Digital Strategy: LinkedIn – An Evolving Platform for Big Brands

Dug up an oldie (but goodie) from last year. It’s a whitepaper-type doc on LinkedIn that I wrote while at Critical Mass. Enjoy.

Digital Strategy: Facebook’s News Feed updates and what you need to know

Facebook recently announced sweeping changes to its News Feed experience. These updates not only bring a level of consistency to the mobile and desktop Facebook experience, but fix a somewhat cluttered, algorithm-based experience by enabling users to segment their News Feeds.

A more segmented, visually appealing, mobile friendly News Feed experience means brands must think differently about their Facebook content and ad spend.

Read my full post about Facebook’s News Feed updates on the Experience Matters blog.

Real-time Super Bowl marketing: Not just on Twitter

oreo super bowl tweet The Oreo and 360i teams easily captured the gold medal for its quick work during last night’s Super Bowl blackout. Not only did they put together a very timely piece of creative, but they did a great job promoting the behind-the-scenes work that went into it as well. The tweet that featured the image (pictured right), received at least 10,000 tweets, and a lot of media attention.

However, while other brands scrambled to bid on Twitter promoted tweets, the team that runs MiO Fit’s paid search campaigns saw an opportunity to own a channel that was entirely untouched: Google.

mio fit ad super bowl blackout

Think about this: in the minutes after the blackout occured, many TV viewers turned to Twitter. But where would others go, or where would Twitterers go next for the breaking news? Google was certainly one possibility, and there were zero advertisers bidding on blackout-related terms. (NOTE: As of publication, Google Trends data was not yet available for terms related to “super bowl blackout” or “superbowl blackout”.)

The ad copy was taken from a @MakeItMiO tweet, and the destination URL was the standard MiO Fit landing page.

Oreo did the right thing by attacking Twitter early on with a catchy visual + client buy-in. (Can’t forget about that.) But the team behind MiO’s paid search efforts should be applauded for its quick thinking, and doing what I believe was the next best thing last night.

Kudos to what was very smart – albeit under-the-radar – ad buy.

Digital Strategy: Google Plus reached 100 million unique visits in October 2012. Here’s what it means.

(NOTE: This blog post was originally published on the LoSasso blog.)

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According to Mashable’s Todd Wasserman, the latest comScore data shows that Google Plus received 105 million global monthly users in October 2012, up from 65.3 million in October 2011. (NOTE: There was no comScore release on the findings as of this post’s publication.)

In the United States, the breakdown looked like this:

Google Plus Ocotber 2012 US stats comscore

Despite some questions about the value of Google Plus as a social network, these numbers would confirm that Google users are, in fact, going to pages, posts and other content on Google Plus. Whether these users are actively using the social network or randomly clicking on links to Google Plus pages from search results (read this blog post on some recent Google search algorithm updates) they’re still going to Google Plus. The comScore data did not track time spent on the site, however.

What does this mean for brands? Owning and regularly maintaining a Google Plus account, along with integrating a +1 button on website pages, will yield some SEO benefit, according to SEOmoz. The recently released Author tags from Google Plus also have merit.

Here’s a handy guide on how to get started on Google Plus - and check out the video overview of “Search, plus your world” from Google below:

Digital Strategy Quick-Take: Quoted in today’s Chicago Tribune on Chevrolet Klout promotion

daniel honigman quoted in chicago tribune on chevrolet klout promotion

Chevrolet recently announced a Klout-based sampling program in which it would provide various prominent social media users the opportunity to test drive its new Volt.

As the first Klout-based car sampling program, many news sources covered the story, including the Chicago Tribune’s Robert Channick, who quoted me in his article. (Disclaimer: I worked at the Chicago Tribune/Tribune Interactive several years ago.) The story was also featured, in an altered version, as the front page item in today’s RedEye.

My point: social media promotions are evolving, and as new channels evolve, brands are looking to utilize them to reach new segments of their customer base. (One side benefit: newer platforms like Klout are often much less expensive as more mature channels, such as TV, but even older digital communities like Facebook.)

Please click the links above to read the articles!

Digital Strategy: Despite Google Search algorithm update, SEO’s golden rule lives on

(NOTE: This article was originally posted on the LoSasso blog)

Late last week, Google announced one fairly major update to its search algorithm: that content with a high number of copyright removal notices would be penalized in its search engine results pages (SERPs).

There’s been a healthy debate about what exactly this means, especially in the entertainment industry.  Tim Worstall of Forbes raises the valid point that takedown notices don’t necessarily mean sites with removal notices are violating copyrights.

For a little while now, the search giant has released its algorithm updates each month. (Check out thisfairly comprehensive list from WebProNews. ) While many changes are designed to stay one or two steps ahead of black hat SEO techniques, just as many of the updates are meant to showcase good content that web searchers actually want.

