• Act-On Software
    Act-On Software on November 18, 2014

    The Rules of Engagement on Facebook

    If you want to make your content sharable and searchable on Facebook, you need to have a thorough understanding of Facebook principles and the general rules that apply to content and behavior.
  • The world of recruitment advertising has evolved dramatically over time. Traditionally, a company would put up a job advert on a noticeboard in the job centre, or in the local newspaper, and people would mail their applications over to the hiring manager. Fast forward to the birth of the internet which turned recruitment on its head.

    The world of recruitment advertising has evolved dramatically over time. Traditionally, a company would put up a job advert on a noticeboard in the job centre, or in the local newspaper, and people would mail their applications over to the hiring manager.

    Fast forward to the birth of the internet which turned recruitment on its head, and businesses and recruiters were able to post their jobs on generic jobs board websites, increasing their reach to potential candidates and therefore the number of applications they received.

    However, competition was fierce on these one-size-fits-all jobs boards, so along came niche jobs boards to try and separate the competition and give recruiters the option of promoting their roles to a more relevant and appropriately-skilled pool of candidates.

    But as digital technology grows and becomes more sophisticated, there are now much more creative and effective ways of advertising job vacancies that simply weren’t on offer a few years ago – and these are gaining popularity at a rapid rate.

    With the emergence of social media and the ability to promote your business to anyone who has access to the internet, it’s no surprise that jobs boards (especially the niche ones) have broadened their advertising package offerings to include options that go far and beyond simply posting your job advert on the site and hoping for the best.

    One of the most in-demand extra features is social media advertising – taking your job vacancy to the people, rather than waiting for them to come to you. The most appealing aspect of social media advertising to recruiters is that there are billions of people using social media, and there’s a good chance that some of them will be relevant for the role you’re advertising – so what better way to attract them to apply than to promote your vacancy on the very sites they frequent?

    Jobs boards have realised this and some of the better boards offer enhanced social media promotion as part of their advertising packages. This could be a Twitter hashtag campaign, brand building on LinkedIn or Google+ or making the most of any other platform – but it goes without saying that this sort of recruitment advertising is really effective and has revolutionised the way recruiters advertise their roles or approach candidates.

    Other forms of recruitment advertising that have become much more popular in recent years thanks to the digital boom include blog advertorials which are basically articles that promote the job vacancies in a much less obvious fashion than a straight-down-the-line job advert. These sort of blog posts are normally articles about the company that are hiring, its growth and vision, and these tend to subtly allude to the jobs available rather than going in with a hard sell which can sometimes put the digital generation off.

    Despite blogs being one of the most popular ways that internet users digest information – hence its popularity in recruitment advertising – at times something a little more hard-hitting and direct is needed, and this is where promotional e-shots come in. Now, e-shots aren’t exactly new, but they still have their place in recruitment advertising alongside more modern approaches like the two aforementioned options. E-shots are popular because they give the recruiter the chance to immediately approach relevant candidates from a sea of subscribers that the jobs board they’re advertising with has accumulated over time. It’s more direct than social media advertising, more obvious than blog advertorials and does what it says on the tin.

    However, it’s not just targeted marketing options that recruiters go for, as banner advertising is a hugely popular way of building up yours or your client’s brand in front of a more generic job seeker audience. A lot of recruiters make the most of their in-house design teams and come up with eye-catching and engaging banners to place on jobs boards to attract a larger amount of candidates to their vacancies. This doesn’t have to be so generic though, as recruiters can decide to advertise on niche jobs boards rather than generalist ones, or even choose to display their banner on particular pages on a site so that they only attract truly relevant candidates to their vacancies.

    If this all sounds a little bit overwhelming in terms of time, then it’s not uncommon these days for brands to hire third party media buyers to purchase their job advertising packages for them, within a particular budget. This is more and more popular nowadays due to – as we’ve mentioned – the huge range of options available. This is a fairly modern method of recruitment advertising but it really does have its benefits, especially for large brands with a hefty recruitment budget but not necessarily the knowledge of modern recruitment advertising.

    In conclusion, the digital revolution has turned recruitment advertising on its head. With hundreds of options to choose from, and a seemingly endless list of additional bolt-ons available for any recruitment advertising package, it can be overwhelming to start with, but this advancement for the recruitment industry can only be beneficial when it comes to targeting exactly the right kind of candidates.

    From printing a vacancy in newspaper job listings to social media promotion and much more, it’s clear that recruitment advertising is getting more complex, sophisticated and smarter as the digital industry grows and grows – and this will continue for years to come.

    Do you think the digital industry revolutionising recruitment is a good thing?

    Let me know in the comments below!

