come from those who are more passionate about your brand or the reward opportunity. This is might happen because the majority of people participating in your campaign will simply view or interact with content rather than actually preparing and submitting their own entry, it is important to incentivize both content submitters and content viewers.

4. Authenticity

Do you know that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family and 70% trust online reviews, while the vast majority view paid online advertising with deep suspicion? This trust factor is one of the most important selling points for a UGC campaign. It’s imperative for marketers to make it authentic and consistent with the brand’s persona. And due to the wealth of information and content available in today’s digital world, authentic content is celebrated and more meaningful.

Authenticity shines through in the entries as parents share details on everything from a simple smile that brightens their day to community service projects that can make a big difference. Harness a more authentic and meaningful experience for your customer by driving a two-way conversation throughout your campaign — from the submission stage, to social sharing, voting, and beyond. However, be keenly aware that transparency is critical as any problems in the experience can be broadcast instantly by digital consumers across social media.

Conclusion

Good content always drives good engagement. User generated content campaigns are not new, but with the rise of mobile and social tools present even greater opportunities for marketers to increase engagement among a passionate group of consumers. When done well, these campaigns will lead to significantly increased brand engagement.