Tag Archives: Content Marketing

Case Study: SoundCloud and Spotify for Content Marketing – Grace Miserocchi

SoundCloud

  • Launched in 2008
  • Over 250 million active users as of October 2013
  • 175 million monthly listeners
  • 12 hours of audio uploaded every minute
  • Popular for music discovery and outreach
  • “Timed comments” permit any user to comment on a specific timestamp within audio content.
    • These comments allow public engagement and communication.
  • SoundCloud mobile app allows for easy consumption of audio.
  • Brands using SoundCloud must be consistent. They should develop a following through promotion of their account on other channels.
  • Audio quality on SoundCloud is sometimes very low and copyright infringement is an issue.
  • Examples:

Spotify

  • Launched in 2008
  • 40 million active users, 10 million paying subscribers
  • 20,000 songs added per day
  • Over 1.5 billion playlists
  • Spotify App Finder includes apps that the further personalize experience.
  • Brands cannot publish user-generated audio.
  • Brands and companies can create shareable playlists.
  • Users can share what they listen to on Facebook and Twitter.

Which should be used?

  • Use SoundCloud to publish original audio content, such as podcasts, interviews, and transcribed blogs.
  • Use Spotify to gain fans by sharing personalized playlists.
  • Music can unite people under a common interest on social media.
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Case Study #1 by Megan Gagliardi

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Name of the business:

ShortStack, specifically the SociallyStacked blog – http://www.sociallystacked.com

Fun fact – SociallyStacked & ShortStack refers to pancakes; one of the co-founders is known for making pancakes for his daughter and the name stuck!

Product or service offered:

Socially Stacked is a business blog for Short Stack; essentially, Short Stack is a self-service platform that helps build social, web, and mobile based campaigns. You can create sweepstakes, newsletters, and forms on this site.

Key Features of the blog:

1) Very Organized

2) Subdivided into 5 tabs that were easy to navigate: Home, Social Media Tips, Facebook News, Free Resources, and About Us

3) Call to action to sign up for Newsletters

4) Popular Posts tab that take users to informative articles. Examples include: “The Best Words to Use for Facebook Titles” and “The Data You Collect from a Timeline Promotion Could Change The Way You Do Business.”

Ideal target audience 

SociallyStacked is meant for anybody who wants to be socially media savvy. It’s also designed for businesses such as designers, small businesses, or agencies that are looking to boost their online campaigns.

Types of content on this blog

Social Media Tips

  • Infographics on things such as the types of content that get the best ROI
  • Social media tools you need to succeed
  • How to create perfect posts
  • Opinions from Gary Vaynerchuk
  • Successful Sweepstake Campaign Tips

Facebook News 

Free Resources 

  • free wallpapers
  • free ebooks
  • Downloadable PDFs
  • recommended apps to download

How often is content updated?

Socially Stacked has lots of different authors that add content; there’s even a feature at the bottom of the page where you can sign up to write for them. Items get posted everyday except for Saturdays and Sundays; no exact time stamp is placed on the post.

What story does the blog tell you about the brand?

In my opinion, this blog shows that this brand is very well well-run. Postings are very consistent and almost every post that I read contained helpful information that was laid out in an organized manner and featured infographics that helped me understand things better.

To the right of the blog, they broke every post down into categories that were then clearly-labeled. They had calls to action (Find us on Facebook) as well as an embedded link that allowed you to Like their page directly from the blog. The latest free e-book was featured below their Facebook call to action. Everything looked very professional, colorful, and visually appealing!

Brand Journalism versus Content Marketing

This blog is a great example of brand journalism. It contains factual/compelling articles and features some multimedia pictures and infographics (however, no audio or video). The blog posts make me want to read more due to the their easy-to-understand nature and playful (but, colorful) design template. It doesn’t seem like they are pushing their product on me, however, it is promoted well enough to the point where I want to sign up for e-mail subscriptions.

Along with brand journalism, this blog does represent an example of content marketing. In class, we learned that content marketing are the trees along the path of brand journalism; they work in coordination with one another. SociallyStacked knows their audience and their blogs are shown to draw sales. This blog is great in the fact that it is owned media – they create all of their posts! Their call-to-action buttons on social media and free e-books are just one way they achieve the objective of driving profitable customer action.

