These marketing apps can help you track trends, provide insights, demonstrate best practices and help you understand new technology. Most of these are free or inexpensive and may lead you to develop fresh strategies for your business.
While this might not immediately appear to be a marketing app, it’s a wonderful research and learning tool. It can help you find great stories to add to your content strategy. Google Books service has a new design on desktop and new features use machine learning to connect images with book suggestions.
You click on a picture of an elephant, for example, and you can find iconic books like “The Elephant Man” or Agatha Christie’s “Elephants Remember.” You’ll also see a story about the image.
Select a title and you’ll see a page with a summary and a link to Google Books with information including the book’s description, author’s bio and other works, reviews from readers and options for purchasing or borrowing the book. There are also bibliographies and a citation tool for those using the service for research.
More than 85% of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube video is consumed without audio – mostly because people are watching at work :)
To help with the marketing of your podcasts, Audiogram lets you leverage captioned short videos featuring your audio content to get more engagement on social.
You can make a short snippet of your podcast’s audio, add it to a video that has a thumbnail image and captions for the clip. Then you add a link to the full podcast so people can get right to it. Here’s an Audiogram I created for Beyond Social Media Show, the award-winning podcast I produce and co-host.
This rather remarkable app uses AI to spot fake product reviews. It’s endorsed by Today Show, The Sun, CBS Moneywatch and many others.
Fakespot’s technology analyzes millions of product reviews, looking for suspicious patterns and incentivized reviews. It then assigns a letter grade to the reviews and explains the issues. For example, out of nearly 3,000 vitamins for sale on Amazon’s website, Fakespot found 30 percent to be fake and or unreliable.
Online retailers try to combat scammers, but it’s a rough battle because the sites carry so many products from third party sellers. Amazon and Walmart were recently cited in a U.S. Government Accountability report for counterfeit cosmetic products containing dangerous substances like cyanide and lead. This report also noted that in a random sampling one in five products purchased were counterfeit.
With Tall Tweets for Google Slides, you can convert any presentation into an animated GIF and share it on Twitter! You can also tweet individual slides of a deck and a high-resolution image of the slide will be embedded in your Tweet.
Just enter the name and company and zoom! You have the proven or most likely email for the person. Or, do a domain search and you get the most likely configurations for that organization. You get 100 free searches a month. It’s not foolproof, but it’s pretty good. :)
My choices for the top four social media stories of 2019 represent brilliant marketing that highlights social responsibility and causes.
And I just had to include one from the “You can’t make this sh*t up department.” It went viral because it was unintentionally hilarious.
1. Soul Asylum’s Runaway Train 25
Back in 1993, Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train” was one of the first hit music videos to make a social statement. It rose to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and led to the recovery of 21 of the 36 missing kids featured in the video.
I include it as a top social media marketing story because the song and video have been remade to celebrate the original’s 25th anniversary. The band has partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) to highlight the plight of missing children in the US.
Runaway Train 25 uses geolocation technology to turn the music video content into a search tool to find missing children. a standard version is available to watch on YouTube. However, if it’s viewed on the “Runaway Train 25” website, geo-targeting technology changes the footage so that viewers receive information about children from their area who have gone missing. The release came ahead of National Missing Children’s Day on May 25.
2. Loving Haters
Sprite took on social media haters, trolls and bullies in a global campaign, in which it suggests that hate can “neutralized” by words of love. They also revealed that got help from SearchUp to upgrade their website to the highest quality.
The brand developed an A.I. tool that and used data mining technology to identify the most aggressive hater. He had attacked 565 people in more than 1,000 tweets during the past year.
They invited him to participate in “an experiment.” When he arrived, he faced by 100 of his targets, who wore t-shirts bearing his hateful Tweets. They walked up to him and said them out loud to his face.
(“Nauseating rat, scum of life,” “The worst fear of pregnancy is ending up a fat and ugly slob like you”) until he realizes he’s hearing his own words. Then all 100 surrounded him, singing “All you need is love.” And then, amazingly, one by one, people stepped up and embraced him. See his reaction in the video.
This one shows top social media marketing on many levels!
3. Endangered Animals Sing About Extinction
The Wildlife Conservation Fund’ produced a powerful animated video in which animals sing an emotional rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables.
