BullHorn Media: A Glance at an Integrated Marketing Communications Plan

Note: The following company analysis and blog post example is taken from an Integrated Marketing Communications plan, created for BullHorn Media, as a graduate level project.

Company Analysis

Evaluation

BullHorn Media is a spinoff company from Pro One Video, owned and operated by Mark and Lisa LeGrand out of Orlando. Mark and Lisa have an extensive professional videography background, having been in video production since 1993 and starting with small wedding videography. They have recently begun to work with larger corporate clients and, as a result, created BullHorn Media, so the two types of clients could better be differentiated.

The target audience for BullHorn Media would be corporate clients, small or large, looking for a video production company for either short term or long term needs. Clients do not necessarily need to live in the Orlando area, as they could be travelling in for a trade expo, convention, etc.

Steven Jolly, owner of SRJ Marketing Communications, explains the importance of an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategy with 6 important steps to keep in mind (detailed further in Steven’s article):

content 1

content 2

Blog Post

The following is suggested blog content to be used in the 4th quarter of 2014 – to promote the BullHorn Media tag-line, “Amplify”:

Amplify Your Brand

Exactly how beneficial is it to amplify your image with quality videos that engage your viewers or consumers? Maybe we’re biased, but check the facts:

Forbes revealed that 75% of business executives watch business-related videos each week, and of those, 50% went on to make a purchase for their business, after viewing.

Whether you are looking for high-quality video to capture a corporate event or are a small non-profit organization in need of a professional video to enhance your mission, video can speak volumes to help your organization amplify their message.

Video can capture an audience and keep their interest, if captured in the right way. Because of this, it is important to consider a few things before meeting with your videographer:

  1. What is the purpose of your video? Consider your audience, whether it be internal employees or consumers.
  2. What message are you trying to send? Perhaps your organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary at their annual nation-wide convention – this would be reason to celebrate! Alternatively, your non-profit organization could be in need of an inspirational message, providing a mission in the Orlando community – this might be a more serious mood, as a call to action for viewers.
  3. Get more for your money: maybe your organization could use video footage to make two separate videos that have different purposes. Talk with your videographer about ideas and plans for each so that accurate footage is captured.

These are just a few items to begin thinking about, before discussing your organization’s video needs with a videographer (although they will be prepared with all of these questions for you, as well).

Amplify your image by providing your viewers with captivating videos. Establish a long-term relationship with your videographer in order to consistently promote the same message and professional style.

We maintain a long-time relationship with The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and, as a result, consistently provide fresh video content for publishing across FNGLA’s multiple social media channels and website. Check out our recap of the 2014 (FNGLA) Landscape Show:

Tags for blog post: Amplify, Videography, Corporate Image, Event, Videographer, Non-Profit, Video Production, Orlando, Florida, Brand

 

 

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Analytics: Understanding the Social Media Report Card

When developing a strong communications plan, it is crucial to take into consideration how effective your IMC strategy is. But how can this be determined? There are many tools to be used, but they all provide one thing: analytics.

For those in the marketing and communications industry, analytics can be your report card: how did your efforts pay off? What areas need improvement? It is imperative to use these analytics to measure your reach, not only to plan for the future, but also to adjust current strategies and content.

Measuring analytics can help with knowing your audience…picture yourself as a comedian: (that’s a scary image, at least for me!) Comedians must know their crowd to be able to feed off of them. They’re telling this great story, and then reach the punch line…only to hear crickets chirping. They’ll probably stray from stories similar to this in the future, providing humorous content comparable to what has been successful in the past.

While it is important to analyze all platforms in an IMC strategy, we are only going to focus on two today: Facebook and Email marketing. We will use Facebook Insights and Bronto to analyze “ABC Company”.

Brief company background: ABC Company is a health-oriented organization based out of Central Florida. In addition to their Facebook page and bi-weekly email newsletters, they have a Twitter account, Pinterest page, and YouTube channel.

Note: The following screenshots are from May 2013: therefore, some aspects of Facebook Insights and Bronto may have slightly changed since these screenshots were taken. These screenshots were distributed as an assignment. Therefore, I do not have full access to the actual company’s analytics.


