Author Archives: Jim Licko

The Art of Taking a Step Back

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

Photo credit: @WiredForLego

This week one of our account teams held an “Intense Period Debrief” – an opportunity to assess what went well, what could have gone better and what we can do moving forward to learn from experiences once a project is complete. The irony of this particular meeting was that, in taking the time to take a step back, much of what we learned from this particular account was the importance of taking calculated steps back more often.

The marketing world moves fast – new platforms, new products, content trends (this week it’s sarcastic polls on Twitter, FYI), changes in user behavior… the list of things that change actually changes itself quite frequently.

Add aggressive deadlines and high expectations to the list, and we’re frequently working in a world that pushes forward so fast that it’s easy to forget to step back and think strategically once a plan is in place. Ultimately, the best-laid plans don’t mean much if expectations aren’t set, processes aren’t communicated, and those plans don’t evolve based on trends and ongoing data.

Read more after the jump…

The Eclipse, Video and Snapchat News

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Is video eclipsing all other forms of content? All puns aside, social platforms’ focus continues to land squarely on video content, as showcased from a couple of our articles this week. Additionally, news outlets are continuing to pour resources and efforts into shorter, bite-sized newscasts on Snapchat with both NBC and CNN making big moves on that platform.

Video:

eMarketer: How Social Platforms Are Using Video to Capture Audience Attention
We’ve been hearing more and more about the prominence of digital video (and in case you missed it, CenterTable had some pretty big news in that world earlier this month!), and this article outlines how social platforms are continuing to look for ways to get a larger piece of the overall “digital video pie.”  Read more after the jump…

CenterTable Acquires Fourth Wall Productions, Expands Video Capabilities

Video Production & Motion Graphics | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, CO

Some of the CenterTable video production team onsite at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

The changes within the marketing and communications industry over the past decade have been equally swift, exciting and unforgiving. Ten years ago, Facebook and Twitter were certainly not household names, Denver had two newspapers, the iPhone was just launched (with a 2.0 MP camera and no video capabilities), Instagram and Snapchat were still years from existence and Periscope was just a thing on a submarine.

A lot can change in 10 years.

We are currently experiencing a dramatic shift in user behavior toward video content. Recent statistics indicate that shift is even more aggressive than most of us might believe: Read more after the jump…

Social Media Content: Are You Branding, or Selling?

Are you selling on social media? | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, CO

Are you selling on social media?

Should social media be a space for branding/thought leadership or a function of your sales team?

We work with clients on this issue often and the short answer is that social media, when done correctly, should do both. On one side, organizations shouldn’t (or can’t afford to) blindly pass on an opportunity to generate sales or action through a channel where opportunity exists.

 

Are you using social media to build trust and credibility? | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, CO

Or using it to build trust and credibility? On the other hand, social media isn’t simply “another sales channel.”

On the other hand, social media isn’t simply “another sales channel.”

We (and many others) have made the comparison often: social media should be treated like a cocktail party or networking event. If you walked up to everyone you met at an event, told them what you do, why they should work with you, hand them a business card and walk away, you wouldn’t be making a great impression on anyone. The better approach is to engage with those you’re talking with and actually build rapport and credibility.

Read more after the jump…

When is Live Video a Good Idea?

The CenterTable team in a live broadcast from the Greeley Stampede | CenterTable Digital Agency | Denver, CO

The CenterTable team in a live broadcast from the Greeley Stampede.

In my time as a news reporter there were two types of producers (generally): Those who only used the live truck for breaking/extremely visual stories and those who used live trucks in virtually every newscast.

Fast forward more years than I’m willing to admit, and we’ve got a similar situation now that Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all have “live” video options. Many brands and individuals are using live video options extremely sparingly (if at all) while others seem to be using it all of the time.

