Government requests for Facebook user data up 27 percent in first half of 2016

facebook mobile login screen Facebook released its latest transparency report today, detailing government requests for user data for the first half of 2016. According to the report, government requests for account data increased by 27 percent globally as compared with the last half of 2015. The number of requests grew from 46,710 to 59,229, Facebook said. The majority of the requests (56 percent) received from U.S. law… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

Your 10 Favorite Blog Posts in 2016

Your 10 Favorite Blog Posts in 2016

Including podcast recaps, we published more than 500 (!) posts this year on Convince & Convert.

Our goal is to give you information, analysis, and insights you can’t get on all the other marketing sites out there. We do it this way because more than 70 percent of our readers have been in marketing for six years or more, and nearly a third have been doing it marketing-style for 15+ years.

In short: Convince & Convert is the home base for the experienced digital marketer.

We’ll be finalizing our 2017 editorial calendar soon. We’ll keep it pretty much the same I think, but we’re for sure adding regular features on social media customer service—a huge trend next year, and also something with which we have a lot of experience on the consulting side of our business.

(and if you’re interested in publishing here in 2017, visit our guest post guidelines/submission form)

Jess Ostroff, our Managing Editor, recently sent me the list of 2016’s Top 10 posts, ranked by page views, and we’re going to re-run each of them this week, two per day, to give you a fresh glimpse at the content you liked best this year.

Your 10 Favorite Blog Posts in 2016

It’s a fascinating list because these top 10 posts coalesce and coagulate into four key trends:

  • Statistics and research
  • Video
  • Content creation
  • Social customer service

Statistics and research and content marketing were big trends for us in 2015 as well. The other two are new, and I can’t wait to see what bubbles up in 2017.

1. The 5 Key 2016 Podcast Statistics, by Jay Baer

Based on a study from my friend Tom Webster and Edison Research, this post lays out the staggering growth of podcast listenership in the USA.

2. 5 Snapchat Statistics That Prove Its Power, by Jay Baer

Remarkably, this is another post based on a different section of the same research report from Edison. Stats are catnip!

3. Why 2016 Will Be The Year Of Video Marketing, by Eric Hinson

A terrific summary post (with lots of statistics included) that showcases top of the funnel, mid-funnel, and bottom of the funnel video use cases. Nice job from a guest contributor from Explainify.

4. 6 Unforgettable Lessons From Southwest Airlines’ Social Media Crisis, by Jay Baer

I wrote this post on-the-fly, when I saw Southwest’s Facebook Live video explaining how they were handling their massive cancellations earlier this year. I don’t write spur-of-the-moment much anymore (my schedule is more crazy than it used to be, and our editorial calendar is more locked than it used to be), but every once in a while you can catch lightning in a bottle, like the old days of blogging.

This is one of my personal favorites of the 60 or so I wrote this year.

5. The Shocking ROI Of Influencer Marketing, by Jay Baer

Another post in the statistics and data realm, this is one I wrote based on some fascinating research from our former partners at TapInfluence, who managed to pin down precise (and very strong) ROI for influencer marketing programs.

This one combined two trends: stats and influencers.

6. 17 Content Creation Secrets To Wow Your Readers, by Thiam Hock Ng

A fantastic, detailed, process-driven post that includes step-by-step instructions and examples. A great list post from Thiam, who runs an inbound marketing agency in Singapore called 3Pal.

7. The Right Way To Ask For Customer Reviews, by Jay Baer

From last January, this is my story of our company-wide retreat in Mexico, and a remarkable interaction with a waiter who absolutely NAILED how to ask for a review on TripAdvisor. I now use this lesson in many speaking engagements too.

8. 5 Content Marketing Predictions for 2017, by Joei Chan

Nice guest post and trends summary from Joei, who does content marketing for the social listening tool Mention. Prediction posts are everywhere, but Joei nailed it here and ended up with more page views than my own predictions post!

9. How Brands Are Using Live-Streaming Video Successfully, by Kathy Klotz-Guest

I’ve known the very smart Kathy for years. She’s the founder of Keeping it Human, a business storytelling consultancy. She uses that background to great effect on this post, where she documents all the ways businesses can use the red-hot live-streaming video options.

10. 10 Simple and Reliable Digital Marketing Metrics, by Rahul Alim

One of the best posts this year in the use of graphics and screenshots. Rahul is managing director at digital agency Custom Creatives, and he spills the beans here on precisely how to run the reports that matter. Super useful!

Huge thanks to all of our contributors for sharing their wisdom with our community this year. Big hugs also to Kelly Santina, who leads our Media division, as well as Jess and our editorial team for keeping the Convince & Convert machine oiled and operating.

Can’t wait for next year! Enjoy this week, as we re-run the top 10 blog posts of 2016.

Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

Twitter didn’t fix itself in 2016 and Wall Street isn’t happy

jack dorsey alt angle code conference Layoffs, a borked acquisition and continued tepid user growth defined Twitter in 2016. And these are all things that make Twitter’s future uncertain, which we know Wall Street does not like. Jack Dorsey’s one-year tenure as CEO was more or less defined by a continue decline in its stock price and, amid all its attempts to try and re-make the service and make it more palatable,… Read More
Social – TechCrunch

The Most Important Podcast Statistics of 2016

Editor’s Note: This post is one of Convince & Convert’s Top 10 Posts of 2016.