Facebook

analytics fb 1

From this overview, we see that ABC Company has 880 Likes, or fans, and reached 340,325 friends of these fans. (The “Friends of Fans” metric is no longer used in Facebook Insights today, as it was not found to be beneficial to page owners.) Additionally, we see a 50.54% decrease in the number of fans talking about ABC Company.

Looking at the Overview chart, we see that there was a slight spike in the total reach around May 7th. From the size of the dot (which represents the number of posts within that time period), we can gather that the spike was generated from one single post. Although not shown in the screenshot, we can then scroll through the list of posts underneath, with their individual reach statistics, and see which post, from May 7th, garnered the small spike in total reach. Let’s say this post was a tip on how to incorporate physical activity while at home with a napping baby. We can make a note to include similar posts that cater to our existing crowd.

Although it is not in the main time range of which we are studying, we can see that June 2nd’s post about National Cancer Survivor’s Day managed to be the most viral of the posts on this current list. However, the post with the most engagement, reach, and sharing was May 29th’s “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” Because these are not my own, I can only guess that ABC Company was planning a health-related event at their establishment, or in the Central Florida community. This reached 509, engaged 13 users, and had 10 sharing the post on their newsfeed. Virality of this post (percentage of those who liked, commented, or shared) was average for this company, but it still created a buzz and should be noted for future content planning.

analytics fb 2

The demographics portion shows us that more women are reached than men, and the average age range is 25-34 for both men and women.

Geographically, ABC Company mainly reaches Central Florida cities of the US and, consequently, the vast majority of viewers speak English, with the second largest language being Spanish.

analytics fb 3

In the Reach chart, we can see the spike in virality of the May 7th post, mentioned earlier, with a steady increase starting at the end of May. The organic reach remains the same, changing only if a large increase in the number of Likes were to occur. ABC Company does not incorporate paid Facebook advertising, so the Paid reach remains at 0. The Unique Users by Frequency shows that almost 3,000 users visited ABC Company’s page, with about half returning for a second time. Knowing that we have almost 900 likes, there could be room for improvement here by giving users more of a reason to engage with the company.

The Page Views chart shows us that ABC Company receives about twice the number of page views (number of times visitors accessed the page), as unique visitors (number of individuals who visited the page).

The total number of tab views shows us that users are more engaged in ABC Company’s posted content more than the About Me section. If ABC Company is a brick-and-mortar establishment, they may want to utilize this section to provide physical address, contact information, store hours, etc.

analytics fb 4

The demographics of users talking about ABC Company are displayed here: we can gather that, like the reach demographics discussed earlier, Central Florida users between 25 and 34 (the majority of whom are women) are most likely to talk about ABC Company.

The last chart demonstrates the number of fans talking about ABC Company. There was a steady decline in this chart, until the end of May. This could be due to the June 2nd National Cancer Survivor’s Day post. ABC Company can use this information to develop content in the future, possibly including additional health recognition days like this one. The more fans that continue to talk about ABC Company, the larger the viral reach will be.


Email Communication

analytics bronto 1

The overview above shows the data collected from a May 21, 2013 email sent by ABC Company. Of the 2,624 emails sent, only 18 came back undeliverable. So, of the 2,606 emails received, 25.4% of consumers opened the email. Of those that opened, only 10.9% clicked through.

This email data, along with a 0% conversion rate and 17 contacts lost, shows us that ABC Company should drastically increase their email marketing efforts.

ABC Company knows their audience if they are frequently checking Facebook Insights, along with other social media analytic tools. This data can be used to create email newsletters that subscribers will want to open and read, maybe with valuable family health tips, fitness workout regiments, etc.


Suggestions

First and foremost, ABC Company should consider a new approach to their email marketing strategies. Increasing the open and click through rate should be their first priority. ABC Company should pay close attention to what their audience most responds to, and what posts their audience shares with friends to determine what content gets the best response. Facebook Insights show a steady increase in audience response, so they are on the right track with Facebook. However, to engage in a more IMC approach, ABC Company should consider including links in newsletters and posts to their other social media platforms.

