All publicity is good publicity: The case of the negative review

Is it crazy to think a negative review can help you hit the advertising jackpot? Nope! Many brands have actually started creating campaigns and advertisements by shining the spotlight on their negative reviews.

A chip on your shoulder

KFC used bad reviews to their advantage pretty well earlier this year after someone tweeted that the entire world doesn’t like KFC fries.

Other Twitter users jumped on board too, one asking ‘how can KFC be so good at chicken and so bad at fries?’.

KFC’s response to the Tweets was perfect.

They built the ‘Ain’t No Small Fry’ campaign around all the negative feedback they’d received about their fries.

Instead of ignoring the growing pile of negative comments about their disappointing side, KFC were able to understand and action the complaints. This ensured that customers remained satisfied in future.

Saying ‘ski’ you later to the haters

A US ski resort also created a campaign around negative reviews – but instead of conforming to the reviewer’s desire, they pointed out why their problem is actually their best selling point.

The Snowbird resort in Utah is known for its difficult trails. A review from a disappointed customer read: “I’ve heard Snowbird is a tough mountain, but this is ridiculous. It felt like every trail was a steep chute or littered with tree wells. How is anyone supposed to ride in that? Not fun!”

Snowbird replied in an advertisement with a picturesque view of the mountain, saying “Greg thought we were “Too Advanced”, for our core guest it’s why they come back year after year.”

This shows that while one person might feel a particular way about a product or service, that same reason could be why others continue coming back for more. Not to mention how suspicious it looks when something only has 5-star reviews.

A bar above the rest

One Denver bar even cashed in on their negative reviews. Hi-Dive owned the comment loud and proud by slapping it on a T-shirt for all their customers to see with intrigue.

Negative review t-shirt

The staff described the review as concise and humorous, with their natural response being to literally wear it. It even turned into advertising people paid for – with more than 450 tees sold!

While business owners might live in fear of a bad review, these few examples show that it’s not always so bad!

Negative reviews have the potential to promote change and growth in your business, and can test how you handle the issue. It also gives you a chance to humanise your brand and show that we’re all just everyday people – not just faceless companies and corporations. Whether it’s a misunderstanding, or difference in perspective –  by using the negative review as an advantage, companies have the opportunity to win over audiences.


The rise of voice search and what it means for your business

When mobiles were introduced, we were amazed to have the world at our fingertips. We could pick up our phones and communicate with people instantly, search online for the answer to any questions, or add last-minute things to our grocery list.

Now, thanks to voice search, we don’t even have to lift a finger.

Hey Siri, can you tell us about voice search?

Voice search is technology that allows users to conduct a search or request an action by voice command.

Skipping a song while you’re driving is as simple as saying ‘Hey Siri, next song please.’ You don’t even have to hold down the Home button anymore, literally just say ‘Hey Siri’ and she’s ready to respond.

Siri’s just one example familiar to iPhone users, but other voice command technology includes Cortana on Windows, Samsung’s Bixby, Google Home, and Amazon’s Alexa.

There’s a lot more voice search can help with – ordering takeaway, online shopping, or even finding out how hot it is outside (because dressing for Australia’s weather is so hard to get right these days.)

A voice on the rise

A recent survey of more than 1800 smartphone users across the world revealed that 62% of participants engaged with voice-activated technology in the past six months, with 57% of Australians using voice search.

Of those who have used the technology, 95% intend to keep using it in the next year.

With lots of celebrities endorsing the technology, it’s no surprise it’s becoming more popular. The six-minute Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson ad for Siri was one thing, and then Amazon came out with an ad for Alexa, featuring the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Cardi B, Rebel Wilson among other popular celebrities.

Alexa loses her voice

Dwayne Johnson x Siri

How can voice search be utilised for marketing?

When it comes to the queries and questions we ask our voice search companions, results are powered by search engines.

Search language

Voice search will give you a single answer or option in response to your query. There’s no more scrolling through the webpage results to find the most relevant one; you get what the technology churns out.

