The Role of Influencers in Brand Storytelling and Integrated Marketing

This post was written by Sarah Lackritz, Director, Digital Strategy, Burson-Marsteller.

A particularly big influencer in my life is my father*, and so it is appropriate that he is primarily to thank for why I watched “Turning Followers into Dollars,” a segment from a recent episode of “60 Minutes” about paid social media influencers. The segment explored how young social media influencers are being paid by large brands to create original content on their social channels to promote products and brands. I watched the segment based on my dad’s recommendation, and while I watched, I reflected on how influencers, both paid and unpaid, have enhanced opportunities for companies to build their brand reputation and share their story.

The segment highlighted three key takeaways that communications and marketing professionals should consider when creating integrated communications and marketing plans:

  1. This is an expensive tactic: Much like paying a celebrity/thought leader to speak at your event, this costs real dollars (ranging from hundreds of dollars for one Instagram or blog post to $100k+ for one piece of content from a top influencer); as with any marketing tactic, it is essential to set a specific and relevant objective against which to measure success to ensure ROI.
  2. Paid influencers are primarily for amplification: This is a digital advertising tactic and therefore works best when looking to amplify something more easily understood (oftentimes, this is a product, such as a doughnut, a razor, make-up etc).
  3. Earned influencers are primarily for reputation: Earned influencers share key messages and stories through multiple posts to followers, while paid influencers, due to financial constrictions, usually only share one to five social posts (often images/videos). Earned influencers can act more like friendly journalists and paid influencers act more similarly to TV ad spots.

Both paid and earned social media influencers play a key role in an integrated marketing/communications approach to brand building and storytelling. With paid social media influencers you reach a very large (but amorphous and at times deaf to sponsored content) audience and often win a share of voice against the competition with enough investment. With earned influencers you can communicate the reputation education component and key brand messaging to a more qualified (but notably smaller) niche audience. At Burson-Marsteller, our strategy is to find that balance between paid influencers that understand a brand beyond its products, and earned influencers that are progressively achieving a higher reach among a target audience segment. This is where our best opportunities exist.

Read more about and watch the “60 Minutes” segment  here.

Interested in how Burson-Marsteller can help your company leverage social media influencers? Contact Brad Mays at

*My father was not paid to be mentioned in this blog post!

Facebook Video Comes to TV Streaming Near You

Facebook Video comes to TV streaming

By Shani Smotrich, Account Manager

Recently Facebook announced that videos on their network are now able to be streamed on Apple TV and Google Chromecast. Not only does this reinforce a strong shift in advertising medium, but it also helps to shed light on the habits of the growing majority of everyday consumers. 

As younger audiences are turning to social for their entertainment, the TV industry is seeing a decline in traditional consumption. Facebook Live, streaming websites, and YouTube are just some of the ways younger audiences are consuming video. A Business Insider article covering a report on the shifting environment of television, mentions that it’s “strikingly evident that more consumers are shifting their media time away from live TV, while opting for services that allow them to watch what they want, when they want.” 

What does this shift in consumption mean for your brand?

Content is key and video is the master.

 Brands should make a strong investment in their video content.  Now that Facebook videos are becoming more mainstream, high-quality video production is becoming more of a necessity. 

There is an ever-shifting landscape and a blurring of lines between television and social. 

Because the lines are less strict between traditional television and social video, brands will need to shift their content strategy to appeal to several audiences at once. As the lines in advertisement content type blur, the lines for specific audiences will begin to blur as well. 

Traditional advertising spend and content investment should continue to balance more between social video and traditional television.

Social has an ever-growing landscape and is merging with more traditional spaces. Brands should not underestimate the continued shift and should invest more heavily on social networks, as well as on the newer channels such as Snapchat, since they are heavily intertwined with video and real-time content.

What are some of your favorite Facebook videos you plan on streaming? Let us know in the comments below!

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Thank you!

National Work Life Week – We Are Social style

Lucy Doubleday, Managing Partner, We Are Social:

We are lucky to work in an incredible industry that allows us to work with great brands, produce fantastic work, meet inspiring people and enjoy a few LOLs along the way. It’s fast paced, often under time pressures and can be stressful. It’s really important that everyone feels they have the necessary support in whatever role they play at We Are Social, and we continually listen to the feedback we receive and react accordingly.

Obviously, working at We Are Social is ace. We offer a free ski trip, in-office massages and sabbaticals. But no matter where you work, getting the right balance between home and office is a tricky matter. In fact, work life balance topped the list of woes in a recent study of Generation Ys.  

So how do you practically help your team to feel more equipped when it comes to dealing with stress? It’s not as simple as telling people to relax or drink less coffee. You only begin to really make a difference when you provide access to tools and learning opportunities to encourage individuals to support themselves.

In recognition of National Work-Life Week, we provided a range of workshops and sessions to do just that. Our aim was to give our fantastic teams the chance to try something new with the potential to help improve the way they view and react to situations in and outside of the office. National Work-Life Week was originally created in recognition of working families, so we thought we’d put our own spin on it to offer something to everyone at We Are Social.

