Your audience varies. While you may appreciate a long-copy whitepaper, another prospect may simply want to review a feature list before they contact you for business. This great infographic from ContentPlus, a UK-based content marketing service, provides an overview of the variety of content offerings that exist, why they work, and some supporting data. They also have an accompanying blog post that ties it all together.
Internet users have become sophisticated content consumers in recent years, and their preferences continue to evolve. Gone are the days when brands could satisfy their audiences’ needs by just publishing bog-standard posts that conveyed the same information as everyone else in their industry. The organisations that leverage content marketing successfully today are the ones that deliver compelling content in the formats preferred by their audiences, and this is the topic of our new infographic Content Strategy Pick ‘n’ Mix.
There are hundred of apps that claim to “increase productivity” and “optimize company workflow,” but how many apps actually do? We’ve selected a list of 8 apps that actually make your workday easier, and team collaboration more enjoyable in the process.
Did we miss any of your favorite team collaboration apps? If so, please let us know in the comments section below.
Dropbox is the quintessential app for file-sharing and document collaboration. Through Dropbox, you can share PDFs, files and folders. When you star a file, you can access it offline later on.
The free app comes with 2.5 GB of free storage space, with options to upgrade your account at a flat rate of $100 per year for 100 GB of space. Dropbox also offers 250 MB of storage for free when you complete five out of seven Getting Started tasks.
Flow makes project management incredibly easy and collaborative. Many business apps try to do too much, resulting in an overwhelming and stress-inducing experience. Flow’s clean, simple design, however, brings a zen-like peace of mind to task management. Plan a project by creating a folder, adding in lists for each project component and writing in an itemized task for each list. You can delegate tasks to co-workers via email, even if the person you’re delegating the task to doesn’t have a Flow account.
The activity log helps everyone involved in a project see when someone is assigned a task and when someone completes it.
This app is ideal if you work in any kind of visually creative field. From planning concert brochures to laying out next month’s magazine cover, Skitch makes it easy to communicate visually.
Image courtesy of Evernote
Salesforce offers an array of options for business-related apps that run on the cloud for seamless work-integration and collaboration.
The Sales Cloud is Salesforce’s CRM app. Its Leaderboard feature shows each sales team member’s rank. It also comes with access to a prioritized list of your top leads so that you can see them all on one page. The Sales Cloud also includes a page with customer contact information and links to their social profile so you can monitor their interaction with your brand on social media.
Social.com is a social advertising management app and is part of Salesforce’s Social Marketing platform. This app helps you manage all of your ad campaigns across every social media platform, from Twitter to Facebook. Social.com helps you target a specific audience and time of day in order to maximize your social reach. It automatically runs higher performing ads, so you get the most out of your campaigns. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud recently expanded its “listening” power to China and Russia through deals with each country’s primary social network.
The Service Cloud is Salesforce’s Customer Service app. It brings together all of your company’s customer support into one place and then directs certain issues to the appropriate channel, whether it’s to a 1-800 number, email address or social media channel. If there’s any problems fixing a problem, the Service Cloud has a task status feature that you can “Escalate” in order to alert your coworkers of the issue and solve the problem collaboratively. You can even facetime with customers through the app. The Weekly Agent Productivity feature provides incentive to solve situations quickly, while the customer satisfaction metrics let you know how good of a job your team is doing.
Dynamics Business Analyzer is Microsoft’s free CRM app. The app requires Windows 8 or Windows RT to run, and features a colorful metrics dashboard so you can copy, edit, view and refresh reports directly on your desktop. You can customize which reports you want to include on the dashboard, ranging from gross profit reports to sales per month reports. This app integrates with the Windows 8 edition of Lync so that co-workers can collaborate directly on the reports.
Image courtesy of Microsoft
6. Google Apps
The Google Apps for Business suite includes the Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides for collaboration in the cloud. Google offers a free 30-day trial and charges $5 per employee.
