Anastasia Dyakovskaya – ScribbleLive http://www.scribblelive.com ScribbleLive is the leading end-to-end platform for content marketing engagement. Thu, 11 Aug 2016 19:37:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://s3.amazonaws.com/scribblelive-com-prod/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/favicon-91x80.png Anastasia Dyakovskaya – ScribbleLive http://www.scribblelive.com 32 32 Mobile Engagement: How to Build an App That Puts Your Customer First http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/06/20/mobile-engagement-build-app-puts-customer-first/ Fri, 20 Jun 2014 17:00:05 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/06/20/mobile-engagement-build-app-puts-customer-first/ When done right, an Android or iOS application can be a new user’s perfect introduction to your company, or an exciting way to engage existing fans. They pose a great opportunity for brands to get creative and try out new, fun ways to get people aware of and interacting with Read more...

The post Mobile Engagement: How to Build an App That Puts Your Customer First appeared first on ScribbleLive.

]]>
When done right, an Android or iOS application can be a new user’s perfect introduction to your company, or an exciting way to engage existing fans. They pose a great opportunity for brands to get creative and try out new, fun ways to get people aware of and interacting with their products and platforms. We took a look at how some of the biggest names in the game are getting it right, and how others still seem to be figuring it out.  

Walgreens

It’s no surprise the Walgreens app has a 4.5-star rating on the App Store, along with a slew of rave reviews from happy customers: one from last month reads, “The MOST user friendly and helpful APP!!” It’s a great example of a brand that really knows itself and its services, and thought long and hard about its existing and potential customer base and how to make their lives easier. The app is extensive, with basic elements like a store locator and online shopping to more advanced features like a pill reminder and daily steps counter. The three standout functionalities, however, are a prescription scanner for streamlined refills, a photo printing service (“ready in about an hour”), and a guide to weekly sales and coupons that easily sync with rewards cards.   WalgreensApp   The app is also beautifully developed and impeccably well thought-out. You’d think it couldn’t get any better, but then a message pops up that directs you to a short customer survey, with the aim of improving user experience. With an app so good, it’s easy to believe that they actually listen to feedback.  

Starbucks

When Starbucks completely redesigned its widely used app earlier this year, one would think they kept customer reviews in mind. The couple of months that have elapsed since the update, however, have seen a slew of negative feedback. Complaints range anywhere from lost or malfunctioning rewards and tips to privacy concerns and frustration at the loss of previous favorite features such as menus, nutrition facts, and build-your-own drink options. Yet another bummer? You need a rewards card to sign in!   Starbucks   With a 1.5-star average, it’s clear these tech-minded-java-junkies are unhappy. Even though that’s probably not going to stop them from getting their Starbucks fix, there’s no reason why a 5-star brand shouldn’t have a 5-star app to match. Being able to pay for a coffee with our phones is useful, but we’re halfway into 2014 and by now people just want more. Bringing back pre-existing features should be a piece of cake for Starbucks, and getting to work on other improvements a major priority. Good thing they’ve got coffee to keep them going!  

Charmin

Charmin   If caffeine’s not enough, anyone in need of inspiration should take a cue from Charmin. Toilet paper doesn’t exactly scream fun, but this TP brand has found a way to lighten up a topic that’s usually kept under wraps. The company’s SitOrSquat app utilizes mobile’s localization technology to help users find and rate the bathrooms nearest to them; “Sit” for bathrooms that you like, and “Squat” for those you’d rather not revisit.     Charmin’s message is all about the “playful side of TP,” and tapping into the universal need of having to go on the go. Needless to say, the app is super handy – especially for families – and, worth mentioning, also available on Android. Charmin succeeds because the app is memorable and pretty darn funny. If it makes you smile, that might just mean going for Charmin the next time you run out.  

Converse

The treasured American sneaker brand hit the App Store a few years ago with an awesome idea: The Sampler by Converse. The innovative app uses your smartphone’s camera to overlay a sneaker style over your actual foot, giving you a glimpse at how the shoe would look in real life – along with a “Buy Now” option.   Converse   The concept is great, but the execution could be better. For one, social sharing is limited to email and Facebook. There’s also the fact that there’s been minimal development since the app first launched in 2010. The current version offers a mere four sneakers to choose from and, worst of all, the shopping prompt leads to broken link in your smartphone’s web browser. Think of all the would-be sales! Yikes.     Converse was on to something special here, and with some forward thinking the app could grow into much more. With over 40 million likes on Facebook, it looks like all attention as of late has gone to the brand’s social media strategies. That’s great, but if you’re going to have an app that’s live and in-store, that people see and use, it needs to be in better shape. The biggest takeaway here? Listen to your fans! A look at customer reviews is a fast, surefire way to find out what’s working and what’s not, and to get inspired for new features and improvements. Converse fans, for example, are obviously excited about the app. They also have lots of suggestions for how to make things better. Remember, mobile apps are all about your audience – and the customer is always right.   This article originally appeared on The Bulletin, NewsCred’s hub for all things content marketing, and has been republished with permission.

