Will Social Media Influence The Travel Channel Launch's of "Deep Fried America?" An interview with host Jay Ducote

06/20/2016

Jay Ducote_1Jay Ducote came to my attention when he battled it out last year on the Food Network show Food Network Star Season 11.

For those who might not be food TV fans (a guilty pleasure of mine... take a look at Diva Foodies!) the winner of Food Network Star walks away with the biggest prize in food TV competiton ~ their own show on the Food Network.

Although Jay came in 2nd there was no doubt that he knew his way in the kitchen - indoors and outdoors, had great on-air presence and the fans loved  him. Seems the Scripps Networks Interactive brass thought so too because they offered Jay an amazing opportunity to film a pilot for a sister network, Travel Channel.

What makes Jay especially relevant to the Diva Marketing community is his use of social media, aka Social TV, to promote his on-air opportunity on the Food Network and to leverage the social buzz to encourage Scripps Networks Interactive to pick up the Deep Fried America pilot.

In our Diva Marketing interview Jay generous shares his insights on Social TV, how to social media tips, some of his Food Network Star backstory and what it was like to be a dude blogger back in 2009! Enjoy Jay's Story.

About Jay Ducote According To Jay Ducote

I’m a friendly, fun loving guy from Louisiana who loves to celebrate food and beverage culture. I’m a chef, writer, speaker, entertainer and hugger. I’ve got a product line available called Jay D’s with a Louisiana Barbecue Sauce, Louisiana Molasses Mustard and Spicy & Sweet Barbecue Rub.

Diva Marketing: Before we dive into how you’re using social media to support the Travel Channel pilot for your pilot of Deep Fried America, let’s set the stage for the peeps in our community who may not now But are soon to be (!) avid food TV viewers.

Not to be snarky, but there are so many food shows what makes Deep Fried America different and a must watch... in addition to the awesome host of course?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried AmericaDeep Fried America presents a great mix of drool-worthy food, talented chefs and fun travel.

I’m going to be in the kitchen helping prepare (and eating of course) some amazing food, the caveat is that something in it has to be cooked in a deep fryer.

But we aren’t just looking for normal fried foods, we are talking to chefs who are being innovative and creating new dishes using the fryer.

Diva Marketing: The concept of Deep Fried America was taken from one of your Food Network Star show challenges. On Food Network Star you were positioned as the BBQ guy who developed his cooking chops (pun intentional) from tailgating parties at LSU. Fried foods seems like a step in another direction. Why a fried food focus? Say that fast 3 times: fried food focus/fried food focus/fried food focus!

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: The short answer is because the Network loved it and wanted it. They pushed Eddie in the BBQ direction and had me go toward the fried foods.

To be fair, while I did some grilling on Food Network Star, I never really got to do any barbecuing or even make a version of my BBQ sauce. I tried to one time, but our groceries got swapped and Eddie ended up making the BBQ sauce instead (4th of July challenge).

On the culinary improv episode of Food Network Star I fried calamari and gave a line to live audience including people from the Network that being from Louisiana, anything that flies, crawls, walks, slithers or swims, we fry it. From that point on I think the Network liked positioning me as a fried foods guy.

All that being said, I definitely have a special place in my heart and stomach for deep fried foods. Fried Chicken would be on the plate if I got to choose my last mean. A beignet in Louisiana is the perfect breakfast. At tailgate parties you can rest assured that we had an outdoor deep fryer right next to the grill!

Diva Marketing: Let’s talk blogs! I’ve been active in the blogosphere for over 12 years and have known some great food bloggers. Although most chefs are men, most food bloggers are women.

Do you think being a dude in that world gave Bite & Booze, launched in 2009, a competitive advantage? Why or why not?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: Without a doubt, 100%.

I think that being a large, bearded, masculine man with a love for barbecue and beer and whiskey and fried foods helped set me apart in the food blog world.

While I would be just another guy in the kitchen, taking the food blog route helped differentiate me. I can remember going to food blog conferen Jay Ducote_3ces and the audience being 80-90% women and 10-20% men, and of those men, rarely was there another guys like me.

So I stood out in the world. And I was able to make a name for myself in that world. I got more and more opportunities to speak or to be on camera because of that. It definitely helped grow my blog and my brand.

Diva Marketing: Blogs are ever evolving and where you begin is not necessarily where you end up. How has the focus of Bite & Booze changed from back in the 2009 days?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: My blog, Bite & Booze, started as a personal food journal. I wrote a blog about what I had for lunch that day just so I could keep track of it. I was working an office job in downtown Baton Rouge and I wanted to something to cure me of my boredom.

I knew right away that I would want it to focus on supporting local restaurants and chefs, but I had no idea it would grow into what it has become.

I now speak of Bite & Booze not as a blog, but as a culinary media company. The website is still primarily a blog, but we also do a radio show (since 2011… in 2014 it won a Taste Award as the best food or drink based radio broadcast in the country), podcasts, video production, lots of social media stuff, events and more.

Diva Marketing: What tips on how to create compelling blog content that builds a loyal audience can you give us?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America

1. Stay consistent. Whatever your theme or brand is, stay consistent with it.

2. Also be personal. I find that people really like to feel like they get to know the blogger or the person behind the posts.

I don’t do a whole lot of recipe blogging, but has been part of my strategy. I support and celebrate the entire local food scene wherever I am from farmers to chefs and restaurants to people making cool products.

Diva Marketing: When doing research for our interview I came across an article from The Advocate. The headlined caught my attention. 

Jay Ducote's ‘Deep Fried’ pilot to air on Travel Channel June 25; future depends on viewer engagement

How important will the social buzz be to impact the Travel Channel's decision to pick up your pilot and why?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: There are a couple ways to give Travel Channel good, immediate feedback on the show.

The first is for people to actually watch and set their DVRs to record the broadcast. The people in charge will see those ratings and get that data.

Secondly, social engagement absolutely helps. If @travelchannel is bombarded with tweets during the broadcast, they’ll know that not only are people watching, but they are also engaging. That’s powerful information for them to be able to take to advertisers who would purchase air time during my show.

At the end of the day this is a business, and producing great content is only good if it can be sold to sponsors and advertisers.

So the social buzz will let Travel Channel and potential advertisers know that there will be engaged viewers if they pick the show up for multiple seasons.

Diva Marketing: Let’s look at what is called Social TV on a more global basis.

Although Nielsen includes Twitter and now public Facebook into its TV ratings, in your opinion, to what extent do most producers/TV food media companies bring active social media into their digital marketing/out-reach mix?

Jay Ducote_4_social tv

(By active social media I mean, authentically engaging with the show’s fans versus broadcasting messages about the show or network.)

 Jay Ducote, Deep Fried AmericaI feel like a lot of brands/people could truly be more active, especially when a show airs.

For pretty much every episode of Food Network Star last summer my team and I were live tweeting with fans during the episode. You never really see that from the big stars or the networks themselves. But I think they should.

The ability to now engage directly with the fans while a show is airing is pretty incredible.

Doing it live can be pretty tricky for sure, but I find that it is worth it!

 Diva Marketing: I totally agree Jay! Now, a very basic but important question Jay – what benefits does social, done well, bring to the table?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: 4 Social Media Benefits

1. Social media gives everyone the opportunity to grow a brand in ways that weren’t possible before.

2. It gives fans a chance to get an inside glimpse, connect with a personality or follow their journey.

3. It also gives people like me a platform beyond the mass media outlets like TV or Radio.

4. So when it is done well, it is possible to build and retain a fan base outside of the traditional media outlets.

Diva Marketing: What are your thoughts about the benefits/importance of food TV personalities, chefs and contestants, live tweeting during their own shows?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: I do it. It makes sense. It helps build and audience and grow a brand. It can be tough to make time for it, but it is so worth it.

Diva Marketing: If you were King of a food media company how would you use social media aka Social TV?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: 

I’d make it part of my social media plan to use social to support on-air content and use on-air content to push people to social.

I’d make it to where a large part of my social strategy would be live-tweeting shows and posting on other platforms about new programming that is on the air. I’d make sure I had a team of people to actively engage with social rather than just be shouting into the void.

Diva Marketing: In addition to blogs, you’re active on multiple social media channels and have been leveraging them to support Deep Fried America. How do you play to the strengths of, let’s say the Big 3: Facebook, Instagram and Twitter?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America:

Facebook: Provide links, pictures, video content. Ask questions and get engagement in a thread.

Instagram: Photos are key. Use pictures that resonate in one way or another.

Twitter: Inform and engage. Short format messaging. Connect with the audience by engaging in conversation.