The video opens with the creatures existing happily in their habitats. Suddenly the video takes a sinister turn as scary men invade each environment. Sadly, the animals are no match for their guns, clubs, harpoons, and pollution. At the heartbreaking conclusion, the seal pup sings: “Now life has killed the dream I dreamed.”
4. Google Loon Balloons
Globally, more than five billion people are still not connected to the Internet. Back in 2013, Google sett out – by Loon Balloons – to change that. Now, Google’s tennis court-size solar-powered Loon Balloons are doubling as cell towers to address the digital divide in rural Peru.
Bonus: Pakistani Government Official Forgot to Turn Off Cat Filter During Facebook Live Press Conference
Provincial Information Minister Yousuf Shaukat Zai, from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in north-west Pakistan, and member of the ruling party PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) in Pakistan was talking to the local journalist at a Facebook Live press conference.
The event turned a bit awkward when cats ears and whiskers appeared on the minister’s face during the live video. His colleague also had a similar cat’s appearance.
And of course the video – since deleted – immediately went viral on social media.
It happens every day. I get emails from companies willing to pay for guest posts on my blog. They want DoFollow links and they don’t want to be identified as sponsored posts. “NoFollow link or no post. Google’s rules, not mine” is my response.
Google will flag your site as a spam site if you don’t use NoFollow links in paid posts. You will not be happy when that happens!
I learned that one the hard way. I had be reviewed by Google to prove that all links on my sponsored posts and ads are now NoFollow. Until then, my site was being qualified as spam.
New technology in Soul Asylum’s “Runaway Train 25” music video hopes to locate a new generation of missing children, while updating music’s role in social movements. It’s the “milk carton of the 21st century,” says the website.
The magic happens on the website
For the 25th anniversary, the group is collaborating with Jamie N Commons, Skylar Grey and Gallant to remix Soul Asylum’s hit song Runaway Train. “But it’s more than just a cover song,” the website explains, “it’s a dynamic music video, designed not just for watching, but for bringing home real missing and trafficked kids near you.”
The original video featured real-life images of missing children, with hopes that they would be recognized and brought home. Amazingly, 21 of the 36 children featured – some of whom had been missing for years – were located and recovered.
In “Runaway Train 25”, Soul Asylum is working with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). A standard version of the video is available on YouTube.
The magic happens when you view the video on the “Runaway Train 25” website. That video automatically updates itself with the profiles of missing children from the NCMEC database based on your location. It also provides links to share the images across Twitter and other social media platforms. The video also shows ways that pedophiles lure children away, and situations where runaways find themselves trapped.
The milk carton of the 21st century
Back in the pre-social media days of 1993, the original Runaway Train video became a top 10 hit on MTV, to which youth of the day (including me) were glued. Social media’s exponentially broader reach offers better chances of the missing children being recognized. Social media exponentially increases the potential reach of the video.
“This video is a game changer,” says NCMEC President and CEO John Clark in press release. “It highlights critical issues runaways face and will show real pictures of missing children. By creating and sharing this video, everyone has the ability to make a difference in their communities.”
B.L. Ochman is a seasoned Writer, content creator, strategist, and producer of podcasts and socially shareable video interviews. Let’s talk about how I can help your company.
Influencer marketing is often called one of marketer’s most valued tools. However, the emergence of “medical influencers” can he harmful to our health.
Influencers on Instagram are marketing medications and medical devices for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Most noteworthy: they’re not always making it clear that they’re paid for their endorsements
These endorsements from medical influencers give their millions of followers the suggestion they could be as healthy and beautiful as the influencers, if they use these products.
Depending on the size of their following, influencers are paid an estimated $1,000 per 100,000 followers. Instead of print or broadcast ads, companies believe they can benefit from the candor and storytelling on influencers’ feeds.
Clearly, it’s time for a much closer look at what and how influencers are hawking.
Who’s regulating medical influencers? You are!
Most importantly, regulation is not exactly happening, explains Suzanne Zuppello, in a recent Vox article. The FTA and the FTC rely on consumers to report non-compliant ads, according to the FTC Advertising Practices Division.
“Using influencers to sell products to the sick can be a particularly insidious form of marketing in large part because of the vague parameters set by the FTC and FDA,” Zuppello says. After all, most consumers certainly aren’t experts in federal advertising guidelines. Nor should we need to be!