The week’s events ranged from meditation to top-of-the-range treadmill desks, mindfulness to health checks. We clocked up just under 100km in one working day on our brand new desks, and learned a bit more about what we should and shouldn’t be eating. Some of us also gained some brilliant insights into coping with stress at NABS 1:1 Stress Coaching, and learnt some useful midday stretches for working meditation.

standing desks1

But Work-Life Balance isn’t just for a dedicated week. It’s something we’re continuously working on here at We Are Social. We believe in promoting wellbeing in and outside of the working day, with paramount importance placed on owning the tools available when it comes to your own welfare. Whether that is as simple as making time for breaks, or having access to an advice service for your longer-term career and personal plans, we are encouraging and facilitating taking the time to understand what our employees need.

Our wellbeing policies include:

  • 23 Days holiday, increasing by 1 day for each year of service
  • Private Medical Insurance
  • Optional Dental Insurance
  • Childcare vouchers
  • Corporate Social Responsibility – time given to volunteer with our partnered charity
  • Annual ski trip in Europe
  • Cycle-to-work scheme (so that you can cycle into London’s only cycle-in office)
  • Season ticket loan scheme
  • Long Service Awards – at 3, 5 & 10 years
  • Sabbaticals after 3 and 5 years
  • Employee Assistance Programme
  • Staff events: yoga, language lessons, monthly nail bar, wellness check-ups onsite, basketball & squash court for hire
  • Social clubs: running club, documentary club and many more
  • Summer hours
  • Free breakfast
  • Members of NABS and BIMA

Does this sound like somewhere you’d like to work? Then check out our careers page for opportunities at We Are Social.

The post National Work Life Week – We Are Social style appeared first on We Are Social UK.

FREE Full 12-Month DistilledU Memberships With the Next 100 SearchLove San Diego Tickets

Our ever-popular tri-annual search conference is heading back to the beautiful resort of Paradise Point on the 23-24 February 2017. There’s currently about 100 spaces still available for eager digital marketers to join the likes of Rand Fishkin, Annie Cushing and Greg Gifford for two days of forward-thinking digital marketing advice and insight.

To help you get the biggest upgrade in your expertise, we’re giving away free 12-month memberships of our DistilledU online university with each of the next 100 tickets sold. This would normally cost you $360, and with it, you’ll gain access to 25 interactive modules and every single video from our previous SearchLove conferences.

To claim your free year-long DistilledU membership, head to our San Diego event page, put your ticket(s) in your basket and checkout. Once you’ve finished, we’ll send you an email asking which account(s) you’d like your DistilledU membership assigning to. That’s it.

Buy your tickets for SearchLove San Diego

(and claim your free DistilledU)

What’s the value I’ll  get from coming to SearchLove?

We’ve been running SearchLove for over 5 years now and Distilled events for over seven.  About three times a year, we bring in the best digital marketing speakers to share their most cutting-edge advice on topics such as SEO, PPC, analytics, content marketing, machine learning and more. It’s all single track, meaning there are no difficult decisions when you’re two most anticipated talks are scheduled at the same time.

We’re always gathering feedback to try and improve SearchLove and make it better and better. At the 2015 event in San Diego, we received a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 75. The benchmark of ‘excellence’ for NPS is 50. We also regularly see over 40% of tickets sold to returning attendees, many of whom join us every single year.

What about DistilledU?

DistilledU is the definitive online search university. There are currently 25 interactive modules on everything from Search Engine Basics and On-Page Optimization to App Indexing and Consulting Skills. DistilledU also gives you access to every video from SearchLove events –  past, present and future. There’s currently 133 hours of footage available.

There are also a number of module quizzes to test your new-found search knowledge, along with completion badges that you can display on your personal website.

If you’re serious about taking your digital marketing knowledge up a gear, this is the best way to do it. Plus, tickets are still on early bird sale. So, in addition to grabbing a free DistilledU membership, you’ll also save $200 per ticket


(and claim your free DistilledU)

7 Amazing Steps for Running an Effective A/B Test

It goes without saying that if you want your digital marketing efforts to be results-driven, then you need to measure results – and an important part of making sure you’re going to get results is to do testing.

Split testing, commonly called A/B testing, allows you to evaluate the impact of a potential change on your website or in a marketing campaign.

It’s a pretty simple concept. “A” is status quo, “B” is a change you’re considering. You make use of your choice of a variety of online tools to see if your idea for change will increase conversions.

The goal of A/B testing is, of course, conversions. Whether you’re trying to make a direct sale or gain prospects by collecting email addresses, the little gem that triggers conversion is your call to action (CTA).

So let’s look at how you can test ideas for improving the effectiveness of your CTA.

1. Figure out what you’d like to test

You can evaluate almost any element of a webpage with a split test, but you want to pick one single element to test at a time to eliminate any confusion from your results. For example, let’s say you were to test the following two pages against one another:

  • Version A: Uses “Headline A” and a red CTA button
  • Version B: Uses “Headline B” and a grey CTA button

And let’s say Version B tested better – but which element made the difference? Was it the headline or the CTA colour? This is the primary reason why you only want to test one element at a time.

With your CTA, you might consider changing the colour, font, copy or position on your page or email to garner a different result.

So develop your hypothesis (“I think changing the color from gray to red will increase conversions”) and test one change at a time.

In other tests, you can compare the impact of a copy change, and then your hypothesis would become: “I think stating ‘Request Your Free Newsletter’ will perform better than ‘Sign Up for Our Newsletter’”.

The important thing is to be clear on what you’re testing and why.

