GoDaddy Conveniently Deletes My Fiance’s New Domain Purchase

After years of supporting GoDaddy (even through their rough times with public relations), I might be done defending them because of something they did to my fiance, Jacqueline.

GoDaddy Deletes a Domain Purchased From Their Site

So here’s the story. On Tuesday the 5th, Jacqueline calls me all excited and tells me that GoDaddy has new .health domains available. She purchases “woman.health” right then and there. She’s very excited about it. The price was $99.99 though Jacq had a coupon to drop it to 80.17. You can see that the purchase went through. Here’s the email confirmation:

Today, GoDaddy sends Jacq an email with the “helpful” subject line “We deleted some items for you.” As if they’re somehow doing her a favor. Look:

Note how the email says “If this is a mistake, please contact us.” Well yes it’s a mistake. This wasn’t Jacq’s request. GoDaddy changed their mind on the price.

Customer Service Doesn’t Help

Jacq proceeds to call “Breanna” who says that the domain was priced wrong. She puts Jacq on hold. She says it’s priced wrong. There’s nothing they can do. They can’t keep the sale because it’s not their policy. She says it’s Icann’s problem, and their price. And so they put it back on sale on the site. Here it is back on GoDaddy for $649:

(Mind you, Jacq bought it from GoDaddy.)

Breanna goes on to say that all .health domains cost a minimum of $500. Jacq says that’s crazy and proceeds to look up a bunch:

So clearly this isn’t accurate, either.

Breanna says “I don’t know. That must be incorrect.” Jacq asks if maybe there are more domains priced wrong? She couldn’t answer.

Jacq asked for a supervisor. Hold. Breanna says she can’t find a supervisor, but that even if she could find one, they wouldn’t be able to help her anyway, because they couldn’t honor the price, either.

No Resolution. GoDaddy Doesn’t Help

Now, I realize that this story will be published and lots of people will see this. So I panicked, because I realized that ultimately, Jacq wants this domain, so maybe I shouldn’t make a blog post talking about this without first securing the domain.

GoDaddy lets me buy it. Here it is:

So think about this.

  1. Jacq buys the domain for $80.17
  2. GoDaddy PULLS THE DOMAIN purchase from her account and emails her of this a day after the fact.
  3. GoDaddy puts the domain back up for sale for $649.
  4. I’m able to buy the domain Jacq thought she secured.
  5. GoDaddy customer service says they can’t do anything about this. And blames Icann.

So, do you think I can recommend GoDaddy as a domain registrar? Do you think I feel really comfortable with all MY domains being registered there, given this experience?

Jacq has over 100 domains registered there. I have a dozen or so. It won’t be exactly easy moving everything off, but what else can we do? Seems difficult to want to trust a company that does what they did and then couldn’t offer resolution.

What would you do?

Part 2 Coming Soon

In a subsequent post, I’ll tell you what any company of any size can do to avoid this example of bad customer service, and I’ll also share how this problem is resolved (or not).

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5 Examples of Influencer Marketing in Action Across the Full Customer Journey

Influencer Marketing Customer Lifecycle

Much of what we hear about influencer marketing is centered around reach and engagement objectives. This is not unlike the early days of social media marketing programs where platform capabilities and user behaviors created a perfect storm for connection and interaction.

Fast forward to today and we’ve certainly learned that social media is not a silo of communication, but more of a universal truth when it comes to where people spend their time to discover, consume and interact with content.

Influence brings that same universal truth in terms of something that affects us all. From a marketing context, influence is the ability to affect action and since virtually every person with a phone is empowered to publish, everyone has some degree of influence.

So where does that broader view lead us when developing an influencer content marketing strategy that’s optimized to attract, engage and convert? To help answer that question and extend optimization to retention and advocacy, here are 5 states during the customer journey and how influencer marketing can play a part for better results.

“The opportunity for consumer engagement spans the entire journey and influencers can play an important role in each moment of truth.” @BrianSolis Click To Tweet

Attract

Contribution inspires promotion. The obvious value here is that working with influencers on content can inspire promotion of the content collaborated on. Reaching the audience of an influencer with content that is relevant and credible can be incredibly valuable for brands that want to attract hard-to-reach customers.

Follow the leader advocacy. Influencers that are advocates often inspire other influencers and customers to advocate for the brand as well. This can be architected with contests where the content with the most social engagement wins, but basic follow the leader behavior in an organic way is effective too.

Retargeting influencer interest. When followers of an influencer that the brand co-created content with match a customer profile, marketers can retarget those followers who have interacted with the influencer content with more context than a buyer simply visiting random websites.

blockchain influencers SAP
A great B2B example of an Attract approach to influencer co-creation is this interactive experience for SAP Leonardo (client).  32 influencers contributing their expertise on topics ranging from artificial intelligence to blockchain technologies. With over 1.8 million impressions and 100% influencer share rate, this content collaboration project exceeded reach expectations.

