Why Content is Still King

According to the 2014 State of Marketing report by ExactTarget, 98% of marketers plan to increase their spend in 2014. Top areas for increased spending include Data & Analytics (61%), Marketing Automation (60%), Email Marketing (58%), Social Media Marketing (57%), and Content Management (57%).

In fact, 46% of marketers believe social is core to their business.

But success in social media isn’t about posting to your favorite social networks at all. Success in social and today’s new media environment is about creating epic content. Your content is the glue that binds your desired channels of choice. Content should inspire and invite directed effort on the part of your audience.

Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action. (Content Marketing Institute)

Simply put, content is intelligence and inspiration made visible.

Epic content spreads and inspires.

In the race for attention, winning content is a mechanism for driving lasting engagement.

We’ve gathered a few solid content marketing resources to help you get started:

  1. Content Marketing Institute (http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/)
  2. Convince & Convert (http://www.convinceandconvert.com/)
  3. Unmarketing (http://www.unmarketing.com/)
  4. Copyblogger (http://www.copyblogger.com/blog/)

Now it’s up to you to create vibrant, liquid, spreadable, and amazing content! Don’t worry. We can help.



This Week in Social Media

We’ve scoured the web for some of the day’s and week’s most newsworthy updates in the world of social media. Of particular interest, is Facebook’s recent updates to their page insights, which is another step in making it easy for managers to maintain a handle on what’s happening with their content.

Check out some of the latest news below.

Facebook Removing Old Search Setting. Now allows everyone to look you up.

Twitter search by name

Remember that “Who can lookup your Timeline by name?” setting in Facebook? Well, it’s about to say goodbye! Facebook announced that they have removed this old search setting.

New Twitter Feature Allows Everyone to Direct Message You

Twitter Direct Message Setting

Twitter now allows folks to opt-in to receive direct messages from any follower, including those they don’t follow back.

Facebook Rolled Out Updated Page Insights for Page Owners

Facebook's New Page Insights

Facebook rolls out new page insights that allow admins to get a better feel for how users interact with content. Features include simpler metrics, tools to publish better content, and a new page insights export.

In social media, change is indeed the only constant.

Building Brand Engagement in Under Six Seconds via Vine

As a digital marketer, your role is to create awesome content that captures interest and builds lasting resonance. There are a myriad of tools including Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn, Storify, and now Vine among others. The right approach in a digital engagement strategy is built around knowing which tools to use and why.

Social platform selection should be based on a collective set of objectives brand wise.

Vine, as a relatively new entrant into the social space, has created a buzz for its short but oftentimes engaging content. It is a video platform that offers its user base the opportunity to create meaningful content in six seconds or less. One such example is Lowes and their recent approach to using the video platform.

Talk about a creative approach to content development! This post is an example of coolness made shareable.

How are you using Vine for inbound marketing?

Here are a few tips:

  • Be creative.
  • Have fun.
  • Know your audience.
  • Solve a problem.
  • Demonstrate expertise.
  • Ask why?

About Hub 81

Hub 81 is the Central Coast’s freshest integrated marketing communications agency blending a focused approach to engagement and building meaningful experiences. We are your partners in all things digital + multicultural + creative. Helping customers launch lasting brand awareness from Santa Maria, California.


Nonprofits More Likely to Be Present On Social Media

According to eMarketer, nonprofit organizations operating on tight budgets want to generate as much publicity and excitement as possible surrounding their initiatives—and at a low cost. To do so, a considerable percentage are turning their attention to social media to communicate with constituents and encourage sharing among fans supportive of their cause.

An October survey of US nonprofits by VerticalResponse, a self-service marketing platform for small businesses, found that more than three out of five nonprofit organizations reported spending more time on social media than they did a year ago. Only 4% of respondents said they spent less time.

And nearly two out of five nonprofits reported devoting 6 or more hours per week to social media. Respondents cited finding content to share as the most time-consuming aspect of social media engagement, a point of view that seems to cut across businesses.

For the full article, click here.

Hub 81 is a digital marketing agency based in Santa Maria, California helping clients activate awesome brand experiences. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your marketing and communications needs.



Are Banks Putting the Social in Media?

Does social media have a place in banking and the financial services industry? We think so despite all the risks that may be involved. Are we moving one step closer to helping these organizations make a successful transition into the conversation arena? The FFIEC recently released some proposed guidance on the role and practice of social media.

Financial Regulators Propose Guidance on Social Media

The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) today released proposed guidance on the applicability of consumer protection and compliance laws, regulations, and policies to activities conducted via social media by banks, savings associations, and credit unions, as well as nonbank entities supervised by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and state regulators.

The FFIEC is responding to requests for guidance in this area from various industry and consumer interests. The guidance is intended to help financial institutions understand potential consumer compliance, legal, reputation, and operational risks associated with the use of social media, along with expectations for managing those risks. Although the guidance does not impose additional obligations on financial institutions, the FFIEC expects financial institutions to take steps to manage potential risks associated with social media, as they would with any new process or product channel.

