Marketing

  • How We Earned Dippin’ Dots More Coverage Than a Super Bowl Ad…Without Spending a Dime on Paid Advertising

    To paraphrase Ferris Bueller, the world of social media moves pretty fast. If you don’t seize opportunity as soon as it knocks – or in this case, tweets – you could miss it entirely. So when the CEO of ice cream company Dippin’ Dots, Scott Fischer, called us asking what to do about negative tweets about the brand from none other than White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, we jumped into action right away. The payoff was a viral campaign that garnered well over 10 million views, a potential combined total reach of 1.4 billion* , and more than a dozen tier 1 media articles, plus dozens more in smaller publications. By any accounting, that’s a wild success. Here’s how it all happened, and what your brand can learn from this experience. You can read more about this campaign in MZ CEO Shama Hyder’s column in Forbes. On Sunday, The A.V. Club, a site run by The Onion, published an article describing how Spicer had been venting his dislike of Dippin’ Dots on Twitter since 2010. via The A.V. Club The article picked up traction online, and soon enough, other media outlets picked up the story. Tweets about Sean Spicer…

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  • 6 Proven Strategies for Increasing ROI on Your B2B Digital Marketing Strategy

    The internet has touched nearly every part of our day-to-day lives – and that, as B2B marketers know all too well, includes the purchasing process. Gone are the days when a company had to learn everything they wanted to know about a supplier or vendor from a salesperson. Now, companies can – and do – get most of their information from a website. They can eliminate vendors from their shortlists without even contacting them – which means that vendors may not even know they were ever in the running. In fact, according to data from the Harvard Business Review, customers today are an average of 57 percent of the way through the purchase process before they engage with salespeople. This is a serious disruption of the way B2B sales used to be accomplished. While salespeople are still vital when it comes to refining and closing a deal, B2B companies are having to differentiate themselves from the crowd earlier on in the customer journey. This puts more pressure on B2B marketers. So how can you improve your B2B marketing strategies so that you can attract more customers at the outset, and keep them interested throughout the purchase process? Here are 6…

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  • 6 Ways to Decide Whether Medium is Right for Your Brand

    Medium, the popular blogging platform that made long-form content cool, poses something of a conundrum for many digital marketers. On the one hand, publishing on Medium is an excellent way to boost your reach and increase your credibility as a thought leader in your industry. On the other, building a solid following on Medium can be highly resource-intensive, because Medium isn’t about short, snappy posts that work in a few SEO keywords and some cool images. No – Medium is about great writing, and nothing less. So how do you know whether it’s worth it to dedicate the time and effort to building a publication on the internet’s most writerly social media platform? Here are 6 things you can do to help you decide. First of all, what is Medium, anyway? Although it doesn’t quite have the name recognition of Twitter or Facebook, Medium is a hugely popular platform. According to CNN, it had 30 million monthly visitors as of the beginning of 2016. And judging from the number of followers of the Editors’ Picks collection, which every Medium user follows by default, Medium has more than 650,000 users. Medium was founded by Ev Williams, a Twitter co-founder who was…

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  • 7 Snapchat Marketing Tips That Won’t Disappear After 10 Seconds

    In the world of social media, Snapchat marketing may not garner as much attention as Facebook and Twitter. But with over 10 million video views per day, the importance of this unique sharing app to your brand becomes apparent. That being said, how does a brand utilize an app like Snapchat to the fullest? Provide exclusive content Lush4Blush/WordPress Whether you’re debuting a new shade of lipstick or a new Youtube video, Snapchat marketing offers your brand the opportunity to share exclusive content about an upcoming release with your target audience. You can do this by sharing sneak peeks or quick behind-the-scenes videos. This can work well for your brand for two distinct reasons. One, your audience feels they are getting the VIP treatment when they get to see something not available to the general public. And two, you build excitement for the release of your product whether it be physical or digital. Broadcast live events We have previously discussed the increasing importance of live video to online marketing strategies.  Snapchat offers businesses a unique opportunity to broadcast short videos of just about anything they can dream up. Do you have a production warehouse on-site? Show your customers how their favorite…

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  • 5 Tips for Writing Enthralling Long-Form Content

    When blogging first made the jump from a way to share your personal thoughts with an anonymous, internet audience to a bona fide digital marketing tool, the overriding strategy was: shorter is better. Since then, things have changed drastically. In those early days, people just weren’t that comfortable reading on screens for more than a few minutes at a time. And the same was true for writers – we didn’t really know how to write for online media yet. It was a brave new world, and readers and writers alike had a lot of exploring to do. Today, that’s all changed. There’s tons of data on the differences between how people read online versus how they read traditional media. There’s so much data, in fact, that marketing data collectors like Buffer and SumAll can tell you how many characters you should use to optimize a tweet, and how many words should go in a paragraph if you want maximum readership. They even created this awesome infographic, excerpted below, to give you a quick guide for consultation. via Buffer Social And as you can see, when it comes to blog posts, shorter isn’t so great anymore. Instead, 1,600 words, which translates…

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  • Data-Driven Marketing Is Vital for 2017: How To Make It Your Strategy

    The idea behind customer data-driven marketing isn’t complicated. You collect customer data and then use it to guide your marketing efforts in a more effective direction. While the idea is simple, the actual practice is not always as effortless. The sheer amount of data being generated can be overwhelming, and many times companies are loath to try something new when the plan they have in place is already working. But customer data-driven marketing is simply the best way to curate and create marketing content for your audience, and personalize the message that you’re sending. Why’s that important? You Connect With The Right People Data driven marketing allows you to pinpoint who your marketing campaigns should be targeting, and how you can reach them. You don’t want to waste time reaching out to people who aren’t going to buy your product in the first place, regardless of the brilliant marketing content or discounted price. Divining who your target audience is in the first place is one of the primary functions of data driven marketing. All the data you’ve collected–from sales numbers, customer feedback, purchasing trends, page visits, and ad clicks–can be used to figure out which consumers are most likely to…