Engage

Creator talent drives interaction. In the B2C world, creators are plentiful and by creators I mean people will great media creation skills AND the charisma to attract an engaged audience. Creators can bring unique talent to the planning, creation and promotion of content that brings a fresh perspective and higher engagement to an otherwise tired marketing mix.

Authenticity drives engagement. When microinfluencers also represent the customer that a brand is working to engage, the authenticity and voice of the customer that they bring to content collaboration can result in more content interaction and sharing.

Relevance is essential in all things marketing and when the influencer’s audience and the brand channel for promotion match well, then engagement is more likely to be high.

Tom's of Maine - Mavrck
An impressive B2C Engage example would have to be Tom’s of Maine that focused on micro-influencers to create and amplify content on social channels. Results per 1,000 micro-influencers activated: 6,496 likes, shares and comments; 1.7 million friends reached, 4,270 survey responses captured. You can read the full case study on the Mavrck site.

Convert

Trust motivates. Few things motivate conversion more than trust and the essence of what makes someone influential is that their community trusts them. Therefore, trusted influencers who are involved with brand content that is mid to end of funnel focused can help increase conversions.

Familiarity brings confidence. Another thing about relevance is that influencers that have a reputation for recommending products and services have developed familiarity with their audience for that behavior. Working with a new brand and talking about a topic or a product / service (with appropriate ad disclaimers) can inspire transaction.

Credibility is believability. The more credible a brand’s content is, the more likely it is to persuade and inspire action. Influencers can bring that credibility.

Modern Digital Commerce
A B2B pilot project we implemented for Oracle included a formidable 68 page ebook called the Executive’s Handbook to Modern Digital Commerce which featured influencers including Brian Solis, Stephen Monaco, Ed Cleary, Stewart Rogers and other B2B digital experts. The credibility of this ebook produced in combination with industry experts resulted in exceeding the conversion rate goal by 260%.

Retain

Bring utility to the community. Expanding the scope of who is influential to customers and community, brands can engage with influencers to participate in their community on everything from general best practices or tips to how to get the most out of the brands’ product/service.

Employees are influential too and showcasing staff in brand content can help humanize the brand with customers.

Infotain customers to stay. Engaging creators to develop useful content that is also entertaining for customers can go a long way towards retaining those customers. These can be routine communications to announcements or updates.


I think a great B2C example of Retain focused influencer content is the recent British Airways safety video featuring famous celebrities including Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson), Gordon Ramsay, Gillian Anderson (yes, she’s British), Thandie Newton, Sir Ian McKellen and a few more. I flew BA multiple times in a short period recently and this video was definitely a watchable part of the experience for me as a customer.

Advocate

Activate advocates. Bringing it back to reach through brand advocacy, brands can expand their view of influence to customers and activate those who show brand love to support sharing the good news.

Influential customer stories are powerful. Customer testimonials alone are great. Testimonials with customers that are influential, either personally or the brand, can go a long way towards supporting advocacy efforts.

Incentivize the good news. Incentives for referrals amongst influencers can inspire advocacy, but there must be an ad disclosure if compensation has been, or could be paid for that promotion effort.


For this one, I’ll use a personal example. I am a customer of BuzzSumo and I’m also an influencer who advocates for the brand. Most of this I do organically in presentations all over the world, in articles like this, in interviews and by sharing Steve Rayson and BuzzSumo’s content through my social channels on Twitter and LinkedIn. Steve reaches out to me from time to time for quotes, to do a webinar or speak at one of his events.  I was also one of the first to cover the Brandwatch acquisition of BuzzSumo. I can’t say how much value BuzzSumo has gained from my influencer advocacy, but I’m guessing it’s very much in the black 🙂

So, instead of thinking about influencers on the day you publish that amazing content you’ve worked so hard on, consider a more strategic approach that puts influencers in a partnership position to collaborate from the start. When you map out the stages of your customer journey and the content needed to help buyers make that journey, think about how working with influencers, experts and advocates can add that special sauce to your marketing mix.

Think about how the addition of credible experts with active audience engagement can add valuable perspective, inspiration, promotion and trust for conversion to your marketing content – across the entire customer lifecycle: attract, engage, convert, retain, advocate.

Of course if you would like to explore the true benefits of when the Content Marketing World and Influencer Marketing World intersect, well, that’s what we do at TopRank Marketing. We focus mostly on B2B influencer content programs but would be happy to chat about any projects you have in mind and then point you in the right direction.

