Oceans Coloured Green

We all know that one of the greatest inventions of the modern era is plastic. Low in cost, ease of manufacture, versatility and durability. Plastic has, and still is, transforming the manufacturing and packaging industries.

However, unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years you’ll also be aware that the very same synthetic and semi-synthetic compounds and polymers are helping to destroy our planet. Sir David Attenborough recently highlighted the effects on our oceans in the award winning TV show Blue Planet II, and now every man and his dogfish are looking for ways to reduce their ‘plastic footprint’.

Whether it’s banning drinking straws from a pub chain or making a whole town plastic free, a lot of company’s are now striving to take the next step towards becoming plastic-free and coming up with new, innovative production techniques to change the way they package our shopping.

Paper or plastic? How would you like to pay for our planets future?

Iceland (the supermarket, not the country) has announced plastic-free packaging for their two new own-brand ranges – Mumbai Street Co. and Hungry Heroes. This follows its announcement to commit to become the first major retailer globally to eliminate plastic packaging from all of its own brand products by the end of 2023. The frozen food specialist said that the first ranges are to be rolled out as part of the initiative which will save a total of 150 tonnes of plastic every year. Looks like Iceland are trying to give pollution the cold shoulder.

Happy talking, talking, Happy eggs

Ok, so the traditional cardboard crate for storing eggs is already pretty recyclable but we just love the novel packaging produced from heat pressed hay by designer Maja Szcypek. 

H2 Whoa!

With 80% of plastic bottles ending up in landfill or our oceans, and then taking about 800 years to biodegrade it’s about time someone came up with a replacement. Thats where the Paper Water Bottle comes in. The exoskeleton pulp material is made from 100% organic and sustainable combinations of plant-based fibres including bagasse, bulrush, wheat straw and bamboo. The eventual goal is to make their bottle fully compostable. Water-way to help save the planet.

From beach to bottle

Head & Shoulders and Method have produced bottles made with recovered ocean plastic. Using beach clean-up groups and volunteers they collect plastic from the beach and turn it into bottles. They’re really doing their best to clean up the planet. Let’s just hope those bottles don’t end up in the ocean.

The edible solution

Save on washing up by simply eating your crockery… We’re not there just yet but some companies are developing plates, cups and other (*cough) consumables to be made from natural grains such as barley and wheat. Safe for most creatures to eat. How tasty they’ll be – only time (or your tummy) will tell.


Some supermarkets are looking to introduce compostable packaging as a way to show off their green credentials. These products will breakdown as quick as vegetable waste in a home compost bin. “Fanbloomintastic!” I hear you shout, but there is a downside. If you don’t compost them yourself they will simply end up in landfills and give off methane as they degrade. So ultimately depends on the end user and what they do with it…. not so green now, are you?  

So what does the future hold? Who knows? An end to plastic in our lives?…probably not, but a bigger understanding of recycling, waste management and innovation to make our planet greener….or bluerer!

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Get in touch

Fancy a chat? Whether you’re looking for a fully integrated agency or a specific specialism, we’d love to hear from you.

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Retargeting for Home Builders: How to Generate Online Leads

Keep Your Home Building Business Top-of-Mind with Potential Clients

From talking it over with a significant other to running budget numbers to ensure a good fit, making a decision on big-ticket items, like a new home or remodeling project, takes time. During this decision-making period, you could just sit back and wait for that potential client to come back, or you can take action with a retargeting ad campaign.

How Retargeting Works

Have you ever visited a website only to continue seeing ads for that product or service long after you’ve clicked out of their page? Retargeting offers an opportunity for home builders to re-engage with potential leads by delivering your message to people you already know are receptive to it.

Here’s what’s happening behind the scenes of a retargeted ad campaign:

When users visit a particular page on your website, their browser is tagged with a “pixel,” made up of a few lines of JavaScript. Alternatively, retargeting campaigns can also be launched using pre-built lists, such as your client database or potential clients who signed up for more information on your services.

As these users go on about their online activities, ad platforms, like AdWords and Facebook, will serve them ads based on their history with your company, re-exposing them to your brand and message to keep your business in their minds during their decision-making process.

