Blog Status Update: Room for Improvement

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Overall, my blog hasn’t performed as well as I’d like. I’ve had 31 visitors, which isn’t too bad considering I’ve put no effort into procuring visitors to my website. I post my content, then leave it. So, I’d assume most of these visitors are coming from random web searches that my blog somehow came up in, which is nice, because those visitors are free of charge. However, my posts have only received a total of 54 views. In the scope of the online w0rld, this is practically nothing.

One metric I’d like to focus on to increase the performance of my blog is my audience growth rate. I’d also like to focus on my reach. These are highly related.

I want the biggest reach possible for my blog content. To increase my reach, I will closely monitor which blog posts reach the largest audience. For example, if I post something about a particular company and it gets no views, I won’t write about that company anymore. If I write about a certain topic and get a huge reach, I may continue to explore that topic.

Along with these, I will measure my audience growth rate. This will tell me how successful certain changes I make are. For example, if one week I write about a company and my audience count is low, and the next week I write about a different company and my audience rate improves only slightly, the change wasn’t necessarily that successful. Since I’m attempting to get the highest reach possible in the shortest amount of time, I won’t waste my times on changes that only provide slight changes in my audience growth rate.

I would also be interested in tracking my bounce rate. I believe a high bounce rate would imply that the content I’m producing is of a low quality. If I were to see my blog had a high bounce rate, I would improve my content. If and when I finally had a low bounce rate, that would be my cue that the content I was producing was of a respectable quality. This would also signal to me that it would be a good choice to start sharing links to my blog on other social sites.

One goal that I wanted to reach with my social media presence was to change what showed up when people googled my name. By focusing on my blog’s audience growth rate and reach, I’ll be able to make my blog popular in the online world as quickly as possible. Since my blog has my name plastered all over it, this should help to get my blog to come up when people google my name. Hopefully, my blog will help to drown out some of the other random and old sites that come up when my name is googled.

A lot of my other goals were focused around Twitter, both tweeting more and posting a larger variety of content. If I am able to increase the reach of my blog and therefore my blog’s success in the scope of the online world, I will be willing to tweet links to it through my Twitter. If my blog does become successful enough for me to feel comfortable doing this, it will give me great content to tweet about and link to.

Finally, I had an interest in redoing my LinkedIn a bit. I wanted to change it to better fit my current professional goals. As I mentioned above, a low bounce rate on my blog would signal to me that the content I was producing was of a decent quality. By securing a low bounce rate on my blog posts, I would feel comfortable adding my blog content to my LinkedIn. I think having a blog where I produce quality content about the industry I plan to work in would greatly help me meet my LinkedIn goals.

The next step for me is to start using a more advanced monitoring system, as the WordPress system doesn’t seem to provide all of the analytics I would like to track. Google analytics, here I come.

 

 

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COMFORT Communication Campaign Plan: Target audience and key messaging

COMFORT Communication is an organization specializing in communication training for nurses. They are the first to have developed a research-backed curriculum for communication training for nurses in the palliative care field. They are in the middle of a name change to Palliative Care Communication Institute and have recently rolled out their new curriculum. The online reputation for this organization needs to be improved, especially with the recent name change. I aim to build their reputation as an online thought leader in the healthcare communication field and encourage professionals to seek their classes and training.

The two focal audiences for COMFORT will be “Facebook nurses” and “healthcare decision makers”. The respective demographics, psychographics and key messaging are detailed below.

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AUDIENCE 1

Facebook nurses: Nurses active on Facebook who discuss their job and convene with other nurses on nursing groups and fan pages.

Demographics: According to Minority Nursing, less than 10% of registered nurses are male. So, as a general statement, we can define our audience as female. The average age of registered nurses in the US is 45-46, although nurses vary widely by age, so I will define our audience as being between 24-50. According to the same survey by minority nursing, 75% of nurses identify as white and 23% as black, so these are the top two races that make up this audience.