Case Study #1 By Grace Miserocchi

Company: Mayo Clinic – sharing.mayoclinic.org 

The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit healthcare system that is internationally known for its medical research and groundbreaking treatments. They have many locations across the United States including, Minnesota, Florida, Arizona and more.

Audience: 

Mayo Clinic is trying to reach people who have been diagnosed with cancer or another serious illnesses and their loved ones.  The blog is meant to showcase Mayo Clinic success stories from all over the country, so any person in these situations can relate to it. It is meant to reach, middle aged or older adults who are having to deal with cancer and other diseases and might be looking at different treatment options either for themselves or their family and friends.

Content: 

The blog is titled Sharing Mayo Clinic: Stories from patients, families, friends and Mayo clinic staff. The posts contain stories of specific patients and their experience at a certain Mayo Clinic. It tells mainly success stories of how the Mayo Clinic’s innovative medical care helped a patient. At the end of each post there are helpful links that take you to other pages on the mayo clinic website to learn more about the diseases mentioned in the post and how to treat them. Each post contains a unique patient and no two blog posts are the same.

Besides the main blog posts the website also contains other content, such as video guides to orient patients at their facilities, Mayo Brother’s wisdom, a page purely devoted to heart disease stories and a place to tell your own mayo clinic story.

How often is the blog updated?

The blog is updated a couple times a week and sometimes only weekly. The updates are not consistent, sometimes the blog has two to three posts in a week and sometimes only one.

The story being told and brand journalism: 

Mayo Clinic is promoting their brand with each story they tell on their blog. The posts put real faces behind their quality medical treatment and innovative research. They use the blog first as a place to tell their patients and employees stories and second as a marketing tool for the clinic.

They use brand journalism to market the Mayo Clinic and its physicians. Each post is a feature on a certain patient, disease, and treatment. The blog creates a mayo clinic community to appeal to potential clients. They successfully promote the Mayo clinic hospitals and treatments by telling personal success stories.

Case Study #1 By Sarah Korta

Ann-Taylor

Name of Brand:

Ann Taylor (Owned by Parent Company, ANN INC.)

http://blog.anntaylor.com

Products and Services Offered:

Ann Taylor is a women’s specialty retail store, offering the modern woman a large array of high-quality fashion pieces to fit her every-day lifestyle.

Target Audience:

Ann Taylor’s target audience is the modern woman. The high-quality collection offers a variety of business appropriate work-wear, while also offering an array of casual options. The clothing is ideal for students, teachers, businesswomen, stay-at-home moms, and any woman that enjoys fashion as well as functionality.

Types of Content:

“Look Both Ways” is the official blog for Ann Taylor. Throughout the blog, the contemporary woman will find a variety of easy-to-navigate content like engaging photos, how-to videos, info graphics, spotlights featuring fascinating and successful women across the county, as well as the latest fashion industry trends.

The How-To guides, photos, info graphics and videos all feature the latest Ann Taylor merchandise. This gives the fashionable woman inspiration to construct and piece together her own fashion creations using Ann Taylor product.

“Look Both Ways” also makes a point of showcasing other fashion websites similar to Ann Taylor, at the bottom of the page. On the right side of the page, readers will see readily accessible social media links, a live Twitter feed, and links to the various content categories.

Examples of the wide variety of categories featured on a weekly basis:

  • #15secondstyle
  • #ANNintransit
  • Lisa’s World
  • 3 Ways to Wear
  • Blogger Style
  • How-To
  • The Changemakers
  • Style for Students
  • Gift Ideas
  • Dressed-Up Denim
  • Chic this Week

How Often is Content Updated?

“Look Both Ways” is updated every two days, if not daily. The different types of content are updated weekly on a rotational schedule. For example, #ANNINTRANSIT is updated nearly every Wednesday, while “3 Ways To Wear” is updated every Monday. “Look Both Ways” does an impressive job in captivating the reader through their consistency in posting a large assortment of content. The reader will always know when to expect her favorite “How-To” guide or what trends are fresh off the runway. This ensures trust between the reader and Ann Taylor.

