The weekly recap - February 3, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

Brand Apps Need to Provide a Utility to Stay Visible
A basic tip Yauch plans to share: “You have to think like your users.”

These Brands Scored Big on Sunday Without Expensive TV Spots
Another year, another conversation dominated by the biggest spenders.

The best superbowl commercial was not on the Super Bowl
Watching the commercials during the Super Bowl was definitely more exciting than watching the actual game.

3 Ways to Boost Your Lead Generation With Social Media
Are you looking for new ways to generate leads with social media?

Not One and Done: The 10 Super Bowl Brands That Grew Most in Fans, Followers and Likes
Budweiser, everybody knows by now, won the Super Bowl in terms of the social buzz and online views that its adorable horse-and-puppy commercial racked up.


Marketing to Women Insights: Insight #1 - Advertisers need to get it more often.

Lauren Zuzelski's picture

We launched our first Brogan talks to women survey last month and were intrigued by the answer that the majority of our female respondents noted in the question “Do you feel advertisers understand women?”  Of our sample, 77% said that they felt advertisers only understood women “sometimes.”

Do you feel advertisers understand women?

We knew from our marketing to women experience that the majority of women are the primary decision maker for grocery shopping (of our respondents, 78% confirmed our thoughts).

So, why haven’t advertisers figured it out yet? A fresh example that comes to mind was the Oikos commercial that featured John Stamos that aired during the Superbowl.  (Remember that; on top of the cost to produce the spot, hire John Stamos and the other Full House goofballs, they spent over $4 million to air in the Superbowl).

Don’t get me wrong, John is very nice to look at – I mean look at those lips. BUT – really!? Is that how you think women make a decision on a purchase?  It didn’t provide me with any benefit of buying. Does it taste good? Who knows? Do they have all natural ingredients? Who knows. Will it save me time in my day? WHO KNOWS!

Women want answers to those questions. Tell them how you can help them get 20 more minutes in the day, to spend more time with their family or even themselves.
To close – just a little humor from Giussepe Balsamo.


The best superbowl commercial was not on the superbowl.

Laurie Hix's picture

Watching the commercials during the superbowl was definitely more exciting than watching the actual game. But the most strategic play of the night was made by Newcastle Ale. Adweek asked female creative directors to tweet their opinions of the commercials with the hashtag #3percentsb during the superbowl, so I was doing my own pre-game and discovered the Newcastle video with Anna Kendrick.

The idea is an anti-superbowl commercial.  It's brilliantly inspired.

  1. Ride on the coattails of the superbowl hype
  2. Save $4 million plus dollars by not even buying media on the superbowl game
  3. Make a video with Anna Kendrick about not having the money to make a superbowl commercial
  4. Watch it go viral
  5. Drive consumers to the micro site with more content (storyboard of fake spot, focus group response, and spoofs on the real superbowl spots with a Newcastle twist)

If We Made It website

This is truly groundbreaking stuff. It reinvents the way we can approach mass media events. And it shows that while superbowl ads usually blow a lot of money blowing things up, doing cgi effects,  making animals talk, and gratuitously throwing celebrities in the commercials, a good idea is infinitely better, stronger and can give more bang for the buck. Newcastle saved money and leveraged social media to be the winner of the #brandbowl.

Who were your winners and losers of the superbowl?


The weekly recap - January 27, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes

18 Ways to Improve Your Facebook News Feed Performance
Are you frustrated with Facebook’s frequent changes to the news feed algorithm?

Women Are the Dominant Media Voice During the Super Bowl
Of the 20.9 million Super Bowl-related tweets sent during last year’s game, nearly 30 percent were about the ads.

Good News for Facebook About Its So-Called Teen Problem
Some younger teens may be leaving Facebook, but overall, teens actually became much more "reachable" on the platform in 2013, according to new research from Socialbakers.

Infographic: Will Super Bowl Advertisers Put Hashtags and Facebook URLs in Their Spots?
Remember when including a Facebook URL, Twitter hashtag or branded website was all the rage with Super Bowl advertisers (and TV marketers in general)?

Facebook Posts $1B-Plus Mobile Revenue
Facebook’s mobile business topped $1 billion in revenue last quarter (its Q4) and accounted for more than 50 percent of the social network’s ad dollars for the first time.

Social Media Center to Help New York Deal with Super Bowl Mayhem
The NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee will lean on social media to deal with the 400,000 visitors coming into the Greater New York City this week.


The week in review - January 20, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

5 Ways to Decide If Your Business Needs a Mobile App
In the digital era, a mobile presence is critical for businesses to attract, retain and communicate with customers.

Pinterest Is Experimenting With GIFs
You may soon be pinning GIFs alongside your favorite meals and workout photos.

How the Feed Changed the Way We Consume Content
The RSS feed — or as we now know it, "the feed" — organizes the world into a series of neat, clickable, constantly updating bits of information.

