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Jeff Lang-Weir

http://edelman.ca

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Digital Digest #203: Let’s Get Fresh

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Thursdays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Caitlin Stewart, Victoria Neufeld, Erin Collett, and Jeff Lang-Weir.

The first step to creating great content has always been about understanding your audience and what they’re looking for (particularly if they don’t yet know they’re looking for it). But what happens when the ways that you reach those audiences change, while the goals, and those watching, stay the same? This week, we look at some of the ways brands are tailoring their content to new platforms or shifting their approach to cut through the clutter and deliver the same message in new ways.

Tech Updates

Instagraphics

Instagram’s impressive growth is turning heads and marketers are taking note. Brands are now utilizing the mobile app to enhance their visual marketing strategy, and for good reason. Engagement on Instagram during Q3 2014 has risen 415 percent compared to the same period 2012 and now that Instagram is going to roll out paid advertising support, the game is only going to get more competitive! This shift has marketers thinking about how best to position content to drive quality results. Simply Measured crunched some numbers and Adweek provided some helpful tips for success, including:

  • Using @mentions in the caption results in 56 percent more engagement
  • Using at least one #hashtag drives 12.6 more engagement
  • Tagging a location results in 79 percent more engagement

[AdWeekStarbucks, mentioned in this article, is an Edelman client, Michael Kors and H&M are competitors to Edelman client LOFT, Mercedes-Benz and BMW are competitors to Edelman client Volkswagen

Risky business

Conventional wisdom has long held that brands should distance themselves from controversy, but recently some brands have become more willing to stake out a position on social issues. For example, Apple CEO Tim Cook became the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO last Thursday in an essay in Bloomberg Businessweek. He linked his announcement with Apple’s corporate values and respect for equality. As well, Starbucks has released a video in partnership with OutTV filmed during World Pride 2014 in Toronto. The video featured contestants from Ru Paul’s Drag Race. OutTV Chief Operation Officer Brad Danks said that public interest was so high that Starbucks had to move the shoot to avoid disruptions from fans and cited positive reaction from the gay community. While brands still run the risk that not all of their consumers will agree with their positions, more and more are finding it to be a risk worth taking.  [DigiDay] [Marketing MagStarbucks, mentioned in this article, is an Edelman client, Apple and Sony are competitors to Edelman clients Samsung and Microsoft

If you can’t beat em…

Last week, we talked about Facebook’s push for brands to host their content in-platform and while many publishers are resistant, the decline in homepage visitors are forcing them to look for more efficient ways to deliver content. This week, we’re watching the ways different brands are testing the waters. Buzzfeed, for example, has created a new division that will strictly on producing content for social media. Interestingly, we’ve also seen traditional news outlets embrace social media publishing. CNN Politics created a series of videos for the United States elections. It has recognized that content needs to be tailored to each platform and made these videos for those who may not be as invested in political content as the average CNN viewer (or are wondering how many Pumpkin Spice Lattes could be purchased with campaign spending. Hint: A lot.) For years, various outlets have suggested best-practices for content length. Recently SumAll and Buffer have published an infographic with character and time limits for brands to use as a guideline when publishing online content. While content should definitely be tailored by platform, at the end of the day, the most important factor is the content. The infographic advises that YouTube-style videos be 3 minutes but CNN Politics get to the point in 15 to 30 seconds. No brand wants to concede to Facebook taking their publishing rights but some brands simply can’t afford to miss out on those engagement opportunities. [Digiday] [Ragan]

Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest is a weekly bundle of links, served up on Edelman Canada’s Our Ideas blog on Thursdays. It’s also available by email. If you know someone who would like to be added to the mailing list, have any questions or just want to share some thoughts on anything you read here, email me. Let’s get a conversation going. 

November 7, 2014 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #196 – Don’t be lazy

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Adam WeitnerJill De Larzac, and Jeff Lang-Weir.

The emergence of digital channels has provided an opportunity for marketers to tell their stories in new and innovative ways, but the impact of those stories can be limited by the amount of hard work we’re willing to put in. Familiarity with established marketing channels, traditional metrics and relying on the faith that our audiences will produce enough decent content on their own are the kinds of attitudes that can lead to OK work. However, in today’s Digital Digest, we examine the ways that we can step up our game by continually challenging ourselves to look for the best, most innovative ways to reach our audiences. In short, the advantages we find when we remember to follow one simple rule: don’t be lazy.
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August 1, 2014 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #188: A Measured Approach

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-WeirErin CollettAlison FlemingErin Meagher and Adam Weitner.

Every brand wants to demonstrate why its digital efforts are worthwhile. Likes, follows, shares and comments can all be valuable, depending on your campaign goals, but often they’re only leading indicators for your real objective. For many brands, the greatest value in a share is that it may lead to a purchase, behavior change or other similarly measurable outcome. Marketers are sometimes guilty of measuring the wrong thing, because it’s easy or because what can seem like a quick win now comes at the cost longer-term results. In this week’s issue of Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest, we look at some of the ways that brands are listening, measuring and adapting to make the most of, or fall short in, their digital work. Read more »

June 6, 2014 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #180: Content in Context

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-Weir, Erika Strong, Jill de Larzac and Adam Weitner

When it comes to content, context can be critical. Whatever materials you create are viewed not only for what they say, but how they appear through the lens of context. This can be driven by users’ political or ethical frameworks, adjacent content on social channels, and always by the expectation of value your users have when they choose to give you their time.

