• Duo Consulting
    Michael Silverman on October 15, 2014

    4 Reasons Drupal Is the Best Social CMS

    It turns out Drupal and Social Media are a match made in heaven. Because of Drupal’s system of modules, integration with external websites can be as easy as installing a module that fits your site’s needs. And once these modules are installed, you will have a central place to manage profile information and plug-in modules, such as follow and share buttons.
  • marin-software
    Brenda Ton on October 25, 2014

    Why Cross-Channel Retargeting Drives 200% More Clicks

    To help enterprise advertisers optimize their growing retargeting programs, Marin Software surveyed 233 digital marketers of leading brands and agencies to produce an 18 page report covering important trends, benchmarks, and best practices for cross-channel retargeting success.
  • Discover the most important video marketing statistics for 2014. These video marketing stats highlight the most important trends in video marketing in 2014. Included is the shift towards mobile, the rise of Facebook and the increase in video marketing budgets.

    Video marketing has continued to go from strength to strength in 2014. In a recent study 95% of B2B businesses stated that video marketing was both valuable and important. The consumption of video is also on the rise. By 2018 it is predicted that 79% of all internet traffic will be video. A significant portion of that growth is coming from mobile. In fact, mobile now makes up nearly 40% of mobile watch time on YouTube and 65% on Facebook!

    Another interesting development this year has been the rise of Facebook as a serious competitor to YouTube. Facebook recently stated that the site receives 1 billion views a day of their video content.

    Take a closer look at these statistics, and others, in more detail to help to paint a picture of the video marketing industry in 2014.

    81 % of companies are producing video content for their website

    Video is no longer a niche form of marketing. Online video is now well established as a central part of most businesses marketing strategy. This is being driven by the shift in content consumption patterns by consumers towards video. Technological advancements have also made it easier to both produce and deliver video content.

    (2014 Online Video Production Survey and Industry Trends Report)

    More than a third of marketers (35%) are planning on using short form video as part of their marketing

    Short form video, such as vine, is a relatively new addition to marketers toolbox. Despite its novelty it has quickly become a favorite with many brands.

    (2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report)

    73% marketers plan to increase their use of original videos

    Use of video for content marketing has increased significantly, but this trend is in no danger of plateauing. We can expect to see more spending on video marketing in 2015.

    (2014 Social Media Marketing Industry Report)

    Globally, IP video traffic will be 79 percent of all consumer Internet traffic in 2018, up from 66 percent in 2013

    Video is becoming an increasingly popular way to consume content on the internet. Cheaper, faster and more accessible internet connections are making it ever more viable for consumers to watch video. This trend is only going to continue in the future. Thanks to the ease and lowered cost of producing video, the volume which is being produced is massive.

    It is predicted it will take an individual over 5 million years to watch the amount of video that will cross global IP networks each month in 2018

    The popularity of online video as a marketing strategy creates both opportunities and challenges. Increased competition means that video marketers are going to need to raise their game if they are going to stand out. Consumers are simply going to ignore content which fails to grab attention and provide value.

    (Cisco Visual Networking Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2013–2018)

    65% of video views on Facebook are from mobile devices

    One of the most important considerations for marketers using video is the move towards using mobile devices to consume video. On Facebook the majority of users are already watching video on mobile devices. For YouTube the figure is just under half but this number is growing.

    (Facebook Newsroom)

    48% of B2B buyers use their smartphone to watch video

    And it is not just for social video which is performing well on mobile. Branded video content is also becoming much more important for B2B marketers as well. Thinking about how prospective customers will consume the content on the smaller screen should be something that all B2B video marketers consider.

    (Internet Retailer)

    68% of respondents say their online video budgets will increase in 2014

    Perhaps one of the best indicators that video marketing is proving real ROI is that businesses are voting with their wallets. Businesses are choosing to spend more money on video as part of their marketing budgets.

    (B2C Content Marketing 2014)

    72% of respondents use YouTube for their marketing

    Video watching on Facebook may be on the rise, but YouTube is still proving to be a firm favorite with marketers for video marketing. With more than one billion unique visitors to YouTube a month, that is perhaps no surprise.

