Stir Blog

A brief history of content marketing

By Dani Theisen, inbound marketing analyst

While the term ‘content marketing’ has seen a huge increase in popularity over the past few years, the concept is nothing new at all. The story of how this effective method of marketing came to fruition begins more than 100 years. If you really stop to think about it, the fact that it has lasted this long is not surprising. While the way we consume brand stories has changed through the evolution of devices, the words that weave the stories are nothing new.

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Posted under Content Marketing

Four ways to leverage LinkedIn to increase brand awareness

By Dani Theisen, inbound marketing analyst

All good marketers know their business must have a presence on social media. Whether your brand is new to social media marketing or you’ve been marketing your business through social media since day one, you understand the effort and time it takes to set up and maintain a social media platform.

A platform that tends to get overlooked is LinkedIn. This social platform rides a fine line of personal and professional, and posting appropriate content can be confusing and time-consuming. I had the opportunity to hear Yumi Wilson (@YumiWilson), director of corporate communications at LinkedIn, speak at the PR + Social Media Summit about how to use LinkedIn to drive brand awareness.  Here are some of her top insights:

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Posted under Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Social Marketing, Social Media, Tips & Tricks

The future of social media

By Monica Lawton, integrated marketing specialist

I had the privilege of returning to my alma mater (Marquette University) this week for the sixth annual PR + Social Media Summit and hearing from social media guru and senior strategist at Sōsh, Caity Strong (@cmotion88).

Caity’s insights on the future of social media are takeaways that every brand should consider moving forward.

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Posted under Social Marketing, Social Media

Social media lessons from the Milwaukee Brewers

By Meg Hemmelgarn, PR account supervisor

I recently had the chance to attend my first PR + Social Media Summit. I enjoyed every minute, especially Caitlin Moyer’s presentation, “Go #Brewers! Using Social Media to Engage Fans and Build the Brand.” Caitlin shared the overall objectives of the Brewers’ social media program, what kind of content is shared on each channel and how ballpark pup Hank, who appeared out of nowhere during Spring Training, performed better than any thought-out plan could have.

Despite being the smallest of the MLB’s 30 markets, the Brewers are ranked 17th in Facebook fans and fifth in engagement per Facebook fan. Bernie Brewer is the most followed mascot on Twitter. Clearly, Caitlin has a strong fan base to engage with and continually present new content to. She’s a one-woman social media team who knows what she’s doing. Here’s what I took away from her presentation:

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Posted under Social Marketing, Social Media, Tips & Tricks

Overcoming the organic reach decline on Facebook

By Monica Lawton, integrated marketing specialist

Brands that utilize Facebook (which is essentially all brands, these days) have most likely realized a decline in organic reach – that is, how often a post will be seen without help from the Facebook algorithm or paying to promote it. There is more competition in the newsfeed than ever before, with content from friends, family and businesses competing for attention. Facebook must provide some level of filtration, and as a result, it’s becoming more difficult for any brand’s story to gain exposure. Social@Ogilvy reports that only six percent of followers currently engage with brand pages, and this number is expected to approach zero in the near future. All signs point to Facebook becoming more and more friendly toward users instead of brands.

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Posted under Advertising, Content Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Marketing, Social Media

Generate marketing wins with integration and partnership

By Brian Bennett, President

Marketing in the digital age has presented many opportunities for organizations of every size in virtually every category. Taking full advantage of these benefits requires a great deal of knowledge to be acquired and talent to be applied. While technology has made marketing success accessible in the short term, a lack of true expertise often makes it elusive. Accessing talent is critical, and the form that takes is also tremendously important. Finding the answer requires an assessment of the opportunity and the problems that need to be solved.

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Posted under Ad Agency, Brand Marketing, Digital Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, True IMC

Use Twitter cards to increase engagement

By Meg Hemmelgarn, PR account supervisor

Twitter is an important part of any company’s social media marketing plan. The rollout of Twitter cards allows a brand to encourage users to visit a specific web page, including a blog post, image gallery or specific product page. Twitter cards can be used to drive engagement by attaching videos, photos and calls to action to your brand’s tweets.

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Posted under Digital Marketing, Social Marketing, Social Media

Why this is the golden age of marketing empowerment

For ambitious businesses, entrepreneurial and growing brands, there has never been a better time to be a marketer. No longer is marketing the sole bastion of the well funded. Today the critical currency is conviction, courage and commitment. If you’ve got it, you can be enormously successful.

In spite of a bad economy in many sectors, the opportunity for growth is magnificent, as the marketer has unprecedented control at all levels. This reality has changed the game, particularly at the lower budget/spend levels, largely because the barriers to entry aren’t as high, while control and the ability to target is greater and real time feedback creates higher levels of efficiency.

All of this means that a small, emerging company or brand working with a minimal budget can have serious impact and make immediate inroads. Companies that know how to market in the digital age – or those that associate with the right integrated marketing agency – can realize their upside quicker and more efficiently than ever before.

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Posted under Ad Agency, Brand Marketing, Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Branding, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneur, Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Technology

Five benefits of inbound marketing

Long gone are the days of relying solely on outbound marketing as the only source of a company’s lead generation and means to convert leads into customers. “Inbound marketing,” the art of drawing subject matter qualified prospects to you versus mass outbound marketing to demographically targeted audiences, works most effectively when integrated into your overall marketing strategy. There is no doubt that inbound marketing is an investment, but the return on investment will prove to be much more accountable with less out-of-pocket cost than your typical outbound marketing strategy alone.

While outbound marketing features control and relies on a captive audience in a time sensitive way through media such as television, cold calling and direct mail, inbound marketing allows you to connect with your audience wherever they may be – and over time. They compliment each other, which is why the best marketing strategies include both.

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Posted under Brand Marketing, Brand Strategy, Content Marketing, Integrated Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy

Be an active brand in any industry

What does your prospect/customer/consumer (prospective patients) know about your brand? And where do they get their information and impressions? These are perhaps the most important questions in marketing. It’s imperative that you have an accurate read on this.

The answers could range from little or nothing to largely negative to overwhelmingly positive. Each situation is different, but the vast majority of the brands I encounter would tell you that they aren’t where they want to be in terms of positive impressions and web/retail traffic. Critical perceptions are coming from a huge variety of potential sources. You’ve got to get a grip on it.

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Posted under Brand Marketing, Brand Story, Brand Strategy, Branding, Content Marketing