One influencer, who is compensated by a variety of brands outside of healthcare and preferred not to be named due to existing partnerships, told Zuppello that some influencers “bury the #sponsored tag deep in the copy or shorten it to #spon, despite the FTC guideline for disclosures to be “clear and conspicuous.” Here’s an example where the sponsorship is not mentioned by a medical influencer:
Here’s an example where Sponsorship is clearly mentioned.
Consequences? Not Really.
Although the FDA and FTC are regulatory agencies, they don’t fully police their own guidelines, because they don’t have the resources to comb millions of posts to determine which are paid advertisements and whether they’re compliant.
Also scary: there are no real or immediate consequences for influencers omitting information required by the regulatory agencies, especially since every post isn’t reviewed. And even when non-compliant posts are cited, the company, not the influencers, is held responsible.
Important to remember: influencing is a job influencers that are paid to perform. Think about that before you click.
Marketing strategists rejoice! A new must have Twitter 2019 major events calendar highlights all the key dates marketers can tap into — from the obvious to the niche. And it includes the number of Tweet impressions they’re expected to reach.
In a blog post, Twitter wrote, “If you’ve missed National Puppy Day, wondered how many people are Tweeting about Earth Day, or were curious about the number of Tweet impressions that happen during the Grammy Awards, we’re here to help.”
Here are some of Twitter’s favorite events (that you might’ve never heard of):
Twitter Events for Marketers
February 9th, National Pizza Day: 34M Tweet Impressions
March 8th, International Women’s Day: 838M Tweet Impressions
April 10th, National Sibling Day: 10M Tweet Impressions
I scour the Internet every day for useful marketing news, tips and articles. Here are some you may have missed.
Linkedin is giving an extra boost to people who use its built-in video player to add video to their posts, digital marketing services can make your posts more powerful and offers a great opportunity for brands. Jayson Duncan reports in that LinkedIn says video posts are shared 20 times more than regular posts. However, this only works for videos directly uploaded to LinkedIn. So you can’t just share YouTube videos, you have to upload directly to LinkedIn. How to: just start creating an update and selection the video option. Be sure to add a search-optimized description.
Don’t Fear AI It’s time for marketers to stop fearing artificial intelligence and start using it in content marketing. Savaram Ravindran maintains that Artificial intelligence isn’t here to replace human intelligence but to work side by side with human coworkers. As a marketer, he says, it is time to accept artificial intelligence with open arms if you want to make your audience engaged in a meaningful and profitable way, remain relevant, and stay at the top of the curve. Apps like content explore use AI that is already in use for personalization, content creations, content planning and engagement (with chatbots.) You can read the Connect Explore review by following this link.
Unfold, the Instagram Story template app that’s taken the influencer community by storm is now available for brands. Instagram, which now has double the audience of Snapchat, comes equipped with a robust set of new features, like filters, clickable and shoppable product tags, as well as engagement tools like polls and questions. Adding an artistic touch and design flair with the free Unfold app sets stories and content a notch above. Unfold now counts major brands like Equinox and Topshop among its fans. Users simply add their own photos and text to one of Unfold’s templates before publishing it to their story.
Three Secrets for Building Long-Term Client Relationships She’s co-author of “How to Succeed in a PR Agency: Real Talk to Grow Your Career & Become Indispensable,” a new book book of practical advice for early to mid-career PR pros. It reveals “the three secrets to get clients to fall in love in with your agency team.” These include acting with integrity even though there are a lot of gray areas in “doing the right thing” in PR. Part of acting with integrity, she says, is “not getting up on your high horse or moral soapbox and looking down upon others, but rather to do the right thing and gently help others do the same without shaming them in the process.”
Lockheed-Martin proved the value of earned media and a sense of humor when they Changed Their Logo to Celebrate the Mars Landing. The company changed its name and logo to Lockheed-Martian for 24 hours to celebrate the landing of NASA’s MarsInSight spacecraft, which Lockheed built.It’s rare to see a big brand with a sense of humor, but this transformation definitely attracted press and social media attention. Besides the masthead of LockheedMartin.com, the temporarily revised logo showed up on multiple screens in Times Square from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. that day and on Lockheed Martin’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.