Google Hangouts is also a popular business app by Google. Hangouts are especially useful if you have employees who work remotely, as they can participate virtually in meetings and brainstorm sessions. You can share photos or emojis and add up to 10 friends per hangout.
Tempo is a calendar management tool that pulls in contextual information about your daily events — from contact information to driving directions. Every day, Tempo generates a daily schedule that you can preview either in calendar or list view.
Tempo is not specifically targeted toward businesses, but it can be especially helpful for pulling in email information about meetings or corporate events. The app comes with built-in Foursquare and Yelp integration, so locating your meeting is painless.
Evernote Business breaks down communication barriers between departments. This democratization of knowledge facilliates collaborative problem solving, which drives faster solutions. Evernote Business also makes it easier for customer feedback to influence strategy.
Evernote Business easily integrates with your existing Evernote account and grants you access to Evernote Premium. With a Premium account, you get access to 2 GB of personal memory a month, and your company gets an extra 2 GM to share in Business Notebooks.
Shortly after the Superdome lights went dark during Super Bowl XLX in February, Oreo tweeted a qipppy photo, which immediately launched a “real-time marketing” fervor.
Since then, people have mentioned Oreo and real-time marketing nearly 2 million times on Twitter, and countless articles and panel sessions have examined how marketers can replicate the “Oreo moment.”
But the truth is, real-time marketing success starts with a brand’s day-to-day activity, not a single well-timed moment. Don’t swing for the fences your very first time out. Implement small, real-time marketing initiatives on a regular basis; patiently teach your audience they can expect timely, relevant communications from your brand. Then, when a really big opportunity arises, your team is poised and ready to make the most of it.
“You need to cultivate the principle of little bets, a concept coined by Peter Sims,” explains author Jon Burkart to Fast Company. “In other words, the willingness to foster lots of small, experimental creativity to put things out there and see what sticks.”
You must also understand the tone and nuances of the conversations taking place in the spaces where you are socially active. Your interactions need to be creative, highly contextual and timely, on topic and pitch-perfect. And people need to know you, or they might not listen.
Finally, don’t get caught in the trap of thinking real-time marketing is just about newsjacking. In fact, it’s more about “trend” jacking: inserting your brand in relevant, timely conversations on an ongoing basis.
So how do you get there?
1. Get your team and process in place.
The first step is putting a great team and process in place. You want to staff channels well, giving teams the dedicated time and ability to immerse themselves as regular and authentic community cogs, with a trusted voice and point of view.
The team also needs to closely integrate with the other processes in the organization. Oreo had strategists, marketers and even legal working together to streamline creative production, decision-making and approvals. Take the time to analyze how your organization works, as well as who needs to be a part of the process. And figure out how you can facilitate internal collaboration around news and activity across all your platforms.
2. Identify the high-level communities relevant to your brand.
If you’re GoPro, a high-performance camera for adventure athletes, you’ll wade into freestyle aerialist ski competitions, park and pipe events, downhill mountain biking and skydiving. Identify the core areas in which your brand plays, then start to map out adjunct areas to research and verify across social channels.
For example, if Burton snowboards notices GoPro is trending, it could immediately kick off a Twitter campaign tied to the #GoPro hashtag. The brand could tweet out a series of awesome videos on the hashtag or even provide a just-in-time offer for that community, which would be highly relevant to that audience.
3. Monitor the space closely.
Your team should also begin to identify the daily trends, topics, sub-topics, quirks, habits, news and tendencies in each of your spaces. Discover the influencers and their roles in the community. Start to gauge the tone, attitudes and flavor of the population. Set alerts in your social media analytics tools when conversations start to gain momentum around certain key phrases or search terms. Track and monitor buzz to reply or share key pieces of content.
4. Start generating high-quality, quick turnaround content.
All of this setup will situate you in an excellent position to start generating content. Retweet the top viral content and post to your social networks, or engage directly with influential people who are tweeting. You can even create small campaigns on the fly.