The Paid Media Cube: A Framework to Clarify and Communicate Your PPC Strategy

Imagine you’re a PPC marketer working at a retailer specializing in hip, junk food clothing. Your clever use of paid spend made the Bacon Strips Crew Neck an all time best seller, nice work!

the bacon crewneck

Pictured: the highly successful Bacon Strips crew neck (via Getonfleek)

Then, let’s say you get a new VP of Marketing, and in your first meeting together she asks you to explain your PPC strategy and ways you’d improve it.

You spend all day optimizing PPC campaigns, but you’ve rarely needed to step back, evaluate, or justify your PPC strategy to others.

So self doubt kicks in, and you start asking yourself questions like:

  • “Do I really understand my PPC strategy?”
  • “How can I explain my approach to this VP without getting into the weeds?”
  • “Do I know what my next steps are?”

Without a clear understanding of how you’re approaching your paid spend, stakeholders only see your hefty budget, leaving you under pressure to deliver results.

In this post I’ll cover a framework for clarifying and communicating your PPC strategy to any and all stakeholders to prove confidence and good understanding. Because—no matter how complex your plan— stakeholders on your team should ideally understand how you’re defining success, and how to support you in execution.

Andy CrestodinaAndy Crestodina of Orbit Media agrees:

“Clarity is key. Keep [your paid strategy] simple and explicit. If there’s anything confusing about your plan, you’ll pay for it later in wasted time and/or budget.”

Further, this post will walk you through the Paid Media Cube framework for identifying any opportunities you might be leaving on the table.

Four questions to clarify your PPC strategy

To better clarify and communicate your PPC plans, first answer these four questions:

  1. Who are you trying to reach?
  2. Where are you going to reach them?
  3. How are you going to reach them?
  4. What are you going to offer them?

If you can’t answer the above in one to two sentences, your strategy is not clear. Go back to the drawing board, go through your campaigns, and get these answers.

Now I know, at this stage, you’re likely thinking:

  • “It’s not that simple, Tom. My PPC strategy is more complex than these four questions!”
  • “We are running PPC ads on several channels like AdWords, Bing, Facebook, and Display.”
  • “We are targeting multiple buyer journey stages such as awareness, consideration, and decision stages. We can’t possibly answer four questions for everything.”

To ensure the aforementioned four questions are helpful, I’ve found it’s best you further visualize and map every piece of your PPC approach into buckets. Beyond explaining your strategy, you need a tool to help you identify opportunities for improvement and growth.

Enter the Paid Media Cube: a tool to visualize and clarify your PPC strategy

Typically your PPC campaigns will involve display, paid social, and paid search channels within the awareness, consideration, and decision stages of your buyer’s journey.

The Paid Media Cube below helps you visualize your PPC traffic at the intersection of both your traffic channels and buyer journey stage. Once filled out for your paid campaigns, it can help you spot gaps and opportunities for growth.

Below is an example of what your campaigns would look like using the Paid Media Cube. I’ve mapped it out below as though we were planning paid spend for our junk food clothing line…
The PPC strategy Paid Media Cube, by SCUBE

Pictured: The Paid Media Cube featuring traffic channels and buyer stages (via SCUBE Marketing)
.

Looking at Paid Media Cube for the first time, you likely have 3 questions:

#1. Why do the names vary in all squares?

The names you see in each square stand in for campaign names. You may have a different terminology because of targeting or your naming conventions.

#2. How do I fill in each square?

Consider all the campaigns you have in your paid media accounts and think about the buyer journey stage your target would be in. Then map each campaign group to the appropriate square for the right stage and the right channel. Of course this leads us to the third and the most important question.

#3. Why map all campaigns to traffic channels and buyer journey stages like this?

This exercise helps ensure strong message match.

Your message and offer have to align to your buyer’s expectations at different stages of their journey, and make sense via the traffic source from which they discovered you.

This means your ads, landing pages, and offers will be different for display campaigns in the awareness stage versus paid search campaigns intended for the decision stage, for example.

The cube gives you an opportunity to step back and re-evaluate (and improve) your message to the paid media traffic you’re targeting.

Moreover, to better represent buyer intent, the colors of each square are different, beginning with cold colours (low buyer intent) and gradually increasing to hot colours (high buyer intent).

The reality is that your PPC campaigns may not be as complex as the example above. Instead, you may have something like this:
the partial paid media cube

Identify gaps in traffic channels and buyer stages with the Paid Media Cube (via SCUBE Marketing).

Once you map your campaigns to the Paid Media Cube, you can grow in few different ways:

  • Launch campaigns for a few buyer stages within the same traffic channel. If you notice are only running campaigns in the decision and consideration stage, you can expand into the awareness stage to ensure you’re not missing out on any opportunities.
  • Launch a new PPC channel you haven’t tried yet. If you are only running campaigns on paid search and paid social channels, test the display channel.
  • Expand your PPC channel approach. I.e. If you are running paid search campaigns on AdWords, replicate them in Bing Ads.