The Most Important Podcast Statistics of 2016

My good friends at Edison Research handled the data gathering for my new book, Hug Your Haters, and we discovered that customer service is being massively disrupted.

Now the Edison team is back with a new edition of their annual Infinite Dial research (they partner with Triton on it) and they’ve found another disruptive force: podcasting.

Edison first waived the flag on the explosive growth of podcasts in last year’s Infinite Dial study, but their new, 2016 podcast statistics show that momentum is building for the medium.

To read all of the Infinite Dial findings (I very much recommend you do so) go here. The report is bursting with fascinating statistics, and not just about podcasts but also about online radio, streaming, social media, and beyond.

But considering we produce six podcasts for marketers and businesspeople here at Convince & Convert Media (and we’re starting to produce more and more shows for corporate clients, too) the podcast statistics nestled in The Infinite Dial are of particular interest. Here are the five most important data points to understand.

1. Listenership Is Up 23 Percent This Year

21 percent of Americans ages 12 and up have listened to a podcast in the past month. That is up from 17 percent in 2015. Monthly podcast listenership has increased 75 percent since 2013.

Podcast statistics 2016 - 1

2. The Audience for Podcasts Is Bigger Than You Think

To provide some context for what 21 percent of the entire country represents, 13 percent of the USA listens to Spotify monthly, and 21 percent of the country uses Twitter.

The same number of Americans listen to podcasts and use Twitter. (highlight to tweet)

The podcast audience is 57 million Americans in total. And while Twitter has more members than that (many more, actually) the research shows their active user base is on-par with the overall podcast audience.

3. Mobile Is Driving Podcast Audience Growth

The rise in podcast consumption over the past two years correlates with an even larger shift in HOW podcasts are consumed. Circa 2014, most podcasts were being listened to on a computer, which restricts consumption windows.

In 2016 it’s a much different story:

64 percent of podcasts are being listened to on a smartphone or tablet. (highlight to tweet)

Listeners gravitating toward podcasts on the go opens up many more opportunities for consumption, including in the car, at the gym, and other computer-free environments.

4. Podcast Listeners Average 5 Shows a Week

Even among regular listeners, the appetite for podcast consumption has some practical limits.

Weekly podcast listeners consume five shows per week on average (highlight to tweet)

Only my observation, not in the Infinite Dial research, but I find it interesting that five shows is the average given that most people have five days worth of in-car commutes, and many gym members work out five times per week.

To illuminate this podcast statistic slightly more, 69 percent of weekly podcast listeners consume five shows or fewer. This has important consequences for podcast producers, as new podcasts being launched today may need to steal listeners from older shows, the same way that new blogs poach readers from blogs that have been around longer.

Yes, the continued growth in consumption overall provides opportunities, but from my perspective the growth in new podcast launches is outpacing adoption by new listeners.

podcast statistics 2016 - 2

5. Podcast Audiences Skew Young

Certainly, there is continued room for growth in podcast consumption among younger Americans.

One in four Americans ages 12 to 54 listened to a podcast last month. (highlight to tweet)

But to really break through and become a major part of the media landscape, podcasts must become a habit for older Americans. Just 11 percent of Americans over 55 listen to podcasts monthly.

And it’s not really a surprise, as finding, downloading and subscribing to podcasts requires a fair amount of technology sophistication. There are no default podcast listening devices or software, nor is there an approachable podcast directory (iTunes is a hot mess at podcast discovery, which is why I launched MarketingPodcasts.com last year).

I am hopeful that new home-automation technology like Amazon Echo will become widely adopted (I love mine) and open up podcasts to a whole new audience, since you can easily listen to podcasts on that device.

And even the name, “podcasts,” is something less than approachable. It’s a takeoff on broadcast that uses “pod” because the iPod was all the rage back in the day. I’m not sure I’m ready to go there for our own shows just yet, but I believe the industry (such as it is) needs to rebrand around “on-demand radio” or somesuch to make it both more clear what podcasting IS, and less nerdy for the next group of potential listeners.

Please do grab the entire Infinite Dial study. I’ve just given you a tiny taste with these 2016 podcast statistics. There’s a lot more you’ll enjoy.

Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

10 Standout Social Media Marketing Examples From 2016

With the year coming to a close, it’s time set your eyes toward 2017. What social media tactics and strategies do you have planned for the new year? In order to help get those creative juices flowing, we’ve put together a list of some of the top social media marketing examples of 2016.

Instead of copying these examples, use them as inspiration. Think of how your brand can work outside the box to put together creative campaigns and reach your social media goals for next year.

1. BarkBox

BarkBox was very creative on social media in 2016, with a particular focus on YouTube and Instagram. From their “Congratulations! You’re a dog person,” campaign to their influencer marketing efforts, they’ve really set themselves apart by being entertaining and appealing directly to their target audience.

Why It Worked

First and foremost, BarkBox’s content reaches a particularly passionate group of people—dog owners. Anyone who owns a dog immediately resonates with BarkBox’s videos and photos. Since it’s so relatable, people feel like the content speaks directly to them.

