5 Key Trends Impacting Your Business in 2013

As we move toward closing the curtain on 2012, a few ideas and important trends remain top of mind and play a critical role in making sure your brand is fully primed for success in 2013. How many predictive posts and articles have you read lately? They’re sprouting up all over the place. So, without¬†further ado, here’s our list of 5 trends to be on top of in 2013:

Integration

Targeting customers is becoming increasingly difficult thanks to a growing number of technologies and communication channels. If you’re not working on an integrated approach that unifies your brand communications across all of these touchpoints you’re on a direct path to irrelevance. Customers demand meaningful experiences at every point of interaction with your brand.

Content

Everyone from newspapers to brick and mortar shops are now being described as media companies. Gone are the days where marketing is just about offering information and making a pitch. Enter the all important area of content development. Marketers are now required to create unique content that is inspiring, entertaining, and informative.

Responsive Design

Device agnostic experiences is a fancy term for making sure that your website looks beautiful across multiple platforms such as desktops, tablets, and smartphones. How, when, where, and when users interact with your content is super important to making sure your brand stays relevant in today’s changing new media and technology environment.

Entrepreneurship

New players arise everyday and are changing the makeup of almost every industry. Think open education models and crowdfunding. These two areas alone are responsible for billions of dollars in new industry. Crowdfunding¬†(a term that’s not even in the dictionary yet) is now a $2.8 billion dollar industry and is on pace to hit $6B plus in 2013. Open education startups such as Coursera, Udacity, and edX are new players that are sure to continue to make headlines. Smart marketers are aware of these trends and are seeking ways to create their own innovations that answer the call of progress, purpose, and social impact.

The Hispanic Market

Latinos are the fastest-growing and youngest demographic in the United States. They are trendsetters, increasingly mobile, and early to adopt new technologies. If your brand isn’t looking for ways to engage this audience you’re missing out on a $1.2 trillion dollar opportunity for impact and business growth.

At Hub 81, we are excited about what the future holds and are looking forward to continuing our work in activating awesome brand experiences.

Cheers!

Time to Make Pinterest Your Bread and Butter for Referral Traffic

We’re not going to tell you to stop pinning your marketing dollars on SEO but recent data related to Pinterest make an excellent case for rethinking where you spend time building your inbound marketing funnel. A recent article in Forbes points to the reason why a site like Pinterest needs to be in your digital marketing repertoire.

Invest in real, valuable, relevant content that your audience wants. Grow your internal thought leaders to where they can add value to your audience and positioning in the market. Follow internal SEO practices to make sure it is found and sees the light of day. Take the time to make it so compelling that people talk about it and share it. – Ken Krogue, Forbes contributor.

Exactly why a site like Pinterest is able to overtake Yahoo as a leading source of online traffic. The bread and butter of Pinterest is built on quality content in the form of visual aesthetic. Tapping into the power of niche interests is a key contributing factor to Pinterest’s rise. In fact, the site drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined!

Consumers are pinning in droves on Pinterest because of the ‘interest’ to display their interests to the masses. The dynamics of social sharing and content generation are in full effect on Pinterest making it important for today’s businesses to look for strategies to capitalize on the opportunities presented by rising online destinations like Pinterest, and maybe in the future, App.net, Branch, and Medium.

Your Startup Has Nothing on this Demo Video

Give the people something to talk about and you’ll win the battle of engagement. Airtime is doing just that and more with their latest attempt at creating awareness and increasing user activity. 

Please excuse us while we offer a little background on the startup itself.

Sean Parker and Shawn Fanning met online in a chat room 15 years ago over a shared interest in computer security and hacking. They created Airtime to explore what’s possible when large numbers of people are brought together live.

Airtime allows users to create shared experiences with people you know, and people you want to know.

The site is a neat concept that integrates seemlessly with Facebook tapping into the power of existing connections. However, the real beauty and genius comes from the recent release of Airtime’s demo video.

Why we love this video

It tells a unique story and several at that.

The demo video taps into the power of influencers. You want cameos? Kurt Russell and Gary Vaynerchuk have you covered. Not to mention MC Hammer himself!

But the real reason why we think (you can’t touch this! Sorry, we just had to throw that in.) this is an awesome example of digital storytelling at its best is…

Resonance!

The team behind the video obviously understands its audience and captures attention through the use of relevant content and popular memes. For example, even though the video is unique in its own right it uses several themes popular with today’s online audience and the startup scene.

The idea of the best internet you’ve ever had.

Winning the Race of Engagement Requires Fresh Agency Perspective

Avila_beach_digital_marketing_agency_photo

It’s Saturday and only fitting that we post an image of one of the Central Coast of California’s most beautiful gems, Avila Beach. Nothing spells inspiration like the sheer natural elegance of the California coastline. 

Good ideas are the result of fresh thinking.

The photo above is much more than a digital expression of our travels but rather a reminder of the need for a fresh and balanced perspective. 

Connecting with today’s audiences in the age of digital requires a grounded approach based on aesthetics, design, communication, strategic dexterity, and uncontainable conditioning. Winning the race of engagement requires endurance. 

Throughout the counties of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo reside a wealth of natural beauty to remind us of the need for fresh perspective. 

We are blessed to call the Central Coast home and thanks to our surroundings we feel refreshed and ready to deliver deep brand experiences.