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  • 15 Foolproof Ideas for B2B Blog Posts

    B2B blogs can be a challenge for even the most experienced content marketer. There’s the issue of tone, for example. You have to maintain one that’s professional, yet still readable and friendly. That can be difficult, especially when you’re working in a highly specialized industry. Then there are things like images – how do you find interesting images for each and every blog post? You can subscribe to a stock image service, or better yet, have an intern or employee skilled in photography take a collection of shots of the office, your products, company employees, etc. But perhaps one of the most difficult parts of maintaining a B2B blog is simply figuring out what to write about. B2C blog topics are generally easier to come up with, because you can appeal to so many different people’s interests. B2B topics, however, generally cover a narrower, much more specific range. So how do you beat that B2B writer’s block? One way is by checking out our list of foolproof B2B blog ideas below. 1. Case study If you don’t already have a regular case study feature on your B2B blog, commit to this idea right away. The great thing about case studies…

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  • Everything You Need to Know About Digital PR

    Before there was digital PR there was…well, PR. Publicists worked with print publications, TV stations, and radio stations to gain coverage for their clients and expand their clients’ brand reach. They hosted events and press conferences, and networked with contacts in the media – a lot. In an offline world, there weren’t many other ways to get your client in front of the public’s eye. As the digital sphere has taken over, this kind of PR has come to be called traditional PR, in order to differentiate it from the more recently evolved digital PR. Traditional PR still exists, of course, and it still serves a critical purpose. However, in today’s 24-hour media environment, the necessity of digital PR cannot be overstated. So how do you incorporate this practice into your larger marketing strategy? What is digital PR? First, let’s establish one important fact. Traditional and digital PR both have the same goal: to increase visibility and boost the reputation of their clients, presenting them in a positive light. Digital PR involves doing this through online outlets, whether that’s the online incarnation of a print magazine or a popular industry blog. Since digital media includes so many different types of…

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  • 11 Hot Headline Tricks You Can Steal from the Pros

    The single most important part of your blog post, article, or white paper is the headline. It’s what sells the entire piece and entices the reader to click over and read it. Or download it. Or share it. It’s all about that headline. Here at Marketing Zen, we work in headlines. Our lives revolve around crafting the perfect headlines for landing pages, emails, blog posts, and social media spots. We’ve studied the strategies, tested the tricks, and experimented with the algorithms until we found the sweet spot for each client. That’s the key, because each brand has a different message for a different audience, so the words need to be just right. It takes some time and effort to get to know what works for each different situation. How long do you spend crafting your headlines? Have you spent time studying and experimenting to find the perfect combination of words and emotions for your audience? Most brands pay only passing attention to their headlines, so they miss a lot of opportunity to get their message noticed and shared. Want to know the ingredients to our secret sauce for compelling headlines? Here are some common tactics that work across industries. Try…

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  • 16 Tips to Help You CRUSH It on Pinterest Before Your Competitor Does

    Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve doubtless heard about Pinterest. The image-rich social media site is booming, with over 54 million new pins each day. The sales impact is staggering – 93 percent of Pinners have used Pinterest to either plan for or make purchases. If your company isn’t investing social media time on Pinterest, it’s time to get crushing it. Here is your crash-course into success in the newest, fastest-growing social media platform. I’ll share some insider secrets to get you to the top quickly, too. A pin is simply a large image that is loaded onto the Pinterest platform. It must include a brief description and should be linked to the URL from which it is found. So your brand will load images from your online store or content marketing blog with a brief informative or intriguing phrase and the link to read more. Pinterest has become its own search engine. Users enjoy finding more content on their favorite subjects or products by searching within Pinterest itself. The updated search now highlights the most popular content on important categories and suggests sub-categories for users. This encourages users to stay on the Pinterest platform longer, increasing their…

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  • 3 Reasons Why Video is Vital to Your Marketing Strategy

    Humans are emotional, story-driven individuals that love to be emotionally stimulated. Laughter, excitement, and curiosity are all evoked from movies, commercials, short films, and even the tried-and-true cat video. It’s clear to see we all love video, but why? More importantly how should you use it in your marketing strategy? It’s Personal For just a moment, I’d like for you to think about your favorite movie and what it is that you like about it. Do you love the action, the adventure, the humor, the excitement, the drama, or even the scares? These personal experiences are the reason videos reach people at their core, letting them relate to, sympathize for, and even adore the characters and environments. A core concept to internalize is we all have our own personal brand. We are all individuals who love to express what makes us unique and share that with the world. We aren’t saying “I love sporting videos because they have great action….” but rather “I love sporting videos because I am a sporty person.” It’s not about what the video says, but rather what liking the content says about yourself. Take this 2016 holiday ad from Temptations which shows a smorgasbord of…

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  • 60 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Digital Marketing – Answered!

    Here at Marketing Zen, we often get questions from businesses about online marketing, and we do our utmost to answer every one. But it occurred to us recently that it might be helpful for us to put together a blog post answering some of the most common questions we get related to digital marketing. So without further ado, here are the 60 most common social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing questions we receive, answered just for you! Social Media Marketing 1. Can social media marketing really help my business? Most definitely! It’s been proven again and again by business after business. In fact, not utilizing social media marketing can actually harm your business, since having an online presence on social media is simply expected of any reputable firm these days. 2. What are the benefits of social media marketing for my company? Whether your business is taking advantage of it or not, social media has forever changed the way that consumers communicate with businesses, and vice versa. Being accessible to your customers – and your prospective clients – via social media is a vital means of developing relationships with them and helping them through the sales funnel. 3….

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