How To Create an eBook

An eBook is any publication that can be read on a computer or other type of electronic device. They are not only a great mechanism for sharing information that can be utilized on several different platforms, but they are also a great source for engagement. For example, the standard eBook is shared and distributed into 4-7 blog posts, 1-2 infographics, one email campaign (which can be amplified with marketing automation software) and over 200 social media posts!

There are four primary steps to creating an eBook. First: figure out the purpose of the eBook. Are you trying to educate your audience? Is your goal to generate new leads? Your whole eBook will center on this objective. Your goal should align with your broad branding strategy.

Second: establish your audience. Do you have audience personas? Do you a specific customer base for this topic? Write your eBook with this in mind and tailor your content to meet your audience’s needs.

Once you establish your goals and audience, you can start writing your eBook!

Third: layout the structure of your eBook. Try creating templates! Try creating templates! Produce a template for plain text pages, pages with images, or the beginning of each chapter. Creating a template may seem time consuming at first, but will save you time in the long run, as well as give your eBook a polished, consistent look Creating templates may seem time consuming at first but will save you time in the long run. Hubspot has provided this amazing set of templates for you to start with. Add a little flare and put your personal touch on each page to make the ebook your own.

Lastly: promote your work! Feature the ebook on social media and send it out in an email campaign optimized with specific CTAs and landing pages. Writing an eBook is a great way to start or finish any campaign. If you require a form to download the ebook, you can launch a lead nurture program and lead visitors through the sales funnel with a more sophisticated and efficient approach

EBooks are a great way of taking an old-school method of presenting information and making it work for the modern age. By working smarter instead of harder, you can produce original content to post and share to your audience, as well as gather interest in your products and your brand.

To learn more about branding goals: Click Here

For design tips for your eBook: Click Here

More than Big Data, Listen for Insights

With the rise of digital marketing, so has been the rise of valuable data.  There is no shortage of things to measure, and no shortage of tools to implement.  We can capture and segment demographics, dissect behaviors such as likes, clicks, and shares.  We can find the most relevant keywords and measure the most efficient ways to spend our budgets.  We can plan our content and schedule it knowing the statistical best times of day to push it out.

But your customers are not demographics or behaviors, they are people.  Through the many social media channels available, customers’ voices are there telling you how they feel, what keeps them up at night, what delights them or what they want.  Don’t miss the opportunity to learn the “why” behind customers’ behaviors.

The content of social conversations offer potential insight to make impactful business decisions. For example, your top customers may appear to be men aged 20-45, but within that group they may have distinctly different reasons for purchasing your product. Often it is more insightful to understand the common need that drives your customers rather than knowing their age or geographic boundary.   By aggregating and segmenting the nature of conversations, you are able to identify patterns to improve service, products and marketing messaging.

Tools now exist to help make use of the unstructured data around social conversations – to quantify the qualitative.  Some use natural language processing (NLP) to understand and map intention, provide nuanced sentiment analysis, and filter the influential conversations that really matter.  More robust social media profile information gives you a stronger basis to segment your customers and identify the best leads.  And there are even tools to help you identify hot trends about to go viral before they actually do.  Sites like Quora let you see what your customers really want to know.

Of course, there is still no replacement for actually talking with customers.  At Mambo, we always encourage our clients to spend time in conversation with customers to inform any strategy.  Let us know  how we can help you learn more about your customers and find actionable insights for your business.

Read more on social media listening systems

Read more on understanding content trends

Why is website content important?

 

Content is essential for modern marketing. In the age of on-demand and custom-curated content, brands need to contribute or they risk getting overlooked. The way to your consumers’ heart is through great content, which should do at least one of the following:

  • Solve a problem
  • Entertain
  • Inform

In addition to helping you attract, convert and maintain customers, content is essential for SEO, social media and PPC.

SEO

With Google’s new algorithm, content is more important than ever. In order to position yourself against your competition and have great search rankings, develop content that you know your audience is interested in. Think about how the user looks for content, and brainstorm the phrases and questions that are typed into the search engine. Make sure to include these keywords and phrases into your main website content, but don’t forget that you can amplify the SEO effects by including them in your blog. 

Social Media

Brands that are most successful in social have a wealth of content to share with their followers. This content is frequently the reason that consumers connect with the brand. In order to sustain the audience and remain relevant, brands need to have access to a constant stream of quality content to share.

PPC

A call-to-action to download an eBook, register for a webinar, or review a cheat sheet is more successful than a traditional ad. In order to get a user to click on an ad, and fill out a form, there needs to be a reward. Good content is a great reward.

Hubspot

Hubspot is an example of a brand that has invested in content creation for marketing. They provide fresh, relevant and shareable content for free or with the submission of personal marketing thought leader.

For more information on how to add value to your content click here or here.