Jay Ducote_6 tweet

 Diva Marketing: Are you looking at insights/metrics and if so (1) which are most valuable to you and (2) what tools are you using to measure?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: Probably not as much as I should. I look at some Facebook data but that’s about it. I see engagement on Twitter and Instagram but I don’t go too deep into analytics.

Diva Marketing: Although text/image driven channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can include links to videos they are a “still world.” How did you build your personal brand to authentically bring Jay Ducote to digital life, so to speak?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried AmericaInstagram is great for short little videos and Facebook is awesome for videos. I haven’t really done a whole lot yet with live streaming or other video content like that.

I kind of let my other content speak for itself. Though I do think that doing a little more live stuff or short videos would be a good idea.

Diva Marketing: Let’s go back to Social TV in food media. Who do you think in terms of a TV chef gets it and is doing it right?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: I think Alton Brown does a really good job with this social media. He is active and engaging.

Diva Marketing: What are a couple of tips you can pass along to your TV food chef pals in terms of how to do social right to build their personal brand and support their TV shows?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: 4 Social Media Tips

1. Just a little effort goes a long way.

2. Think about it in advance.

3. Use services to schedule content in advance rather than wait until the show is airing to even think about it.

4. Make it a priority to have social engagement as part of our overall brand strategy.

Diva Marketing: I love how Alton Brown uses cartoons that are shown against tweets when he live tweets Cutthroat Kitchen. We’re thinking optimistically, when Deep Fried America is on-air how will you use social media to support the show? Jay Ducote_5_alton brown
Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: Well crap, I didn’t see this before I answered with Alton Brown earlier. Yes, I like that too.

I’m obviously going to do all the things that we’ve mentioned before. Beyond that, who knows! We’ll have to see what happens.

Diva Marketing: Guess great minds think a like, or something like that! Jay, how can we support you in ensuring Deep Fried America lives to be part of the Travel Channel’s lineup?

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: Watch it, set DVRs, ask your friends to do the same, live tweet the show and tag @travelchannel and @jayducote and #deepfriedamerica. Do the same thing on Facebook and Instagram.

Diva Marketing: As is the tradition of Diva Marketing interviews, the guest always has the last response. Wrap this anyway you’d like.

Jay Ducote, Deep Fried America: I’m certainly hoping that this turns into something much more than a pilot. It is a really exciting time and opportunity for me, but I won’t be pleased with the results unless the show gets picked up for a season. And then another. And then another.

I know I’ve got a lot of work to do ahead of me to continue to pursue my passion and chase my dreams. The TV side of everything I do is actually just a small part of my overall business model.

Bite & Booze, my culinary media company that started as a blog in 2009, and Hug Jay D, which is my product company that launched in 2014, are just the beginning.

Coming in 2017 will be my first restaurant, Gov’t Taco, a gourmet taco shop in Baton Rouge, La. And I’m sure there will be much more coming down the line as I continue to grow all of my brands and businesses.

Deep Fried America has a chance to be a huge part of that growth, so all the support and encouragement is definitely appreciated. Let’s make sure the Travel Channel knows that people out there want the show!

Connect with Jay!

Jay Ducote: Website | Twitter | Instagram

Bite and Booze: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Hug J D: Facebook 

Saturday, June 25, 12:30 CT, on Travel Channel

Jaydeepfriedamericalogo

 

 

5 Ways to Build Online Authority Using Content Marketing - A Guest Post By Paul Chaney

05/20/2016

Diva Marketing's 12th Birthday celebration continues with a very special post written by the first blogger I met IRW (in the real world) -- Paul Chaney!

FullSizeRender-1One of the biggest lessons I've learned in 12 years of blogging and being active in digital communities is real relationship can and do happen online.

As in offline, digital friendships are built through common interests, kindness, support when times are shaky and celebrations when good things happen. If you are lucky you get to take online offline.

Paul and I have collaborated on several projects including developing and facilitating training programs for the American Marketing Association. I am honored and touched that Paul offered to write an original post to celebrate Diva Marketing's anniversary. 

About Paul Chaney

Paul is an online marketing consultant, editor, writer, and author with more than 20 years experience in the digital marketing space. He’s written four books that cover the topics of business blogging, social media marketing, and social commerce, the most notable of which is entitled "The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media," published by John Wiley and Sons in 2009.

He is currently a Staff Writer for Small Business Trends and also maintains a client-base of small to mid-size companies. Paul is a sought-after speaker on 1934055_120542921111_1037348_n
digital and marketing topics. Oh yes, and an accomplished musician! 

5 Ways to Build Online Authority Using Content Marketing

As a marketer, business owner, or entrepreneur, it's vital that you have a high degree of authority online so that when people search for you by name, they discover you (as opposed to someone else with your name).

But, it’s just as important that they find an impressive resume and portfolio to accompany your presence.

One of the best ways to establish your online authority is through the use of content marketing.

Here are five ways to go about it.

  1. Erect a Digital Home Base

The first step toward building authority is to create a website — a place you can call home. It's where people will go to learn more about you and where you have the best opportunity to convert visitors to customers or clients.

Just as you would not construct your house on rented land, you wouldn’t want to build your online authority on digital real estate that you don't own, such as a social network. Having a presence on social media is necessary, but you can incur risk by staking your claim there, as opposed to a web property that’s all yours.

Many companies offer web design services, both of the do-it-yourself variety and those that will create the site for you. Your available time and budget will likely determine which route you take.

  1. Claim Your Domain Name

If you aim to develop a personal brand, it's important to have a domain name that uses your name (i.e., YourName.com).

It's feasible that someone may have already claimed a domain with your name — in my case, the domain PaulChaney.com was taken years ago — but with the prevalence of new generic top level (gTLDs) and country-code domains such as .co, .us, .online, .services, and many more, there is no shortage of options from which to choose.

Pick the one that most closely resembles what you offer, or that best represents your area of expertise and go from there.

  1. Create Content in the Form of a Blog

I believe strongly that well-written, keyword-optimized, topically-relevant, frequently-updated content will not only improve your standing on Google but will also establish your authority and credibility in the eyes of customers and prospects.

Writing in your "sweet spot," that zone where you can clearly demonstrate deep expertise, will doubtless cause your stature to rise. And one of the best ways to create such content is through a blog.

Someone said that the word "blog" is an acronym for "Better Listings On Google," and I firmly believe it. I've seen time and time again the benefits blogging can provide from a search engine optimization standpoint. It also helps to trademark you as a subject-matter expert in the mind of the consumer — the "go-to" person for your industry.

Most website content management systems incorporate a blog component. Many, such as WordPress (arguably the most popular CMS on the market), are built on blogs as the foundation of the platform.

  1. Actively Participate in Social Media

You can't afford to bypass social media if you hope to grow a strong, authoritative brand. That doesn't mean you have to be everywhere, however, just on those networks where you are most likely to encounter your target market.

Let's examine the benefits of using the most popular networks:

  • If you provide products or services to other businesses, LinkedIn is where you want to be. It's a B2B network where conducting business is not frowned upon.
  • Facebook can be useful from the standpoint of letting people get to know you on a personal level. It's a social network in the truest sense and a place where you can "let your hair down" and be yourself. Just use good judgment when publishing content and making comments.
  • Let's not forget about Twitter. It's no longer considered a social network but a news and information network where you can share your content and content created by others.
  • YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest. Three other networks — YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest — aren't purely "social" networks either. Even though they have social aspects — the ability to comment, share, and like, for example — they are, in reality, more like "content" networks where you upload and archive videos and images.

A good rule of thumb for any content you create, whether written or visual, is to share it in as many places as possible. It's what the social media expert Chris Brogan calls your "media empire."

Given that these networks, however you classify them, are accessed by millions of people daily, you stand a much better chance of getting your message seen than by sequestering it on your website.

Think of it as a hub and spokes arrangement. You create content on your site, and then syndicate it to these networks, where users can find it more easily. Just be sure to include links back to your site, to drive traffic.

The main thing, where social networks are concerned, is to maintain an active presence. Create and curate content that you share in the form of tweets and status updates, and then interact with fans and followers via retweets, @mentions, responses to comments, and shares of content created by others.

The more active you are, the better your chances of impacting your audience with your message, and growing your reputation and authority right alongside.

  1. Create Strong Website and Social Network Profiles

The "About" page is one of the first places people will go when visiting your website. The information it contains is an excellent way to show your audience who you are and why they should trust you. The same holds true for your social network profiles.

An essential part of the About page is your bio. The following tips, from dlvr.it, a social sharing platform, talk about how to write a bio that will help confirm you as a trust agent.

