Category Archives: Content Creation

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?Since the Facebook-owned application,Instagram, introduced the video feature to it’s users a few weeks ago—there has been one question on my mind: How long will it be until we begin to see television-like commercials and ads on our social feeds?

With the new addition of video recording, Instagram latched onto the coat tails of the video app Vine, and catapulted itself into first place. But the competitive drive is still in the air, and with this resurgent popularity of video sharing online, (which isn’t really a new development, but rather a new conversation about an existing technology) it is obvious that if companies use this opportunity to do a little video marketing, they can tap into a potentially huge new advertising revenue stream.

Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom is consistently repeating that the application is all about the users, but with the burgeoning new trends in social media marketing and the use of Instagram for branding and product highlighting, it is clear that this update provides a marketing advantage to business owners using the app.

Do Videos on Social Networking Platforms mean TV Style Advertising?

Systrom was interviewed after the event announcing the video feature’s addition, and he believes that the near-term opportunities for brands to use the video feature would be similar to how they’re using Instagram photos currently—which is to capture moments at events that build on the brand’s image. And of course, Instagram is also used to snap shots of products, services, employees, customer testimonials, and more.

The CEO believes that video will just be an extension of this process, but as an avid Instagram user, my biggest fear is that perhaps companies will take advantage of the new feature in order to bring us a series of disruptive, unoriginal, and irrelevant commercials like the ones we are annoyed by on cable television—which is a primary reason that many Americans have switched to streaming their shows using services like Netflix or Hulu+.

Of course, this may only become frustrating for users who actually “follow” brands on their social networks, but of the 130 million people using Instagram, it is safe to assume that many are following their favorite celebrities and companies—patiently awaiting the next opportunity for gossip or discounts.

Every mat has a story to tell. #justmymat

A post shared by lululemon (@lululemon) on

Minutes after video on Instagram was announced, Lululemon released the commercial above, and while creative and engaging− it is just he beginning of what is to come. It is no accident that Facebook designed Instagram’s new video feature to allow users to record for 15 seconds; that is exactly the same length as most television commercials.

But I have two view points in mind that are battling it out for dominance, and while one has spawned out of my demand for social network purity—free of tracking cookies and targeted advertising— the other stems from my experience working as a social media marketer.

Online video marketing is a phenomenal resource for small businesses because most of them cannot afford flashy commercials that play in 15-minute intervals on major television networks. Setting up accounts on YouTube, Instagram, and Vine takes approximately ten minutes and then you can begin to record personal product pitches, or shoot a video of your pet boutique’s grand opening, or even make a short movie that highlights the efficiency of your carpet cleaning service.

A glimpse behind the scenes of the #Burberry Prorsum Menswear Spring/Summer 2014 show, #London

A post shared by Burberry (@burberry) on

Many major corporations like Burberry are already using the video feature to share behind the scenes footage of their fashion shows—and I believe this is actually a fantastic use of the app’s addition. Because the company’s fans are engaged on Instagram, the more intimate of the social networks, Burberry has a chance to connect on a more direct level, and the people have access to the human side of the company—which enhances a consumer’s perception of the brand’s authenticity.

The Instagram leaders recognize the natural business opportunity inherent to the simplicity and versatility of the video feature, however for the time being they are encouraging brands to interact with their customers organically, rather than allowing market-directed ads, like the ones we see on Facebook.

I take that as a good sign; spontaneity and honesty are fundamental to the nature of Instagram. Businesses have a chance to showcase the candid and genuine elements of their brand. And if you’re a small business owner, that is what social media should be about—reaching out to the public, sans pretense and ulterior motivation. Let’s just hope that the Instagram team and community continue to agree, because I am not quite ready to give up my favorite social networking platform to the advertisers just yet!

What is your opinion on the potential of seeing television style adveritisng on Facbeook and Instagram? 

By Sasha Novikov | Creatine Marketing

 

Introducing Video on Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo.

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Google Reader is Gone, What will Replace it? | Social Business News

Google Reader is Gone, What will Replace it? | Social Business NewsAs of today, Google Reader is no longer. But luckily, competing RSS services have developed platforms designed to ease the transition for former Reader users.

What is RSS you ask? Rich Site Summary, or RSS, is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news sites, blogs, and other online publications syndicate their content as an RSS feed in an attempt to deliver immediate updates to those who subscribe to their outlet.