To beat this, create more conversational content, because the way we ask questions while speaking is conversational, while we usually focus on keywords for a typed query. For example, we might ask Siri ‘What’s the weather like in Sydney today?’ but if we were to type, we’d probably just search ‘Sydney weather’.

So with voice search, rather than focusing on keywords, it’s best to focus on long-tail keyword phrases.

Create specific content for the common keywords or phrases your audience would search for – a keyword search tool like CognitiveSEO can help you find keyword phrases that are high-volume and likely to land your content in the top results.

Adding an FAQ section to your website could also increase chances of landing in the top results, as it’s likely the user could search the exact question (or one very similar).

Local SEO

Did you know voice-searches are also likely to be 3 times more likely to be based on something local? Maybe it’s about a restaurant, or a service station. To give your business the upper hand in local search, make sure your business has a Google My Business page. Secondly, reviews can help get your business noticed. Third-party apps and local directories with reviews can also help – the more reviews your business gets and the better the reviews are will likely boost it to the top of the search engine results.

While voice search is still something to get used to, it represents new opportunity and growing importance for marketers to adapt to future technologies. 

Revealed! The 2019 CMI Content Marketing Benchmarks are in!

The statistics are in! The latest research from The Content Marketing Institute has revealed some interesting findings when it comes to the current state of content marketing.

Based on respondents who have been practicing content marketing for at least one year, benchmarks have been established to identify the biggest successes and challenges facing B2B content marketers.  

Robert Rose, Chief Strategy Advisor at the Content Marketing Institute, has given Brandalism exclusive insight into the B2B Content Marketing 2019: Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends – North America report, as well as interesting key findings from this research.

“One of the things we’re most excited about is that this year we are capturing the habits and results from those that are truly invested in Content Marketing. We limited the respondents to those that have been practicing Content Marketing for at least one year. We see some fascinating new insights from this year’s research; perhaps none as pronounced as the importance of a documented content marketing strategy.” – Robert Rose 

So, let’s dive in.

Content Strategy should be clear and documented

We’re seeing that taking strategy seriously has long-term benefits to business. The survey revealed that the two biggest benefits of a documented content marketing strategy was that it aligns teams to a common goal/mission  (81%) and it makes it easier to determine which types of content to develop (81%).

“Companies that actually take a step back, and develop a content strategy are just simply succeeding at a higher rate than those that just jump right to execution.” – Robert Rose

What can content marketers improve?

Understanding audience and undergoing thorough persona work is a key component of content strategy. However, while marketers all see the benefits of this only 42% are actually talking with customers to understand their needs.

A quick win for content marketers looking to understand their audience better is to select a core group of customers to survey, gathering information from the horse’s mouth rather than relying on potentially outdated online research.

A surprising finding revealed that only 23% of content marketers are using community building and audience participation to attract new audiences. If the main goal of content marketers is engaging audiences, shouldn’t we be doing more to build communities?

What are the top performing content marketers doing well? 

Of the marketers surveyed, 96% of the most successful content marketers (“the top performers”) agree that their organisation have built credibility and trust with their audience.

Furthermore, 90% of the most successful B2B content marketers will prioritise the audience’s information needs over their sales or promotional messages. This is compared to 56% of the least successful – proving there is a direct correlation between the success of content marketing and prioritising the audience needs.

The biggest issues affecting B2B content marketers 

From the marketers surveyed, the biggest issues facing content marketers in the B2B space are:

  • Changes to SEO and Search algorithms (61%).
  • Changes to social media algorithms (45%).
  • Content marketing used solely as a revenue center (41%).
  • Data and privacy regulations (34%)
  • Staffing and HR (33%).

The largest difference between the most and least successful marketers in changes to social media is found in addressing data privacy and regulations; artificial intelligence (AI); and preparing for voice search.  