2. Define your specific goal and how to measure it

For simplicity’s sake, let’s say you’ve decided to test the colour of your CTA button. You need to be clear on your goal and how you will measure this.

For example, you may be tempted to measure your results in actual sales or conversions, but you’ll want to get a bit more granular, and here’s why:

Imagine your CTA takes your prospects to a landing page where they are presented with an offer — but various elements on that page may impact the user’s decision to convert. Because of these potential other variables, (i.e. sales copy, and images on your destination page) conversions or lead generation are not the best measurement for your test.

Instead, you will simply measure the number of clicks on the CTA itself to see which version performs better. Remember, the goal of your analysis is to determine which of your two CTA variations generates the most clicks.

To put it simply, does the red button or the grey button get more clicks?

3. Set up your control and variation

Your “control” in testing-language is your “A” or status quo. Your “treatment” is the “B,” the variation that includes the change you’re going to test.

In the example, “A” has our CTA in dark gray; version “B” is red.

Most importantly, all other elements on the page should be exactly the same. The only visible difference should be the element you are actively testing.

4. Start your testing

I’m assuming here that you’ve already selected a testing platform. So now that you’ve decided what to test, how you’ll measure results and your control and treatment, you’re ready to get your test underway.

You have to create the content and graphics that you need for your control and treatment. In the example here, that’s the grey CTA and the red CTA shown below.

You’ll see that the only difference is the color. Later we might test other variables such as shape, text (content) or position on the page. For this first test, we’re only interested in whether the color impacts the number of clicks on the CTA element.

Variation A:

grey CTA

Variation B:

red CTA

5. Drive traffic to your test

To get enough results for your test to be statistically significant, you need a lot of action on your page during the test.

This requires you to know what typically drives traffic to your site – but not just any traffic. Existing customers, for instance, are not likely prospects for clicking on your CTA. Nor are those who already subscribed to your newsletter or whatever else you’re offering for lead generation. For this test, you need a mass of new visitors to your site.

A side benefit of A/B testing is that you can use it to simultaneously test methods for driving website traffic.

For instance, if you tailor a promotion to a Facebook demographic, you can test the ability of your social media campaign to drive traffic and (assuming the campaign is successful)  also get the numbers you need to check your red CTA against your existing gray one.

6. Gather data

Marketers attempting A/B testing for the first time often question how long the test needs to run.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer. It’s a waiting game. Put your promotion into hyper-drive until you have statistically significant results.

It can take as much as a month for your site traffic to yield significant results. Or, you may find that what you’re testing doesn’t make enough difference to measure. In other words, maybe you’ll find that the red button and the grey button perform equally as well.

That’s another possible outcome of split testing.

Testing for an appropriate amount of time will generate data that gives you an opportunity to look closely at your marketing funnel. It’s the journey your web visitor takes from becoming aware of a product or service to doing something.

7. Analyze your marketing funnel

Long before the internet, marketers have examined the AIDA model: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. There are variations on this idea, but these are the basic steps a buyer takes before making a purchase – and you need to build your website design around this or a similar concept.

AIDA model

Even if you didn’t get enough traffic for your results to be statistically significant (but even better if you did), you could further analyze results with the AIDA model in mind.

Although the point of this test was only to measure clicks on the CTA, you can look further. For instance, you might see if there was any impact on the number of people who made that click and eventually converted by completing the offer on your landing page.

Everything you can learn about user behavior on your site will help you improve user experience and thereby, conversions. So there is no insignificant data, just more opportunity!

Wrapping Up

There are so many variables that impact conversions. The time of year, the time of the month and even the time of day. As you wrap up your first A/B test, consider what you might want to examine next. Keep track of your data and results from A/B tests. By doing this, you can develop a robust testing program to improve user experience and conversions.

The post 7 Amazing Steps for Running an Effective A/B Test appeared first on Rise to the Top Blog.

4 Tips for Launching VR in Your Digital Marketing Plan

From movie studios to social networks, and huge brands – today everyone seems to be exploring the newest tech available in the world of digital marketing – virtual reality.

VR gives most companies the chance to use a personalized and captivating vehicle for storytelling that can deliver immersive entertainment and memorable experiences that modern audiences crave.

However, the fact that VR is such a new concept ensures that there’s plenty of hidden corners that are still to explore, and many businesses are asking themselves how they can go about integrating VR into their own digital strategies – without simply using the same old techniques that have already been done.

Here are a few things you should keep in mind when integrating VR into your advertising efforts.

1.   Understand Your Environment

Before you start implementing a VR experience, you’ll need to fully plan out what you expect your audience members to do. For instance, do you expect your audience members to sit in a comfortable room and turn their heads to see an environment – or will they need to walk around to get immersed?

Simple questions such as these should help you to figure out the type of content you need to create – as well as where you’ll have to host your event.

2.   Know the Equipment

The VR hardware that is available for companies to use today has grown significantly – but not all of the equipment will offer exactly what you need.

Remember, positional tracking devices can figure out where your customer is moving and standing within a 3D space, whereas rotational devices deliver an immersive experience on a 360-degree basis, without tracking your position.

3.   Create Your Own Content

For VR to really make a great impression, you need to ensure that you’re offering compelling, valuable, and high-quality content.

Because the tech is relatively new, people are still exploring how to create content in the most effective way, so your best shot will be to aim for consistent and effective experiences that your audiences can understand in relation to your specific brand.