 Brand Story:

This blog tells the story of the modern woman. In 1954, ANN INC. was built around the idea of the “well-dressed woman”. Today, this idea is embodied through ANN’s mission statement: “To inspire and connect with our clients to put their best selves forward everyday.” The modern woman is constantly evolving, however, her values have mostly stayed the same. A woman wants to look and feel great when she is connecting with others. Women express themselves through their dress, whether at work, home or play.

The easy to wear, affordable pieces make it possible for any woman to be confident and successful, whether she be a CEO, a student or a stay-at-home mom.

Brand Journalism and Content Marketing:

Ann Taylor utilizes brand journalism in nearly every post they write. Every piece of content contributes to the idea that the average woman should be able to feel confident in her own skin. Through its blog posts, “Look Both Ways” acts as every woman’s personal stylist.

Strategically, “Look Both Ways” incorporates Ann Taylor product into virtually every post, making it effortless for the modern woman to re-create her favorite outfits. Every “How-to” and “#15secondstyle” post showcases the latest Ann Taylor clothing and accessories. If the reader feels compelled to buy Ann Taylor merchandise, she can simply click on the post’s link or scroll to the top of the page and click on various links that connect her to Ann Taylor’s online store.

Through brand journalism and content marketing, Ann Taylor has created an informative and unique style destination for the contemporary woman.

Case Study #1 by Kaitlyn Bouchillon

GeneralElectricLogo

Name of the business:

General Electric, specifically their Tumblr page: http://generalelectric.tumblr.com

Slogan: imagination at work

General Electric, often called GE, builds appliances and leads the way in finding solutions for lighting, power systems, and other products. They are well-known for delivering a quarter of the world’s energy.

Audience:

Their target audience is described as “a community for science and tech geeks.”

This Tumblr page does a great job of providing a variety of relevant and interesting content related to science and energy.

Content of the blog:

The content of the Tumblr is mostly images and graphics or GIFS. Almost all images are either futuristic or old black and white photos.

Some of the images are from outside sources but others are a behind-the-scenes look at GE plants or processes. The Tumblr also features videos from the GE YouTube channel.

Each post includes a caption and several tags. Often, the caption will include links that take the reader to other sources or to the GE website. All posts also include social media sharing buttons, making it easy for readers to share the Tumblr content on Facebook or Twitter, among other social media channels.

While there is a main GE Tumblr page, within the page they have ten different categories that are featured in the left side bar. The four main categories include:

Additionally, GE has two Tumblr streams that promote interaction with readers. #6SecondScienceFair encourages people to create a six second Vine about science and then upload it to the site where it can be viewed and shared. Their Tumblr also hosts #SpringBreakIt, which shows behind-the-scenes videos and images of how GE tests materials in their laboratories. These tests show how materials melt, bend and shatter.

Both of these hashtag categories are interactive while also promoting the GE brand.

How often the blog is updated:

The specific category streams are updated on average about every month, but some have not been updated since early 2014. The main page, however, is updated 1-2 times a day on average. There does not appear to be a set schedule, as they do not post on the same weekdays each week.

The story being told and brand journalism:

General Electric is focused on innovating, imagining and doing. Their Tumblr page promotes their own creations but also promotes creativity in others. It shows consistency in their brand identity and marketing by having the same four categories on both their website About Us overview and their Tumblr: Moving, Curing, Powering and Building.

They use Content Marketing by showing their own plants and behind-the-scenes images, but their variety of messages and pictures shows that they are also doing well in brand marketing. By featuring both their own content as well as the content of others, they appear knowledgeable and current in the category of technology and science. At the same time, they effectively show that technology can be fun through GIFs and their hashtag channels.

Case Study #1 By Elizabeth Bacon

daily-south-banner

Name of the Business:

Southern Living, specifically “The Daily South” Blog –http://thedailysouth.southernliving.com

Slogan- “Your hub for Southern Culture”

Southern Living is a widely read lifestyle magazine. The website hosts several publications such as Health, Coastal Living, and Real Simple, etc.