For best results combine the four questions with the Cube

Now you have two important tools: the Paid Media Cube and four questions to ask yourself about your campaigns.

Since each square in the Paid Media Cube represents a different stage of buyer intent, you’ll want to answer the four questions for each square.

For example, your company comes up with a new Chicken Ramen Sweatshirt product line, and you want to target geeks, EDM music fans, and junk food eaters on Facebook (paid social traffic in the awareness stage).
The ramen sweatshirt

Chicken Ramen Sweatshirt (via Beloved Shirts)

Here is where your campaigns would hypothetically fit into the Paid Media Cube:
four questions in the paid media cube

Answer the four strategy questions for each square above…(via SCUBE Marketing)

The answers to the four strategy questions would look like this:

  • Who are you trying to reach? Geeks, EDM music fans, and junk food eaters.
  • Where are you going to reach them? Paid Social (Facebook Ads).
  • How are you going to reach them? Target pages about geeky gadgets, EDM music, and junk food.
  • What are you going to offer them? Free ideabook with apparel ideas featuring Ramen noodles along with a 20% coupon for their first order.

Overall, after you complete one square, repeat the question process until you can clearly articulate the factors of your PPC strategy in full.

Stay ahead of the game

Once you have clarity yourself, you can easily communicate your PPC strategy to others.

Paid media marketers face pressure from all sides. Not only are you expected to produce results, but it’s also up to you to prove the value of your campaigns to those without a thorough understanding of your efforts.

Using the four questions I outlined above, alongside the Paid Media Cube, you’ll have a great start for clearly outlining your PPC strategy to others, but even if you’re fairly autonomous or independent the Cube will help ensure you’re running a full funnel of campaigns and not missing any potential opportunities.

Cake in the Supreme Court. Google and eBay Partner Up. What Nordstrom Does Well. – The Brief for 12.05.17

Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 12/05/17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

The goal of these posts is that there are trends and ideas here that might impact your business now or soon. Think on the stories here and look for ways to adjust your business accordingly. If ever you’re stuck, get in touch with me and I can help.

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

Please note that all links may be affiliate links. If someone is a client, I’ll call that out specifically.

Stories Shared

Google just released an app called Files Go that helps you skinny up your Android phone. No real trend here. Just useful.

Ebay just made a project with Google Home that lets you browse their wares. Pretty cool.

What does Nordstrom do that you can learn from? Turns out lots. This is where shop experiences must go.

YouTube points out how AI can fail us. They’re hiring 10,000 people to deal with dangerous and unseemly videos.

But a cool YouTube video? Check out Best Cover Ever starring Ludacris.

Verticals or horizontals? Quickr in India says vertical. Worth thinking about.

AOL founder Steve Case just launched a $150 Million fund for rural startup development.

Free speech vs human rights. That’s how the US Supreme Court version of the cake battle is being framed.

Cute comics that teach kids tolerance and diversity?
You can have that.

The video game Overwatch is shoring up its big boy pants with eSports league colors and a new token currency to go with it. There’s even a Boston team to root for!

I love showing cosplay from all around the world, but
nobody beats Tokyo at this game.

Hey, if this has been interesting, consider picking up my weekly newsletter. It’s all unique ideas by me about how to improve buyer interactions and grow your business. Give it a peek

What ELSE is News?

You want to get featured on the Chris Brogan Media show? Drop me an email: chris@chrisbrogan.com and let me know what’s news!

Please Get My Newsletter

My newsletter is the best work I do every week. You can get yours here.

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How Employee Engagement Helps Drive the Success of Your Marketing Efforts

As our world becomes increasingly driven by digital technologies and the workforce experiences generational shifts, employee engagement is rising as a top focus area for many companies. After all, according to Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace study, just 16% of the American workforce is “actively” engaged.

Of course, when employees aren’t engaged, they’re a flight risk. In fact, Gallup’s research also revealed that 51% of employees are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings. Furthermore, those employees who fall into the “actively disengaged” category, are almost twice as likely as engaged employees to seek new jobs. And when employees leave, that can have a big impact on your bottom line when it comes to recruiting and back-filling costs.

So, after reading all of that, you’re probably wondering: What does employee engagement have to do with marketing?

Well, marketer friends, the truth is that employee engagement has everything to do with marketing.

At the most basic level, without an army of engaged employees, your marketing efforts—whether it be recruiting top talent or fostering employee advocacy on social media—can’t reach their full potential. But on a deeper level, there are couple other important marketing benefits you could be missing out on:

Without an army of engaged employees, your #marketing efforts can’t reach their full potential. – @CaitlinMBurgess #EmployeeEngagement Click To Tweet

#1 – Engaged employees can be gold mines for marketing insights.