RSS can be a wonderful resource for readers who regularly use the web to stay informed, because the feed provides an orgnazed and convenient way to view the latest content, and current social news. By downloading an RSS reader and adding the sites you frequent most, you can save an immense amount of time because the you does not have to visit each site individually.

Google Reader is Gone, What will Replace it? | Social Business News

Google Reader has been a particularly popular arena for keeping tabs on dozens of social, business, and news websites, and now millions of readers are hoping to find a replacement service.

Fortunately, there are several comparable alternatives to help people track updates from all kinds of websites relating to their jobs, hobbies, or other personal interests. My three favorite are Feedly, Newsblur, and Pulse.

These platforms allow Google Reader users to transfer their feeds over effortlessly by logging in with their Gmail username and password. It is also simple to add new sources to your feeds.

Google Reader is Gone, What will Replace it? | Social Business News

  • Feedly is by far the most popular Google Reader alternative. It has a clean, beautiful interface that you can tweak to work almost exactly like the Google Reader. Its search tool is very effective: you can type in a blog name, a URL or even a topic and get a list of feeds to choose from.

Once you install the Feedly app on your Chrome or Safari browser, it will display a small, transparent button in the lower right corner of your desktop screen. Whenever you browse to a new site that you want to add to your Feedly account, just click that button and it will prompt you to add that site.

Google Reader is Gone, What will Replace it? | Social Business News

  • Newsblur feels a bit more like a desktop reader. You can see stories on the original site, create categories and tags that help highlight the stories you want most, and even create a “blurblog” of all your favorite stories for others to check out.
  • If you’re more of a visual person, Pulse maybe the perfect platform for you. It features a beautiful photo-grid style layout with live tiles that change as new articles are posted to the websites you follow. The site is somewhat reminiscent of the way Pinterest looks because it is almost exclusively image driven. You click on an image, the article expands in front of your eyes and you are able to read a short summary of the article and then decide whether to follow a link to the original piece. Pulse also offers a very effective search tool for finding and adding other feeds. You can organize feeds into categories, and it’s easy to mark the ones you’ve read or the ones you want to save for later.

Google Reader is Gone, What will Replace it? | Social Business News

I wish you luck in finding a new reader platform! While there are plenty more, these are a few of the most popular, and the ones I’d recommend checking out first. If you are ready to give up on RSS feeds altogether, you can follow all of your favorite sites, blogs, and news outlets on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook. Whatever your social content management needs, you’re sure to find something out there that works for you!

 

By Sasha Novikov | Creatine Marketing

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Crafting and DIY | Business Using Social Media

 

Crafting and DIY | Business Using Social MediaIn the past few years, the online crafting community has expanded tenfold. With the success of sites like Etsy, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Instagram, Flickr, and with the popularity of blogging, arts and crafts is no longer just a summer camp activity—it’s a thriving, all inclusive economy.

With increased opportunities for exposure, simple web designs for commerce, and unlimited inspiration—small crafting businesses are springing up everywhere and they are succeeding. The crafting communities are supportive, encouraging, and loyal; the customers value the authenticity and unique nature of products that are handmade, original, and that cannot be reproduced or purchased at a chain retailer or department store.

When our economy took a dive, many people were laid off or lost hours at work—and many women, in particular, had to allocate new resources. Some that perhaps saw crafting and DIY projects as a hobby, were now utilizing their skills not only to create things instead of buying them, but also as viable side businesses. And as the trend grew, savvy entrepreneurs enhanced their businesses using social media.

Crafting and DIY | Business Using Social Media

On Pinterest, the “DIY and Crafts” category is one of its most widely used. And Etsy is designed exclusively for those who hand craft, sew, upholster, restore, paint, draw, crochet, and make jewelry. Instagram and Flickr offer artists the opportunity to show, and not just tell, people about their products. And now, with the new video plug-ins on Instagram, and apps like Vine, crafters can create promotional videos and engage with thousands of people, for free.

If you are just getting started with social media, there are dozens of avenues that you can use to propel your hobby into the realm of prosperous businesses. On Pinterest for example, creatives have a chance to engage in some fun marketing ideas. One way to use Pinterest as an indirect tool is to start a collection of your favorite things and incorporate some of your own items into “style guides” or seasonal “must haves.” For instance, if you create and sell jewelry, it would be helpful to include a collection of your pieces with handbags, shirts, and summer sandals to inspire people to buy.

