Thursday, 2 September 2010

Social Media Case Studies [SEPT-GB_V7.0]

NASA is using their blog to feature a contest to choose the playlist for their wake up anthems during their next voyage.  - NASA Blog

The Boston Celtics' discuss the success of the Celtics Facebook application game in growing their e-mail database.  - DMNews

Puma's new social ad campaign features a 60 second spot and a microsite that blends both Puma-created content and user-generated content.  - Puma

Groupon's recent Gap offer proved to be its most successful yet. The campaign utilized Twitter's "Earlybird Offers" special of the day and Gap's Facebook "Likers" to relay the offer.  - ClickZ

AT&T is partnering with game startup SCVNGR to launch a social game-based reward program with goofy challenges that lets users win points for redemption at the carrier's stores.  - MediaPost

Coca-Cola’s Experiential Marketing uses special bracelets that transmit RFID signals and integrates Facebook's "Like" feature in real life.  - AdLand

Quaker Oats' new campaign, "Does your breakfast make you amazing?" teams up with the co-host of NBC's The Biggest Loser, Bob Harper, to engage Facebook fans in a dialog about their breakfast.  - Brandweek

Carnival Cruise Lines is the first in the cruise industry to launch a Facebook application that allows users to engage their social network in their vacation planning when shopping for cruises.  - MediaPost

Hyundai's Experiential Marketing Manager, discusses how Hyundai's "Uncensored" testimonial campaign is rooted in social media.  - ClickZ

Ford's unconventional virtual unveiling of the 2011 Ford Explorer on Facebook resulted in a larger increase of customer engagement than other automakers' top Super Bowl ads.  - MediaPost

Heineken (Italy) punks soccer fans and pull off the perfect mix of experiential marketing, PR 2.0., sophomoric humor and participatory media. – YouTube

IKEA's Facebook "Showroom" Viral Promotion - The mission was to create something engaging that would have the potential of spreading by itself  - YouTube

Eurostar Crowsourced Guide to the Continent is an impressive crowd sourced platform that acts as a guide to all the European destinations accessible by their client Eurostar's high speed rail service– Contagious

VAIL launches the biggest thing to hit the SKI industry since bindings and sets new benchmark – Goodbuzz

"Tune Out" The Noise with Altoids new App - Tune Out—an iPhone, Android and desktop application (developed by Big Spaceship) cuts down on the digital noise and lets fans keep up with their favorite friends – and ONLY their favorite friends. – Big Spaceship

Looking for more Social/ Participatory Media Case Studies?  Check out:

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Goodbuzz Inc. is a Toronto-based Digital Ad Agency that creates social media campaigns that entice consumers to play, create, and share brand experiences. Visit Goodbuzz or join the conversation on Facebook.  Note: Any / all product names mentioned in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies and are hereby acknowledged.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010


Optimizing Content to Improve Engagement and Conversions
If you allow users to participate in the making of a product or service, you demonstrate unequivocally that they are an important part of the process rather than just a recipient of whatever you think is best.  We’re moving from the limits of the age of mass production to a new age of mass individualization.  Not only will people get used to it, they will demand a level of uniqueness in every product and service they consume. 

Most media publishers however are only interested in increasing returns on marketing investments through improved conversion and engagement - - and are still missing out on opportunities to increase conversion. For example:
• 80% do not promote content based on performance metrics,
• 46% are spending less than five hours per week optimizing onsite conversion,
• 80% of respondents do not serve personalized content to visitors,
• 70% of the promotional content decisions are made by one person, unsupported by data.

There are many opportunities to immediately begin improving conversion. Automated tools exist that encompass testing and targeting, as well as onsite search and content recommendations to help improve engagement on existing site traffic.  A tremendous amount of time and money go into building an audience for your online media properties. Therefore, it’s imperative that you maximize the value of that audience by ensuring the experience these visitors have with your content is both relevant and rewarding.

Whether the main goal may be to boost subscriptions for premium content, increase page views to promote growth in advertising inventory, or extend the amount of time visitors spend on your site - - often a company’s goals will include a combination of any or even all of these. Regardless of the desired outcome, online publishers today are looking to leverage their content and its presentation in ways that propel site visitors toward a desired action.

Traditionally, publishers have engaged with their audiences by operating under the adage “content is king”—the publisher with the scoops and exclusive stories had the competitive edge. But in today’s modern publishing world, this old adage, although still relevant, carries far less weight. While having exceptional content remains a prerequisite, the Internet has transformed content into a ubiquitous resource that is difficult to own or differentiate.   Online content is highly perishable, and—by and large—free. Audiences are more fickle than ever, and almost nothing prevents them from quickly jumping to another site to find the information and the experience they are seeking. Today, media sites have to be more than just relevant— they have to resonate with viewers.