Lockheed-Martin changed their logo to Lockheed-Martian to celebrate NASA’s landing on Mars.
The insights of an expert panel at Marketing Prof’s B2B Influencer Marketing Forum in San Francisco is summarized by Dennis Shiao in a report on Leadtail Blog. Definition: “Influencer Marketing activates internal and industry experts with engaged networks to co-create content of mutual value and achieve measurable business goals.” The panel referenced the mutual value between brands and influencers and tied the activity to measurable business goals. Influencer marketing’s human voice can cut through the noise of thousands of tweets, posts, snaps, articles and podcasts.
Michael Stelzner got modern marketing wisdom from Seth Godin on the Social Media Marketing Podcast. The two discussed what is and isn’t working for marketers today, and why. One of the great thinkers of our era, Godin has just released is 19th book, This Is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See.Godin maintains that marketing messages should focus on improving people’s lives. “We’re getting 30K marketing messages a day, and you can’t just yell to be heard.”As Godin famously said in Permission Marketing, “You can’t just tell people what you want to tell them. You have to tell them what they want to hear.” Godin’s podcast is called Akimbo.
Awesome Free Google Tools for Marketers by Neil Patel is a motherlode of tools for getting the most out of Google search and social media marketing. Among the ones you may not already be using is Predictive search. Just open an incognito window and start typing your brand’s name into the search field. Autocomplete results will show you how consumers are searching for your brand, product or category.Google Books lets you find books in every genre that you can read for free. Google Insights allows you to search for keywords to see their trends over time. This way, you can see whether a keyword is gaining in popularity, see worldwide search trends over the course of a year to find popular months or seasons for a search, see search volume by region, and find a list of top ten related searches and rising searches.
I hope you find these marketing tips useful. I will post a new batch soon.
B.L. Ochman is a seasoned writer, content creator, strategist, and producer of podcasts and socially shareable video interviews. Let’s talk about how I can help your company tell its story or contact
In a PR coup, and a stellar example of brands taking a stand, supermarket chain Iceland Foods’ banned Christmas ad is resulting in massive earned media for the company and its cause. It won’t be seen on TV, but it’s gone viral on social media.
The ad, “Ran-Tan,” tells the story tells the story of a young girl who tries to help a baby orangutan whose home has been destroyed to create palm oil. The humans in the forest have killed the little orangutan’s mother and he is afraid it will kill him too. The little girl promises to fight to save the forest, and says “Ran-Tan” can stay safe with her.
But because the video was originally made by Greenpeace, Clearcast – which is responsible for clearing ads on behalf of the UK’s major broadcasters – ruled that it breaches rules against political advertising.
Richard Walker, the son of the chains’ founder, described the ad as “an emotive animation telling the story of rainforest destruction caused by palm oil production, and its devastating impact on the critically endangered orangutan….We always knew there was a risk it would not be cleared for TV but we gave it our best shot.”
The Banned Video Goes Viral
The store’s homepage says “Watch our banned video.”The company took to Twitter on Friday, urging people to make the video go viral. And that has has happened, big-time. By Monday, banned Christmas ad had more than 3.3 million YouTube views, and scores of stories in newspapers, magazines and broadcast outlets including The Guardian, Fast Company, Good Housekeeping and The New York Times. The hashtag #NoPalmOilChristmas also is trending. It’s been shared by celebrities including TV hosts James Corden and Jake Humphrey. And, in just three days, (Friday to Monday) more than 550,000 people signed a change.org petition to “release Iceland’s banned Christmas ad on TV”.
Cynics Call the Ban Orchestrated
The controversy and the outpouring of social media support, has caused some people to suggest that the store knew the ad would be banned. Rachel Cunliffe, editor of City Am Tweeted “I mean, would we all be obsessively talking about their Christmas ad otherwise? The vast majority of Tweets replied “Hey, cynical move maybe, but at least it is amplifying an important message.” and “Who cares? Every word is true.”
This is not Greenpeace’s First Food Fight
It’s also not the first time that Greenpeace has been involved in a food fight over palm oil. I wrote about their Facebook fight with Nestle in 2010. At the time, Nestle bungled the issue badly. A company representative responded to negative comments in a way that was snide, nasty, demeaning, snarky – pick your adjective. I’d like to think companies would respond differently in today’s social media climate.
