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  • Blog Post: Duckface Optional: 3 Things Your Business Can Learn From the Selfie Explosion

    Selfies have become a dominant force worldwide. The word was named the Word of the Year 2013 by Oxford Dictionaries after there was a 17,000% increase in the use of "selfie" over the course of the year. In August “selfie” was accepted into the ultimate word bible: the Scrabble dictionary...
  • Blog Post: Content Creation: A Marketing-Editorial Mashup

    As more a nd more businesses try to become "brand as publishers," the roles within organizations need to change to more effectively create content . Content creation has long been the realm of editorial departments. But with content taking on a marketing—rather than a journalism—slant...
  • Blog Post: What the Battle of Attention Spans Means for Content

    The average adult attention span in 2002 was 12 seconds. Today it's 8 seconds— 1 second less than a goldfish . While this may feel like a hit to human intelligence, it's more a sign of how we're drowning in content overload. So how do you keep your customer's attention afloat...
  • Blog Post: Key Takeaways from the Ice Bucket Challenge for Every Business

    How do you raise money and awareness on the Internet without spending money on advertising? You call people out. By name. And give them an ultimatum. That's the genius behind the ALS Challenge, which has already raised an estimated 2.3 million dollars since the campaign kicked off on July 29....
  • Blog Post: 6 Tips for Writing Sharable Content

    Convincing people to share the things you post on Facebook and Twitter is a huge part of the reason companies engage with their fans on social networks. It's free word-of-mouth advertising, it helps raise your brand awareness, and it introduces new people to your products. How do you create content...
  • Blog Post: How Starbucks Cultivates a Heady Brew of Trust, Culture, and Customer Loyalty

    Creating loyalty around your product—and more importantly, your brand—is key to sustained success, not to mention free, positive word-of-mouth marketing. As far as loyal customers go, Starbucks is at the top of the game. We spoke with Ben Sadler, Marketing Manager of Global Brand Loyalty...
  • Blog Post: How Contextualized Data is Changing Tech for the Better

    Today, technology serves us well because it collects data on what we do. It knows who we speak with. It sees what we look at. Devices will know to wake us up earlier if it snowed overnight or contact our friends when we're running late. For tech journalist Robert Scoble, this is not about privacy...
  • Blog Post: Developing a Lifestyle Brand: How 3 Companies Created Deeper Customer Experiences

    With each advertising decision your business makes, you need to consider the culture you are creating for your customers. Successful brands are embodying their customers' interests and ideas, creating a one-of-a-kind community. It's a way for businesses to penetrate their customers' (and...
  • Blog Post: 3 Ways to Include Native Ads in Your Content Mix

    Native advertising—or content paid for by brands to run in editorial publications to reach would-be customers—is a large subset of the content marketing trend. Unlike display ads, native ads are in the flow of editorial content and, ideally, should drive traffic to the content your brand...
  • Blog Post: The Marketing Polka: How Weird Al Found the Right Audiences for His Songs

    When it came to promoting his fourteenth and final album under contract with RCA, Al Yankovic (better known by his stage name, “Weird” Al) killed it. His strategy: releasing songs exclusively on different websites, each tailored to that site’s audience. The result? Mandatory Fun, his...
  • Blog Post: The Power of Crowdsourcing: Why the Next Best Big Idea for Your Business May Be in the Brain of a 14-Year-Old in Belgium

    Crowdsourcing isn't a new idea. But new brands are forming because of it—think Airbnb, Lyft, and Kickstarter—and established brands are recognizing a new way to solve old problems. Even the country of Iceland has turned to crowdsourcing for innovative ideas, and robots at the University...
  • Blog Post: How 15 Minutes of Product Placement Fame Could Lead to Internet Infamy

    We all know traditional advertising is alive and well, but brands continue to look for ways to cut through the noise and reach their customers on multiple levels. As your business looks to add content into its marketing mix, you may also want to consider product placements. Just as content provides value...
  • Blog Post: Harnessing the Power of Music to Connect with Your Customers