Content Marketing Measurement

All content marketers know that we should be measuring the success of our efforts, but are we actually doing it? 72% of the most successful B2B Content Marketers measure content marketing return on investment (ROI). On the other hand, 65% of the least successful do not measure their ROI.

A surprising finding revealed that only 25% of B2B content marketers are extremely or very proficient at using the metrics their team has selected to convey results. These same marketers are most likely to be those who measure the ROI of their content marketing.

Content marketing is moving forward

With businesses increasingly turning to content marketing solutions, 56% of B2B Content Marketers increased spending on content creation over the last 12 months.

Although many content marketers face the same challenges, it is clear that content marketing is moving forward. Of those surveyed, 70% of B2B content marketers believe their organisation’s content marketing is much (17%) or somewhat (53%) more successful than a year before.

We’ll take this as win!


Applying influencer marketing principles to your business

Influencer marketing is a game changer for brands trying to make their mark on the world and effectively engage consumers. Influencer marketing is when a brand or product is promoted by a key content creator – a person or a brand with an abundance of followers on a social media platform and has the power to influence consumer behaviours as a result.

Another way to think of it is a bit like a celebrity endorsement. However, some of the most popular social media influencers are just normal, everyday people. Their posts are organic and relatable, which is what creates trust between the influencer and their followers.

Here are a few things your business can to do position themselves as influencers:

Be authentic

Authenticity is what makes influencers so successful and powerful. You don’t want to blend in with just any old brand with similar products or services, you want to stand out!

Sharing behind-the-scenes content is a great way to do this, giving your brand a ‘human’ touch and highlighting the work done by the people who help the brand stand so strong. To put it simply, people relate better to other people than they do to companies – so showcase your team’s heroes!

HubSpot creates great authentic content, and knows the way to everyone’s hearts ….dogs!

They also share quotes from their employees in their Instagram posts, giving the business a way to better engage with their audience.

Consistent content

If you started watching a TV show and it stopped airing for a few weeks, but then aired another episode, would you still keep watching? Probably not.

Sharing consistent content is key because it’s how people develop and maintain a connection with your business and keep up-to-date with your brands’ activities. While consistency is important, you need to make sure you don’t trade quality for quantity! Like a TV show, viewers can easily change channels if the episodes are boring.

Influencers tell a constantly evolving story – audiences often wonder what they’re going to do next, where they’re going to be, and even what they’re going to wear.

Become a leader

Thought leadership is one way of becoming a leader. It’s pretty much what the name implies; use your innovative thoughts and ideas to establish your business as the ‘go-to’ in the industry, differentiating your business from others.

CEO and founder of Skaled, Jake Dunlap, describes thought leaders as people who possess an innate ability to contribute to today’s conversations while also speculating what will happen tomorrow.

Thought leaders recognise trends before others and implement them within their business, which is what helps them lead. Use the intel that comes out of your industry to educate your audience, whether that be through a blog on your business’ website or through other forms of social media content, such as podcasts, Q&A’s and infographics.

General Electric excels at sharing authentic content and positioning themselves as a thought leader in the aviation, power, and renewables space. They capture their employees working on projects, describe their roles and the projects in great detail, inviting the audience to head to their Instagram Story for a behind-the-scenes look at what’s going on.

They also have an incredible microsite, The Pulse, dedicated to health, science and tech news, which has positioned them as thought leaders among the industries they operate in. Articles range from cancer studies, to updates in emergency service technology, to how technology empowers human connections.


Authenticity, consistency, and leadership are the stepping stones to ensure your company stands out as an influencer, so take the leap!

Want to learn more? Read on!


Hero image by @taramilktea

4 Key Content Metrics You Need to Know!

One of the key pillars of content marketing, blogs are essential for creating a ‘hub’ where your audience can engage with and digest useful, educational and informative information.

But as many content marketers know, it’s rare that your audience will read a blog then click through to convert on your site – the customer journey is often longer and less linear than that! So how do you prove return-on-investment on your blog content?

The answer? Google Analytics.

