Applebee’s Instagram: Power to the Foodies

#FantographerUser generated and influencer content is a great resources for advertising and Applebee’s is taking this strategy to the next level with their Instagram account. Starting in July and lasting for 12 months, they are turning over the account to their diners. User must go to a microsite to give permissions and ok the privacy policy stuff, after that anything posted with #Applebees or #Fantographer (the campaigns title) will get posted on their Instagram. Applebee’s even brands your post with a nice boarder to tie it into the campaign.

I like this idea for multiple reasons… It is easy for users, Instagram’s popularity, simple to manage and explain… but the real reason I like it is that is utilizes user generated content for the campaign. User generated content is becoming more popular in advertising but it is still a relatively untapped resource for companies and brands. Why do I like user or influencer generated content so much?

  • It shows you care about your customers and what they have to say
  • You are engaging with your consumers/audience
  • It creates authenticity and honesty in your advertising
  • Work of mouth: More likely to share content because they created it
  • An emotional connection, people get excited to see their posts used
  • Creates a level of transparency for the company
  • People love to talk about themselves and share pics
  • It is free or relatively low cost content

iPhoneI could probably go on, but I think you get the idea. User generated content can be a great tool for advertising. Sure there can be some negatives to using this type of content, issues like having to monitor very closely to avoid negative or inappropriate content, what if no one shares content for the campaign, technical issues, etc. However those companies that look past these issues and take a chance on their audience can create a campaign that has a bigger impact than several traditional campaigns put together.

So if you don’t mind taking a chance and have faith in your consumers, reach out to them and see what they can do. Who knows they just might surprise you and help create one of your most powerful advertising campaigns?

Author: Gary Balakoff


The State Of Digital Marketing In Sports (Infographic)

I have to admit, it has been a challenge keeping a regular blog schedule with a 2 month old little girl in the house now (not to mention a 3 year old little boy) and grad school, but I wouldn’t want it any other way. It keeps things interesting. I find myself having to use random times and places to work on posts. A couple of weeks ago, between trying to keep my son in bed and checking my iPad and the T.V. for Cleveland Indian’s updates, I remembered about this infograhic (from ECAL), The State of Digital Marketing in Sports.

Not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this, I love infographics.  They provide an eye catching, easy to read, quick method for delivering statics, facts and figures, but I digress. In marketing it is important to understand the different channels and what makes each successful. As a marketer, I also know how valuable it is to understand what your audience is paying attention to. I am a huge sports fan as well, which is why this infographic caught my eye. Taking a look at a specific demographic like sports fans and what companies are doing to reach those individuals makes sense, look at all the marketing campaigns centered around sports and athletes. While reading through it, a few of the points jumped out at me:

Individuals reach for their phone 150X a day– now that is a lot of checking the phone. One of the reasons I feel like the term Head Down Nation is so true. The graphic further breaks down of what people are checking with those 150X.

Going digital: MLS has stopped printing schedules– This makes sense to me; if people are using their phones to check schedules, why waste the time and money printing them.

Community based initiatives– Teams and leagues are utilizing the social media communities and creating specific campaigns directed towards them utilizing hashtags, retweets, shares and likes.

Personalization of services– with sports apps and websites, users can customize them with their favorite teams and leagues to create a one-of-a-kind experience.

Sports are big business and fans are big users of mobile devices and social media. Want to tap into that market and reach those potential customers? This infographic provides reasons for having a digital marketing strategy to do so.


F.O.M.O. (An Infographic on Social Media Users)

I saw the infographic below on my Google+ page. It has some good statistics about social media and users of social media. The statistic that stood out to me was the one on F.O.M.O. (Fear Of Missing Out). It shows that 56% of people surveyed suffer from F.O.M.O. and are afraid they will miss something important if they aren’t keeping up with their accounts. As a proponent of social media marketing, this is the behavior that I want to tap into. If I provide relevant content on a regular basis, it is this behavior that will allow my marketing to be seen and can create awareness for social media campaigns. I still need to provide content that gets individuals to respond and take action, but knowing about F.O.M.O. helps in understanding the behaviors of social media users and who is seeing the messages. Are there any statistics that stood out to you or that you find useful?


Author: Gary Balakoff

Note: This post is a couple days late, however my wife and I just welcomed our second child to the family.  Things have been a little busy but posts will get back on track in two weeks.