Instagram has fast become one of the largest, most lucrative social networks: 300 million people use the app every day and Instagram’s users spend more in purchases than any other major social network.

That’s a huge audience and a huge opportunity!

We’re thrilled at the chance to help you succeed there.

There are many different tactics and strategies for finding success on Instagram—timing, consistency, hashtags, links, and more. Being able to act on these strategies and to do so in a streamlined way alongside your other social media marketing can be a huge difference maker as you seek results on Instagram.

We’re so excited to announce today that we’re setting out to help you achieve this with the launch of Buffer for Instagram!

As you may know, Instagram does not allow outside apps to post directly to Instagram. So while Buffer can’t do the posting for you, we’re excited to help you at every step. Buffer for Instagram works by sending a notification to your phone when it’s time to post.

get-started-with-buffer-instagram

buffer-for-instagram

1. Find your best time to post to Instagram

Like most other social networks, two of the most important factors for success with Instagram content are …

  1. When you’re posting
  2. How consistently you’re posting

With Buffer for Instagram, you can make good on both (read more about consistency in point #2 below).

Here’s how to find your best time to post to Instagram, with Buffer:

 

  1. Visit Buffer’s Analytics section for your Instagram profile
  2. Click on the Posts tab
  3. Click to sort your Instagram posts according to the Most Popular (a combination of likes and comments)

The sorting works just like Buffer’s support on our paid plans (Awesome & Business) for networks like Facebook and Twitter. With Buffer for Instagram, you can sort every post by the most popular, most likes, and most comments. You can also select any custom timeframe or choose from presets like 7, 30, or 90 days.

buffer-instagram-stats

Once you’ve sorted, do you notice any trends?

If the same time keeps coming up on your top posts, you can feel confident knowing this might be a time to focus on with your future posts. This tip works great when you test multiple times, say a best practice like 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Eastern plus an outlier like 9:00 p.m.

Using this method, we’ve found that our best time at Buffer is 11:00 a.m. Pacific.

2. Post consistently to Instagram

After timing, the next consideration to make is how to post consistently.

What feels best for a consistent rhythm on Instagram?

Union Metrics put together data on brands and Instagram (note: data came prior to the change to an algorithm), finding that most brands post 1 to 2 times a day on Instagram (the actual average was right in the middle, 1.5), and — this was really interesting — that there was no correlation between increased frequency and lower engagement, meaning brands that posted more than twice per day didn’t see any ill effects.

The takeaway: Post often on Instagram. Brands that get in a regular flow with Instagram posts tend to see the best results.

To post consistently with Instagram, we schedule Instagram reminders in Buffer. Here’s the process:

  1. Find, edit, and upload a beautiful picture to Buffer. Add a caption with hashtags, @-mentions, and emoji. Schedule for the ideal time.
  2. Receive a push notification from the Buffer mobile app at the scheduled time.
  3. Open the notification, select Open in Instagram. This loads the photo into Instagram, with the caption saved to the phone’s clipboard, ready to be pasted.
  4. Make any final edits (filters, geolocation) and share from the Instagram app.

The Instagram API doesn’t quite allow scheduling, so Buffer has made it possible to plan in advance by adding a post through the Buffer dashboard on web or mobile and having a reminder pop up on a user’s phone when it’s time to send it out.

buffer-instagram-how-to

Here’s a look at how things appear from the web dashboard:

instagram-product-web@2x (1)

And this is the look from a mobile device:

instagram-product-android@2x (1)

To see the effect of a consistent Instagram presence, you can dig into the advanced analytics for your Instagram account in Buffer (available on our paid plans). Here’s how:

  1. Visit Buffer’s Analytics section for your Instagram profile
  2. Click over to the Analysis tab
  3. View Posts Per Day plus Likes or Followers

buffer-instagram-analysis-tab

The combination of these stats can help you judge the effect of a consistent schedule on important Instagram metrics like likes and followers. If the spikes in engagement match the spikes in posting, you can have visual evidence of a strong correlation between the two.

3. Track and sort through your Instagram history

Right now, when you connect an Instagram account to your Buffer, all of your past Instagram posts will appear in your analytics dashboard, giving you loads of great data on what’s working best for you on Instagram.

Then each successive time you share to Instagram, all your stats will be integrated directly into the Buffer dashboard where you can sort, compare, and analyze.

What this means: You don’t have to wait until a week from now to start analyzing what’s been working for you on Instagram.

You can get insights, today, on what’s worked well yesterday, last week, last month, and beyond.

When I connected my Instagram account, the first thing I did was visit my analytics and sort my past photos to see my most popular Instagram posts. Having that knowledge helped me prep and plan for the next one (in my case, hashtags proved quite key).

Speaking of hashtags …

4. Add a hashtag (or 11) to your caption

Buffer for Instagram cannot post directly to the app for you — but it can get you 95% of the way there!

You can plan nearly every detail from the Buffer dashboard, including the full caption you wish to use with your photo. And as part of this caption, we’ve found that hashtags work extremely well on Instagram.

Hashtags have become a uniform way to categorize content on many social media platforms, especially Instagram. Hashtags allow Instagrammers to discover content to view and accounts to follow.

Research from Track Maven found that posts with over 11 hashtags tend to get more engagement.

To find your best hashtags, we recommend a tool like hashtagify.me, which ranks and analyzes all sorts of different hashtags. This is what we typically look for:

  • Hashtags used by others in your industry
  • Hashtags that are the most popular (by volume of posts)
  • Hashtags that are the most active (trending)

When you’ve chosen your hashtag, you can add it to your caption and set your Instagram notification in Buffer. Later, when it’s time to post, you can open the reminder notification from your phone to have your photo automatically added to Instagram and your full caption copied to your phone’s clipboard.

