tumblr llcw71K5md1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Nike Billboard in NYC

Yesterday you said tomorrow

tumblr lln5jqiRBI1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Kill Bill Billboard in NYC – Bloody Mess

tumblr lln5opCDu71qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug Outdoor Advertising

tumblr llnx22X4Vw1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Sony PSP Transparant Billboard Advertising

tumblr lm60gmbhB81qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
McDonald’s free coffee promotion.

tumblr lmdzgyOBji1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Mondo Pasta Boat Advertising

tumblr lnguymJuNy1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
The first ever plant billboard. Coca-Cola and WWF have unveiled a new 60-by-60-foot billboard in the Philippines that’s covered in Fukien tea plants, which absorb air pollution.

tumblr ln8kcvEQIL1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Allstate Insurance: Marina Tower

tumblr ln2yfzDmT41qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Powerhouse Gym Outdoor Ad

tumblr ln2xmoqdLG1qiqf01o1 500 10 very creative billboard advertisements from around the world by Jay Mug
Oltimer Restaurants – Special Poster for “Oldtimer”, a big Austrian chain for motorway rest stops

5 Top Tips for Content Marketing Success


5 Top Tips for Content Marketing Success

5 Top Tips for Content Marketing Success

The power of online marketing on a social web has only scratched the surface of its full potential.

This year smart marketers will stop using content as a bullhorn and start using it as a platform for building engaged communities. Customers will no longer be seen simply as a source of revenue, but instead as a near endless stream of research, innovation, and sales.

This transition will mean targeted communities that are smaller and more social than the mass media audiences of the past will succeed like never before. Therefore, content will have to be focused, refined, interactive, shareable, and (most importantly) involve the audience in the creation process.

To get you ready for these important changes, here are five top tips for content marketing success:

#1. Bring the Customers Inside

Customers want businesses to solve their problems and are willing participants in that value creation process… if given the chance. Unfortunately, much of what we call “social” media marketing has hardly lived up to its name.

The key will be to move beyond the mass marketing mentality of “us vs. them.”

By empowering your customers to become part of your business processes you’ll get a great low-cost source of research & innovation.

There’s also no greater sales force in the world than a satisfied customer. And while this was once an added bonus for marketers, it’s quickly becoming a necessity. Customers increasingly vet their purchasing decisions through social networks before even considering a company’s traditional marketing.

Some things to try:

  • Ask for customer input on new projects you’re working on.
  • Allow customers to tell their own stories through co-created content (see below).
  • Create incentives (social and financial) for customers to become evangelists of your business.
  • Make sure to show that you are actually using the feedback you receive.

#2.  Focus, Focus, Focus

In the mass marketing era, half of the advertising was wasted but we just don’t know which half.

The Internet has created an ultra-segmented marketplace, which allows smart marketers to create specialized content that solves specific problems.

To be successful, your content has to be focused on a well-defined niche audience. Take the time to map out exactly who you are targeting by developing a detailed profile of your audience, including demographics, psychographics, and a thorough understanding of how they negotiate their social space.

#3. Get Organized

Most people classify content by format (blog, video, Tweet, etc.), often leading to repetitiveness and a sense by your audience that you’re shouting at them (rather than talking with them).

Why don’t you try a different framework, one that will give you a much clearer look at the role each piece of content plays in driving interaction within your community.

When you are planning out your editorial calendar, separate content into one of three categories, defined by how that piece of content was created:

  • Original content – This is material created directly by you. It should address a specific customer need – be that information, instruction, humor, motivation, etc. Use it as a way to highlight your expertise, make yourself useful, and build trust with your audience.
  • Co-created content – Created together with others. In particular, you should target influencers within the niche who can help build your authority. Examples of this are guest posts like this one, a webinar highlighting the successes of your top customers, or a podcast with someone who has expertise that complements your own.
  • Curated content – Created by others but useful in some way to your audience. This includes stuff like retweets or emailing your list with a useful report that was created by another organization.

Reframing your thinking in this way will force you to always keep in mind the business purpose behind everything you create and share.

#4. Get Emotional

In his awesome book Contagious, Wharton professor Jonah Berger showed us that one of the key reasons people share content online is because it arouses a person’s emotion.

Content has to go beyond just being useful; it has to be unforgettable. Rather than trying to churn out quantity, take the time to figure out what kind of emotions move your audience.

