The Difference Between Fun and Useful Content in Social Sharing

To say I’m not much of a handyman would be an understatement.

I’m my father’s son—a Boston sports fan through and through, hardworking and always trying to please. But he and I know absolutely nothing about maintenance or repair work. So when I recently bought my first house with my wife, the renovations we opted to complete ourselves weren’t going to be easy, no matter how simple they were.

But in the connected world we live in, help was no further away than a YouTube search. Hanging towel racks, painting stripes and installing the Nest thermostat (a must-have, IMO), lighting fixtures and house numbers—if my father-in-law wasn’t around to help, the good ol’ Internet was. 

In situations from home improvement to fitness and more, brands have a golden opportunity to provide useful information to an audience that is seeking answers, but it seems they are instead trying to engage audiences with the type of content most often seen going viral—fun, quirky and amazing (amazingly good and amazingly bad) content like Gangnam Style, Kony 2012, Red Bull’s Stratos project, Grumpy Cat and Old Spice’s “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Problems can arise quickly when brands try to re-create content like this, and most such efforts will fall flat.  

So what’s a brand that is ready and willing to create useful content to do? The recent #SixSecondFix campaign by Lowe’s may be the perfect answer.


Baking Brand Storytelling Into Your Lunch

Any restaurant is rich in stories, from the founding of the establishment to the experiences of its patrons. Because of that, the restaurant business is an interesting venue for content marketing, social media and brand storytelling. 

I like to think that the best part about going out to eat, particularly with friends, isn’t the food (though don’t get me wrong; I adore food). It’s the stories we share and the stories we create. It’s like the times spent with my wife reviewing our plate of nachos in hopes that someday we’ll cull all those reviews into a blog just about nachos (though that’s a whole other story). It’s the times spent with friends catching up and reminiscing about old times.

Restaurants have a unique opportunity to tap into brand storytelling, and there’s a restaurant in the U.K. doing just that. 


Is Twitter a Gold Mine for Character-Based Brand Storytelling?

This post originally appeared in our December '12 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

My wife has never seen the movie Goonies, released in 1985. That’s a shame. So many classic lines, and one of the most well known yet practically silent characters, Lotney Fratelli, better known to the masses as Sloth. 

The strong, silent type, Sloth had only three audible lines, but anyone who has seen the movie can recite his most famous one, “Sloth love Chunk!” 

For the more than two decades since the movie’s release, the only words Sloth muttered were those in his three lines. That is, until he joined Twitter.


10 Marketing Lessons You Can’t Learn From Walmart

This post originally appeared in our November '12 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

I’m not ashamed to admit that one of my favorite movies is You’ve Got Maila complete rip-off of Sleepless in Seattle, even using the same lead actors (Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). Ryan’s character runs a small independent bookshop in Manhattan, while Hanks’s character is opening a large retail bookstore with low prices (if only he’d known how technology would change the way we read) just down the block.

In the late 1990s, when the movie was made, this was a common story line. What were small businesses going to do when Borders, Walmart, Kmart and Target moved into town? How could they compete with rock-bottom prices and one-stop shopping?

Do likes really matter??

Why There’s More to Facebook Pages than ‘Likes’

The most successful brands on Facebook Pages aren't the ones you'd think. If I told you that Coca-Cola’s Facebook Page has an engagement rate of less than one percent, would you believe me? Well, it’s true. After calculating the ratio of Coke’s total Likes to total engagement (“Talking About This”), the Page clocks in at a meager score of 0.7%.

But this is not unusually low for Facebook Pages; in fact, it’s quite average. Most brands are very successful in generating Likes but fail to keep their fans talking. When it comes to real success for a brand on Facebook, in the end, engagement numbers mean a lot more than total Likes—a number that often speaks more to the size of the brand’s media buy and not to the quality of their content. As such, Talking About This is actually a far more valuable metric and tool than total Likes are. Here’s why.

Story Awarded

Post-Advertising Named One of the Top Content Marketing Blogs

The content wizards at Junta42 have made their 2011 selections for their Top 42 Content Marketing List, and we're proud to announce that Post Advertising has joined the ranks. Alongside highly touted blogs such as Jay Baer's Convince and Convert, which nabbed the top spot, Jason Falls' Social Media Examiner, and David Meerman Scott's WebInkNow, Post Advertising came in at #11.
Mashable Follow

Mashable Tests Social Waters with “Follow”

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.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and…Mashable?

In early February, albeit relatively quietly, the top website for news in social and digital media introduced Mashable Follow – a “social layer” that is the first big move in Mashable’s journey towards becoming a “true news community.”


Will the New York Times Paywall Succeed?

As just about anyone with internet access is now painfully aware, this week the New York Times imposed a “paywall” on visitors who want to read more than 20 articles per month. In other words, the newspaper is trying to leap from “basic cable” to “premium cable,” apparently without making any changes to its content or even going commercial-free. The big question is: Will it work?

Vaseline Gets a Grip on 3D Online Games

Running downfield while avoiding tackles, holding onto the ball, and attempting to score a touchdown is no easy task – just ask former NFL defensive end Michael Strahan.  He made a career out of stopping opponent offensive runs for the New York Giants, and Vaseline Men’s “Keep Your Grip Challenge” online video game puts everyday people into 3D helmets and shoulder pads and asks them to head for the endzone while avoiding Strahan-like tackles.

The Future of Recorded Music

Here’s a novel concept: instead of unsuccessfully pursuing and prosecuting bootleggers, reward those who actually cough up money for your recordings with something extra. Winnetka, California-born hip-hop experimentalist Steven Ellison, better known as Flying Lotus, has done just that, giving those who legally obtained a copy of his 2010 release Cosmogramma exclusive album outtakes and alternate versions via his Trigger web app. It's a smart way to breathe new life into an already-purchased product. It’s also innovative thinking in a beleaguered industry. Will it catch on?