Monster.com’s 3-Word Content Strategy How (Wow, Now) Will You Adapt it for Your Business?

GettyImages-486507434x800.jpg

Monster.com has been a leading resource for job seekers since 1994, but in recent years they’ve also become known for their content marketing savvy. With a strategy that Monster’s managing editor Margaret Magnarelli calls How, Wow, Now, the company has expanded their target market beyond job seekers to include the unhappily employed, and those simply interested in following employment trends. Best of all, this three-pronged strategy is ripe for customization by creative integrated marketers.

How: Service Journalism
Service journalism provides consumers with guidance or advice, identifies helpful information, and offers ways to conquer their challenges for a better life. Above all, this type of content is intended to form and maintain a relationship with the reader, positioning your organization as a trusted resource. In the case of Monster.com, this may be tips for sprucing up their resumes or articles about the workplace. Consider how you can help address your prospects’ pain points and offer them clear, practical answers.

Wow: Build an Emotional Connection
Emotions play a huge role in how consumers act and react.” If you can tap into what matters to your prospects, creating compelling stories that will resonate with them, you are more likely to stand out from the ‘noise’ that they are getting from a constant bombardment of marketing messages. Monster has used a variety of Wow methods, including modeling a resume tutorial after viral-style recipe videos, and a first-person account of lessons learned from a layoff. Think about ways in which your organization can use humor or heart to tell a memorable story that will stick with your readers.

Now: Timely Content
Be on the lookout for hot, relevant topics in the zeitgeist that you can use as a jumping off point for original content creation. If you can tie your demographic or industry into a current event, incorporating keywords for topical searches, you may be able to generate organic traffic, as well as entertaining or interesting regular consumers of your content. Monster’s team keeps tabs on employment data, important dates, and other industry-related information that they can repurpose with their own perspective and data. Think about events now or in the near future that may provide natural parallels with your own industry, and that would make for a persuasive read or watch.

Does your current content strategy give you opportunities to take advantage of How, Wow, Now moments? What can you or your team do to incorporate these tips into your content strategy? Shrewd integrated marketers will embrace this straightforward approach to creating truly effective content, whether tackling one prong, or all three.

Advertisements

Love Your Prospects, Love Their Pets: Pet-Themed Promo Items Have Surprising Benefits

GettyImages-624512356-800.jpg

One thing that savvy marketers understand is that, even when you’re doing B2B marketing, you’re still marketing to a real human being. So there’s a very good chance you’re marketing to a person with a pet, since 68% of households in this country share their space with a pet. Why not abandon the tried-and-true-tchotchke formula and shake things up with pet-themed promotional products? For example, consider:

  • Sublimated bandanas
  • Bowls and mats
  • Toys and laser pointers
  • Pet food lids and bag clips
  • Pet hair removal brushes

Now consider what these items can do for your marketing efforts.

Pet promo items are unique
It’s true that a clever, well-thought of promotional product can break through the clutter, and that there are some innovative, useful products that work both for internal and external audiences. But chances are good your prospects probably receive (and then immediately throw out) the standards, like t-shirts, ball-point pins and calendars. A pet tag, doggie bandana, or toy can help you stand out, which can help you make an impression.

Associate Your Brand with Powerful Emotions
It’s scientific fact: interacting with our pets produces oxytocin, or the “love hormone” (and at least in dogs, the feeling may be mutual), a neurotransmitter that is associated with powerful and positive emotions—it helps us love, trust, and make bonded connections. Now, imagine what’s going to happen when your prospect is clipping your branded tag to his or her dog’s collar, or playing a round of catch. As your prospect’s brain is flooded with oxytocin and pet love, he or she is also going to associate your brand with those moments.

There’s just one caveat
Before integrated marketers invest in thousands of pet toys, they need to invest in maintaining a bullet-proof list: after all, receiving a pet toy in the mail might be confusing to a prospect who doesn’t have a pet at all! So it’s essential that you know whom you’re talking to.

Putting it all together to get your customer to sit, stay, roll over, and beg
So now that you have the genius ideas to court clients by appealing to their pets, you’ve still got to hone in on the audience, what the bigger campaign is going to look like, and what else you’re going to do to lure them deeper into the funnel. Keep reading for more genius ideas that will help with all of the above.

