How can your brand break through the industry noise to the top? Grow Co-Founder, Cassie Hughes, shares strategies to make your brand stand out from the crowd. Read more on DailyWorth:
Read our latest on Entrepreneur, we share how to create super-charged experiences that result in highly shareable content for press, influencers and social media mavens to amplify the story.
In a society so focused on numbers and data, how can we capitalize on our intuition? Grow Co-Founders share three basic tips to get started, now on MediaPost:
Managing growth is a challenge for every entrepreneur. Our Co-Founders share three key strategies to grow business in a smart way, while balancing employees and workload. Read more on The Huffington Post:
Here at Grow, we are constantly thinking of ways to marry amplification with our real-world engagement strategies – from a simple hashtag to building an online community of loyalists to help spread the word. As the strength of brands’ and individuals’ social networks gain more and more cultural importance – especially with sites such as Klout that rank social influence – it’s not just about the number of followers or likes you have, but how you activate your network to effect change.
We were fortunate enough to attend TEDxBerkeley this past weekend and want to share a few basic guidelines to follow when building engagement:
Find the few who fuel the many
Turning the word contagion on its head, Leslie Lang and Microclinic International have helped prevent and manage deadly disease in various communities by creating a network led by a few people who share access to education, technology and social support. Whether combating the obesity epidemic in Southern Kentucky or educating people on the effects of diabetes in the West Bank, Microclinic relies on people and their own networks to create a robust information dissemination system that can, ultimately, change behavior and social norms – as Leslie put it, creating a form of positive “social contagion.”
Tap into and reward the target’s natural behavior
Find out what the target likes to do and incentivize them. Tim Shields’ talk was a brilliant example of how an organization can tap into fundamental human behavior to ignite engagement. Challenged with making environmentalism fun rather than a guilt-ridden task, Tim used and mobilized our playful human spirit and competitive instinct, blending it with tech and social, to create the first ever crowd-sourced conservation game, Raven Repel. Gamifying his conservation efforts, he was able to get the audience to participate in the mobile game together, deflecting ravens from attacking endangered desert tortoises in real-time.
Create meaning to catalyze change
Too often, individuals and organizations define themselves by what they do, rather than the value they provide. To truly make an impact on the world, it’s critical to identify – and clearly communicate to those you are seeking to influence – the meaning behind a product, company or cause. Veteran evangelist Guy Kawasaki offered his top tips for innovation and, as a member of the team that marketed the Macintosh in 1984, shared the inspiring example of how Apple created meaning for consumers through their desire to democratize the computer.
Whether you are a brand or an individual – think about the networks that you have cultivated online and offline. How will you captivate your social circles to spark conversation and influence change?
Grow Founders, Cassie and Gabrey, share three key strategies to deal with (and learn from) the negative and amplify the positive on The Huffington Post:
It’s no secret, with social media and real-time content publishing, the Super Bowl now reaches far beyond its TV audience. Last year, Super Bowl related social media activity touched over 52M consumers, up 17% from 2012. It’s safe to say, with social media further entrenched in our lives, the reach of the Super Bowl this year will likely be even greater.
We attribute this boom in social activity to one thing: content. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and the like enable content distribution on a massive scale. Too often marketers forget that igniting buzz and virality can best be achieved by creating custom experiences in which the consumer feels passionately connected and genuinely excited to share their brand engagements. Here are three essential lessons on content creation and fan activation from the Super Bowl.
Content should be timely, fun and sharable
Advertisers shell out big money for commercials during the Super Bowl, but last year, brands banked on social media to make an impression. In 2013, we all watched as Beyonce light up the stage during half time. Queen Bey’s performance alone generated 5.5 million tweets and over 200 Instagram photos per second. After her performance, the stadium went dark. Brands like Oreo, Calvin Klein, and Tide were quick on their feet to react to this unexpected turn of events. Oreo’s “You can still dunk in the dark” tweet was retweeted 15,000 times and was heralded as one of the best uses of timely creative content.
Power out? No problem. pic.twitter.com/dnQ7pOgC
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 4, 2013
Extend the life of content through connected distribution.
Years ago, Super Bowl content was limited to 30-sec ads that came with a hefty price tag. Today, Super Bowl advertisers and brands are extending the life of their content, beyond the TV to create a long tail effect. By expanding content distribution to a multi-channel approach, brands are able to activate and engage new audiences and take full advantage of the content produced.
Greek yogurt brand Oikos has created a slew of original content featuring the boys of the beloved 90’s sitcom, Full House, which ladders back to its upcoming Super Bowl ad. Using this YouTube video, Oikos teased out a clip of their ad, and encouraged viewers to visit the campaign website, oikosbromance.com, to see more content related to the Full House Bromance and tweet with the hashtag #fuelyourpleasure. Oikos’ strategic activation on social media channels is extending the life of their Super Bowl spot to reach a broader audience.