Google Analytics provides a wealth of key information about what’s going on in the backend of your website, including where the traffic is coming from and what people are doing once they land on your site. Here, we unpack a few of the key metrics that can be used to report on the success of your on-site blogs.


A pageview (or pageview hit, page tracking hit) is an instance of a page being loaded (or reloaded) in a browser. Pageviews is a metric defined as the total number of pages viewed.

Pageviews is a great metric for determining how many times a piece of content has been viewed. Compare the number of Pageviews between multiple pieces of content to see which pieces performed, and which ones fell flat. You’ll be able to get a better idea of best-performing topics and headlines. You can even compare this metric with Unique Pageviews to determine the percentage that the page was reloaded. This will give you an indicative understanding of how popular the content was based on how many times it was reloaded.

Are you measuring how many times your content has been viewed?

Average Time on Page

Average time on page is the average amount of time all users spend on a single page.

This metric is useful because it indicates whether your audience is reading your content, glancing at it, or perhaps skimming the first sentence and saying goodbye. Increase your average time spent on page by keeping written content succinct, integrating dot point lists, breakout quotes and engaging imagery. 

TIP: Google uses the time of the next page view to determine the time spent looking at the current page. When users visit the last page, there is no next page recorded, so the Time on Page is unknown and the Session Duration ends the user opened the last page.

Bounce Rate

Bounce rate is single-page sessions divided by all sessions, or the percentage of all sessions on your site in which users viewed only a single page.

Bounce Rate is a great indication of whether people are coming to your blog then taking an action, or coming to your blog and exiting. If your bounce rate is high, try embedding clearer calls to action in your blogs or offering something useful for the audience, such a tool or downloadable asset. This will make it easier for them to take another action and a reason to stay on site.

How does Google Analytics actually collect data?

Sources of Traffic

Every referral to a website has an origin, or source. Some sources include Social Media channels like Facebook and Instagram, or discovery platforms such as Outbrain. “Direct”  refers to users to typed your website URL directly into their browser.

Where is your traffic coming from? Knowing the key sources of traffic to your blog is essential for understanding how to best amplify your content and discovering opportunities for growth. For example, if Instagram is the biggest driver of traffic to your blog, it may be worth doing more Instagram Stories that allow users to ‘Swipe Up’ to read your blogs.

NOTE: Sources of traffic should be evaluated in conjunction with Bounce Rate. If Instagram is driving the most traffic to your blog, but this traffic has the highest bounce rate, it may be wise to invest in a channel that drives slightly less but more engaged traffic.

Read Next: 6 Easy Ways to Come Up with Great Content

Tracy Fitzgerald Named One of Australia’s Most Influential Women in Native Advertising!

Our MD Tracy Fitzgerald has been named one of the top 100 Most Significant Women in Native Advertising in Australia for 2018! Read below to find out more about women who are raising the bar for native advertising.

This blog was produced by The Native Advertising Institute.

“It excites me that the industry include so many savvy and influential women.”

One of the perks of being ‘the Co-Captainess’ of the Native Advertising Institute (NAI) is that I get to (e)meet and connect with so many amazing native advertising professionals from all over the world. Not only is the discipline on the rise, but so is the pool of talented professionals that we can look to for inspiration and guidance. This genuinely excites me. A lot.

It also excites me that the industry include so many savvy and influential women.

That excitement, combined with my general love for networking, has now resulted in a somewhat extensive list of 100 women who are raising the bar for native advertising.

Since today is International Women’s Day, it seems very appropriate to share this list of ‘badass’ women out into the digital stratosphere.

“You may find names on the list that you already know, but I bet that you’ll also stumble upon new exceptional women that you ought to know and/or learn from.”

I believe that the list could be as valuable and inspirational to you as it has been to me, whether you are looking to extend your native advertising network, find relevant people to follow on social media, or you are curating speakers for conferences with native advertising on the agenda

The ladies included on the list are all true, beacons of light. Some are accomplished and seasoned marketers, and some are rising stars. What they all have in common though is, that they collectively make the global native advertising industry sparkle.