    (2014 State Of Marketing)

    91.975% of most frequent video rich snippet domains is YouTube

    Perhaps not surprisingly Google has helped boost YouTube when it made changes to the way it displayed rich snippets this year. Research appears to show Google overwhelmingly favors YouTube results for the rich snippets that it shows.

    (Wistia: Where did my snippets go?)

    Over 70% of respondents claim that video performs better than other content for producing conversions

    Most importantly video marketing is delivering results for business where it counts: sales and leads. More than two thirds of B2B businesses surveyed say that video is outperforming other forms of content. Another great reason why all businesses, whether they are B2C or B2B, should be investing in video marketing.

    (B2B Video Marketing Benchmark Report)

    The State of Video Marketing of 2014

    Legal-sounding disclaimers that claim to give the poster copyright over their IP content pop up on Facebook from time to time, urging users to copy/paste and repost them. Learn why the Facebook copyright disclaimer myth is false, why it's harmful, and what you can do about it.

    Maybe it's because I'm a professional social media manager or maybe it's just because I find chain-letter posts incredibly annoying, but I often find myself playing the role of mythbuster on some friends' Facebook posts. One chain-letter type post stands out as a particularly frustrating repeat offender: copyright disclaimers. In this post, I will explain this myth and how you can help keep it from spreading.


    (Disclaimer: While I am a social media consultant, I am not a lawyer and this post should not be construed as legal advice.)


    Myth: By copying and pasting a legal-sounding disclaimer from a friend's post, you can claim and maintain copyright to your content. Here's one example (via Snopes):


    In response to the new Facebook guidelines I hereby declare that my copyright is attached to all of my personal details, illustrations, comics, paintings, photos and videos, etc. (as a result of the Berner Convention). 

    For commercial use of the above my written consent is needed at all times! 

    (Anyone reading this can copy this text and paste it on their Facebook Wall. This will place them under protection of copyright laws, By the present communiqué, I notify Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me on the basis of this profile and/or its contents. The aforementioned prohibited actions also apply to employees, students, agents and/or any staff under Facebook's direction or control. The content of this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of my privacy is punished by law(UCC 1 1-308-308 1-103 and the Rome Statute). 

    Facebook is now an open capital entity. All members are recommended to publish a notice like this, or if you prefer, you may copy and paste this version. If you do not publish a statement at least once, you will be tacitly allowing the use of elements such as your photos as well as the information contained in your profile status updates.


    Mythbusting Proof: Here's the relevant excerpt from Facebook's terms that disproves this myth.


    For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

    Why It's Bad: This type of post is harmful because it leads users to believe that by posting a privacy disclaimer they automatically have some right to the content they share on Facebook, which is absolutely incorrect. As much as it might bother you, by agreeing to Facebook's terms and conditions (which you do by using or even just logging into the site,) you automatically waive all rights to your content. Spreading this myth is particularly harmful to artists or others for whom copyright is literally valuable. Leading people who make money off of their content to believe that posting a disclaimer once gives them copyright can lead to financial consequences if their content is then used without their knowledge or consent and without generating royalties for them. An example might be a photographer who uploads an image to Facebook, thinking that because they posted this disclaimer, they maintain the copyright. Under Facebook's terms, Facebook can use the image on ads and elsewhere, or transfer rights to another entity, without paying the photographer any royalties or even giving credit. Knowing that Facebook has the rights to any content they upload might prevent the photographer from uploading valuable content. The more we can educate ourselves about Facebook's terms of service, the more careful we can be about what we share.


    Do This Instead: If you are truly concerned about maintaining control of your content, delete your Facebook account and track down any content shared by your friends, or anyone else, and ask them to remove it from Facebook. If you, like me, can't imagine life without a Facebook account and you see a version of the copyright disclaimer in your Timeline, you can stop its spread by pointing out that it is a myth. Often simply posting a link to Snopes works just fine. And finally, the most important step you can take in being a Facebook mythbuster is to read Facebook's terms, a.k.a the Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. If you're going to be a user of a site that owns your content copyright, you might as well be an informed user.