In doing so, it’s important to remember that not all emotion is created equal. In his research, Berger identifies that certain kinds of emotions – those that get people “aroused” like awe, passion, and anger – are much more likely to drive shares than those that make people feel toned down – like sadness, relaxation, or contentment.

Ultimately, don’t be afraid to rock the boat a bit, because what gets one person excited might turn another one away. As long as you are exciting the right people (and treating everyone well in the process), it’s ok to let some people go.

#5. Respect the Numbers but Don’t be a Machine

There are so many tools out there that allow you to use data to paint a picture of your social landscape. So many in fact that it can turn into a hindrance if you’re not careful.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s absolutely crucial to analyze and optimize, but all the data in the world won’t do you a bit of good if you don’t understand people.

And one of the most important things to understand about people is that they change. Often. Data can be an important tool for measuring these changes – it can help you test assumptions and sometimes provide a needed reality check. But it’s no replacement for digging in and becoming part of your customer community.

So, make the effort to really get to know your customers. Instead of just mass emailings and webinars, take time to have individual conversations. Understand what people are struggling with and you’ll have a near endless stream of ideas for new content to create.

The Big Picture

The world of marketing is changing, and I would argue it’s for the better. By harnessing the power of community, businesses are ending the awful competition between buyer and seller, replacing it with a much healthier process of mutual value creation.

In 2014 the kind of guesswork that has long been the way marketers figure out what their audience wants will be replaced by actually getting to know the customers themselves. By talking with them instead of at them, we can start to create a new way of doing business, one that helps bring people together to solve the problems of our day.

You now have the framework to get started. Use it to go out and build yourself a dynamic, engaged, and profitable community in 2014.

Guest author: Jake Parent has been building communities for more than a decade. His site Learn To Be Heard teaches marketers and entrepreneurs how to use blogging and other social media to transform an audience of static listeners into a dynamic group of engaged participants. 



Want to learn how to make your blog and content a success with social media marketing?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 185,000.

Download and read it now.




Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2014


Top Digital Marketing Trends in 2014

digital marketing laptop Top Digital Marketing Trends in 20142013 will be known as the year organizations began embracing different tactics for digital marketing in a big way. It will also be known as the year of the biggest social media changes:Twitter’s IPO announcement, Google andFacebook’s algorithm updates, and the list goes on. This trend of disrupting the digital marketing arena will continue into 2014 and beyond. Here is a roundup of what we predict in 2014 for the digital marketing industry:

Content continues to be king

Social Media Today reported that 78% of CMO’s believe custom content is the future of marketing. Most marketers have embraced and accepted content as a major resource in their efforts. Along with this, there has been an influx of content discovery apps which support the growth trend: Flipboard, Pulse, and Fancy (to name a few). If you’re not dedicating budget towards content development, it may be time to consider doing so!

Growth of video marketing

It goes without saying that videos have the ability to convey a message that is ten times more powerful than text content. Kony 2012 was proof that great video content has the potential of becoming an overnight viral success. Also, with apps like Instagram, Snapchat and Vine, videos are being created, viewed and shared on mobile devices. Facebook has also introduced and enhanced their mobile ads platform. Combined with the mobile potential, we predict that video marketing will grow even more in 2014.

Social media diversification

2013 has been the year of social media growth. We will continue to see this trend in the coming year. 93% of marketers already say they use social media for business, but in 2013 we also saw a surge in popularity of new networks like Pinterest, Vine and Instagram – and have become a part of everyday life. These networks are carving a unique niche for themselves, which means that businesses will continue to use different platforms to build their brands and connect with consumers.

Malware Attack Hits Thousands Of Visitors To


Marissa Mayer

Paul Morigi/Getty Images

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

Two internet security firms have warned that hundreds of thousands of visitors may have encountered malware from Yahoo’s advertising servers, The Washington Post reports.

In a blog post on Friday, Netherlands-based Fox-IT wrote that it “detected and investigated the infection of clients after they visited” Some advertisements displayed to Yahoo visitors — which are served from – were malicious iframes, hosted on a number of domains, the firm reported.

From The Washington Post:

Ashkan Soltani, a security researcher and Washington Post contributor, alerted me to the issue. Often, he says, such attacks are “the result of hacking an existing ad network. But there’s another possibility, he says. The culprits may have simply submitted the malicious software as ordinary ads, sneaking past Yahoo’s system for filtering out malicious submissions.