Audience:

Their target audience in the Southern United states region who are interested in recipes, house plans, interior decorating, gardens, traveling, and all things southern culture related. The most targeted age group is typically home owners and families.

This blog does a fantastic job engaging this audience while giving variety of content to keep them coming back for new, relevant information.

Fun fact: the headquarters for Southern Living is here in Birmingham, AL.

Content of the Blog:

The content of the blog is mostly written information with an appropriate amount of eye-catching pictures. The photography seems to be unique and original, not stock photos. Sometimes there are videos and recipes. The Daily South does a great job linking to others websites or info they are highlighting without taking you away from their blog (it opens in a new tab).

At the end of each post, they have a “You May Also Like” posts that display 3 other blog posts that are related. The is great tool to keep the readers looking around their site.

They also have social media plug ins at the bottom of each post, which makes it easy for the reader to share the article. This includes Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, and email.

The blog is easy to navigate. On the right there is 5 most popular posts. Also, to cater to more specific audience, there is a “Featured Blog” section which highlights general topics you might be interested in. This is similar to categories:

  1. The Grumpy Gardener
  2. From the Test Kitchen
  3. Dixie Chic
  4. Southern Snapshot
  5. Fashion & Beauty
  6. Biscuits & Jam
  7. Southern Weddings

How often the blog is updated:

The company consistently blogs every day, sometimes even more. For example on September 8th they blogged 3 times in one day!

Story Telling and Marketing:

The Daily South does a great job expressing their knowledge and passion for all things Southern by using both Content Marketing and brand storytelling. They are communicating with the customers and prospects without selling. They deliver information to the audience which makes them a better “southerner.” The content curation is spot on with relevant articles yet unique flavors.

For example, they use the Content Marketing to promote one of the publications “Southern Weddings.” The Southern Wedding blog section beautifully displays pictures and ideas, leaving the audience wanting more. The goal is to attract them to the magazine. At the top left of the blog there is an easy access for “call to action” by subscribing to the magazine!

With Brand Journalism, this blog uses a variety of subjects, different topics, different messages, that merge together to create dynamic, timely, interesting, relevant and coherent brand storytelling experience. It entices the audiences to the website with the blog posts.

Overall, The Daily South blog is used as a great tool to engage and inform the targeted audience, rather than just selling the magazine. It is the perfect example of creative and effective marketing.

Case Study #1 by Allie Haywood

VOBS-Logo

Name of business:

Voyager Outward Bound School

Voyager Outward Bound School is a non-profit educational organization focused on experience-based outdoor leadership programs across the United States.

Outward bound courses are aimed at developing the student’s character, self discovery, gaining leadership skills, and service effort. VOBS is focused on helping the student discover more about themselves and helping them realize they have more to offer than they thought.

Target audience:

VOBS target audience is a variety of audiences. While they are focused on helping students better themselves they also offer programs for adults, families, schools, educators, and veterans. They offer a variety of programs to fit the interest of the many different types of people they come in contact with.

They are really focused on teens and adults who love the outdoors and want to be pushed to do more and experience more than they have ever before.

Content of the blog:

The content on their blog contains a variety of posts, ranging from personal stories from instructors and counselors to tips dealing with outdoor adventure scenarios. They have post that allow readers to see how instructors feel while going through and leading these outdoor programs and what a typical day might look like.

They share pictures of students and instructors going through the programs as well as some of the beautiful scenery you might experience while going through a program.

VOBS also posts about what students can expect should they choose to partake in one of their many programs and provide a small glimpse into all they will leave the program with. These posts can range from going home with leadership skills, a better idea of who you are and what you can do, and memories from the adventure.

Many instructors and program directors will provide their tips and tricks for getting through their outdoor adventure programs. These posts can be about tips for kayaking or even cooking while outdoors.

With a wide variety of programs offered to teens and adults VOBS uses their blog to advertise these different programs. This gives a small glimpse into what each one may be like and allows the participants to see firsthand what they could experience.

How often is the blog updated:

While they are not consistent with their posting, on average their blog is posted on around 3 to 4 times a month. Sometimes this could be within a few days of each other, while other times they might go a few weeks without posting. 