    Businesses that succeed at social media marketing are able to create unofficial brand ambassadors that are genuinely excited about their products and services and willing to share them with family and friends. But there are also several obvious risks for brands using social media to connect with customers. From illegitimate pages and pornographic avatars to brand attacks of a political nature, companies are often faced with a number of challenges.

    There are a number of benefits for brands that build an engaging presence on social networking sites. Businesses that succeed at social media marketing are able to create unofficial brand ambassadors that are genuinely excited about their products and services and willing to share them with family and friends. But there are also several obvious risks for brands using social media to connect with customers. From illegitimate pages and pornographic avatars to brand attacks of a political nature, companies are often faced with a number of challenges when they take their marketing efforts online. Due to the sheer size and ever-changing nature of social networks, these issues can be difficult to track and regulate. If they aren’t dealt with quickly, brands can lose customers and their reputations can be adversely affected.

    How should companies manage risk? After all, participation in digital forums is no longer optional for businesses that want to grow. But managing the risk exposure of your brand can be a full-time job and the vast majority of companies are unable to staff accordingly. Experts in the risk management industry have the following recommendations for companies looking for ways to protect their brands on social media.

    Implement a social media usage policy for staff and audiences

    Anyone can create a brand profile online. A common case study, especially for small to medium-sized businesses, is that a well-intentioned member of your marketing team might think that they are helping spread the word about your business by launching a branded Twitter account. But there are a few inherent issues with this approach if accounts aren’t part of a broader social media strategy or provided oversight for brand consistency.

    One common issue is that it can be confusing for potential customers who may be getting conflicting messages from multiple brand profiles. Dan Nadir, VP of Product Management at Nexgate, a social media and brand protection company says that, “Despite having good intentions, the content that’s posted on an unofficial account may or may not align well with brand messagingEven worse, completely fake brand accounts are frequently created that attempt to embarrass the brand or defraud unsuspecting customers.”

    In other cases, like the recent US Airways Twitter debacle where an employee accidentally tweeted a pornographic image to an unhappy customer, shared content is harmful and embarrassing. Similarly, it is important to have guidelines for the audience or community you are allowing to share content on your accounts and pages.  For example, having a link to an acceptable content use policy on your company’s Facebook page should be required and allows your brand to be clear about content that can and can’t be shared.  That way, in the scenario where an audience member comments on a Facebook post with an X-rated image or a link to one, it is clear why it may be deleted.  For companies interested in protecting their brand online, the first steps are to implement and enforce a social media usage and content policies for staff that regulates personal use while on the job, branded account use by employees, and content policies for the audience of branded accounts.

    Be proactive and diplomatic when handling customer issues

    There have been countless media reports of companies behaving badly on social media, from community managers deleting customers’ posts and team members responding inappropriately to customer concerns to robot tweets from well-known brands. One recent example is a large bank that came under fire in 2013 for auto-posting generic responses to Twitter users.

    When it comes to handling customer issues online, it’s important for company employees to be well trained and diplomatic with their responses in order to effectively protect the brand. Deleting customer complaints and replying with robotic responses that aren’t addressing the issue can do more harm to your company than good. The most effective social media policies include a clear chain of management and escalation, for when front-line marketing or customer service staff don’t have an understanding of what to do.

    Monitor potentially damaging scenarios

    Another issue that businesses need to be aware of is the world of negative SEO: when others create social media pages or profiles with the intention of harming your business. Nadir says, “It takes just minutes for someone to start up a fake business account. They can reach out to fans with the promise of special discounts if they provide their credit card information.”

    That’s not the only issue that brands need to monitor. Another common problem is social media users with pornographic avatars posting content on unsuspecting company pages and even posting pornographic content on the account. Twitter revised their terms of service in 2009 to help keep pornography out of users’ profile pictures, but it’s still a lingering problem on many social networking sites. As a result, businesses are looking to use content moderation solutions that identify and filter out content posted by users with pornographic avatars or pornographic content itself. Nexgate has paired up with UK-based image scanning technology provider Image Analyzer with the intention of extending their image analysis capabilities to provide the broadest coverage for automatically keeping pornographic content from showing up on clients’ blogs and social media accounts. This technology approach will provide the speed, scale and efficiency in content removal that frees moderation teams and services to focus on real customer and community engagement versus burning time and service fees on reviewing and handling obviously bad content.  