How Home Builders Can Leverage Retargeting to Generate Leads

Learning the strategy and theory behind retargeting is one thing. Putting those findings into action is another, much more involved practice. To get a better idea of what a retargeted ad campaign might look like for a home builder, here’s step-by-step breakdown of what you need to know to generate online leads.

Determine Your Leads’ Interests

Knowing what your potential clients are looking for gives your company a straight shot to the closing table. If someone visits the remodeling service page on your website or enters their information on a contact form associated with a particular housing development, they are no longer a mystery lead—you now know what they are interested in.

With this information, you can retarget those leads with ads specifically related to their interests that link back to your website, for example a banner that promotes your remodeling services or a Facebook ad featuring the housing community they were looking into.

Direct Leads to a Relevant Landing Page

Retargeted ads have a 10 times higher click-through rate than other types of display ads. With clicks to your ads’ landing pages much more likely to happen, the question shifts from how to get consumers back on your website to where to lead them.

One thing is certain, your retargeted ads should not be linking visitors back to your site’s homepage. Instead, create custom landing pages that relate to that particular ad campaign. If you’re retargeting potential homebuyers for your new community, take them to a landing page that talks specifically about that location.

Give a Clear Call to Action

By now, potential leads have seen your company’s message multiple times. Once you’ve got them on your landing page, it’s time to make them an offer they won’t want to refuse. From a free neighborhood guide for the area they’re researching to booking a complimentary consultation with one of your custom home experts, you’ll want your call to action to be clear, concise and of value to your prospective clients.

When a person visits your site or contacts your sales team directly, they may be interested in working with you but not quite ready to pull the trigger on your services. Retargeted ad campaigns keep your business from fading into the background while your potential clients are weighing their options. We can help you get started.


NBC Will Show Winter Olympics Content on 4,000 Outdoor Displays in 3 U.S. Cities

A mock-up of a LinkNYC kiosk that will display Winter Olympics content. They will begin showing content on Thursday.

Olympics fans in New York, Chicago and Philadelphia will soon have a way to catch up with the 2018 Winter Olympics without looking down at their phones during their commute.

Later this week, NBC Olympics will begin showcasing content from Pyeongchang, South Korea—videos and visuals such as highlights, summaries, previews, medal counts and athlete bios—on digital displays on streets and in mass transit systems in those three cities. Through a partnership with Intersection, a New York-based startup, NBC hopes to broaden its Olympics footprint while reminding people to watch the games on TV or on NBC’s mobile app.

According to NBC Olympics President Gary Zenkel, the goal is to reach viewers beyond their usual consumption habits. Since there is a 14-hour time difference between the East Coast and South Korea, Zenkel said he hopes it will also provide ongoing content even though the games are half a world away. That means having highlights from the night before during the morning commute in the U.S. to show people what happened while they were still sleeping.

“There’s a real-time presence of Olympic content that’s accompanying people who are either heading to work or doing what they do as they maneuver the streets of New York, Philly and Chicago,” he told Adweek during an interview from South Korea.

Starting Thursday, around 4,000 digital displays will begin showing Olympics content for about three to six minutes every hour. The monoliths stand 9.5 feet tall, and have 55-inch display screens. Zenkel said the goal is to increase the “appetite” for Olympics content.

The idea came about a couple of months ago after Zenkel noticed the LinkNYC stands around New York. Soon after that, Zenkel ran into Intersection chief revenue officer Marta Martinez and decided to contact her later to learn more about the displays.

“I saw these kiosks popping up on what felt like at least every city block and in some cases corners and was intrigued,” Zenkel said.

This is the first major content play for Intersection, which has digital display partnerships with a number of major cities in the U.S. Screens can show all kinds of content, including ads like Apple’s Shark Tank-style show, “Planet of the Apps,” as well as offer free Wi-Fi. Other Intersection markets include Dallas, San Francisco, Seattle, Minneapolis and most recently Los Angeles.

The Olympics content will be displayed across the 1,500 LinkNYC kiosks in New York; on digital panels and displays in the Chicago Transit Authority system; and on bus shelters, urban panels and other displays in Philadelphia’s mass transit system and streets.

“It ties back to our core mission, which is to improve [the] daily life of cities through technology,” said Intersection CEO Ari Buchalter. “I think a big part of that is around delivering unique and powerful content experiences in the public space, in particular those that are sort of human-scale, look-up experiences as opposed to the content that people often consume on their mobile phones.”