BarkBox is also an example of recognizing which social media platforms are best for your brand. Since Instagram and YouTube are both filled with photos and videos of dogs, it makes sense that BarkBox chose those two social platforms for their content.

Pay attention to who your audience is and which social networks they use. Then build your strategy around that. If you already have a following, use Sprout’s Group Report to learn more about your audience demographics.

audience demographics sprout social

2. Lowe’s

We may be saying R.I.P. to Vine in 2017, but that doesn’t take away from the creative social media marketing campaigns we saw from brands in 2016. Lowe’s has always stood out on Vine, and brought us some of the best content of the year. The #LowesFixInSix clips were particularly noteworthy.

For this campaign, Lowe’s put together a series of six-second stop-animation Vines that showed some DIY home improvement tips. The loops gained millions of views and earned Lowe’s plenty of media coverage.

Why It Worked

Aside from social video marketing being extremely popular, Lowe’s saw success with Vine for a few reasons. For one, the Vines were helpful. When you can create and share content that’s valuable to your audience, you’ve already won half the battle.

On top of that, the clips are extremely entertaining. The stop-motion style and use of claymation makes them immediately grab your attention, and entice you to share. Add on the fact that they’re only six seconds long, and you have a recipe for success.

Another lesson you can learn from this social media marketing example is to not be afraid to use different networks. Even at its height, there weren’t a lot of brands on Vine, yet Lowe’s saw the potential and capitalized on it. If a network looks promising and you think you can provide value on it, don’t be afraid to give it a shot.

3. Taco Bell

It’d be easy for a company the size of Taco Bell to sit back and coast through social media. However, the company continues to innovate and prove why its one of the best brands on social. The 2016 blind pre-order campaign is an example of how Taco Bell sets itself apart.

The concept was simple. Customers could order a new unannounced menu item from 2-4 p.m on February 6th. The campaign coincided with the company’s Super Bowl ad, which is when Taco Bell finally revealed the new Quesalupa mystery item.

taco bell quesalupa snapchat

Why It Worked

This campaign was the perfect example of taking a multi-channel approach. Taco Bell combined Snapchat, Twitter and television in a single strategy to reach more people and appeal to different audiences.

Instead of looking at your social media profiles as separate entities, think of ways you can use them all together.

4. Burberry

In April 2016, Burberry became the first luxury brand to run a Snapchat Discover channel native ad. The company used the opportunity to promote its new men’s scent Mr. Burberry.

The campaign came at an interesting time for marketers because most brands were still skeptical of Snapchat content’s short lifespan. But as Burberry showed, Snapchat provides a different type of experience that’s just as valuable as any other content.

Why It Worked

Two words: early adoption.

When you’re the first major company to do something, it naturally garners attention. There are plenty of luxury brands on Snapchat, but by being the first to run its own Discover channel ad, Burberry made a name for itself on social.

Snapchat and Instagram Stories have proven there’s added value for content that doesn’t necessarily live forever. In fact, it gives people motivation to consume the content due to fear of missing out.

When a new social network or a feature in an existing one starts to become popular, be an early adopter. Even if you’re not the first brand on the network, there’s still value in being the first in your industry. We’re seeing this happen right now with Instagram Stories. It’s still new and a lot of brands are still hesitant to try it out. Break the ice and get active now instead of waiting.

5. BuzzFeed Tasty

BuzzFeed is no stranger to being acknowledged for its social media marketing chops. But 2016 sparked a new craze with its short video recipes hosted on BuzzFeed Tasty. The clips take a new approach to an already popular concept. Recipe videos have been huge on YouTube for years, but BuzzFeed figured how to successfully translate those videos into bite sized pieces that are more usable on other platforms.

Buzzfeed cut out the talking, prep work and other pieces commonly used in recipe videos and just included the critical parts of the videos.

Why It Worked

These video clips take something that’s typically seen as difficult and intimidating like cooking, and make it look easy. Even if they’re the same exact recipe, seeing it done in 30 seconds seems a lot more doable than a 10-minute video. It’s all about perception.

Also, the videos are valuable and get straight to the point. Give people what they want in a way that’s easy for them to digest, and you’ll see more success on social media.

6. Make-A-Wish Foundation & Disney

Social media can be used for much more than increasing sales and branding. One of the best social media marketing examples of 2016 was all about raising money for a great cause. The Make-A-Wish Foundation partnered with Disney for the #ShareYourEars campaign.

Why It Worked

Aside from being launched for a great cause, this campaign also benefited from tons of user generated content (UGC). Every time someone shared their photo with the iconic mouse ears, the hashtag reached an even wider audience.

The lesson you can take from #ShareYourEars and similar campaigns is to activate your audience through UGC. It shows you appreciate them and allows them to feel like a part of your brand.

7. Reynolds

Have you ever seen a piece of content or campaign on social media that made you think “I wish I would’ve thought of that!” Well, that’s exactly what went through most marketers’ minds when they took at look at the Reynolds Instagram page in 2016. The company turned its Instagram feed into an endless table.

To pull off the visually striking campaign, Reynolds took photos of eight tables filled with food and strung them together to create one endless table, with recipes organized by season.

Why It Worked

Reynolds is the perfect example of using social media even if you’re not selling the most exciting products in the world. People aren’t rushing to Instagram to find out about aluminum foil, but Reynolds showed that a little creativity can go a long way.

