Slaying the Stellar Blogs

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So one of my assignments is to review some of the top 3 bloggers… prepare to be slain!

“Most of the things we avoid are avoided because we’re afraid of being afraid. Too meta? Sorry, but it’s true.” http://sethgodin.typepad.com/ Isn’t that a killer intro? This is my favourite post. I love Seth Godin. I appreciate how short it is and how well written it work is. I’m not one for huge essay blogs… it’s too hard to take in. The content is so clean, it avoids big words and it was the most shared out of the top bloggers I was looking at. I appreciate his voice.

Mitch Joel 6 Links worth your time. http://www.twistimage.com/blog/ This one wasn’t so much of a blog as it was a forum. Mitch found 6 interesting links ( I gather 6 is his magic number) and posted them. He simply asked people to comment with a link they found interesting. People love feeling like they’re a part of something. The response was huge. Sometimes content just has to be sharable.

Bernedette Jiwa is the master of story telling, it’s her niche. Her blog http://thestoryoftelling.com/undervalued-vs-one/#disqus_thread (though a little long for my liking) is still engaging. She has a unique voice that carries you to the end. She ends it with a question, a good way to engage with your readers. She had 5 comments, I think it would be even more impactful if she responded to some of them.

All in all… I didn’t have to do much slaying. There is a reason why their blogs are so popular; they are great examples of how to write a compelling blog.

One more example of a well written blog that is lengthy but still keeps my attention is one by Shaun Withers industriousanimals.com. 

I’m going to take my advice and leave you with a question. Who is your favourite blogger?

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Social Media is NOT a Job

Excuse me? Could you repeat that please?

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While I was working on an assignment (yes I’m such a diligent student) I saw in my side feed and article “20 things the 20-Year-Olds Don’t Get” (see how diligent I am?) … 

This article really appealed to me because I’m 21 and, well, curiousity kills the cat. So I clicked it and for the most part I can see where Jason Nazar is coming from but I became a little perturbed when I read  “Social Media is Not a Career – These job titles won’t exist in 5 years. Social media is simply a function of marketing; it helps support branding, ROI or both.  Social media is a means to get more awareness, more users or more revenue.  It’s not an end in itself.  I’d strongly caution against pegging your career trajectory solely to a social media job title.” I happen to specialize in digital marketing so a huge part of what I study is social media and when I graduate I aspire to be a social media marketer.

I think he has a valid point that a lot of things in social media come and go… planned obsoletion but I think there is always something there to replace it. Digital marketing is here to stay but the major platforms may disappear that’s why it’s my job to keep an eye out for the next big trend in the digital world and be forward thinking. 

How forward thinking are you?

 

 

Paper Beats Rock BUT Apple Beats Coke

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Apple has surpassed Coke as the world’s No.1 brand, according to the international brand consulting firm Interbrand.
The company has been ranking brands in its annual reports since 2000, and this is the first year that Coca-Cola is not at the top of its list of 100 top global brands, released Monday.
Interbrand estimates the value of Apple’s brand at $98.3 billion US, an increase of 28 per cent over last year.

The 2013 report begins: “Every so often, a company changes our lives, not just with its products, but with its ethos. This is why, following Coca-Cola’s 13-year run at the top of Best Global Brands, Interbrand has a new No. 1 – Apple.” – Jezz Frampton
Wow, an article about the two top brands of my advertising world. In the Business Standard article Frampton was quoted saying that that Apple was “very much the poster child of the marketing community.” Now, I was under the impression that Apple was on the decline but they are the masters of planned obsoletion and keep us on our toes. I just wonder how the most “valuable” brand is calculated? This week in SEO class we talked about Assets. Not all assets are tangible so what is their worth? How could anyone even guess their brand’s value. To me it sounds like these numbers are made up. Is it possible that Apple’s numbers are skewed?
I found a great article that went more in depth to explain a brand’s value. Aswath Damodaran made a brand comparison to demonstrate a brand’s true value. “If you as a company tell me that you have a brand name, I’m going to ask you a question: ‘Do you have the power to charge a higher price for the same product?'” Damodaran said, “If your answer is no, I don’t think you have a brand. You may think you do, but I don’t think your brand has any value.” To prove the value of brand names, Damodaran compared two companies making similar products: Coca-Cola and Cott, makers of RC Cola. “Soda is water with a bunch of sugar and a lot of crap thrown in. You can put whatever you want on the outside of the can, but there is really no difference between a cola and another cola. You may say that Coca-Cola tastes different — that’s what 100 years of playing with your mind does to you,” he stated. The cola business, then, is all about branding, not the product, he stated.