The initial plan late last year was to find advertisers among NBC’s existing content sponsors. However, Zenkel said the plan came together just before the games were set to begin, and the two companies decided not to exchange any money—unless they’re able to find an advertiser at the last minute.

“The Olympics is a uniquely massive event,” Zenkel said. “I don’t think anyone who walks down the street seeing some great Olympic content is going to say, ‘Hmm, how did this end up here?’”

Buchalter said Intersection is also in talks to bring other types of content to public spaces. That might include news, social media, local info or cultural content. Buchalter said revenue agreements depend on each contract. However, the share with LinkNYC, a joint partnership with New York City, is split in half.

“If you only see an ad, then you eventually become blind to that space,” he said.

How to create a content marketing strategy

As mentioned in one of our previous blog posts (describing some of the major trends to be expected in 2018), eight out of ten marketers believe content marketing is a key constituent of marketing success, yet only three out of ten within the same sample had a content marketing strategy in place. Setting a strategy isn’t hard, but it can be daunting to know where to start when it comes to working out what is needed – by whom, in what format, how often, why, and so on. That is why we recommend the use of the long-established SMART goals methodology (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely). For a bit of fun, in this article we have adapted this approach to fit in with some famous lines of verse from arguably one of England’s finest content creators, Rudyard Kipling.

‘I keep six honest serving-men:
(They taught me all I knew)
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who’

Answer these six questions in relation to how you require your content marketing efforts to benefit your organisation as a whole, and you will have gone a large way towards setting a strategy. Unlike Kipling, though, it seems logical to address first the question of ‘Why?’ rather than as Rudyard has positioned it towards the end of the ode. Marketers believe content marketing is important, but why is that?

Why do we need content marketing?

The answer to this question of why we need content marketing is linked to how we have seen marketing develop with the rise in the importance of all the digital channels. Instead of aiming for a transactional relationship where one party sells and the other buys, and that’s pretty much it, marketers across the board are now aiming for deeper, lasting relationships. With the advent of social media and automated marketing, the use of which will only become more and more sophisticated as artificial intelligence picks up much of the legwork previously delivered by humans, marketing messages are becoming far more tailored and personal. Instead of using the blunt instrument of traditional mass marketing, customers can be wooed with messages tuned to their specific likes and dislikes. Therefore, rather than a sale being the ultimate goal, a long-term – ideally lifetime – relationship between brand and consumer is the new aim, as per our recent bowtie marketing blog.

These new media channels are already swamped with far too many intrusive sales messages, but savvy marketers know that what people really want is excellent quality information and – most importantly – not to feel sold to. Sometimes, that information will be specific to a product or service, but often it is information relevant to a problem that a customer has and wants to solve or a need or desire that they want to satisfy. Consumers trust people – and brands – which they perceive to be honest, transparent, reliable and helpful. They also trust independence, which is why consumers typically give more credit to reviews by peers in preference to a brand’s official marketing output, and explains why YouTube stars (aka vloggers) have quickly become huge influencers. In such a world, brands that build relationships by listening to and solving their customers’ problems will build the deepest relationships. They will have consistent, coherent narratives that their customers buy into – think Dyson’s championing of British inventiveness, or Aldi’s assertion that the named brands people love are good (cleverly leveraging the building of those brands) but their own brands are just as good, and much cheaper. The ultimate prize is to have such a good relationship with your customers that they do much of your marketing for you. Content marketing helps to deliver and/or amplify brand trust.

So that’s the ‘why’ at a broad level. In terms of a plan of attack, it’s worth asking the question of your own organisation. Why should your business have a content marketing strategy? Establish clear objectives – website hits, positive reposts, click-throughs leading to sales, etc. – for what you want to achieve in terms of engagement with prospects and customers. And once you have set a strategy down and are producing content, make sure you understand how each piece fits in with the strategy and why it will help build relationships with your target audience – this is also why it is important to map out your stakeholder needs and to have a good understanding of segmentation, so you can generate helpful personas and profiles for different customer groups.

HOW will your content marketing contribute to business objectives?