Targeted, Timely and Tailored: Location-Based Mobile Marketing

ThinkstockPhotos-512219340.jpg

Location-based marketing (LBM) is fast gaining recognition as a powerful way to build engagement with users on their mobile devices. Integrated marketers deliver real-time, relevant content triggered by a user’s physical location.

Target Marketing offers four tips for engaging with consumers using LBM to create interactive experiences and deliver personalized messaging. Campaigns can be designed as simple check-ins, or use a more complex system of rewards and promotions, like badges and points.

Consider the Customer Experience
Target Marketing suggests planning for the customer experience, looking beyond ads and coupons, and considering video, games, or giveaways. LBM only targets those with proximity to an event or desired location, so it also carries with it a perceived exclusivity and personal touch.

Take the Long View
Businesses that consider the long-term consumer value of using LBM avoid being “salesy” or pushing too many messages because of the risk of audience disengagement. While one-off discounts may temporarily engage a customer, it takes more to build lasting relationships. Integrated marketers that build a plan before LBM implementation will find it easier to get “the right content to the right people at the right time.”

Targeting Beyond “Entrance Events”
When considering location-based marketing, businesses often look at the “entrance” trigger, but there are countless ways to reach mobile users. Targeting can include exiting a location, point of sale or spending a specified period of time in one locale.

AdWeek recounts the story of a marketer who used an app for dinner reservations and later received a reminder through his phone’s personal assistant telling him when to leave in order to make the booking. This type of integration will continue to grow, ensuring that those organizations that have planned ahead will be better positioned for success.

Test and Measure
LBM is still relatively new to the mobile marketing mix. Target Marketing advises taking a ‘test and learn’ approach. Traditional metrics don’t work in this environment, so SMBs instead look at the quality of engagement, foot-traffic, and sales tied to location pushes. Mobile platforms provide precise and prompt feedback, as well as insights into consumer actions when responding to pushed messages.

Conclusion
Location-based marketing is a compelling strategy for driving targeted engagement, encouraging purchases and visits. Its relative newness to the array of marketing strategies means that trial and error are inevitable, but as businesses experiment and adopt more advanced targeting techniques, this type of outreach will continue to make strides.

4 Reasons Why It’s Time to Freshen Up Your Signage

GettyImages-535850877x800.jpg

Who hasn’t heard that old chestnut, “A business with no sign is a sign of no business?” Most integrated marketers appreciate the benefits and the necessity of quality signage, but simply having an ‘open for business’ sign isn’t enough. Signage, like the business it represents, should continue to evolve, and here are four reasons why now is a good time to make sure your signage fits your brand and your business goals.

Bricks and Mortar Stores Are Here to Stay
Sure, it’s important to have a standout website, but there are significant indicators that traditional stores are going strong. Forbes is bullish on retail stores —they make retailers more money than e-commerce does; all but one of the top 10 retailers in the U.S. are bricks and mortar, and even Millennials and Generation Z prefer the old-fashioned shopping experience. So why miss out on all that retail love? Make sure your signs enhance the IRL experience.

Your Current Signage Doesn’t Look Like Your Current Brand
Good retail signage like awnings, outdoor signs, and way-finding graphics are no small investment; and when you purchase high-quality signage, you probably want it for the long run. But yet, if you’ve updated any of your branding elements, such as a redesigned logo, make sure it carries through to the rest of your signage. Your signage should make use of the fonts, color palette, graphic treatments, and other elements of your current brand. And both your signage and your brand should reflect your current marketing and positioning: for example, if you started out competing on price-point but as your store as attracted customers, your new hallmark is personalized service, you may want to consider ditching garish SALE! Signs.

There’s Some Really Cool Signage Technology Out There
Integrated marketers who believe that digital signage technology just isn’t right for them are missing out on opportunities to engage, entertain, and delight their customers. Unlike analog signage that just does one thing, digital signs can tell customers about a product, recommend other items to purchase, display content you’ve created around your merchandise or the store, and keep your customers in your store for longer.

And digital signage has been embraced almost everywhere, from gas stations and quick service restaurants to fashion boutiquesgrocery stores, and public transit.

Your Signage Looks Old
We’re not talking about deliberately retro: If your floor clings are blemished with scuff marks and dirt, or your awnings are so faded by the sun that all the colors have turned, then it’s definitely time to think about signage. Old signs can scare off potential customers!