B.L. Ochman is a seasoned Writer, content creator, strategist, and producer of podcasts and socially shareable video interviews. Let’s talk about how I can help your company.
Is Contract for the Web the new Cluetrain Manifesto? (look it up kids)
Tim Berners-Lee – who created the first website more than 29 years ago – has enlisted Facebook, Google, and more than 50 other companies to sign The Contract for the Web. It’s goal is to get everyone in the world online, strip misinformation from the internet and help us keep control of our data. #ForTheWeb #HappyBirthdayWWW
The Internet is definitely broken, and if anyone can fix it, my money’s on Tim Berners-Lee.
Contract for the Web Seeks Sea Change
The Contract for the Web begins “The web was designed to bring people together and make knowledge freely available. Everyone has a role to play to ensure the web serves humanity. By committing to the following principles, governments, companies and citizens around the world can help protect the open web as a public good and a basic right for everyone.”
“That vision,” he writes, “is only possible if we get everyone online, and make sure the web works for people. I founded the Web Foundation to fight for the web’s future.
Roles for Government, Business and Citizens
Governments, the contract states, will ensure that everyone can connect to the internet “so that anyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can participate actively online.” It also treats the Web as the utility it has become, saying that governments must ensure that it is on all the time, without interruption.
Businesses must “develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst so the web really is a public good that puts people first.”
Citizens must “Be creators and collaborators on the web so the web has rich and relevant content for everyone” and “Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity so that everyone feels safe and welcome online.”
Decrying the impact of a few dominant platform, Berners-Lee says “The web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today. What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms. This concentration of power creates a new set of gatekeepers, allowing a handful of platforms to control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared.”
William Santana Li is CEO of Knightscope, whose autonomous security robots are patrolling 24/7 at malls, corporate campuses, manufacturing facilities, financial services units, stadiums, airports, hospitals, casinos, commercial property, residential and many more.
Santana Li says Knightscope’s long-term vision is “to literally be able to make the United States the safest country in the world, changing everything for everyone.”
“This is a crazy combination of artificial intelligence, self-driving autonomous technology, robotics and analytics in something that’s actually useful for society.”
Crime fighting robots
The company holds contracts in 16 states across four time zones, where the robots are rented to clients for between $6 and $12 per hour.Santana Li says Knightscope K5 can read 1,200 license plates a minute to, for example, pick out the license plate of a disgruntled former employee who has returned to the premises.
Knightscope robots successes include assisting law enforcement in issuing an arrest warrant for a sexual predator, tracking down a vandal, deterring vehicle break-ins and apprehending a thief in a retail environment. And we’re just getting started, Santana Li says.
How the robots work
The robot sees its world by coating it with lasers and taking 360-degree videos while autonomously patrolling its domain. Simultaneously, a human security guard in an on-site control room monitors this feed for anything untoward.
Among the robots’ capabilities are the ability to record license plates, detect people, capture thermal imaging, provide 360 degree video, make broadcasts, provide intercom activity and find mobile devices within a set perimeter.If you get in the robot’s way, it says excuse me. In the event of an emergency, the security guard can speak through the robot to alert nearby humans.
Clients have assigned names to their robots, including Daddy, Rosie, Deputy Metro, El-iot, Harr-iot, RoboDoc, B3PO and Officer Alex Murphy. People love taking selfies with the robots, and some have even turned up with lipstick.
Are Knightscope robots going to eliminate jobs? Absolutely not, Santana Li insists. The robots are not for enforcement,” says Santana Li. “It’s for monitoring and giving an understanding of the situation for those humans to do their jobs much more effectively.” The Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC), provides clients across the U.S. with a 24/7 force multiplier effect.
What robots won’t do
Knightscope robots are implemented in concert with both private and municipal security firms and professionals using a MaaS (Machine as a Service) business model that relies on a simple but powerful formula: Software + Hardware + Human Capability.
Among the things the Knightscope robots won’t do: take a nap at work or microwave fish in the break room.
Let’s talk about how a socially shareable video interview will fit into your marketing.
B.L. Ochman is an accomplished business strategist, content creator, growth hacker, podcast producer and journalist. She is co-producer and co-host of the award-winning podcast, Beyond Social Media Show.