Answering this question is where the meat goes on the bones. Unless you have a clear idea of how you are going to attain them, strategic goals are just so many fine words. It requires a deep understanding of your own business and of your market. If either of these is missing, gaining such understanding should be an essential first step within the strategy. What are the key products or services on offer, and where do they sit in the market? Do all consumers have the same perceptions? A brand is often in reality far more a matter of how others view it than how the organisation would like it to be perceived. How will you build on your brand’s position, or change perceptions if this is one of your aims? An honest assessment is required to identify where strengths and weaknesses exist, in both your own organisation and within competitors. Which are the products/services that sell, and why? Analyse sales figures and other available data to form a picture based on objective information.

Each piece of content produced should advance your progress towards your goals and have a clear purpose – growing your customer database, raising awareness, provoking interest, building relationships, improving SEO benefits, generating sales. Quite possibly, each post will help boost several of these objectives at the same time. Each should carry a consistent tone of voice and add to the story of your brand; decide beforehand how your story will be developed as each additional item is posted, and how you will vary it according to your relationship with an intended recipient. The messages going to customers who have little or no awareness of your brand will be very different from those who are regular buyers or even advocates. They should also be adapted according to the segment (or – in the case of B2B – industry) being targeted, and perhaps also according to their location.

Also, be pragmatic. A successful content marketing strategy does not need to be that sophisticated to be successful. There are some key considerations you need to tick off if you want to have an impact – your content must be relevant, informative and interesting to your primary target audience. The important thing about content is that it hangs around for a long time in the eyes of the search engines if it is hosted in the right way. This is why SEO optimisation is so important. A well-optimised piece of content can appear on the first page of Google almost immediately, driving high quality traffic to your website.

WHERE will you post your content?

Not so long ago, ‘Where?’ would just have been a matter of your desired geographical reach, but now it applies to a host of digital platforms too. Which video platform will you use? YouTube is the obvious, but not only, choice. Facebook is still massive, but maybe Instagram might work better. LinkedIn is of course a big player in the B2B world. Once a piece of content is created, it is easy to modify it for a variety of platforms – the modifications and postings can even be automated using marketing platforms such as Hubspot, Marketo and the like. Of course, it will usually appear on your website too, and well-constructed emails still register great response rates – this year, a strategy should include measures to ensure your mailings are set up to comply with GDPR, which lands in May. We will be writing more about the implications of GDPR in a future blog.

WHAT content will you produce?

Set out what you want to post and when (presupposing, of course, that there is a satisfactory answer to the question ‘Why?’!). ‘Content’ embraces a multiplicity of different formats. All content must, of course, be engaging, so be aware of what your audience tunes into. Video has become one of the most effective mediums and this trend is sure to grow in 2018, so ignore it at your peril. It is of course just a part of a media mix that also includes blogs, whitepapers, webinars, newsletters, and so on.

WHEN will you produce your content?

When you post could be determined by when sales campaigns are planned, or in response to changes in market conditions, such as new laws coming in, a new craze, or even the weather – suppliers of fencing increase their activity in the wake of gales! If your market is affected by specific changes like this, your strategy should include the need to have content ready to roll as soon as opportunities arise.

WHO is involved in the strategy?

‘Who’ is the last of the Kipling questions and, in this context, it applies both to who within an organisation is going to be responsible for producing the content, as well as who the target recipients are.

Regarding the former, the strongest brands spread the production of content as widely as possible. The more employees who are involved in the process, the more authentic the picture consumers build-up of that company. ‘Marketing’ may be the primary responsibility of a specific group, but every employee is a brand representative whenever they interact with a customer. Obviously, guidelines are necessary to ensure the brand’s reputation is safeguarded and that a consistent message is maintained, but the more that individuals can ‘be themselves’ within such parameters, the more interesting their contributions will be. For example, ordinary members of staff don’t need to be great actors to take part in videos – these days viewers are likely to be more impressed by honest and credible amateurs than by slick professionals.

When it comes to audiences, we’ve already said that messages should be tailored to the people they are intended for. As well as identifying the intended recipients for your different messages, ensure content is focused on appealing to real individuals rather than abstract groups by creating realistic buyer personas.