The post Mobile Engagement: How to Build an App That Puts Your Customer First appeared first on ScribbleLive.

]]>
“India Jones” and the Case of Native Ads in 2014 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/06/13/india-jones-case-native-ads-2014/ Fri, 13 Jun 2014 17:00:58 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/06/13/india-jones-case-native-ads-2014/ “India Jones” and the Native Ad A recent “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” segment went to India to find corruption in democracy, but found it somewhere more troubling. Reporter Jason Jones traveled to India to report on it’s recent elections and news industry. During his time overseas, he discovered that Read more...

The post “India Jones” and the Case of Native Ads in 2014 appeared first on ScribbleLive.

]]>
“India Jones” and the Native Ad

A recent “Daily Show with Jon Stewart” segment went to India to find corruption in democracy, but found it somewhere more troubling. Reporter Jason Jones traveled to India to report on it’s recent elections and news industry. During his time overseas, he discovered that India has 93,000 registered newspapers, made possible largely from revenues brought in by sponsored content. He quickly discovers that the content in question is presented without any demarcation as to its true origins and instead as a true belief or opinion held by the periodical at hand. This, of course, is where Native Advertising gets sketchy.

  To drive his point home, Jones paid a – by most standards – “respectable” journalist $2,500 to publish a ghostwritten article written by Jones himself in a newspaper called the Millennium Post, the tagline of which, ironically, is “No Half Truths.” indiajones1   indiajones2 Images of Jason Jones’ “Native Ad” courtesy of the Daily Show.   The piece has since been removed from the paper’s website, but lives on in the Internet, and is riddled with mockery, misspellings, and false information regarding the correspondent. But with the promise of some cold, hard cash, there was no problem placing it on Page 2. For old school journalists, this kind of activity is as grating as nails on a chalkboard. Sponsored content? Paid news? What could be more devoid of integrity? From the sound of how things work in Indian publishing, not much. But the fact remains that native advertising goes hand in hand with the evolution of brands as publishers, and marketers need to utilize their potential to the max. Within reason, of course, and above all, with transparency.  

What is Native Advertising?

2014 has been a big year for one of marketing’s biggest buzzwords: native advertising. For those not in the know (73 percent of marketers, according to April’s Copyblogger’s Native Ad Report), native advertising is any content that appears within the flow of an editorial setting, appearing to seamlessly integrate with original, non-branded material. Native ads can encompass anything from advertorials, sponsored content, product placement, recommendation widgets and paid articles, to pieces like in-stream ads and promoted posts. The concept has actually been around way longer than digital; the word “advertorial” was first used in 1946. Flip through almost any magazine and you’re bound to come across a page that has something like “Advertisement” or “Special Advertising Section” printed up top or at the bottom in fine print. It’s an ad like any other, except that it’s been styled and designed to read as much like the rest of the publication’s editorial content as possible – without being confused for it. nativeadvertising1 nativeadvertising2   Brands have been doing this for years, with varying degrees of success, and native ads are only different for the fact that they go beyond paper, into every screen and platform we’ve got. The broader its reach becomes, the more difficult it is to control – and the more worthwhile it becomes to advertisers. Native ads, after all, have enormous potential when it comes to increasing brand awareness, creating shareable content and leaving a significant impression on social media. At their best, native ads entertain, educate and inspire, winning the viewer over despite the fact that at the end of the day, they’re selling something. And by North American and most western standards, they must be presented with clear attribution to the fact that they are paid for by the represented company, and do not reflect the ideas of the editors or publication of which it’s a part. BuzzFeed has long been at the lead, as one of the first to really explore native ads in the digital space and try new things with the format. Earlier this year, The Media Briefing found that the average BuzzFeed native ad receives 263 Facebook shares and 4,241 social media interactions. BuzzFeedNativeAd   The report further revealed the following insight: “The company with the highest number of Facebook shares for a single native ad was music streaming service Spotify, whose post “20 Things That Affirm Led Zeppelin Is The Greatest Band To Ever Exist” has been shared over 8,530 times. The same article comes out on top when you include likes and comments in the mix – receiving just over of 49,700 total Facebook interactions. BuzzFeed attributes each and every sponsored post at the top of each piece, just underneath the headline. And this practice looks like it’s working just fine; last year the company’s 600-700 native ad campaigns were expected to reach $60 million in revenue. As more and more big-name newspapers and highly regarded publishers jump on board the native ad wagon, the trick is to maintain as much transparency as possible, and to develop innovative, personalized ways of delivering. In a recent first, for instance, Time Magazine and Sports Illustrated introduced front-cover ads. While tiny, it’s a pretty big step for periodical publishing, which has long rejected such a possibility. Time_cover_ads Time_Cover_Ads_3x2   The lines continue to blur while institutions like The New York Times and Condé Nast sign on as well. It’s becoming common to see publishing houses like these develop teams or entire departments dedicated to developing native ad content (and according to Digiday, more often publishers are taking control of the content in these offerings). Earlier this year, Guardian News and Media launched Guardian Labs: “its branded content and innovation agency – which offers brands bold and compelling new ways to tell their stories and engage with influential Guardian audiences.” Moreover, The Times’ recent digital redesign caters specifically to native advertising. Sponsored content is beautifully displayed while distinctly separate from the site’s journalistic endeavors. In an attempt to avoid any chance of confusion, the advertorial appears in a box with a distinctive blue header that reads, “Paid for and Promoted by Brand X,” alongside another “Paid Post” reiteration in the top left corner of the screen and topped off with a paidpost.nytimes.com URL; all illustrating how serious The Times is about maintaining its reputation and keeping an air of utmost integrity in “all the news that’s fit to print.” TimesNativeAds   Condé Nast recently circulated a 4,000-word reference guide on how the company is to handle native advertising online. Ad Age reports that the document, “delves into advertising but also provides standards and practices around certain legal and privacy concerns, including how the company will handle consumer data.” Glamour-NativeAds   Other big publishers are following suit, producing their own manifestos, while others don’t see the immediate need, preferring to handle business on a case-by-case basis. On the heels of the potentially terrifying repercussions outlined by “The Daily Show,” it’s good to know that guidelines are being set for what’s acceptable and what never should be.  