4.   Recognise the Limitations

Make sure that when it comes to VR, you understand the limitations that are still present. This new form of immersive entertainment and interaction can be difficult to work with, and can sometimes wreak havoc on the brain or eyes if the experience is too intense.

Be careful with the way you design and develop your content to work on a VR platform, and don’t push your users too far beyond their comfort zones.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR, and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442, or email us on

The post 4 Tips for Launching VR in Your Digital Marketing Plan appeared first on Hotcow.

Charity Aims To Help The U.K. “Rethink Remembrance” When It Honors Its Veterans

The Royal British Legion wants to tackle perception that it’s only WWI and WWII vets who need help.

The Royal British Legion wants to tackle perception that it’s only WWI and WWII vets who need help.

WHAT: ‘Rethink Remembrance’, this year’s edition of the annual veterans’ remembrance campaign in the UK, asks people to reconsider who it is they think the charity helps.

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IBM, OnStar, And General Motors Are Bringing Watson To Your Car

The possibilities range from “Huh, that’s interesting, I guess” to “genuinely useful.”

The possibilities range from “Huh, that’s interesting, I guess” to “genuinely useful.”

The future may be in self-driving cars, but the possibilities for our cars to smarten up while we wait for that technology to fully arrive are worth exploring, too—and that’s something that IBM, General Motors, and OnStar announced today with the advent of OnStar Go, which allows GM cars to channel IBM’s Watson for drivers who want to have some mild conveniences brought to their commute.

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James Corden Gets Out Of The Car For New Chase Bank Series On Travel And Dining

“The Late Late Show” host stars in a new branded series directed by doc star David Gelb aimed at millennial wallets.

“The Late Late Show” host stars in a new branded series directed by doc star David Gelb aimed at millennial wallets.

WHAT: The first film in a series of three short docs starring James Corden from Chase Bank, to promote travel and dining advantages of its Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card

Read Full Story

“Before The Flood” Exclusive: Leonardo DiCaprio, Elon Musk, And Sustainable Energy

DiCaprio’s NatGeo documentary brings a lot of smart people to the table to talk climate change.

DiCaprio’s NatGeo documentary brings a lot of smart people to the table to talk climate change.

It’s probably safe to say that Leonardo DiCaprio’s Before The Flood is the most important movie the actor has been a part of. The documentary, which DiCaprio produced with director Fisher Stevens (yes, that Fisher Stevens), puts DiCaprio in the first-person role of investigator, talking to many of the smartest and most powerful people in the world about what can be done to save the planet from the threat of climate change. In the course of the film, DiCaprio visits heavyweights from Barack Obama to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to Pope Francis to Secretary of State John Kerry to likely First Dude Bill Clinton to talk about what needs to be done before the flood of climate change wrecks the planet.

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Two Wins at the WARC Prize for Social Strategy 2016

We Are Social’s student campaign with HSBC, which inspired young people to build diverse connections at university, has scooped two awards at the WARC Prize for Social Strategy 2016.

HSBC wanted to find a new and fresh way to target the student market. Using the insight that success isn’t achieved alone, but through the support of others in your network, we created ‘Who’ll Shape Your Life?’ – a campaign to encourage prospective students to build diverse connections and set themselves up for future success. A diverse social channel strategy was used to share the stories of people who achieved success through university friendships, offer advice on creating and nurturing networks, invite students to imagine their own future success, and share their dreams.

The WARC judges liked the campaign so much they awarded it a Bronze award and a Special Award for a Long-Term idea.

Screen Shot 2016-10-21 at 16.21.58

Lucy Aitken, case study editor at WARC said: “The judges really admired this campaign as an innovative way to drive student applications. There were so many well thought-out elements of the campaign, like the Buzzfeed partnership, Twitter competition and celebrity engagement with Sigma that were bang on for the student community. The strategy was seen as solid, it had robust numbers in place and was interesting and effective.”

The post Two Wins at the WARC Prize for Social Strategy 2016 appeared first on We Are Social UK.

In conversation with Ikuko Iwamoto, ceramic artist

Ikuko Iwamoto is a Japanese ceramic artist based in London. We have been lucky enough to feature her work on our Instagram gallery this month and here she tells us a little more about her work…

Can you tell us a little about yourself, and your background?

I moved to the UK in 2001 and have been creating my works at my studio (Craft Central/Clerkenwell) in London since 2006. I had originally been working on large-scaled, hand-built, free-standing sculptures in Japan but, after I obtained slip-casting techniques with my MA course in London, I started creating porcelain tableware. I set up my framed sculpture project in 2012.

How did you develop a love for sculpture?

When I was at high school (secondary school) student back in Japan, a teacher in an art class told me that I had no talent with drawing, therefore, I guess, I naturally chose to work on 3D work, since I had lost my confidence with 2D.

Dealing with clay is something very special because it is absolutely primitive, especially when you create things with handbuilding. It is like what you think in your head goes into your fingers, and these fingers becomes your boss to change the shapes of material. It is kind of communicating with yourself or getting something out from inside of you. My works have become more technical, because what I create nowadays need certain skills, however, no matter how technical the works become, there are still lots of direct touches involved between my hand and materials.


What techniques do you use?

Most of my works, especially tableware, are created with a slip-casting technique, (which requires model-making and plaster mould-making) for the purpose of repeated production. This technique is very useful for creating hollow bodies of sculpture, and is also suitable for creating smooth surfaces.