Regardless of department, every employee boasts first-hand insights into “who” your company is, what it cares about, what your customers are saying, the quality of your products or services, and what they see as the biggest value adds or opportunities.

As a result, your employees are absolute gold mines for getting insights that can help you refine and drive your marketing efforts. But in order to mine for those honest insights, employee engagement has to come front and center.

Why? Because employee engagement helps build rapport, strengthen communication and mobilize people to take a more active role. So, if employees aren’t engaged, they’ll be less likely to go the extra mile by sharing their insights with you.

Employees are absolute gold mines for getting insights that can help you refine & drive your #marketing efforts. @CaitlinMBurgess Click To Tweet

#2 – Engaged employees can help stretch your marketing dollars.

Marketers are often thought of the spenders within an organization, but engaged employees can help turn that notion on its head a bit. As mentioned in the section above, the insider insights that you can uncover are not only authentic and helpful, but they don’t cost you a thing—just the time and care in gathering them.

Of course, this means you can’t simply ask employees to weigh in from time to time. They need to feel like they’re valued from top to bottom within the organization, which means regular nurturing and engagement that trickles throughout the organization.

Don’t just ask employees to weigh in from time to time. Nurture them regularly. #EmployeeEngagement Click To Tweet

#3 – Employees can be your most powerful brand advocates.

Your employees are not only the people behind your brand, but also active consumers taking place in the marketplace, writing reviews, sharing recommendations verbally and via social media with friends and family, and researching their purchasing decisions. And they’re more than willing to share both positive and negative feedback about you online.

In fact, a couple years ago, a Weber Shandwick study found that 39% of employees had shared praise or positive comments about their employer online—and 16% had shared criticism or negative comments.

From my perspective, engaged employees are more likely to fall in the latter category. Why? Because when employees feel understood, valued and connected to something bigger than themselves, they feel pride—and pride is a reason to give praise. Furthermore, in today’s competitive talent landscape, current employees can be your best recruiters.

As a result, with a focus on employee engagement, you can unlock employee advocacy—and that’s the kind of marketing that money can’t buy.

With a focus on #EmployeeEngagement, you can unlock #EmployeeAdvocacy. @CaitlinMBurgess #marketing Click To Tweet

Help Kick-Start Your Company’s Employee Engagement Efforts

Employee engagement doesn’t happen overnight—nor does it happen with only the marketing department driving the initiative. Employee engagement has to be baked into your overall company culture to be successful.

So, where do you start? At the top.

Your company’s top leaders are the people who will give your employee engagement initiatives wings, helping the message and the commitment trickle down throughout the rest of the ranks.

A couple years back, TopRank Marketing leadership launched our Project Phoenix initiative as a way to actively listen and engage employees in constantly refining how we work together, as well as deliver more transparency as to business operations. As part of the initiative, employees are regularly surveyed on a variety of topics, which are then presented to the whole team for discussion and development of next steps.

From my perspective, this committment to engagement and learning has strengthened the resolve of the team members. More collaboration sessions are blossoming. More employees are feeling comfortable sharing their feelings and ideas with team members and leadership. And many people are setting personal and professional goals—with some putting down deeper roots within the organization and others spreading their wings and persuing new things.

All of this has also led to the recent launch of our Purpose Initiative, where we’re collectively digging deep to truly uncover how the company, every employee and our clients can be their best selves—so stay tuned for more on that in the future!

Also, if you’re in the mood for another example, check out Marketing Land column by Karen Steele of Marketo. In the post, she outlines the four steps her organization took to bake employee engagement into company culture, as well as the results they’ve seen.

#EmployeeEngagement has to be baked into your overall company culture to be successful. #marketing Click To Tweet

On the hunt for a new gig with an employer that cares about nurturing and engagement? TopRank Marketing is hiring! Check out our Careers page for open positions.

How 5 B2B Brands Are Using Snapchat and Instagram Stories

B2B brands are usually slow to jump on the latest social media craze train, and with good reason. Their audience might not even be on those social media networks. For example, Snapchat was originally full of teenagers and controversy — not a great place to grow brand awareness or share thought leadership. But my, oh my, how far we’ve come.

Today, networks like Snapchat, Instagram, Messenger, and other marketing channels are becoming new breeding grounds for B2B brands. But with frequent product updates introducing new features and advertising tools, brands are often left wondering what the best approach is.

One such feature is Stories: timed pictures or video clips that users can deck-out with text, filters, or stickers to spice-up their content. And it seems like every major app is jumping on this trend with Messenger, Facebook, and most recently YouTube creating their own version of a Stories feature. However, the jury is still out on the best ways to use them.

