How to Document Your Content Marketing Strategy

Its been shown time and again that B2B marketers who have a documented content strategy will be more successful than those that do not. In spite of this, a recent report from the Content Marketing Institute shows that fewer marketers are documenting their strategies this year than did in 2015 (32 percent vs. 35 percent).

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Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

The challenge is figuring out how to document your content strategy. In today’s post, we’re going to dive into just that and look at seven ways that you can document your strategy to ensure that your campaigns will have the greatest chance to succeed.

Six crucial ways you need to document your content strategy

1. Buyer personas

Having an in-depth understanding of your audience is the first step in creating a successful content strategy. There are key pieces of information you’ll need to collect to ensure that your content will resonate and build trust. At New Breed, we like to begin by creating a profile that includes an overview of the personality and ambitions of the persona, their pain points, key marketing messages and how we’ll identify them. That often looks something like this:

buyer-persona-documentation.png

If you’re looking for more information on how to create buyer personas, I highly recommend checking out this quant-based article from Price Intelligently, The Crucial Steps to Quantifying Your Customer Personas.

2. Map content to the buyer’s journey

With your personas in place, it’s important that you understand what the decision-making process is like for each of them. The type of content that you’ll need to create for someone in the awareness phase is very different than the content a prospect about to make a final decision will need. To ensure that you have a detailed understanding of this, research and document exactly what this looks like for your customers:

map-content-buyers-journey.png

3. Use persona Mad Libs

Another way that you can look at this process is by using persona Mad Libs. They are a great way to ideate on the specific topics that you can address in your various campaigns. Here’s an example of what this might look like:

content-idea-persona-mad-lib.png

You may have noticed that at this step specific keywords ideas are now being included, make sure to refer back to this as you are conducting your keyword research and creating your editorial calendar.

4. Campaign funnel

Next, it’s time to address your marketing goals and show how your campaign strategy will help your company be successful in reaching these. At New Breed, we look to track this through each stage of the funnel. Working backward from your revenue goals, you can divide by your conversion rate at each stage to see exactly how many opportunities, SQLs, etc. that you’ll need to generate with your efforts.

With that in place, then document the goal you need to hit at each stage of the funnel and the activities that will contribute to that goal.

inbound-campaign-funnel.png

5. Content program drill-down

With these goals and activities documented at a very high level, now move into the next level of granularity and define the key messages included in each campaign, and how they fit into any important product launches or broader trends in your space that you can capitalize. It’s also a great time to look at any influencer marketing targets that may be able to support these efforts, as well as how this fits into your SEO program.

The final piece that’s great to include in this are some simple productivity KPIs. For example, the number of blog posts and webinars that you’ll need to complete on a monthly or quarterly basis.

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6. Editorial calendar

Finally, tie these disparate pieces together into the blogging editorial calendar that your team will be executing on. A thorough and accurate editorial calendar is a crucial content production management tool. Here’s an example of what this might look like in Excel, many companies will also manage this process in Trello or a specific software program, such as GatherContent.

editorial-calendar.png

Of course this careful planning is only the first stage of your inbound marketing process, but it has been proven one of the most important to ensure success so take the time to move through this process and document your plan at every stage. I know it can be exciting to jump right into keyword research or copywriting but you wouldn’t put shingles on your roof before you’ve finished the foundation of the house. The same goes for your content strategy.

For an in-depth guide on making the most of your content, read our e-book How to Map Your Content to Unpredictable Customer Journeys.

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This article was written by Matthew Buckley from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


Slang for Brands to Keep Your Social Media Rad

Marketing these days is a tough gig. The average person is so overly bombarded with marketing messages, offers, and options that they simply tune out a large percentage of what they see online. If you can’t capture your digital audience’s attention in less than 8 seconds…POOF, they’re gone. Some poor inbound marketer out there is currently mortified at the sight of their website’s high bounce rate or zero page views for the matter.

Customer-Journey-Meme

Let’s just keep it one hunnid (aka one hundred, aka keep it real). Consumers’ attention spans will continue to wane and the amount of online content available to them will continue to grow at an exponential level. To top it off, we’re dealing with a demographic nearly one-fourth of the total population. Yes, we’re talking about the new boom, le Millennials. We know you’re probably sick and tired of hearing this term, but nearly every marketer today is making Generation Y a priority. And if you don’t know by now why, it’s because you can’t ignore a lucrative market some 80 million strong with $200 billion in annual buying power. Plain and simple.

