Post Tagged with: "marketing"

The 4 SEO Trends Every Marketer Should Know to Survive Google’s Constant Algorithm Updates

The 4 SEO Trends Every Marketer Should Know to Survive Google’s Constant Algorithm Updates

It seems like as soon as I wrap my head around Google’s latest algorithm update, there’s another release that changes the game.

While SEO experts should live in the weeds of these updates to understand the nuances in how Google ranks content, marketers should recognize a few high level SEO trends that drive successful content marketing initiatives.

Click here to read the full post with the 4 SEO trends you need to know.

May 29, 2013 0 comments Read More
Stay-at-Home Dad Research: a liberal’s dilemma

Stay-at-Home Dad Research: a liberal’s dilemma

I’ve been working in my downtime over the past several weeks on an internal research project that aims to understand the stay-at-home dad. I started with secondary research, digging through the few marketing studies that have been published and the countless academic articles proclaiming the advent of the modern man. Then I moved on to a more ethnographic approach, analyzing forums, blogs, dad-targeted ads, etc. And what i’ve found is that the trend is growing very rapidly and that a collective identity is being formed.

I watched a conversation develop in the comment section of one blog post about how stay-at-home dads should refer to themselves. People threw out options like “full-time father” or “work-from-home dad” as opposed to “stay-at-home.” The conversation was heated with men and women alike weighing in. The woman’s perspective was interesting to me because it presented an experience the men didn’t have. One woman explained that her husband liked “full-time father” but when she used that phrase among her peers they felt judged, as if their husbands were only part-time fathers since they worked outside of the home.

One conclusion though is unanimous among the group: the term “Mr. Mom” is terrible. Not only is it emasculating for men, but it insults women by equating childcare with womanhood. This stereotype isn’t easily overcome, however. There are rumors that a remake of the 80′s film “Mr. Mom” is being planned which will by all accounts perpetuate the misguided gender associations. And even the census institutionalizes the stereotype by referring to a mother’s taking care of her children as “parenting” and a father’s as “childcare,” a babysitter.

I shared this ongoing identity exercise that is happening across the web in stay-at-home dad communities with two colleagues of mine. One was interested and concerned, wanting to ensure that the terminology we used, especially as we move into surveying and interviewing, was thoughtful and respectful of this social group’s experience. The other colleague was less concerned, opting rather to note that the phrase “Mr. Mom” is catchy so we’d have to think about it more later.

I really do try to hide my biases, but when it comes to dealing with people, especially ones that feel oppressed (as stay-at-home fathers rightly do), it is difficult for me to ignore obvious displays of apathy. I like to think of myself as a consumer advocate in my field, fighting for what consumers really want and protecting them from campaigns that would perpetuate oppressive stereotypes. But sometimes, often really, power wins – even when the decision-maker is acting on a whim. That is frustrating.

February 17, 2012 2 comments Read More
Sponsored Stories: Are they really so bad?

Sponsored Stories: Are they really so bad?

I wanted to start this post off by saying that the world got a little douchier today. That’s a much more provocative lead than this. But I’m not so sure.

Facebook’s much-dreaded Sponsored Stories product, which will essentially put ads in your news feed, rolled out today. Users have protested the placement of ads since Facebook introduced them, but this new product takes a bold step forward.

And part of me agrees with the protesting users. I mean, ads should be separated from organic content. And then there is the whole privacy issue too. Your actions on the site can now be used by a company to make them money without your consent. There is definitely some validity to the complaints.

But is it really so bad?

Sponsored Stories are going to take the things that you already do (“like” a page, check-in at a store) and tell your friends about it. These are things Facebook is already doing, but now companies have the opportunity to pay to promote your actions.

I think this is pretty brilliant. Studies show that 70% of consumers trust peer-recommendations over advertisements, so a brand is crazy not to take advantage of the opportunity to expand the reach of positive organic recommendations. And, let’s be honest, this is a much cleaner way for Facebook to make money than just surfacing some irrelevant ad on your page.

I think this product is a win for everyone, Facebook, brands, and consumers. But what do you think?

January 11, 2012 0 comments Read More
What Billboards and Social Media Have in Common

What Billboards and Social Media Have in Common

Don’t hate me. This is a reblog from a post I wrote over at the Center for Sustainable Journalism’s blog. Below is an excerpt, but you’ll have to head over there to read the rest.



I was driving into Atlanta from just north of the city earlier this week when I realized just how many billboards line the interstate. When I realized that their placement just outside of where my attention is supposed to be is similar to traditional website ad placement, I began thinking about why we tolerate billboards but complain about website ads.

Isn’t this spam…real world spam?