You can share these collections via your social media networks and blogs. This method says, “Here’s how my items go with current fashion trends,” rather than “buy my necklace and earing set.”

Once you start selling your merchandise, you can invite customers to share photographs they’ve taken of themselves wearing or using your products and feature the photos in a contest.  Offer the winner some free goodies, and it is guaranteed that person will not only return for more, but he or she will tell other people about your product and online site or shop.

Crafting and DIY | Business Using Social Media

Finally, with sites like Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc, you can utilize hashtags that will incorporate your photo or marketing phrase into a collection of other similar photos or phrases in the same category. Let’s say you’re selling hand sewn onesies for newborn babies, you can hashtag your product #babies #moms #parenting, and your product will show up any time another user searches in that category.

Social media sites provide extremely high conversion rates for small crafting businesses, and when you consider how simple they are to use—you’d have to be nuts not to put your marketing energy into developing a social presence.

 

By Sasha Novikov | Creatine Marketing

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Do You Need a Social Media Education to Execute A Social Strategy?

Do You Need a Social Media Education to Execute A Social Strategy?We’ve heard of students majoring in Social Studies, but Social Media Studies? That’s a new development, even for us. At Creatine Marketing, we are in the business of digital marketing and social strategy, but last year, while we were in the process of seeking out new employees, interviewing them, gauging them for experience, and putting them to work— some interesting questions came up.

Mainly, everyone was curious about what kind of training, education, or experience qualifies a person to create an effective social media strategy. How do you hire the right person for the job and instill the proper skill sets necessary to develop a social strategy? Now that we are in the market for new interns and employees again, we’re attempting to answer some of those questions and offer our readers and clients some insight into the various methods of obtaining a social media education, or experience in the field.

A common misconception is that the average social media user is sufficiently qualified to carry out a successful marketing campaign. Many businesses make the mistake of finding someone who uses Facebook every day and trusting him or her with the responsibility of creating a strategy, developing a focused direction, managing a budget, and controlling access to major accounts and passwords. Being an individual with a few social media accounts does not prepare you for analyzing engagement, interacting with thousands of fans daily, measuring SEO metrics, or meeting with clients to discuss and execute plans for branding, reputation management, and content creation.

Do You Need a Social Media Education to Execute A Social Strategy?Social strategy aids companies in communicating with their customers via digital channels, and the goal of a campaign created to function online is not too far off from the objectives of other marketing campaigns designed for radio, print, or television. A strong background in marketing, advertising, communication, sociology, business, or consumer relations is highly valued in this field. Whether you learn these skills in a classroom or from years of experience as an independent entrepreneur, they will ensure your success when developing a strategy for your business or other clients.

Universities and colleges now offer courses in digital media, online strategy, social media, web analytics, search engine marketing and more. Even Harvard offers a course called Digital Marketing: Social Media and Online Strategies. Because the field of marketing has dramatically shifted with the rise of social media and the increase of devices, platforms, and applications, companies are recognizing that it takes the right person to head their social media marketing department.

Do You Need a Social Media Education to Execute A Social Strategy?It is also important to remember that a degree or university education is not the only qualifying factor.  Many companies can train the right employee to understand the importance of branding, promotion, research, writing and distributing content, keeping an open dialogue with customers, managing bad press, and mastering effective communication. Additionally, digital marketing is a constantly evolving field and, because of the continuous metamorphosis, social strategists need to be the kinds of people who adapt quickly. This kind of skill is hard to teach.

Individuals from a wide variety of education and experiential backgrounds are taking on roles with social business components—social strategy, community management, and managing social campaigns. While formal courses may not be the most productive route in an ever-changing field, jumping in with no experience is even more harmful to your company.  If you are truly interested in being successful in social media and digital marketing there are books, blogs, articles, podcasts and plenty of online information offering introductory and in-depth knowledge about the field.

By: Sasha Novikov| Creatine Marketing

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Creatine Marketing Newsletter | May 2013 Issue

Creatine Marketing Newsletter | May 2013 Issue

Creating May’s newsletter was an easier process. I found a wonderful template online that I felt was clean, efficient, and simple. While this is still an evolving process, I am happier with this month’s issue than the last two that i’ve completed. The learning experience has been enlightening– for some reason when taking on this project, I thought it would be easy to create the newsletter, it would only take me a day I said. I was wrong.