You may find names on the list that you already know, but I bet that you’ll also stumble upon new exceptional women that you ought to know and/or learn from.

I hope you’ll see this list for what it is: a first draft of a most relevant industry list, with plenty of room to acknowledge more amazing female native advertising professionals for their work. If you would like to shine light on a top native advertising professional that also happens to be female, please reach out, drop a comment or tag that person.

Important Note: The list is sorted alphabetically (thanks to the a-z function in excel) and is NOT listed in any particular order that suggests rankings or seniority.

From the new to the known, these 100 women are all true pioneers.

Here’s 8 Tips For Taking Beautiful Instagram Pics

Are you addicted to your Instagram feed? Do you diarise your day through Instagram stories, or create polls to help you decide what to get for lunch? With over 800 million users overall, Instagram is a key platform for not only creating and showcasing beautiful content, but for also connecting with an engaged audience. Whether you are looking to increase visibility in your market space, drive sales or connect with a community of like-minded individuals, watch this video for 8 tips that will spark fresh ideas and help improve the quality of your content!


16 Signs You’re a Content Strategist

As a content strategist, you’re a marketer, editor, content producer, writer, creative and analyst all bundled up into one neat package. And you’re nailing it. You think…

Continue reading “16 Signs You’re a Content Strategist”

6 Easy Ways to Come up with Great Content

Once your brand has started posting content on social media, it can start to become difficult coming up with new content themes and ideas.

In theory, your options are limitless, but realistically, this lack of restrictions can be tough on creative thinking.

Luckily, we are on the case!

Here are six great ways to come up with your next content post.

1. Let popular content inspire you

Social media are like one giant pond. There’s plenty of room for big fish and small fish to co-exist.
But when it comes time for you to come up with your next content idea, who better to look to than the big fish?

Keep an eye out for popular content, especially if it’s related to your brand’s industry or field, and let it inspire your next content post. Better still, find ways to leverage off the popularity of popular themes or recent events.

2. Stay on top of the news

When it comes to your brand’s industry, it’s also important for you to stay as informed as you possibly can.

This will allow you to not only share news as it breaks, but also create opinion pieces and reaction content. There’s a reason reaction videos and reviews are so big on YouTube, and that’s because people are interested to hear opinions about their interests.

So if you’re running a bakery and you’ve got the inside scoop on eclairs being the next big thing, then make sure you’re creating content that’s all about those delicious French pastries.

3. Don’t be afraid to keep it simple

When it comes to content, especially on social media, you don’t always need to create in-depth articles. Some of the best content is simply a great idea exemplified by an image or social post that could be produced in under 5 minutes.

Memes, photos and infographics are all a staple of platforms like Facebook and Twitter, and they can be a much simpler and easier way of creating content if your next idea isn’t a huge one.

Not only does this simplicity make it easier on you, it also means you have so many more places to be inspired from.

Whether it’s a photo of your chef imitating salt bae or your plumbing service jokingly fixing pipes using Italian hand-gestures, there’s plenty of ways to incorporate this year’s silliest memes into any brand.

4. Lists are you friend

Buzzfeed is one of the most popular destinations on the Internet, and at the core of their content strategy is one thing: lots and lots of lists.

Why? Because they work.

After all, you’re reading one right now!

When we see a “5 Reasons Pizza is Good for Your Soul” article, we feel compelled to click, even if we’re in the middle of doing our taxes. It’s snackable content that is quick and easy to consume (like pizza).

And though science has yet to figure out why, the simple fact is that it works. So when you’re planning your brand’s content strategy, be sure to include a few good lists.

5. Map out your content

Figuring out your content for the week, month or year can be overwhelming at times. A content calendar is an easy way to break your content marketing out into smaller, easy-to-manage pieces.

Map out the role of each content marketing or social media channel, then figure out monthly themes and content topics for each channel. From there, you can plan content for each week.