    These days a brand has to be more valuable to the consumer beyond its product. When brands strategically use music as a business asset, customers start listening. "It doesn't matter how big a business is," explains Eric Sheinkop, CEO of Music Dealers and author of Hit Brands: How Music...
  • Blog Post: Visual Storytelling: The Key to Keeping Your Customers Coming Back

    As businesses make the tricky transition from traditional advertising to creating content that your customers choose to spend time with, videos need to play a key in your content mix. That's because 83% of human learning is visual. And while your audience may not have a passion for finance or insurance...
  • Blog Post: How to Simplify Self-Publishing with the Right Technology

    Many people talk about writing a children’s book, but few actually follow through. And of those who do complete one, fewer still find an audience for their work. Even the majority of children’s books backed by large publishers never catch on. And then there is Alonda Williams. With...
  • Blog Post: Finding Clarity in Content Marketing: Skype & Microsoft Office's Adventures in Publishing

    Suddenly it seems like every brand is a digital content publisher or, at least, believes it should become one. “Brand as publisher” is a mantra of the social media age and the once obscure term of “content marketing” now rings through the halls of companies and the agencies that...
  • Blog Post: Contagious Content: 3 Secrets to Going Viral

    Content marketing is one of the best ways for your business to engage with your customers. It can improve your site's search ranking, increase visibility and loyalty, and if it's great content, can lead to sharing. And when content is shared to the point it goes viral, the result can be free...
  • Blog Post: How to Have a Conversation with 80 Million Fans: Xbox PR

    “The Xbox gamer audience is vast, diverse, and incredibly passionate,” remarks Xbox’s Senior PR Director Lisa Gurry. In fact, the global Xbox community is so large that it could be its own nation. With 80 million Xbox 360 consoles sold since 2005 and five million Xbox One consoles...
  • Blog Post: A Big Vision for Events and Big Data

    Since before mobile apps and prior to social media, organizations have used live events to connect with partners, customers, and employees. “Human beings like to get together in person and exchange ideas. That’ll never change,” says Scott Schenker, General Manager of Events at Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: 10 tips for turning First-time and Infrequent Customers into Repeat Ones

    Customer retention is critical for businesses of any size. According to statistics used in a Small Business Week webinar on growing customer loyalty (cosponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE, and Manta), retention can save money and potentially increase revenue by at least 25 percent...
  • Blog Post: Leveraging Apps to Increase Small Business Success: a SMB Week Panel Discussion

    Small business expert Melinda Emerson and five industry leaders converged in New York City on Wednesday, May 14, to participate in a Small Business Week panel discussion on success in the mobile world. Their conclusion: reaching the customer has changed, and small businesses need to use apps in their...
  • Blog Post: Take your social marketing to rock star status

    The conventional marketing paradigm—your brand speaking to customers—has shifted. Today, it’s a conversation, and consumers hold the reigns. Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook allow customers to talk about your brand in new ways. They can like , share , and bring in...
  • Blog Post: The Best (Free) Tools For Measuring Social Media Impact in Your Business

    Social media can’t just be one facet of your company’s promotional tactics. Social has to be in its veins; it has to be part of the lifeblood of your overall marketing strategy. Participating in social as a brand, though, requires that you measure your impact and progress, both overall and...
  • Blog Post: 4 Major Reasons to Connect to the Cloud Now

    If you haven't started exploring cloud solutions for your business, consider this: As much as 40% of all IT spend by 2016 will be for cloud-related platforms and applications. That's because the cloud can help your business reduce costs, engage employees in new ways, and increase agility, efficiency...
  • Blog Post: Big Data, Simple Guidance

    Big data is very simple—it’s an extremely large set of data—but the confusing part is knowing what to do with all of that information. Big data can either be a tremendous asset to your business or a time-sapping mire. David McJannet , VP of marketing for Microsoft partner Hortonworks...