I believe decoration is a very important element in making your work look different from others’. I use a pile-up-dots technique to create organic thorns – I literally pile up a single dot coming out of my syringe-like tool.

What was your inspiration behind the work on our gallery?

Nature, especially the microscopic world, has been a major inspiration for my work. I am particularly interested in the inner structure of the objects.

What work are you most proud of, and why?

It would be “Spiky spiky bowl” (see work on the right in the image above). I had been thinking of what can ultimately be done technically with porcelain clay, and in the end, this “Spiky spiky bowl” was born. This work is not big, however it has a certain existence with a strong character. And the success of this work eventually led me to work on my framed sculpture project.

Don’t forget to check out Ikuko’s work on our Instagram gallery whilst you still can!

15 Insights from the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit

The average Q&A lasted about 30 minutes, yet you felt as though you were invited to a one-on-one lunch where advice was exchanged amongst close friends. It is that generosity and openness of powerful women to mix and mingle, share stories and help each other make business connections that makes Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit special.

When Sheryl Sandberg interviewed Priscilla Chan—I felt a new appreciation for the passion she brings to their foundation. When Barbra Streisand was introduced as an advocate for women’s heart health—you were exposed to a whole new side of her. And when Intel’s Diane Bryant opened up about her father’s incarceration and why she chose engineering—you see the fight and wit she must have exhibited when climbing the ranks.

In no particular order, here are 15 of my favorite quotes and insights from the two-day conference. I hope one or two of them inspire you the way they have inspired me.

1. Ginni Rometty, CEO of IBM (*client), talked about how hard it is to reinvent an iconic company of 400,000 employees, yet she proved it can be done. A good reminder that no ship is too big to turn with a clear vision.

2. Beth Comstock, Vice Chair of Business Innovations at GE, shared another example of what it takes to create change in a large company. She equated change with being alive and said, “When you innovate you can’t just layer on the new stuff, you need to edit and simplify.”

3. Wendy Clark, CEO of DDB NA, said the biggest shift from corporate to agency life was learning to lose more often. She often tells her people to “discuss the undiscussable” in the conference room and not outside in the halls.

4. Tamara Ingram, CEO of JWT, said, “Talent first, second, third and forth to drive change.” She also pointed out leadership must represent the people on the street to be good enough.

5. Priscilla Chan, Co-founder of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, talked about she and Mark optimizing their chance of having an impact by making investments now. She believes, “You are capable beyond your wildest imagination, and there is a village behind you to help.” She seemed very genuine in their goals and passions, and inspired us all.

6. Barbra Streisand turned heads when she said, “Mind over matter and mind over my own self-doubt helped me believe I could sing 22 songs in a row on this past tour.” It reminded me to never doubt yourself and to always trust in how good you know you are.

7. Dr. Michelle Lee, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark office, reminded us, “Data is the currency of the new economy.”

8. Megan Smith, U.S. Chief Technology Officer, agreed when she discussed how using data at the enterprise level can catalyze problem solving and inspire creative solutions.

9. Ellen Kullman, former DuPont CEO, said, “Look at yourself as activists would look at you and prepare accordingly.”

10. Ruth Porat, CFO of Alphabet, who I personally found most impressive, also underscored the importance of anchoring your news in data. She encouraged us to be direct and concise, and was clearly complimented by her male counterparts for that trait. She also said, “Incrementalism leads to irrelevance.” And challenged us to, “Live your bucket list.”

11. Anita Hill, Women’s Studies Professor at Brandeis University, challenged every business school to have a course on how to manage a diverse workforce.

12. Shelley Broader, President and CEO of Chico’s, said, “Know your audience every which way to Sunday.” And, “Make sure if you do something bold it is believable.”

13. Diane Bryant, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Intel told us, “It does not help to be on the outside of the circle. To get inside you have to sell out a bit.” She admitted to not being afraid to curse, drink scotch neat and drive a stick shift. She reminded us that confidence is more highly correlated to success than competence.

14. Rima El-Husseini, Co-founder & CEO of Blessing said, “Power is the ability to make a difference for those around you.”

15. Pattie Sellers, Assistant Managing Editor at Fortune, said, “Real power is what you do outside your job description.”

Do you have a favorite quote from a powerful or inspiring woman? Feel free to share it in the comments section below.

Is Twitch the Next Big Network for Social Media Marketers?

Twitch Social Network

By Brian Leigh, Content Strategist

Despite the growing number of social media networks, social media marketers remain focused, primarily, on the same core group. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the big ones; Snapchat is closing quickly; and YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Tumblr serve their specific niches well.

But one major network has flown beneath the radar, eluding the call of marketers despite falling nicely in the “niche” group. Its audience is large and growing, but despite attention from advertising behemoths such as Coca-Cola and Red Bull, social advertisers rarely mention it.

The network in question is Twitch, a popular live-streaming service that enables users to broadcast their screens as they play video games. It was launched in 2011 and acquired for $1 billion by Amazon in 2014, and one could argue its success inspired Periscope and Facebook Live into existence. 

It hasn’t made the mainstream breakthrough of other networks, but with Amazon expanding its content presence (and making gaming a core piece of that development), its time might be coming soon.  

Here are three reasons marketers should take notice.