Decide on the tone you want to take when writing a bio.

Should your bio be serious, cool and professional, or should it have a personal flair where you, perhaps, mention your family? Also, should you inject humor or maintain a more serious tone?

Identify the audience you want to reach.

When preparing to write a bio, clearly identify the audience that you're attempting to influence. That step alone can help dictate your tone.

Inject some personality.

Even professional bios should include something that displays your personality. Here’s a short bio example that does just that:

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 10.11.06 AM

Write in the first person.

Writing in the first person will make your bio more intimate and personal, but it is also a matter of preference and taste that depends on the tone you take and the audience that you’re addressing.

Conclusion

Building online authority using content marketing requires that you:

  • Have a home base in the form of a website;
  • Claim your domain name;
  • Share your expertise in a blog;
  • Participate actively in social media;
  • Have a bio that showcases your skill set and personality.

There are other steps you can take, such as setting up an email newsletter or writing a whitepaper, but those are "add-ons" that amplify your presence. Start with these five essentials to lay a sound basis for establishing your authority, and then build on it from there.

Connect with Paul Chaney! Twitter | LinkedIn |

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Influencer Marketing: Interview With Danica Kombol

05/09/2016

Birthday_morqueTo celebrate Diva Marketing's 12th Blog Birthday (!) ... an extra special interview on a topic that is sizzlin' hot -- Influencer Marketing with Danica Kombol founder of Everywhere Agency.

Seems you can't turn a corner in the digital world without bumping up against an influencer marketing post or campaign. Influencer marketing's roots began in the blogosphere programs of what we called blogger relations.

However, with the onset of multiple social media channels e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Periscope, Blogs, YouTube, Snapchat and technology that provides in-depth metrics, more brands are creating marketing promotion and content initiatives that include people who have significant followings and well -- influence.

Although the relationship aspect of today's influencer marketing campaigns are still critical, campaigns are more sophisticated than in the days of blogger relations. 

Danica Kombol graciously agreed to give us the scoop on what makes a successful influencer marketer program from the point of view of the brand/agency and the influencer. In her usual style, Danica includes so much more. Enjoy!

Danica Kombol
About Danica Kombol:I’m an entrepreneur, a mom, a pie baker and passionate about communications. I run the social media marketing firm, Everywhere Agency. We launched in 2009, focused primarily on social media and helping major brands get into the social media space. At that time, we were novel and unique, and big brands like CNN, Lexus, Lexis-Nexis and others needed our services. 

This day and age, most brands get it and have built out robust social media teams of their own. Now a major focus of our agency is influencer marketing. We connect companies like Macy’s, Carter’s and other major consumer brands with influencers to help amplify and tell their story. 

Diva Marketing: The term influencer marketing seems to be the hot buzz world. A Google search pulled up 20,800,000 links. Let’s start at Influencer Marketing 101. How do you define “influencer marketing?”

Danica Kombol: With influencer marketing, influencers become the vehicle to deliver your marketing message. However, it’s way more complex than that.  The question really becomes, “How do you use influencers to deliver that message and what type of influencers do you seek out?”. At Everywhere Agency, we practice the ancient art of storytelling.  By that, I mean finding influencers who can naturally and organically communicate a story about a product or brand.

Diva Marketing: Influencer Marketing is a service that your agency Everywhere Agency offers. How and why did you come to include it in your offerings?

Danica Kombol: In 2009, Everywhere Agency won the Guinness World Record for the most socially networked message in #BEATcancer.  We launched that campaign at BlogWorld (now extinct) by getting influencers at the conference to all tweet out #BeatCancer, and eBay/PayPal agreed to give a penny per tweet for every mention. Those funds went to cancer serving charities.

We were trending on Twitter within the hour and remained that way for three days.  At the time, we wanted to send the message that social media could be used for social good.  In retrospect, I realize that was our first experience galvanizing influencers, and those who participated in those first hours of sending out tweets are friends to this day. 

After that, brands kept coming to us looking for novel, non-advertising ways to promote their events or their products. We knew all these influencers, many who had a natural affinity for certain brands. We realized we could leverage influencers to share positive stories about brands the same way we got influencers to deliver a positive message in #BeatCancer. 

Seven years ago, we were keeping all these influencers in Excel spreadsheets. As more and more of them worked on campaigns, they began to talk to one another and say things like, “I’m part of Everywhere.” We realized we had to move all these amazing folks out of spreadsheets and bring them into a community.

That’s when we launched Everywhere Society – which is a community of influencers who work with our agency and opt in for brand campaigns. And it really is a community. Our influencer network has grown from those early years of the geek bloggers who used to attend BlogWorld to a vast community of 2,500 influencers coast to coast who write about lifestyle, fashion, technology, food, DIY, parenting, and well, just about anything. 

Diva Marketing: On a high level, why do brands invest in influencer marketing programs?

Danica Kombol: According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from other people – even if they don’t know them personally – over promotional content that comes directly from brands, and 74% of consumers identify word of mouth as a key factor of their purchasing decisions.

Essentially, influencer marketing is word of mouth advertising in the digital sphere. It’s easier for consumers to connect with a brand when they see it through the eyes of a real, relatable person.  

Diva Marketing: Let’s drill down to the “influencer” which might be more complex to determine.  Before we get into the weeds of the elements ~ for you, what makes an effective “influencer” for a brand campaign?

Danica Kombol: Ha! We debate about this often. An influencer is really anyone who is persuasive over a great number of people.  An influencer is that person you know who tells you about the best hair salon or movie to see. In Malcolm Gladwell, Tipping Point-speak, these people are the “mavens,” or people we rely on to connect us with new information.

Most of us have many different subgenres of influencers in our lives. For example, I seek parenting advice from my friend Paula and technology advice from my friend Lina.  In the “olden days” we’d have a phone conversation with that influencer seeking their advice on, say, the next gadget to buy. Today, we see his or her Facebook post, and we take action or are influenced by them. 

Diva Marketing: Is there a secret recipe that Everywhere Agency created to determine if a person is a digital/social media influencer? By that I mean is a percentage of reach, followers, Klout score, engagement , etc  that  is used? If not what does Everywhere take into consideration?

Danica Kombol: Sure, and contrary to my response above where I define just about anyone with influence as an influencer, at Everywhere Agency we are specifically looking for “digital influencers” or those folks with an extremely large digital footprint and a very engaged audience.  So yes, we look at numbers.

If they are a blogger, we look at their UMV’s (unique monthly visits), but in this day and age, we’re as likely to look at their Instagram, Vine, Snapchat or Twitter reach. Most important of all is what the influencer writes or talks about.  There has to be a real match for the brands we represent.  

Diva MarketingIn the Public Relations world celebrity marketing has been a tactic for a very long time. How does influencer marketing differ from celebrity marketing?

Danica Kombol: Ha, ha. It’s not so different anymore! Because I’ll tell you, a lot of these YouTube influencers are now celebrities in their own right!  Celebrity marketing is an aspect of influencer marketing.  At Everywhere Agency, we’ve worked with celebrities, but the core of our activations revolves around digital influencers. 

Diva Marketing: Would you share a successful influencer marketing campaign with us e.g. what made it successful, how did you determined which influencers to use, etc?

Danica Kombol: We recently did a series of Twitter chats for Macy’s. We were promoting the fact that Macy’s carries plus-sized clothing in their stores and embraces women with curves.

Macy’s teamed up with SuperModel Emme to do a series of fashion shows in their stores featuring plus-sized models and influencers. We found curvy bloggers who write about fashion to model and then joined forces with Emme to have Twitter chats where we talked about body positivity, fashion trends for curvy women, and the power of embracing your curves.

The conversations were amazing (even leading us to trend on Twitter). The impressions, which are how we measure our social conversations, topped 36 million. What was evident to us in these chats was that there are all these women who want to have this conversation, and we were proud to help facilitate it. Did I mention we won an AMY Award for our efforts?


Emme _everywhere tweet

Diva Marketing: What metrics do you usually use to determine the success of a campaign?
If can share any tools that would be great!

Danica Kombol: We look at a variety of factors – and every campaign has a different goal, so success doesn’t always look the same. Some clients are more concerned with the quality of content and photos than the amount of eyeballs that see it. Generally, we consider a campaign successful based on the number of impressions, a.k.a. the number of people who potentially saw a post, and the level of engagement or interaction the posts received.

Determining these statistics can be tricky, but we currently use a platform called Tracx to keep tabs on how our influencers are performing.

Diva Marketing: What 3 tips would you give a brand manager new to influencer marketing?