For example, if people start tweeting about a freestyle skier’s new mohawk, Red Bull could start a Twitter debate or even a voting campaign to get people engaged in the discussion, with the brand at the center of it all. Or if you discover a photo going viral in one of your communities, grab it and start a caption contest on Facebook. Wade out gently at first to test the waters, perhaps sharing content with your lesser channels to see how it goes over.
As you advance, build content from the conversation into social ads, particularly as you see traction for particular content or campaigns.
MediaWhiz’s Keith Trivitt shares advice for sporting brands that could apply to all businesses’ real-time marketing strategies: “The reality of real-time social media marketing in sports is that it’s not just the big, epochal moments that make for great marketing opportunities for brands. It’s what you do to integrate your brand within the broader context of the sporting event, between the pitches, between the downs and after the whistle blows, that sets the digitally savvy brands apart from [the] bystanders.”
How does your brand fit into relevant social media discussions? Share your real-time marketing strategies and tips in the comments below.
Image courtesy of Flickr, Selbe B
In the latest of our posts looking at how major brands use the four main social networks I’ve decided to turn the spotlight on Pepsi.
The drinks brand is forced to play second fiddle to Coca-Cola’s global dominance, and is unlikely to ever match its rival’s huge social following.
However it should still make an interesting case study, particularly with its long list of brand ambassadors. This post follows on from similar blogs looking at brands such as McDonald’s, Nike, Burberry and Walmart.
So without further ado, here is a quick overview of how Pepsi use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+…
Pepsi’s Facebook page is a bit of a conundrum. It has some 17 million fans yet it hasn’t been updated since way back in July 2012.
In fact one of the most recent updates is a video of Fernando Torres when he had long blonde hair, which shows just how dated it really is.
On the face of it the page appears to be official as prior to going silent it posted almost daily updates promoting Pepsi’s ad campaigns and brand ambassadors.
The updates achieved almost zero interaction though, with very few achieving more than 50 comments and ‘likes’, which is also odd as although they’re extremely brand focused they aren’t much worse than a great deal of other corporate Facebook updates.
What’s perhaps most bizarre is that Pepsi recently created a ‘Like Machine’ that traded free samples in return for smartphone owners giving the brand the thumbs up on Facebook.
This is a fairly shameless way of scraping customer data if you’re not then going to make any effort to entertain them once they’ve been lured into becoming fans of the brand.
If you compare Pepsi’s silent page to Coca-Cola’s social efforts and the storming success it’s had just by writing random names on the side of cans then one would assume that Pepsi might soon be hiring a new Facebook page admin.
Pepsi’s sub-brands do a far better job of posting fresh content and responding to fans comments.
For example, Pepsi Max posts new updates almost every day, most recently focusing around its sponsorship of cricket or featuring the magician Dynamo.
The updates featuring Dynamo’s bus levitation trick achieved a huge amount of interactions and were shared more than 120,000 times, however these were the exception rather than the norm.
In general Pepsi Max’s updates achieve just a few hundred ‘likes’ and comments despite having more than 1.1 million fans.
One noteworthy Pepsi Max promotion was its ICC Champions Trophy competition that offered people the chance to win tickets to the event.
To enter users had to upload a photo of themselves with a Pepsi at a Walkabout Bar either through a Facebook app, Twitter or on Instagram using the hashtag #MaxItToWin.
It seems like a good idea but unfortunately it looks like only about 30 people actually entered.
Pepsi NEXT’s updates and level of interactions are largely similar to Pepsi Max, however it also has to deal with a number of critical comments about the health risks of the drink.
Pepsi recently had to change the recipe of NEXT due to health risks associated with the artificial sweeteners it contained, however consumers clearly haven’t aren’t yet ready to forgive and forget.
Pepsi is another brand with a confusingly broad range of Twitter feeds. There’s PepsiCo, Pepsi Max, Pepsi Max Crew, PepsiCo Deals, PepsiCo Jobs, Pepsi Next, as well as feeds for many of the countries in which the drink is sold.