Six honest serving-men

This is just one approach to creating a strategy, but it’s one that works. The six questions can be asked at every level, from the initial forming of the overarching strategic goal, through the subsidiary goals and tactics to use, right through to the creation of each piece of content. If each element of your strategy addresses ‘What, Where, When, How, Why and Who?’ you can be pretty confident you have covered all the bases. The only thing to bear in mind is to try to find ways to measure the effectiveness of your campaign on an ongoing basis against pre-determined goals. As a general rule, “if you cannot measure it, it’s not worth doing” – but of course measurement can be defined in any number of ways. It is not all about instant sales. It could be about building up long term value in your brand and/or protecting your position in the marketplace against aggressively advertising competitors. The good news is that you will tend to have the last laugh in this respect, as long as you create a well-thought out content marketing strategy that includes reference to search engine optimisation and social media marketing.

Super Bowl Trolling & The Future of Marketing

The practice of trolling is being redefined by marketers as a disruptive and effective marketing platform that speaks to a new generation of people who use social media constantly, both young and old. It’s a means of direct and immediate communication and it creates a much coveted, totally interactive engagement with consumers. It’s also probably been the most inexpensive marketing platform out there.

Until this year’s Super Bowl.

During the big game Wendy’s trolled McDonald’s relentlessly, roasting it for its “flash frozen” beef patties in its “Iceberg” spot, in :15s that were essentially broadcast tweets with hashtags and, finally, suggesting that the “Frozen Arches” were responsible when the broadcast glitched for a few seconds with dead-air time.

“Y’all freeze that live feed?” Wendy’s asked McDonald’s on Twitter.

Wendy’s of course has been successfully savaging McDonald’s for some time with #NationalRoastDay. KFC also trolled McDonald’s recently, throwing shade on Twitter by referencing Trump’s “nuclear button” tweet, claiming that its box meal “is bigger and more powerful” than McDonald’s. But with its Super Bowl debut this year, the fine art of trolling has moved from outlier tactic to mainstream marketing strategy.

As with most radical marketing plays there can be a downside to trolling. Tossing the holiday spirit out the window last Christmas, Netflix savaged 53 people who repeat-watched the cornball comedy “A Christmas Prince” on its streaming service. A delicate dance, throwing shade at your own customers, and indeed it backfired on Netflix. While its trolling campaign generated lots of social heat, it became more “bait” then “win” for the company as users returned the savagery with a tweet-tsunami ripping it for being creepy and abusing its Big Brother ability to watch what people watch on its service.

Trolling as a marketing tactic baits and provokes, but when done right it triggers lasting social conversations in which people share their passion for brands, and have fun doing it. Clearly people are on social platforms, talking about topics your brand cares about, whether you like it or not. You can ignore it, or you can engage.

There are risks involved. Trolling can be aggressive and can escalate into a war of words, but if used correctly it also can stir a loyal fanbase with bold and head-turning statements about brands and what they stand for. For it to work, however, marketers need to keep these five points in mind:

  1. Establish a brand voice first. Being armed to react in real-time takes a considerable amount of planning ahead of time. Knowing the brand voice matters, which is why we believe that no brand should be on social without first developing its brand strategy.
  2. Recognize your “breaks” and capitalize on them. Not every brand gets a break and sees an opening to go after its competition like Wendy’s did after McDonald’s touted its “flash frozen” burgers, but when you do, bold marketers must embrace and seize the opportunity.
  3. Tap into real-time zeitgeist in the moment of your push to illustrate your point. Reaction GIFs are a hyped thing, but they may not be a hyped thing tomorrow. You have to plan, and you have to move quickly.
  4. Turn negatives into positives. It’s easy to point out a competitor’s negatives. There is always enough of that already in social. Instead, focus on what’s great about your brand.
  5. Face reality. When it comes to putting a stake in the ground, you have to remember that what you stand for must hold true. Sometimes a great idea will need to be put on hold until what your brand is about to say becomes a reality. Not all good ideas are right for your brand. Read the real reviews, don’t ignore the opinion you don’t want to hear and remind yourself of any brand flaws. In 2018, consumers don’t have patience for a one-sided view or conversation.

On social platforms, we tend to worry more about social negativity, but every day, fans are also saying good things about your brands. Why not leverage these as part of your marketing mix? They are simply the new, modern media-culture version of a good review.

Originally published on AdAge. Written by Maggie Cadigan and Kristin Busk.

The post Super Bowl Trolling & The Future of Marketing appeared first on Mistress.