In addition to creating the visual, Reynolds also reached out to food bloggers, popular chefs and Instagram foodies to have them come up with recipes for each table.

If you’re in an industry that isn’t as thrilling as fashion, art and entertainment, think outside the box. Do something that stands out, while still being relevant to your brand and industry.


TOMS is the perfect example of integrating your brand’s values into your social media marketing strategy. Rather than go the route of a giveaway, TOMS put a twist on its one-for-one shoe pledge. The company offered to donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for everyone who posted a barefoot Instagram photo with the hashtag #withoutshoes.

The hashtag generated hundreds of thousands of Instagram posts and went viral.

Why It Worked

The interesting thing about this campaign is the entrants didn’t receive a tangible prize for participating. TOMS relied on their followers’ commitment to their brand values to spread #withoutshoes.

The lesson you can take from TOMS is you don’t just want to get followers. You want followers who believe in your brand and what your company stands for. Your brand values don’t have to be as philanthropic as TOMS, but it should be something people can associate with.

For instance, Nike is all about performing at your peak performance. Whole Foods supports sustainability and natural products. By making these values known, both companies attract followers and customers that align with them. The end result is an engaged audience that helps promote their initiatives.

9. Knorr

Video marketing was wildly successful in 2016, and it’ll continue on in 2017. If you’re looking for a social media marketing example of a brand that successfully used video, look no further than the#LoveAtFirstTatste campaign from Knorr.

Knorr’s fun and entertaining campaign featured matchmaking based on food taste instead of looks and personality.

The video above went viral with 7 million views in a single day, and over 60 million throughout 2016.

Why It Worked

The power of video is undeniable. But on top of that, the Knorr campaign had an emotional connection by touching on the topic of love.

If you’re going to start creating videos for your brand, think of what emotion you want viewers to feel. Whether it’s humor, anger or in Knorr’s case, love, appealing to specific emotions will make your content memorable.

10. GoPro

We’re not featuring any specific campaign from GoPro. The reason GoPro is on the list is because they’re arguably one of the top non-celebrity brands on Instagram. The GoPro page has over 10 million followers, gets hundreds of thousands of engagements on every post and shares some of the most exciting content you’ll find on Instagram.

Why It Worked

The reason GoPro is killing it on Instagram is largely due to the content they share. You could spend hours scrolling through all the pictures and videos on the account.

GoPro also does an excellent job sharing UGC. A lot of the content they share is from customers using their products. This is a cool and subtle way of promoting how great their products are without being overly-promotional.

Try uploading content with people using your products. It’s much more compelling than generic photos that essentially look like ads. Sometimes you just have to let your product speak for itself.

Get Ready for 2017

social media analytics gif

Keep in mind that ideas are only part of the equation. You also need to monitor what’s working and what’s not. Use Sprout’s social media analytics tools to get insight into your top performing social content, audience demographics and other data that’ll help you achieve even more success in 2017.

What were some of your favorite social media marketing examples of 2016? Leave a comment below and let us know.

This post 10 Standout Social Media Marketing Examples From 2016 originally appeared on Sprout Social.

Sprout Social

Netflix vs. Amazon in 2016: A big year for 2 video streaming giants

Netflix vs. Amazon Video

If the year 2015 saw Netflix and Amazon go head to head in the video-streaming realm, this year we’ve seen more of the same, as the two companies ramped up their respective efforts to capture the cord-cutting video generation.

Here, we take a look back at some of the notable developments in the worlds of Netflix and Amazon in 2016.

Going global

In January, Netflix launched in 130 new markets, taking the service truly global and giving the company a serious leg up on rival Amazon, which was limited to just a handful of countries.

That remained the case for nearly a year, until Amazon revealed it was launching Amazon Prime Video in more than 200 markets for $ 6 per month. Amazon’s big international push was perhaps more notable, because its video-on-demand (VoD) offering had traditionally differed from Netflix in one key way — it was bundled alongside Amazon’s broader Prime subscription service, which costs $ 99 per year.

I’ve long argued that Amazon should spin Prime Video out as a standalone subscription service, like Netflix, and that’s exactly what it did in April. Prime Video was already available as a standalone service in the U.K. and Germany (though it was hard to find), but spinning out the video service in Amazon’s domestic U.S. market laid the foundation for what was to come — a global VoD service available to just about everyone, everywhere.

Content is king

Amazon: Top Gear chaps sign up to The Grand Tour

Above: Amazon: Top Gear chaps sign up to The Grand Tour

Image Credit: Amazon

For Amazon, going global was pretty much imperative, given its aspirations in the original content realm. The company had invested a reported $ 250 million in the talent behind the BBC’s Top Gear, and in November it launched a similarly themed show called The Grand Tour, starring Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond.

The Grand Tour represents Amazon’s biggest content investment to date, so to capitalize on the popularity of the trio of presenters, Amazon needed to get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible — and a global rollout of Amazon Video was inevitable.

Both Netflix and Amazon continued to boost their slate of original or exclusive titles throughout 2016. Shortly after Amazon announced its big arrival on the international scene, Netflix announced it had secured a major content deal in India, after signing up Shah Rukh Khan’s Red Chillies for all past and upcoming films.

