Welcome to the February edition of Curation Corner, my periodic list of the best recent articles in marketing, branding and public relations!
Click on the titles in blue below to read the articles themselves.
Libris Blog, Feb. 9
Author Kristin Twiford catalogs 9 takeaways from Super Bowl 50 that we can all use to improve our brand’s visual communications strategy.
Among the lessons? Embrace absurdity, stand out by using unique visuals (such as still photography, black and white photographs or Helen Mirren talking to the camera from a bar) and clever partnerships (such as Turkish Airlines and the forthcoming Batman v. Superman movie).
Everything PR, Feb. 16
First, if you’re a public relations practitioner, you should be reading Everything PR.
For an example of why, there’s this well-researched post by Jason Tannahill, which reviews the Instagram channels (if applicable) of the 25 largest independent PR firms in the U.S.
The (unsurprising) verdict? Nearly all of them are not yet using the channel consistently, let alone at standards indicative of its potential. I’ll explore this in greater depth in a later, stand-alone, post.
Mack Collier, Feb. 16
It’s no surprise that the nature of “influencer marketing” is changing, with social media stars supplanting traditional media ones.
This read is important because it not only emphasizes the importance of engagement over the mere number of fans an influencer has, but also reveals a counter-intuitive statistic:
That Twitter users with 5,000-20,000 followers typically send Collier more referral traffic than a RT from someone with 20,00-100,000 followers.
Forbes, Feb. 25
Forbes contributor Lauren Friedman explores how the coveted consumer demographic of Millennials choose to share their love of brands online. This is key because 93% of Millennials have made a purchase based on the recommendations of friends or family.
Among the key ways? Product reviews, video blogs, pictures, and niche community sites. Not listed? Most non-visual channels, including (non-video) blogs (D’oh!).
Harvard Business Review, March 2016
In this long-form article, former Harvard Business School professor Douglas Holt examines the seeming paradox of recent times –decreased penetration and ROI from social media for brands even as social media spending has increased.
In particular, Holt focuses on the failure of branded content or brand journalism, which was seen as the foundation of content strategy as little as two years ago.
For instance, he notes that “In YouTube or Instagram rankings of channels by number of subscribers, corporate brands barely appear. Only three have cracked the YouTube Top 500.”
This article is worth-reading for its analysis of why companies like Under Armor, Red Bull and (pre-e coli crisis-) Chiipotle have succeeded with content marketing where even behemoths such as Coca-Cola have failed.
LinkedIn Pulse, Feb. 29
This biographical entry by personal finance guru Suze Orman is just the type of inspirational story to motivate you even in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.
In it, Orman details how she talked her way into a brokerage job at Merrill Lynch despite lacking the traditional degree credentials and personal network. Time again, she writes, courage – the ability to ask – was a core quality that led to her success.