Skip to main content

Author Archives: tmcclary

38+ Examples of Brands Doing Great Content

brands-great-content-examples-390x215As content users, we all experience content overload.

As content marketers, we may find it tough to uncover the valuable gems in that same big sea of content. It can be hard to learn about brands — beyond Red Bull, GoPro, and BlendTec — that are executing successful, creative content marketing.

Some Content Marketing World presenters are here to help you cut through the content marketing clutter with 38 brands doing great work that you may not know about. These examples range from a blog created by a 70-year-old paint company to a veterans magazine publishing over 100 years, and from an amusement park’s website previewing the customer experience to a site featuring heroes by a church-administration software company.

If you have a particular tactic that you’d like to see, you can go directly to that section. We’ve broken the examples into the following categories — blogs, integrated marketing, newsletters, personalization/segmentation, SEO effect, visuals/video/audio, and websites.

Please know that if a contributor shared more than one brand, we wanted to make sure you knew about it. Thus, we included all examples and picked the best single category. That means you may see a few examples that don’t neatly fit in that category.

Read more

How Instagram Can Help Public Libraries Connect With Teens

Public libraries have so much to offer teens. They’re not only reference resources for homework, but they also offer social meeting spaces, job training and search resources, and access to computers and year-round learning. Thus, connecting with teens is an important objective for public library marketing programs.

Of all the social networks, Instagram is perhaps the most promising platform for connecting with teens. And just what do teens think of Instagram? Well, they make up a very large share – 62% – of all Instagram users. And one-third call it the most important social media platform.

One reason for Instagram’s popularity is that it is 100% mobile. Visual communication is especially important in this format, which makes reading large chunks of text on a small screen difficult.

It should come as no surprise that we are in the midst of a visual revolution, in which images are favored more than plain text. Today, visuals are the “universal language,” especially for younger generations. And Instagram is just perfect for visual content and storytelling because it enables easy sharing of photos, images, GIFs and video.

“The teens I work with say it is the last app they close at night and the first they open in the morning. If teen brands can speak teens’ Instagram language and serve them fresh, entertaining content, they’ll connect with their audience,” says Laura Tierney, social media director at Digiday.

How can libraries take advantage of this platform? Here are five ways to use Instagram for building a rapport with teens.

Engage with lifestyle marketing

Tierney says the most successful brands on Instagram use lifestyle marketing to engage teens. This aspirational approach focuses on creating and sharing images that show how the brand’s products fit into the teen’s life. Of course this works exceedingly well for fashion, but it can also work for public libraries.

For example, you can create Instagram images that illustrate how the library fits into the teen day. Go beyond images of students poring over books in the library, and instead create images of teens socializing in library areas, participating in library events, and earning recognition for their accomplishments, such as getting a job or earning an A on schoolwork.

An emphasis on sharing user generated content

One of the best ways to build your brand on Instagram (or any social network) is to share content created by other people. This makes the library seem more “human” and helps to foster enthusiasm. Plus, whenever you share a photo taken by a library visitor, it builds loyalty. Use Instagram’s geography tags to find posts taken in or near the library and use hashtags to share content on topics important and relevant to both teens and the library.

Time your posts to optimize reach

Be sure to upload and share your images when teens are most likely to be on Instagram: in the morning and at night. You’ll reach a wider audience, and there’s less chance your post will be overlooked or missed while teens are in class.

Be generous with hashtags

Hashtags make it easier for teens to find your content, and they are a popular convention on this platform. It’s important to use only hashtags that are relevant to your image, but it’s also acceptable to include 10 or more hashtags with each post. In fact, interactions are highest on posts with 11 or more hashtags.

Be sure to incorporate a couple of the most popular Instagram hashtags. As teens follow these hashtags, they’re more likely to see your posts.

Also make a point of creating a few hashtags specific to your library or the campaigns you are running. Some examples relevant to New Jersey libraries are: #library, #libraries, #nj, #newjersey, #reading, #books, #librarians and #librarylove.

It’s Time for Candid Camera

Research from Edelman PR shows that we tend to trust people like ourselves more than we trust celebrities or CEOs. That’s a key reason candid shots on Instagram work so well. Behind-the-scenes shots – of your staff going about their daily work or interacting with teens – make the library more relatable for teens. These shots are perceived as more authentic, and they help create and build a stronger relationship.

Let teens know the library is on Instagram!

Don’t rely on teens stumbling across your Instagram account. Be sure to promote your presence on the platform in all of your marketing materials, flyers, newsletters and email accounts. Post signs promoting both your account name and your hashtags around the library and in other public areas to encourage teens to follow your account.

Instagram is a promising platform for building the relationship between teens and the library. Start with the basics and experiment with the platform. Over time, you’ll learn what types of images both keep teens coming back and get them excited about sharing.


Marketing Budgets 2016: 5 Reasons Instagram Matters, Big Time [Infographic]
by MDG Advertising

Five Ways Pokémon GO Can Help Promote Your Public Library

It’s Tuesday night, and a dozen teenagers are congregating on the plaza in front of your public library. Inside, a swarm of 20-somethings wander around your art exhibit, staring at their phones. A month ago, this type of behavior would have seemed incredibly odd.  But by now, we all know Pokémon GO is the hottest game of the summer.

Those laughing, joyous explorers? They’re searching for Pokémon. At your library.

The new mobile game partly trades on nostalgia. It’s an extension of the Pokémon franchise, whose video games, trading cards, and television series were beloved by the Millennial generation during their elementary and middle school days. Your library almost certainly has a copy of the comic book series.