Psychographics: According to an article on NursingTogether.com, nurses are so active on social media that they’ve had to develop guides for nurses’ Facebook communication. Because of this, my plan will focus on reaching this audience through Facebook. We will create short, engaging, shareable content that will be shared with nurses on Facebook pages and groups like Nurses Rock, which has over 700,000 likes. This will allow us to reach nurses in a natural environment and start a conversation with them, rather than advertising to them.

We will also focus on appealing to nurses who went into their profession to help people, as opposed to those who chose their field for prestige or money. We will pull on the emotions of nurses to help them accept our key message. We will demonstrate that communication training will help them develop stronger relationships with their patients and make their patients’ experiences much better.

key-messaging

 

Key Messages: Communication training from COMFORT is necessary to having the best relationship with patients.

Proper communication will improve patients’ experiences.

 

AUDIENCE 2

Healthcare decision makers: Leaders in the healthcare field who make financial and procedural decisions for the organizations’ they work for.

Demographics: The hospital decision maker that we would like to reach is a male or female, age 40-60. They make a minimum of $100,000 a year and work at a large hospital or medium to large-sized nursing home, where they make financial and procedural decisions.

Psychographics: This audience cares deeply about the future of the healthcare facility that they work for and even more so for the patients they serve. They expect the most from their employees and see no room error when it comes to patient care. We will use these personality traits to reach this audience. They want the most for their patients, and COMFORT can offer training to help their employees do better for the patients.

That being said, as leaders in the healthcare field, they will need hard research and evidence to be convinced that they need our product. They won’t throw their organization’s money at any business who offers training to their employees. We must use research-backed materials to establish COMFORT’s credibility. The plan here will be to develop an online content hub full of research-backed articles about issues in the healthcare field to establish credibility. It will show the decision makers that COMFORT knows what they’re talking about. These articles can then be shared through other mediums, including Facebook.

key-messaging

 

Key messages: COMFORT is an expert in healthcare communication

COMFORT will improve nurses’ expertise and improve patients’ overall quality of life.

 

These two audiences are key in increasing the number of nurses using the new curriculum and establishing COMFORT as experts in the healthcare communication field. For this campaign, we will use our key messaging to reach these two audiences and reach our communication goals.

Sources:

Minority Nursing – http://minoritynurse.com/nursing-statistics/

Nurses Rock – https://www.facebook.com/allnursesrock

Nursing Together – http://www.nursetogether.com/nurses-and-facebook-good-bad-and-ugly

Strategic Planning Behind Dr Pepper’s Larry Culpepper Campaign

In 2014, Dr Pepper debuted a new brand figure named Larry Culpepper. They recently brought back a revamped Larry Culpepper for the 2016 college football season. He’s a goofy college football fanatic that claims he invented the college football playoffs. Dr Pepper’s Larry Culpepper campaign was likely developed to bring attention to their recent sponsorship of the College Football playoffs. The campaign stretches across a multitude of outlets including traditional TV and radio ads, social media and even a microsite.

Some background information that must have went into the Dr Pepper campaign was an analysis of their competitors. Dr Pepper has two major competitors: Coke and Pepsi. In looking at both Coke and Pepsi’s social media pages, both brands have a strong focus on sports partnerships. Up until recently, Dr Pepper didn’t have a clear online presence, which is a big problem in 2016. Their posting schedule was scattered, a lot of content was sent out with little fan interaction and many posts were generic product photos. With Coke and Pepsi outperforming them year after year, they needed to find a way to improve their presence on social media. I can imagine that after analyzing their competitor’s online repertoire and seeing the large focus on sports, they figured “If we can’t beat em’, join em!”

Some other information that may have been taken into consideration are brands’ successful use of brand mascots. Some examples include the Geico Gecko and Progressive’s Flo. For many people, these mascots are now synonymous with the brands they represent. In 1992, the Energizer battery brand attributed a 7% increase in revenue simply to their brand mascot, the Energizer bunny. This would present Dr Pepper with a way to increase brand recognition and possibly revenue.