I look at this way: for the most part, I am willing to tolerate ads that serve as a revenue stream for something from which I gain utility. Website ads are usually fine because it provides revenue for the site I want to visit. Video ads are usually alright because I want to watch the video, and I couldn’t if there was no way to monetize it. It’s the same for magazines and even the ads on the walls of the MARTA trains and buses. But billboards? The profit from those typically hideous displays of poorly conceived advertising campaigns does not subsidize the interstates or the cost of my driving – yet, I am forced to see them.

That is life in a hyper-capitalist society, you might say. But I think there is a lesson here for how organizations should approach social media.



May 25, 2011 0 comments Read More
A Degree in Social Media? Psh.

A Degree in Social Media? Psh.

Although social media undoubtedly has some interesting connotations for fields like sociology – and as a sub-set in marketing, PR, media or business – it is difficult to see how an academic qualification will add value in a field which (a) changes so quickly (b) is still very much based on trial and error and (c) is as much about interpersonal relationships as anything. Of course, that’s not to say that you can’t learn to use social media as a business tool – quite the opposite in fact. But it does beg the question, what is the best way to learn to do just that. Click here for Full Article

The quote above hits on a topic that has been discussed in social media circles over the past couple years. Organizations are capitalizing on the trendiness of social networking by offering certificates for large amounts of money to those who attend their workshops. Marketing professionals have emerged from relative obscurity to publish lengthy how-to books for successfully marketing on new social media platforms and now make large amounts of money on the speaking circuit.

The social media revolution (as it is often called) may or may not be a revolution, but those who stand to profit off of it will surely convince you of its ability to transform business and culture. It only makes sense then that schools (which are experiencing dramatic budget cuts in the recession) would also get into this profitable market by offering degrees that will undoubtedly draw both the experienced marketing professional and the 18-year-old who thinks he’ll get a degree in playing on Facebook.

Now, let me add a disclaimer here in case you’ve not read any of my other blog posts. I am a big supporter of, and contributor to, new social communication technology. In fact, I am getting a master’s degree in American Studies with a concentration in social media (taking a sociological approach to understanding how and why people connect, with special interest in online privacy discourse). Ok, let’s continue being critical:

By using the term “field” in the article above to describe social media, the author assumes that it is a discipline already. That seems contradictory to his point. I don’t think social media is a field at all. It is, however, a tool or a platform that offers fields new opportunities for development. It is like saying that email is a field in marketing or marriage is a field in sociology. For example, marketing firms might use social media to reach consumers in a new way, but studies show that it enhances traditional marketing strategies rather than replaces them. And sociologists may study social media in the same way that they would study marriage, but neither could be labeled a “field.”

Teaching social media in an academic setting is crucial and to not do so is a disservice to students. However, offering a degree in it is also a disservice to students. A university could justify a track or specialty in social media that is housed in various other programs, but even that is dependent on where it is housed. For example, it makes no sense to offer a track in social media marketing for several reasons: you will graduate students who are not prepared for marketing firms that still largely combine all strategies of reaching target markets, and there is really no proven method (yet) to teach. Digital marketing on social media platforms is purely anecdotal. A 14-year-old boy who falls off his bike might have a wider reach than your carefully implemented million dollar marketing campaign. It would be more important to teach the ways a marketing professional understands the demographics of a market to make decisions on which tools to use to reach them.

I’ll end here with a couple words about what social media is because I think it’s relevant to this discussion. It is a collection of platforms that allow for an ever-evolving database of user-created content published for some sort of public, yet personal, use. The content produced, because it exists in public, is social by nature. Even “private” posts are still being deposited into a public space – a walled garden, if you will. The relationship between the corporations providing the space (the garden) and the consumer who is using it for various purposes, is often tense. Throw into that garden other people attempting to profit from this activity without adding any real benefit and it starts to get a bit awkward. Marketers are party-crashers; sociologists are peeping-toms. Unfortunately, this profiteering is the only way to keep the space alive – an inevitable trade-off to any cultural benefit in a hyper-capitalist society.

If you’re interested in this topic, click here to check out a post written by Clay Duda that features his thoughts on this same topic.

November 29, 2010 1 comment Read More
Geekend2010 Recap

Geekend2010 Recap

Geekend2010: fun for the whole family, assuming everyone in your family is so nerdy that they wouldn’t flinch when a geek in a Darth Vader costume randomly appears in the doorway of a keynote address.

This was the demographic of last weekend’s conference. It packaged quality information with Wii remotes and robots in a way that no other event could, and I left having made solid connections and with a better understanding of my own geekery.

November 8, 2010 5 comments Read More