When was the last time you tuned into a podcast? If you’re like 15% of Americans over the age of 12, it was within the past month. While 15% may not sound like much, consider that Twitter is used by approximately 18% of American adults — an only slightly larger slice of the pie that has had a profound impact on everything from how we consume news to how we engage with our friends and favorite shows.

Given the rise of smartphones and 4G/LTE connectivity, it is now possible, affordable and easier than ever to stream audio from just about anywhere. Whether you’re at the gym, commuting to work or roaming the aisles at the grocery store, a limitless amount of information can now go anywhere you go. In fact, Edison’s research found a huge shift between 2013 and 2014 in the percentage of podcasts that are listened to on a mobile device versus a computer. (read more…)

In the new world order of customer-led marketing, relevance is the name of the game — people expect marketers to deliver the right message, at the right time, in the right context, to the right device. They expect those messages, experiences and offers to become ever more real-time, seamless across digital and physical, and finely tuned with each interaction. It is part of the deal between brands and their customers now; people let brands into their lives for the price of relevance.

But for agencies to maintain their relevance through one of the most radical transformations marketing and advertising has ever experienced, the realities of the modern media and technology landscape need to be meaningfully addressed by agency leaders. A fresh coat of paint and a few “specialists” on the fringes will no longer do. Agency evolution needs to be foundational.

The omni-channel world

The advertising business is teeming with buzzwords and slang. (read more…)

Here’s a depressing reality for most marketers: 99% of brand-created content generates little to no engagement on social media. It turns out that most people have better things to do than like, share or comment on product-related posts, which means the vast majority of your social media and content marketing efforts are falling on deaf ears. So what’s a savvy marketer to do? Join the 1% of marketers doing well with social by following these six “newish” rules.

Don’t Try to Turn Social Into Direct Marketing
Content that you share on social channels or elsewhere becomes a lot more appealing to your target and a lot more effective to the marketer when the emphasis shifts from what you want to sell to what value you can provide. This means not trying to measure the effectiveness of (organic) social media on its ability to generate leads or close a sale, and instead focusing on metrics that primarily address current customer needs, and, secondarily, the interests of your prospects. (read more…)

After working with dozens of nonprofit organizations to help them strategize and improve the overall performance of their Facebook efforts, I’ve come to understand what successful pages have in common: Content that not only helps their target audience tell their story through engagement, but also adds real value to their news feed and their friends’ news feeds.

Drew-BernardIt’s not enough to post high-quality content that informs your target audience. Nor is it enough to post content that your fans enjoy consuming. For your content to be shared, it must be something your fans want to be personally connected with as it becomes part of their online personal narrative. As a result, page managers must create content that helps their target audience express themselves to their friends. In my experience, successful page managers repeatedly use these five strategies to create content that people want to engage and be connected with – and you can, too. (read more…)

Social media presents unique opportunities and challenges alike for small businesses. It provides an unprecedented way to amplify word-of-mouth marketing efforts, a bread-and-butter tactic for local businesses. But it can also feel daunting to compete with the social-marketing budgets of larger competitors.

A new mobile application called Perch is designed specifically for small businesses to better understand their social media presence. It lets them track customer reviews from across social networks, including Facebook, Yelp and Google, not just for their own businesses but for competitors as well. The app is from Closely, a company started by former MapQuest co-founder Perry Evans.

Perry EvansEvans has been helping small businesses use digital tools to improve their local marketing for years. We asked him for insight on how smaller shops can use social media to their advantage in today’s competitive market:

Is social media marketing the big equalizer between big brands and small businesses? (read more…)