Elsewhere, Netflix extended its deal with DreamWorks Animation to add a ton of exclusive content to its global streaming service. But more than that, the company debuted a number of great original shows, including Stranger Things, The Crown, and The OA.

Netflix’s Emmy Award nominations grew from 34 to 54 this year, while Amazon’s grew from 12 to 16. But nominations don’t automatically convert into wins — Netflix scooped up a personal record nine awards, while Amazon took home five. So Netflix won more awards, but Amazon’s win-to-nomination ratio was higher.

However you slice and dice things, both Amazon and Netflix will continue to invest in original and exclusive content. It’s the only thing that differentiates one VoD service from another to any significant degree, so it’s something we’ll see both companies plowing cash into in 2017 and beyond.

Own-brand and exclusive content is also what gives both Netflix and Amazon an easier path into their expanded operations. With third-party content, owners of the rights can dictate things like whether content is available offline, as they normally negotiate terms on a market-by-market basis — a complicated process that consumes significant resources for VoD companies. But when the companies own the rights themselves, the problem vanishes — they can broadcast what they want, in whatever country they want.


Netflix: Downloads

Above: Netflix: Downloads

Image Credit: Paul Sawers / VentureBeat

Arguably one of Netflix’s biggest pieces of news in 2016 was its decision to finally offer its users offline access.

The company had previously claimed that it would never allow users to download shows and movies for offline access, but with its decision to expand into new markets, Netflix was forced to reconsider. Wi-Fi and 4G internet aren’t omnipresent in many developing markets, so to fulfill its obligations to customers, Netflix had to start offering downloads.

Netflix is adopting the same approach Amazon did when it opened up to offline access last year — only some titles will be available to download, including its own slate of content, such as The Crown, Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, and Narcos. There is some third-party content on that list, but it’s limited.

Other factors

Way back in December of last year, Amazon launched a new program allowing Prime subscribers to add additional VoD subscriptions to their annual membership — at an extra cost. Some notable brands were on board for the launch, including Starz and Showtime, but earlier this month HBO and Cinemax were added to the mix, for $ 15 and $ 10 a month, respectively.

This was a major scoop for Amazon and served as one more big reason for cord-cutters to sign up to Prime — they can garner contract-free access to their favorite channels without a cable subscription.

Building off the back of this development, in May of this year Amazon introduced a new platform that lets creatives and video-makers upload their own videos to rent or sell through Amazon Video. With Amazon Video Direct (AVD), Amazon is looking to increase the amount of content available through its service, giving creators the ability to make their titles ad-supported for free access or to earn royalties as part of Amazon’s $ 99 Prime membership.

With Amazon focused on becoming a platform for other subscription-based services, Netflix launched its Recommended TV Program globally, having introduced it to the U.S. a year earlier. It’s basically Netflix’s way of letting TV-makers align themselves with the video-streaming giant and letting customers know whether a TV supports Instant On and TV Resume functionality, features that let TVs “wake up” quickly and “remember” where you left off in an episode.

To the future…

Both Netflix and Amazon evolved in 2016, and it’s interesting to note the similarities between the two services as they increasingly converge. In 2015, Amazon gained offline access, and a year later Netflix followed suit. At the start of this year, Netflix launched globally in nearly every market; a year later Amazon did the same.

What is becoming increasingly clear is that Netflix and Amazon will continue to evolve in tandem from a features perspective. Where they will seek to differentiate themselves is in the realm of content, and this is where we’ll likely see some interesting developments in 2017 and beyond.

Word on the street is that Amazon is chasing premium sports packages and has been in talks with a range of sports leagues, with a view to acquiring broadcast rights. That would be a major game changer, as live sports is something that consumers are insanely keen to subscribe to.

But it’s also worth remembering that as both Amazon and Netflix continue to bolster their respective content offerings, their competition will serve to give viewers more reason to subscribe to both streaming services.

So for 2017, it may not be a case of “Netflix or Amazon Video?” but rather a case of “Netflix AND Amazon Video.”

Social – VentureBeat

V&A Collection – Trends Report 2016

Hill Top by night, Beatrix Potter, 1913, BP.294

Hill Top by night, Beatrix Potter, 1913, BP.294

Welcome to the annual V&A Collection search trends report for 2016, providing newspaper columnists and social media pundits the opportunity to fill the Christmas period with questionable data interpretation and spurious trend spotting.

As it now seems to be obligatory to provide end of year reports on what people have spent the year searching for (on the web, not in life; assuming there is still a difference), we thought we should publish our own top 20 list of the most popular search terms on the V&A’s Search the Collections site. (Search the Archives will have to wait until next year when we have a full twelve months’ data to provide total statistical accuracy.)

  1. William Morris
  2. Art Deco
  3. Art Deco (image only search)
  4. Fashion
  5. Corset
  6. Thomas Rowlandson
  7. Shoes
  8. Dress
  9. Indian Company Paintings
  10. Beatrix Potter
  11. Mantua
  12. furniture
  13. constable
  14. Chanel
  15. Constable
  16. Fashion
  17. embroidery
  18. Kimono & 18= wallpaper
  19. art nouveau

Deep interpretation of the results is left to the reader. Many of the searches are of course for topics and collections the V&A is renowned for (including the great man himself in the top spot). But there are some curiosities in the list; for example Thomas Rowlandson tip-toeing ahead of shoes (but just behind a corset), possibly prompted by our colleagues at the Royal Collection’s exhibition earlier in the year?; the sesquicentenary celebrations marking the work of Beatrix Potter, who would have not likely been seen in a mantua dress; and the continued appeal of designers and artists from Constable to Chanel (other letters of the alphabet are also available).