1. Demographic Specificity

According to Twitch’s website, it has more than 100 million monthly users. Those users spend an average of 106 minutes per day watching video-game live streams, which are broadcast by an army of more than 1.7 million unique broadcasters.

Even lacking context, those numbers are impressive. But the key to Twitch’s potential lies in the hyper-specific breakdown of its audience. 

Seventy-five percent of Twitch users are male, with 73 percent falling in the 18-49 age bracket. The network reaches half of U.S. male millennials, delivering better scores in the 18-34 demographic than top TV shows and (especially) TV networks:

All of this information can be found on Twitch’s website, so it’s not as if we’re breaking new ground. But it’s important to keep this in mind as we explore the growth and potential of Twitch’s service.

If your primary target audience isn’t millennial males, this might not be worth the investment. But if that is your primary audience, you’ll want pay attention, because those numbers are really impressive.

And they might just be the tip of the iceberg.

2. “Gamer” is a Good Thing

The stereotype of the gamer – pasty, reclusive, anti-social – has in the past made this a difficult target audience. Yes, it’s comprised of young males, but not every brand considers it the right young males for their product. It might be right for Cheetos, but not for us.

The gaming space, however, has started to trend a new direction. Millennials grew up with sophisticated video games, removing the stigma assigned by previous generations, and eSports (professional competitive video games) are one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. Two of last year’s four most-watched sporting events were eSports competitions, which explains why you’ll now see big tournaments on ESPN. 

Gamers have officially gone mainstream.

“The most significant shift we’ve seen is that gamers are now becoming an extremely attractive target,” Anthony Danzi, Twitch’s senior vice president of client strategy, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve disproved or blown away stereotypes. Our conversations are no longer around ‘is this audience safe?’”

The article in which Danzi says that, published in October 2016, takes an optimistic but cautious view on Twitch, acknowledging the “barriers” of its ad platform. But those barriers have more to do with logistics than the audience. The key to unlocking Twitch is figuring out the best way to use it, not deciding how well its audience fits your brand.

If you want to reach millennial males, you want to reach gamers. 

At this point, those mean the same thing. 

3. Advertising Opportunities

Like YouTube, Twitch offers pre-roll ads, and like television, it offers mid-roll ads (commercials). Considering the notoriety of Twitch’s influencer channels, which reach as high as 2.4 million followers, there’s a lot to be gained from buying space there.

But the best way to use Twitch, as with most things, is to get creative. And because of its format and audience, it’s the perfect place to experiment with bold ideas.

Consider, for example, Snickers, which worked its “You’re Not You When You’re Hungry” campaign into live streams of top Twitch influencers, who slowly started messing up throughout the broadcast, then slowly changed their physical appearance, leaving the audience mystified, before biting into a Snickers and restoring to normal. 

Or, more recently, Netflix, which promoted the smash hit Stranger Things by arranging for a group of Twitch influencers to stream from the 1980’s basement set of the show. During the live broadcast, users voted for creepy things that could happen to the gamers – things like flickering lights or ominous phone calls – and after the broadcast, Netflix streamed the first eight minutes of the pilot episode:

Stranger Things and Twitch

Social marketing is a complex endeavor, but if you had to distill the process to two main guidelines, it would fall along the lines of: (1) Create great content, and (2) Serve that content to the right people. 

Point 1 has been around since the dawn of advertising, but point 2 is where social media differentiates itself, allowing brands to specify and reach the perfect audience in perfect ways.

For brands like Snickers and Netflix, it’s hard to imagine a better harmony between “great content” and “perfect audience” than the examples above. And as gaming continues to expand the size and diversity of its audience, even more brands will find opportunity on Twitch’s airwaves.

In the present, but especially in the future, this is somewhere social advertisers should be.

Let the Likeable Media team know what you think about advertising on Twitch in the comments!

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65 Facebook Acquisitions – The Complete List (2017)! [INFOGRAPHIC]

Facebook or should we say, “The Facebook,” was created by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004. Initially created solely for college students attending specific schools, Facebook reached one million users in just 10 short months after its inception. Eleven years later in 2016, Facebook has nearly 1.7 billion users! And this doesn’t include its other properties like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger just to name a few.

During this wave of extreme growth, Mark Zuckerberg has acquired 68 companies till date. Facebook’s largest acquisition so far has been WhatsApp Messenger, which they purchased at $19 billion in February 2015. Other notable acquisitions include Instagram ($1 billion in April 2012) and Oculus Virtual Reality ($2 billion in March 2014).

Some of Facebook’s smaller purchases include the domain, which it bought for $8.5 million in November 2010 and the hosting and sharing platform, which it bought for $10 million in October 2010. Just a few million dollars each, no big deal for Facebook, whose IPO started out at $38 per share (in May 2012), which sits at roughly $93 per share in mid/late-August 2015.

This infographic contains the complete list of companies acquired by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg from August 2005 till date.

We will periodically be updating this as Facebook continues to make new acquisitions. There are some interesting trends such as the rise virtual reality that emerge from studying these acquisitions. We hope you enjoy!

Also on TechWyse

16 Tips to Increase Fan Engagement on Facebook
Facebook Ad Specifications and Dimensions 2017 [INFOGRAPHIC]

A big thanks to the TechWyse Team who helped to design and manage this infographic. Well done guys!