The story being told:

Voyager Outward Bound School is focused on helping students and adults alike better themselves by giving them the opportunity to partake in outdoor adventures that require them to push themselves, become leaders, and work through hardships.

This blog tells a story of a non-profit organization who wants to influence students and adults in a positive way by allowing them to see the full potential they have to offer. By reading through the blog posts you can really see the passion that each instructor possesses and their desire to help the participants achieve and surpass the goals they set before beginning their adventure.

By featuring posts from people who have had firsthand experiences of going through on of VOBS adventure programs they are adding another level to their story. These posts allow potential participants to see positive experiences and read stories of how people have improved themselves by going through a program.

They effectively tell their story by using content marketing and brand journalism. They discuss the different programs that are offered throughout the year and stories from these programs. They provide helpful content such as smart tips and tricks of how to thrive in outdoor situations.

 

Case Study #1 by Mary Varnell

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Name of the Business:

Turkey Hill Ice Cream

Turkey Hill Dairy is an ice cream company that sells ice cream, frozen desserts and drinks.

Audience:

Their audience is mostly people of Pennsylvania, specifically ice cream lovers in Lancaster County. Their audience can also be narrowed down to three other specific places: New York, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. This is because they have specific ice cream flavors and containers for these cities’ sports teams: the Yankees, the Steelers and the Phillies.

Content of the Blog:

The blog’s content includes a wide variety of things ranging from news, history, ice cream flavors, merchandise and more. They give information on things going on in the food world, especially with ice cream. Turkey Hill comes out with new flavors, so they share these flavors and keep their fans updated on them, as well as updates on their other food items.

They share videos, such as the policemen in California giving out ice cream rather than tickets and have prizes and competitions for their audience to win. One fan was able to win a lifetime supply of ice cream!

Turkey Hill has their own merchandise, including t-shirts, hats, bags, footballs, pens and household goods, so these things are advertised and up for sale on the blog as well.

Turkey Hill Dairy also hosts events throughout the year, giving information on these events through the blog. Some of these events include summer ice cream parties and ice cream socials. The staff from Turkey Hill sometimes gives “behind the scenes” sneak peeks of them at work and doing other fun things.

How often the blog is updated:

They are consistent with their updates, posting about every 3-4 days.

Story told through the blog:

This city prides themselves in homegrown meals, with ingredients that are top notch; Turkey Hill Dairy also provides freshly baked cakes, pies and cookies from their fresh ingredients.

This blog tells a story of the company, showing their passion and excitement about ice cream and their company as a whole. I believe Turkey Hill’s blog is effective in both brand journalism and content marketing.

In the brand journalism aspect, they tell a story of their company and prove their passion and excitement for the company and their ice cream. Turkey Hill Dairy takes pride in their wholesome, made from scratch ingredients. This carries out into how they advertise their ice cream and other products, believing that they serve the best desserts around.

The company shares their passion through information on ice cream, news and exciting new flavors that the company is producing. They show their employees’ passion through their videos and “behind the scenes” sneak peeks. Passion and pride go into this company and they tell this story well through their blog.

They tell their story by using content marketing, incorporating their products and merchandise. One example of this is they have a recipe contest, seeking out the most creative recipe the audience can come up with by using Turkey Hill ice cream as one of the ingredients.

They feature different items, such as the ice cream-filled doughnut; this is a new food item coming out into the market, and they are featuring it to prove their love for ice cream.

The blog uses content marketing to tell their story also through the clothes they sell. A t-shirt saying, “you can’t buy happiness but you can buy ice cream, and that’s pretty much the same thing,” is a great way to show their enthusiasm, excitement and passion for ice cream.

With their contests and surveys, they are getting their customers involved, keeping then up-to-date and allowing them to grow passionate and excited about Turkey Hill and its products.

Lastly, they do this through items that make enjoying their products easier, such as ice cream scoopers, ice cream bowls or their handy “no-mess frozen treat holders.” All of these items enable their customers to enjoy their ice cream more.

