Mar 112013


Never mind Al Gore, Neil Gaiman, or Elon Musk, all of whom spoke at SXSW over the last few days. It’s Grumpy Cat that has been on everyone’s lips. Whether for good — after all, who doesn’t love a sweet kitty, even with a taciturn expression? — or for bad (the poor kitty has had to deal with an unbelievable number of people pawing at her), it would be hard to find a bigger story here this week.

This cannot be good for SXSW.

Over the years, this interactive festival has been the launching pad for some pretty amazing technology. Twitter exploded here in 2007, and Foursquare launched here in 2009. GroupMe had its public coming-out at SXSW, and so did people discovery apps like Highlight.

This year, no one really expected any new apps to break out, or for there to be any real big news or controversy. But I’m willing to bet that no one expected that the biggest story of all would be a small cat with a grumpy face.

For several days now, tens of thousands of people have been prowling around the streets of downtown Austin, attending a billion panels, keynotes, featured sessions, parties, meetups, and so forth. Many of the smartest people in the industry have shared their wisdom, and thousands have happily listened during an impressive selection of talks available to badge-holders.

But ask any veteran SXSW attendee, and I’m willing to bet that you’ll hear a similar story: the energy level has been low. There’s no buzz about anything. There’s a few interesting new apps — Takes and MessageMe come to mind — but in general, there hasn’t been much worth talking about, at least among companies that had yet to be in the public conversation.

READ MORE:  If Grumpy Cat is the biggest news of all, is SXSW in trouble? | SXSW – CNET News.




Sep 242012

Word of mouth is the king maker in today’s content playground. Here are two tips for getting audiences to share your articles and videos with their peers.

Getting your brand or agency noticed in today’s cluttered digital spectrum is one of the biggest challenges marketers face. What if you could get your audience to market for you, and like it? Word of mouth marketing has exploded thanks to social media platforms, and consumers are sharing their favorite brands and services with each other at an exponential rate. BuzzFeed CRO Andy Wiedlin tells iMedia’s Bethany Simpson ways you can get more social reach from your content.

MORE2 ways to help your content go viral –


Aug 202012

You don’t need a spending forecast to tell you that online video is gobbling up an increasingly larger share of today’s advertising dollars. More advertisers are spending more money on video — whether we’re talking about pre-roll, branded YouTube channels, or integrations with existing content producers. But more money doesn’t necessarily mean smart spending.

Right now, YouTube has two strong opportunities for brand advertisers. They can either partner with established YouTube stars, or they can go their own way and launch a brand channel. (Obviously, the two aren’t mutually exclusive.)

But while most of us are familiar with the opportunities and challenges of those two options, we’re less conversant with the nuances of YouTube’s culture. In the face of that knowledge gap, only a handful of brands have truly prospered with video. Many brands, perhaps even the majority of brands, haven’t had much success with video, and frankly, a lot of brands simply misunderstand platforms like YouTube, their audience, and the acts that have used YouTube to launch their careers.

Connect with the industry. Want to meet the brands that are driving the future of digital marketing? Attend the iMedia Brand Summit, Sept. 9-12. Request your invitation today.

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend VidCon in Anaheim, California. While there were some good breakout sessions that were clearly aimed at marketing types, the real action was down on the floor, where fans lined up seeking autographs from their favorite YouTube stars.

Of course, “star” is a funny word in this context. Being big on YouTube doesn’t make you a household name. For every pack of teenagers I saw gushing over their favorite YouTube star, there was a somewhat bewildered adult chaperon who would say things like, “Whose autograph do you want, and why are they famous?”

As a category, it’s easy to dismiss YouTube stars as flukes — amateurs who got lucky early with a weird gimmick or a cheap stunt. But YouTube stars have something all brands crave — an audience. And they also have something else — a solid understanding of what will and won’t work on YouTube.

Watching the frenzy on the VidCon floor, as diehard fans rushed from one booth to the next, I couldn’t help but think that the marketers in their breakout sessions upstairs were missing the real lesson. Yes, in some cases, these YouTube stars present a huge — and relatively untapped — opportunity for branded integrations. That’s important for some advertisers. But let’s put sponsorship opportunities aside for the moment, because there’s something more fundamental that all marketers can learn from these YouTube stars. Each of them, in their own way, has broken some important ground in the Wild West that is YouTube. And if you’re looking to take your brand’s YouTube channel to the next level, it’s worth studying the people who’ve already blazed that trail.

MORE: YouTube video basics from its brightest stars (single page view) –


May 222012

It can be rather tempting for brands and causes to shake things up by making shocking marketing messages that cause visceral reactions. Some brands have gotten great business mileage out of this approach. Others have found themselves in deep doo-doo as consumer blowback undermined their messages and integrity.