“Damodaran valued Coca-Cola’s business at $79.6 billion, while the value of Cott was limited to $15.4 billion. To figure out the pricing premium, he simply subtracted Cott’s value from Coca-Cola’s value, arriving at a $64.2 billion total worth for Coke’s brand alone. That’s about 80% of the company’s value. Damodaran noted that the key number driving the valuation is the companies’ operating margins — Coca-Cola’s margin is 15.57%, while Cott’s is 5.28%. The typical company has an operating margin of 5-7%, so Coca-Cola’s margin is phenomenal. The bottom line: If Coca-Cola suddenly lost its brand name tomorrow, its operating margins would drop to around 5.28%, and it would lose $64.2 billion of value.” (Erica Swallow summarizing Damodaran)

So the image of the brand and it’s name is more important than the actual product. The consumers decide a brand’s worth. So today I guess we decided Apple beats Coke but who knows what will beat Apple tomorrow.

Come and Get ‘Em – Farm Girl Fresh Keywords

This week in Web Marketing class we were assigned our first SEO client and despite recent news of Google pulling keywords our assignment was to come up with Keywords for Farm Girl food truck.

Now before you get your nickers is a knot, Google will still have keywords, it’ll just be harder to prove their worth but they’re still relevant.

We had to assess the food truck’s current keywords and pick new appropriate ones that would better suit their needs. My prof. pointed out that people don’t search the internet for food trucks. Most people go to food trucks because of convenience… they just happen to be in the same area. 

So we needed to revisit who would be searching for the very unique food truck’s website. It was decided that it would be other media outlets looking for a unique venue, like Farm Girl. The Food Network would be a prime example of the kind of  attention that the food truck could use.

After several brainstorms my partner and I decided that Farm Girl should serve a dish that was featured on the Food Network and use link to their website to increase SEO. Then Food Network could be on of their keywords and they wouldn’t be black hatted. A few keywords we thought would be good fit are “Food Network recipe, favorite pumpkin recipe, Kingston food truck, and foodie heaven”

So when picking keywords, it’s important to keep your audience in mind and think what they would be looking for.

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Does your Brand have Personality?

There’s this great article I found from a fantastic social media blogger (Aaron Lee voted the top 10 social media bloggers). He talked about the 8 ways to humanize your brand http://askaaronlee.com/humanize-social-media/ His list was very inspiring and I think a lot of social media sites should pick up on them. Humanizing your brand really gives your company (a distant and impersonal thing) a personality which I think makes it relevant and relatable to people. I can trust a company with a face. Brands should do more than just push products at me, they should have life and should be interesting to their followers. No one wants to keep up with a company that posts about themselves all the time. People are self involved and they want to hear about what you/your brand can do for them.
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Brands don’t have to be boring. Give yours a big personality, one that people can’t ignore.

Advertising is Art

One of my profs made the statement “Advertising is an art, not a science.” This really stood out to me and it reminded me of a documentary that a friend (and Netflix) recommended to me, Art and Copy. It was all about the advertising business and what goes into making ads. There were some great points made in the movie but it really demonstrated that advertising is the new form of modern art. It put everything in a new light.  “There will always be somebody with a message” and advertising just tries to convey that message… no different than the cavemen drawing their stories on the wall.

In the film someone said that the more honest and creative an ad is, the better it will be perceived. They then went on to say that people have a right to be mad at advertisers because of the amount of trash that gets aired. What they meant by trash was anything that was not illuminating, inspiring, or truthful but the cardinal sin was talking to the consumers like they’re stupid.

“People don’t mind being sold to if they understand why it’s happening and they enjoy the process.” – Jeff Goodby

There are some amazing truths in this documentary. I feel like the industry tries too hard to sell but if it just took a step back and focused on the message and how the message is conveyed, the selling would take care of itself.

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Are We Losing Our Creativity?

Are we getting educated out of creativity?

Advertising is all about creativity and my profs really try to nurture whatever little creativity we have left. Brian, my media sales prof, pointed out that somewhere along the way children lose their creativity. He said children are unashamed and just do the first thing that pops into their heads. We definitely lose this as we get older. I watched a TEDTalk about the post secondary school system making students afraid to be wrong.

Just this week I was doing some group work and an idea was presented. It was a little eccentric but it had potential. The group shot it down to go with a safer option… but why? No risk equals no reward right? They went with what we thought was the safest, not the best and it’s because they were scared of being wrong. They’ll probably get an A but at what cost? What happened to a little creative integrity? Why is it such a risk to be creative? New innovations all start from creativity and don’t innovations move our world forward?

My point is that creativity should be embraced with open arms. Next time someone has an idea that’s a little out there…hear them out.