Facebook Changed How It Ranks Videos in the News Feed

Over the last few months, Facebook has announced multiple changes to its algorithm that will have a significant impact on what content appears in the News Feed and with what frequency. Mark Zuckerberg himself summarized this recent spate of updates in a much-analyzed announcement that indicated the News Feed will now be prioritizing “time well spent.” The reprioritization of engagement, when directed at video, means longer videos may get a boost in visibility.

Updates to Video Completion Rates

Percent completion (how much of the video is watched) is one of the signals Facebook has been using to determine which videos show up in a user’s News Feed. Facebook also takes a number of other factors into account, such as whether someone turns the sound on, taps to go full screen, or turns on high-definition, and whether or not the video is live. Recently, Facebook came to the conclusion that the percent completion signal specifically needed an adjustment.

Because it is far easier to watch the entirety of a short video compared to a longer video, Facebook has now started weighting the percent completion signal based on the length of the video to avoid a programmatic bias allowing shorter videos to acquire better metrics by default.

Of the change, Facebook said, “Longer videos that people spend more time watching may see a slight increase in distribution on [the network]. As a side effect, some shorter videos might see a slight dip in News Feed distribution.” That doesn’t mean, however, that longer videos will perform better just because of their runtime. There is also no set length on what constitutes a longer video under this new construct. When applying this update to your content strategy, Facebook affirms that the best length for a video is whatever length is required to tell a compelling story that engages people — and this will vary depending on the story you are telling.

Takeaway: Brands can stop obsessing over making videos as short as possible, and instead let content dictate the length. Of course, with attention spans getting ever shorter, concise storytelling is still paramount.

Updates to Video Distribution and Monetization

According to another recent announcement, Facebook’s algorithm shift, while looking for a way to quantify content’s relevance and value, will prioritize serialized programming and videos garnering repeat viewership on the platform. For publishers, this move is yet another signal that the short, silent video format that has come to dominate the News Feed is no longer a priority for Facebook. Products such as Watch and mid-roll ad breaks have been designed to push video producers to create longer, episodic programming for the platform — all to get more users to stay longer and come back more frequently.

“Publishers who are creating content that will drive retention will start doing better,” said Fidji Simo, VP of Product at Facebook. Simo, however, was careful to also acknowledge that one-off videos that earn a lot of views and engagement will continue to do well in the News Feed.

Takeaway: This shift, and the others rolling out simultaneously, push brands and publishers to be more thoughtful while creating content to inspire quality, intentional engagement.

As these changes take effect, Facebook recommends utilizing Page analytics to learn what is working best for your brand and how these changes are impacting your paid and organic content so that your strategy can evolve to meet the new platform expectations.

If you have questions or would like help with your content strategy, please get in touch.

Black History Month: Zora Neale Hurston & the Harlem Renaissance

When I was a little girl learning about the Black excellence of our past, I was amazed by their talent, intellect and resilience. Many were trailblazers with no footsteps to guide them – they created the paths that we walk today. With that in mind, I’m humbled to share my thoughts on a prominent African American leader who inspires me.

Meet Zora Neale Hurston: A name you don’t always hear when you talk about legendary authors from the early 21st century. She was a novelist, an anthropologist, a folklorist, and a leader among the Harlem Renaissance—a cultural, social and artistic migration in the 1920s and 1930s to Harlem, New York; it’s also known as the “rebirth of African American arts.” Zora was known for being humorous, having an infectious personality and being extremely intelligent.

She graduated from Barnard College with a degree in anthropology, but her passion was writing. Her greatest work was a masterpiece called Their Eyes Were Watching God, published in 1937. It tells the story of a young Black woman from the South and her struggle to find her identity, in marriage and in life. She pushed the envelope with this novel, as she did in many of her books, sharing the vivid experiences of Black women in the 20th century, experiences that were taboo and unspoken in the Black community. I remember being hypnotized by the story because it was speaking from a point of view I rarely read growing up – a Black woman. The struggle, the sorrow and the pain that many Black women suffered during this era was heartbreaking. It was raw, audacious, but mostly, sad.