After conducting a social media audit, Dr Pepper must have seen that they had room to improve their social media communication program. To develop a campaign, they likely referenced what other brands were doing to increase online presence and brand recognition. They took sports references from industry competitors and successful mascot branding from countless outside brands and combined them into the Larry Culpepper campaign.

Before rolling out the Larry Culpepper campaign, Dr Pepper must have conducted research. The campaign wasn’t only a social media campaign but also included a number of commercial spots on popular sports channels, such as ESPN. Commercials are pricey, so a lot of research must have gone into the development of the campaign.

Dr Pepper must have conducted research on the best outlets for reaching sports fans, since their mascots is a sports fanatic. The Culpepper campaign has touched many outlets, including radio, television, Facebook and Snapchat. One outlet almost completely devoid of the Culpepper campaign is the Dr Pepper Instagram. Dr Pepper must have found that their target audience wasn’t present on Instagram, and decided to save time and money by ignoring the platform.

Another area of research Dr Pepper likely conducted was on their actual audience. Their mascot is a college football fanatic, which coincides with their sponsorship of the college football playoffs. But, why is he a humorous character? Did they conduct research on college football fans and find that their personalities were more susceptible to humorous advertising? Or, perhaps by making their mascot humorous, they were trying to broaden the mascots reach. While Culpepper is a college football fanatic, someone who’s not into sports could still find his antics humorous. Since many mascots become synonymous with the brands they represent, a lot of research must have gone into the development of Larry Culpepper to ensure the audience would like him.

After the campaign, Dr Pepper will be able to conduct more research to determine if their campaign was successful. They can use this to improve the campaign for next year, if they decide to renew it.

In summary, Dr Pepper noticed some problems: Their social media presence was weak, and they needed people to know about their sponsorship of the college football playoffs. They knew that fellow soda brands were using sports to engage fans in the online space. They also saw that so many brands have had success with brand mascots. After conducting a social media audit, a brand mascot based around college football seemed like a viable solution. Before rolling out their campaign, they researched their audience and possible platforms to develop their character and the 2016 campaign plan. At the end of the football season, they can conduct a new social media audit to decide if the campaign was helpful in improving their online presence.

Sources:

Dr Pepper Twitter

Dr Pepper Instagram

Dr Pepper Facebook

Coca Cola Twitter

Pepsi Twitter

Reference For Business

 

 

Pinterest For Business: An Introduction

Pinterest has self-described itself as “the world’s catalog of ideas”. It allows people all across the world to see, share and build on each others ideas. Pins on the platform are also often linked to outside sites. The Shareaholic 2014 Social Media Traffic Referrals Report showed that across 8 social networking platforms, Pinterest was second, only to Facebook, in driving traffic to other sites (Wong, 2015). This makes Pinterest a great site for sending traffic to a blog or business page. So, how does the site work?

 
Pinterest is a social media site which allows users to save “pins” to themed boards. Pins are laid out in thumbnails, usually featuring a short description underneath. Users organize their pins in their own boards, like virtual corkboards. Fellow users can then follow and save (formerly known as pin) other user’s pins to their own boards.

Here is a screenshot of my Pinterest homepage:

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Since I follow boards and save pins about vegan food, DIY and home decor, my front page shows me pins in those categories.

 
Who uses Pinterest?
According to a report by eMarketer, while Pinterest is predominantly women, the company has made it a part of its growth efforts to represent a more even gender split. For now, however, women make up more than 80% of US Pinterest users in 2016 (Pinterest For Marketers: What You Need to Know, 2015).

