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My Three Favorite Blog Sites

This week’s lesson in my Multi-media Communications class was to learn about different types of blogs and then target three of my favorite blogs to discuss in this post.

There are five different types of blogs, which are:

  • News
  • Professional/Semi-professional
  • Recreational
  • Aggregator/Link sharing
  • Group

Successful blogs are those that have posts that are published often because new content drives traffic, and their articles have a lengthy word count (around 1,500). Most bloggers have multiple social sites linked to their blog, however, the top 25 bloggers all have one social channel in common and that is Twitter!

Below, find 3 of the top blogs I check frequently.

  1. BarkPostcategorizing this blog as Professional

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“The BarkPost helps dogs share their stories with the world, using the power of the hoomans.” It is a place where you can get your fix for funny, cute, or heartwarming doggie pictures and stories.

  • FACT: Dogs do pawesome stuff.
  • FACT: But there was never a place where all this pawsomeness was shared with the world before BarkPost.

BarkPost touts being the first site that gathers all doggie related content, stories and photos and shares them with the world. If you love dogs and stories about dogs, there is an article out there for you on BarkPost.  Also, I love how organized BarkPost is with their content.  They have the blog articles categorized and make finding specific content very easy.

BarkPost takes doggie lingo to the extreme with changing every regular word to a ‘puptacular’ version of a word such as autumn was recently changed to ‘pawtumn’ in a BarkPost email on the first day of fall. I feel that their creativity in how they position their blog articles and unique doggie language makes them stand out from other pet oriented companies.

Bark and Co has a family of brands that include the following: BarkPost, BarkBox, BarkShop and BarkLive. I think the most well-known of the family of brands is BarkBox, a monthly subscription service. Pawrents can have treats, toys and other goodies sent to their pet monthly. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest all drive to the blog site. Instagram isn’t a driver, but is used as a visually appealing brand presence on the social channel.  Social sharing chicklets are located at the top of the blog site making it very easy to stay connected. Facebook advertising and word of mouth are two of the main BarkBox marketing methods, which led me to discover BarkPost when researching whether or not I wanted to try BarkBox for my dog.

From this week’s lecture, BarkPost seems to do most if not all the things that were outlined in having a successful blog. BarkPost posts entertaining content and they post often. Their social footprint drives people to view the full articles.

BarkPost has extensive advertising opportunities that are outlined on their site and seen in the images below. At the top of their page they a sponsored by call out that they label ‘spawnsored by’ and they have a ‘pawtners’ section as well.

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  1. Oh My Disney – categorizing this blog as Professional
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Disney Interactive launched 4 blog sites in February 2013, and they are; Oh My Disney, Disney Insider, Disney Playlist, and Disney Style.  They all link and pull content from each other, however, I find Oh My Disney more relatable and entertaining than the other Disney blog sites.  Oh My Disney is known for all the Disney inspired Quizes and Disney inspired custom video content. Think Buzzfeed, but for Disney fanatics.

The purpose of the blog site is to create compelling content and have a deep reach with moms. With great reach and impressions, it provides greater sponsorship and advertising opportunities for third parties.

Because the blog site is owned by Disney, the content if of high value and in my opinion speaks to Disney super fans. Disney is great at telling stories. Through the content they produce, they are able to engage fans and play on emotional experiences they’ve had with Disney brands since childhood.

Here is an example of the custom content Oh My Disney releases, click on the image and you can watch the most adorable little pups dress up as their favorite Disney characters!

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The menu bar titles are clever and the icons are trendy, keeping it relevant and hip for moms! Let’s be real, this blog is all Disney inspired content, if you love Disney, the articles and quizzes are quite entertaining.

If you google Oh My Disney, every social channel for Oh My Disney comes up, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and YouTube. Paid media on Google and SEO is working to the fullest for the Oh My Disney blog site.  The main Disney page on Pinterest also has a dedicated pin board called Disney Quizzes that drives to Oh My Disney’s site.

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Advertising, yes there is! The Oh My Disney blog site has a 728×90 and 300×250 banner display ad opportunity. Additionally, articles themselves can be sponsored by advertisers with logo integration and organic brand messaging.

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  1. Good, INC. – categorizing this blog as Group and News
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“Good pursues the mission to convene, connect, and empower all of us who give a damn. GOOD is a place to share creative solutions for living well and doing good. GOOD Worldwide chronicles and champions the emerging identity of the global citizen and creative change maker.”

There are two parts to the Good Inc site, the group blog sharing side which Good labels as Community and then the other part is Magazine. The Magazine part of the Good leans more towards the news sharing type blog sites. Just like with BarkPost, there are different categories and sub-sections to the company that lends itself to generate revenue.

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I think their purpose of doing good makes Good, Inc. unique because usually that isn’t the end goal for most people let alone companies. Believing there is good in everyone and everything gives us hope in the world we live in. Does anyone listen to KISS FM in the morning with Ryan Seacrest? He has a call-in promo for listeners when he asks them to call in and tell him something good. Hearing what’s good in other people’s lives has the opportunity to make people generally feel good and genuinely happy. I think it is great to hear good things versus negative ones, which Good, Inc does a great job at leveraging the power of social and advertising to make a difference, and bring people together to do good together!

I interviewed for a position with Good a few years ago, and I can tell you their social footprint has flourished. Good stays true to their mission statement in empowering and bringing people together to give a damn and feature good doer bloggers. They also make it very easy to share on their site.