We’re so sexy powerful and we know it. Yes, I’m one of them – scouring websites, blogs, and social media because I feel empowered by all of the remarkable or amusing content I’m discovering. And I’m liking, commenting, pinning, sharing, snapping, group messaging, and forwarding all of my findings to my peers. But only if it resonates with me.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post. If you want to attract this audience, you have to be more relevant than ever. That in itself is a hard pill to swallow given the aforementioned statistics and information. One way to stay cool in a post-modern world of choice dominated by Millennials is to speak their language. You have the potential to raise Gen Y’ers spirits when they hear or read words that could have come from the mouths of their peers. When you tailor your messaging to your audience, they will proudly share that content with others, in effect, building a real brand-consumer relationship.

But before I divulge into the slang terms to keep in your toolbox when competing for Millennial mind share, take precaution of the following two:

  1. Authenticity is still key to brand survival over generations. In order to sound bona fide, the message you’re sending out has to be relevant with your brand (vegetarians don’t want steak, bih). Brands who jump on trends just because they’re trending are asking for a backlash. Certain brands or types of products are just not going to be cool because it’s not built into the fabric of their company. We can honestly smell marketing construction from a mile away. Take for example the Twitter account Brands Saying Bae, who exposes all the brands that try to put a “hip” spin on communication and it doesn’t mesh with their core brand identity. Right now, Internet, we implore you…bae meme
  2. “Don’t show up to the party late af.” Thanks to social and mobile innovations, whatever is currently trending has a short life cycle. Now, “cool” travels way faster. Something trending can hit a saturation point and fizzle out within days, even hours. The goal is not to be a laggard, where you turn something cool into something nauseating (refer back to bae) because it’s already been mass consumed. Instead, be an early adopter of what’s in. A good example of this? The cool hunters at Taco Bell HQ’s. The fast-food chain has this weekly routine called “Millennial Word of The Day” that the marketing department employs. Words are “curated” by a group of employees in their 20s who send out an email every Tuesday or Wednesday of the real current Millennial lingo. Then they turn it into content that people engage the crap out of. Major key alert (I’ll explain what this means below): Be like Taco Bell, try out a social media platform they way your fans would.

Alright, let me put you on (this means I want to make you aware of something or someone new) with the trendy terminology:

Bih – This word is similar to saying dude or homie and it can also be used to pronounce a place. In its derogatory form, it’s also an abbreviation for b***h. If you follow rapper Plies on Instagram, you’ll quickly realize this is his favorite word, aptly naming his latest mixtape, “This Ain’t No Mixtape Bih”.

Use it in a sentence:

I can’t wait to go to the club on Saturday, I’m gonna be dancing all over that bih.

Waddup bih, long time no see.

Bruh – Another way of greeting a male acquaintance or an alternative to the word bro. It is also used during a stupid moment or as a reaction to something crazy – like saying seriously or really.

Use it in a sentence:

Chill out bruh.

OR

Person 1: I just dropped all the popcorn on the floor.

Person 2: bruh.

Dab – This is actually a dance created that looks like you’re kissing your biceps and it’s dominating the Internet. Everyone is doing it, even Hilary Clinton (it was actually pretty painful to watch). Obama fix it.

Tread lightly when you use this word, though. Dabbin’ can also mean the act of smoking highly-concentrated THC oils.

Dat ___, doe – Translates to “That ___, though,” and is used to emphasize that something is particularly awesome.

Use it in a sentence:

Dat backflip doe.

Forever Alone – this simply means you will be single for eternity (kind of like the lady that has no real friends, but has 50 cats as companions).

Use it in a sentence:

“So I finally gathered the courage to text him and he never replied. Forever alone.”

Lit – this is a word is an adjective “used to describe a certain situation, person, place or thing as awesome/crazy or just ‘happening’ in general.

Use it in a sentence:

Friend 1: Did you go to that party last night?

Friend 2: yea, it was lit!

tzqzi

Throwing shade – To “throw shade” simply means you’ve said something shady to someone. Watch Dorian Corey explain it in “Paris is Burning”.

Turnt – Used when an individual is super excited, hyper, or intoxicated.

Use it in a sentence:

“I’m so turnt for the new season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians.”

OR

“I’m so hungover, I got too turnt last night.”