Context in comments

Native ads are meant to be unobtrusive and flow naturally as part of the reader experience. And at that, they can be quite effective. Now they’re going to be cropping up in the comments sections of some major publishers’ sites; whether they can remain unobtrusive remains to be seen. One thing that is certain, though, is that there is an inherent risk involved with advertising in the comments. We know that context is everything, and often times where our messages fall in-line with other messages can make a world of difference in how they are interpreted. As we know, comments often take on a life of their own and can go in unexpected directions. When building this content, brands should consider carefully how the ads could look next to comments that put their messages out of context. [Digiday]

A hairy situation

Sometimes a campaign sounds fantastic, but when you step back, you realize you’d be crazy to execute it. We have a feeling the minds behind Veet’s newest ads are thinking that right now. This week, the company launched its “Don’t Risk Dudeness” campaign, based on the premise that if a woman has any body hair at all, she’s no longer feminine. After their launch, the videos were criticized by viewers who felt they shamed women while coming off as homophobic. In essence, they were criticized for reinforcing tired stereotypes. As a results, the ads have since been removed from Veet’s YouTube channel, but campaigns like this remind us that it’s important to try and elevate the conversation, consider how your message will be perceived and work to protect your brand, even as you promote it. Your reputation will thank you for it. [Mashable]

Wendy’s doesn’t win friends with salad

Another brand, Wendy’s, also faced criticism this week over YouTube content for its series titled “Girlfriends at Wendy’s Eating Salad & Talking About Stuff.” The series, which follows the conversations of a pair of friends over Wendy’s new salad offerings, faced criticism from the Globe and Mail’s Susan Krashinsky for talking down to their audience and also f0r failing to provide real value to viewers in the form of actual, clever content, which is where the series really falters. Content can struggle through revisions and become too much about the concept, leaving behind what is actually being said, which may have happened here. Surely, the cheeky title could have been amusing, tied to a series with depth of both character and conversation, but as assembled was a recipe for a frosty reception. [Globe and Mail]

That looks delicious!

Some restaurants, however, are using social to provide content of real value to their users. It can be easy to get really excited to use a social channel, without thinking about the best ways to use it a little differently. We’ve all seen companies use Instagram to share their photos or collect user content, but a local restaurant in Toronto, Libretto, has used the layout of the platform itself to help tell little stories about their products. Understanding that food and Instagram go hand in hand, the restaurant pulled off a clever twist on the menu experience. The restaurant has taken close up photos of their menu items and displayed them on their Instagram page, where they tile to form the whole pie. When a user clicks on the photo they are provided with background information about the item, with each “slice” providing a different piece of information. Libretto understood their consumers and embraced a new channel with a focus on storytelling, creating very compelling content along the way. [Media Bistro]

Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest is a weekly bundle of links, served up on Edelman Canada’s Our Ideas blog on Fridays. It’s also available by email. If you know someone who would like to be added to the mailing list, have any questions or just want to share some thoughts on anything you read here, email me. Let’s get a conversation going.

April 11, 2014 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #176: Stand Out From the Crowd

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Erin CollettAlexandra FahmeyAlison Fleming and Jeff Lang-Weir.
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March 14, 2014 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #172: Break Out, Get Comfortable

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-WeirMeghan SharpJordana LevineErin Collett and Courtney McNamara.  

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February 14, 2014 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #167 – Show Up Differently

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-WeirAlison FlemingJill De LarzacErin Collett and Meghan Sharp.

This week, Edelman unveiled a new global campaign for our firm, called Show Up Differently. This campaign reflects our commitment to help our clients lead in an ever-changing media landscape by providing innovative solutions and working seamlessly across geographies and disciplines.

In this week’s edition of Digital Digest, we examine the ways that the digital marketing function can embrace this rallying cry and make the most out of our opportunities when we Show Up Differently. Read more »

January 10, 2014 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #164: You Are What You Tweet

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-WeirErica AdelsonSarah ShelestJordana Levine and Erika Strong

Issues of identity are often at the centre of both challenges and opportunities in social media. Brands work hard to establish their identity and to provide content flexible enough to speak to users as individuals. In this week’s issue of Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest, we examine some of the ways that brands are establishing their identities, allowing their fans to express their own and the threats they can face when their identity falls into the hands of someone else. In a world where you are what you tweet, relationships can be built or broken quickly and identifying the ways to build them effectively can make all the difference. Read more »

December 6, 2013 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #161: Careful With That Content

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-Weir, Alison Fleming, Sarah Shelest, Nina Godard, Erika Strong and Meghan Sharp.  

