To be a business owner, you’ve got to have thick skin. Sooner or later — and probably sooner — somebody’s going to offer a word of criticism, and whether that criticism is right or wrong, you’ve got to keep from taking it personally.

We all know this, but it’s hard to abide by it; no matter how tough we are, it hurts to have someone speak critically about something so important to us. When it comes to online reviews, however, the problem isn’t just that they can bruise the ego. Online reviews can actually have a major impact on the business’s bottom line.

The importance of social reviews

Statistically speaking, 70% of all consumers now consult with online reviews and use those reviews to inform their purchasing decisions. Social networks like Facebook and Google+ are certainly aware of the increased prominence of online reviews, which is why — in an effort to be all things to all people — they’re steadily boosting the role of online reviews in the social experience. (read more…)

It’s no secret that viral content is a hot topic — and ongoing debate — in the marketing world. What content catches on and what doesn’t? Can a campaign go viral without major ad dollars supporting it? Is there a “formula” to increase reach?

While there’s no five-step process for creating a marketing campaign that catches like wildfire, there are a few things that brands of any size can do to increase the chances of their campaign achieving massive success:

Leverage “trend jacking”

Want people to talk about your campaign? Tie it back to something they’re already talking about. For example, the word “selfie” was mentioned 28.8 million times on Twitter last year, and it’s no surprise why. Give someone a camera, a mirror and near frictionless sharing with friends, and voila: You have a compelling experience that millions of people repeat every day. You also have the foundation for a successful user-generated photo campaign. (read more…)

“This is big-kid marketing.”

That’s what I always tell new hires at my agency, because no matter how hard B2C marketing gets, it can feel like it’s nothing compared to marketing to the enterprise. So what social tools can help do the heavy lifting for B2B? You might be surprised by the number of tailor-made tools out there for communication and engagement. Here are some recommendations based on six goals for B2B marketers:

1) SEO Boost: Unlike some other social behemoths, you’re rewarded for all your hard work with serious organic SEO. Google has been trying to break into the social game for a while with a lot of misses and a few hits. Google+ is just such a hit. From an SEO optimized business profile page to custom distribution of content and events to your circles, to using Google authorship to make your content shoot to the top of search engines, Google+ is a B2B marketer’s heaven. (read more…)

GLOW, a New York-based social, digital and creative agency, has created campaigns for some of cable’s most-loved shows, including HBO’s “Veep,” USA Network’s “Psych,” and A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.” The agency’s work for the new Cartoon Network series “Uncle Grandpa” was recently named a finalist by the Cynopsis Kids !magination Awards in the digital marketing campaign category. The “Find It!” campaign centered on a series of interactive YouTube videos that challenged viewers to find certain objects during short clips of the show.GLOW

In this Q-and-A, Jesse McLean, the creative director behind the campaign, describes how the idea was formed and why the campaign was a success.

Can you describe the creative process behind the campaign?

Cartoon Network wanted to leverage digital to provide fans with a custom branded experience that would accompany the launch of their new original cartoon series, “Uncle Grandpa.” Their key goal was to introduce kids aged 6-11 to this new show and enable them to sample content in an engaged, enjoyable way. (read more…)

No sector is moving faster to embrace digital advertising than those of media and entertainment. Why? Because of consumers like you.

By reading this blog post – and, presumably, streaming video content occasionally or playing mobile games – you are driving a sea change in the way companies that broadcast news and entertainment shows, produce music and movies and create video games market themselves: As their audiences shift online, so must they.

It should be no surprise, then, that media and entertainment companies are leading the pack when it comes to digital advertising. The two sectors are projected to account for 10.3% of all digital ad spend this year, reaching $5.15 billion, according to an eMarketer report out today. That’s 21.6% more than last year’s $4.23 billion.

“These segments share the common challenge of a difficult transition from physical to digital media. As they make this shift, they are relying on advertising to provide a greater share of monetization than in the days of packaged media,” lead author Paul Verna tells SmartBrief. (read more…)