Danica Kombol:

1. Don’t expect the influencer to do a carbon copy of your brand message. Realize the benefit of working with influencer is that they tell your brand story in their own voice. Give them the tools to tell the story, but let them tell it on their own.

2. When you’re compensating an influencer, you must follow FTC Guidelines, which debuted in 2009 and are continuing to evolve. If confused about them, seek guidance from the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

3. And finally (and I’m not just saying this because I run an agency but), “don’t go it alone.” Finding the right influencer is only half the battle. Agencies like mine specialize in doing the negotiations, building out the story architecture, tracking the influencer and making sure all FTC guidelines are met. 

Diva Marketing: What advice would you give that brand manager if an influencer goes ‘rogue?’

Danica Kombol: See tip number 3 above, where I encourage a brand manager to “not go it alone.”  At Everywhere Agency, we’ve been working with the same 2500 members in our network for years. We know their strengths and weaknesses. WE ONLY work with influencers who meet deadlines and follow the brand mandates.  An influencer who “goes rogue” is an influencer who was poorly chosen.

Diva Marketing: Let’s change direction and talk a little about influencer marketing from the influencer’s point of view.  Number one question people want to know:  Is this a financial exchange? In other words how should an influencer expect to get compensated?

Danica Kombol: By and large, any influencer with a large following gets compensated for their work.  The good influencers have a healthy ratio of sponsored versus non-sponsored posts, and the campaigns we bring to influencers are all sponsored campaigns.

In other words, we are paying the influencer to write (in their own words) about a brand, event or product.

Diva Marketing: Understanding that each campaign is different, what are some of the common aspects an influencer can expect when participating in an influencer marketing program?

Danica Kombol: An influencer can and should expect clear direction from the brand. What specific messages must be included in your blog post or social shares?  What’s the goal of the campaign? The influencer should also stop and ask if this campaign is a match for their audience.

The surest way for an influencer to lose their audience is to fill their content with advertising messages their readers don’t want to hear. 

Diva Marketing: As is Diva Marketing’s tradition, we’re tossing the virtual mic back to you. Wrap it up anyway you’d like.

Danica Kombol: McKinsey & Co says that word of mouth is the primary factor in 20% to 50% of all purchasing decisions, so influencer marketing isn’t something that’s nice to have – it’s a critical component in this era’s marketing landscape. 

There’s power and passion and energy in influence that you don’t see in advertising. Go forth and be influential in your marketing efforts!! 

Connect with Danica!

Everywhere Agency Website|Everywhere Agency Twitter | Danica Kombol Twitter | Danica Kombol Instagram| Danica Kombol LinkedIn

 

Social Media Listening... Will We Learn?

12/30/2015

Heart_12As we close out 2015 and begin the circle dance anew, there will be lots of predictions of what 2016 will hold in terms of marketing trends and must dos. This is not one of those posts.

Time brings perspective. So instead, I'd like to look back at one aspect of social/digital media marketing that was suppose to change the marketing game: from gaining a better understanding of our customers’ emotional profiles, to casual research insights, to more responsive customer care. 

Social Listening 

Ten years ago, or there about, Social Listening exploded into the digital landscape. It was positioned as the golden grail that would be the beginning of authentic conversational marketing. It soon became clear that unless you wanted to bury the new data it brought in garbled buzz words, social listening had better lead to a new customer communication channel where the brand could directly engaged with its customers. Back in 2005 that thought was revolutionary. Really! In fact, word revolutionary became a buzz word onto itself. 

If your brand ignored the digital pioneers who were using social media as a new customer service or communication channel you quickly saw how the brand's reputation, online as well as offline could be impacted.  When it came to the brand experience it seemed nothing was sacred or out of bounds for customers to tell their digital friends about the good, bad and ugly. Lest you think all social media posts were about the negative, Becky Carroll's blog Customers Rock told stories of great customer experiences... online and off.

We watched and learned along with the social media teams at Dell/Richard Binhammer and Lionel Menchaca; Comcast/Frank Eliason and Ford/Scott Monty as they publically walked the virtual tightrope. Sometimes they stumbled and fell and other times they got it right. 

The social customer service human-to-human mantra was a seemingly simply 3 step plan. 

Listen to your customers | Respond with respect | Go the extra mile to delight.

We soon learned it was not as easy as it appeared. New complex, sophisticated models evolved like the Customer Reference Program, created by Jeremiah Owyang in 2007.  Books about this new disruptive marketing world began to emerge. Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble and Shel Isreal (2006) changed perceptions about how we would come to define this thing we called marketing. I was honored that my views were highlighted in two chapters.

Heart_8
And then it was 2015.
 

Social listening and social media customer service are built into most company digital initiatives. It's an old game now. Organizations from retail to healthcare to  food to nonprofits tweet, post, video, snap photos & snap chat in social networks.

Listening is an automated process that brings stats and key words to managers in pretty charts and graphs. Brands engage... sometimes. Problems are resolved... sometimes. It often seems the social media customer service goal is to respond to as many customer concerns as possible in order to have the social media (home/handle) stream appears as though the brand is listening and caring. Frequently I find there is no follow-up after the initial engagement.

Is social media customer service the new 2016 advertising complete with PR spin? With so many people posting, tweeting, instagram-ing and the social streams moving so quickly, does it really it matter if we don't relate human-to-human? 

Heart_11
And then it was 2016.

Time brings perspective. Perhaps 2016 is the right time to re-evalue how your digital/social media initiatives are executed and if they are supporting your brand values. No one promised this would be easy. 

All the best for a happy, healthy and however you define successful 2016.

Toby

Interview With Alex Brown On "Non Glory" A Video Series

05/27/2015

 

Alex Brown_ 5_15I've often said the social web gives more than it takes.

Meeting people who may be outside of your usual network is one of its best 'gifts.' Alex Brown and I are worlds apart. We met in the "blogosphere" in 1999 when he was managing one of the first and most innovative online communities for Wharton.

Needless to say Alex is a pioneer in digital media. But Alex has another passion .. his love for horses.

He was able to combined his marketing talents and social media skills to build an amazing horse advocay community. It was not unusal for posts to pull in 500, 700, 1000 comments. Unheard of back in the day and even more so today. He's also the author of a brilliant and beautiful book - "Great and Goodness Barbaro And His Legacy."  Alex Brown_book jacket Greatness and Goodness Barbaro and his Legacy

Alex describes himself as -- " I am a horseman, who is also an internet marketing "geek." I have ridden horses all my life, and I have been using the internet for teaching and marketing since 1992." 

Fast forward to 2015. Video is where many see the growth of digital media. When Alex told me about an innovative video project he was launching for a rather controversial topic that once again combined Alex's love of horse and social media I was excited to learn more. 

Diva Marketing, Toby: Your latest project is a video series on YouTube, it seems a bit of a departure from the development of a book. Why did you choose this medium ?

Alex Brown: My goal for this project, Horses: Sports, Culture, and Slaughter, is simply for content consumption, rather than distribution.

I wanted to create some content that would be easy for audiences to find, and then consume. No friction. With a book, your audience has to buy the book, and even after purchase, there is no guarantee that the book is read. I fear that quite a few people who did buy my book have not get read through it in detail.

For this project, I had messages I want to get out there. This made more sense. I also wondered, if I created an online essay, would people read? Would it have the same credibility, sharability, and so forth. I settled on a video series, and YouTube as the platform.

Diva Markeitng, Toby: To go the route of a well made video series may take even more effort than a book. What messages are you trying to convey that are so important to you in this project?

Alex Brown: The horse slaughter issue is very controversial, here in the United States. I think it is an issue that should be resolved, one way or another, in the near term. I believe it exists because most horsemen (gender neutral) and horse lovers really don't understand all the issues related to the subject, and quite honestly many do not want to know.

So I wanted to create a resource that examined all the issues, both for and against horse slaughter.It is comprehensive, basically a brain-dump of everything I know.

Diva Marketing, Toby: Although an important, but controversial topic, one might think that many people would be turned off by the subject. I might even think that most people would just avoid your hard work. Is that a concern?

Alex Brown: That is the biggest problem, for sure. Slaughter is visually dreadful, regardless of animal. I don't watch slaughter videos online. Only animal rights people watch that stuff I think, so really it becomes an echo chamber of the same people talking to each other, rather than getting the message out to broader communites.

My series is "NON GORY" and I make that very clear right at the beginning of the series. It is basically a 55 minute interview of me, discussing at the issues and context surrounding the topic, that is then overlayed with "b roll" of places I have visited etc. that are relevent to the conversation. My dog, Harriet, even plays a cameo roll.