Significant Risk

The use of social media by a financial institution to attract and interact with customers can impact a financial institution’s risk profile. The increased risks can include the risk of harm to consumers, compliance and legal risk, operational risk, and reputation risk. Increased risk can arise from a variety of directions, including poor due diligence, oversight, or control on the part of the financial institution. The proposed guidance is meant to help financial institutions identify potential risk areas to appropriately address, as well as to ensure institutions are aware of their responsibilities to oversee and control these risks within their overall risk management program.

Grab the proposed guidance here.

Hub 81 is a digital marketing agency based in Santa Maria, California helping clients activate awesome brand experiences. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with your marketing and communications needs.

Twitter Announces Update to Embedded Tweets

Today, Twitter announced a revamped embedded tweets experience allowing you to add a bit of social pizazz to your website or blog.

“Tweets bring you closer to what’s happening around the world, from breaking news to global conversations. With embedded Tweets, you can see and interact with Tweets across the web.”

More content and context. Embedded Tweets display photos, videos, article summaries and other content shared in a Tweet, just like you see on twitter.com. You can also view retweet and favorite counts to better understand engagement. Twitter made some tweaks to the design so that embedded Tweets are easier to read.

Faster loading. You’ll see Embedded Tweets show up faster on the sites you visit.

Embed with ease. It’s now even easier to embed a Tweet on your own website. Just click the “More” button in any Tweet on twitter.com, and then select “Embed this Tweet” to enrich your blog posts or pages.

It’s easy to embed a tweet. Here’s a recent tweet straight from Santa Maria, California (eh…twitter.com)!

Establishing your digital footprint and embarking on a journey of content marketing is made easier as Twitter and its social media counterparts evolve.

Facebook Shaking Things Up

The social network powerhouse recently announced a new feature called Graph Search. This new tool allows users of the site to search for friends with common interests and tap into their social graph. Is this a direct response to Google’s ongoing search dominance? Of course, but it’s a prime example of Facebook’s evolution. According to Jason Falls of the Social Media Explorer:

Facebook is now going to give you a way to see prioritized recommendations based on what your actual friends have said, done or recommended on Facebook. The data set is more limited, more meaningful and more relevant.

Access to socially fueled recommendations is another example of the importance of establishing a strong digital footprint. The ramifications for marketers are real. Those who have led the charge in building a strong social media community will thrive as the result of Graph Search. Talk about huge validation for establishing a presence on Facebook and the social media arena in general. Facebook also announced free phone calls through their messenger iphone app.

On another note, MySpace just made a comeback.

Is Your Brand Ready for the Future Wave of Social Merchandising?

The rise of Interesante, Pinterest, Fancy, Fab, and Instagram have given way to a whole new arena of social media where visual elements contribute to a more enriching social experience. It is widely noted that visual posts do much better than plain text due in large part to our interest and desire as consumers to engage with media. However, there’s another wave of possibility and impact that is the direct result of these visually oriented social sites. Commerce.

Social media is moving from conversation and engagement to transaction fueled by the power of peer influence. Brands must strive to be relevant at the moment-of-truth or that all encompassing instance where a consumer is in full purchase intent mode. One way to do this is to take advantage of social and peer influence to drive commerce across the innovative and engaging array of social media sites that are increasingly made available thanks in large part to the explosion of mobile adoption.

“Social marketers are excited about this next wave because of its ability to drive product discovery results toward a meaningful impact on sales, making it much easier to calculate social ROI. They also are excited because social merchandising is poised to deliver much more measurable value to retailers and brands than its forefathers.” (Source)

Tapping into the social graph of consumers is a powerful play on engagement allowing for unique branding opportunities and meaningful interactions.

Is your brand ready for this new wave of social merchandising?

(Image credit.)

What Executives Should Know About Social Media

New research conducted by Stanford University’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance, the Center for Leadership Development and Research at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, and The Conference Board details the results of a survey of more than 180 senior executives and corporate directors of North American public and private companies. The findings reveal a disconnect between companies’ understanding of social media and the actions they are taking to apply it to their business. The report demonstrates significant room for growth in the area of practicing social media.

“Companies appreciate the potential that social media can have to transform all aspects of their business: branding, reputation, communication, outreach, and identifying strategic risks,” says Professor David F. Larcker of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and lead author of the study. “They also realize the serious threats that it can pose. They’re just not doing very much about it.”

The study provides several important steps that executives can follow to implement a winning social media strategy:

  • Assess their current capabilities with social media
  • Determine how social media fits with their strategy and business model
  • Map their companies’ key performance indicators and risk factors to information available through social media
  • Implement a “listening” system to capture social media data and transform it into metrics
  • Develop formal policies and guidelines for employees, executives, and directors
  • Consider the legal and behavioral ramifications that could be involved if the company’s board receives summary data about social media

An appreciation for social media is one thing; putting best practices in place and making full use of social is another.