6. Use your analytics

These days, it’s all about the data.  Once you’ve got a good base of content online, the most important thing you can do is check out your analytics.

Was there a post that got you some new followers? Or do your memes get shared far more than your other posts?

By finding out what type of content your audience best responds to, you’re giving yourself a clear roadmap for the future of your content.

If they prefer lists, then take time to plan out more lists, and if images worked really well during a sale, make sure to keep using them during sales.

After a while, you won’t be struggling to come up with ideas – your analytics will give you a great idea of what should come next.

And that makes them, truly, the best way to come up with your next content post.

Unlocking the Power of User Generated Content

As brands continue to flex their social and content marketing muscles, we’ve started to see user generated content become a big part of the game, and with good reason.
User generated content campaigns have been shown to regularly see higher ROIs, 300% higher click-through rates and 50% lower costs-per-click and acquisition. That’s because our brains are hard-wired to listen to word-of-mouth marketing, so a recommendation from a friend means that potential consumers are much more likely to listen at the very competitive top of the funnel.
With so many advantages to running a campaign based on this type of content, just how should you go about creating it?

Do it right

Like with any other kind of marketing, user generated content can come in all shapes and sizes. Some heavy-hitting companies have focussed on altogether different themes by finding the one that was most compatible with their brand.
Take Lululemon’s #thesweatlife or Go Pro’s Photo of the Day, for example. Though these brands have a product focus on sportswear and cameras, respectively, their campaigns focussed on the lifestyle that those products enabled. Lululemon encouraged users wearing their gear at the gym to post photos of themselves working out, while Go Pro spotlights an adventurous customer photo every day.
This serves a double purpose: not only does it create a regular content stream for those brands to share on their social media platforms, it also helps in making a living online catalogue of the products and the experiences they can bring.
Of course, not every brand focuses on lifestyle. Some user-generated content campaigns are aspirational, like Nat Geo’s #wanderlust and Tourism Queensland’s Best Job in the World. These campaigns asked users to submit contest entries for a travel-based prize through photo and video submissions.
This generated a huge influx of highly shareable content, as well as raising awareness for both brands. We’re only human, after all. Everyone wants to win the big prize.
But where big prizes can inspire a high volume of submissions, so can campaigns based on love. It doesn’t even have to be love of your product, as Purina, a pet care brand proved with its #dogthanking campaign.
To take part in it, all users had to do was submit a cute photo of their dog with a short message about why they’re thankful to have it be a part of their lives. As an added bonus, Purina donated $1 to a canine charity foundation for every submission.
This obviously drew in quite a lot of content, but brands with more ‘loveable’ products can also focus on themselves, like Pizza Hut’s Proposal campaign or Chobani’s Yoghurt Love Stories.
High-profile brands have also focussed on personalisation, like Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke, live interaction, like Old Spice’s The Man Your Man Could Smell Like, and user art, like Starbucks’s White Cup Campaign.

How to Leverage UGC for Results

Now you know the types of user generated content campaigns out there, it’s time to apply them for your business.
This almost goes without saying, but UGC is the perfect type of content for social media, especially when it comes to photo and video content. For the most part, people prefer their social platform feeds to feel ‘ad-free’. This means that ideally, branded ads for social should blend in with their regular newsfeed content, and user-generated content can certainly achieve this.
Another immense benefit is that a single image from a user shared on a platform like Instagram can be repurposed across all others, adding to its initial value. Where appropriate, UGC can even be added to primary marketing materials across other media platforms like TV or print.
UGC campaigns can also make people feel like a valued part of your audience- like they are contributing. It’s a fun way for them to identify as brand ambassadors.
In the end, user generated content campaigns have plenty of potential benefits for your business and with so many possibilities, the sky really is the limit. It is important to keep any UGC campaigns in line with the tone and personality you expect for your brand.
Because when you do find that perfect UGC campaign idea, your business will reap the benefits.

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