Alex Brown_ Harriet

Diva Marketing, Toby: We like that your pooch Harriet plays a role! Max might want her paw print autograph! Seriously, so you create a great piece of content, that might be uncomfortable for some people to watch. You bring a wealth of experience in social media marketing, the big questions are how to you get the video out in front and what's your distribution strategy?

Alex Brown: I have been able to develop a pretty healthy social  media following over the years. First with the community developed on timwoolleyracing.com and then alexbrownracing.com as we followed Barbaro's progress at New Bolton Center.

From there the book helped me further build the community. I now have more than 5k followers on Twitter, 5k friends on Facebook (that's the limit for a personal page) as well as a new Facebook page for my Advocacy work. From this page I was able to purchase a Facebook ad (post boost at $20, which I will probably repeat during subsequent weekends, on the assumption that people have more time to consume content on the weekend). I am also pretty active on LinkedIn (some of that is due to my consulting work in the social media space). Basically I have quite a decent platform to launch content.

Diva Marketing, Toby: Initial distribution, seeding, is important, how have you tried to get the series to spread?

One of my goals was the timing of the launch. I wanted to get it out there during the Triple Crown series. This is important because it is the time of year that horses are on the national conscience. Media are covering our sport. We know when we explore the science behind "viral" content, an important factor is to design content that is part of the current conversation on the internet. 

Even in the video design, I ask at the end of the series for those who "liked" the series to post it on their social platforms. You have to be very deliberate about this stuff. I have also been able to reach out to my network of media connections, to try to help spread the word.

Again, you have to be very deliberate and go after every connection you have. You then need to try to track conversations about the series, in what I call the "free marketing" space. Any comments, you respond. Even negative comments, engagement is very important.

Diva Marketing, Toby: Totally agree. Without the engagement factor you might as well keep content on a website. The series has been out for little more than a week, how has it been received?

Alex Brown: So far, the three videos have received 1,000 views, according to YouTube. I think that is a pretty good start. I have had some media coverage, one of which really did help get the word out.

Now I am continuing to try too engage with media, and now directly with friends on Facebook to watch the series, and then post about it. I think that is important.

I don't just ask people to spread the word, it is KEY that someone watched the series first. That way, the person can talk specifically about the series, as she promotes it. I think that sends a much stronger message. 

Diva Marketing, Toby: What tip would you give people who want to step in to video? Bringing it back to digital marketing, are the results really worth the effort?

Alex Brown: Step in, experiment, fail forward (learn from your experiences) I am still experimenting with the medium, and am working on a couple of other projects for other clients, and the format is very different, short two minute clips focused on singular key ideas.

Finally, SEO is critical. What are the important keywords, and how are they included in the title, description and so forth.

And be passionate, because passion can overcome challenges.

Diva Marketing, Toby: I love that last thought!

Alex Brown: Yes, very critical. I have two passions, horses and the internet, my worlds collide! Horses - pre industrial revolution, technology -  post industrial revolution. Now we are trying to use the technology to save the horse.

Diva Marketing, Toby: As is our tradition, on Diva Marketing, we're tossing the virtual mic to you Alex. Wrap it anyway you'd like.

Alex Brown: Thanks Toby. Early reaction to the series has been positive; I just really hope it helps move the conversation from one among animal rights groups, to one among horsemen and horse lovers throughout the United States.

Connect with Alex: Website |Alex Brown Racing | Non Glory Video |Twitter |Linkedin

Diva Marketing Talks to Alex Brown! Interview about the story behind Great and Goodness Barbaro And His Legacy| Podcast with Beth Kanter "Tell The Stories Of Causes Through Social Media

The Four Ts of Content Consistency

03/18/2015

4
What is your best advice for a local small business that wants to leverage the web for marketing purposes? was the question my friend Paul Chaney, Editor of Web Marketing Today asked me and a few other "in the know" marketers. 

Thought you might enjoy my response!  

Great question Paul and one that many people will take from the strategy point of view: know your goals, how to measure them and your audience.  Let’s look at this from a slightly different point of view: content consistency.  

I look at content consistency from two perspectives. The first direction includes tonality, topics, and touch. The second direction is time. 

Tonality is the voice you’ll use through out the web from  your website and to social media channels For example, if you’re managing a rap group the tonality will be different than if you’re selling financial products to corporate accounts.

Topics quite simply are what you want chat about to your digital community. However, the format might be a blog, video, podcast or photos/images. The most successful topics are those that your audience cares about .. I call that ‘now I care content.’  Content that is so compelling it is shared.

Touch is how you’ll engage with your audience. It’s often neglected but can be the most powerful piece of your web marketing. What will you say when someone shares your content on Twitter or drops a comment on Facebook?

Time is well … time! Especially for small business owners, who wear multiple hats,  we have to come to terms that we can’t do it all or all at once. Identify which web marketing tactic will give you the most return for time spent. That may not always be direct revenue but branding or extended reach.  As an example, for a B2B service or product it may be diving deeply into LinkedIn. For a food media company it may be Twitter that best drives audience for you.

Take into consideration that all four Ts must work in harmony which leads us full circle to your goals, how to measure and your audience.

Note: For Food Businesses including chefs, cookbook authors, FoodTV media companies & contestants, foodpreneurs check out Diva Foodies where we're serving up social to the food industry plus offering delicious content!

Interview With N.E.D. - The Rock N Roll Docs

02/04/2015

Ned logoDoctors heal patients in many ways ... some even through rock n roll!

N.E.D., an innovative rock band of 6 U.S. cancer surgeons, tours the country using their music to create awareness about women's cancer issues. 

As Doc/Musician Nimesh Nagarsheth told us in this Diva Marketing interview, "Through our music we are able to reach thousands at a time getting our our awareness and education messages and quite honestly have a great time doing it."

N.E.D's  heartwarming story inspired award winning producers from Spark Media to become N.E.D. groupies (of sorts) following the band for over three years. The end result was an award winning film -  N.E.D. The Movie.

There is more. Today on World Cancer Day Regal Cinemas is showing the film (schedule). Awesome and amazing. Hope you are as inspired as I was by this story. Please enjoy this inteview with the producers and Rockin' Doc Nimesh. 

About N.E.D (No Evidence of Disease): A rock band made up of 6 women’s cancer surgeons with the goal of raising public awareness of gynecologic cancers through music and the arts.

 Our Story Tellers

Nimesh Nagarsheth, M.D. / Drums, PercussionDr. Nagarsheth is on faculty at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center in Englewood, New Jersey.

Aladin Concert Nagarsheth

“You can learn a lot from patients with cancer. And they see the world in a way that’s much different from the way that someone else sees the world.”

Andrea Kalin, Director, Executive Producer: Andrea Kalin is an Emmy Award Winning filmmaker and founder of Spark Media, a production company dedicated to producing films with a social conscience. 

  Andrea Kalin

Karen Simon, Producer: Producer Karen Simon has worked on several Spark Media documentaries, including Prince Among SlavesSoul of a People: Writing America’s Story, and Partners of the Heart.  She also led the innovative national educational outreach effort for Partners of the Heart.

Karen Simon

Diva Marketing/Toby: I get the overall mission of N.E.D. is to increase awareness of GYN cancers and that music is a universal experience ... but why a “Doc Rock Band?”

N.E.D./Nimesh:  Music and the arts are extremely effective forms of communication. While our day jobs as a women’s cancer surgeons are extremely rewarding – we are most often working and making a difference with one patient at a time. Through our music we are able to reach thousands at a time getting our our awareness and education messages and quite honestly have a great time doing it.

Creating and performing original music is extremely therapeutic for us. I truly believe our music is special because our unique background and experiences as cancer surgeons is reflected in the music we create.

Diva Marketing/Toby: From the world of music who inspires you Doc Nimesh?  

N.E.D./Nimesh: My strongest influences are RUSH, Foo Fighters and U2. However, I truly appreciate many kinds of music and often visit the Jazz clubs in NYC as well as other music venues.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Dr. Nimesh, you do have an eclecitc music tastes! Let’s talk a little more about the band. Since the ‘doc-musicians’ are located across the U.S. How often does the group get together for practice?

N.E.D./Nimesh: There have been some years where we have 7 or more shows in a year. When this happens we usually practice one or two days before each performance. Often we will review our old songs and add one or two new songs we have been working on during the rehearsals. Everyone in the band prepares incredibly well for the rehearsals so we often are able to be extremely productive even at short rehearsals. When working on a new album, we will typically schedule a weekend rehearsal with our producer for preparation for recording in the studio.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Are any of the practices held virtually e.g. on Skype of Google+?