 
Pew Research reported that in 2014 Pinterest was most popular among younger online users (Duggan, Ellison, Lampe, Lenhart, Madden, 2015). A study by Ahalogy confirmed that 67% of active pinners were under 40 years old. However, Pew found that in 2014, 27% of adults aged 50-64 were using Pinterest. These are higher numbers for this demographic than some other social sites like Twitter and Instagram. (Duggan, et al., 2015)
While the Pinterest audience tends to be dominated by young to middle aged women, women account for the majority of purchasing decisions. So, unless your product is something you feel to be inherently meant for a male audience, Pinterest may serve as an effective addition to your marketing plan.

 
Getting Started on Pinterest as a Business
Vincent Ng of MCNG Marketing reported that Pinterest has two different paid advertising options, with one being reserved for high-budget brands (Ng, 2015). The other, available to smaller companies, comes with a number of rules and a seemingly difficult/lengthy approval system. This is not to say that paid ads on Pinterest are a bad idea, but being as it’s such a new marketing tool, it may be scary to put your marketing dollars behind it.
My suggestion is to start by trying to use Pinterest as a free marketing tool. Build a company Pinterest account, add some boards and start pinning yourself. By creating a Pinterest account and starting to understand how the system works, you will be able to decide whether Pinterest seems like a good addition to your marketing plan. It may also give you a chance to see if there’s interest in your product on Pinterest. While it’s clear that a lot of people on Pinterest talk about food, something more niche may or may not have a place.
View the infographic of dos and don’ts for a company-owned Pinterest board below, then read on to see an example of a brand using Pinterest the right way.

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A great example of a business using Pinterest is Whole Foods. The Whole Foods Market Pinterest account has garnered over 300,000 followers and they’ve shared almost 5,000 pins. Whole Foods is a natural food store, so they theme Pinterest boards around natural recipes and beauty products. Still, they managed to make boards about more than just the products they offer, clustering them around holidays and DIY opportunities. They were able to take a popular Pinterest theme, DIY, and fit it in with their brand values. They also share content from a lot of other Pinterest users, so they’re engaging with the community, not just throwing content at them.

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The industry knowledge of Pinterest advertising is constantly growing as new brands branch out into the Pinterest advertising world. I can’t wait to see what happens next. For now, I hope you will take a chance and start building your business’s Pinterest page to see if it’s the right platform for you. Remember, it’s free!

Sources:

2016 Pinterest Media Consumption Study. Ahalogy. Retrieved from https://www.ahalogy.com/research/

Duggan, M. Ellison, N. Lampe, C. Lenhart, A. Madden, M. (2015). Demographics of Key Social Networking Platforms. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/01/09/demographics-of-key-social-networking-platforms-2/

How Pinterest Drives Online Commerce. (2015). Shopify. Retrieved from https://www.shopify.com/infographics/pinterest

Ng, V. (2015). How to Advertise on Pinterest. MCNG Marketing. Retrieved from http://www.mcngmarketing.com/how-to-advertise-on-pinterest/#.V_EXnsm7l5A

Will Pinterest Reach Its Potential in 2015? (2015). EMarketer. Retrieved from http://www.emarketer.com/Article/Will-Pinterest-Reach-Its-Potential-2015/1012103

Wong, D. In Q4, Social Media Drove 32.4% of Overall Traffic to Sites [REPORT]. (2015). Shareaholic Reports. Retrieved from https://blog.shareaholic.com/social-media-traffic-trends-01-2015/

Dr Pepper’s 2016 Larry Culpepper Campaign – Have they finally found their footing?

This year, Dr Pepper is bringing back their Larry Culpepper figure, who they introduced in 2014. Culpepper is a character leveraging Dr Pepper’s sponsorship of the College Football Playoffs. While Dr Pepper has a lot of TV commercials featuring this mascot, I’ve been looking at his presence in the digital world.

The Larry Culpepper campaign seems to be taking a huge focus on content creation. One unique creation for this campaign is a microsite, LarryCulpepper.com. Larry Culpepper is a middle-aged man who is obsessed with football. The microsite has been crafted like an old school computer, where you can read Larry’s computer files, emails, etc. The site is mostly humorous, but there are plenty of appearances of Dr Pepper on the site as well.