The game design uses augmented reality, which is particularly engaging for players (also known as “trainers”). This technology overlays computer images on a real world environment. In Pokémon GO, images of Pokémon creatures, Poké Balls and other game items overlay real-life places – such as public libraries.

The game is essentially a scavenger hunt, where trainers search for creatures in public places, including landmarks, institutions, and outdoor features, such as lakes and parks. Using GPS technology, the game makers have turned these locations into treasure spots for trainers. By doing so, it encourages players to get outside, walk around, be more social and learn new things about their surroundings.

To get a sense of the scale of this phenomenon, the game topped the download charts within 24 hours of its release, and as of July 14, 26 million Americans were actively playing it. While these numbers alone are impressive, the engagement numbers are what’s eye-popping. Users spend 43 minutes playing each day, more time than they spend on WhatsApp, Instagram or Snapchat.

The discovery aspect makes it ideal for public library marketing. As trainers gather at your library to catch Pokémon, you can use the game to promote your services. The following five ideas are easy ways to help you attract and engage trainers.


1. Post a Sign Outside

What could be simpler and more effective? Let passersby know you’re a home for Pokémon and welcome gamers inside. But don’t stop there – use the opportunity to engage players further. Set up a Pokémon display inside, and greet trainers as they walk in the door. While they’re rediscovering the books, remind them about the free WiFi you offer and encourage them to sign up for summer reading or a library card.


2. Blog About It

In some places, Pokémon might be found next to specific art exhibits. In Bentonville, AK, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art used this opportunity to blog about it on their website. They posted photographs of the Pokémon near specific pieces of art.

This also creates an opportunity to discuss the work in more detail. If you have creatures guarding books or a piece of artwork, find a way share more about that particular item, even if you simply hang a poster with more information.


3. Promote on Social media

Be sure trainers know which Pokémon creatures and items they can find at your library. Promote this information across all of your social media, including Twitter, Instagram, SnapChat and Facebook. Be sure to follow all of the Pokémon accounts, and share your updates using the hashtags: #PokemonGo and #GottaCatchEmAll.


4. Place a Lure

One way to attract more players is to purchase a lure module within the game – they cost 100 PokeCoins (99 cents) for one lure or 680 coins for a pack of 8 modules. When placed at your library, a Lure will attract new Pokémon to your location for 30 minutes. Be sure to make the most of the lure, however, and plan a Pokémon party with some activities to engage them further.


5. Create Pokémon-Themed Activities

Find ways to extend the fun in your library. Create a related activity, such as a craft station where trainers can decorate Poké Balls or make Pokémon cards, as Sarah Bean Thompson writes on the ALA blog. She also created a passive window display where players could share the creatures they caught.

Of course, the first step is to download the game and become a trainer yourself. This will enable you to find out which creatures or items is hiding in or near your library and if it’s a Poké Stop or a Gym.

Then, you can promote your status as a treasure stop in one of the above ways. But beware – there’s a good chance you will become enthralled by playing the game too.


6 Mobile Marketing Ideas for Public Libraries

girl-925284_1920Mobile marketing is quickly becoming an imperative for public libraries. And it’s easy to see why: the number of US adults with smartphones has nearly doubled over the last several years – to 68% in 2015 from 35% in 2011, according to the Pew Research Center. Not surprisingly, consumers are very attached to their mobile devices. Analyst firm Forrester Research finds that “consumers pick up their mobile devices 150 to 200 times a day. In aggregate, that adds up to nearly 30 billion mobile moments each day.”

This data underscores the need for public libraries to integrate mobile into their marketing strategies, especially for those intent on reaching teens and young adults. As Pew points out, the rate of smartphone ownership among younger generations is much higher than overall ownership: 86% of those ages 18-29 have a smartphone.

But adopting mobile marketing is easier than you think. Here are six ways you can incorporate mobile into your public library marketing strategy.

Plan for mobile first.

With the predominance of mobile devices, it’s time to recognize that marketing strategies should re-orient with mobile at the center. Of course, we shouldn’t ignore traditional or digital strategies, but we should challenge ourselves to start our marketing plans by thinking about how to reach mobile consumers.

They skim, we skim.

Because people read differently on mobile devices, be sure to optimize your content so that it can be skimmed. This includes both email newsletters and Web pages. Use subheads, bullets and short paragraphs to make copy easy to read.

Just click to call.

Whether out and about or sitting at home, mobile users want to tap and go. Make sure all of your phone numbers are “click-to-call ready.” This is especially useful for helping your visitors reach the reference line or for contacting the check-out desk.

Mobile test new content.

Before you distribute your email newsletter or publish a webpage, take a moment to view it on a mobile device first. If necessary, fix formatting to make it easier to read: break up paragraphs, add headings, and adjust images and other graphical elements.

Hit play for video

Video continues to be a powerful way to communicate, and it is an especially effective mobile marketing strategy. According to Google, 50% of global viewership on YouTube comes from mobile devices. Look for ways to deliver your message by creating and distributing short videos.

Send a Text

It’s no secret that teens and young adults are prolific text messaging enthusiasts, often sending thousands of messages every month. Public libraries can keep their visitors informed with this method, using it to promote events, renew or hold books, ask reference questions and much more.


Adopting just one or two of these strategies is a great way to begin the shift to mobile marketing. One thing is certain: given the intense devotion Americans have to their mobile devices, you’re not likely to be disappointed in the results.