How to Create Engaging Content That Will Build Your Brand
When it comes to content these days, everyone’s a curator.

How to Network with Influential People Using Twitter
Do you want to use Twitter to promote your business?


Google AdWords case study Health Management Associates.

Morgan Eberle's picture

As we reported in November, Health Management Associates (HMA), an independent, national research and consulting firm focused on publicly funded healthcare, named Brogan & Partners as its agency. One of the first things HMA challenged us to do was to build up its website traffic and help drive qualified leads.

Based on HMA’s overall goals and objectives, we started with broad Ad Groups to begin testing what would work and what wouldn’t. We launched their AdWords campaign in mid-October, and in just two weeks, we saw increased traffic to their site by over 71% for unique visitors, and 51% for overall traffic. In November, the numbers were even higher – unique visitors increased by 16.14%, overall traffic was up 12.36% from October and up 70.44% from September.

With a pretty safe daily budget, we were able to not only increase traffic overall, but also help to increase leads for HMA during the campaign. We are firm believers that it is more than just the amount of traffic, but rather the amount of qualified traffic.

With the success of the current campaign, HMA decided to extend the campaign into 2014. We continue to refine and optimize the campaign, and we look forward to seeing where it can take HMA in the next few months.


The week in review - January 13, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

Blog Well, Or  Don’t Bother?
68% of consumers read brand content—blogs, social media chatter, infographics. What content works?

Why Your Old Mobile Strategy Won't Cut It This Year
For marketers in 2014, a completely integrated mobile strategy can no longer be wishful thinking.

Facebook's News Feed Changes Will Require New Marketing Strategies
The news that Facebook is changing its news feed algorithm to deliver more "news" has marketers worried about maintaining reach and frequency on the platform.

Marketers Must Make the Ethics of Content Creation a Top Priority
The big issue is finding ways to mark the difference between traditional editorial and advertiser-presented content.

Mobile-App Use Increased 115% in 2013
Mobile-app use increased 115% in 2013, according to Flurry Analytics.


Blog well, or don't bother?

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

“Is it better to blog badly than to not blog at all?”

This question was posed to us at a recent meeting with a prospective client. Blogs being an integral part of successful inbound marketing strategy, our gut reaction was “no.” Blogs and assorted content marketing tactics should be carefully constructed to attract the right traffic to your site, nurture visitors and convert them into customers.

Still we wanted to see what others had to say on the topic. Perhaps even poorly written content can serve a purpose of increasing indexed pages and elevating search rank?

What we found is that our new friends are not alone. While content marketing is gaining increasing share of budget, marketers are flummoxed about how to effectively implement blogs and related tactics to boost site performance.

According to a recent study by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 90 percent of B2C marketers are using content marketing – a primary tactic of which includes blogging. Still, only 34 percent consider themselves effective at it. In other words, less than half believe their efforts are making any headway toward increasing web traffic, generating qualified leads and growing overall brand awareness.

Failure isn’t grounds for dismissal, apparently, as 69 percent of the least effective marketers plan to increase spending on content marketing this year—most popularly, social media, website articles, eNewsletters, blogs, videos and in-person events.

But content marketing doesn’t work like traditional media. Increased advertising spending on TV and radio may add necessary weight to boost brand exposure and drive consideration. Simply adding more content to your website for the sake of content marketing will not.

Search engines have a special place for poor quality content, buried deep into results pages. Worse yet, they ignore your content altogether, and it’s not indexed. It’s the ultimate snub, having your content deemed irrelevant to the entire Internet community. Ouch.

So what’s the difference between rich and wretched content marketing? Strategy and a dedicated champion. Those marketers who reported success have a documented strategy (60 percent) and content chief (85 percent). They’re building content with a purpose, as well as a passion. Their content attracts their ideal customer and helps nurture a relationship with the brand.

Patagonia’s content marketing strategy complements the high-end retailer’s mission to build great products without causing unnecessary harm to the environment. The company blog, The Cleanest Line, encourages dialogue about brand products, related outdoor activities, and environmental issues. The content is inspiring and transparent, fostering greater brand affinity.

Patagonia content marketing

The Cleveland Clinic website is the Disney World of patient-centered content. Content is structured around the medical center's core competencies, with eNewsletters, articles, graphics, interactive tools, news releases, physician insights and more. Visitors are attracted to the site organically by the expert insights that run deep throughout the HealthHub. Social media sharing icons make it easy to engage with content. There’s a lot going on here, but the site architecture makes it easy to navigate.