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The site is a great piece of content for building the Larry Culpepper persona. For example, one of his emails is an order confirmation for fanny packs. This really builds his character as a goofy older man who doesn’t fit in with the times, but doesn’t care. His only concern is for college football. The site also features “proof” that he invented the college football playoffs, with images of little scribblings of a football bracket he claims he drew prior to their creation.

In using a share tally tracker and checking multiple page ranking sites, it seems that not a lot of people are sharing, viewing or engaging with the microsite. Now these methods aren’t exactly foolproof ways to gauge a site’s success, but the fact that there hasn’t been any mention of the site on the Dr Pepper social media pages in the last year makes its lack of success even more believable. This is a huge missed opportunity on Dr Pepper’s part. They have the content, its high quality and fits in with the campaign, but they aren’t sharing it. This is one of many instances I’ve found that has made me question who is in charge of the social media aspects of Dr Pepper’s campaigns. Between the microsite, the many Culpepper videos, contests, and even a Snapchat filter, Dr Pepper does seem to have the content creation side of things down. However, I think they could do a much better job of getting fans to view and engage in their content.

The Culpepper campaign could also stand to make use of content curation. Dr Pepper’s top competitors, Coke and Pepsi, both focus a lot of their advertising on partnerships, particularly with athletes and musicians. If Dr Pepper wants to establish their credibility with college football, they should have Larry Culpepper responding to commentary made by athletes and sports commentators. There is a huge opportunity for this type of content curation on Twitter. Culpepper could retweet and respond to tweets by leaders in the college football scene. Not only would this establish the credibility of the partnership between Dr Pepper and college football, it would get more eyes to the Dr Pepper Twitter. And if one of the athletes/commentators were to respond to Larry? That could be golden.

Dr Pepper had success with a similar approach this past Summer. Bassist for the band Panic at the Disco, Dallon Weekes, tweeted a GIF of himself holding a Dr Pepper with the caption “Love mah Pepps”. Dr Pepper saw this and tweeted back at him “And we loves @dallonweekes.” They were able to get in front of Dallon’s fans and people were talking about it. It wasn’t a huge hit, but their tweet back to him got way more favorites than most of their generic Dr Pepper tweets get. This is a different situation as Dallon mentioned Dr Pepper specifically, but they could still use a similar approach to leverage a star’s power in their Culpepper campaign, without paying the high price of celebrity partnerships.

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According to an article from Ad Age in 2014, the Dr Pepper Snapple Group cut their marketing budget by $30 million. A budget cut like this would suggest to me that Dr Pepper would want to put a much heavier focus on their social media marketing strategy than they have in the past. I’ve scoured through the past years’ worth of content on their Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and they still seem to be trying to find their footing in the social media world. There has been a lot of content put out on all platforms that has fallen flat as far as audience engagement. Every once in a while, they’ve had moments of success, like when they latched onto the Pokemon Go craze. It would be nice to see Dr Pepper get to a place where they can have fairly consistent levels of audience engagement with their content, like some of their competitors. The 2016 Culpepper campaign is just beginning, so it will be interesting to see if this is the campaign they need to find their social media success.

 

Sources:

https://www.drpepper.com/

https://www.larryculpepper.com/

https://www.instagram.com/drpepper/

https://twitter.com/DallonWeekes/

https://www.facebook.com/DrPepper

https://www.facebook.com/PepsiUS/

https://www.facebook.com/CocaColaUnitedStates/

http://www.alexa.com/

http://checkpagerank.net/

http://sharetally.co/

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dr-pepper–larry-culpepper-return-to-kickoff-the-2016-college-football-roadshow-300319674.html

http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/dr-pepper-snapple-group-trims-marketing-budget/292818/