    It’s that time of year again. If you are not already planning your holiday sales campaign, you are behind your competition. The fourth quarter of the year is typically the strongest largely due to holiday sales. This remains true not just for brick-and-mortar sales but also online sales.

    It’s that time of year again. If you are not already planning your holiday sales campaign, you are behind your competition. The fourth quarter of the year is typically the strongest largely due to holiday sales. This remains true not just for brick-and-mortar sales but also online sales. Internet Retailer reports that last year, fourth quarter online sales increased by more than 10 percent. If you are just now thinking of holiday marketing, you may be a bit late to the game, but there is still time to get a marketing plan in order. If there is one thing you should know about holiday marketing this year, it is the need to be everywhere. Far too often, many companies make the mistake of targeting all of their marketing ammunition at a single marketing channel. With this type of strategy, you can miss a significant portion of potential customers. Instead, focus on an omni-channel marketing campaign.

    Social Media

    Social media should simply be a part of your holiday marketing campaign because it works and not because everyone else is doing it. Among the most important benefits offered by social media is the fact that it provides the opportunity to build your ideal customer audience. Along with helping you to hone in on your target customer base, social media enables you to become a respected resource and establish trust. If there is one reason to make social media part of your marketing campaign this holiday season, it is this: a survey conducted by MarketLive found that half of holiday shoppers will be affected by social media this year. The survey went on to report that customers participate in a variety of social activities while shopping online: searching for gift ideas, reviewing products, and obtaining referrals from friends. In planning a social media campaign for this year, first take the time to review what you did last year, if you had a holiday social media campaign, to determine what worked and what did not. Among the best ways to reach out to holiday shoppers this year is to integrate a holiday theme in your social media, as well as incorporating holiday hashtags. Creating a holiday-themed contest is also a great way to draw attention to your brand.

    Social Media Holiday Campaign

    Mobile App Deals

    It is a best kept secret that Groupon is wildly popular with consumers on the lookout for deals. What if you could become your own Groupon? Taking advantage of mobile app deals and coupons via push notifications allows you to do just that. A survey conducted by Burst Media and Rhythm NewMedia found that retailers will see an impact from purchases made this year via mobile devices. Nearly 60 percent of respondents who said that they will research purchases on their mobile devices will do so in order to help finalize their online purchase decisions. The survey went on to report that push notifications received in physical locations will actually drive retail purchases this year, with more than 76 percent of respondents reporting that they read mobile push notifications for in-store promotions as they come through, and that more than 67 percent typically redeem these offers.

    Email Subject Lines

    Email may seem as though it has fallen behind the more glamorous social media and mobile marketing strategies, but it still has a lot to offer. The key is to make sure that you target according to what consumers want when creating email marketing campaigns for the holidays. Keep in mind that today’s consumers are more pressed for time than at any point in history. They also have far more distractions, and are increasingly wary of junk mail. This remains true even if they signed up to receive emails from your brand. You have a very limited window for encouraging them to open an email. The best way to do this is to tell them what they are going to get at the very beginning in the subject line.

    Education-Based Marketing Videos

    In planning your holiday marketing campaign this year, keep in mind that education-based marketing sells. When combined with the convenience of video marketing, education-based marketing presents the opportunity for you to build rapport with your customers while also providing them with value for free. In designing an education-based marketing video this holiday season, keep in mind that it is no longer enough to have a video in order to differentiate your brand from the competition. Video is no longer something new. It is now an essential. Unless you handle correctly, video could actually harm your brand. Interruption-based marketing, otherwise known as commercials, is no longer effective. The brands with a competitive edge are now shifting toward education-based video marketing. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your video should offer ease of navigation to allow consumers to gather the information they need, whether it is looking for answers, conducting product research, or going through reviews. Consumers today will not invest their limited time in viewing videos if they are not instantly convinced that it’s worth their time, so place important benefits upfront. Keep your videos to short, manageable lengths. Above all, make sure that your video contains elements of actual value to the consumer.

    Sell the Outcome

    Finally, keep in mind that the most important thing you can do is sell the outcome when marketing this holiday season. Focus on the reasons that consumers are buying rather than what they are buying. Remember that ultimately consumers are largely driven by emotional triggers when making purchases. Zig Zigler once said, “People don’t buy things for logical reasons. They buy for emotional reasons.” This is even truer during the holidays. By focusing on the omni-channel marketing strategies described above, and offering true value to your customers, your brand can have the best holiday sales ever!

    When you work for a large organization with many sub-brands, where people tend to cycle through brands as part of career advancement, it’s a fact that brand differentiation becomes hard to maintain.