Well, we’re here to help you figure that out. Here are five B2B brands using Snapchat and Instagram Stories and how they’re using them to their advantage.

1. Cisco

One of the best ways to connect with an audience is through shared values. Cisco is well aware of this and utilizes their Snapchat Stories to share how their company and employees are making the world a better place. And because authentic content is seen as more genuine, Cisco actually allows their employees to run the account themselves. This way, their audience can see a true glimpse into the lives of Cisco employees and how they help others.


Image credit: Cisco

2. IBM

One of the key benefits of promoted Instagram or Snapchat Stories is that they allow you to geotarget your audience and create unique geofilters. With these features, brands can serve targeted Stories and custom filters to their audience based on their location. IBM has used this to their advantage in the past by creating special filters for their industry events. IBM can then promote the filters to event attendees and followers can see updates live from the event floor — creating an easy way for IBM to send relevant content to the right audience.


Image credit: IBM

3. Google

Brand storytelling at its finest. That’s how I would describe Google’s use of Instagram Stories. With Stories, Google shares brief vignettes with narrative captions to share inspiring stories of people using their products. Watch just a few and you’ll see how they sink their teeth into you and build up anticipation, encouraging you to complete their call to action and watch the full video. It’s a really effective and meaningful way for Google to share exactly how their solutions help solve both individual and global problems.


Image credit: Google

4. GE

GE is known for being an innovative company. But can you name exactly what they do? You might be able to name a few things, but the reality is that GE does too many things to name. Because of this, GE has been using Instagram Stories to share the unique things they do all over the world. Most notably, they took us deep into a volcano to sample active lava. Each story helps paint a picture for their audience, changing their public perception from an industrial giant to a creative innovator.


Image credit: Adweek

5. Mailchimp

Mailchimp, everyone’s go-to email service provider, uses Snapchat Stories to share scenes from fun events, creative images, and funny videos. With smart brand apparel, a hip monkey named Freddie, and really cool artwork, Mailchimp has an endless supply of creative and eye-catching content to share. And while it may seem like there’s not a unifying theme behind their Stories, it actually does a great job of showing off their brand’s eclectic personality. Through witty commentary and funky images, Mailchimp has personified their brand, building strong relationships with their followers.


Image credit: Recruiting Social

Up Your B2B Social Game

Don’t be hesitant to take the next step for your brand’s social media marketing. For more ideas on how your B2B brand can up your social media game, check out these social media tips and examples or our guide on Snapchat for B2B brands.

Not ready to expand your social media marketing on your own? Find out how we can help by taking a look at our social media marketing services.

Your Phone Reads Lips. Baymax Lives. 6 Second Ads. The Brief for 12.01.17

Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 12.01.17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

The goal of these posts is that there are trends and ideas here that might impact your business now or soon. Think on the stories here and look for ways to adjust your business accordingly. If ever you’re stuck, get in touch with me and I can help.

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

Please note that all links may be affiliate links. If someone is a client, I’ll call that out specifically.

Stories Shared

Saying your password out loud sounds like a bad plan. But what if your phone could read lips?

Remember Big Hero Six and the soft but strong robot? Super strong robots are here.

Ah porn. What better way to think of new ways to market and sell? Pornhub launched a pop-up store (no pun intended) and it’s actually a neat idea to copy.

Solar power is becoming cheaper and easier to create and distribute. Here’s a cool project in Kenya for instance.

Just because I’m not that much into AR/VR doesn’t mean you’re not. Want to get started in that space? Here’s some advice.

Oh, and related to that, Amazon just launched an AR platform called Sumerian.

No one loves ads. But shorter ads? We can get behind that. T-Mobile says 6 second ads are slaying it for them.

Chatbots are getting a bit more ubiquitous every day. 7-Eleven just launched theirs and it might give you some ideas.

What will the retail worker of the future look like? Here’s what Walmart’s CEO says.

Tis the season to drink, evidently. Here are some fun ways to put bourbon into your holiday dishes. You know. If you drink.

What is it like to be a professional cosplayer? Here’s how Kamui did it.

Hey, if this has been interesting, consider picking up my weekly newsletter. It’s all unique ideas by me about how to improve buyer interactions and grow your business. Give it a peek

What ELSE is News?

You want to get featured on the Chris Brogan Media show? Drop me an email: chris@chrisbrogan.com and let me know what’s news!

Please Get My Newsletter

My newsletter is the best work I do every week. You can get yours here.

