"Earned media," loosely defined as messages passed along by consumers as the result of ad exposure, is perhaps the most coveted and sought-after online media action. It is a demonstration of creative success, a validation of strategy, and, most importantly, it's free.
Earned media, however, is inconsistent and famously difficult to value. This disparity has given rise to a new type of advertising, known as social video. Social video ad campaigns enable people to opt-in, rather than interrupting them. Viewers select the videos on their own in return for virtual goods or currency, and advertisers pay for views on a performance basis.
Social video campaigns don't need to "go viral" in order to succeed. They deliver tangible, consistent earned media value on their own in the form of sharing, Facebook page visits, etc. To put a value on this activity, my company recently completed a study that analyzed over 7.9 million social video views for brands across a number of vertical categories, such as CPG, health and beauty, sports, technology, and luxury goods. The videos themselves were nothing special, just standard ads that ranged from 15 seconds to three minutes-long. But serving them in a non-interruptive social environment made a tremendous difference.
Read more about The Surprising Drivers of Social Video Success
What makes a good influencer? "Influence" is a concept difficult to evaluate since it refers to both subjective and objective values, resulting in a measurement of:
- commercial and financial success
- reputation and credibility
- quality of affiliations and contacts
- charisma and the impact of personality
For each of these values, the notion of influence may vary from person to person. In fact, in the age of social media, the definition is changing as how to identify influencers. Today, thanks to online applications, all social media users now have the opportunity to stand out and in turn become leaders in respect to their interests. As a result, marketers and public relation professionals are forced to reassess their approach to define the notion influence on social networks.
Read more about Five Types of Social Media Influencers
Many business owners leave or start their businesses thinking they can achieve more freedom only to find themselves toiling away in their businesses and thus having bought or created themselves another job. Blogging is no different for most bloggers. Many bloggers who enter the blogosphere with the intention of making money online and someday freeing themselves up from time commitments such as a 9 to 5 job often end up getting tied up to their blogs and don't realize it until often it's too late.
That is quite alright if your intention is simply to work online from home, but if your intention is to free yourself up so that you have more time, you must approach blogging from the lens of building a business that generates passive income for you. See many people that want to break free from their jobs often have the illusion that they want to make more money online and that they can. What they don't realize is that what their subconscious really wants is more freedom and flexibility. Money is secondary.
Read more about Blog Smarter: Don't Just End Up Trading Hours for Dollars
Google is expanding its reach across social media — first with Google+, now with Leaderboard, a new feature allowing users to earn points for checking in to a location via Google Latitude.
Last week, Google launched an updated version of Google Maps for Android, equipped with the new feature similar to Foursquare.The company hasn't officially said it wants to compete against Foursquare. Leaderboard's addition to Google Latitude has been kept hush-hush.
Read more about Does Google Want to Be the New Foursquare?
Too often, when companies research conferences to decide if they should attend, they only look at the program. While the program is probably the most important element to any conference, the value of an event extends far past the agenda. And in order to tap into all the value a conference can offer, you need to realize that you aren't going to a conference just to learn. In fact, you need to realize that you're going to a conference to play three roles:
1 – You are going to learn.
2 – You are going to network.
3 – You are going to create content.
Read more about How to Make the Most of Your Next Social Media or Marketing Conference Experience
Online communities have generated buzz for a long time. Businesses want to build a community to help promote their brands, but most of them do not know where to start. They typically focus on the mechanics of the social media tools, rather than trying to connect with a loyal community.
After an inconsistent effort, business owners begin to wonder if there really is a return on investment (ROI) for building community for their brand. The biggest factor that companies miss in establishing a community are all the emotional factors, says Sarah Robinson, a small-business strategy coach. These are what eventually build "fierce loyalty."
Robinson believes that most companies create a community and then look for people to fill it. In this case, "if you build it," they may not come at all.
Read more about Does Building a Community Make Sense for ROI?