The fact that the malware targeted flaws in the Java programming environment is an important reminder that the software has become a security menace. When it was created almost two decades ago, the Java programming language was hailed as a way to make Web sites more interactive. But it has been largely superseded for this purpose by technologies like Flash and JavaScript.

Read more:


Research being carried out at the Microscopy l...

Research being carried out at the Microscopy lab of the . This photo was taken on July 28, 2006 using a Nikon D70. For more information about INL’s research projects and career opportunities, visit the lab’s facebook site. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Marketing research interviews and focus groups

Marketing research interviews and focus groups (Photo credit: dmhoro)

focus group dialogue

focus group dialogue (Photo credit: bijoubaby)

English: Mobile marketing research - Methods

English: Mobile marketing research – Methods (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Two examples of the T39m, on the left...

English: Two examples of the T39m, on the left is the Classic Blue colour and on the right is the Icecap Blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Data from April 2011 Editor Survey th...

English: Data from April 2011 Editor Survey that lists Social Media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: A protester holding a placard in Tahr...

English: A protester holding a placard in Tahrir Square referring to Facebook and Twitter, acknowledging the role played by social media during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On any given day, how many people do you see walking by with a flip phone? A discman? We’ll venture a guess that you’re probably not seeing very many. Technologies have advanced, replacing these once innovative devices with a more efficient, multi-function tool. 

The same can be said about the world of consumer data and its applications in understanding brand health.

Traditionally, companies used focus groups and surveys as their primary research methods. Such practices provided insights into the preferences and behaviors of a brand’s target demographic. That being said, they also presented significant limitations:

  • Bias: Given the small size of focus groups and the regimented manner in which  they are run, participants are often influenced by other participants and  moderators.
  • Unreliable Results: Audience samples are rarely an accurate representation of the larger  target audience.
  • High Costs: Crafting questions, gathering a representative sample, conducting  surveys, and analyzing results… it takes a lot of time and money to  regularly and effectively execute such studies.

Over the past decade, avenues have opened up for more efficient forms of research. Socialmedia technologies have completely changed the way in which consumers perceive, engage, and consume brands. Postcards requesting customer feedback have been replaced with unsolicited endorsements shared on Facebook brand pages. Angry calls to customer service have been replaced with scorching (and public) 140 character tweets. Consumer feedback is now available in real-time at a massive scale, so why would we continue to limit ourselves to surveys and focus groups? It makes sense to harness the power of consumer social media activity to better understand brands.

Social Media Marketing Tips and Insights from a Big Boring Brand Reblogged. The author is Jeff Bullas.

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Instagram (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

General Electric

General Electric (Photo credit: twm1340)

General Electric Building (1931), New York

General Electric Building (1931), New York (Photo credit: cerfon)

General Electric Building (1931), New York

General Electric Building (1931), New York (Photo credit: cerfon)

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Image representing IBM as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Social Media Marketing Tips and Insights from a Big Boring Brand

Social Media Marketing Tips and Insights from a Big Boring Brand

Many times the question is raised …”My product is boring, so how can I use social media to drive sales and create brand awareness?

Traditional businesses still often think that Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and  Instagram are for the teenagers, the under 30′s or the mommy bloggers.

Social media marketing is mostly seen as a the province of businesses that deal with consumers. The new reality is that “social media marketing is not about the channel but what goes into the channel – content! ”

Boring brands need to change their thinking

Business to business brands often have great content it’s just that they just aren’t used to publishing it to social networks. It requires a new way of thinking about social and it revolves around publishing content that engages.

There are many traditional brands that have what seems to be boring topics of conversation but are managing to be creative and innovative. These include IBM, Microsoft and General Electric.

Today we will have a closer look at a traditional business that understands innovation both with its business and how it uses social media. We will look at some social media marketing tips and insights into how GE  uses its “GE Reports” publishing portal and amplifies and leverages it with social networks.

1. General Electric

General Electric or “GE” is a big business that doesn’t sell sexy fashion or cool gadgets. It designs and creates big machines and lots of other stuff. Despite it being perceived from a distance as a big boring brand it is constantly innovating and experimenting with social media and new channels. This even includes Instagram, Pinterest and Viddy.

According to GE’s Linda Boff (The executive director of global digital marketing)  in an interview on Digiday,  social media is used by GE to have conversations with people.