How To Do It Right

If we look at the BuzzFeed model, Native ads work and they don’t have to be a minefield, even for less experienced content marketers. Just think – is this useful? Would I read this if I stumbled across it in print or online? A gut check is crucial in maintaining value and authenticity. Whether you’re part of a massive organization or smaller company, the following best practices are good to keep in mind across the board.  

Editorial

The most successful sponsored content is so good, that a reader might just forget it’s coming straight from the mouths of brands. That means employing a fleet of talented writers, designers, and editors to create your native ads.  

Entertainment

How does a native ad knock a reader’s socks off? Wit, intellect, quirkiness, beauty – you name it! Something that stands out for the superior quality of its idea and implementation.  

Insight

As with any kind of content, a heightened understanding of one’s audience and topic is key to positive engagement.  

Relevance

Design your native ads to flow as seamlessly with the current state of Internet activity as it does with the editorial content of where it’s placed.  

Transparency

This, above all. There’s no quicker way to lose the trust and respect of your audience than by having your native ad pretend to be something its not. Once you lose that trust, you also lose your readers and your ad dollars – the thing that made it all worth the risk in the first place. Non-transparency and poor execution is what turns people into critics and skeptics who believe that sponsored content is all evil or just a passing phase. AOL UK’s study “The Native Age,” however, predicts that by 2025 native ads will have overtaken traditional advertising, due to consistent online behavior by the incoming “Generation N: a fast-moving, tech-savvy, multi-screening generation, who are increasingly attracted by the engaging, useful, and entertaining content emerging through native advertising.” To reel them in, the study suggests that the most important element in successful sponsored content is the merging of top-notch editorial skills and marketing know-how. That, and keeping it real.   This article originally appeared on The Bulletin, NewsCred’s hub for all things content marketing, and has been republished with permission.

The post “India Jones” and the Case of Native Ads in 2014 appeared first on ScribbleLive.

]]>
Virgin Atlantic Flies High on Content Innovation http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/04/25/virgin-atlantic-flies-high-on-content-innovation/ Fri, 25 Apr 2014 21:55:39 +0000 http://www.scribblelive.com/blog/2014/04/25/virgin-atlantic-flies-high-on-content-innovation/ This article originally appeared on The Bulletin, NewsCred’s hub for all things content marketing.   Virgin Atlantic Airways has always been a mover and shaker when it comes to image and innovation. Despite the fact that 2012 brought a £93m loss for the company, brand leaders at VA have continued Read more...

The post Virgin Atlantic Flies High on Content Innovation appeared first on ScribbleLive.