In an effort to boost results across their multiple platforms, ABC Company could utilize their YouTube channel to create health and fitness videos and share on their multiple social media channels. This could also be included in their bi-weekly newsletter. Pinterest could be utilized to collect fitness workout techniques, healthy recipes, or tips for boosting the immune system – these Pinterest boards could then be tweeted, posted, emailed, etc. to their audience in an attempt to further engage and promote sharing.

We saw that ABC Company received great response to a post encouraging fans to join them for an event. Knowing this type of post is seen and shared more, ABC Company should begin planning similar events.

ABC Company should be catering to their younger, mainly female audience – which they seem to do, from the Facebook data provided. Providing interesting content about health is key: especially in the newsletters.

The following is an overview of a possible campaign idea for ABC Company:

 “One Month to a Better You”

ABC Company could host group workouts, recipe swaps, healthy food samples, etc for the duration of one month. This could include posts with a healthy-eating routine, paired with week-long workout routines that target certain muscles. The workout routine should be able to be tailored for multiple age ranges, fitness capabilities, and weight groups.

facebook icon “Ready to renew? September is National Self Improvement Month. In honor of this, we will be hosting weekly yoga classes and cooking demonstrations. One month to a better you!” (with link to detailed blog post)

twitter-icon #Orlando, Ready to Renew? For Nat’l #SelfImprovement Month, you won’t want to miss this! <bit.ly.shortenedurlhere>

you tube icon Film local gym instructors giving tips for working muscles out properly. Shoot video for a re-cap of a cooking demonstration or yoga class to promote the following week’s events

email icon Begin promoting National Self-Improvement Month one month ahead of time, including details of classes and cooking demonstrations, shared recipes, success stories, etc. Continue promotion throughout September, then provide a feature article re-capping the highlights of the month.

Pinterest icon The following images are examples of the types of pins ABC Company could use during this campaign:

http://www.pinterest.com/pin/554716879076131491/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/554716879076131491/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/59883870020541533/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/59883870020541533/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/302796774917600016/
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/302796774917600016/

It’s All About the Analytics

In order to effectively determine ROI from you organization’s IMC campaigns, marketing managers must pay close attention to the numerous helpful tools for measuring analytics.

The ROI through social media efforts in your IMC campaign could be determined through various social media analytic tools, such as Facebook Insights, Hootsuite, and more. Monitoring the number of fans and followers throughout the campaign will help with understanding how effective your strategies are. The greater the growth, the greater the consumer reach – which ultimately leads to a larger profit margin.

As many of us learned previously in the semester, email marketing is still very much alive and, therefore, should be paid close attention to, as far as measuring ROI. Silverpop, Mailchimp, and Mad Mimi are just a few email marketing analytic tools to assist with this. It is important to take the open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate into consideration when calculating the ROI.

While there are numerous methods to collect and analyze data for ROI (Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Radian6, and more), I found one (from this week’s lecture) particularly interesting for an IMC approach: credit card data. Analyzing the correlation between consumers’ online searches and, therefore, click rate of targeted ads with offline purchases in brick-and-mortar business establishments. Consumers may do all of the research online, read reviews, and then make their purchase offline. Without credit card data analysis, there is no true way to capture the end result of these consumers, and whether your online approach was effective in converting them.

Reputation Management: No More Misconceptions

There has been a misconception that companies should ignore negative feedback or reviews that are posted online and doing so will make it “go away”.  If companies still believe this today, their naivete will soon get the best of them…

While responding to both positive and negative feedback is important, negative feedback will often provide the best learning opportunities for your organization – especially if there are a large number of them…(it might then be time to re-evaluate some areas of your organization.) It has been said that unhappy customers are much more likely to write a review than happy customers.

From our lecture this week, and a few supplemental articles I have read recently, I’ve created a list of a few items to take into consideration, when crafting your response to unhappy customers:

1. Cool your lid – No matter your role in the organization, you have played an important part in its success and, therefore, might get upset by some particularly catty reviews. Take this time to step away and cool off.