 

Branding in Today’s Market

 

Branding in today’s market reaches far beyond a slogan, logo and color scheme.  A company with a successful brand strategy can be recognized nationally and will help bring value to your business. There are several slip-ups that can be easy for a company to get stuck on as well as some tips that will help a company to succeed.

Social media is a great place for your company to show its personality and find its voice. Customers feel more connected when a business is able to humanize its brand. This advocacy could spawn high engagement and great user generated content on your channels. Not only is social media good for customer interaction, it will soon become an expectation of customers to have the option of using social media for customer service support and communication.  When a brand is not active or present on social media, they could miss out on an important opportunity to respond quickly and personally. This in turn can leave the customer with a positive experience and a potential crisis can be avoided.

For a company to become recognized nationally, they need to keep a consistent brand message. Give your brand a personality that will make it stand out in the market. What makes your company unique? How are you better than your competitors? What makes up the core of your company? These questions should be answered with every message you put out. Every interaction should provide a customer with a positive experience and leave them wanting more!

When creating a brand, it is important to avoid common mistakes that could hurt you in the long run. Build your brand around your company and its ideals, but make sure that your messaging speaks to your target audience. You may think that you can read minds, but it is best to simply ask a customer what truly matters to them. By basing your messaging on values, you can avoid getting caught up in the latest and greatest trends that steer you away from your brand strategy. Mixing your business goals and your customers needs together, your messaging will be much more effective.

Brand messaging is a big task that can be extremely successful with a strong and clear strategic approach. Make sure your brand honestly reflects your company and its story, stays consistent and speaks directly to your customers.

More Mambo Resources on Branding:

Click here to see how Coke stood by their brand amongst a controversy

How to Serve Customers in Social Media

 

Under Armour's Speedskating Debacle

As the 2014 Winter Olympics conclude, scandals erupt, giving the world something to talk about for another four years. The opening act was missing an Olympic ring, gold medals were lost, but my favorite was the allegation that Under Armor’s suits apparently caused the U.S. speedskating team to under perform… or so players alluded.

After their first race, the American team hinted that the #Mach39 suit vents, designed to release heat, were actually causing a drag. The team switched out the suits for an older model during their next race, but this did not improve their performance.

Under Armour had one of two choices: take the blame for a loss due to “their product not functioning properly”, or defend their quality product. Thankfully, they chose the latter.

Kevin Plank, UA’s CEO, insisted that the suits were top notch, but that the company would make every attempt possible to make improvements going forward. From a public relations standpoint, UA hit the nail on the head by defending their product in a humble, yet factually confident approach, while continuing to support the US team.

From a digital marketing perspective, Under Armour had the opportunity to do more outreach. The brand took the silent approach on social media, only addressing the speedskating contract extension on Facebook and Twitter. While some say bad press is still press, we like to look at bad press as an opportunity to leverage the attention for positive brand awareness. This day in age it is necessary to capitalize on this publicity across all digital channels, not just traditional outlets.

Next Winter Olympics, I can’t wait to see #UASuitsWinGold as one of the trending topics during the closing ceremonies! Until then, Mambo Media is here with open arms…

What is an Infographic? Why you should care.

Infographics. Every day I seem to see more of them. This begs the question, “Why?” but let’s begin with the basic definition of the term.

Techopedia – “An information graphic (infographic) is a visual representation of a data set or instructive material. An infographic takes a large amount of information in text or numerical form and then condenses it into a combination of images and text, allowing viewers to quickly grasp the essential insights the data contains. Infographics are not a product of the Web, but the Internet has helped popularize their use as a content medium.”

Or more simply put – infographics visualize data, most often to tell a story, inform or persuade.

This is a successful technique because our eyes are drawn to visuals and our brains process images much faster than just text.

Images Are Processed Faster

 

Visuals Increase Engagement

Infographics can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some examples.

 


                                                                                                Produced by Mambo Media

As a marketer, I see infographics as an opportunity to look at and present data in a new way to both clients and consumers. Particularly for client-facing work, the reporting and presentations are often completed in PowerPoint or Excel. Although it doesn’t make sense to invest time and budget to turn every deliverable into an infographic, it certainly can be the right choice for quarterly or annual reports, or when presenting to stakeholders.

How do you use infographics? Have you seen any creative examples that deserve a share?

Coca-Cola Celebrates Humanity

“The only thing more beautiful than this country are the people who live here.” Hmm… unfortunately, Coca-Cola found out otherwise when reactions to its Super Bowl campaign started pouring in over social media.

As you’ve probably already seen, Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial ensued a stir-crazy global response from viewers on social media as the international brand demonstrated what they believe diversity looks like in the United States: bonding over soda while “America the Beautiful” is sung in several different languages.