As you’d expect most of the feeds have very few followers, however the main Pepsi account has managed to attract a following of 1.6 million people, some 600,000 more than Coca-Cola.
The social team tweets several times per day with the general focus being on the brand’s association with Beyoncé and its current ‘Live for Now’ campaign.
The idea is to promote Pepsi as an exciting, youthful brand that people associate with having a good time, so its feed is littered with hashtags such as #LiveForNow, #IconicSummer, #PoolParty and #duh.
It’s all rather corporate and dull in my opinion, but it does also throw in frequent ticket competitions for Beyoncé’s world tour, which is a good way of attracting more followers.
The ads offered some fans exclusive ‘meet and greet tickets’ with a ‘queue-jumping’ competition. After tweeting the hashtag ‘#MeetBeyonce’ fans could visit the Pepsi Max site and see where they were positioned in a virtual queue.
At three random times during the day, the person at the front of the queue won the meet and greet tickets.
The ads were targeted at relevant keywords such as ‘Beyoncé’, ‘love Beyoncé’, ‘Jay Z’ and ‘Beyoncé tour’. Pepsi Max also used gender, geography and device targeting to specifically reach women located in the United Kingdom, on mobile.
Overall the campaign resulted in a 20.8% average engagement rate and more than 150,000 mentions.
Looking again at the main account, Pepsi’s social team also responds to occasional @mentions by other users, though not more than a handful each day and generally only to positive comments.
Many other brands have dedicated customer service channels on Twitter but Pepsi appears to largely ignore complaints, or it might be that it leaves them for local markets to deal with.
The PepsiCo feed appears to operate in much the same way. It responds to quite a few @mentions each day but it tends to be mainly positive comments.
As far as I can tell Pepsi NEXT is the only Pepsi brand that has an official Pinterest account. Despite being active for more than seven months it has pinned just 213 images across 14 boards, attracting a mere 1,078 followers.
One of the reasons for this could be that the boards are all slightly random. Many of the older boards tie into NEXT’s ‘Unbelievable’ campaign, so there are collections named ‘Unbelievable events’, ‘Unbelievable Places’ and ‘Unbelievable Party Parapernalia’. But then in among those there are other boards named ‘Homemade Holiday’ and ‘Sampling Events.’
The images themselves are quite interesting, but the social team has included too much text on the pins in my opinion. Also, the unbelievable lists are all taken from Buzzfeed advertorials.
The more recent boards are even worse and just include images and videos from Pepsi adverts that all link back to the product’s official website. Another one is called ‘Pepsi NEXT’ and just includes nine different product images.
It’s hardly the sort of thing that people are going to want to share in great numbers.
Pepsi NEXT is also another example of a brand that has used Pinterest to run a competition. Users had to create a board named ‘Unbelievable Pepsi Next Party’ and pin a branded Pepsi image as well as at least two images depicting their ultimate super bowl party.
It attracted several hundred entries, which isn’t actually that bad for this kind of competition.
Finally, there is an account that purports to be for PepsiCo, however it doesn’t have the official Pinterest tick.
It has created 12 boards for topics such as ‘Innovate Globally’ and ‘Sustainability’ but many of them have only a couple of pins. In general the content is fairly dull and corporate, so it’s unsurprising that it has just 600 followers.
Pepsi is another brand that puts very little effort into its G+ page and generally posts just one or two updates per month. Even so, it has managed to attract just over 700,000 followers.
The posts tend to be images or videos of Beyoncé or other musicians, and rarely achieve more than a few hundred interactions.
Pepsi’s apparent indifference to G+ is by no means unusual and I’ve previously highlighted 10 major brands with dreadful Google+ pages. As far as I can tell, Pepsi’s other brands haven’t bothered with G+ at all.
However there is a G+ page for PepsiCo Jobs that is updated on an almost daily basis.
The content is all based around PepsiCo product launches and marketing campaigns, as well as occasional updates on the company’s interns. It’s not particularly interesting and only has around 1,000 followers.
by David Moth