2. Take a walk in their shoes – Consider the customer…something about your organization has let them down; but they do care enough to let you know so that this may be improved upon in the future.

3. Be Empathetic – Try to understand where the customer is coming from: they have most likely spent time and money with your organization, and deserve a positive, understanding response.

4. Act Promptly: Respond to negative feedback quickly. This will show customers that you truly care to make things right, and not responding can quickly turn into additional negative reviews.

5. Make a Plan: Let the customer know that there is a definite plan to make things right. Suggest that you swap information in a private message or email, to reach the customer for resolving the issue(s).

The following are two examples that have been provided for us to answer as if we are Social Media Managers of the Hyatt and Hilton hotel brands.

*Disclaimer: The following sample reviews and responses are for educational purposes only, and do not reflect the actual hotel brands.

 

Review #1: Posted on TripAdvisor for Hilton

Hilton-example-2014

On July 3, 2014 Hilton Ft. Lauderdale wrote: 

“Hi luv2travelwithhubby,

We are truly sorry for the incidences during your recent experience with us. What you have described about our housekeeping services does not fit our customer service model we strive to maintain everyday, and we apologize for not meeting the high standards that Hilton properties holds themselves to.

We would like an opportunity to have you stay with us again. (We’ve replaced the metal keypad with rubberized keys per your feedback, so no more burned fingers!) Please contact me directly so that we can begin to correct these issues for you.

Paige Laurie
Social Media Manager, Hilton Ft. Lauderdale
954-555-5555″

Review #2: Posted on TripAdvisor for Hyatt

Hyatt-example2014

On July 5, 2014 Hyatt Regency wrote: 

“Hi Travelwith3kiddos,

We are pleased to hear you enjoyed your recent stay with us. Our new pool area was an exciting addition, so we are glad to hear you and your children enjoyed it! It is our goal to offer a relaxing stay for both business trips and family fun.

We apologize for the additional wait at Fiorenzo, and suggest checking out the The Bar at Fiorenzo during your next stay for a full drink and food menu if there happens to be a wait. We understand that transportation can be costly, especially if taking a family to and from Orlando’s wonderful theme parks. Check out our transportation options here: maybe the I-Ride Trolley would be a cost-efficient alternative during your next stay.

Thanks again for your feedback, and we look forward to accommodating you and your family again soon!

Paige Laurie
Social Media Manager, Hyatt Regency
407-444-4444″

Event Marketing Study: 2014 Cosmoprof Trade Show

Note: The following post is for educational purposes only.

This week, I followed the Cosmoprof North America Trade Show event before, during, and after it took place. To gain a better understanding of what exactly Cosmoprof is, I did a little front-end research by checking out their various social media platforms, looking over their website, and signing up for their newsletter.

Here are the basics:

Cosmoprof North America, organized by North American Beauty Events (NABE), Professional Beauty Association (PBA), and Bologna Fierce, is an annual trade show held in Las Vegas each summer. Over 900 exhibitors, from 37 countries, participated this past week and 26,000 visitors from 104 countries were in attendance.

These numbers really surprised me. What a great opportunity to reach and expand an audience! The audience is already persuaded: they’ve made plans to attend, purchased airline tickets and lodging, and probably mapped out the booths they would like to check out. Should be as simple as pie, right? Not so much.

Event marketing does not stop at ticket purchases. There are a lot of other factors and statistics involved in event marketing through the website and media. It takes much thought, careful planning, and a strong team to be able to cover all aspects of the event thoroughly. So, how does Cosmoprof measure up?

A Review of Social Media channels listed on Cosmoprof’s website:

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 7.02.16 PMFacebook:

Cosmoprof’s Facebook page currently has 5,133 likes, which is only 11 likes higher than before the event. They used their Facebook page to promote the event beforehand, but did not post as frequently as I would have thought.

There were a good number of posts promoting the event beforehand, however they were not consistent. A promotional post was put up on July 9th, and then nothing was posted again until the second day of the event (July 14th). During the event, a total of  8 Facebook posts were put up, between July 13th – 15th, with an average of 3 likes per post.