What’s the smart approach? Read more after the jump…

New Features for Your Fourth of July Week

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It seems you can’t even take a couple of days off to celebrate America’s independence without missing new updates to nearly every social media platform. When Instagram zigs, Snapchat seems to zag – the latest in big updates to each platform are listed in this week’s reads below.

Snapchat:

CNBC: Snap Now Lets Users Add Links to Snaps
It’s been a long time coming, but Snapchat users can now add links to their snaps via the new feature they’re calling “Paperclip.” The feature moves Snapchat ahead of rival Instagram when it comes to flexibility in driving traffic to outside sources, which of course has a ton of traffic/conversion potential. Read more after the jump…

Content is All Around You (Even if You Think It’s Boring)

Some behind-the-scenes content, combined with "staff pics" from our clients at Elite Brands.

Some behind-the-scenes content, combined with “staff picks” from our clients at Elite Brands.

We’ve had a couple of strategy sessions with our clients recently and a recurring theme has come up: Sometimes what you consider “boring” might actually be extremely engaging content.

Anyone who works in a warehouse, production facility or “in-the-field” probably doesn’t see a whole lot of intrigue from said workspace. But time and time again, we’ve seen audiences be completely captivated and engaged with behind-the-scenes content of how things are made, how machinery works, or what people do in their daily work routine.

Read more after the jump…

Lenses are the New Cool Kid on the Block

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Both Snapchat and Pinterest announced new “lenses” in the past week, aimed at improving user experience and engagement. First reactions – both concepts are very impressive. We also highlight the flip side of the coin with brands – how much is too much with creative campaigns, to the point that it turns off audiences? To be sure, we’re walking a fine line in marketing and communications.

Digital Advertising:

Wall Street Journal: The Danger of Assertive Advertising
A new study tells us that consumers are turned off when being told what to do. In fact, one aspect of the study resulted in consumers spending only half as much as a result of more assertive ads. Much like our audience-first approach at CenterTable, it’s a case in point that knowing your audience (how they behave, what they expect and what they want) is always the first strategic step in any marketing communications campaign. Read more after the jump…

Thoughts from CenterTable’s 6th SXSWi Denver Download

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Capitalizing on in-person opportunities as well as digital opportunities brings us Back to the Future.

Last week we hosted our sixth South by Southwest Interactive “Denver Download” – a chance for our clients and partners who attended the SXSWi conference in March to share the knowledge they gained with other clients, partners and colleagues back here in Denver. This year’s panel consisted of Comcast’s Cindy Parsons (who hosted one of the festival’s on-site social media lounges), Sukle’s Dan Schultz, Children Hospital Colorado’s Elizabeth Whitehead and yours truly. Below is a recap of common themes that were discussed during the event – all relevant concepts to look to as evolving trends in digital marketing in 2017.

Knowing your audience (and segmenting your messaging and marketing plan accordingly) is more important than ever.

Gone are the days of distributing one message to as many people as possible through digital channels. With so many social media and digital marketing platforms, combined with the fact that it’s not “solely Millennials” using Instagram or “only older people” using Facebook, it’s more important than ever to create specific audience personas and speak directly to each one of them with tailored content and messaging. Read more after the jump…

CenterTable @ SXSW 2017: Monday Sessions

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Art and inspiration are everywhere at SXSW.

The fourth day of South by: When sleep deprivation and too many creative thoughts in your head from the previous three days starts to cloud everything. But the sun came out today and we had an impressive lineup of speakers. Here are our top takeaways from Monday at SXSW 2017:

Jim’s Take:

  • I attended a wide variety of sessions today, the first being “Blending Leadership: Online and Offline,” where presenter Reshan Richards reviewed six pillars of leadership traits from his book. From a professional development standpoint, the main takeaway for me was, “Once you’ve become more efficient and find yourself with an extra 30 minutes or hour in your day, be intentional about how you fill that time. Don’t cram it with busy work. Rather, spend it on something you’d hoped to do from an aspirational standpoint.”

Read more after the jump…