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Digital Marketing News: F500 Are Visual, LinkedIn on Top, Business of Color

The Business of Color
From golden arches to red bulls, color is fundamental to our recognition of familiar brands and color affects the way people react when they first encounter a company. Vistaprint worked with Dr. Sally Augustin of Design With Color to develop recommendations for the design of places, objects, and services that support desired cognitive, emotional, and physical experiences. Vistaprint

Study: Social Media and Blog Usage by Fortune 500 Companies in 2017. Fortune 500 companies are increasingly using visual social networks such as Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, according to recent research conducted by Nora Ganim Barnes and Shannen Pavao at The Center for Marketing Research, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. MarketingProfs

Snapchat seeks salvation in long-form and “hands-on” AR ads. Snapchat has introduced two new forms of ads: Promoted Stories which string together multiple Snaps into a longer-form slideshows openable from a tile on the Stories page that’s shown to everyone in a given country, and Augmented Reality Trial ads that let people play with an AR version of a product overlaid on the world around them. TechCrunch

On-Page Content Continues to be Considered the Most Effective SEO Tactic. On-page content is considered to be effective by more marketers than any of the other SEO tactics outlined, whereas off-page content development and optimization is perceived to be effective by the fewest respondents (57% and 10%, respectively). Ascend2 Study via MarketingCharts

Announcing New Facebook Tools for the Creator Community. The new Facebook Creator app is a one stop shop for creators of all kinds, to help take their passions to the next level. With the app, creators can easily create original video, go live with exclusive features, and connect with their community on Facebook. Facebook Newsroom

LinkedIn continues to be the most popular social platform for Fortune 500 companies. 98% of Fortune 500 companies have set up shop on LinkedIn to tell their story, network, stimulate word of mouth and recruit. Four hundred and eighty-eight companies on the F500 list are using LinkedIn in 2017. UMass / Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research (LinkedIn is a TopRank Marketing client)

93% read reviews

Report: By 2019 Two-Thirds Of Global Display Ads Will Be Traded Programmatically. Programmatic ad sales are growing at an annual average rate of 21% per year, according to Publicis Groupe Zenith’s latest report, Programmatic Marketing Forecasts. This year’s estimate is $57.5 billion. MediaPost

Study: B2B Marketers Find Content Downloads Drive Conversions. Two-thirds of those polled said content downloads generated leads with the best conversion rates, more than webinar registration (45%), demo requests (37%), surveys and polls (26%) and even free trials. eMarketer

Fake-Ad Operation Used to Steal From Publishers Is Uncovered. Adform says ‘Hyphbot’ scheme created fake websites, nonhuman traffic to scam advertisers of more than $500,000 a day. Wall Street Journal

The Impact of 17 Factors on Google Search Rank. Direct website traffic is the factor that most influences how well pages rank on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs), according to recent research from SEMRush. What were the other top factors? Find out on MarketingProfs

Facebook Will Show Americans What Russian Propaganda Posts They Read. Now you can find out which Russian propaganda pages or accounts you’ve followed and liked on Facebook, due to a request from Congress to address manipulation and meddling during the 2016 presidential election. AdAge

TopRank Marketing in the News

  • Amy Higgins – Content Marketing Conversations: Marketer Amy Higgins Demystifies Buzzwords – Flipboard
  • Debbie Friez – Facebook Hacks by Top 13 Industry Experts to Increase Fans Engagement and Activity – M&M blog
  • Steve Slater – 150 Years of the Best Holiday Campaigns: M&M’s Stumble Upon Santa – Big Commerce
  • Amy Higgins & Lee Odden – A Few ‘Kick-Start Your Career’ Tips From Top 6 Most Influential Women (Plus One Man) in Content Marketing – Prowly Magazine
  • @LeeOdden – 12 Best Twitter Accounts to Learn About Marketing – Xpand Blog
  • @LeeOdden – Top 100 Social Media People to Follow on Twitter – Revive Social

Jake Murphy
Welcome to our newest team member Jake Murphy as Graphic Designer!

Elizabeth Williams
Congratulations to Account Manager, Elizabeth Williams, on her first year anniversary with TopRank Marketing!

What was the top digital marketing news story for you this week?

Be sure to stay tuned until next week when we’ll be sharing all new marketing news stories. Also check out the full video summary with Tiffani and Josh on YouTube.

Content Marketing Lessons from 4 Holiday Advertising Fails

Making a great holiday ad should be simple. Start with a heartwarming message about love, peace, and goodwill. Add twinkling lights and evergreen trees and families getting warm by a fire. Then add your brand’s logo discreetly toward the bottom right. There you have it – a holiday ad that won’t offend, creep out, or annoy anyone.

It’s an easy formula, but one that a surprising number of brands mess up every year. Fortunately for us, they mess up in entertaining and educational ways. It’s almost easier to learn from a cautionary tale than a role model, so reveling in bad marketing can make you a better marketer.

These four holiday ads are certified disastrous, each in their own special way. And each has a lesson – or two – that marketers can use all year round. So prepare yourself for blasphemous meat products and yodeling cats: It’s time for some festive marketing fails.