And if you don’t know, now you know, bruh.

 

This article was written by Katie Cooper from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

 

5 TED Talks to Get You Through a Rough Day of Meetings

Everyone has been there. You come into work, check your calendar, and see that your day is packed full of meetings. So what do you do? I found a coping method that might seem unusual – TED Talks. I’ll explain:

SHIFTers are fortunate to receive the week between Christmas and New Year’s off to relax with our families and recharge for the coming year. While spending some downtime between family events, I started binge-watching TED Talks. As you may know, TED (technology, entertainment, and design) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading ideas, typically in short, compelling talks, no longer than 18 minutes. The TED conference covers almost any topic you can imagine, and I viewed a wide array of topics, from “career advice you probably didn’t get” to “the first secret of design.”

As we settle into January and the pace of 2016 picks up, I thought I’d share five talks that resonated the strongest with me – and each had a key takeaway to help you get through that rough day of meetings.

David Grady: How to Save the World (Or At Least Yourself) From Bad Meetings

We wouldn’t let a coworker get away with stealing our office chair, so why do we let them steal our most valuable possession, time? David Grady, who works in information security, presents a short and humorous look at what he terms “mindless acceptance syndrome” – that feeling when one automatically accepts invites to all meetings, regardless of whether they actually need to attend, or will provide any value.

The Takeaway: We can all be more thoughtful in how we plan for meetings. As an organizer, make sure you’re not inviting unnecessary attendees “just to be nice,” and provide all agenda and background info well in advance of the meeting. Also, consider whether a meeting is the best forum to communicate your agenda – a well-crafted email update might suffice (and save on budget). As an attendee, touch base with the organizer if you don’t clearly see why you should attend. Your best offense is a good defense.

Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

You might be familiar with this one about The Power Pose. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist who specializes in nonverbal behavior, posits that our body language influences not only what others think about us, but also how we feel about ourselves and act toward others. For those who haven’t seen it, humans (all animals, actually) are hardwired to use expansive body language if they are in positions of power or pride. Conversely, animals with an inferior status (or humans who lack confidence) tend to curl up into themselves. This nonverbal behavior goes as far as to impact our chemistry – raising testosterone (a power hormone) and lowering cortisol (the stress hormone) in those whose body language is expansive and raising cortisol and lowering testosterone (and confidence) in those with hunkered down gestures. Interestingly, putting on powerful nonverbal behavior – i.e., “faking it” – has the same effect on our chemistry as natural or earned status.

The Takeaway: You might be dreading a full day of meetings – but don’t let everyone who looks at you know it. “Fake it ‘til you make it” is real. Boost your confidence in between meetings by striking a Wonder Woman pose, or do a few jumping jacks in the restroom before for a jolt of sureness. Not to be afterschool special-y, but attitudes are contagious – is yours worth catching?

Daniel Levitin: How to Stay Calm When You Know You’ll Be Stressed

In PR, we are constantly measuring after the fact – did we meet our metrics, what could we have done differently? Riffing off the idea of similar post-mortem analyses of activities, Daniel Levitin, a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist, puts forward the idea of the “pre-mortem,” in which you look ahead and determine what could go wrong and take action to either prevent things from going sideways – or at least mitigate the damage. The science behind this is clear – when things go wrong, stress causes our cortisol levels to rise. This cortisol clouds our ability to think rationally and make good decisions in the moment.

The Takeaway: Sometimes you just know a meeting is going to be rough – a picky client, poor campaign results, etc. Preparedness is your best option, so plan ahead. At the beginning of a campaign, launch or other activity, actively discuss areas that could go wrong, and take preventive action to avoid it or at least avoid total catastrophe. The same applies for meetings – if you think of the hard questions that could be asked or the bad turns it could take and how to respond to each of them, you’ll be prepared and have a plan in place.

Nigel Marsh: How to Make Work/Life Balance Work

“Work/life balance” means different things to different people; I prefer the term “work/life blend.” Author Nigel Marsh, who spent more than two decades in branding and marketing before burning out, talks about his realization that being more balanced doesn’t necessarily mean dramatic upheaval in our lives – although he did quit his job for a year and found it very easy to have a balanced life without the work side of the equation. Similarly, joining a gym is not going solve the problems of someone working 12 hour days in a job they hate. We need to set the boundaries that we want in our lives and – this hit home with me – realize that while each day might tip one way or the other, it’s how you feel about your life as a whole that matters.