    There are countless benefits for companies that choose to add social media to their marketing toolkits, but there are also a number of risks. In order to help mitigate risk, businesses need to be proactive about social media usage policies and staff training. It’s also important to handle customer issues professionally and monitor potentially damaging issues. But for most companies, the benefits outweigh the risks. Nadir says, “Unlike many other channels, brands have the ability to target their customers very specifically. They can really focus in on getting specific messages to certain groups and then creating and fostering real engagement with those individuals or groups.”

    When Chicago-based Christian Conti sent a tweet to a relatively unknown New York-based clothing company called Hawke & Co complaining about a recent purchase, they sent the 46 characters above by way of reply. The result was nothing short of a spectacular example of how NOT to use twitter for customer service.

    “We’re sure your 320 followers will understand.”

    Just 46 simple characters, yet they caused so much damage.

    When it comes to customer service, Twitter can be a magnificent thing. Customers can interact with brands quickly and efficiently and it allows brands to give themselves a personality beyond the purchase. Brands excelling at customer service attract a loyal audience. It’s different for those that don’t.

    When Chicago-based Christian Conti sent a tweet to a relatively unknown New York-based clothing company called Hawke & Co complaining about a recent purchase, they sent the 46 characters above by way of reply. The result was nothing short of a spectacular example of how NOT to use twitter for customer service.

    Hawke & Co responded to Conti’s original tweet with several (since deleted) messages, referencing that with only 320 followers his complaint wouldn’t matter. At one point the company used the hashtag #entitled. It appears that size does matter, however, as Hawke & Co’s tweet about the number of Conti’s followers went viral with several influencers picking up on it and retweeting the tweets before they were deleted.

    The irony in this? Of Hawke & Co’s 19,000 followers at the time, only 39 were real accounts. Hawke & Co deleted the tweets, send another one out that claimed it to be a social experiment and then delete that as well. To make matters worse, in a series of private messages Hawke & Co thanked Conti for the exposure he gave them. The twittersphere went wild. The exchange made it to BuzzFeed. Finally Hawke & Co issued an apology.

    In today’s cynical world, we wouldn’t be faulted for thinking this was all a brand awareness stunt. The comment about it being a social experiment could be true… but it was a very risky one to take. If you scrutinise it, this was just an example of customer service gone very wrong.

    There’s nothing wrong with a brand having a voice or a positive attitude – that should be encouraged. But what Mr Conti experienced should not. It was not appropriate.

    Every interaction with a customer should be treated with the same respect, regardless of someone’s status. Hawke & Co had the opportunity to apologize and correct the problem yet instead failed to realize the power of Twitter. Even for someone with 320 followers.

    The motto of content marketing is to create and distribute content that is consistent, relevant and valuable to an audience. The aim is not solely to ramp up the sales or social shares but to build brand name, create sharable visuals, provide great content and create value.

    The motto of content marketing is to create and distribute content that is consistent, relevant and valuable to an audience. The aim is not solely to ramp up the sales or social shares but to build brand name, create sharable visuals, provide great content and create value. With good content marketing, the results are always one – the defined audience learns to recognize the brand as a friend. Many brands have achieved a perfect content marketing score while sticking to the basics. The following are 10 perfect examples of content marketing that everyone should emulate:

    1. Moving House Checklist by Budget Direct


    This is simply not a checklist, it is a master checklist allowing Budget Direct homeowners to never be scared about the moving day again. As an insurance company, it sticks to things it knows – insurance. But that doesn’t mean the brand can’t provide value beyond that subject. By choosing a related subject, Budget Direct is still appealing to the same defined audience base and, at the same time, providing immense value. The checklist tells the reader about how to prepare for moving 2 months before the date. It keeps offering valuable tips as the moving day gets closer.

