Learning to Blog

Over the last 8 weeks this blog has been quite an experience! In addition to learning about emerging media, the internet of things, and enchanted objects among many other topics, the course for which this blog was started has added blogger to the list of learnings. So with this experience, I’d like to share my perspective on writing and keeping a blog.

  1. Just Write It. If you have an idea, write it down, type it up, get it out of your brain and into writing – don’t wait.The writing doesn’t have to be perfect,  you can revise it later.
  2. Set time aside each day to follow up on your industry. This does not include scrolling your personal facebook and instagram accounts. Utilize content tools such as flipboard or  LinkedIn’s Pulse where you can choose content topics and find out what companies are doing that is working in marketing and advertising and find out the latest and greatest regarding emerging media, new technology, etc.
  3. Give yourself more time to curate than you think you’ll need. In order to find interesting information that hasn’t been discussed in 20 other similar blogs, it takes time to sort through large amounts of data and find information that will intrigue your readers and keep their attention.
  4. Finish what you start. Continuing the point from # 2 – writing down your thoughts and ideas is important, but finishing the draft and hitting that publish button is even more important. Chances are distractions (good and bad) will take over, you’ll lose the thought, and end up with endless unpublished drafts. Set time aside each week to bring your thoughts to fruition, proof and publish your drafts.
  5. Have fun with your content. A blog is a chance to share your ideas of the industry – while its important to include current trends and industry info, it is also okay to highlight the fun and light-hearted side of emerging media – i.e. see post on Pi Day.

 

What tips or advice would you give to the next class of IMC619 bloggers? Feel free to comment!

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It’s Live from Across the World

This past weekend Facebook officially rolled out their live capability for groups and events. This comes not too long after the the launch of the live capability to stream to users within Facebook post. The biggest different between live for groups and the previous live capability? Live for groups allows users broadcast to just the people in the Facebook Group. Although Google introduced this concept in May of 2013 with Google Hangouts, many companies have taken on this capability to create their own video stream sharing service. So this new capability brings about an interesting question – with all of these live platforms, it’s important as marketers to take a look at what draws users to these live platforms as well as what pushed them away!

Facebook Live
User Benefits: Users are able to share live experiences with family and friends who are already in their social media community and with groups/events they may already have created all within the existing app.
User Downfalls: Too soon to tell. However if the app capability has similar issues that Google hangouts experienced, the success of the stream may depend of user mobile connection.

Periscope
User Benefits: The popularity of this Twitter owned Platform is on the rise and accessibility to experiences are endless! It is mostly easy to use and you can search users by geo-location to see what is going on around the world.
User Downfalls: Similar to the aforementioned connection issues, many users experience buffering and connection issues of the broadcast through the entire video. In addition, as a first time user, tuning into a video – it was not as easy to figure out how to turn off comments as one may have imagined.

 

SEO for Beginners

Although Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is not a new topic in marketing, it is somewhat foreign to many new brands. So what is SEO and how can brands use it to leverage their business? Read on for a few simple details.

Let’s first start with why SEO is so important. Think of it as the search engine’s road map to find your web page – the better the directions,  the more likely potential customers are to find your page when searching the internet. When you start planning your content and website pages in terms of SEO, you make it easier for search engines to show your page in search results.

So how is this possible? There are several easy steps that brands can take to ensure they are showing in search results (without spending money).

  • Utilize keywords in your website content: Make sure to include and repeat the words that describe the product or service you offer in your content, in an intriguing and captivating way. For example – if you are writing a blog about a pet grooming service, you would want to include your keyword and 3-5 similar words such as pet grooming, dog bath, pet spa throughout your content over and over. Entrepreneur recommends to include your keyword 2 to 5 percent of the time. For example, if you’re writing an article of 500 words, you’ll want your keyword to appear at least 10 times but no more than 30.
  • Set up seamless navigation: Just as it was mentioned in the beginning of this post in making it simple for search engines to find your site, you also want to make it simple for users to navigate your site once they are on it. Make sure that your page displays a simple menu system that lists all pages in the menu and that each individual page displays this same menu. You also want to ensure that users have an easy way to find their way back to the previous page for a simple user experience.
  • Optimize your page: In other words organize your page so that all of your information, content and keywords are working together to get the best results possible.

perfectly seo optimized page

 

So what other recommendations have you found to work in your SEO efforts that have been simple to implement?

Telling an Intriguing Story

Story telling – defined as the conveying of events in words, sound and/or images, often by improvisation or embellishment is also a growing method of content marketing. Over the last few years, storytelling by brands has become a popular method to engage consumers and draw them closer to a brand message in order to turn them from interested participant to loyal customer. Not only  is it a great way to engage customers and build a brand, but  it’s especially useful when the brand are just starting out, launching a new product, or re-branding their image. In this post we’ll take a look at the top recommendations for storytelling:

  1. Think about the type of consumer you want to attract as this will help you begin the building blocks of the type of story you want to tell. Do you want to attract the sports enthusiast or the thrifty shopper? Develop a persona for your target audience with characteristics and motivations for what makes this audience your ideal consumer.
  2. Develop a compelling message that speaks to your target audience. Your message should so engaging and motivation in a way that it shows the consumer the bigger picture and helps them to see what it would be like to own your product or utilize your service. i.e. Check out GoPro’s YouTube Page for a better understanding of what is meant here.
  3. Find your outlet to tell your story – where does your target audience hang out? Is your story better conveyed via long form video (YouTube) or short form video (Instagram, Vine) or is your story better told through short form content (facebook, twitter) and images? (Instagram)

Once you have developed your story and have created content, you can begin to promote and advertise to a wider audience where you may be more likely to obtain new audience members. For ideas on how to promote short form story telling check out Instagram’s new 60 second advertising capability here.

What brands have you noticed are doing a great job of promoting their brands through story telling?