The Takeaway: The work/life blend is one of my favorite elements of the SHIFT culture; we are not only encouraged, but (in many cases) rewarded for treating ourselves right and making the most of our life outside the agency. Though it may not seem like it, a day full of meetings will eventually end. Be present at work knowing it is a relatively short blip in the grand scheme of things.

Laura Trice: Remember to Say ‘Thank You’

Everyone needs praise, admiration and gratitude – as long as it’s genuine. In her talk, Laura Trice, a social worker, discusses some of the hidden reasons people avoid or deflect praise – as well as the impact a simple “thank you” or “I’m proud of you” can have on an individual.

The Takeaway: Everyone wants recognition for doing good work, and for the effort put in. Meetings are not always easy, especially when they last all day. Take time to look for the little things that colleagues, clients and others do to work toward common goals and projects, or just to make the day just a little brighter. Responding “you’re welcome” – not “no worries” or “no problem” – when someone thanks you feels pretty good, too, when you say it genuinely.

TED’s mission is to spread ideas, and they “believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world”. Perhaps surviving a day of meetings isn’t exactly world-saving, but it is a great thing, nonetheless.

This article was written by Leslie Clavin from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


7 Ways To Keep Your Startup Marketing Lean

Guest author Stephen Moyers is an online marketer, designer, and tech-savvy blogger. Associated with Los Angeles-based SPINX Digital Agency, he writes about online marketing, web design, development, social media marketing and more.

If you’ve recently launched a startup, you know your brand needs as much exposure as possible. When you don’t have much capital to work with, however, you may require a more cost-effective strategy.

Luckily, digital marketing is highly scalable. You can start working on effective, goal-producing activities right now, and build on your strategy as you get more resources.

Building Brand Awareness and Value

The more people who recognize your brand from a distinctive logo, voice, and design, the better your chances are of getting content in front of them and driving conversions. Products and services evolve naturally the longer a company stays around, but a recognizable brand is like an insurance policy for your business goals.

Don’t think you’ll get away with a catchy yet vague slogan like Visa’s “It’s everywhere you want to be” and create brand value. You haven’t gained enough market penetration. Startups have to use explanatory and emotional cues in their messaging to build awareness and trust.

Yet today’s startups have more power than ever to create brand awareness and value without spending money. Even young individuals on social media can create an impactful brand that resonates with followers. Popular YouTube stars Jenna Marbles and PewDiePie both make more than many actors and actresses, and it all started with a free YouTube channel. The key is finding where your target audience spends time and using those platforms to emotionally connect.

Every piece of content, including tweets, infographics, and short- and longform video, has the potential to resonate with your audience in a meaningful way. Having a social impact also increases the likelihood that current customers who believe in your product offering will recommend your product to friends and colleagues.

Optimizing Digital Marketing on a Budget

You don’t need to invest millions into marketing as a startup. Take Zillow. It’s now a public company that does spend millions on TV ads and more. But when it first started, it didn’t spend anything on marketing. Its website was its product, and optimizing it at every level ensured the site acted as its own marketing. Email, search-engine optimization, content development, and PR don’t have to cost much money in the beginning.

Consider investing in these areas:

A Strong Web Presence

Websites are at the core of digital marketing. Without one, you have nowhere to direct inbound marketing activities. Your page will serve as a data repository you can tap to gauge success, and it’s also the only place online that’s completely yours to create. Find ways to add value through your website to encourage traffic.

For example, Dropbox used free extra storage as a promotion for referrals, and Pinterest used an “invitation only” tactic to create an image of exclusivity before making the site available to anyone. Each tactic added value without costing the company much upfront.

In addition to traffic-driving tactics, update your website for visibility on search engines. These boring maintenance tasks will continually boost your visibility and become a source of value for inbound visitors.

Social Media

Find out where your audience spends its time. Are they younger folks who prefer to Snapchat, Instagram, and Yik Yak—or are they an older generation who’s more comfortable with Facebook and Twitter?

You can always buy your way to prominence on social platforms. But companies that really succeed in social media use these channels as a natural extension of other marketing activities. Social media is a forum for natural engagement that builds credibility, not revenue generation. Consider how Dollar Shave Club used YouTube and companies like Red Bull and Oreo used hashtag campaigns to generate conversations. People of every age use social media, making it a fantastic forum for startups to tap into—you just have to figure out where your users are hanging out.