Zora was also known for establishing the Harlem Renaissance movement. For those that may not be familiar, the Harlem Renaissance was a pivotal time for Black arts as they developed a new sense of identity. Artists, writers, fashion designers, and musicians (the rise of jazz) developed new ways to express their pride in Black culture—contributions are still remembered today. Venues such as the Cotton Club and the Apollo Theatre gave these performers a place to call their own. Other notable artists made famous during the Harlem Renaissance include Langston Hughes; Duke Ellington; Louis Armstrong; Countee Cullen; Billie Holiday; Eubie Blake; and Noble Sissle, among others—with Zora acting as the “voice of the movement.”

What I love most about her work was the vivacious personality that bled through every page—imaginative and witty. She continued to write in her later years, but endured poverty and struggled financially as she was rarely published. She suffered from several strokes in her last days and died in 1960, alone, at St. Lucie County Welfare Home in Fort Lucie, FL, where she was buried.

But because of her persistence and recognition after death, she inspired the next generation of authors, writers and poets that we all know and love, like Dr. Maya Angelou (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), Toni Morrison (Beloved), Alice Walker (The Color Purple), and many more. She gave Black women a voice and taught us that we shouldn’t fear our heritage—we should embrace it and explore its purpose.

Zora used a major cultural moment and her writing to communicate her experiences to the world. Whether you are a writer, videographer, designer, strategist, or creator, we are all storytellers at heart. Zora’s work was meaningful to me because at many points in her career, she was a trailblazer and never let her circumstances dictate her purpose. She stayed true to herself, her writing, and led a movement that impacted a community of people for generations to come.

Young bucks, I encourage you to learn a bit more about Ms. Hurston, other Black writers from the 20s and 30s and the Harlem Renaissance—the artists’ movement. I’m proud to honor the legacy of this literary hero and I leave you with this quote by Zora: Sometimes I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It’s beyond me.”

This is my Black History.

Editor’s note: Throughout Black History Month, we will be reflecting on  prominent African American figures that have helped shape our world as communicators. Follow us in February to learn more about how these trailblazers have inspired members of the Ketchum team.

Love it or hate it… KSI is now one of the biggest names in British sport

On Saturday, one of the most significant boxing events in recent years happened.

Not at the O2, where Matchroom’s ‘British Beef’ show took place after months of brilliant build-up and some genuinely fantastically produced content from Sky Sports to build excitement.


And not in Russia for the Cruiserweight semi-final in the breathtaking World Boxing Super Series which saw Murat Gassiev added the WBA belt to his IBF world title by stopping Yunier Dorticos.


No. The most significant boxing event in years happened in Stratford East London, where a sell-out crowd at the Copper Box and 1.6m viewers watched YouTube stars have an amateur boxing match.


Joe Weller and KSI are not Vladarmkr Klitchkno and Anthony Joshua when it comes to actual boxing talent. But the social media personalities don’t need to be. With over 20 million YouTube subscribers between them, they have an Influence that pretty much no boxer or sports person on the planet can come close to.




The build up hype was, of course, played out on social media to WWE levels of pantomime. But it worked perfectly.


These are guys that have 13 million people watching their pre-fight press conference and over £100,000 spent on betting.


This wasn’t a couple of pissed-up fellas live streaming a scrap in their kitchen to a couple of hundred people.


This was a proper high impact, large scale event put on by some of the leading figures in the modern digital world, with huge levels of engagement to an audience that hangs off their every post, and have mainstream sponsors fighting to be associated with them.


Stuart Jones, the Founder of Upload Agency, and who put on the event, told us why this was such a big sporting moment – “People love seeing their favourite YouTuber’s come to life, especially when they are stepping out of their comfort zone. We could have actually sold more than 20,000 tickets, had we booked a larger venue.


Sports fans on the whole have been very positive about the event. The boxing was high quality, especially the headline fight. Joe and JJ both trained as professionals for 4 months and devoted all of their time into becoming the best possible boxers.


It was also important to me, as a boxing enthusiast, that we respected the sport of boxing from a production point of view. We made sure we didn’t cut any corners with any aspect of the event. If you look at James DeGale’s last fight at the Copper Box, you’ll notice that the lighting, PA, ring etc is all exactly the same. We wanted to ensure we replicated professional boxing events that the likes of Frank Warren and Eddie Hearn put on so well.


There will be another fight for KSI. We’re letting the dust settle and then we’ll see where we go from here. We are in no rush but we’re already looking at bigger venues and starting conversations about the next event. We’ve also been inundated with other influencers who want to be matched with an opponent on the undercard for the next fight night.