Facebook acquisitions

  • AboutFace, August 2005 – $200 K
  • Parakey, July 19 2007
  • ConnectU, June 23 2008 – $31 Million
  • FriendFeed, August 10 2009 – $47.5 Million
  • Octazen, February 19 2010
  • Divvyshot, March 2 2010
  • Friendster, May 13 2010 – $40 Million
  • ShareGrove, May 26 2010
  • Nextstop, July 8 2010 – $2.5 Million
  • Chai Labs, August 15 2010 – $10 Million
  • Hot Potato, August 20 2010 – $10 Million
  •, October 29 2010 – $10 Million
  • domain name, November 15 2010 – $8.5 Million
  • Rel8tion, January 25 2011 – Undisclosed
  • BELUGA, March 2 2011 – Undisclosed
  • snaptu, March 20 2011 – $70 Million
  • RecRec, March 24 2011 – Undisclosed
  • DayTum, April 27 2011
  • Sofa, June 9 2011
  • MailRank, June 9 2011
  • Push Pop Press, August 2 2011 – Undisclosed
  •, October 10 2011 – Undisclosed
  • Strobe, November 8 2011 – Undisclosed
  • Gowalla, December 2 2011
  • Instagram, April 9 2012 – $1 Billion
  • Tagtile, April 13 2012 – Undisclosed
  • Glancee, May 5 2012 – Undisclosed
  •, May 15 2012 – Undisclosed
  • Karma, May 21 2012 – Undisclosed
  •, June 18 2012 – $100 Million
  • Spool, July 14 2012 – Undisclosed
  • Acrylic Software, July 20 2012 – Undisclosed
  • Threadsy, August 24 2012 – Undisclosed
  • Atlas, February 28 2013 – Less than $100 Million
  • Osmeta, March 2013
  • Hot Studio, March 14 2013
  • Spaceport, April 23 2013
  • Parse, April 25 2013 – $85 Million
  • Monoidics, July 18 2013
  • Jibbigo, August 12 2013
  • Onavo, October 13 2013
  • SportStream, December 17 2013
  • Little Eye Labs, January 8 2014 – $15 Million
  • Branch, January 13 2014 – $15 Million
  • WhatsApp, February 19 2014 – $19 Billion
  • Oculus VR, March 25 2014 – $2 Billion
  • Ascenta, March 27 2014 – $20 Million
  • Liverail, August 14, 2014 – $500 Million
  • ProtoGeo Oy, April 24 2014 – Undisclosed
  • Pryte, June, 2014 – Undisclosed
  • PrivateCore, August 7 2014 – Undisclosed
  • WaveGroup Sound, August 26 2014 – Undisclosed
  •, January 6 2015 – Undisclosed
  • Quickfire, January 8 2015 – Undisclosed
  • TheFind, March 14 2015 – Undisclosed
  • Surreal Vision, May 26 2015 – Undisclosed
  • Pebbles, July 16 2015 – $60 Million
  • Masquerade, March 9 2016 – Undisclosed
  • Two Big Ears, March 23, 2016 – Undisclosed
  • Nascent Objects, September 19 2016 – Undisclosed

The total cost of Facebook’s acquisitions till date is 23,124,700, 000 USD. And that’s just from the acquisition costs they disclosed!

Facebook is a perfect example of a company that has more buying power than entire nations.

You can download a PDF version of this infographic here:

The post 65 Facebook Acquisitions – The Complete List (2017)! [INFOGRAPHIC] appeared first on Rise to the Top Blog.

Opportunity for True Integration

The rise of programmatic targeting exemplifies how various disciplines can truly support each other to create maximum influence.

Performance marketing is the most measurable, transparent, and accountable form of marketing to drive incremental impact and ROI faster and at scale. One aspect of this is programmatic media buying, simply defined as a way to specifically target the audience you wish to see your advertising. It is a drastic change from traditional ad buying, as brands are no longer locked into a set number of spots on specific sites. It is basically an algorithmic purchase in real time.

There is no doubt programmatic buying is the future. According to the Interactive Advertising Bureau, by 2018 programmatic spend will have grown from 28% in 2013 to more than 80% of marketing spend. Most discussions about programmatic tend to focus on the ad side, but there are numerous aspects of the process where the strengths of marketing and PR can be brought into play to make it more effective – and influential.


Image source: Eugen Stoll on Flickr

Speak to your audience

The advertising world has never lacked for creative brilliance, but it has not always focused with the same level of rigor on where the beautiful ads were placed. What was missing was data that could help us understand the precise target and where that individual was in their purchase journey.

Performance marketing enables us to leverage multiple data sets so the precise right message can be targeted programmatically to a specific individual at the right time in his or her purchase journey. All of this literally happens in seconds. As programmatic spending has increased, ad-side professionals have come to realize the importance of delivering relevant content to drive deeper audience engagement – something innate in PR.

In-the-moment thinking

Perhaps the greatest area where advertising can tap into the strengths of its PR and marketing brethren is the ability to turn on a dime with creative.

Oreo’s highly acclaimed “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet epitomized the ability of marcomms to instantly react to a real-world event and engage consumers with fresh, ultra-relevant content. Traditional advertising could never be so in the moment. But that’s changing.