N.E.D./ Nimesh: Yes, many times 2 or 3 of the band members may work on parts vis Skype.

NED_Top_Photo

The N.E.D. - Rocking Doc Band!

John Boggess - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Joanie Mayer Hope - Lead Vocals, Guitar
Nimesh Nagarsheth - Drums & Percussion
William [Rusty] Robinson - Bass Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
John Soper [Sope] - Guitar, Mandolin
Will Winter - Lead Guitar

 Graphic credit: nedtheband.com

Diva Marketing/Toby: Were any of the docs in garage bands during their high school or med school days?

N.E.D./Nimesh: I have been in bands ever since junior high school. One of my earliest  rock bands was Three For The Road. I joined and /or formed bands when in college, medical school, residency and fellowship and even now as an attending physician.

My local NYC band is Come Together (a Beatles and Rolling Stones cover band that has played at venues thoughout NYC and even twice at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Love that you're helping keep 'clasical rock' alive. Is N.E.D's music original and if so who are the composers?

N.E.D/ Nimesh: N.E.D. writes, records and performs original music. Everyone in the band has written and contributed to the song writing but for the latest recording John Boggess, Will Winter, and Joanie Hope have taken the lead on the writing.

NED_music

Link to music samples

Diva Marketing/Toby: Is the music part of a fund raising effort? If so where can we buy/download the tunes?

N.E.D/Nimesh: Yes, the music is large part of our fundraising efforts. Typically, we make the most impact in fundraising at our live performances through tickets sales, corporate donations, and merchandise sales. Our music is available on itunes and amazon.com.

Diva Marketing/Toby: The idea of a documentary about N.E.D. is intriguing.  Who came up with the concept and how did you make the film compelling for the audience?

No Evidence of Disease (Trailer) from Spark Media on Vimeo.

N.E.D/ Karen & Andrea: Spark Media learned about the band from it’s co-creator, a fellow GYN oncologist who brought the rock doctors together.  They happened to be playing at an awareness raising event in Washington, DC, where Spark is based, so we got them together to talk for several hours around a table, and realized we had 6 fascinating, Type A+ people out to change the world in ways big and small.  

We heard their passion for their patients, and their commitment to music as a powerful tool not only to raise awareness but also to heal. Add to that their personal commitment to reach their patients beyond the O.R. and we knew we had a story.  We started following them around with cameras that same day, and didn’t stop for 3 ½ years.  

Stylistic and engrossing, our film unfolds in harmony with the music of the band whose songs set the tone for each scene. Lyrics resonate with universal themes, that are cyclical, revolving around living and dying, body and soul. Our cameras reveal how cancer can bring out the worst and best in people, rip lifelong friends apart, but also pull families together closer than ever.

  • This isn’t a linear story, but a sequence of many stories, and emotive moments thematically cut with honesty and compassion and with a POV that’s intimate and relatively unfiltered.

The pace and tone of the film reflects the immediate, volatile, intensity of the cancer experience—the music is a release valve in their complex lives and a way of healing for all they cannot control.  Story and music combine for maximum impact in ways that importantly serve our cause as we engage, dispel fears and invite viewers into a deep, purposeful engagement with a women’s health issue shrouded in unnecessary shame.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Since Diva Marketing is about digital and social media marketing let’s explore those avenues.  When did N.E.D. realize that it had turned into a ‘brand?’

N.E.D./Andrea & Karen:

  • Actually, when you hear audiences chant: “N.E.D.  N.E.D.  N.E.D….” we realized it was the audience who branded the band and the film.  

  Race to the end posters

N.E.D. -- such a powerful and positive concept: No Evidence of Disease.  We put a face to that concept, a movement to that concept, music to that concept, and the branding of the human experience began. We chose an impactful photo of Jennie McGihon who had lost her hair from her chemo treatments, but despite that, you could feel her strength and poise, still appreciate her beauty that radiates from inside out.  She, to us, represented all women going through raw, difficult time.   

Digital and social media have been powerful tools for us.  We have captured over 500 hours of footage, and a large swath of that footage did not end up in the feature length cut. So, we have produced dozens of short pieces that are self-contained and powerful in and of themselves.  We put those on social media and YouTube, and some of them will be on V.O.D. along with the film.

We use Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and now Thunderclap, Google Hangouts and Reddit AMA in our outreach and audience engagement, extending our reach to individuals and groups all over the country and the world. Arming women with knowledge, the film and its emerging awareness campaign help to preserve dignity, and to channel discussions about women’s health needs into the public sphere.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Sounds like you certainly have the digital conversations covered! Who does N.E.D. hope to reach with its music and as we say in marketing, what are its goals?

N.E.D./Nimesh: First and foremost we want to reach our patients and their loved ones. We believe that music has some incredible healing qualities and our patients have told us time and time again that they feel this as well. Beyond our patients our music is really for everyone. We believe everyone has been touched (either directly or indirectly) by cancer and that our music can equally touch people.

 

Twitter bannerGraphic: Twitter Cover

Diva Marketing/Toby: How important is using social media/digital marketing in reaching those goals?

N.E.D./Andrea & Karen:  Social and digital media outreach was crucial in helping our collective groups crank up the volume, and sustain a noisy, national movement to break through walls of silence.

Soulfully and cathartically dissolving taboos through feisty storytelling, combined with intricately planned and networked multilevel longitudinal engagement featuring live music performances, educational modules to convey What Every Woman Should Know, hip and diverse outreach using humor, and targeting at risk communities such as African Americans, Latina and Ashkenazi Jewish women through any all platforms where these groups convene.

We were screen and platform agnostic.

Diva Marketing/Toby: What are the digital/social media tactics that have been most successful in terms of creating awareness for the film, as well as, the band?

N.E.D./Andrea & Karen: Both the film and the Band have tried to draw in a wide, diverse audience and we understood from the outset that this would mean taking a shrewd approach to a difficult topic.

From the filmmakers perspective, we concentrated as much of our energies into the art of telling the story as we did in facilitating cutting-edge advocacy that would assure the film go beyond the screen to reach out to women, families, and the medical community on a grassroots level.

  • We believe weren’t just producing a film but igniting a movement. 

From our early days in development, we ran a Kickstarter Campaign, online Auctions with Charity Buzz, Give back campaigns with Facebook, Giving Tuesday campaigns on Twitter, Work-in-progress screenings in theaters, stylized merchandise and hundreds of thousands of uncountable hours of grit and passion to network and turn any opportunity on any platform… even in the most unlikely situations into an opportunity.

  • There’s no magic bullet, nor platform or tactic that we can single out that was overwhelmingly successful, more so it was our openness to try anything and perseverance to believe in the long tail of success.

Diva Marketing/Toby: What lessons have you learned from incorporating social media in your communication strategy that you can share with us?

 N.E.D/Brad Wilke of SmartHouse Creative: Though social media doesn't offer a magic elixir for all of your marketing challenges, it does provide a robust infrastructure within which you can integrate each and every piece of your go-to-market strategy. By keeping social media top of mind from planning through execution, you vastly increase the probability of "happy accidents," such as celebrity RTs, incidental media outlet coverage, and other seemingly random media hits.

For instance, with N.E.D., we were able to utilize social network analysis tools (such as NodeXL) to determine our subject matter influencers around the country, and, therefore, better target our conversations and content. Social media is not only a resource multiplier, but an essential component of any serious product release strategy, including independent films, music, and related creative projects.

Diva Marketing/Toby: Even though the docs in N.E.D. are teaching us about GYN cancer, we all learn from our experiences. What has being a member of the band taught each of the docs?

Twitter PennSocialIDC

N.E.D/ Nimesh:

  • I have learned to be a better listener when taking care of my patients. I have also learned how to cope with the stresses of being a doctor through my creative role in the band.

Diva Marketing/Toby: As is our tradition, we’re passing the mic back to the extraordinary docs in the band. Please wrap the interview anyway you’d like.  

N.E.D/Nimesh: I would like thank all of our amazing fans and supporters throughout the years that have helped us make N.E.D. an incredible success!

Connect with N.E.D. Twitter | Facebook | N.E.D Website |N.E.D. The Movie

Some how it seems appropriate to link to Jefferson Starship's "We Build This City On Rock And Roll."  Wouldn't it be fabulous to build a cure for cancer with the proceeds from rock n roll?!

 

An Interview with Advocate Health Care: Case Study #StoriesOfTheGirls

11/06/2014

Breast cancer logoBreast cancer still impacts too many lives. Advocate Health Care launched a unique program to bring attention to breast cancer prevention, treatment and support.