Whether or not Coca-Cola strategized the predicted controversy, public response divided between those that loved #AmericaTheBeautiful (Coca-Cola’s hashtag) and those that didn’t (creating the global trending hashtag #BoycottCoke to express their anger).

So what was Coca-Cola’s Response? Let’s look at the three tactics they employed.

  1. They aired an extended version of the commercial during the Sochi Olympics to capture an even larger audience tapping into America’s national pride during the games.

Coca-Cola – It’s Beautiful

2. They released a behind the scenes video on YouTube that featured stories told by the ad’s cast and interviews with the bilingual young American female singers.

3. They recently promoted their tumblr Americasselfie.com using #AmericaIsBeautiful featuring user-generated images to show the “many faces and dreams of America as told by Americans.”

We’re glad to see a big brand promoting diversity, freedom of thought and staying true to their belief that Coca Cola is for everyone. However there is still more that could be done.

Suggestions for Coca-Cola and other brands that find themselves in these predicaments:

  • Don’t just release behind the scenes interview and images on YouTube, although much of America now uses this service those that saw your commercial may be missed by this medium. Pass the links through your other social channels and consider running a new commercial with this footage.
  • Choose a hashtag and utilize for your entire campaign. Much of the negative response could have been avoided by promoting AmericasSelfie.com along with the initial commercial.
  • Use the content your followers share with you in future campaigns to showcase their individual support of your brand as well as your support of your followers.
  • Share your follower’s content on other platforms, not just on Tumblr to spread the word about the campaign and showcase how beautiful America truly is through its diversity and unify your brand message.
  • Respond to your followers. Don’t create a great site to capture user generated content and let it lie. Engage with your audience and grow their brand loyalty through amazing social interaction.

Want to learn more about how to handle a social media crisis? View other Mambo Media blog posts on this topic:

Don’t Let the Hecklers Get You Down, Shaun White.

 

The Olympic events are viewed by more than 3.2 billion people worldwide. It is a spectacle watched by patriotic supporters who are quick to celebrate a win but faster to criticize a loss.

United by national pride, fans tune in to cheer on their athletes, a tradition that has taken place for more than 100 years. Athletes, branded by their national flags, are transformed into iconic heroes if successful or outcast as international disappointments if a mistake is made or loss occurs.

This year’s Sochi Olympics were no different. Shaun White, a two-time snowboard gold medalist in the category of men’s half pipe, was the clear favorite to win again. 24 million people from the US tuned in to watch White compete. With four years of built-up expectations, hard work and a reputation to uphold….White flopped.

So what’s a passionate and disappointed fan to do from halfway across the world?

Aggravated fans now take aim at their defeated icons on the globalized and digitized platform that is social media. Sending mean tweets and social heckles has become the rotten tomato of the modern virtual world. We’ve all read these posts with a chuckle, maybe even encouraged them with the retweet of a cruel albeit witty critique.

But how should Shaun White—a brand himself worth millions in endorsements—react?

Shaun White’s criticisms began before he lost the gold medal competition, when he pulled out of the men’s slope style competition. White deemed the course too dangerous to compete and was ridiculed both in the media and online for his decision.

Instead of lashing out at his critics, only adding fuel to the proverbial Olympic torch, White addressed the issue in a video he posted to his social media accounts. White engaged with his supporters and thanked his fans.

“You support me through the decisions I make, the training regimen… I want to do my best, not only for myself but for you guys.”

Whether you’re communicating as a brand, a business or an individual, it is best to face controversial issues and social taunts head on. Acknowledge, engage and address the issue. Below, Mambo gives guidelines for brands dealing with “The Social Heckler.”

 

Mambo Guidelines:

 

Social Media encourages transparency. It encourages sharing. It encourages feedback. It is dependent on User-Generated Content.

It is every brand’s worst day at the office when a consumer or detractor attacks their brand or product publicly on a blog, a forum, or on twitter.com. It’s one thing if the complaint is based on experience and another if it’s baseless, untrue and vindictive.

Most marketers don’t know how to deal with a public slight. And there are degrees of hecklerhood on social media:

3rd Degree: A onetime complaint, usually through twitter.com: “Brand X sucks”

2nd Degree: A lengthy, misinformed expository comment. Most commonly, this is seen on a comment stream or a review

1st Degree: A foe actively seeking out the organization and disparaging it or its products. Tools for this include the comments section of online newspapers, an entire blog post dedicated to their grievance, or worse yet, the purchase of CompanyXsucks.com domain name that fills the first page of returns on Google.com.

Mambo Media has handled and neutralized all three levels of reputation management. Each level requires different methods, but the most important thing is to react, respond and engage. It is tempting to just ignore the slight. Don’t – most of the time, the heckler just wants to be heard.