With programmatic, brands have fundamentally shifted from buying ad space to buying a target customer wherever they are online. This literally occurs at scale in milliseconds on an almost impression-by-impression basis. This speed represents a big shift in advertising, but it is something their partners on the marcomms side have been living for years. We can show them how to prepare for such instances and be ready to offer up dynamic creative and offers at a moment’s notice.

The big news

Programmatic is here to stay because, regardless of the discipline, the need to reach consumers on an individual level is crucial to the bottom line. And technology enables that to happen in ways never thought possible.

It’s the ultimate way to influence consumers to action. And on the succeeding pages you will be introduced to an important new offering that will enable your brand to deliver influence in a more targeted way than ever before. And this platform is designed to help brands overcome two key obstacles to influence: the lack of scale for even the best brand stories and the difficulty in ensuring that influence reaches the right targets at the right place and time.

This article is a part of MSLGROUP ebook – How Influence Works in Brand New Ways developed in partnership with PR Week and Campaign magazine.

About Conversation2Commerce

C2C is MSLGROUP’s influence-to-impact performance platform. With earned media at the core, it is powered by the services and newest technnologies from Publicis Communications and Publicis Media.

To learn more about how Conversation2Commerce can boost your brand and commerce, contact: Erin B. Lanuti, Chief Influence Strategist, MSLGROUP.

The post Opportunity for True Integration appeared first on MSLGROUP’s Blog Critical Conversations: Critical Conversations.

“Insecure” Star Yvonne Orji On Creativity And Color On TV

Insecure is black girl pixie dust, the formula before you can create the magic. And this is us trying to get that formula right.”

Insecure is black girl pixie dust, the formula before you can create the magic. And this is us trying to get that formula right.”

A month ago, Yvonne Orji was a relative unknown, though she’d made waves in the L.A. comedy community as a stand-up comic and begun work on a television series about the trials and tribulations of being a first generation Nigerian-American. But with the arrival of Issa Rae’s HBO show, Insecure, the 32-year-old actress has achieved no small amount of fame for her portrayal of Molly, the overachieving, luckless-in-love best friend to the TV version of Rae. “Issa and I had really good chemistry,” says Orji of the five-week audition process to clinch the role. “It was mine to lose.” Here, the comedian-turned-actress and eventual showrunner talks about her breakout role, the evolution of black characters on television, and her own ambitions as a creator.

Read Full Story


Clunk Tubes, Quiche Dongs and Baboon Carpets. What’s all this nonsense? It can only mean one thing – it’s the new IRN-BRU Xtra outdoor campaign. Created by Robb and Brian, with a little help from Derek Sock Bandage the Ninth, the idea builds on the insight that consumers feel soft drinks with no sugar must have a weaker taste.

The creative plays off this and features a series of outdoor posters with nonsensical headlines, supported by the line ‘XTRA TASTE AND NO SUGAR. IT MAKES NO SENSE.’

The campaign was teased with a striking large scale building wrap on Glasgow Central Station, with the full campaign rolling out on the 24th October.


The post IRN-BRU XTRA. IT MAKES NO SENSE. appeared first on The Leith Agency.

Creating our own Life Defining Moments

Here at PrettyGreen we are lucky enough to do some very cool things in our job – from standing on the side of a stage at a festival dancing away to our favourite band, to playing touch rugby at Twickenham or staying overnight in a castle in Devon celebrating a flagship birthday for the agency.


But not all ‘life defining moments’ have to be at work, so every year we are given 100 buckeroos to do anything on our bucket list – or as we like to call it, the ‘living list’. The cogs in everyone’s brains start turning around January 3rd to start planning what we can do that’ll blow everyone out of the water. 


We’re not going to lie, we have had some pretty “out there” ideas. An unnamed member of the events team will always be remembered for trying (and failing) to change his name by deed poll. Other more sensible members of the company think of a more realistic living list goal and some of 2016’s highlights are below: 


·      Riding a camel through the Sahara desert – Rosie


·      Learning to play the drums (sorry neighbours) – Lucy P




·      Apprendre a parler francais – Sian


·      Take a sunset yoga course in Bali – Jade


·      Eating a giant pretzel at a German football match – Joni




So the moral of the story is – if you have a dream, go grab it with both hands. But not if it’s changing your name by deed poll, that’s just silly Jack Swallow.

Creating out own Life Defining Moments

Here at PrettyGreen we are lucky enough to do some very cool things in our job – from standing on the side of a stage at a festival dancing away to our favourite band, to playing touch rugby at Twickenham or staying overnight in a castle in Devon celebrating a flagship birthday for the agency.


But not all ‘life defining moments’ have to be at work, so every year we are given 100 buckeroos to do anything on our bucket list – or as we like to call it, the ‘living list’. The cogs in everyone’s brains start turning around January 3rd to start planning what we can do that’ll blow everyone out of the water. 


We’re not going to lie, we have had some pretty “out there” ideas. An unnamed member of the events team will always be remembered for trying (and failing) to change his name by deed poll. Other more sensible members of the company think of a more realistic living list goal and some of 2016’s highlights are below: 


·      Riding a camel through the Sahara desert – Rosie


·      Learning to play the drums (sorry neighbours) – Lucy P




·      Apprendre a parler francais – Sian


·      Take a sunset yoga course in Bali – Jade


·      Eating a giant pretzel at a German football match – Joni




So the moral of the story is – if you have a dream, go grab it with both hands. But not if it’s changing your name by deed poll, that’s just silly Jack Swallow.