 

Chart by MarketingCharts.com; data from Pew Internet & American Life Project

Your Personal Network

Every entrepreneur has to become a brand champion, and every business owner needs to get the word out. Grassroots marketing is effective because it allows you to leverage personal relationships for the benefit of the business, and almost every company uses it in some form. Get on social media, call up friends and old schoolmates, go to LinkedIn and take advantage of those professional connections, and ask your family to get in on it.

Request that everyone do something to promote the brand, whether that’s reviewing the product on a third-party site, sharing content on social media, or mentioning your company online. Every extra link your network puts out has the potential to reach hundreds more people than you could on your own.

Content

Content is the bread and butter of the digital marketing world. Whether you use slideshows, quizzes, surveys, blogs, videos, articles, or infographics, take the time to make each piece of content feel like an extension of the company. Think about what types of content other successful companies have used.

Although Target is a large company, for instance, its recent holiday marketing campaign told a story across digital and traditional platforms to inspire an emotional connection and engagement. Startups can do the same thing on a smaller scale to generate brand awareness.

Engage with Your Customers

Part of the beauty of digital marketing is the ability for brands to create a personal connection with consumers. Companies are living, breathing organisms that consumers care about. Brands such as Google, Lego, and Uber all outperform their competitors because they make a personal connection with their audiences.

Companies that win at engagement have created an emotional connection. They respond to feedback quickly and publicly. They understand what their target audience finds valuable. Startups can mimic these larger successes with fast responsivity and by sharing in consumer experiences online.

Mobile and App Marketing

Since many startups focus on providing app-centric services, earning visibility in Apple and Google’s app stores will yield the best marketing results. Make sure users looking for products like yours can find your app. There are more than 1,600,000 apps in Google Play and more than 1,500,000 in the Apple App Store. Spend time on app-store optimization, including keywords, icon graphics, and descriptions and screenshots to encourage users to download.

Email

Email still offers a lot of bang for your buck. Most online consumers check their email many times a day, and many use a mobile device to do so. E-commerce companies, in particular, invest in email marketing over every other type of marketing activity—and they’re smart to do so.

On a small budget, you can find an email marketing platform that allows you to create, send, and monitor responses to your campaigns. Add a subscription form to your website, and start building up your consumer contact base. Send out regular newsletters with the last few blog links or highlight promotions.

To Market, To Market

The world is your oyster. You can go social all the way or you can focus on using data to carefully market to a niche looking for more than a snippet of information. However, every business is different. Try out a few tactics and measure the results to see what works for you. If you can only spend money on one digital marketing front, invest it in your website. The rest you can DIY until you hit the big time.

 

This article was written by Stephen Moyers from ReadWrite and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.


The 7 worst ad campaigns of 2015

In the Information Age, where people are tethered to their smartphones, just waiting to pounce on Donald Trump for announcing something ridiculous, nothing trends faster than insensitive, politically-incorrect statements — this is especially true for ads.

It’s always been important for advertisers and content creators to consider their target audience when developing an ad campaign. In the past year, however, we have seen a slew of ad campaigns that seem to have skipped over this essential, yet obvious, standard. Perhaps advertisers forget that unless they carefully understand and represent their audience’s values, they’ll get bombarded with aggressive tweets, posts, pins, and shares, calling them cold, insensitive, and downright ignorant.

These kinds of campaigns can easily be avoided if advertisers learn to engage better with their consumers so that they truly grasp their audience’s character.

That said, here are seven ad campaigns that just plain failed in 2015.

1. Bloomingdale’s: Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking

There’s no way you missed this one. In November, luxury department store Bloomingdale’s published an ad in its holiday catalog that was a bit, well, troubling.

The ad copy read, “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking” — which is already a pretty poor choice of words. But to make matters worse, Bloomingdale’s superimposed the questionable text over a rather uncomfortable image of a man and a woman. In it, the man is peering at the woman from the corner of his eyes while she’s turned away laughing. Sketchy, right?

Naturally, readers contended that the ad encouraged date rape. How could Bloomingdale’s expect any other outcome by placing this ad in a magazine targeting women?


Bloomingdales ad

2. Protein World: Are you beach body ready?

In this instance, not only did Protein World make a mistake, but it made the same mistake twice.