The chart below captures the recommended strategies for each variation of the heckling:

Degree  

Attributes

Ways to Respond

3rd * One-time complaint* Usually on Twitter or via email*Example: “Company X sucks” * Publicly Acknowledge* Appreciate the feedback* Indicate changes you will make, or have made as a result of the complaint
2nd * A lengthy, misinformed expository comment* Usually one comment on a blog or Yelp! Review* Ex: “This Company steals customers from local vendors, and they charge way too much. I wish my city would just ban them.”  *  Publicly reply to the post, acknowledging the author’s concerns. Read: http://www.yelp.com/business/review_response* POLITELY present the facts, in a measured tone. Refer them to online third-party resources* Request an offline phone conversation, meeting, or email exchange
1st * A foe actively seeking out * A foe actively seeking out the organization and disparaging it or its products* Usually will comment on all blogs related to the company or industry, write their own blog post, comment on news articles, and create a Facebook or webpage dedicated to their campaign.* Ex: “This organization mismanages its donations. And the people who work there don’t know what they’re doing. How do I know? I use to work there, until they fired me. But, I care about starving children in Africa and am offended they are stalling change. So, I started this blog to detail how backwards the organization is.”  * Reach out to the heckler and set up an in-person meeting.* Make it on neutral territory, preferably with others in tow. Making your heckler see that there is a human on the other line of their communiqués is critical.* Treat them like a thought leader or power-user (a valued customer). Let them vent, ideate and share their POV. Then encourage them to participate in activities related to shared goals.

 

Yes, the strategies above rely on old-time “man to man” tactics. If that isn’t possible, then set up a meeting. Bring in the “bigwigs” so they realize the heights their criticism has circulated within the organization. Lastly, determine how much of this discussion is public vs. private. Each situation is different, but Mambo Media endorses transparency whenever possible.

Series on Free Tools: How to Use Google Trends for Content

We like to keep up with the free tools that are available, especially those that help with SEO, keyword research and content strategy! This week, we’d like to highlight Google Trends.

How do you choose your editorial calendar topics? If you’re interested in learning about what people are searching for (or possibly more importantly, not interested in), Google Trends shows both the flow of a geographical audience’s interest over time and the exact keywords people are using.

If you’re considering several different topics, you can compare search interest from 2004 to the present or you can choose a shorter time range. You may notice an interest pattern to inform the best timing in your calendar for a blog post or video about a certain topic.

You can also see what regions are searching the most for each of your terms along with how those views have changed over time:

Once you’ve decided on topics, you may want to choose keywords to include in your content. Enter a few choices to see the trending over time for each term: 

Like the former Google Keyword Tool, Google Trends offers suggestions for similar keywords to consider. Click on “Rising” to see which terms are trending:

Because SEO and keyword research tools are no longer as useful as they used to be, we have to get creative with free tools!

 How have you used Google Trends, and are there any other free tools you’d like us to highlight in future posts?

Richard Sherman… a “Thug” or a Marketing Genius?

The story of Richard Sherman received a lot of coverage. This media blow-up was all due to just a few comments made by Sherman post making the game-winning tip in the end-zone which took the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. Let me preface this by saying I’m a born and raised Denver native, so I’ll still be rooting for my Broncos in the SB48. However, as a marketer, I can’t help but notice the sheer momentum a couple comments made after the big game and the goldmine created for Mr. Richard Sherman.

Diving deeper into the media’s uncoverings, Sherman avoided a serious confrontation in the end zone with rival and 49ers player, Crabtree, by not responding to a shove after the interception was made. With the rise of the story in the media and negative comments towards Sherman, attention was soon shifted toward his intelligent and highly accredited background. Ahead of their game, some very sexy brands began to pick up on his spotlight.

One brand in particular, Beats by Dre scooped up the opportunity to leverage his negative media attention and spin off a satirical ad based on the controversial comments made to Sherman by the public. The video made more than 2 million views on YouTube in less than a week. Beats by Dre made a successful move by engaging the media while at the same time staying on brand by maintaining the current campaign slogan, “Hear What You Want”.

Marketing 101 tells us to take advantage of the given situation. Similarly when Justine Sacco spouted off on her personal Twitter the story gained traction very quickly. When the right brands heard they jumped on the opportunity to turn negative comments into good, which resulted in taking donations for AIDS research.

Both stories, albeit different endings, all started from someone saying something “in the moment”, and gave the traditional media outlets and social media the opportunity to make something more meaningful out of these hot button comments.

I’d say for Richard Sherman, he might have been amped up after the game, but he’s clearly no idiot. Perhaps this was even pre-planned to help spur quite a bit of attention and lucrative results? Needless to say, Mambo Media will happily help build another campaign should he want to have another “thug” moment on national television. #JustSaying

TEAM MAMBO