Michael BrennerSome of the brightest minds in marketing are coming together at the ANA/BMA 2016: Masters of B2B Marketing conference in Chicago June 1 to 3. SmartBrief will be there, too, and to kick things off, we asked Michael Brenner, CEO of Marketing Insider Group and co-author of The Content Formula, to preview some of what he’ll share at the event.

First, you are a marketing executive who recently launched his own company. Can you tell us what it’s been like to make that transition? Do you have any advice for marketing executives who are interested in a similar path?

I started sharing my expertise online a few years ago on my blog. That led to requests to do webinars, then speaking engagements. I was fortunate enough to join a startup called NewsCred and build a strategy business for them prior to launching my own business. I see each step as an extension of that early commitment to share my experiences and insights online and to build a supportive community that helped me so much along the way. (read more…)

Avinash NairThere’s a science behind what kind of content does well online. Even having all the right ingredients doesn’t guarantee that an item will go viral. So what makes content shareable? Is it the image, the catchy headline, or the fact that it was written by a respected leader or influencer? Do people share content that has been shared by their friends or peers?

To an extent, the answer is yes to all of those questions, but the last one in particular.

The popularity of a piece of content in a person’s mind is directly proportional to the popularity of the content’s premise among that person’s peers. For instance, people belonging to a group of dog lovers are more likely to share dog related content compared to people who have no such affinity. Scientists call this the “herding effect.” BuzzFeed specifically banks on this phenomenon, as they know readers like to promote their own identity. (read more…)

Alex Membrillo

Many social media experts believe that video will be one of the most important marketing trends of 2016 and that live video on Facebook is a big part of it.

To make sure that your brand is benefiting from this new outlet in the biggest way possible, keep these winning tips in mind:

Create content that your fans want to watch.
Pick a great setting, strong speakers and some terrific action to showcase. You can share video from an event at your company, interview your staff about service lines or give potential customers a virtual tour. Ensure that your lighting and sound are top quality. There is so much high-quality content now available that people are not likely to stick around when they can’t hear what’s going on or are presented with less-than-awesome image quality.

Content should be geared toward the interests of the viewers; do not include too much overt promotion. (read more…)

Pinterest once had the reputation of being a place where young users, mostly women, could post pins about their passions, projects, crafts, and hobbies. But it has become a much broader tool that many companies also use — including those not in retail — to promote content such as blog posts, infographics, videos, whitepapers, and more.

Here are a few examples of the types of companies to which I refer:

  • Farmer’s Insurance pins help customers make safer and smarter decisions. Pins include topics such as home improvements, road trips, holidays, and even one call “Cattitude,” which, of course, contains pictures of cats.
  • Act-On, a software company, devotes its Pinterest account to employees.
  • SmartBrief (Yes, this SmartBrief) has an account dedicated to keeping business professionals informed and prepared.

And, 13% of Pinterest users are men, according to research from Pew Internet. (read more…)

Are your social media marketing strategies producing poor results? Maybe you’re “cooking” and “serving” your content wrong.

Have you always loved visiting restaurants for the best food finds? Are you on the lookout for culinary bestsellers? For foodies, the perfect fusion of the right ingredients in a dish is what appeals to their taste buds and drives them to dine out. Imagine your social media channels as dishes. Are they appealing enough to the tastes of your audience?

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to building your online presence, read on to discover the essential ingredients needed for a best-selling social media strategy.


The content is the key ingredient in your social media marketing recipe. T&S Web Design describes it best as Promotional, Informational and Entertaining (P.I.E.).

Promotional content should include content about your website, company events, products and services, awards, customer reviews and feedback, as well as newsletter subscription invitations. (read more…)