In the following pages, you will find nine examples of shocking brand messages. Five seem to work in that they garner strong reactions, but largely of a positive nature. Four had some really bad brand consequences. Well sum up with some conclusions on what works and what doesnt.

SOURCE  9 shocking ads and how they fared single page view –


May 212012

Jon Steinberg, BuzzFeeds president, notes that visitors to BuzzFeed simultaneously engage with an endless mashup of high- and low-brow content, from news to wacky animal photo montages. All categories of content are welcome, Steinberg says, so long as they meet BuzzFeeds simple threshold — is it shareable?

According to Steinberg, brands that work with BuzzFeed need to consider three things when figuring out how to create content worth sharing.

  • Does the content have a voice or point of view?
  • Is it a content gift?
  • What does the content do for the brand?

While the last question might seem obvious to anyone who works in advertising, the first two questions are a big part of what makes BuzzFeed such a unique play for marketers. Brands cant buy banners ads, although they can purchase placement for their post in a given vertical. But theres a catch — the content has to be good. If it is good, people will share it. If its a dud, BuzzFeed has an algorithm in place to swap it out for something better.

With just under 3 million unique visitors a month — and climbing, according to Compete — BuzzFeed is clearly a careful steward of its content ecosystem. It also tends to be way ahead of the viral curve. As any BuzzFeed user can tell you, what you see on BuzzFeed today will likely be on Facebook tomorrow. Naturally, thats a huge draw for brands looking to make a social media splash. But engaging with social media takes more than just showing up. So to help marketers reimagine themselves as social publishers, were showcasing five brands that have figured out how to buzz on BuzzFeed.

SOURCE How 5 brands are scoring big on BuzzFeed single page view –


May 162012

Social media is constantly evolving, and with this evolution, there are more opportunities than not to misstep. A campaign on social media has hundreds of ways it can go wrong, and most of them are unpredictable. Of course, it’s important to be as prepared as possible, but sometimes, social media fails are bound to happen. After all, we’re only humans managing accounts for brands, right? Learning from others’ mistakes is a great place to start, and some of us lucky ones have learned the hard way. Here are a few examples of the social media campaigns that turned total flop.

SOURCE: 5 brands that embarrassed themselves on social (single page view) –


Apr 202012

As more and more marketing dollars pour into Facebook, it only makes sense that there will be increasing curiosity and scrutiny in how those pages work to influence readers.

Facebook’s announcements last month make it clear the social media giant is ushering businesses into a content marketing world. And in that world, knowing what type of content is most effective is paramount.

For anyone interested in analyzing what types of content drive what types of engagement, there isn’t a much better place to look than Facebook. It offers the richest mix of content types, combined with clearly defined interactions, or engagements — all of which can be tracked with unprecedented access to information.

SOURCE: What consumers share on Facebook — and why –


Apr 102012

YouTube is investing big money (to the tune of $100 million) and partnering with major personalities like Ashton Kutcher, Amy Poehler, and Shaquille O’Neal to produce original video content. Here’s why digital marketers can’t ignore the shift.

The game just changed. YouTube is investing an unconfirmed $100 million in original programming.

Talent includes names like Rainn Wilson, Deepak Chopra, Justin Lin, Anthony Zuiker, Amy Poehler, Ashton Kutcher, Shaquille O’Neal, and Tony Hawk. Studios, such as Maker Studios in Culver City, are focused on production. (Maker is reportedly producing 300 YouTube videos each month at the cost of $1000 each.) And the Wall Street Journal reports that Google is making the deal attractive to the content creators, with a reported 55 percent of ad revenues going to the program makers.

via Why YouTube’s original programming changes the game –

Apr 092012

Does your cat show an interest in the images and sounds coming from your computer? Did you know you can take that a step further with videos tailor-made for feline viewing pleasure?

YouTube user Meghan Koley has created an entire channel dedicated to videos for cats. We asked Koley what inspired her to curate the content.

“I was inspired to create the channel based on my experience with cats — [theyre] entertained by certain videos just as much as humans are,” Koley told Mashable.

“There are millions of videos of cute cats doing cute things on YouTube, so I thought why not entertain the YouTube star itself and the owner at the same time?”

Koley’s channel, “Videos For Your Cat”, contains footage of various “cat bait” creatures to which cats respond best, according to Koley.


via 7 Videos Tailor-Made to Fascinate Your Cat.


Oct 122011

Apparently this new ad for the soda is getting panned. I don’t know, I laughed.