Understanding that women gain strength and the comfort from the stories they share and are shared they used digital and social networks to tell the  #StoriesoftheGirls . Through the following interview Christine Piester, VP Marketing and Christine Bon, Manager Digital Marketing and Communication graciously provided us with a case study of the program.

This post is dedicated to my sister Susan who I know is dancing in the stars.  Susan atl

About Advocate Health Care. Advocate Health Care is the largest health system in Illinois and one of the largest health care providers in the Midwest.

Advocate operates more than 250 sites of care, including 12 hospitals that encompass 11 acute care hospitals, the state’s largest integrated children’s network, five Level I trauma centers (the state’s highest designation in trauma care), three Level II trauma centers, one of the area’s largest home health care companies and one of the region’s largest medical groups. As a not-for-profit, mission-based health system affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ, Advocate contributed $661 million in charitable care and services to communities across Chicagoland and Central Illinois in 2013.

 Our Story Tellers

Advocate Healthcare_ Christine Priester, VP, MarketingChristine Priester, VP, Marketing

 

 

 

 

Advocate Healthcare _Christine Bon

Christine Bon, Manager Digital Marketing & Communication

 

 

 

 Diva Marketing/Toby: How did the idea of #StoriesoftheGirls evolve? Was it a difficult sell to management including the hospital administrator?

Advocate Health Care: Christine Priester/Christine Bon: Obviously, the idea of #StoriesOfTheGirls remains a very edgy concept. Anytime you introduce a double entendre (“the girls”) as part of your campaign you take a risk. However, the Chicago health care market is noisy and we had to figure out a way to break through the clutter. Not only did we have to sell this concept to the health system leadership, we had to convince the 12 hospital presidents that this was the right idea, at the right time and with the right audience.

In order to gain the necessary buy-in, our CMO hosted numerous sessions where she outlined the campaign and addressed any questions and concerns. The vast majority of our internal leadership were overwhelmingly supportive, there were a few unsure outliers, but they soon became believers once they saw the results.

Diva Marketing/Toby: What was success for the campaign and how was it measured?

Advocate Health Care: Christine Priester/Christine BonWhile we wanted women to join the conversation at StoriesOfTheGirls.com, we really wanted women to take advantage of our patient added-value proposition.

We were the first in the market to offer same-day, no-referral mammograms.  This breaks down access barriers and allows women to schedule their mammogram on their terms, when they have some extra time as life might be too busy to schedule this test a few weeks out, months out, but there is no time like the present. 

  • So, that said we measured the growth in mammogram appointments (up over 10% across the system), web site visits, and engagement in the conversation (social media).

 Diva Marketing/Toby: The micro site is rich with content about breast healthcare. For many visitors to the site, I’m guessing the most compelling content is the video stories told by the breast cancer survivors and physicians.  How were these women indentified? What were their reasons to publically participate in #StoriesoftheGirls? 

Advocate Health Care: Christine Priester/Christine BonAdvocate Health Care treats more breast cancer patients than anyone else in Illinois, and more of our patients become survivors than any other system.  Through our over 30 mammogram locations across the system, we were able to tap into our internal resources to identify patients with compelling stories that were willing to participate in the campaign.

And, we had, and continue to have no problems with patients wanting to tell their story. All of our survivors say if telling their story can just save one woman’s life it was worth it. They also appreciated the real tone and voice of the campaign.

  • They have all grown tired of the traditionally depressing look at this disease and wanted to show that women’s relationships with “the girls” is much more than a cancer diagnosis.

This year we have some wonderful new videos that include not only survivors, an update on one of last year’s featured patients, but patients currently going through treatment, Sue even shaved her head on the video as her hair was falling out – emotional stuff!

 Diva Marketing/Toby: I would love to be able to chat with these amazing people. Did you explore incorporating real-time conversations through social networks, perhaps a Tweet Chat or a G+ Hangout?

Advocate Health Care: Christine Priester/Christine Bon: Glad you asked this question. New in the 2014 Stories of the Girls campaign is a message board prominently on the StoriesOfTheGirls.com microsite. We knew that we had to take this campaign to the next level in terms of the conversation so this is an exciting element this year (just launched on 9-15-14). Here, you can chat with survivors, you can talk with other families and their friends going through this journey with a loved one, you can ask our doctors questions, and you can simply ask about other breast health issues from puberty and first bras, to breastfeeding, boob jobs, and changes during menopause. Anything goes! We’d be happy to put you in touch with any of our featured survivors, check out their amazing stories through these videos.

Advocate Health Care theta theta girls

theta theta girls video

 Diva Marketing/Toby: The most exciting social tactic I saw was a #StoriesoftheGirls Instragram contest. Would you explain the concept for the Diva community?

Advocate Health Care/Christine BonThe #StoriesOfTheGirls contest was another extender of the conversation. We wanted women to share their inspiring photos, but also just women in general living healthy lives. Women were encouraged to share their photos and in turn were entered to win a gift card to a specialty bra store in Chicago. Since we had just launched our Instagram account the month prior, this was a great way for us to gain some new followers and boost engagement.

Diva Marketing/Toby: What was the most surprising aspect of the Instagram contest?

Advocate Health Care/Christine BonThrough the contest, we uncovered some very inspiring stories and one that we are now featuring in this year’s campaign: Kia. We also saw a side of our own associates (employees) who shared their breast cancer journey through photos as well. We were excited to see how quickly we gained new followers who were interested in our content and still engage with us on the social platform.

 Diva Marketing/Toby: In addition to Instagram what other social media tactics were included? Which one was your favorite and why?

Advocate Health Care/Christine BonIn addition to Instagram, we also used Facebook as a social platform to drive awareness of breast cancer by creating a daily calendar of trivia questions about breast health. There was a new question posted each day. Once the daily question was answered you were automatically entered to win a handmade breast cancer awareness crystal bracelet. You were able to enter a total of 31 times for a chance to win the grand prize of gift card to a specialty bra store in Chicago.

We also used Facebook as a platform to share all of our patient’s incredible stories, and also to promote our Instagram contest. Both of our social promotions were well received and we got some great submissions and are continuing to engage through new social promotions with the campaign this year as well and we are seeing even greater results!

Diva Marketing/Toby: How are consumer generated stories/photos being used to extend awareness of #StoriesoftheGirls and  breast cancer health?

Advocate Health Care: Christine Priester/Christine BonOur videos and patient stories have been picked up by many local media outlets as further promotion. Our patients also blog and are the subject of many stories on our brand journalism site ahchealthenews.com  View some of them here.

We also have a partnership with the Chicago Cubs, Bulls, and Bears and we are able to leverage those relationships to have breast cancer awareness events where are patients are honorary captains, sing the 7th inning stretch, and more! It’s a year-long commitment to keep breast cancer awareness at the forefront, not just during October.

Diva Marketing/Toby: The #StoriesoftheGirls campaign kicked off October 2013 to support Breast Awareness Month and appears to be continuing into the summer of 2014 and beyond. As one might say in the theatre, what makes this a long-running show?

Advocate Health Care: Christine Priester/Christine Bon

  • This campaign is authentic and real and that’s what gives it staying power. 

Act 2 of the show is in market now and we couldn’t be more excited. An element of this campaign remains in market year-round, however.  We want to make sure we’re promoting early detection of breast cancer through mammography 365 days a year. And, we want to make it easy for women to get their mammogram and new this year they can find out their results in less than 24 hours – talk about reducing worry that often times accompanies the wait on this test.

Diva Marketing/Toby: What lessons did you learn and can pass along to others in healthcare that maybe considering creating digital/social campaigns?

Advocate Health Care/Christine BonTake a risk, it’s worth it!

Content is critical.

Don’t tell your consumers about new equipment, this or that accreditation, they don’t care. 

Make your campaign about them, not about you.

Speak to your audience how people have conversations in their real life and reach out to them how they like to receive the message (social media, email, direct mail), everyone has a preference, learn it!

  • And, amazingly, you do this, they will talk back to you, and then you have a two-way, engaged consumer conversation and you create brand loyalty.

Toss of a pink boa to Sarah Scroggins for her help in coordinating this interview.  Advocate Health Care _ Sara Scroggins

Beyond The Ink Smudge To Digital Relevancy

07/17/2014

Edgerton reporter"Always in motion is the future”– Yoda 

She was the daughter. That meant she was a second generation newspaper publisher.

Diane Everson, publisher of The Edgerton Reporter in Edgerton, WI wasn’t the only one whose newspaper spanned generations at the 2014 Inland Press Mobile and Social Solutions Conference last month.

In the room, where I had the pleasure of talking about social media in newspapers, were people who had a passion for their papers and their industry.