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Because I have been following Good on Twitter for years, I’ve never had to google and search any content about Good until I started researching Good, Inc for this blog post. With the word good being so common, many different things come up in a google search that are not related to Good, Inc. I believe Good could improve on their SEO especially with their social footprint. It almost feels like they are trying to manage more platforms than they have bandwidth to upkeep. Unlike Disney, the google search produced links to all the Oh My Disney social platforms whereas Good falls short. Now, Good uses social to drive to their articles and posts, but they are not driving people to their social sites from google.

(Note: After writing about their SEO and search, I went to take a screenshot to drive home my point, and now Twitter is showing up in the list.  I honestly believe it is because I’ve been on Good’s Twitter page at least 10 times today! Either way, only one of their social channels appears in the search unlike the other two blogs mentioned in this post.)

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You can find Good on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest and Flickr.  What’s interesting is that on their main site they only link to the main 4 social channels; Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram and do not link out to YouTube, Pinterest or Flickr despite their presence there.

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On the magazine side of Good’s site, I did see that ads were integrated into the article list. Good also utilized a 728×90 leaderboard and 300×250 banner media on their homepage.

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In closing, I hope that everyone can enjoy some of the content produced by these sites just as much as I do!  I consider all three of these sites, the BarkPost, Oh My Disney and Good successful.  They all are posting engaging content, posting often, posting articles with more than just a sentence, and all engage social media to drive to their sites.

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Comparison: Social Media vs. Traditional Media

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Below are two aspects of marketing that will be looked at a little more closely for both Traditional Marketing and Social Media Marketing.

 MarketingAspect

Classic Marketing v. Social Media Marketing

The social media world is opening doors for companies to generate revenue from a platform that was not even a consideration a few short years ago. Social media is really a paradigm shift or change in worldview rather than simply a new set of tactics2. Marketing via social media is new to most companies, and many advertisers are in the process of figuring out how social media fits in to their overall media mix.

Not only are the audiences different for every platform so is the execution lead-time, reach, and creative restrictions. I am a true believer in multi-platform marketing and how both classic and social media marketing truly can compliment each other if executed properly. During campaign analysis, I usually find that the metrics are greater when you use multiple media platforms to work together versus choosing one over the other to advertise. That’s not to say that the media landscape always should have a true integrated marketing approach because with most things it depends on the objectives of the campaign in question. For example, if you have a marquee campaign that includes a sweepstakes, television is a great driver for sweepstakes entries over social media drivers. Time and time again, television wins when a brand or company is measuring entries to the sweepstakes layer of their marketing plan. The audience still isn’t there on social to move the needle like we see in TV.

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Type of Marketing

Traditional marketing has always been about brand awareness and having the media platforms push advertising campaigns out into the world for people to consume. Due to the lead time necessary for traditional advertising, brand messages aren’t very flexible — they don’t change often, media buys are committed far in advance, and brands can’t easily adjust to take advantage of new opportunities2. Especially with television or print platforms, the production schedule is usually more than 8 weeks to produce. A traditional media plan is time-consuming mostly on the front end (planning, creating and buying) and back end (quantifying and analyzing) of the campaign. Once a traditional media plan is put into place, it is a mostly hands-off affair3. The guidelines and stakeholders that have to review television ads are far more extensive than social media posts and campaigns.

With a growing plethora of social media options, which are far less costly than traditional media, some of you might be questioning spending money on those pricey TV, radio and print ads to encourage business. However, using both media together, as opposed to one versus the other can move your message further and reach a larger audience3. These days every company has a social media footprint, and exploring how to utilize the platform. Because social media is new to the media mix, companies are testing reach and engagement from Twitter chats and brand awareness campaigns. Companies and advertisers are experimenting with the types of posts that resonate with their audience to generate more likes, comments and shares. The good news is that because social media is an emerging platform, the cost to execute a social campaign is considerably less than that to produce a television spot.

Unlike traditional media campaigns, a social media campaign needs to be worked every day. Monitoring what your customers are saying and doing and then responding accordingly takes time. Most experts’ recommend spending one hour every day with each social media outlet you utilize3.

Language

Traditional marketing goes through many rounds of review with various stakeholders that could include the creative director, legal, standards and practices, brand franchise, or sweepstakes administrator. It is a very formal process and strict to keep the marketing language adhering to the guidelines set forth by the networks and advertising sites. Additionally, the marketing message is more reflective of full thought out clever tag lines or messages. When you look at social media the marketing lingo changes slightly. Everything is abbreviated, shortened, or just a small piece of the overall marketing campaign is shared. Social media also asks the audience their opinion and phrases the marketing language in such a way that it promotes responses to the posts which is true to the platform in having an open two way communication. Social campaigns are still planned in the initial stages of posts people post in response to the marketing posts.

What Should You Do?

With any strategic marketing campaign, you must first know what the goals are and what the advertiser will deem a measurement of success. Once you know their objectives you can start building a marketing campaign to fit their needs and hope to deliver results to meet their expectations. Is the advertiser looking to grow followers? Are they looking for brand awareness? Do they want to create an experience with their brand. These are all very important questions to ask at the launch of any campaign execution.

Thanks for reading!

Links:

  1. http://www.adweek.com/socialtimes/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing/466873
  1. https://www.hausmanmarketingletter.com/social-media-versus-traditional-media/
  1. http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/traditional-vs.-social-media-making-the-right-choices

UF Grad Studies | Masters in Social Media

Introduction to Multimedia Communication 

My first blog post ever is happening right now!

I’ve returned to school in order to further my education as strongly believe in continuous learning and development. I have a huge passion for social media and the Florida Gators, therefore, combining my love for both culminated in perfect pursuit of this Masters degree at the University of Florida.

I am really looking forward to collaborating with my fellow classmates and exploring emerging media together. I currently work in a multi-platform ecosystem, and can’t wait to learn new things together! #GoGators

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Find out more about me here!