How Video Marketing Rocked 2016

Editor’s Note: This post is one of Convince & Convert’s Top 10 Posts of 2016.

How Video Marketing Rocked 2016

Did you set the right marketing goals for 2016? And are you using the right tools to achieve those goals? The fact of the matter is, if you didn’t include a video marketing strategy as part of your broader content marketing plan, you’re missing out.

Video isn’t just a nice afterthought. It’s a chance to take your marketing strategy into the stratosphere. (highlight to tweet)

The good news? It’s springtime. It’s a fresh start—a chance to do marketing better. And it’s not too late to tap into the power of video. Here are just some of the many reasons 2016 is the year of video marketing.

1. Video Is the Secret Weapon for Achieving Your Marketing Goals

One of our main messages at Explainify is that video is not a silver bullet.

By saying that, it may seem like I’m shooting myself in the foot with that silver bullet, but it’s true: video, on its own, isn’t magically going to grow your business. But if you use video strategically to accomplish specific business objectives, you’ll see serious returns.

Here are just a few examples:

  • Adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front page Google result by up to 53x.
  • Using videos in email marketing has been shown to double click-through rates.
  • 71 percent of marketers say that video conversion rates consistently outperform other marketing content.
  • Audiences are 10x more likely to engage with video content—embed, share, or comment—more than text-only blogs or related social posts.

If you have a clear vision for what marketing objectives you want to achieve, video will help you get there.

2. Video Isn’t Just a Top-of-Funnel Tool Anymore

A lot of companies see that we make explainer videos, and they think video marketing stops there. But there are so many opportunities for you to offer your audience video content throughout the buyer’s journey—video that will help educate them, make it easy to trust your brand, and move them to a purchase decision faster.

Top-of-Funnel Video

Of course, awareness-stage video is still a great way to improve conversions. Take ExactTarget, for example: When they implemented video on their website, their bounce rate decreased—and the average time on site increased by 100%!

Or what about the folks at Limelight Networks? Thanks to video, their bounce rate essentially evaporated, and their unique visitor count doubled—almost overnight!

Middle-of-Funnel Video

But stopping at the top of the funnel would be a big mistake. Video is a great opportunity to stay in touch with folks who are in the consideration stage, making their purchase decision.

That’s exactly what legendary online shoe retailer Zappos thought. And when they added product demo videos to their product pages, they saw a 30% impact on sales.

Zappos video marketing

Bottom-of-Funnel Video

Your existing customers will also appreciate ongoing engagement through video content, like when IKEA created a series of instructional videos showing customers how to build some of their most popular furniture.

Video belongs at every stage of the buyer’s journey. And the more places you utilize great video in your funnel, the easier you make it for those buyers to move down the path to purchase.

3. Great Video Woos Customers Like Nothing Else

Video is critical to helping people connect with, remember, and care about your brand. Consider these statistics:

  • Experiments show that video-based multimedia material create better learning performance and more positive emotion—even in text-centric learners. (Chih-Ming Chen)
  • Videos are usually presented as stories, and stories are 22 times more memorable than facts alone. (Jennifer Aaker, Stanford)
  • Positive emotions created by watching a video can actually impact your viewers’ buying decisions. (Scheibehenne)
  • The human brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text. (HubSpot)

Simply put, a great video taps into the human mind in ways that images and text just can’t.

4. Most Marketers Are Already Embracing Video Marketing

The secret sauce that is video marketing isn’t so secret anymore. In fact:

  • 52 percent of marketing professionals name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
  • 76 percent of marketers plan to use video to boost their brand awareness campaigns.
  • 96 percent of B2B companies are planning to use video in their content marketing over the next year.

Can you really afford to be left behind?

5. The Era of Video Has Arrived

Did you know that consumer internet video traffic will go from 64 percent in 2014 to over 80 percent by 2019? That’s not very far away.

But don’t panic. There’s still plenty of time left in the year to get in on the video marketing game. You just have to get started!

Want to see more? Download the “5 Reasons Video MUST Be Part of Your 2016 Marketing Budget” infographic.

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Convince and Convert: Social Media Consulting and Content Marketing Consulting

Top 15 Marketing Books of 2016

What a year it’s been!

So what about marketing? Well, the world of marketing continues to evolve and change at breakneck speed, leaving marketers racing to keep up with what’s new and what’s actually working and what’s becoming less effective.

Enter marketing books. This year has yielded a bumper crop of great books that are helping marketers masterfully navigate what must seem like uncharted waters.

As the host of The Marketing Book Podcast, each week I publish an interview with the author of a bestselling marketing or sales book. And yes, I read every book featured on the podcast (which, sadly, has caused my Scotch drinking to plummet).

This month the podcast celebrated its 100th episode in grand fashion with Dr. Philip Kotler, “The Father of Modern Marketing” talking about his new book "Marketing 4.0: From Traditional to Digital."