But with practice and experience using all of the various languages, from HTML to Java to the long acronym one that starts with WSY…. the process is becoming less daunting. Perhaps next month’s will be even better.

Oh, and if you happen to be reading this and live (or know someone who lives) in the Sacramento area, Creatine Marketing is hiring social media interns, graphic design interns, and probably sales people. If you have experience and are not a student, but still need work, I would still apply!

The Power of Online Video Marketing

The Power of Online Video MarketingOnline video is a key part of the content marketer’s playbook. With today’s technology, video content is less costly, easier to create, and more effective than ever—and most companies have taken notice. There is a lot of compelling evidence suggesting that video marketing should be a major focus of your digital advertising campaign.

According to Dr. James McQuivey of Forrester Research, one minute of video holds more value than 1.8 million words. That’s the equivalent of 3,600 typical web pages, which means if you were to write an average of one web page each hour, it would take you 150 days of writing to achieve the impact of one minute of video. Taking those numbers into account proves that online video marketing is the single most practical use for your marketing time and energy.

Each day, over 100 million Internet users watch online videos, and while it’s true that many of those people are watching the latest viral video featuring a cute kitten or a silly child, an increasing majority of them are looking for advice on how to do something or how to make something work better. This number has increased by 43% since 2010, and studies show that a large amount of viewers are looking to buy a service or product.

A recent study conducted by Forbes magazine shows that 75% of executives watch work-related videos on business websites at least once a week, and a majority of them visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. So why should your company care?

With video marketing in your arsenal, your advertising campaign can reach a wider audience− more than 167 million people consistently watched online videos last year and that number is increasing exponentially. Over 50 million people view videos from their mobile devices, and mobile users seem to have a longer attention span. While desktop viewers stick with a video for 2 minutes or less, iPhone users commit for almost 3, and Android users surpass 3 minutes of engagement. Tablet users have the longest attention spans of all, and remain glued to the screen for an average of five minutes.

Video by Steven Martin | Creatine Marketing

Video also creates an opportunity for your company to increase the impact a message has on your targeted audience. Viewers tend to retain information they see in a video at much higher rates than if that same information was read or heard. In addition, 46% of people say that seeing a product or service mentioned in an online video would encourage them to seek out more information.

Use video to sell: promote products, features, services or brands, to educate: share tips, ideas, and commentary, and to entertain: deliver content that’s light, humorous, and fun. Remember to find a balance between industry related information, promotional information, and content that is just upbeat and easy to share.  YouTube videos are easy to embed into any webpage of blog; you can share them in Pinterest, Facebook, Vine, and Twitter.

Today, video marketing is slowly rising to the top of the content marketing food chain, and is the 6th most popular method of digital marketing. It is a simple and creative way to increase sales and leads. Businesses that incorporate video marketing into their overall strategy see higher engagement rates, higher click-through rates, and higher conversion rates. Video marketing is a great way to escalate your sales pitch out into the universe and let it drive customers to your site, and ultimately to your product.

The Power of Online Video Marketing

A vast percentage of those who spend time online would rather watch a video than read text, and while that may be frustrating, it’s business− and the first rule of marketing is that you need to be where your customers are. If you are sending out newsletters, you will have a lower unsubscribe rate if you include an instructional or humorous video. Let’s say a service or product you offer is a bit complicated, rather than explaining it all in a lengthy essay, you can create a video that highlights main points and explains your merchandise in an organic way.

Finally, it’s important to remember that you only have 10 seconds to grab a viewer’s attention. Effective video marketing has to be engaging right from the start. Pay attention to the analytics of your video; find out who is watching, how long they’re engaged before hitting pause or leaving the page, and at exactly which second they decided the video was no longer worth watching. Once you have that information you can sharpen your message and mold it to better suit your audience.

These statistics speak volumes about the positive effect that video marketing will have on your advertising campaign. To further drive my point about the visual preference that is such an integral part of human nature, I have included this inforgraphic I created reiterating some of the points made in this article. The statistics in this blog are available on comscore.com.

By | Sasha Novikov

The Power of Online Video Marketing

An infographic I created to accompany this article.


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Creatine Marketing | Newsletter March 2013 Issue

Creatine Marketing | Newsletter March 2013 Issue

This month it was my responsibility to create the newsletter template in SNAP. I also chose all of the images, created the banned with photos I took myself, and wrote all of the content in this particular issue of Creatine Marketing’s newsletter. 

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