I think this simply shows the power of social influencers and how brands and sporting events can really benefit from influencer marketing campaigns to drive footfall.”


Hardcore fans might not like it but when you look at the numbers involved with this fight and the new younger audience they’ve attracted, boxing should be incredibly grateful that KSI is now one of the biggest names in British sport.


KSI vs Rio Ferdinand at Wembley stadium anyone?

This Week: AdWords, Boosting Instagram Presence, and SEO Myths

Hello and Happy Tuesday!

This week in internet marketing, we’re covering predictions for paid search, tips to boost your presence on Instagram, and debunking common SEO myths. We’re also looking at ways to promote your blog content using social media and how to improve your email program for 2018.

Automation, AdWords and Amazon: Ashley Fletcher on the Futures of Paid Search

2018 promises to be a big year for Google, given its recent announcements, and for Amazon too. Ashley Fletcher, VP of Marketing at Adthena and former Product Manager at Google, looks at the landscape of automation, Adwords, and Amazon in this article. Fletcher predicts that Google will offer campaign targeting targeting for smart home hubs in AdWords. With Amazon becoming a destination site for consumers, he also expects Amazon’s Shopping to be on the rise. As he notes, “The low CPC and high ROI currently available through Amazon Shopping makes now a perfect time for retailers to get in on the platform.”

12 Ways to Boost your Instagram Presence

There are over 25 million active business profiles making it the best tool to showcase what you have to offer. You may not become an overnight success but AUTHOR has narrowed down some tips on how to boost your IG game. Be active, not only with your audience but within the community as well. Use captions, and be sure to reply to every comment. Interact with other businesses and instagram accounts–the more support you show, the more well-known you’ll be.
Choose an aesthetic for your posts and be consistent. Be sure to use Instagram Stories and incorporate videos and boomerang into your account. Stories is such an opportune way to engage with your audience by showing behind the scenes content. Plan your content in advance.

15 SEO Myths That Just Won’t Die

Kristine Schachinger is debunking common SEO myths that just won’t disappear. In this article she tackles SEO knowledge, content, the importance of page speed, and key words (just to name a few). SEO is not voodoo or magic, she states. Rather it’s knowledge combined with a solid understanding of algorithms and what it takes to be in compliance of those algorithms, even as they change day-to-day. In addition to dispelling disbeliefs, she also offers insight and tips such as adding 2-3 blog posts a week to keep your site relevant without adding the demands and costs of continually updating pages.

4 Unconventional Ways to Promote Blog Content on Social Media

With new tools being introduced on social media platforms, it’s time to get creative with your blog content sharing strategy. David Zheng covers four ways to promote your blog content on social media. He recommends using either using the Facebook Live feature or just static videos to tease about your blog content. The most consumed content on Facebook is video (watch time for Live broadcasts have grown by more than 4 times) making these two options great to talk about your most recent blog topic and then offer up a Call to Action to read further. The goal is to drive them back to your content. He also suggests creating Instagram stories and engaging on Snapchat.

Make 2018 a Great Year for your Email Program

Jose Ceriban covers ways that a company can take stock of its email program and how by implementing a review, you can improve your email game. During the decluttering phase, cut emails that don’t generate the outcome or revenue that you expect. Review automated emails and cut reporting to one source. Audit the User Experience; evaluate the process once a new person signs on to your distribution list. Update creative and style of your email template and test its results. Ceriban recommends mapping out the process so each stakeholder understands the process of getting an email out the door.

Check out these additional articles for more internet marketing news!

Here’s How Featured Snippets Work, According to Google

Four Digital Marketing Practices for Success in 2018

7 TED Talks Every Social Media Marketer Needs to Watch

The post This Week: AdWords, Boosting Instagram Presence, and SEO Myths appeared first on The TechWyse ‘Rise to the Top’ Internet Marketing Blog.

Retailers and brands continue to play catch up with the connected shopper in 2018

Here we look at another theme that is set to shape the shopper agenda in 2018: the rapid rise of the connected shopper. The importance of technology to the shopping experience continues to grow. Whether it’s improving mapping and social …
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The post Retailers and brands continue to play catch up with the connected shopper in 2018 appeared first on Savvy Thinking.