As I quickly learned, running a weekly or small community newspaper is not unlike owning a small business. Except ... whatever you do is always front and center in the town you serve.

Like many small business owners, nonprofits and yes, larger brands, publishers struggle with how to critically and strategically enter the 21st century digital and social content world. Except ... they face an interesting dilemma when it comes to online content. As do radio and TV.

Actually, digital content strategy is a challenge facing any company whose ‘product’ is information. In the Interweb and social media, where free content is expected there is a haunting question.

  • How much do you ‘give away’ and what do you hold as a revenue stream? 

Even before you can answer that question there are foundational aspects of social media that must be in place. I built the deck to, as they say in the foodie world, deconstruct the elements.

  • Each element in a digital/social media plan must beautifully stand alone before it can be (re)constructed or as marketers might say integrated.

We looked at social through the lens of the brand, journalists and advertisers. I led the group through an exercise that I called “What is different?” We reviewed four media websites: newspaper, TV, radio and online publisher. Our conclusion was the content was so similar we couldn’t identify the media type and it didn't matter which site we were on to just get information. 

Lesson learned: Online content of media companies appears to be all-the-same. 

Question: How can the strengths of the newspaper industry at-large and your specific newspaper be used to created “Now I care content or stories” that are so unique and audience-relevant your community wants to socially share?

We looked at how newspapers, as a brand, engages with their communities. We discoved - not so much. Traditional culture of the media is to identify and tell the stories they feel are most important.

Social media takes radio, TV and newspapers into a far different and often uncomfortable world. It shouldn't be a big surprise to find many, especially smaller newspapers, challenged in how to balance those worlds. 

Lesson learned: Social Media is used as a content distribution channel not as a ‘community communication channel.’ Newspaper publishers were reluctant to step out and ‘talk’ with their readers .. people-to-people.

Question: How can the brand step out from the behind the logo and talk to their readers online -- as they do offline at events and networking meetings?

In 1884, the Boston Globe's Confidential Chat was building community among women, and a few dudes in the greater Boston area. So I say ... go even further back to your roots newspaper peeps and learn from yourself! 

Confidential Chat Boston Globe

Sidebar: This a real clip that I found in my mom's recipe box. She saved it for many years so I assume it must have held meaning for her. How long does your content 'stay around?'  Or is it the digital equivalent of newspaper used to wrapped fish and chips? 

Newspaper fish and chips

We looked at journalists and their special challenges in producing social content and community engagement. We saw engagement but on a closer review it was frequently among their peers not with their community.

Lessons learned: Passion about the topic is important to sustain long-term participation on the social web. Social media writing especially, short tweets, can be a challenge of long-form story training.

Questions: How can journalists sustain a social conversation over time while holding true to the values of their newspapers and their personal brands? How can opinion tweets and posts be included .. or can they?

And there was more so I'm happy to shaing the deck with you. There are several worksheets that might be helpful as you build out systems and process for your plan. Some will help to align with what social media means to your company and how it can support overarching goals.

Hat tip to Mr. Ray Marcano, CanisDigital, for recommeding me for this exciting gig; and Patty Slusher, Inland Press for her support. 

Read More: Amy Gahran, How Early Newspaper to Web Technology Crippled News Industry's Thinking 

Now that we've gone through some deconstructing the next question is -- How will you construct your social media world? Let me know if you have any questions or need any help.

Second Screen TV - Research

07/11/2014

Second screen walking deadPicture this.

It's been a stressful week and you're looking forward to a night of vegging out. The telly goes on and perhaps there is an adult beverage or two nearby. It's a scene played-out in many homes for nearly 70 years.  

Over the past few years a there have been a few changes in How we watch TV. 

On goes the TV set, you flip open your tablet and smart phone ready to watch. Only now you can chat with your friends about the show, play a few Walking Dead games and perhaps even buy that cute dress one of the actresses is wearing. Welcome to Second Screen TV and SocialTV. . 

A couple of weeks ago Joel Rubinson, President and founder of Rubinson Partners, Inc., and CivicScience took to the reseach road to learn more about second screen viewing. The results, which they shared with the industry, TV Viewing and the “Second Screen” – What Audiences are Doing with Mobile, Tablet Devices,  is a report based on the CivicScience data collection and research platform. Joel conducted the analysis and partnered in formulating the research questions.

Joel rubinsonJoel kindly agreed to answer a few questions and give us his views on the future of second screen TV and socialTV. 

Diva Marketing:  The Insight Report you did with CivicScience indicates that multitasking is the name of the game for 45% of respondents who acknowledged using a ‘second screen’ (smart phone, tablet or computer) while viewing traditional broadcast TV.  

It was also  interesting to me that 80%, were not engaged online with content related to the show. 

In your opinion is this a trend and if so, where does it leave content producers in terms of advertiser value?

 Joel Rubinson: Hi Toby, thank you for your question.  First, let me clarify that it is 45% of everyone watching TV who multi-task so it is actually a higher percentage of those who own an internet access device and watch traditional TV.

The fact that 80% or more of multi-taskers are doing so in unrelated ways means that media might have the wrong idea about what people want to do with the device in their hands. They are more interested in passing dead time than they are in enriching the TV experience. 

  • Will this change? Perhaps, but media will need to offer more enticing experiences to get viewers to engage.

The value of this research we did using CivicScience’s data is understanding that the current crop of synchronized tools are not yet substantially changing viewing behaviors. Yet media and marketers desperately want it to work because it would add value to media ad inventory and impact to marketer advertising efforts.  In the meantime, marketers should look for synergistic opportunities for their advertising on unrelated websites.

An exotic sounding but quite doable idea is for marketers to use real time bidding engines to bid for inventory at the precise moment that their advertising is airing on TV. Hence, if I’m seeing a commercial on Judge Judy and happen to be on a news site with RTB inventory at the moment, an advertiser could make sure I am seeing a display ad for the same brand.

Diva Marketing:  In the report there was mention of “synchronized second screen experiences.” Would you please explain the concept and the opportunities as you see them?

Joel Rubinson: Synchronized experiences refers to using your internet device in a way that is related to the TV program you are watching. 

This could be answering quizzes about what you think will happen to Rick in Walking Dead as he is face to face with a horde of Zombies (via an app for the show), or voting on Twitter for who should get kicked off American Idol or The Voice.

In contrast, unrelated multitasking is when I’m checking e-mail or messaging a friend on Facebook while watching a show.

I think the biggest opportunity is to build interest in real time viewing rather than recording the show on a DVR and potentially fast forwarding through the commercials.  Synchronized experiences only work in real time.

Diva Marketing:  How do you see the intersection of broadcast TV and online content being mutually beneficial for (1)  audience/ratings growth , (2) advertisers and (3) viewer experience  … or do you?

Joel Rubinson:

I believe that over the past 5-10 years all networks had to decide if online content was a threat to program ratings. 

  • I believe they all came to the same conclusion that online viewing does not cannibalize TV viewing appreciably and actually builds ratings indirectly by getting someone more into the show.

This has been presented by Alan Wurtzel the research lead at NBC regarding the Olympics.

Online content was mostly viewed by those who wanted to relive favorite moments and seemed to go hand in hand with more TV viewing hours, not fewer, for the Olympics. Overall, the great majority of video content is still viewed in real time on the TV even with 5-10 years of significant growth of DVR use and live streaming over the internet.

TV watching is still the 800 pound gorilla (or at least 720 pounds) but watching content online is also a reality, it is growing and all progressive media companies need to embrace it and make it work for them. 

The researcher in me wants to point out that one simple payback is realizing that the dot.com parts of TV networks have the ability to better track viewer interests via online digital behaviors, yielding first party data that can result in very powerful insights and promotional targeting.

Diva Marketing: Thanks Joel! I'm off to make sure my ipad, iphone and laptop are charged and I know the Twitter handle of the show. 

More About the methodology, CivicScieince, Joel Rubinson and Partners

CivicScience is the provider of the real-time polling and consumer insights platform used by Joel Rubinson in this study. The second-screen questions were added to thousands of other questions running through the CivicScience polling platform and published via hundreds of web and mobile websites, and the data from the anonymous respondents were aggregated and mined using automated data science technology.

CivicScience's platform is used by consumer brand and media clients to quickly and deeply understand consumer sentiment and behaviors. 

Joel Rubison is President and founder of Rubinson Partners, Inc. marketing and research consulting for a brave new world and a member of the faculty of NYU Stern School of Business where he teaches social media strategy. Started in 2010, Rubinson Partners, Inc. (RPI) has already helped position several clients for success in a digital age.