How do you avoid making epic social media mistakes? The team discusses one of their favourite topics with storyteller, marketer, and social media guru, Jonathan Crossfield. Among his many titles he’s the Editorial Director behind Telstra’s content hub, Smarter Business Ideas. He is fresh back from Content Marketing World in the US, where he presented a paper on social media and audience: “the proper approach to social communications”.

 

 

Here are some key take-outs:

  • First, this isn’t a witch-hunt for bad social media examples. Looking at any kind of failure is about trying to learn the lessons. Often, you can learn more when something goes wrong than you can when it goes right. The fact things keep going wrong suggests we still have a lot to learn, so let’s learn from each other.
  • Jonathan’s suspicion about the social media mistakes made by big brands is that often they’ve been made by an agency or someone posting on behalf of a brand, rather than someone inside a brand. They may be a little too removed from a brand and less able to reflect the brand correctly — especially if posting has been left to inexperienced staff.

“It has become predictable that brands will run into these walls. You know they’re going to stuff up before they do. So if we can see it, why can’t they?” — Jonathan Crossfield

 

  • Connecting your brand to any kind of “bad news” almost always blows up in a brand’s face (metaphorically speaking). It’s certainly not a good idea to do it deliberately in order to “troll” the consumer because, as Jonathan explains, “you might get the sentiment but the numbers are going to be through the floor”.
  • Treat the emotions your audience are experiencing at the time with respect.

“It doesn’t matter if you didn’t mean offense; if the audience took offense, it was offensive.” — Jonathan Crossfield

 

  • We’ve become too fixated on getting big engagement numbers because big numbers look good on the report card you’re giving to your client. But numbers are only ever part of the story — we need to think about how the message actually resonates with the audience.
  • Social media and content marketing are long-term strategies and big engagement numbers are borne out of the old month-to-month campaigning thought processes. They shouldn’t be part of your long-term strategy because they don’t prove anything of value to your business. Think more about your messaging and resonance than about the reach.

“You need to focus on building your audience and serving your clients and quite frankly, if you’re trolling your audience, they will never engage with your brand again and they won’t say anything nice about you ever again.” — Sarah

 

Here are the links you might need

Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at the lessons that can be learned from the world’s best examples of content marketing.

 

And here’s a fascinating discussion about the digital marketing strategies of the Clinton and Trump campaigns, based on an experiment Sarah conducted.

 

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Content Marketing World has wrapped up in the U.S. for another year and a highlight of that is always the Content Marketing Awards which honour the very best examples of content marketing in the world. The Brand Newsroom team takes a close look at what the best content marketers are doing and what lessons there are for the rest of us.

 

 

Here are some key take-outs:

  •  Keep your finger off the selling button. Your articles should provide information, not push product. 
  •  Build trust with your audience first. Build your reputation as a publisher.

“People get tired of people selling to them.” — Nic

  •  You can still make sales from your content marketing — that is after all the point of marketing — you just have to be clever about it. A hyperlink to a product page can build revenue without bashing the consumer over the head with an obvious call-to-action.
  •  Use the content to build your subscriber base then market directly to the subscriber base via email.

“The money play for brands is not in the news, it is not to always be selling, but to be really strategic and think about the audience and that subscriber base. That’s where you can really sell to them, on the email.” — Sarah

  •  The lesson from Sainsbury’s content marketing project win is to know your audience. They have 50,000 magazine readers every week with a 35 per cent open rate and a 31 per cent click-through rate which says people value it and when they see it, they open it. Why? Because Sainsbury’s is getting the content right.
  •  Do one thing really well. Sainsbury’s mastered the magazine and built their audience before they moved into other areas.
  •  View yourself as a media company. It’s a change in mindset but it will pay dividends, as Marriott Hotels has shown.

“The theme through all of these is how much respect each of these organisations has for their audience and for building that audience.” — Sarah

 

Here are the links you might need

  •  Here’s a link to the Traction News
  •  The Content Marketing Institute’s Joe Pulizzi took a deep dive into all the CMWorld “project of the year” finalists here
  •  Sarah mentioned a Contently article about hotelier Marriott calling themselves a media company. You can read that here
  •  And here’s the link to that social media governance survey for West Australian companies, Sarah mentioned at the end of the podcast.


Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at the digital marketing strategies of the Clinton and Trump campaigns in the current United States election.