1. Sour Sentiment from KFC

Last year, KFC created this music video, which is inexplicably three minutes long:

If you have better things to do with three minutes, the song is about how awful the holidays are, how people are annoying, how children are the absolute worst…but we can all come together because KFC is delicious.

KFC’s a notoriously “edgy” brand on social media, so it makes sense they would launch a sourball right at the heart of the holiday season. But this video leaves a worse aftertaste than their potato wedges do.

I believe comedy is great for marketing. But there are so many layers of irony and misanthropy here that it’s hard for the joke to breathe – by the time the gospel choir comes in, it’s impossible not to roll your eyes. And even if it made you chuckle all the way through, did it make you hungry for KFC?

My Content Marketing Takeaway: Humor is great for marketing. Irony less so. Snarkiness infinitely less so. Stick with humor that invites your audience into your tribe and makes them feel good.

2. Sainsbury’s Turns a War Story into a Commercial

On the complete opposite side of the irony spectrum, we have the absolute deadly earnestness of Sainsbury’s Christmas ad from 2016. After you watch the video, you’re invited to watch two different behind-the-scenes videos – they’re that proud:

The ad tells the true story of American and German troops in 1914 that called a cease-fire on Christmas Day. They sang songs together, celebrated the holiday, and then returned to trying to kill each other the next day (the video stops short of that last bit).

There’s nothing wrong with telling this story, and even nothing wrong with a brand telling it. But it’s still cringe-inducing to have that ad tagline and Sainsbury’s logo pop up at the end. It makes me feel manipulated by a brand, rather than entertained by a story.

My Content Marketing Takeaway: If your brand is approaching sensitive subject matter, keep the branding subtle. Let the content take center stage, and don’t turn a beautiful moment into a commercial.

3. Gregg Bakery’s Sausage Savior

British bakery chain Greggs stirred up controversy this year with their advent calendar announcement. The ad featured a nativity scene with a sausage roll in place of the baby Jesus. Not surprisingly, some Christians objected to the imagery. And some people thought it was hilarious. And the bakery apologized while not really apologizing.

Greggs picked up some free publicity from the stunt, of course. But none of that publicity had to do with their delicious pastries. And they’re getting eyerolls from folks who are tired of edgy brands courting controversy during the holidays. It’s a tired move.

My Content Marketing Takeaway: I’m all for drawing in your tribe, even to the extent of repelling those who aren’t your target audience, by leading with your brand’s values. Stirring up pointless controversy doesn’t tell anyone about your brand, and doesn’t make a meaningful distinction to your target audience.

4. Whatever This Is that Walmart Did

My words are my livelihood. My words are my only weapon against the world. But for this… I have no words. Just watch.

So. Yodeling cat in a Santa hat for 51 seconds: Walmart! Right?

The thing is, this ad made some kind of sense back in 2011, when it came out. It fits in with an animation trend from the late ‘00s. Today, it’s just ugly and off-putting. And, of course, even back in the day it didn’t have anything to do with Wal-Mart.

My Content Marketing Lesson: Make your marketing timeless rather than trendy, useful rather than “viral,” sensible instead of utter screaming nonsense.

Happy Holidays and Beyond

When holiday advertising works, it’s a fine example of what content marketing can be: Uplifting, entertaining, empathetic, even valuable. When too much snark, aggressive branding, pointless controversy, or cat-yodeling gets in the way – well – at least it can serve as a warning to the rest of us.

Are you already looking past the holidays to the New Year? Explore four important marketing channels for 2018.

Robot Burger Flippers. Amazon vs Walmart. Can AI Detect Suicidal Thoughts? – The Brief for 11.29.17

Here are the notes from the Chris Brogan Media broadcast for 11/29/17. (You can watch this on my Facebook account).

The goal of these posts is that there are trends and ideas here that might impact your business now or soon. Think on the stories here and look for ways to adjust your business accordingly. If ever you’re stuck, get in touch with me and I can help.

This live video was all shot using Ecamm Live (client), the best way to do Facebook Live for Mac.

Please note that all links may be affiliate links. If someone is a client, I’ll call that out specifically.

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Is your job robot safe? Maybe spreadsheets will save you. But there’s a reason why.

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In my ongoing effort to explain what blockchain will do for you, here’s how it might help the Canadian cannabis industry.

This article is worth absorbing and thinking about for days. What will a browserless web do for YOUR business? (Hint: Nothing good for a bunch of us.)

I couldn’t pick my favorite cosplay story today. Parents with cute kid cosplayers

… or budget cosplay worth a laugh. You decide.

Hey, if this has been interesting, consider picking up my weekly newsletter. It’s all unique ideas by me about how to improve buyer interactions and grow your business. Give it a peek

What ELSE is News?

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