These include

  • Consumers
  • Employees
  • Investors

It uses social media to tell stories about the impact of its technology and innovation on people.

GE’s main goal is engagement

GE’s social media metrics is focused on measuring engagement because that is the main goal of their social media activities. This includes capturing data and metrics on Facebook that looks at unique engagement rate. This provides insights into the size and health of their online community. They are also exploring the use of social CRM platforms to personalize the engagement.

The key tactic for driving engagement on social media

According to Linda Boff the key tactic to creating the most engagement with content is as follows.

“With respect to content, across nearly all platforms we’ve found that creative, visual content paired with strong calls-to-action drives the highest engagement”.

That is why you will see GE on the visual social media channels such as Viddy, Pinterest and Instagram which could maybe been seen as the wrong demographic for their audience.

How GE handles risk on social media

GE is in a lot of highly regulated businesses which includes, financial services, healthcare and energy. Brands often use the excuse of not participating on social media in highly regulated industries because it is seen as too big a legal risk to be publishing on social media. They fear that they will lose control of their messaging.

So how does GE solve this?

In a recent real time social media marketing campaign reported on Digiday, they assemble a team  that includes:

  • Strategist
  • Producer
  • Designer
  • Lawyer

This allows them to make fast decisions on both the content and the distribution. So if you are participating on social channels don’t let government or corporate regulation get in the way of participation.

The GE Social Publishing Portal

Their main portal for creating brand awareness is “GE Reports“. This is not about selling a product but selling the idea of innovation. This is much more engaging and allows them to tap into the emotion of storytelling.

What is the GE Report’s mission and goal?

The  mission: “To provide a simple no frills way of  way of communicating what is happening at GE”

The goal: “To be a resource for people who are interested in learning more about GE”

This publishing portal covers the main categories of the GE business spectrum.  It is about providing highly visual storytelling that includes:

  • Videos
  • Graphics
  • Photos

So even the GE Reports is focused on visual storytelling and visual engagement. Its not a website with long lengthy articles with walls of text. It’s about cool infographics, compelling YouTube videos and engaging images.

GE Reports

If you have a closer look inside the GE Report you will start to notice content that is far from boring.

The fastest ferry in the world

When creating content around your brand you should be looking for angles that will take your brand from dull to fascinating. You could write an article about a jet engine (A GE product) but what is much more interesting is a story about the world’s fastest ferry driven by jet engines from a 747. You need to look at publishing on social networks with a journalists and publishers eye and ear.

The facts that will capture your attention (and maybe provide and incentive to share the story) is that is can reach speeds of 67 miles per hour, carry 1,000 passengers and 150 cars.

The fastest ferry in the world

So how can you move your content from mundane to motivating?

The GE Social Networks

GE doesn’t shy away from participating on mainstream social networks that are often seen as the domain of business to consumer brands. Here are some of the ways and the social channels that they participate on.


General Electric is about innovation and 3D printing is one of the latest trends in technology innovation. This is the latest featured content on their Facebook page. You will notice that is isn’t  about their product but explaining and educating people about how the 3D printing process works. It is about having conversations around the brand not about its products to drive engagement.

GE Facebook


But they are on Pinterest..that’s suppose to be where the mommy bloggers hang out! What GE has understood is that the visual nature of Pinterest drives high engagement. So they are constantly innovating and participating on new channels to find what works and doesn’t.

GE Badass machines Pinterest


GE is also on Instagram. They often run competitions on Instagram and make the GE brand fun and personal.

GE Instagram


GE is even on Twitter  and know how to have a bit of fun. Here is their take on Thanksgiving with a scientific twist. They maybe haven’t found Twitter to be as successful as the other networks and that is maybe because it is not as visual as Instagram or Pinterest. Maybe Twitters new image stream will change that. GE Twitter

What about you?

Do you see your business as too boring to participate on social media? Maybe its time to look at selling an idea rather than a product.

What idea could you try to sell?

Want to learn how to make your blog a success with social media marketing? Struggling with creating great content?

My book – “Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media” – will show you how.

It is now available to download. I show you how to create and build a blog that rocks and grow tribes, fans and followers on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook. It also includes dozens of tips to create contagious content that begs to be shared and tempts people to link to your website and blog.

I also reveal the tactics I used to grow my Twitter followers to over 200,000.