The content on their Facebook is mainly what others have to say about the trade show, through a blogger’s review, video, etc. They only made a few plugs about the vendors that were participating.

Cosmoprof Facebook page
Cosmoprof Facebook page
Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 7.02.24 PMTwitter:

Cosmoprof’s Twitter page had 2,716 followers before the event, and 2.727 followers after – (oddly enough, the same growth as their Facebook page). Regardless, I noticed this platform was much more heavily used than their others.

In what looked like an attempt to call out almost every vendor booth in attendance, Cosmoprof sent a rush of tweets in a short time frame on July 15th, giving a brief description of what products the vendor was showing, along with their booth number. They started these tweets out with hashtagging the vendor’s booth, which did not prove to be very effective. After a while, they continued to tweet booth numbers, leaving off the hashtag. I did not see very many other hashtags used by Comsoprof, other than from others’ tweets that were retweeted.

Cosmoprof Twitter page
Cosmoprof Twitter page

The Twitter content mainly consisted of these vendor tweets and retweets. There has only been one tweet since the trade show ended on the 15th, and it was to congratulate the winner  of the Discover Beauty Award.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 7.02.30 PMLinkedIn

Prior to the event, Cosmoprof’s LinkedIn page had 2,422 members – which increased by one member to 2,423 after the event (I was that member).

Daniela Ciocan, Marketing Director of Cosmoprof North America, was the main content contributor within the private group’s dicsussion board. She provided strong content with links to blog posts or articles about Cosmoprof’s success and brand marketing information that could be beneficial for their vendors. Daniela has not yet posted a wrap-up or re-cap of the 2014 trade show.

Cosmoprof LinkedIn
Cosmoprof LinkedIn
Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 7.02.45 PMInstagram:

Cosmoprof’s Instagram button on their website will take you to Web.stagram, an Instagram web viewer, however, clicking the Instagram button, above, will direct you to the actual Cosmoprof Instagram page. Cosmoprof currently has 2,866 followers.

Oddly enough, Cosmoprof’s Instagram channel is not used nearly as much as their Twitter page, however, they received the most audience response on their Instagram posts than any other social media channel used. Like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are rarely used by Cosmoprof on Instagram.

Their content posted through Instagram is different from Twitter and Facebook – it has a bit less of a business-oriented presence, and more of a casual “friend” feel. (See the Marketing Director enjoying a cigar below)

Daniela, director of marketing
Cosmoprof’s Instagram
Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 7.02.37 PMPinterest:

Cosmoprof’s Pinterest follows along with the trend we are beginning to see: there are only 52 pins across 7 boards. Cosmoprof has gained one Pinterest follower from the beginning of the show to the end, for a total of 275 followers. Although no hashtags are used to increase the number of possible viewers, their boards contain relevant, and up to date pins about Discover Beauty, blog posts, fashion, and beauty tips.

Cosmoprof Pinterest page
Cosmoprof Pinterest page

Cosmoprof website:

Cosmoprof North America
Cosmoprof North America

The Cosmoprof website contains all information that is needed to plan a trip to the Cosmoprof North America trade show. Almost anything a vendor or visitor might need is hidden within this website. Cosmoprof does an excellent job of describing the special guests that will be speaking at their event. Their interactive exhibition floor plan is user-friendly and very helpful as well. This is the platform where Cosmoprof shines, compared to their social media efforts.

Cosmoprof North America “News Flash” contains great blog posts for those in the beauty business, and does an excellent job of sharing published posts across their social media channels.

Cosmoprof North America News Flash blog
Cosmoprof North America News Flash blog

Cosmoprof could stand to use more marketing tips when it comes to their social media channels. The platforms that they use are not used to the best of their abilities: for instance, Twitter is the king of hashtags: they need to take advantage of this missed opportunity to reach prospective visitors for future events. Pinterest is a perfect platform for sharing beauty tips or ideas for beauty businesses: this channel should be utilized more. I was surprised to see how little was posted across all channels during the actual event. I assumed content would be posted frequently during the event to take advantage of the opportunity to reach a large number of interested consumers.