     

    Driving your brand’s point of difference

    When you work for a large organization with many sub-brands, where people tend to cycle through brands as part of career advancement, it’s a fact that brand differentiation becomes hard to maintain. As a result, an evermore connected, knowledgeable and demanding customer, will become less duped and seek out different solutions outside the stable. As a point in case, in the beauty area, multinational companies Estée Lauder (Frederic Malle, Le Labo, Rodin Olio Lusso) and L’Oreal (Nyx, Neely, Carol’s Daughter) have been actively acquiring niche brands in order to compensate for the “fatigue” with their “mature” portfolio of brands.

    Consumers are suffering from brand fatigue in cosmetics and fashion and are increasingly seeking out brands that are more exclusive, less well-known and not so widely distributed as big brands.”
    -Reuters

    For such multinationals, it is my conviction that, until the notion of brand separation and identity is emphatically solved, the addition of new niche brands will naturally follow the path of the existing mature brands. In other words, these niche brands will also be diluted and lose their edge.

    Corporate Strategy versus Brand Strategy

    Between best practice sharing, back office harmonizing, shared logistics and R&D and, not least, shared people, it is hard to keep brands markedly different while residing within a large corporate umbrella. The levers with which one can play to drive a brand strategy and its point of difference are often constrained by the structure and business model. I analyze company organization through three axes (and I exclude from this analysis not for profit and government):

    • If the company is privately held or publicly traded
    • If the umbrella corporate brand is a or the commercial brand
    • If the founder or part of the founding family is present

    In the cases above, there are plenty of nuances and options. Inevitably, though, each has a direct and important impact on the way a brand is developed.

    Where does your company sit?

    Privately held or publicly traded

    Generally, companies who have managed to grow without dipping into the stock market maintain a degree of freedom that can be extremely liberating for long-term brand development. Of course, if the company is privately held, but backed by private equity (depending on the variety of PE), the look & feel can correspond to a publicly traded company. However, when you observe the determined success of companies like Hermès and Chanel (and Giorgio Armani, perhaps to a lesser extent) in the luxury space, you can certainly appreciate the strength of character and single-mindedness of their brand strategy. Conversely, shareholders perceive and accept with difficulty the (long-term) efforts to build separate brands within a portfolio.

    Presence of the founder or founding family

    I have long held that branding gets personal. It stands to reason that if the founder is present, there is a natural embodiment of the brand via that person. Not that all founders or off-spring are perfectly suited, but there is systematically an element of emotion that a corporate CEO — even when brought up through the ranks — cannot incarnate, especially faced with shareholder pressures. When a founder (or extension) is present, there is often a greater backbone that is not beholden to strictly rational decision-making. Examples that come to mind include: Steve Jobs, Michael Dell, Howard Schultz, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos… The real challenge for these companies becomes the succession.

    Corporate or commercial umbrella brand

    As far as brand structures go, there are essentially three variations:

    1. the corporate brand is the commercial brand: Apple
    2. the corporate brand is also a commercial brand: L’Oreal (commercializing L’Oreal Paris and L’Oreal Professionnel…)
    3. the corporate brand is an umbrella name with no commercial existence: Procter & Gamble, Unilever
    Brand strategy - the myndset digital strategy

    Portfolios of brands — corporate and/or commercial

    Brand strategy - the myndset digital strategyThere are, of course, hybrids along the scale. When you take a look at the stable of brands that are managed by conglomerates, such as P&G, L’Oreal and Unilever — which all compete in the beauty space — there is an inherent challenge to foster and distinguish the brand strategies of each sub (commercial) brand. I believe this is a highly strategic issue, driven all the more sensitive by the augmented transparency that comes with the internet. I can remember conversations, while working at L’Oreal, where senior executives wished not to let the cat out of the bag that L’Oreal owned certain other brands. It was as if it were better that the customer didn’t know. On the one hand, there was the constant “healthy” in-fighting between brands (not wanting to give extra publicity to ‘competitive’ brands). Secondly, there was the inevitable question: what is the real difference between the products, for example a L’Oreal Paris shampoo at $5 and a Kerastase shampoo at $39.

    Should management embody the brand?

    So, what is a conglomerate to do in order to leverage a portfolio of brands? There is no easy answer as there are indeed vast benefits to belonging to a larger structure, with an installed base of customers, having size at the negotiation table with distributors, economies of scale for industrial production, etc. However, the truth is that, in a world where information is evermore accessible about the [lack of] differences, multinationals urgently need to reinforce the differential that helps underpin the value-added pricing in premium brands. With the disintermediation and merging of distribution channels, brands can no longer hide behind segregated channels nor behind the wall of a 30-second spot. I, for one, believe that management needs to find ways for the brands to live differently within the confines of the organization. Troubling as it might be from the HR standpoint, branding must get more personal, more values oriented; and employees must be encouraged to embrace personally the brands they represent. And, I would suggest that brand management will need more managers who embrace and embody brand values and the brand strategy, much like the original founder.

