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Reciprocity between users is a core principle of social media, users are constantly trading social capital in the form of likes, follows, retweets etc. thereby spreading content they see as valuable to them. But for brands, capitalizing on this earned social capital and converting it to sales is a delicate process that is constantly evolving. Users are generally willing to consume branded content containing a tasteful amount of sales messaging. However overdoing it in this regard is seen as a violation of trust that can quickly result in an unfollow and swift end to the brand-user relationship. Brands essentially must fulfill their unspoken quota of supplying valuable or entertaining content (ideally both) to their audience and in exchange are granted permission to promote their agenda, which most often will be sales. This is content marketing 101. In the digital popularity contests that are most social platforms, brands are often regarded as the ugly ducklings, with users more hesitant to follow and engage with their content in comparison to other profiles. There is a constant underlying scepticism that generally permeates the brand to user social media relationship and it goes something like this “Okay (Brand X) you seem cool I guess, with your engaging value driven content and acceptable level of sales promotion, I will follow you. But I still suspect one day you will turn on me and send me spiralling down your dreaded sales funnel!”. There are obviously exceptions to this rule, many high profile brands with loyal followings will attract and retain core audiences to a point, but reaching that less invested user and cultivating a sales relationship with them from scratch can be a complicated and often tedious long term proposition. For low profile brands and start-ups especially, this is an incredibly daunting scenario. Producing high quality, remarkable digital content is frequently at the mercy of time and budget constraints. For the aforementioned small brands these challenges can be extremely difficult to overcome and result in a poor social media presence that does not add value to user timelines or the bottom line of the brand. Lack of creativity is the most common culprit here, without the resources to create compelling content, brands too often resort to a steady stream of boring sales pitches with no incentive for user engagement or discussion. For brands struggling to consistently produce high quality production heavy content, things like contests & giveaways can serve as cost effective vehicles for audience growth and provide value to followers but transparency with these is key. Winners need to be prominently showcased to ensure users know their spent social capital is not a waste. Brands most often stumble in the sales process when they fail to understand and respect the rules of promotion in the digital space. Users carry all the power in this relationship and delivering them consistent value in return for their attention is essential. Your social sales strategy must at all times respect this paradigm and repeatedly demonstrate an awareness of it. It is then and only then that users will begin trust the brand in question and consider giving consent to enter its sales funnel through email sign-up or other form. Sounds like a lot of work doesn’t it? Well sorry to say, this was the easy part. Completing the process with a sales conversion is a whole new challenge, which in almost all cases demands the delicate transition of guiding the user gently to your website or external e-commerce solution through a well designed user experience, but that is a topic for another day. Be sure to check out Ashu Avasthi of LinkedIn at this year’s Digital Media Summit as he gets in depth with how social media has fundamentally changed the selling process and gives useful tips and best practices that will help convert your social media audience into paying customers! Chris Giles is a freelance digital marketing strategist and Digital Media Coordinator at Niagara Parks. Follow him on Twitter @chrisgiles87   More
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Last Updated on Friday, 10 February 2017 04:31
How many articles have you read about understanding the millennial generation? There is no shortage of information about who we are, but there is a great deal to be said about how that affects your marketing strategy. Forget that we represent roughly 50% of all bloggers, or that we now represent the majority of the workforce. Millennials now represent $200 billion in annual buying power and that number is only increasing. You don’t need to understand us so you can give your office millennial a fist-bump in the hall way, you need to understand us because we make up more and more of your bottom line. Here are the top three things you need to remember when selling to the millennial generation: #1 Your grand-daddy’s ads don’t work on us. Only 1% of millennials said that a compelling ad would make them trust a brand more (and we know how important trust is to millennials). Part of that is volume – we’re exposed to well over 2,000 ads a day and we know now from Buzzfeed articles (and other equally credible sources we get our news from) that most of them are trying to show us an ideal state. So, we put up a wall. It comes in the form of a PVR to skip ads on television, or browser plugins to avoid ads on YouTube. We know the ways you’re used to advertising to us, and we’re taking measures to get around it. If you’re skeptical: ask a millennial how many t.v. shows they watch? Then ask them how many of those are actually on a live television set. Point being: try something new if you want to break-through. #2 We’re not slacking, but we are lagging. 61% of millennials admit they can’t afford a house. The fact is, the economy has left many of us in our parents’ homes, with debt and underemployment rampant. What does this mean? All of the major milestones that our parents achieved in their 20s such as marriage and having kids, are happening later in life to us. So when you’re putting up the ad about empowering the 25 year old whose career has taken off, know that resonates with far fewer of us than it would have with you. #3 We trust reviews, but not all of them. 33% of millennials rely on blogs before making a purchase. And you’ve probably heard this contrasted against the fewer than 3% who refer to TV news, magazines and books. But that doesn’t mean we trust all reviews because they’re online. We’re well-aware you can pay for positive reviews on your products, and many of you do. This is why we hold endorsements that come from our personal networks in high regard. That’s why Facebook pages show which friends have ‘liked’ before the overall number, and why Twitter accounts show users who you follow that also follow a third party. Prioritize testimonials and authentic reviews if you want to break through and create that 1:1 effect with millennials. Want to learn more about marketing to millennials? CEO and bestselling author, Shama Hyder will be discussing strategies and approaches you need to reach the millennial market including how we think and what we expect from companies. Register here. Read more from Adam Rodricks via his blog: http://adamrodricks.com/ More
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 4 May 2016 10:45
MichaelWekerlePortraitTORONTO, ON - (October 6) - Digital Media Summit is pleased to announce Michael Wekerle as our 2016 opening keynote on Thursday May 5 at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. Michael is a rock star in the world of Canadian finance, known for his shrewd value spotting in the fields of tech, biotech and media. As the founder and Chairman of the merchant bank Difference Capital Financial Inc., he oversees a fund that includes such successful growth companies as Hootsuite, Vision Critical, BuildDirect and Blue Ant Media. He also holds significant real estate assets, including an impressive portfolio of high-tech commercial properties in Waterloo, Ontario, as well as the historic Toronto entertainment venue the El Mocambo. And he is a partner in the Canadian franchise of Wahlburgers -Paul, Donnie and Mark Wahlberg's Boston-based burger chain.
