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Find Your Passion by Asking Yourself the Right Questions

Image courtesy of capaworld.capa.org

Image courtesy of capaworld.capa.org

What is your passion in life? Most people can’t answer that question. We are so caught up in our daily lives with work, school, spouses, pets, family, and social media, we don’t take the time to stop and take a good look inside ourselves to figure out what makes us truly happy.

So, take a break from the daily grind this Thursday and do some “big picture” thinking. The following questions should help you identify your true passion.
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Branded Viral Videos

Image courtesy of goviralvideoproductions.com

Image courtesy of goviralvideoproductions.com

Viral videos are all the rage in social media and can stand to make a big impact for brands. With the ever-increasing popularity of social media, advertisers are diverging from broadcast and print media to digital and mobile media. Platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat provide marketers the platform to make video an impactful method of advertising.

Many brands have seen huge success with viral videos. But there is no set of rules that guarantee your video will go viral. The basic building block for a successful video, though, is to generate content that someone finds worthy of sharing with his or her friends. Sounds like a simple goal, but the path to obtaining the goal is nuanced, and the video has to be genuine. Brands currently producing videos focus on telling a story that the viewers find interesting while portraying the core values of the brand.
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Advertising Innovation Groups

Image courtesy of www.adweek.com

Image courtesy of www.adweek.com

When was the last time you clicked on a banner ad? If you are like most Americans, the answer is probably sometime in 2002. Display advertising (run-of-the-mill banner ads and stationary images running down the side of a webpage) is on its way out. The every-day consumer has become jaded and now ignores banner ads (studies have actually shown that many users don’t even see the ads, filtering them out in their minds). Online marketers need to find more impactful ways of grabbing people’s attention without being in-your-face obnoxious.

In response to the falling popularity of display ads, publishers are developing advertising innovation groups to create engaging and interesting ad campaigns. But with this “wow-factor” comes a higher price tag. This higher price tag is fantastic if you are a publisher selling ad space, but can be a financial risk if you are a company paying for the ad space.
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The Potential in Instagram for Businesses

Image courtesy of www.thefourohfive.com

Image courtesy of www.thefourohfive.com

As one of the fastest growing social media platforms available, businesses can’t afford to ignore Instagram. Even though click-thru links (links that take you to the company’s website) are not supported by Instagram right now doesn’t mean it’s not a possibility in the future. Before businesses write off Instagram as a social media platform solely for friends to share “artsy” pictures of their sandwiches, they should consider the future marketing potential in Instagram. Nothing encourages change more than money, and Facebook (Instagram’s parent company) stands to make a large profit if certain changes are implemented in Instagram to support marketing activities.

Instagram is on the rise
As of March 26, 2014, Instagram had more than 200 million active users, which is twice as many users as they had when Facebook acquired the company in 2012. Twitter still holds a marginal lead with 241 million monthly active users, but Instagram is expected to take the lead in the near future.
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How to Host a Successful Tweet Chat

Image courtesy of simplymarketed.wordpress.com

Image courtesy of simplymarketed.wordpress.com

Tweet chats (or Twitter chats) are a new way for Twitter followers to come together to talk about a particular topic of interest. The primary hosts for Tweet Chats are companies, celebrities, or special interest communities. The purpose of the chats vary depending on the host. They could be Q&A based, informative, a place for fans to connect with their favorite celebrities, or a way for hobbyists to share tips and tricks. Tweet chats provide an opportunity for businesses to find new connections and expand their social media presence.

A successful chat can produce many re-tweets and new followers, increasing your chances of introducing your brand to new audiences. Tweet Chats are growing in popularity and any right-minded business should take advantage of the rising trend. But before you go diving headfirst into the Tweet Chat pool, here are some tips and guidance.
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Which Social Media Metrics Matter Most and How to Measure Them

Image courtesy of www.connectionmodel.com

Image courtesy of www.connectionmodel.com

We all know that social media marketing is spreading like wildfire among businesses, both large and small. According to the Social Media Marketer, 83% of marketers feel as though social media is important to their business. But implementation of social media marketing is just the beginning. The next step is to monitor your social media presence to determine your campaign’s success. With the multitude of social media metrics available to businesses, how do we know what metrics matter the most?

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The Importance of Building Brand Equity

Image courtesy of gnresearch.com

Image courtesy of gnresearch.com

Viewing a brand as an asset is the first step to embracing the idea of brand equity. In the past, most brand managers sought out immediate gratification with promotional strategies that would garner instantaneous, quantifiable results. For example: marketers favored price promotions for packaged goods in the early 1980s, with immediate success in generating sales for the company. But the promotions based on price resulted in an unforeseen consequence: reduced brand differentiation.

Consumers’ focus on price eliminated their ability to differentiate products based on the qualities of the brand. Large companies, such as Kraft, took years to recover from their lost brand equity and gain back their former loyal customer base. This misstep spurred a dramatic shift in how marketing managers define their brands. Learning from their mistakes in the 1980s, companies started to implement their branding efforts on a larger scale, with a shift from tactical to strategic brand management.

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INTERNET OF CARING THINGS

Image courtesy of tomsnewmag.com

Image courtesy of tomsnewmag.com

The Internet is filled with things people don’t really need or want. Enter the INTERNET OF CARING THINGS. Companies are now recognizing the demand for products that actually help the everyday consumer. Whether it is for health, mind, safety, security, or family, the INTERNET OF CARING THINGS introduces a multitude of products designed to help and care for people. In a world where 100 “things” are introduced online every second, perhaps it is time to take a step back and focus on the products designed to really improve human life.

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What Macy’s Could Learn from Nordstrom

Brick and mortar retail is a tough business to be in these days. With the ever-growing popularity of online stores like Amazon and eBay, most department stores are struggling to keep up. Why would a customer pay full-blown retail for a shirt they could probably find for pennies-on-the-dollar online? The answer lies in Nordstrom’s multi-channel method of distribution, and Macy’s should take note.

 

Department store giants like Macy’s, Kohls, and J.C. Penny are looking at a not-so-bright future, with the potential for as many as 1,000 of their stores to turn unprofitable within the next five years. With that grim outlook, stores have to take action to appeal to the new generation of online shoppers, and try to get customers in the store.

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How to Convert Social Media into Legitimate Leads

Image courtesy of www.baerpm.com

Image courtesy of www.baerpm.com

Every business with an up-to-date marketing plan is implementing social media as a major part of their advertising strategy (and if they are not, they should!). Businesses are quickly learning the advantages of having a strong online presence. Social media is more than just cute cat pictures and selfies; it is a justifiable platform for advertising any product or service. But, the real question is, how do you convert your social media presence into solid leads that produce revenue?

Gated Content
If you are able to entice someone to your site with a juicy bit of information, you have won half the battle. Why not add a quick online form for the user to fill out with their e-mail and name so they can continue to collect from your wealth of knowledge?

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