We’re all excited to produce great content but sometimes in order to do so, we need to work around regulatory or societal issues to ensure that it’s presented in an acceptable way. At other times we need to think about the contexts in which audiences will respond and determine if the response will line up with what we intend. In this edition of Digital Digest, we discuss the importance of being careful with your context and how doing so can help reduce risk while creating the best possible opportunities for your brand’s voice to shine. Read more »

November 15, 2013 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #144: Controllers

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Meghan Sharp, Jeff Lang-Weir, Shannon Morton, Devon Burke and Alex McBrien

In this week’s Digital Digest, we’re talking about issues where digital tools and platforms are used for control. Whether that’s controlling responses, the way users interact with content or even the very devices that allow access. Control can provide opportunities to shape the discussion and stay on message or can create barriers to work around. In any case, knowing where control lies and how to take advantage of it is key for any digital marketer.

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September 27, 2013 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #140 – Tweet, Tweet

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-Weir, Meghan Sharp, Alison Fleming, Adam Weitner and Rob Clark.

140 is a number that has special meaning for those of us who work on The Digest. To celebrate our 140th issue, this week we’re taking a look at Twitter. Whether marketers are using the platform to build long term engagement, conduct campaigns around specific events or convert followers to an immediate sale, Twitter has something new in store for us to use.

Tech Updates:

See the results

We’ve known for years that social media plays a huge role in driving awareness of and attracting viewers to major events and TV broadcasts, but recent examples like the Red Bull Stratos Space Jump and Twitter’s recent partnership with Nielsen allow marketers to see a more direct correlation between online chatter and people tuning in. The data available concerning last weekend’s MTV Video Music Awards is another good example of Twitter working to prove their long standing pitch to networks and advertisers. What this will mean for TV and Twitter advertisers alike remains to be seen, but you can expect that advertising costs in both spaces will increase during major events as Twitter (and other networks) continue to prove their impact on viewership. All Things D

Making a racquet on Twitter

Building on the success of the kinds of programs described above, broadcasters and brands continue to develop new ways to benefit from the relationship between television viewership and social activity. With the U.S. Open beginning this week, the United States Tennis Association (USTA) and Heineken have developed a video-based partnership with Twitter that marks the first time the tourney has combined its camera operations with a social platform. Using Twitter’s Amplify, the USTA will be sharing trending, real-time video content from the courts. Heineken will appear in five-second pre-roll for these spots as well as in a banner unit on the video player. As Twitter continues to marry televised events and tweeting, it will be interesting to see how marketers build new, relevant and shareable content. AdWeek Heineken, mentioned in this article, is an Edelman client. Read more »

August 30, 2013 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #133: Seeing the Forest for the Trees

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-Weir, Erika Strong, Alex McBrien, Adam Weitner, Shannon Morton and Alison Fleming.

Marketers have access to huge amounts of data, and a multitude of channels in order to communicate with incredibly diverse stakeholder groups. With all of this, it’s easy to find yourself missing something important. In order to focus on the right information, the right audiences, and to deliver the right messages requires us to think through all of the options available.

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July 5, 2013 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #129: Special Corporate Edition

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by  Jeff Lang-Weir, Shannon Morton, Adam Weitner, Sarah Shelest, Josh Muirhead and Christopher Trotman.

Digital media represents extraordinary threats and opportunities for corporate communicators. News travels quickly and negative information or a plain old rumour can quickly take on a life of its own. In many cases, as seen in this week’s example of a laid-off Zynga employee’s Reddit AMA, a digital platform can put a powerful megaphone and anonymity into a stakeholder’s hands. For effective crisis and issues management, executive profiling, financial communications, reputation management, and the other core areas of corporate communications, digital considerations and strategy must be part of the plan. Read more »

June 7, 2013 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #124 (Special Health Edition): Social Medicine

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Marianna Shirshov, Jeff Lang-Weir, Alison Fleming, Matthew Hayles, Meghan Sharp and David Akermanis.

While some believe that our healthcare system still resides in the Stone Age, it’s pretty clear that digital health’s got game. The digitization of hospitals, ever increasing efficiency of patient access to information and even the gamification of treatment are all transforming the Canadian healthcare landscape. This week’s special edition of Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest looks at how the health sector now offers more digital solutions and connectivity than ever before.

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May 3, 2013 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas
 

Digital Digest #123: Trust in Me(dia)

Digital Digest: What Edelman Canada is reading in digital marketing, technology and strategy. Fresh links served up Fridays. This week’s edition of Digital Digest was edited by Jeff Lang-Weir, Sarah ShelestAlison Fleming, Matthew Hayles, Shannon Morton and Christopher Trotman.

Data from the Edelman Trust Barometer shows that traditional media remains the most trusted source of news for Canadians. That said, the rise of digital media has blurred the lines between traditional and new media while creating new challenges and opportunities for even those organizations still firmly rooted in traditional dissemination of information, such as newspapers or the post office. In a connected media landscape, where information travels at the speed of a tweet, these organizations must balance the need to keep up with the imperative to protect their reputations and continuing to deliver the quality content and services that made them what they are. This week’s edition of Edelman Canada’s Digital Digest looks at how digital issues are impacting these traditional giants of media.

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April 26, 2013 in Digital Digest, Our Ideas