Quirky community grocery store Trader Joe’s website serves prospects and customers a steady diet of seasonal recipes, while the Fearless Flyer features new and popular products. Consumers get useful snippets that are simple to share, print or save for future use. Social sharing buttons ease how content spreads. Other onsite features include the top-rated customer products and local events. Onsite rating and sharing helps establish a community feel, consistent with the Trader Joe’s brand. Moreover, their content continues to pull consumers back to their site, sparking consideration and driving sales.

Content marketing is worth the investment. Studies show that 68 percent of consumers read brand content. Blogging is a proving a particularly powerful content marketing tactic. B2Cs that blog report 88 percent more leads per month than companies that don’t blog (CMS Wire).

Consumers clearly want a more intimate relationship with their favorite merchants and service providers. But they don’t want to mislead to a site or follow a rogue link to nowhere. Like any investment, content marketing needs to be approached with rigor and implemented with discipline to yield meaningful results.

Until you’ve sorted out your content marketing strategy, it’s best to stop publishing blogs and content altogether.


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The week in review - January 6, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

Inbound Marketing Strategy will continue to dominate marketing plans in 2014
Here are 5 ways to join the crusade in 2014.

What Changes Will Millennials Force Brands to Make in 2014?
The coming year holds dramatic changes for some of the world's most recognized brands, as more millennials, the influential consumers who already value transparency and social consciousness, become parents and expect more from brands as a result.

Finally, an Alternative to the Much-Hated QR Code
Marketers have been trying to make print and outdoor ads interactive for years, but despite their efforts, consumers are largely rejecting QR Codes.

5 Key SEO Questions for B2B Companies
Much has been said about the volume and quality of backlinks to your B2B or corporate website, determining your SEO success.

5 Technologies Seniors Use More Than Millennials
Generally speaking, younger Americans adopt new technologies quicker than their older counterparts.


Marketing to women insights just got more personal.

Laurie Hix's picture

As marketing to women experts, we don’t rest on our chromosomes. Which is why we started a new research effort targeting women called “Brogan Talks to Women.” Every month we are sending out a survey to understand factors that influence women’s wants, needs and behaviors. Currently, we have a newsletter called “What women want in social media” and this survey will help us answer that question and many others. The questions in our survey will be modeled on our 360 Connectivity Process to help us understand women in a holistic way through society, technology, economics, environment and politics. It will be a snapshot that will help us uncover trends that will give us important marketing insight that we can apply to our current clients and potential clients.

Our database of women in the survey are of all different demographic, psychographic and life stages, but we are continuing to promote and grow our database. If you are interested in becoming part of our survey group, you can register here. We will even give you a fun treat for signing up. Women will also be entered in a monthly drawing for their continued participation.

We are very excited to launch “Brogan Talks to Women.” Getting real-time marketing to women insights tailor made to our creative process will be a huge advantage for our clients and our agency.


Inbound Marketing Strategy will continue to dominate marketing plans in 2014.

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

Say something, I’m giving up on you.

If a search engine could sing, it might start with this little pop ballad. Their bots, spiders and crawlers stalk billions of documents for meaningful, important content to return better results for users. It’s the stuff organically high-ranking websites are made of—relevant answers to the questions Internet users are asking. (What does the fox say?)

Still, most websites have continued to prize quantity over quality, style over substance, creativity over usability. Until 2013.

Last year, the conversation around websites began to shift from appearance to performance. From independence to integration. From push strategy to pull. Call it inbound marketing. Call it content strategy. The goal is universal: attracting the right consumers to the right pages to drive consideration.

Brogan is fully on board. In fact, we’re fast progressing from certified inbound marketing specialists to card-carrying evangelists. Here are five ways to join the crusade in 2014:

  1. Make personas your muse

    Think of your ideal consumer. What does she do for a living? What does her job look like? How does she measure success? What’s standing in her way? How does she consider new products and services at work? At home? What’s her favorite social media channel and how much time does she spend on it? Where does she go for advice, counsel, ideas?

    Don’t just pull a demographic profile, go deeper. Personas are the difference between audience and muse. It’s the difference between crafting content for women age 18-54, who have an average HHI of $75k, reside in urban areas, are married with 2.5 kids, and Mary, the 40-year-old divorced, mother of two primary schoolers, and Vice President of Human Resources at a mid-sized OEM with employee turnover problems and a Facebook addiction. We know enough about Mary to order her favorite pizza and read her kids a bedtime story. The web has become increasingly personal and customized. Speak in general terms, and you may get traffic. Speak in key persona language, and you’ll get qualified leads.

  2. Keywords

    These are the coveted short- and long-tailed word strings that consumers type into search engines to find answers. We tend to start off with big ideas, and become increasingly focused when ready to make a decision or purchase. Both are equally important and impossible to conceive if you’re uncertain of your brand’s unique value proposition.

    At Brogan, we’re particularly strong in creating advertising that emotionally connects—especially with the female decision maker—and have had much success and experience with healthcare, specialty retail and social marketing brands. So we produce copy that is rich with the keywords that our personas employ when shopping for information online, i.e. “marketing to women” or “healthcare trends in social media.” Leave a good trail of keywords, and prospects will find you.