So I offer this list of the top 15 marketing books of 2016. This list includes books that were published in 2016 and which were featured on The Marketing Book Podcast.

Were there other great marketing books? Undoubtedly so, but these books I’ve read and recommend. Please share your book recommendations in the comments section below.

1. Marketing 4.0: Moving from Traditional to Digital by Philip Kotler, Hermawan Kartajaya, and Iwan Setiawan

Philip Kotler is the author of over 55 marketing books and is widely regarded as the Father of Modern Marketing. He has been on the faculty of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management since 1962.

“Marketing 4.0” book does a masterful job at explaining the tectonic shifts that have occurred in the marketing world which are largely a result of technology and connectivity. If you want to better understand the new rules of how to market and grow your business in today’s era of the empowered and connected customer, “Marketing 4.0” will explain it for you like no other book. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

2. Malcolm McDonald on Marketing Planning: Understanding Marketing Plans and Strategy (2nd Edition)

Malcolm McDonald, the author of 46 books, enjoys a global reputation as a leading authority on marketing, particularly marketing planning.

In this updated second edition of his bestseller he states: “This book is, quite simply, about how to develop a strategy for making lots of money.” In the book, he explains that most companies cannot answer the two simple questions that are required for a successful marketing plan. The book walks you through exactly how to go about getting (or developing) answers to those two questions. And don’t be surprised when you find that the answers to those questions are found not in promotional activities, but in business strategy. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

3. Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints and Keep Your Customers by Jay Baer

Jay Baer is the New York Times bestselling author of five books and is the most retweeted person in the world among digital marketers

In “Hug Your Haters” Jay explains that “haters are the canary in the coal mine.” 95% of unhappy customers will not complain. They will just go away. But that five percent of your unhappy customers who do care enough to complain give you a roadmap for how to fix whatever ails your business and increase your customer retention. And a five percent increase in customer retention boosts profits by 25 to 85 percent. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

4. Hacking Marketing: Agile Practices to Make Marketing Smarter, Faster, and More Innovative by Scott Brinker

Scott Brinker is the editor of the Chief Marketing Technologist blog, and may be best known for his marketing technology landscape supergraphic (which currently shows the logos of over 3,500 marketing technology companies).

It turns out that modern marketing has more in common with the software development than it does with classic marketing management. Not surprisingly, some of the first companies to discover this were software companies. But the idea of managing your marketing like the ongoing development and refinement of software is moving beyond tech companies. And fortunately, you don’t have to be a techie to understand how this more effective approach to marketing management can be implemented. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

5. Aligned to Achieve: How to Unite Your Sales and Marketing Teams into a Single Force for Growth by Tracy Eiler and Andrea Austin

The co-authors are the Chief Marketing Officer and the VP of Enterprise Sales at InsideView, a software as a service company that has profitably aligned its sales and marketing efforts.

According to SiriusDecisions, when sales and marketing teams are aligned they are averaging 19 percent faster revenue growth and 15 percent higher profitability. That’s why sales and marketing alignment is not some nice to have, feelgood corporate kumbaya. It’s a requirement for faster, more profitable growth. “Aligned To Achieve” walks you through granular details of how to achieve greater sales and marketing alignment. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

6. Disruptive Marketing: What Growth Hackers, Data Punks, and Other Hybrid Thinkers Can Teach Us About Navigating the New Normal by Geoffrey Colon

Disruptive Marketing by Geoffrey Colon

Geoffrey Colon is a Communications Designer and Social Data Expert at Microsoft. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2013, Geoffrey was vice president of digital strategy at Ogilvy & Mather.

This book is like a lit Molotov cocktail being thrown on the barricade of the sclerotic traditional marketing that is holding companies back as their upstart competition eviscerates them. The book walks you through all the change that has occurred, but more importantly points to where the future of marketing is going.  Geoffrey includes sections on the mindset and skills of successful future marketers, the end of the marketing department and the rules for disruptive marketers. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

7. What Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every Touchpoint by Nicholas Webb

What Customers Crave by Nicholas J. Webb

Known as the “Innovation Evangelist” Nicholas Webb is the author of several books and has been awarded over 45 patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office. He is a Senior Partner at Cravve, a customer experience consulting firm.

In this hyperconnected, hypercompetitive business world everyone has a megaphone, and if the experience your customers have is a bad one, they will not return. And, they’ll tell the world on social media and review sites how awful you are. But, if your customers have a great experience and you delight them, not only will that be surprising, they will remain loyal customers and tell others.

But more important, customer experience is where the money is: 70% of Americans are willing to spend more with companies they believe provide an excellent customer experience. And, the probability of selling to a new prospect is less than 20%, while the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 to 70 percent. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

8. Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small by Nick Westergaard Get Scrappy by Nick Westergaard

Nick Westergaard is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands at organizations of all sizes — from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

In “Get Scrappy,” he explains that there is a firehose of shiny new things online: new channels, platforms, tools and networks constantly coming at you. There’s also a myth that only big brands with big budgets, big teams, and big technology can do big things with digital marketing. And there’s a growing obstacle the author refers to as “checklist marketing” where marketers focus on checking things off lists instead of on what makes the most sense. “Get Scrappy” demystifies marketing today in a way that makes sense for businesses and lays a foundation for action that will produce measureable business results. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

9. SEO for Growth: The Ultimate SEO Guide For Marketers, Web Designers & Entrepreneurs by John Jantsch and Phil Singleton

SEO for Growth by John Jantsch and Phil Singleton

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and bestselling author of four other books including "Duct Tape Marketing." Phil Singleton is a self-described “SEO grunt” who is the founder of a marketing agency whose services include search engine optimization.