    Your thoughts are welcome!

    In every corner of an organization, the idea of having an online community is brought up. But often, the idea remains just that – an idea – because starting the journey seems daunting. How should we begin to build the business case for it? How can we translate the hard-to-explain-and-grasp benefits of community into a comprehensive and convincing plan? What lessons can be learned from others who have succeeded? How can we report the value in business terms? To answer these questions and more, we are sharing a detailed roadmap to set you firmly on course!

    In every corner of an organization, the idea of having an online community is brought up. But often, the idea remains just that – an idea – because starting the journey seems daunting. How should we begin to build the business case for it? How can we translate the hard-to-explain-and-grasp benefits of community into a comprehensive and convincing plan? What lessons can be learned from others who have succeeded? How can we report the value in business terms?

    Your business case process is not simply a way to get approval for your community project. When well done, it is the outline for an effective strategic plan that includes requirements, vendor selection, implementation and operational steps for your online community launch. It will serve as your guide to develop the myriad of operational opportunities into potent complements to community initiatives.

    To answer these questions and more, we are sharing a detailed roadmap to set you firmly on course!

    Below is a replay of a webinar we created for DNN Software that provides the best practices we’ve learned and implemented in one shot. You’ll find all of the templates, research, and advice you need to get a substantive head start to building your informed and persuasive business case. It includes great advice and lessons from eight of the top online community practitioners around the globe: Claire Bovill from Cisco, Robin Carey from Social Media Today, Scott K. Wilder from Marketo, Jessica McDouall from SPS Commerce, Jennifer McClure from Thomson Reuters, Steve Roth from School Dude, J.J. Lovett from CA Technologies and Fernando Castagnari from Mars Petcare Brazil.

    Topics covered include:

    • Defining the strategic outcomes you want from the community
    • Specifying the overlapping business and audience needs it will serve
    • Mapping business requirements into feature requirements
    • Developing business metrics and measures to determine outcomes
    • Establishing the budget

    DNN_Screen_Grab2

    (click to play)

    If you just want just the highlights, view the Slideshare presentation here:

    In 2004, Rob Morris, a long-time human rights advocate, established Justice for Children International, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child sex trafficking. In its early years, the organization gained a certain amount of attention by building its marketing around shocking statistics, such as the fact that two children are sold into prostitution every minute. But Morris knew that they were capable of much, much more. So he started telling a story.

    If you still think that storytelling is just a “nice to have,” a luxury for blue-chip corporations who have resources to spare, you need to meet Rob Morris.

    In 2004, Morris, a long-time human rights advocate, established Justice for Children International, a nonprofit dedicated to ending child sex trafficking. In its early years, the organization gained a certain amount of attention by building its marketing around shocking statistics, such as the fact that two children are sold into prostitution every minute.

    But Morris knew that they were capable of much, much more.

    So he started telling a story.

    Back in 2002, Morris and some colleagues had traveled to Southeast Asia, where they went undercover with investigators to witness the child sex trade firsthand. When they entered one particular brothel, Morris had an experience that would change his life forever. Here’s how he describes it:

    “We found ourselves standing shoulder to shoulder with predators in a small room, looking at little girls through a pane of glass. All of the girls wore red dresses with a number pinned to their dress for identification.

    “They sat, blankly watching cartoons on TV. They were vacant, shells of what a child should be. There was no light in their eyes, no life left. Their light had been taken from them. These children … raped each night … seven, ten, fifteen times every night. They were so young. Thirteen, eleven… it was hard to tell. Sorrow covered their faces with nothingness.

    “Except one girl. One girl who wouldn’t watch the cartoons. Her number was 146. She was looking beyond the glass. She was staring out at us with a piercing gaze. There was still fight left in her eyes. There was still life left in this girl …”

    Morris made this story — and this young girl — the rallying point for his organization, changing its name to Love146 in 2007.

    All of a sudden, the fight wasn’t about millions of faceless minors. It was about one girl. One girl with flesh and blood and a heart and a soul. And a story.

    Then something amazing happened:

    Love146 story sparked worldwide movement

    The story went viral, sparking a grassroots campaign that generated worldwide awareness and hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. Between 2007 and 2012, the organization’s total revenue grew from $1.1 to more than $2.6 million, and it now has permanent offices in the UK, Cambodia, and the Philippines.

    That, folks, is the power of storytelling.

    So, what can we as content marketers learn from the story of Love146?

    • Statistics can make an impression, but stories raise emotion … and emotion leads to action. 
    • Keep your story simple; resist the urge to provide every little detail. 
    • Make it easy for your brand advocates to share your story.