Disney All-In on Content Marketing With “Oh My Disney”

This post originally appeared in our March ’13 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

Though it was founded in 2006 (which makes it older than Twitter), BuzzFeed stormed onto the social media scene in 2012, more than doubling its 2011 traffic (per Alexa).  

The format is perfect for the way audiences consume and share media today. The content is easy to consume, relevant, entertaining and frequent, as the site posts dozens of times a day. Brands like HBO and Velveeta have even joined in, co-creating content with BuzzFeed. It’s a publishing model that requires lots of staffers and community contributors to keep the content fire hose pumping.  

So it was quite a surprise to see that Disney has launched its own BuzzFeed-like site. Entitled “Oh My Disney” (OMD), the site features articles with Disney imagery, GIFs and other short-form Disney-related editorial built specifically to be easily consumed, enjoyed and quickly shared. Posts like “15 More Reminders That You’re Great Today” and “You Know You're a 90's Kid When” are organized into five categories: Awww; Oh, Snap!; Retro; Silly; and Whoa. 

The page is updated quite consistently, anywhere from two to eight times a day (even if the content isn’t necessarily timely). So how is Disney doing it?


Trendsetters or Castaways? 3 Unusual Places to Find Agency Websites

Innovative and stunning websites are one of the hallmarks of a great digital agency. With beautiful imagery, succinct case studies and a dash of fun, an agency can impress potential clients and entice the best workers. Lately we’ve seen a few companies really push the envelope with their websites—namely, convert their websites to social-media profiles. But is the Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest platform appropriate to the task of serving as an agency’s hub? More important, will this growing trend spread to brands—eliminating the website as we know it?


Engaging Audiences of Friends and Foes on Social Media

Community managers come across all types of people in their daily adventures in social media. No two audience-members are exactly alike, and understanding how to engage with them on a daily basis is key to ensuring a positive branded community. One day your brand's Facebook timeline is filled with jovial pictures of fans engaging with your brand. Another day, your Twitter @ reply stream is inundated with irate customers, even though the problem wasn't your fault. Ignoring them is not an option, so what's a brand to do?


5 Ways Online Communities Drive Offline Behavior

Online social media is essential for any business hoping to gain favor among today’s consumers. An active Facebook page can mean the difference between serious buzz and being ignored. But for all their amazing qualities, do online communities really drive offline behavior? We say yes. There are plenty of innovative techniques for pushing consumers to act outside the digital sphere and providing results. Here are five of our favorite examples, pulled from a variety of areas.

The "Rebirth" of Email Marketing

The “Rebirth” of Email Marketing, As If it Was Ever Dead

This post originally appeared in our April issue of "Live Report from the Future of Marketing," our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

In the days of AOL, our in-boxes were cherished spaces. When we heard the computerized voice proclaim, “You’ve got mail!” our hearts leapt. “Someone cares enough to have written me an email!” we thought. And back then, when it took a good five ear-piercing minutes to boot up your 28.8K modem and dial into AOL, an email was almost as good as a handwritten letter, and faster.

Brands caught on, however, and soon our in-boxes became a seething mess of spam. Any brand communication was seen as intrusive and as annoying as a telemarketer’s call during dinner. Email marketing companies flourished at first, aiding and abetting these brand messages, but around 2007 it seemed (to me at least) as though email marketers were going the way of Myspace background designers and door-to-door salesmen. With the emergence of social media, why spend time dodging spam filters when you could talk directly to your audience on Facebook or Twitter?


5 Rules for Brands to Avoid Being “Pruned” From Social Profiles

Breaking news: Young people care about their reputation and appearance!

Well, maybe that's not such a hot scoop, but when you add the words online and social media, the ears of brand managers everywhere start to perk up. According to a new study, nearly two thirds of people on social networks are engaging in “profile pruning,” carefully curating their own social profiles by deleting posts, comments, tags and friends. In order to stay in the fertile flower beds of young social-media users, brands must follow their rules to avoid getting pruned. Cue gardening metaphors.


Social As We See It: Digital Trends For 2012

This post originally appeared in our January issue of "Live Report from the Future of Marketing," our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

In the marketing world, getting in on the ground floor of the latest digital trend can pay huge dividends for users, particularly if they’re brands. But it’s difficult to know exactly which emerging site or app to dive into with both feet. Not every idea pans out, regardless of how much VC funding is acquired. True success depends on widespread adoption of the masses, or at least a dedicated community who simply can’t do without that service.

So for marketers planning for 2012 (maybe a bit late), where should they start?