I never would have thought I’d get so fired up by a book about search engine optimization, but “SEO for Growth” did it. Here’s why – SEO has changed a lot recently and there are a lot of lingering misperceptions about what you need to do to get your company to show up on the first page of a search engine. Plus there is a staggering amount of money being paid to many SEO firms and experts that is wasted. In fact, a lot of that work being done is actually causing harm to their clients.

“SEO For Growth” is like the scene in "The Wizard of Oz" when Toto pulls back the curtain on the mysterious and all powerful Oz. For too many businesses, SEO has been perceived as Oz. But now the curtain has been pulled back for all to see how it actually works and discover why SEO is not such an ominous, intimidating thing. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

10. UnMarketing: Everything Has Changed and Nothing is Different by Scott and Alison Stratten

UnMarketing by Scott Stratten and Allison Stratten

In 2009 Scott and Alison Stratten wrote the bestseller “UnMarketing: Stop Marketing, Start Engaging.” In that book, they explained that the landscape of business-customer relationships was changing, and it offered up innovative alternatives to the old “push and pray” approach. The book showed how to unlearn the old way of interruptive, irritating marketing and attract the right customers and build trust through listening and engagement.

In this second edition, Scott and Alison are back with all the brilliance and gut-busting laugh-out-loud humor of the first edition, but with new content and commentary to reflect the rapidly changing landscape we all live, buy, and work in today. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

11. Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini

Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini

Dr. Robert Cialdini is best known for his 1984 book on persuasion and marketing, "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion." The book has sold over three million copies and has been translated into 31 languages.

In “Pre-Suasion,” Dr. Cialdini draws on the same combination of rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his book “Influence” a bestseller. But what is surprising about the techniques presented in Pre-Suasion is that you don’t have to change a listener's attitudes or beliefs – all that’s required is to redirect their focus of attention before a relevant action. In other words, the secret doesn’t lie in the message itself, but in the key moment before that message is delivered. If you liked Dr. Cialdini’s book, “Influence,” you’ll absolutely love “Pre-Suasion.” (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

12. Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends by Martin Lindstrom

Small Data by Martin Lindstrom

Martin Lindstrom is one of the world’s premier brand building experts, a New York Times and Wall St Journal best-selling author of five other groundbreaking books, and was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 Most Influential People in the World.

In “Small Data” he demonstrates that marketers’ preoccupation with digital data is endangering high-quality insights and observations, and that if companies want to truly understand consumers, big data offers a valuable, but incomplete solution. The small data that companies are missing comes from spending time with consumers in their daily lives, observing them and probing for their real emotional desires, not just what they say they want. (Marketing Book Podcast episode​)

13. Invisible Influence: The Hidden Forces that Shape Behavior by Jonah Berger

Invisible Influence by Jonah Berger

Jonah Berger is a Marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and is the author of the bestseller “Contagious: Why Things Catch On.”

At the beginning of the book, Jonah Berger makes a joke about the fact that most people don’t think they are influenced by others but by themselves. He states, “Sure, other people might follow the herd, but not me.” That’s what I thought.

The book then walks you through the how and why of this invisible influence that is exerted on people. But it’s not a matter of monkey see, monkey do. We’re talking about humans here, so things are not so simple. Sure, in some cases we conform, or imitate others around us. But in other cases we avoid particular choices or behaviors because other people are doing them. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

14. The Agile Marketer: Turning Customer Experience Into Your Competitive Advantage by Roland Smart

The Agile Marketer by Roland Smart

Roland Smart serves as the VP of Social and Community Marketing at Oracle.

The Agile Marketer is not the very first book to explore how engineering your customer’s experience will give you an enormous competitive advantage. What’s different about this book is that Roland Smart explains how using an agile approach to managing your marketing can dramatically improve your customer’s experience. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

15. Chief Marketing Officers At Work by Josh Steimle

Chief Marketing Officers At Work by Josh Steimle

Josh Steimle is the founder and CEO of MWI, a digital marketing agency. He has written over 200 articles for publications like Forbes, Entrepreneur, Inc., Mashable, TechCrunch, and Time.

In “Chief Marketing Officers at Work,” we have a very revealing look at what chief marketing officers are spending their time on and thinking about. You’ll be surprised. The book contains 29 in-depth interviews with chief marketing officers from companies like, GE, Harvard Business School, The Home Depot, Nestle´ and Target.

One of the most interesting insights I gained from this book is how given the changes in marketing and how it’s much more directly connected to revenues and growth, it’s no surprise that the CEO position is increasingly being filled by former CMOs. (Marketing Book Podcast episode)

These Top 15 marketing books are just a part of what you need to be succeed in Modern Marketing. Click below to subscribe to weekly highlights from the blog to keep up with the latest marketing trends and best practices.

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