Imagine the Pastabilities - Carney
The Daily Carnage

Imagine the Pastabilities

Participation marketing is about to elevate your game. Get on board.

How Participation Marketing Elevates Your Social Media Strategy

“Employee advocacy”… “Social selling”… You’ve likely seen or used the buzzwords to describe employee-driven content before, but it’s getting a whole new spin on the Convince & Convert blog.

“Participation marketing,” in this context, is when brands mobilize employees to be storytellers, so they can reach new audiences, reach further with organic content, and humanize their brand. Employee storytelling brings a whole new level of authenticity to a brand, and it’s been delivering promising results and illuminating a bright future. 

In fact, research from the Boston Consulting Group and the Edelman Trust Barometer shows that people trust “employees of a company,” “consumer opinions,” and “colleagues and friends” when seeking info about a product or a brand. AKA, peer recommendations drive business value. 

But, before you put participation marketing into practice, you gotta make sure there is brand alignment with your employee content strategy. That’s where this article if offering its value—by building a framework that’ll help you align employee-driven content to your brand voice and positioning. Here’s what the model looks like (which is explained in full in the article).

In the framework, you’ll see employees can tell their stories through 3 different lenses:

  1. Your employees are the hero of the story – These are stories all about your employees and the unique insights they bring to the market
  2. Your employees are characters in a broader story – This narrative is about the value they receive from solving business challenges using your technology or by partnering with your employees 
  3. Your employees are characters in a broader story – These stories are all about thought leadership, education, and how they view the market

Oof.. that was a lot, but if you wanna find how to build a solid employee-driven content strategy, you know what to do →

11 Marketing Trends to Commit to in 2018

The word “trends” kinda has a bad connotation to it. Trends are fleeting and tend to fade. There’s nothing wrong with taking advantage of trends in your marketing, but if you solely focus on trends in your marketing strategy, you’re gonna have a bad time.

That’s why we’re serving up this blog post on the latest marketing trends to get on board with. Uhhh…what? Yep. Even though the author used the word “trends” in the title of this one, we don’t think these are fleeting trends. Some of them are definitely here to stay.

Let’s just dive in…

  1. Brands operating like media companies. Content needs to be the leading part of any company’s overall strategy, not just their marketing strategy. Look at General Electric, they have a podcast. Dollar Shave Club has a digital publication. Adobe runs AirBnB has an actual print magazine.
  2. Optimize for humans, not robots. SEO is becoming more about humans. Social media is more about conversations. Don’t try to beat the system with 100 hashtags per post on Instagram. Use them when they’re relevant to your audience. Califia Farms only uses a few, relevant tags per post.
  3. Optimize the top of your funnel. Pretend you don’t work at your company, you’ve never even heard of it, and you’re not a marketer. If you came across an ad for your company, would you engage with it? If the answer is “no” or even “maybe,” it’s time to rethink the top of your funnel.
  4. Showcase your brand’s personality. People want personality from the brands they follow! Sprout’s research shows that consumers want brands to be honest, friendly, helpful, funny, and trendy. In that order.
  5. Consumers want transparency. Tying into the point above, transparency is important. Take a note from the first point in this list, and use social media to be transparent about your brand’s story.
  6. Live video is getting even bigger. You already knew this though.
  7. Start building a brand community now. Another one you already knew, but it’s really freakin’ important.

Plenty more we couldn’t fit in →

Imagine the Pastabilities

Aaaand just like that, we’re done with the Super Bowl ads. The rest of the ad world seems to be moving on too. We’re grateful for that.

Whole Foods just launched eight 15-second ads for their first campaign since the Amazon acquisition. Unrelated, but did anyone invent a mashup name for this Amazon/Whole Foods entity? Wholazon? IDK. But we need one, give us suggestions!

Anyway, back to their new campaign. We can really only describe the ads as….quirky. The ads feature a vegan buying meat, a dad asking his daughter to “imagine the pastabilities,” a woman eating too many free samples (been there!), and a bunch of other situations.

Every ad ends with the tagline, “Whatever makes you whole.” That seems to suggest that we’re either not whole without Whole Foods or that they’re accepting of everyone. We’re hoping they’re going for the latter.

“I am all for conversations, but you need to have a message.”
Renee Blodgett

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