Incorporate user generated content
As always, user-generated content finds a spot at the Super Bowl. For the past few years, Doritos has called on fans to help create their Super Bowl ad. Leading up to the event thousands submit ideas and millions tune in to view the winner. The result is a collective effort of Doritos fans to create the winning ad. This year’s half-time show sponsor, Pepsi, ran a contest for consumers to submit a #fanenough photo for the chance to win a party kit and be featured in a Super Bowl ad. Driving further buzz, Pepsi has curated fan photos, tweets and videos on their Pepsi Pulse page to showcase fan content and capture the Pepsi spirit. Pepsi and Doritos have created avenues to spotlight fans’ content on game day, bringing personalization, creativity and buzz to their branded Super Bowl promotions.
The Super Bowl normally sparks conversations about big TV ad dollars and big events, challenging smart CMOs and event marketers to think outside the box, as key lessons of content usage from the Super Bowl can be scaled to fit events and promotions of all scopes and sizes. Together, brands and agencies must work to create meaningful moments in time for fans to share creative, fun, timely content across a mutil-channel distribution network. We’re looking forward to next weekend’s Super Bowl to see which content consumers buzz about!
Some look at the new year as a time to break old (bad) habits or start a new one. We see it as a time to recommit to all the ways we keep our minds sharp, our bodies refreshed and our work smart, strategic and flawless. From our team to yours, here’s a few of our favorites:
Share and communicate. Tell your client what is happening in the industry, with their competitors and who is doing inspiring work. Share all the details you know so they are smart and informed it will help them and you — Cassie
My best ideas are found in the bottom of the pool! Take that time for yourself to swim a few laps, go for a run in the park or walk your dog before work and your whole day will flow better. Your ideas will come easier and your disposition will be better benefiting your entire team — Gabrey
Cultivate your curiosity by seeking out inspiration from art, music, literature. Read about what is going on in other industries and parts of the world. Listen to TEDTalks. All of these ideas will percolate in the back of your mind, allowing you to open up to new possibilities — Tami
Get outside as much as you can — fresh air and sunshine does wonders to help recharge and refresh the body and mind — Jen
Pick up the phone. An email chain can be a useful reference, but conversations can get your timely questions answered immediately and prevent back-and-forth messages. A good idea is to always recap what was discussed to reference in the future — Shari
Work out a solution! Sometimes the best way to problem solve is to go for a jog or workout at the gym. As you get your energy moving you may suddenly be inspired by a solution you hadn’t otherwise considered — Lisa
Nothing is impossible! Collaboration is the best way to get something accomplished, so if you have a big idea, lean on your team to help find solutions and make it a reality — Brie
Ask WHY? While tried and true approaches are often reliable, taking a step back to revisit a goal or driver can often reveal refreshing new ways to maximize successful outcomes — Laura
Lists are your best friend — there’s nothing more satisfying than crossing something off or checking the box when you finish a task — Thao
While traveling for work, make sure to spend quality time with your clients and quality time with yourself — take time to see that tourist spot you’ve always wanted to after being smart at an important meeting! — Shannon
Use Google docs for streamlined, collaborative communication with your team & clients — Anna
Adaptability is the simple difference between ensuring you’re successfully positioned ahead of the curve vs. falling behind it — Matt
A work life-balance is key to happiness! Always make sure to find a time in the day where you are on the top of your to do list — Courtney
Learning shouldn’t stop after college! Make your continued learning a priority. Attend smart conferences, vow to read a renowned book by a leader in your field, attend webinars, take a skillshare class, and find ways to seek out information to further your career and expertise — Molly
Always keep an eye out for the newest and smartest trends of the times by following relevant publications and blogs. You can always learn more and grow within your field! — Alyssa
Write down everything that needs to be done that day in the morning to keep track of the details as other projects come up along the way — Shana
It’s OKAY to not always have the answer. Taking a deep breath and trusting your gut can make a world of difference for your career — Neel
Pick something you’d like to do or achieve and dedicate 20 minutes to it everyday. It’s amazing what small steps can accomplish — Kelcy
Back away from the screen! Too often we convince ourselves that we can’t spare those 10–12 mins while we’re eating our lunch and we end up sitting in front our screens eating. Take the time to enjoy your food and let your brain refresh. It will help you get back to your work with a renewed energy, not to mention give your eyes a well deserved rest — Chris
Learn how to make technology work for you. There’s an endless list of tools that can help you to work smarter, not harder — Derrick
Make sleep a priority! Nothing refreshes the mind and body better (and more naturally) than a good night’s sleep — Emily
Shift and scale to meet current needs. Don’t be resistant to change but instead always be open to collaborative ideas. My motto is “There is no problem a spreadsheet cannot solve!” — Nicole
Thoughtfully engaged brand advocates can ignite brand passion and spark recommendations in their networks, doing the heavy-lifting for you and your company. Grow Co-Founders Cassie Hughes and Gabrey Means share their expertise on how to build a lively community of brand advocates this week on Fast Company.
Continue reading on Fast Company.
A New Year means a new opportunity to evaluate our successes and determine areas for growth. From each individual employee, to the performance of the whole company, there are always opportunities to improve our work. Take a look at our six resolutions for brands, businesses and bosses on The Huffington Post.
Continue reading on The Huffington Post.