On the contrary, Cosmoprof does do an excellent job of sharing what other bloggers and attendees have to say about the event, which fosters a positive and caring relationship with consumers by giving them some spotlight. They made a point to call out many of their vendors on Twitter, suggesting visitors stop by their booth and showcasing their products. Other than links to blog posts, and vendor spotlight, very little content was posted to promote the event: the occasional promotional offer  for registration was posted, but Cosmoprof only seemed to promote Vegas and various trade show lodging options on their website.

Cosmoprof Registration Promotion
Cosmoprof Registration Promotion

IMC: Present with Cosmoprof?

I signed up for the Cosmoprof newsletter two days before the event began, in hopes that I might receive a newsletter between then, and writing this post. Unfortunately, I received nothing…not even a “Thank you for signing up!” email. I signed up again, with a second email address, in case this was a fluke, and still have not received anything. Therefore, I cannot accurately report on the content of Cosmoprof’s newsletter.

However, their website contains a large list, showcasing articles and write-ups from other media affiliates, about the trade show. They have also included their own press releases, as well. This, along with the fact that they do have a newsletter, leads me to believe Cosmoprof does make an effort to engage in an IMC strategy.

Branding:

The Cosmoprof logo is consistently used as a profile picture across all social media channels, and the majority of images used are professional and clear.

I noticed that the usernames on their social media channels are inconsistent, which could prohibit consumers from finding their profile. For example, on Facebook, Cosmoprof is called “Cosmoprof North America”, while on Twitter, it is called “@Cosmoproflv.” Cosmoprof could change their Twitter handle to “@Cosmoprofna” to avoid any possible confusion.

Summary:

Overall, Cosmoprof makes much of an effort to promote their vendors and share Trade Show event reviews written by others. 45% of trade show attendees only visit one trade show, per year. Therefore, it is crucial that Cosmoprof engage with their attendants to ensure they remain at the top of their list. Their social marketing strategies could stand to use some additional content, with a goal to increase fans and followers engagement through added IMC efforts. They could achieve this by using relevant hashtags, such as #cosmoprof, #beautyprofessional,  #beautytips, and more. Cosmoprof should also make an effort to share more than their blog posts across each of their social media platforms. Sharing an instagram picture on Twitter or Facebook could encourage fans to follow them on additional platforms.

With so many international attendants, Cosmoprof should also make an effort to promote the venue and any hotel or restaurant sponsorships/partnerships to assist attendants with travel plans and information about the Las Vegas area.

Sources:

http://www.cosmoprofnorthamerica.com/

https://www.facebook.com/CosmoprofNorthAmerica

http://www.cpnanewsflash.com/

http://www.pinterest.com/cosmoprofna/

https://twitter.com/cosmoproflv

http://web.stagram.com/location/24425140

Thimmesch, M. (2013, August 17). 16 Powerful Stats on the Value of Trade Shows. . Retrieved July 18, 2014, from http://www.tsnn.com/news-blogs/16-powerful-stats-value-trade-shows

Blog Study: Kevin and Amanda

KevinandAmanda
Type of blog: Semi-Professional

KevinandAmanda was a blog started about ten years ago, when a newlywed woman was given a website domain as a birthday gift from her husband. What started out as a scrapbooking and new homeowner tip blog has gradually turned into the ultimate lifestyle blog with big brand giveaways, free fonts, and recipe testing posts. Her website is like Disney for the creative and food-oriented, woman. In 2008, Amanda posted a survey, asking where her readers came from: she was surprised to find that in only 4 months, her number of readers had doubled. At that point, Amanda’s blog began to receive much more attention. Today, Amanda’s full time job is to travel to Blogging conventions; go on brand-sponsored trips to lavish destinations like Italy, Sweden, and Los Angeles; and review free products with fancy giveaways for her readers…it’s pretty safe to say she has most women’s dream job!

Like many lifestyle blogs, Amanda brings in a certain quirky personality that is easy for her audience to relate to. While she is not advertising anything directly, she does an excellent job with her product reviews, and therefore confirms many brand’s decisions to give her free items to review. But what makes her unique, in my opinion, is her “Fonts for Peas” section within her blog’s site. I stumbled upon this section of her blog about 5 years ago (I must admit: I’m a bit of a font nerd), and have had it bookmarked on my laptops ever since. Readers can send in their handwriting style to Amanda, and she turns them into digital fonts for her readers to download: all for free.