  3. Editorial calendar

    Editorial calendars are an excellent way to plan and organize content for the year. The most basic template starts with objectives, organized by month, followed by an editorial theme. So, if you’re a dog food brand, your January objective might be “$1 million net sales, specialty items.” With February and Valentine’s Day around the corner, an editorial theme might be “I Heart Fido.” The next step is building story ideas around your objective and theme. Canine cardio health.Pampering your pooch.The fashionable pup.Dog Valentine’s Day greetings. And so on.

    Once you’ve honed in on the story ideas, cast the content accordingly across your marketing and sales channels—website (sliders/promo space, blogs, landing pages, etc.), social media, PR, advertising and in-store promotions, among others. Integration is critical. Not only does it help ensure consumers have a consistent brand experience from digital to doorstep, it can help boost engagement, SEO and ROI.

    Consider the coveted Millennial segment. While the obvious marketing bias may be toward digital communications, a recent study by the NPD Group finds that Millennials are spending most of their retail dollars at brick-and-mortar stores, compared to only 19 percent online. To be effective, retailers must appeal to them via multiple channels—in and out of the store.

  4. Blog, blog often

    Consumers rank blogs as the third-most influential digital resource when making overall purchases, behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%), according to Technorati. The same survey found blogs to be the fifth-most trustworthy source overall for information on the Internet. Finally, blogs give sites 434% more indexed pages. (Source: Content Plus) The more indexed pages your site has, the greater your web prowess.

    This content and link-building strategy is so well regarded, that it’s noted in Google’s SEO Starter Guide. In addition to building page strength, blogs provide a regular stream of fresh content, another factor search engines consider for evaluating rank and popularity of website pages.

    Like with all web content, blogs should be strategically planned and executed. User personas, keywords and the brand value proposition should always dictate content creation. The most clever blog, absent of any clear relevance to the brand’s success, is simply a waste of resources. What’s more, reckless bloggingmay hurt the brand when visitors arrive to your site with expectations that are frustrated by a lack of focus and discipline.

  5. Review, Refine, Repeat

    Measurable objectives are a critical part of any marketing endeavor, and inbound marketing is no different. Whether your goals surround building organic website traffic, capturing more leads online, growing social engagement or brand awareness, some combination thereof, or something altogether different, it is imperative  to set realistic, but ambitious metrics—and rigorously track and analyze results.

    The data is readily available, which makes digital marketing beautifully dynamic. If your blogs aren’t attracting visitors or links, adjust your editorial calendar accordingly. Maybe your personas need tweaking. Perhaps your blogging cadence needs to be revisited. Refine your plan and try again. And again.

Inbound marketing strategy requires planning, integration and discipline. It can be difficult to measure ROI, because visitors often take time to convert to consumers. But the overall value is unquestionable.

If you’re willing to invest in a website, shouldn’t it be working hard to sell your brand? Otherwise, it might as well say nothing.

What inbound marketing strategies are you planning to implement in 2014?

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Olga's timely social media promotion.

Lauren Zuzelski's picture

If you live anywhere in the Midwest, chances are you are working from home today, enjoying your coffee in your pajamas, due to the loads of snow that dropped down on us last night.  And while you have a few extra minutes, since you don't have to go out to lunch, I wanted to share a really timely and successful social promotion Olga's Kitchen pushed out during "snowmegeddon."

I noticed this promotion from Olga's Kitchen last night, while I was bunkering down next to the fire (and my husband shoveled the drive-way in his t-shirt):

Olga's Kitchen social media promotion

Being a giant Olga's fan, I instantly liked the post, hoping that at least 99 other people would do the same. (I was a little worried though, looking back on the engagement on their page, most posts were liked about 10 times.) When I woke up this morning, as usual, I checked my FB page and noticed that over 2,000 people had liked it.

So, why was this post so successful compared to their others? They've posted about discounts before. Well, for all of us that have Olga's (Michigan, Ohio and Illinois), it was relevant , it was timely and just plain delicious.

Our area got about 9", and Olga’s posted the below update this morning:

Olga's Kitchen social media promotion

Looking back at the responses on the page, a bunch of people said they wouldn't be able to use the deal though, since they wouldn't be able to get to the location. So, Olga's took advantage of one of the greatest benefits of social media, instant feedback allows you to actually listen to your fans and change things instantly. They updated the deal to keep the excitement and extended it through Tuesday. Good work, Olga's, I will see you tomorrow.



Why Brogan?

Results. Strategic insights that deliver more "aha" moments. Creative that makes an emotional connection. Account service that creates happy clients. And metrics that move your business forward. We guarantee you'll be delighted.

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