And here’s a discussion about the differences between pitching a story idea to public and commercial media outlets.

 

Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.

 

The US Presidential race is well and truly under way, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump campaigning relentlessly for support. Rather than yet another discussion of politics, today the team took a closer look at the marketing strategies of each candidate. Sarah Mitchell was recently in the US and signed up to the campaigns of both Trump and Clinton to see who was winning the campaign from a marketing perspective.

 

 

Here are some key take-outs:

 

  • Clinton’s website provides a large array of merchandising options, whereas Trump sticks to a few basic staples of buttons, signs, hats and T-shirts.
  • Supporters wanting to buy merchandise also have to provide personal details, including home and email addresses. This information was then used by both parties to target the supporter.

“This is something that companies generally don’t do very well in terms of the follow up: they get the email address and then they never correspond again.” — James

 

  • Both candidates embrace email correspondence enthusiastically. Trump sent out upwards of 60 emails that all followed the same set template and said the same basic information. On perhaps a positive note, Trump’s message is kept simple and to the point.
  • Clinton’s campaign involves an even greater quantity of emails but with different formats and varying content. Influencer marketing features strongly with the Obamas, Anna Wintour and Barbara Streisand lending support. There is also an emphasis on fundraising from Clinton’s camp.

“The 40 years of political experience (of Clinton) is really showing here in its style and quality.” — Nic

 

  • It’s rare that you see two companies side-by-side competing for the same goal. This experiment provided a unique opportunity to compare and contrast marketing methods of direct competitors
  • Clinton requests for money from supporters, starting at just $1, whereas Trump does not explicitly ask for any funds.

“Hillary wins hands-down. More personalised, more varied… I know a lot about her campaign. I know a lot about what she stands for, about the policies that are important to her. With Trump, all I get from him is he needs me to come to his appearances and he’s really good at name-calling.” — Sarah

 

Here are the links you might need

  • Sarah’s original blog on the marketing tactics of Trump and Clinton, that James mentioned early on, can be found here.

 

Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at PR disasters.

 

And here’s a discussion about who we trust, and why.

 

Like what you’ve heard?

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What’s the difference between pitching a story to a commercial broadcaster and a public one? Today Nic Hayes plays mediator between two experienced broadcasters — one from the publicly-owned ABC (our own James Lush) and the other fresh from a long and distinguished career with commercial station 6PR (Nic’s new team member, John Solvander) — to find out what each medium is looking for, who their audiences are, what they have in common, and what differences marketers need to keep in mind when dealing with each.

 

Here are some key take-outs:

  • Commercial versus non-commercial media have different requirements to meet their audiences needs.
  • Non-commercial broadcasters often need to “tick boxes”, like ensuring they present a diverse range of views or a diversity of people.
  • Commercial broadcasters are able to promote brands, whereas non-commercial broadcasters, like the ABC, are not.

“It doesn’t mean to say you can’t give credit where credit is due, but you don’t make a big deal of highlighting that this is the person and this is the company. It would stand out and the audience would complain.” — James

 

  • At commercial stations, if a brand has paid for a mention that has to be declared, whether it is a recorded ad, a “live read”, or a segment. If money has changed hands, that has to be understood by the audience.

“This rule about not mentioning a brand is archaic and redundant. Commercial broadcasters don’t have the same restrictions.” — John

 

  • Often on public broadcasts you have longer to tell your story because they’re not restricted by ads.
  • But don’t believe public broadcasters don’t care about ratings — they do. And they still “live and die” by them, professionally.
  • If you’re the best person in your space and you’re good at being in the media, whether it is commercial or public you have an excellent opportunity at becoming a regular guest.
  • Commercial broadcasters are less inclined to pick up issues that aren’t “sexy”, where as public broadcasters tend to cover issues that might be important but perhaps less exciting.

“You just have to be really good when you’re on there. You don’t have to have the best story in the world, but you have to tell it well. It is a performance. For five minutes you have to give it your all to the point where people remember it.” — James

 

Have you heard the one about…

Recently James, Sarah and Nic took a close look at using humour on social media and trying to go viral.

 

And here’s a discussion about in-person events and why they are such a successful form of marketing.

 

Like what you’ve heard?

Give us a follow on Soundcloud to get the latest episodes.

Or, you can subscribe or leave a review on iTunes.