First, in the UK, Protein World sponsored an ad that read, “Are you beach body ready?” featuring a bikini-clad model named Renee Somerfield. Naturally, it sparked an outrage, with Londoners claiming that the ad oppresses, insults, and sexualizes women and their bodies.

Despite the uproar, Protein World launched the same campaign in New York City. I’m not sure if the company thought the ad might get a different reaction, even though New York is notoriously liberal and outspoken. Unsurprisingly, New Yorkers reacted just the same as their London counterparts.


Protein World

3. Bud Light: #UpForWhatever

Somehow, Bud Light has been promoting the slogan “Up For Whatever” for about two years. But only this past year did the major American beer company come under fire for its branding.

It was meant to bring about feelings of carefree spontaneity, but instead, many read the bottle’s thoughtless tagline, “the perfect beer for removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,” as encouraging rape culture and promoting reckless drinking. It ignited a flurry of criticism on social media.

In considering that alcohol is the most common date-rape substance, especially on college campuses where date rape is an increasing concern and beer flows from the tap, it’s a wonder this campaign idea ever left the conference room.


Bud Light

4. Starbucks: #RaceTogether

In March, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, in a video message to employees, encouraged Starbucks baristas to write “Race Together” on coffee cups; but, according to the video, he did so against the better judgement of his colleagues, who contended that it wasn’t his place to comment on this contentious subject.

Still, Schultz figured this campaign would foster conversation, compassion, and empathy, as he hoped it would push baristas and customers to initiate an intelligent discussion about race relations.

Of course, Twitter exploded and the campaign was met with overwhelming backlash from the general public. Many were skeptical of whether the baristas, most of them young adults, were trained to discuss such controversial and contentious subject matters. They also saw the campaign as trivializing a major issue.


Starbucks1


Starbucks2

5. Amazon’s “The Man In The High Castle:” Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan imagery in the New York City subways

In November, Amazon sought to promote its new television show, “The Man in the High Castle,” which depicts an alternate reality in which Nazi Germany and Japan won World War II. It’s an interesting premise of course, but Amazon could have done just about anything to advertise the show than what it did do, which was to cover New York City subways — seats, walls, and ceilings — with Nazi and Imperial Japanese paraphernalia.

Considering that New York City is the second most Jewish city in the world, this wasn’t the brightest idea. In fact, Mayor De Blasio called the ads “irresponsible and offensive to World War II and Holocaust survivors, their families, and countless other New Yorkers.”


Amazon nazi ad

6. IBM: #HackAHairDryer

It was only last month, just in time to make this list, that IBM initiated its #HackAHairDryer campaign. It was intended to encourage women to fill more engineering, science, and technology positions in the workplace, however, many women contended that it promoted sexism.

In suggesting that women could only, or wanted only, to hack a beauty product, IBM’s campaign was rooted in outdated stereotypes; and intelligent women have come too far to permit IBM to backpedal all they’ve accomplished.


IBM Hack a Hair Dryer


IBM Hack a Hair Dryer response


IBM Hack a Hair Dryer response 2

7. Airbnb: Passive-aggressive ads in San Francisco

If, like most tech enthusiasts, you live and breathe Silicon Valley, then this one probably hit you hard. In October, Airbnb put up a bunch of passive-aggressive ads around San Francisco bragging that, thanks to Airbnb’s “generous” tax payments, the city could invest in public serviceslike keeping the library open later, keeping art in schools, and building more bike lanes.

It was meant to inspire gratitude and encourage San Franciscans to vote against an upcoming referendum that could have severely regulated short-term rentals in San Francisco.

But it backfired. Big time. No one, and especially not proud San Franciscans, want to be told in such a passive-aggressive way that they should be thankful for a major corporation’s services — especially when half the city was against the corporation’s efforts in the first place.

Clearly, 2015 brought us more than a few campaign flops. Hopefully, we’ll see fewer disasters this year — but for that to happen, brands must first discover new approaches when it comes to developing their campaigns. It’s essential that they empower their audiences rather than belittle them, respect them rather than poke fun at them.


Airbnb ad

Cheers to 2016.

Moti Cohen is the CEO of Apester, an interactive digital storytelling platform for brands and publishers.

This article originally appeared on VentureBeat

 

This article was written by Moti Cohen and Apester from VentureBeat and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.