Entertainment and piracy debate aside, this particular set of updates benefits creators of original content, including many artists and musicians, as well as news organizations and – you guessed it – brands.

digital strategy daniel honigmanIn the paid/earned/owned media landscape, many brands are shifting portions of their budget to branded content. According to eMarketer, 39% of companies expect budgets for digital content creation to rise, and the spends are rising to unprecedented levels. (See chart.) This content, in turn, feeds brands’ digital presence – as well as their customer engagement channels – and provides potential fodder for media coverage. It also extends brands’ experiences outside of just a product. (The Red Bull Flugtag and BMW Films’ “The Hire” are just two examples.)

In short, Google’s algorithm changes mean the same thing for brands they always have: brands that create frequent, high-quality content will draw links from high-quality websites. As a result, they will get rewarded with higher search engine rankings, while brands and websites that post infrequently, stuff their content with keywords and generate links from poor-quality sites will not.

Digital Strategy: Extend your brand’s web presence through mobile content

By Daniel B. Honigman

(NOTE: This article was originally posted on the LoSasso blog.)

According to a recent eMarketer survey, 55% of respondents said they would use their smartphones to interact with digital and social media during the 2012 Olympics, continuing the trend of second-screen television viewing. To extend its broadcast experience, NBC Sports has launched several mobile Olympics-related experiences, including two applications and a mobile-friendly version of its website.

(NOTE: One interesting thing to note, however, is the lack of a calendar in its apps. The calendar does appear, however, on the NBC Olympics mobile website.)

Applications and mobile websites are two pieces of a larger mobile pie, however. Mobile comprises about 15% of all Google searches, and mobile search, of course, ties into content, which (hopefully) lives on a mobile-friendly website.

This said, there’s a good chance your mobile site will acquire new visitors, and serve as a touchpoint for existing customers as well, through e-mail and social media channels.

•    Have something interesting to say, and say it to a mobile audience. 4.7 billion people tuned into the 2008 Beijing Olympics, drawing the largest ever TV audience. With 26 different sports now featured in the Games, there’s something for everyone, and plenty of coverage – and expert analysis – to go around. This content must be featured in a manner that’s mobile, and be interesting enough to be shared when viewers are mobile. Good headlines and lead paragraphs are critical.

•    Organize and present content to be mobile-friendly. Full websites are generally pared down to present key functions that are essential to mobile users. (For NBC, its TV and digital Olympics event calendars are important, so they were included in its mobile site.) Graphic interface elements should be enlarged or icon-ized for touchscreen navigation. And for applications, don’t forget to integrate share functionality (e.g. e-mail, social sharing) with your content.

•    Don’t rely too many on images or video in your mobile experience. Images and videos are key components in any digital content experience, but for mobile, their use should be sprinkled in with written content, or featured in separate image or video galleries. Limit each piece of written content to one or two images or videos. (Don’t forget: videos will usually open up in a separate mobile video application, such as YouTube.)

 

Digital Strategy Quick-Take: Quoted in Forbes article on Digg

Late last week, Forbes’ Jeff Bercovici reached out for my thoughts on Digg’s $500K sale. Digg, once valued at $164 million, was one of the social web’s early driving forces, but had fallen on some tough times in recent years. One of my quotes ended up being included in Jeff’s final article, which you can read here.

When I was in the news business, part of my role was to determine how to build community around – and drive traffic from – sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Digg and others. I had the pleasure of meeting some great people along the way, including some Digg “power users” that were also quoted in the story.

All types of businesses – digital or not – can take two lessons from Digg’s demise:

  • Don’t ignore your core customer (or user) base. Maintain an open dialogue with your customers, even if you’re riding high on your success. When you ask for their feedback, have every intention of utilizing it, or at the very least, listening to them.
  • Market to your customers that use the product most. As companies evolve, they try to reach new audiences and customers. This is fine, but don’t do it at the expense of the ones that have supported you in the past.
  • Don’t give your customers a reason to leave. If your company sells one product or service, make sure you’re the best. In the article, I made the point that Facebook can get away with many of its changes because so many people use it for different things: photo sharing, status updates, games and more. Digg did one thing, really, but ended up losing out to its competitors because it didn’t value its core community. Once Digg changed its core product, it just wasn’t as good as its competitors, who were more than happy to claim Digg’s customers.

What else can brands take away from Digg? Please leave your thoughts as comments below!

(NOTE: This post was originally published on the LoSasso blog.)

- Daniel B. Honigman

Digital Strategy Quick-Take: Apple Maps

At the recent WWDC 2012 conference Apple recently announced, among other things, the inclusion of a native maps application in its upcoming iOS 6 release.

According to a recent Comscore study, more than53 percent of iPhone users access their maps, compared with more than 39 percent for Android users.

What does this mean for your business?

Check out the full post over at the LoSasso Blog.

My two cents: The NBA Social Media Awards

NBA Social Media AwardsLater tonight, the NBA will host inaugural Social Media Awards, an event that will surely make ripples both online and off.

It’s clear the NBA recognizes the value of the digital chatter surrounding its brand, its players and its games. Many of the award categories – “The EPIC Award” and “The LOL Award” are just two of them – capitalize on social media memes and lingo.

The NBA is right to highlight its fans this way; these awards are a sports industry first. However, there’s a lot more that could be done.

Check out the full post on the LoSasso Blog.