Other Marketing Efforts:

They creatively open up opportunities for conversions to win their audience over through their blog.
Turkey Hill promotes their social channels on their blog as well: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr and more. Having these options on the side of the blog are very effective in getting simple conversions, such as a like, a new follower or a pin on a Pinterest board. This blog is effective and I believe it is successful to the company’s branding, marketing and company as a whole.

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Mini Report #2: BuzzSumo

What is it?: Buzzsumo is an online search and analytics app that works across the main social networks to give your business valuable insights for content marketing and SEO purposes.

It is currently in the Beta Period and is being developed by James Blackwell and Henley Wing.

Cost: free while it is in the Beta Period.

Screen Shot 2013-11-19 at 2.01.01 PM contentmarketing socialmediamarketing

Advantages: 

  • Free to use while it’s in the Beta Period
  • Identifies engaging content based on what people are sharing the most on social platforms.
  • Can search for any niche or topic
  • Find interesting content to curate
  • Helps you discover influential experts, writers, and influencers who can promote your content
  • Analyze your competitors top content
  • Analyze what topics, headlines, and content formats work
  • Saves times. A different search platform than Google.

Disadvantages: 

  • In the Beta Stage you have to register with Twitter in order to get full access to the search engine.

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  • You do not have unlimited access to the search engine unless you sign up. You have a quota of how many searches you can do per day if you don’t sign up via Twitter.

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  • Because it is a new app, there is not as much information available as a Google search. A simple search for articles on “fashion tips” on Buzzsumo only turned up one page of results.

How it can be used in a social marketing campaign: 

  • We can use Buzzsumo when creating our editorial calendar
  • We can find and share popular and valuable content (articles, videos, interviews etc.) that our audience would be interested in
  • For us it’s a one-stop-shop. And it’s free!

In summary, BuzzSumo is a good tool and one-stop-shop for formulating your business’ content strategy, finding influential people within a niche and discovering popular content. However, it is still being developed and does not have as much information readily available as one can find on other search engine websites (like Google).

Twitterrific {mary lyndal & drew}

Twitter is a social media platform that can be used in a variety of ways. With only 140 characters of text available per tweet, it’s important that the content be concise and to the point. Blasting out breaking news information or attaching a link to a blog post is a good way for a company to push out content. One can also engage with clients and customers easily, which has made some companies rely on Twitter for much of the macro customer service operations.

It’s easy to send out text on Twitter, but how does one know if it’s being picked up effectively? Well, below are four sites that prove to be beneficial when analyzing the reach of one’s social media grasp.

Tweriod.com

This service tells someone when the most optimal time is to send out a tweet by looking at your tweets and your followers’ tweets. It’s a free service and analyzes up to 1,000 followers at a time. The processing takes about an hour or two to complete, depending on the number of followers one has. The free version only generates one report per month, but they have a Premium version that can be purchased for a monthly fee of $4, which offers more features.

Twitonomy.com

Twitter #analytics is the name of the game with this website. Its features include:

  • tweets per day
  • how many links you’ve shared
  • how often other people mention you
  • who you retweet most often
  • who you reply to the most
  • hashtags you’ve used the most
  • which of your tweets have been retweeted and favorited the most

TweetBinder.com

This service is used to analyze tweets from all over the world based on topics and #hashtags and has free and premium versions. Once the topic or tag is searched, you can organize it into a “Binder.” The free version includes up to 2,000 tweets that are sent within the past 6 days. It was created for marketing, media, and event companies so that they could develop useful analytics based on things like keywords, hashtags, photos, text-only tweets, check-ins, and retweets.

TweetReach

As discussed in a previous class period, this service lets one see how far a tweet travels, including information on reach, exposure, tweets, and contributors. It shows just how many people are talking about a particular topic or keyword.

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For Campaign Purposes:

All four of these websites analyze Twitter usage but in their own ways. While sometimes it’s not fun to have to go to four different places to get the job done, using all four of these effectively will help a company make the best use of its social media coverage. After doing this, you’ll know when to send out tweets, how and when to respond to tweeters about a specific topic, how to manage the buzz in real time and over a period of time. A company can determine which hashtags work best based on the amount of coverage it gets and which Twitter users would be most beneficial to contact about brand representation.