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

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.


Case Study: Advanced Content Marketing by Jeff Bullas ( Reblogged)

Marketing Digital

Marketing Digital (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Relationship between trade marks and brand

Relationship between trade marks and brand (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...

Image via CrunchBase

Advanced Access Content System data flow diagr...

Advanced Access Content System data flow diagram, (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The content of tweets on Twitter, bas...

English: The content of tweets on Twitter, based on the data gathered by Pear Analytics in 2009. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


7-Eleven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Case Study: Advanced Content Marketing

Case Study- Advanced Content Marketing

Content is a two syllable word that has become an online marketing strategy. Its impact has far reaching effects that belies its verbal simplicity. It influences search engine results, drives online engagement and can create brand awareness at velocity when it goes viral.

With Google’s recent updates, the role of content has increased in priority. The search giant is now rewarding sites with higher rankings that offer unique content that delivers a quality user experience.

This means that progressive brands need to become publishers and not just advertisers. Advanced content marketing is a human and creative art form with soul enabled by technology and process driven. It is multi-media content at scale that leverages a brand’s reach that is efficient and amplified.

Is corporate media getting better than mainstream media?

In a recent article on the Hubspot blog, Dan Lyon poses an intriguing question.

Is corporate media getting  better  than mainstream media?”

He then cites examples of Microsoft, General Electric and Google who are using both technology and their great content archives to “out publish” existing traditional media companies.

I think that in some cases he may be right.

Today’s companies do have the technology and platforms to go it alone. They often have the marketing CRM’s, databases, access to vast libraries of content and the technology to make a traditional newspaper brand look bland.

Marketing and publishing has been democratized

Technology changes have put the power in the users hands. Companies don’t need to understand how to use a printing press.

  • Want to publish. Launch a blog
  • Need to design and create an online magazine. Hire a designer, assign an editor and writer and create your brand magazine using Photoshop.
  • Have the impulse to shoot a video. Buy a $1,000 video camera, create a video and upload it to YouTube
  • Feel the motivation to market. Amplify your content to your Facebook and Twitter fans and followers

Should some advertising dollars be moved to publishing?

Companies such as Red Bull are moving their spending from advertising to publishing. They are also about creating “conversations around the brand” not “about” the brand. This means creating content that has heart and soul of the brand embedded but not mentioned.

No-one wants to talk about the drink but the lifestyle that revolves around the brand image.

Advanced content marketing case study:  Lorna Jane

Lorna Jane is an “activewear” label for women that has been around for over 20 years. The brand is about fitness and fashion for women. They have embraced the the strategy of advanced content marketing.

Their aim “to inspire women to live their best life through active living”. Their mantra and mission is based upon a three pillared philosophy of:

  • Move
  • Nourish
  • Believe

Lorna Jane is not simply a clothing label, it is a way of life”. They are about fitness and a healthy lifestyle.

Lorna Jane’s marketing is not about talking about its product but being a publisher. The heart and soul is about creating conversations around the brand.

Jessie Dean, the Digital Marketing Manager at Lorna Jane has a team that includes:

  • Social media specialist
  • Social media coordinator
  • Editor of “Move Nourish Believe”

They have also created a separate and secondary brand that is about the lifestyle and mission that is core to the Lorna Jane message.

Move, Nourish, Believe

This separate secondary brand of Lorna Jane, has its own website with the title “Move Nourish Believe“.  This is intrinsically woven into the lifestyle message that revolves around the Lorna Jane Brand. It is the home of the brand’s key philosophy.

advanced content marketing

It is about content that inspires, encourages and educates. It includes offline events and content that is about the Lorna Jane mission

  • Events
  • Ebook
  • Recipes

Publishing is core to the marketing of Lorna Jane and this is their publishing portal.   

Website and online store

Lorna Jane has its own online store that sells the products. The aim of the brand is to be selling $50 million annually online within 5 years. The indirect purpose of content marketing is to create awareness about the brand and drive traffic to the store. It is to inspire people and create passion about the lifestyle philosophy.

This the place for the hard sell.

advanced content marketing


Lorna Jane’s uses its Facebook page for engagement. It is about creating conversations and engaging with customers and not a hard sell. Despite this, it drives 10% of all traffic to the website and its revenue accounts for the average sales of two of its bricks and mortar stores.

Facebook fan count stands at over 840,000

advanced content marketing


This is the personal account of the founder, Lorna Jane Clarkson and shows the commitment to personalizing the brand. It is also displays the importance of having one of the thought leaders for the brand actively participating and engaging.

A nimble and adaptable brand cannot be open to change without having leaders who are aware and willing to embrace the new digital paradigms.

advanced content marketing 4

The other bonus of this engagement is the feedback that is received that keeps the brand real and in touch with trends and the market.


A content and publishing strategy needs to include content that is both visual and mobile centric. Instagram provides a platform for showcasing its brand with striking images that increase brand awareness and engagement.

Lorna Jane currently has over 212,000 followers on Instagram.

advanced content marketing


Amplifying your brand content is not a single channel approach and many brands stop and start with Facebook. Pinterest provides a free and organic way to share the images from their online store that drive traffic and sales.

Lorna Jane has over 22,000 followers on PInterest.

advanced content marketing


Google+ may not seem like a place that a fashion brand such as Lorna Jane should be participating on. The rise of importance of Google plus which has become the second largest social network means that brands shouldn’t be ignoring it. It is important for several reasons.

  • Capturing social signals such as “+1’s” , comments and shares
  • Improvements to SEO
  • Increasing brand awareness through visual content.

Lorna Jane currently has  over 33,000 followers on Google+.

advanced content marketing


Content and publishing is now multi-media and YouTube is an important part of the whole brand content amplification for Lorna Jane.

On YouTube you can share to 10 different social networks as well as email and embed.

advanced content marketing

Lorna Jane has over 2,000 subscribers and is approaching 500,000 views on YouTube. These numbers are the tip of the iceberg for brands when it comes to creating conversations.

Some recent research show that crowd sourced content creation and sharing is up to 99% of all YouTube content creation about and around the brand.

advanced content marketing

The scale of crowd sourced content creation, sharing and viewing is more than significant, it can be almost the entire conversation. In fact in some cases brand created content on social media is only 1% of the dialogue online! tracked and measured “user generated content” (often termed “UGC”) on YouTube around and about brands. Here are the facts and figures about Lego and Apple and the extent of the little known and sometimes seemingly silent majority of brand ambassadors and content creators.

  • 99% of the views on YouTube about Lego are “user” created. Of the 8 billion in total views 7.92 billion views are from passionate advocates who created and shared content about the Lego brand.
  • 99% of the views on YouTube about Apple were not bought or “owned” by the brand. 99% of the 4.2 billion in total views were fan created. That’s 4.16 billion views just from fan created and shared content.

The brands started the conversations by publishing. The online fans amplified it. You cannot buy that level of attention.