While the challenges in today’s media landscape are vast, so are the opportunities. Audiences can consume content virtually anywhere, on multiple devices, and this translates into the chance for publishers to reach media consumers across many touch points. Public places such as coffee shops and airports are equipped with Wi-Fi access to make content and news constant companions. Social media sites have made media consumer’s active participants in the publishing process. New mobile devices make it possible to consume content on the go, and in ways that were not possible just a few years ago. All of these trends have transformed and expanded the media ecosystem dramatically and have significantly increased media companies’ opportunity to inform, educate, and entertain consumers.

Along with these diverse new opportunities for distributing content, most media outlets are also sitting on enormous opportunities to improve the performance and revenue generated by their existing sites. In fact, many media outlets today focus immense budgets and energy on driving traffic to their websites—while investing far less on making proactive changes to their site that facilitate visitors’ ability to accomplish what they came to the site to do in the first place.

According to 2009 Forrester Research, targeting online content drives productive visitor activity—yet marketers currently deliver targeted content to only 24% of website visitors on average. Forrester further states 58% of marketers reported an incremental lift in conversions over the control group by 5% or more as a result of using relevance tactics. Content and messaging delivered with contextual meaning for website visitors—derived from current session activity or historic profiles—consistently outperforms generic one-size-fits-all content.

Today, to distinguish oneself from the competition and improve your sites performance, optimization is key. Publishers must tailor their homepages and article pages based on visitor behavior and preferences, rather than executive opinion or reaction to competitors.  All too often, designers, marketers, and executives come together as a committee and negotiate website concepts and copy based on assumptions. Or, site redesigns are completed in a rush when a major competitor launches a new design or experience that makes your site look outdated. Some companies turn to focus groups and research that provide valuable data points but can only tell you so much about who your visitors are and what they want from your website collectively.

Drive to relevance
The online media experience, first of all, must be highly relevant to each individual visitor. Repeat or new visitors must easily find tailored content on your home and article pages that is pertinent to what they are searching for, and sometimes, where they live, what season it is, and other variables. Pay special attention to your article pages—most media companies concentrate on their landing and home pages, but the article pages are the place where visitors are likely to spend most of their time and form opinions as to the relevance of your site to them personally.

The second major theme is efficiency. From the very first click, visitors need to have a relevant, fulfilling content experience on your site. Visitors need to be guided with speed and ease to article pages that meet their intent and fit their interests. They have little time, so they need to be consistently rewarded for coming to your site by finding relevant content through easy navigation.  In the media space, it is vital for visitors to feel connected to your site—almost as if they have some ownership in the experience. Visitors need to be comfortable with your navigation and layout and they need to trust that you will provide exceptional recommendations for additional relevant content. Empower visitors to become active contributors in the experience if they wish. Give them opportunities to interact with the content itself.

In order to build a sustainable loyalty with your site visitors, they need to feel immersed—and a key part of that involves transforming them from passive observers into active participants. Don’t be afraid to solicit comments, ask them to fill out forms, or sign up for newsletters. With the options for site visitors to comment on articles or quickly and easily share stories with their social networks, visitors are more interested than ever in taking an “active editor” role in their online media experiences.

If you are asking site visitors to share personal information about themselves in exchange for greater-value content or services, tell them up-front and clearly what they will receive in return if they sign up for a subscription, newsletter, or other premium content.  Make any forms short and intuitive and give customers reinforcement at appropriate points during the process that highlight how and why they should trust you with their personal information. Prove to them that you will provide them with increased value and a greatly enriched experience.

New formats and PLATFORMS
Keep in mind that you have many opportunities to optimize and differentiate your media site—even for visitors who are not sitting in front of a computer. Today, you have the opportunity to extend the visitor experience to a variety of mobile and wireless devices to provide a more engaging, immersive experience to media consumers. New digital media technologies not only deliver increased engagement by immersing readers in the ads and content and allowing them to interact with them, but also offer better ways to measure and optimize content and ad effectiveness than traditional print magazines.

Companies can use in-depth editorial analytics, customer demographics, and advertising analytics to improve the effectiveness of content and ads.  The same tools that you use to optimize the content on your website can be used off-site as well. Whether you have an app designed for Android, a monthly newsletter, or an upcoming display ad campaign, each represents customer touch points that you can and should optimize.

The media landscape is changing faster than ever, especially in a world where content must share its throne with experience optimization. Now, rather than relying solely on scoops and exclusives, publishers have an unprecedented opportunity and requirement to tailor content and speak to media consumers in personalized, meaningful ways. Online media companies now have the chance to communicate to audiences across a wide array of devices and allow people to explore and interact with content like they never could before.

The key to success in today’s fast-changing media world is to let consumers vote with their clicks and then respond to those clicks by improving your online experiences based upon what you have learned. In a changing landscape, you can mitigate risks and successfully challenge the status quo by presenting multiple media experiences and navigational schemes to your visitors and then continually testing and optimizing—with huge potential upside.  Companies that continually optimize are deriving significant competitive advantages and achieving dramatic returns.