]]>
This article originally appeared on The Bulletin, NewsCred’s hub for all things content marketing.   Virgin Atlantic Airways has always been a mover and shaker when it comes to image and innovation. Despite the fact that 2012 brought a £93m loss for the company, brand leaders at VA have continued to put their best face forward. A willingness to take risks, reinvent themselves, and remain relevant has resulted in one amazing campaign after another. Like “Flying in the Face of Ordinary”: VA realizes that the bulk of their customers purchase one or two flights with them per year, making it more important to continuously engage their audience in every possible way, digitally and in real life. Let’s look at four ways the brand has succeeded over the past year.  

April Fool’s

On 1 April of last year, Virgin Atlantic pulled a lighthearted prank that resulted in some serious payoff. Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin empire, released an announcement on the company website stating that the airline would be launching a domestic route with a special new feature: a glass-bottom through which passengers could enjoy the British hills and Scottish highlands. The response was immense. According to The Guardian, VA’s Director of Brand and Customer Experience Reuben Arnold reported that the joke “was pushed out via Twitter and it went viral…It was phenomenally successful. It had a social reach of 3.5 million, was picked up by traditional media such as the BBC and was even reported as fact in China.”   That spark launched a big conversation. How can your brand get people talking? What holidays can you play off of throughout the year? Don’t be afraid to think big.  

Little Red Book

For another campaign, VA took a chance with Ceros, a company that helps brands create great websites and microsites with layout and animation tools as well as multi-channel distribution and analytics. To market its new loyalty programs – Flying Club and Flying Co – Virgin turned to Ceros for a creative solution. “The Little Red Book,” a beautiful, interactive online brochure that highlighted and outlined everything VA’s customers needed to know about new offers, was a huge success. The venture resulted in an immediate jump in Flying Co registrations, 33,000 unique visitors in the first month alone, and 22,000 click-throughs to the Virgin Atlantic website, all of which led to over $250,000 in revenues.  

Wearable Tech

In the company’s long tradition of embracing modernization, earlier this year VA announced plans for a six-week trial in which its staff would employ Google Glass and Sony Watches to optimize customer service. The wearable tech enables a heightened and more personalized service, allowing employees to greet business and first-class passengers immediately by name, providing them with flight details and other shareable information like weather and events at any destination. At last month’s Wearable Technology Show in London, VA’s IT Innovation and Development Manager Tim Graham reported that the campaign was a success, with very positive customer feedback and plans to further expand trial research and development. The airline is the first in its industry to test Google Glass in these ways, exemplifying its commitment to innovation as well as customer service, while drawing a great deal of attention due to the cutting-edge gadget. The future is now – what’s stopping you from trying something new?  

Safety First

Virgin’s a pioneer in in-flight entertainment, and was the first airline to release a new and interesting safety video over a decade ago. This year, the airline unveiled an updated version, which was created with the brand’s cinematic leanings in mind. The video, an animated short titled: “Trip: The Virgin Atlantic Safety Film,” follows a passenger through a dream safety sequence inspired by various films and movie genres.

Trip : The Virgin Atlantic Safety Film from Art&Graft on Vimeo.

The video has garnered 196,167 views, 3,061 likes, and tons of comments across YouTube and Vimeo since February. By contrast, Virgin America’s refreshing music-safety video has accumulated 9,072,234 views and 73,904 Likes on YouTube since 29 October of last year. Converting the mundane process of explaining safety regulations into an upbeat, likeable pop song was a genius move that’s made people stop and pay attention until the very end. One user commented, “I challenge you NOT to watch the entire video.” Music to a marketer’s ears.   The U.S. marketing team took efforts to the next level with a Safety Dance Battle website, where talented fans could submit their own dance videos for a chance to be featured in a future version of the Safety Video. To maintain engagement, the lead up to the next version will include an artist competition in the vein of American Idol, turning to the community to decide who will be chosen. Not only did the video infuse the VA brand with a high dose of fun, it also transformed fans into creative collaborators, heightening engagement all around through user-generated content. To top it all off, a social media push via #VXsafetydance tied everything together and exhibited a deep understanding of the importance of inter-connectivity in terms of cross-platform engagement and content marketing success. It would be great to see more of that from Virgin Atlantic’s home-based efforts, but with their combination of talent and attitude, we can assume that the best is yet to come.   Would you like to learn more about using video in your content marketing strategy? You can download our white paper MARKETING WITH VIDEO: BEST PRACTICES FOR ENGAGEMENT, IMPACT, AND RETURN below and read about the latest trends and advice from the Visually creative team. [optinlocker]Thank you for your interest in our Marketing With Video white paper! You can download it here.[/optinlocker]  

The post Virgin Atlantic Flies High on Content Innovation appeared first on ScribbleLive.

]]>