AMANDA fonts for peas 2

AMANDA fonts for peas

KevinandAmanda promotes her personal brand through her various blog posts on photography tutorials, home improvement, organization, travel tips, recipe reviews, and home/kitchen product reviews. Not only does she provide interesting content regularly, she also has a great eye for photography, and includes gorgeous pictures with each post.

While many readers are regular subscribers to her blog, Amanda reaches new readers based on her social media platforms. She utilizes Pinterest heavily to post pictures of recipes, photography tutorials she has made in the past, etc. Her various social media platforms (see Facebook below) contain interesting images to draw readers to click through to read more. (Plus, ensuring that her site remains in the first spot on Google definitely helps)

amanda facebook

Per our Lecture notes: “What Makes a Successful Blog”, Amanda encompasses all of the following components of a successful blog:
New posts are published daily, and sometimes multiple times per day.
Amanda is an active Twitter user, and accurately utilizes hashtags to direct readers to her blog.
Readers can contact KevinandAmanda in various ways:
amanda social media

Amanda creates original content that is not specific to one category of interests: her passion for cooking, photogtraphy, travel and her two cute Boston Terriers transfers very easily into her posts.

In my opinion, Amanda’s website is not missing anything. It contains interesting content, a search feature, archives of old posts, contact information, a detailed “About” section, and more. The one suggestion I would make is to create a simpler homepage – I can get distracted so easily, especially on a website of interest to me. At first glance, there are so many pictures and links to previous posts that I miss the reason I came to her website in the first place. On the contrary, this could be her intention to lengthen reader’s time on her blog. Regardless, it results in an overwhelming first impression for readers like me.

Advertisements on Kevin and Amanda are targeted ads, all based on my recent website usage: Moosejaw, University of Florida, Amazon.com. A few home improvement products are also advertised in the smaller real-estate at the bottom of the website.

 

 

Blog Study: “Whole Story” (Whole Foods)

Whole Story

Type of Blog: Professional

“Whole Story” is Whole Foods’ healthy eating blog, staffed by a team of Whole Foods writers, and contains recipes, healthy-eating tips, and interesting behind-the-scenes information about Whole Foods products. Its purpose is to engage their customers and potential customers through engaging content to better their health and daily life.

whole story about

Whole Foods prides themselves on being GMO free, and promotes a natural, healthy lifestyle by providing local, organic products. Whole Story solidifies these beliefs by stimulating conversation from readers about their healthy-eating lifestyles. What makes Whole Story unique is its variety of content. Post subjects range from wine tastings and DIY body mist to healthy lunch ideas for your child’s summer camp. Whole Foods does an excellent job of maintaining a balance of store-related product promotional content with content that is merely published as interesting and helpful for their consumers.

whole story hack your grill

Some posts even share others’ blogs for additional lifestyle tips, outside of their direct knowledge:

whole story outside blogger

When first navigating to the Whole Foods website (which appears at the top of search engines), the Whole Story Blog is conveniently located in an easy to see spot on the left-hand side. This is a great pull technique to bring curious readers to the blog postings. Whole Foods’ active presence on social media platforms also directs additional consumers to their blog by posting enticing pictures and teasers on their various platforms. At the same time, consumers who may have reached their blog first are subtly encouraged to engage with Whole Foods via social media by the buttons at the bottom of the blog.

whole story social media

In my opinion, Whole Foods is extremely successful with their blog. They actively post relevant and interesting content and engage their audience outside of their blog via multiple social media platforms and email subscriptions.

Rightfully so, Whole Story was named one of the Top 5 Brand Blogs – from their beautiful visuals to well-written content, I do not believe anything is missing from this blog.

There are currently no advertisers on the Whole Story blog. If advertisers were to be included, I would think Whole Foods would choose to add their own, such as their in-house brand “365”. Other relevant advertisers would be for local children’s activities or museums, parks, etc.