The proliferation of online social media represents a fundamental shift in the way people obtain information. Instead of companies or institutions, people can now get the information they need from each other. Naturally, brands want to remain relevant to their customers, and this means being more transparent and accessible. What your brand should really have is an overarching strategy that may or may not include social media tactics - - depending on whether they make sense for your customers or not. Start from the customer and work out. Understand your audiences, including demographics, attitudes and beliefs, cultural realities affecting their lives, and technology adoption. 

And if you need help, we’re happy to assist.
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Goodbuzz Inc. is a Toronto-based Digital Ad Agency that creates social media campaigns that entice consumers to play, create, and share brand experiences. Visit Goodbuzz or join the conversation on Facebook.  Note: Any / all product names mentioned in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies and are hereby acknowledged.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Connecting Facebook and your brands website - The secret to creating a dynamic link between your content and constituents

Currently available on more than 50,000 websites+, devices and applications, including CNN,, Digg, Yelp, YouTube, Xbox, and Nintendo DSI - Facebook is today the epicenter of our social activity via APIs (or whatever "Connect" is called this week).  With just a bit of code, Facebook Connect enables seamless integration between Web sites, pages, communities, and networks and the Facebook identity system.

For example, if you’re commenting on a blog, you can now login with your Facebook details and not only will your comment and link to your Facebook profile appear on the blog, the activity of commenting is also linked back into your activity feed for your friends and colleagues to see. Digg, another example that was shared on stage, also supports FB Connect, making it possible for Diggers to log on using their centralized Facebook ID and for each story they digg, the activity is documented back on their profile.

FB Connect API's transform the social network into a portable profile that travels with you across the Web, placing you and your brand at the center of the experience.  The ongoing integration of support for social services in the Facebook NewsFeed is aggregating and expediting personal lifestreams and quickly becoming representative of our true online activity, painting a vivid picture of who we are and what we represent online and in the real world.

Static websites should therefore socialize and focus on creating a dynamic link between content and people.  As great example is Levi's (above).  As businesses and communities can now directly connect corporate brands with personal brands, and more notably, the people behind them, it stems to reason you should capitalize on this.  The good news is that social networks build and leverage expertise and reputation.  They also carry thought leadership, preferences, causes, and relationships from community to community - - effectively changing your shotgun into a sniper rifle. 

Facebook Connect is a powerful catalyst for investing in and increasing Social Capital, and optimizing SEO (as Facebook “public” pages are heavily indexed in online search engines and can be among the top results when your name is searched).  

Here are just a few of the features of Facebook Connect:

Trusted Authentication
Users will be able to connect their Facebook account with any partner website using a trusted authentication method. Whether at login, or anywhere else a developer would like to add social context, the user will be able to authenticate and connect their account in a trusted environment. The user will have total control of the permissions granted.

Real Identity

Facebook users represent themselves with their real names and real identities. With Facebook Connect, users can bring their real identity information with them wherever they go on the Web, including: basic profile information, profile picture, name, friends, photos, events, groups, and more.

Friends Access
Users count on Facebook to stay connected to their friends and family. With Facebook Connect, users can take their friends with them wherever they go on the Web. Developers will be able to add rich social context to their websites. Developers will even be able to dynamically show which of their Facebook friends already have accounts on their sites.

Dynamic Privacy
As a user moves around the open Web, their privacy settings will follow, ensuring that users' information and privacy rules are always up-to-date. For example, if a user changes their profile picture, or removes a friend connection, this will be automatically updated in the external website.

YOUR Homepage

Shopping is better with friends. By using the Activity Feed or Recommendations plugins on the homepage, users can see what their friends are liking and sharing on your site. Instead of only navigating to old favorites or promoted items, users are compelled to check out what their friends are interacting with, too. This creates long term engagement between the user and your site, and the social context encourages them to interact with the content.

YOUR Products

When you add a Like button to products in your store or merchandising platform, you give users the ability to express themselves and create long-term connections with things they like. Specify an image for the product so that when a user adds a comment, the feed story becomes more attractive and effective at driving users back to your site. Once a user establishes this connection, you can publish to their stream whenever you have news or updates about that product. For example, if a user likes a particular style of shirt, you can send them updates when the shirt goes on sale, or when you offer the shirt in extra colors.

YOUR Local / Categories

Users want a personalized shopping experience. By adding the ability to like specific categories like "Toronto restaurants," "Beauty products," or "Petite styles," users can express what they care about. Once a user establishes a connection with these topics, publish relevant content pertaining to the category. Share new styles or secret tips and menu items at restaurants. Allow users to interact with the category in a way that is personal and fun to keep them coming back to your site.
Need some help adding Connect to your online platform.  Give us a shout.  We're happy to help.