We are Hub 81, the Central Coast’s freshest integrated marketing and communications agency.

Say hello.

Is Your Brand Ready to Lead Meaningful Branded Interactions?

Brand_social_graph

At the speed of technology lies unique opportunities to drive branded interactions. Digital and social have created an abundance of opportunities for brands to build deep experiences that win the attention and interest of a customer base.

People are connected. Our audience is an audience of audiences. Consumers face profound levels of information overload in today’s attention economy. What are brands to do? How can businesses compete with the speed of technology and plethora of entertainment options available to consumers?

The answer is in all simplicity based on your ability to craft winning branded experiences.

Delight your customers with creativity and the power of digital interactions.

Devices might add fragmentation to a complex media environment but they also serve as unique windows of interaction and opportunity to wow your audience.

Successful marketers recognize the synergies that lie at the crossroads of traditional and new media and craft meaningful interactions that inspire, entertain, and inform. Media is an outlet for real engagement. 

The question: What can we do to drive meaningful branded interactions?

Here are five steps:

  • Know your audience.
  • Listen attentively.
  • Be present.
  • Optimize time and place.
  • Execute with digital dexterity.

Don’t be afraid to delight your audience.

Winning digital experiences spread and help build awareness leading to bottomline results.

Rethink bold.

 

Hub 81 is a digital experience agency based out of the beautiful Central Coast of California helping clients large and small connect with today’s consumer. For more information, visit hub81.com.

The Art of Winning Digital Experiences

Social-digital-experiences

Consumers are the torch bearers of today’s modern day marketing environment. No longer can we simply rely on creative genius, corporate strategy, or point-of-sale information as a means for success. 

The torch of a brand’s existence lies directly in the minds and hands of consumers.

People are in charge of the conversation creating an environment where brands are expected to maintain a focus on crafting winning customer experiences and meaningful interactions. The power of storytelling has never been more important than it is today.

A good story told in the right place at the right time has the potential to elevate awareness, increase engagement, and foster new audience interaction. Consumers crave curated experiences and cohesive storytelling.

Our job as brand ambassadors is to make each interaction memorable.

There’s no secret sauce or ten-step program. Instead, building an army of brand advocates begins with a commitment to provide timely, relevant, and authentic customer service. Consumers have a need and our job is not just to meet these needs but to surpass all expectations.

The golden rule is as it has been all along:

Treat your customers as you want to be treated.

 

The Potential for Brands on Pinterest

Pinterest_logo

There’s no denying it. People love sharing. Social networking has become the ultimate contagion. One site that is making a splash in a world full of Facebook likes and Twitter retweets is Pinterest. The site recently made it to No. 10 in social sites as monitored by Experian Hitwise. It’s growth is impressive but just what is Pinterest and should your brand be interested?

Pinterest is a ‘Virtual Pinboard.”

“Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.” What about brands?

The potential for interest on Pinterest is unique.

We’ve come up with a few ways to use Pinterest to engage your audience and connect with your crowd.

Ideation

Pinterest makes it easy to share possibilities which is an important part of generating new ideas and inspiring action.

Research

Investigating the interests of your audience leads to insights and greater attempts to capture attention. Figure out what people are ‘pinning’ and move on it.

Measurement

Some brands own quite a bit of real estate on Pinterest. If people are pinning your logo, products, or services that’s a good thing. This allows for your brand to gauge its place in popularity and measure impressions.

The potential for success on Pinterest is an opportunity for brands to take full advantage of.

So…what are you waiting for?

Start pinning!

 

We are not social media pros

These days everyone is a social media pro. Your neighbor, that gal sitting over at the local coffee shop, the guy doing killer ab crunches at the gym, and pretty much all who tout having a Twitter or Facebook account. But you’re smarter than that and you deserve better. Anybody who says they’re an expert in social media has yet to realize that there’s much more to social media than understanding how to tweet, chirp, tout, post, poke, send, click, and any other form of digital distraction.

The truth of the matter is that social media is merely a channel and an outlet for communicating with diverse audiences. There is much to be learned and most of today’s thought leaders are barely exploring the dynamics of new media.

A strategic approach to driving conversation, sparking interest, and communicating with your audience can help propel your brand into new levels of recognition and preference. A simple social media strategy won’t work because there’s lots more to this new media arena than creating some accounts and calling it a day.

So, before you go empty your wallets on that guru expo or pro conference be sure to ask for some pudding…

Why? You might ask…

Because…as they say…the proof is in the pudding!

And remember,…we’re not pros. We are Hub 81.

Serving Santa Maria, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and beyond!

One-Forty Media Revolution

It is interesting how something so small can be so siginficant.

140

Perhaps we’re talking about the amount of cash and coin stored in our official custom edition Angry Birds piggy bank. (No such thing exists.)

Maybe one-forty is reflective of the number of tries it takes us to do the perfect push up.

Who knows…

Give someone one hundred and forty dollars and see what happens.

Offer someone the ability to broadcast to the world using only 140 characters and what do we have?

A media revolution!

Twitter has opened up a whole new playing field in terms of building raving fans, engaging with angry customers, sharing information, and networking. Yes…we might be limited to one-forty but the possibilities behind the act of tweeting are numerous.

How are you using twitter?