    2. Anthropologie’s Coconut Cooler and Other DIY Drinks

    Anthropologie is an established name in fashion but look at its side act – the DIY drinks feature. The best thing about this feature is that the drinks are seasonal. The flavors and ingredients are different, which adds an element of uniqueness to the blog. Anthropologie’s fashion posts are known to be original and this USP extends to the DIY drinks segment as well. More than anything, after reading these posts, the reader recognizes Anthropologie as a friend that knows a lot about fashion and enjoys amazing drinks.

    3. Tumblr of Lana del Rey

    This is a great example of using shareable visuals for content marketing. The Tumblr blog was launched in 2014 and from the first post itself, the content marketing began. Using gifs, a popular medium on the internet (and particularly Tumblr), from “West Coast”, Lana appeals to her target audience – teens to 20s girls. Gifs allow the content to be visual, short and extremely shareable and the microblogging site is a perfect platform for this. Also, Lana’s core values – which have always been feminism and other social issues – are also mirrored by Tumblr. Thus, her audience would recognize her as a friend on these issues and thus, a reliable word.

    4. Virgin Atlantic’s Tokyo Instagram Gallery

    Crowd curation is a great technique to use in content marketing and Virgin Atlantic does it extremely well. The blog of Virgin Atlantic is mostly known for great travel content – places people should visit and what they should see there. However, they pad these posts which Instagram galleries like the Tokyo one. The photos are curated from Tokyo’s instagrammers who give the readers a peek into the real Tokyo. They have many other great Instagram galleries like Los Angeles Instagram gallery through which their readers get interesting sights with perfectly curated content.

    5. Disney’s Behind the Screen Content – The brilliance of behind-the-scenes content should never be underestimated and Disney has understood the importance of this content marketing tool. The blog of Disney Parks frequently contains posts of behind-the-scenes acts. For Disney fans, this is amazing because they want to find out how the magic was created. Everyone likes bloopers and makings, and Disney fans like it even more. These posts show that Disney knows its audience and the frequency reveals that it cherishes that support by giving them BTS perks every now and then.

    6. Equinox Plank Marketing

    Equinox reveals the value of amazing brand building using content marketing through its Plank post. This fitness club has various locations in the US and their website appeals to the most important thing that their readers look for – fitness. So, there are a lot of fitness based articles, like the Plank one, which reveal interesting facts and practical tips to stay fit. The plank post too shows, with the help of a slideshow, some key planks that the reader might be missing.

    7. Whole Foods’ Money Saving Grocery Tips

    What is the one thing that Whole Foods’ consumers cherish the most? It is eco-friendly and healthy foods. Walking into a Whole Foods is an experience in great customer service, splendid organization, healthy foods, friendly employees, and of course, eco-friendly products. Their blog mimics these ideals by frequently offering great tips, like how to save money on grocery, with content that is shareable, relatable and useful.

    8. Brew Guides from Intelligentsia

    The industry says B2B whitepapers and Intelligentsia answers with these amazing brew guides. They use great and attractive photography to offer instructions about various tools used to make coffee. The readers must be aware of V60s, Chemex and French Press but do they know how to use them perfectly? The pictures are so delicious that everyone wants a fresh cup of Intelligentsia coffee ASAP!

    9. World Business Schools Infographic of Business Insider India

    For an infographic to work, there is no need for fireworks. All it should do is provide valuable information in bite sizes. This infographic by Business Insider India provides information about the top 25 business schools on a global scale in images that are concise and cohesive. The design is clean and simple, and contains all the information a student would need from this infographic. Also, it is a time saver!

    10. Panera Bread’s Pinterest – All the posts of Panera Bread on Pinterest are content marketing geniuses. They give visual stories, promote the brand, offer curated content, use visuals and also give links to their blog. Most importantly, however, they match with Panera Bread’s ideals – healthy, cozy, familiar, and comfort. A lot of external sources are used and the images are absolutely delicious.

    The trick to content marketing is that the content needs to be eye catching. The value you wish to provide would not work if the content is not attractive looking. This is why visual and shareable content works so well for the above examples.