dragonsDenLogoMichael lives in Toronto and is a doting father to six children. He donates millions of dollars to a wide variety of philanthropic interests, including UHN, CAMH, SickKids and Holland Bloorview, as well as the youth outreach organization Seeds of Hope and the acclaimed Baroque opera company Opera Atelier. Michael is currently featured on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, highlighting his entrepreneurial spirit.
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Last Updated on Tuesday, 5 April 2016 10:17
640x400xnetloid_google-goes-after-spotify-640x400.jpg,qf853b0.pagespeed.ic.WcDhQsCstDMusic streaming service Spotify is very near a deal to close $400 million of new funding from sources including Goldman Sachs and Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund, the Wall Street Journal reports. This would value Spotify at $8.4 billion. The new valuation would be double that of rival streaming service Pandora, which has a market capitalization of around $3.5 billion. This news comes just months after it was reported that Spotify was looking for as much as $500 million in new venture funding. The company is also said to be talking to the usual suspects of Silicon Valley venture capitalists and asset managers around the globe, according to The Wall Street Journal. This funding would be a strategic move for Spotify, beset as it will soon be by competitors like Apple's rumored Beats music service and the just-relaunched Tidal, bought by rapper and business mogul Jay Z recently. Via: BusinessInsider.com More
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Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2015 02:07
  This is US-based data, and each pie represents 100% of total recording revenue. And, here are the individual year source images, starting with 1973 on the top left and 2014 on the bottom right.  Each image was created by the RIAA, using their shipments and revenue database.   More
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Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2015 02:01
healthcare_4_devices_desktop_2xApple and IBM’s partnership that has the companies working together to produce enterprise-friendly apps has expanded yet again with the addition of eight more apps designed for iOS devices, including the iPhone and iPad, bringing the total number of MobileFirst apps up to now 22. The new apps are focused on the healthcare and industrial products industries, following prior announcements that saw the release of apps specific to banking and finance, travel and transportation, energy and utilities, law enforcement, retail, insurance, and more. IBM confirms there wasn’t a formal announcement about the new releases this time around as in the past, because it’s planning to go into more detail about a selection of the healthcare-related apps at the HiMSS conference taking place later this month. Of the eight new apps, the healthcare ones are perhaps some of the more interesting ones to be revealed. For example, one app, the Hospital RN app for iPhone, is working to reduce the operational costs associated with managing patient information by connecting with a hospital’s own systems, while also allowing its users to manage patient info, including discharges, right from the iPhone. And it works with Apple’s iBeacon technology in order to identify patient rooms then display the relevant patient data based on proximity. Continue Reading: TechCrunch More
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Last Updated on Monday, 13 April 2015 01:46
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Last Updated on Saturday, 11 February 2017 12:36
A new startup thinks it has come up with a platform to deliver a score that predicts a person’s creditworthiness, propensity to commit fraud and a number of other types of intelligence. HelloSoda was founded by Paul Shepherd and James Blake, ex-head of Global Sales at Call Credit, the UK’s 2nd largest credit reference agency. They’ve hired engineers from Skype and LShift , data scientists from various Universities and received undisclosed backing from as-yet-unnamed Tallinn, Estonia-based investors. Clients so far include lenders and insurers, but also gaming and recruitment companies. Read the full story: TechCrunch More
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Last Updated on Friday, 16 January 2015 11:01
"You can't stop technology, nor can you control it. The only winning strategy is to embrace it -- and embrace it as early as you can." Fitting words here at CES from iHeartMedia chairman and CEO Bob Pittman, reflecting on lessons learned from the music industry's early dealings with streaming tech. Pittman has been steadily redefining iHeartMedia as an integrated digital entity. The company's new moniker is a nod to its iHeartRadio app, which he views as an extension of the company's traditional radio brands. "We don't look at it as iHeartRadio competing with digital players," he tells Billboard, noting that although the app's 54 million unique users according to comScore "sounds big in digital terms, it's only about a quarter of our reach in broadcast radio. With broadcast radio alone we reach more consumers than Facebook, Google or broadcast TV networks in the U.S." Read the full story: Billboard More
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Last Updated on Thursday, 8 January 2015 02:34
Amazon’s living room devices, the Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, can now run web applications. The company announced this morning that it’s allowing web developers to publish their HTML5-powered applications without having to do native app development. Instead, developers only have to enter in the name of their app and its URL in Amazon’s Web App Tester software, or they can supply a .zip file to package their app then preview how it looks as a Fire TV application. The support for web apps is an extension to Amazon’s earlier efforts at expanding its app lineup by going after developers who don’t yet offer – or don’t plan to offer – an Android application. Read the full story: TechCrunch More
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Last Updated on Wednesday, 10 December 2014 11:51