5. Include emoji in your caption

Along with hashtags, you can also include emoji in your captions (there’s even a bonus 3rd thing you can include, if you keep reading).

Why might you go with an emoji? Well, they’re popular, they’re expressive, and they might just be the new way we communicate online.

Plus, they’re a key part to the language of Instagram, so much so that Instagram itself commissioned an emoji study on their network. What Instagram found is that many popular emoji have meanings in-line with early internet slang and have been adopted as a way to replace these words.

Here are a few emoji and the slang Instagram found them to represent:

  • 😂 : lolol, lmao, lololol, lolz, lmfao, lmaoo, lolololol, lol, ahahah, ahahha, loll, ahaha, ahah, lmfaoo, ahha, lmaooo, lolll, lollll, ahahaha, ahhaha, lml, lmfaooo
  • 😍: beautifull, gawgeous, gorgeous, perfff, georgous, gorgous, hottt, goregous, cuteeee, beautifullll, georgeous, baeeeee, hotttt, babeee, sexyyyy, perffff, hawttt
  • 👍: #keepitup, #fingerscrossed, aswell, haha, #impressed, #yourock, lol, #greatjob, bud, #goodjob, awesome, good, #muchlove, #proudofyou, job, #goodluck

If you’re keen to get emoji into your next Instagram caption, we have a couple quick ways to do it from a desktop:

  • Cmd+Ctrl+Space on a Mac
  • Windows touch keyboard on a PC

6. Reference the link in your bio

There’s only one place on Instagram where you can add a link: in your bio.

The way that savvy marketers have skirted this limitation is by changing that bio link often, and referencing the bio link in the caption of new photos. It’s as simple as writing a caption like this:

“… Click the link in our bio to read more.”

“…Check out the link in our bio!”

(or the super short Gary Vaynerchuk method)

“… Link in bio.”

This tip works even better if you use a shortened URL with tracking information as the bio link. Tools like bitly let you shorten a URL that contains UTM parameters: you can track the links to your bitly URL and also analyze the UTM information in Google Analytics for deeper insights.

We manage all this via Buffer for Instagram by using the “link in bio” language in the captions that we compose. The Buffer app notification to post also serves as a reminder to update our bio!

7. Post the same picture + native content to each network

Many brands choose to post natively to Instagram, opening the app each time they wish to send a message.

This was the way we had done it for quite some time at Buffer, too.

We’re happy to be using a more streamlined workflow now. All of our Instagram posts begin in the Buffer dashboard, right alongside our posts for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

One key benefit we notice from this: We have a coordinated presence on all networks while also being free to honor the individuality of each.

Let’s say we have a team photo that we’d love to share with our social media followers. We can share it to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all from the same dashboard without needing to log in to any extra places. We can coordinate the time so it all posts in sync. Plus, we’re able to create custom messages on each network, speaking in Instagram’s language (hashtags + emoji) on Instagram, speaking Twitter on Twitter (brief + 140 characters), and Facebook on Facebook (personal + fun).

8. Mention other users

A lot can happen in an Instagram caption, and we’re excited to let you do it all. In addition to hashtags and emoji, another key inclusion for growing your Instagram marketing is to use @-mentions in your caption.

Every time you @-mention a brand or person (for example, @buffer or @kellybakes), they receive a notification. This has a number of neat effects:

  • It feels good to be mentioned! When you’re acknowledging a contributor, partner, or friend in your feed, you’re passing along a bit of social media karma.
  • It might help your post spread! There’s a bit of viral “pay it forward” when it comes to @-mentions. Many influencer strategies start by mentioning the influencer in a post.

To add an @-mention to your Buffer for Instagram caption, simply type it as you would any other text, and when pasted into Instagram’s text field on your device, Instagram will recognize it as a mention.

Questions and Answers on Buffer for Instagram

Is this for all users or is it a paid feature?

This feature is for everyone! Any user can connect one Instagram account. The Awesome plan and above lets users connect more than one account.

What happens if I miss a reminder?

If for whatever reason you miss a notification, you will be able to find the posts you missed by clicking on the “View past reminders” link in your Buffer dashboard, and you’ll still be able to share them on Instagram or reschedule them from there.

How can I access Instagram reminders?

This feature has been rolled out to everyone! If you are already a Buffer user, you can head to your Buffer dashboard here, and if you haven’t yet signed up, you can do so here. Composing a post for Instagram is available on the Buffer web app, as well as Android and iPhone apps.

How do I add a post?

You can add an Instagram Reminder from within the Buffer dashboard on the web (https://buffer.com) or from any mobile device. Since Instagram is a mobile-first social network, to complete the process of posting to Instagram, you’ll need to have a mobile device with the Buffer app (for receiving reminders) and the Instagram app (for posting).

Any restrictions on content?

The content shared to Instagram through Buffer still needs to comply with both our own terms at Buffer, and Instagram’s own terms around content.

Get Buffer for Instagram! Start amplifying your Instagram marketing today

With Buffer for Instagram, we’re excited to be giving you the power to manage your social media marketing from one central location, and we’re eager for you to have the tools you need to plan, track, and amplify your Instagram marketing.

get-started-with-buffer-instagram

We’d love to hear what you think!

We’ll be hanging out in the comments here to answer any questions, and you can get in touch with us any time at hello@buffer.com.

Happy Instagramming!

It’s easy to get tunnel vision as a marketer.

You’ve got lots of goals to achieve, and only so many hours in the day to get there. So you put your head down, get focused, and get results.

At the same time, it’s important to let yourself be inspired by others

Our industry can be creative, groundbreaking and a lot of fun. If you’re in need of a marketing recharge, here are 28 amazing marketing campaigns and experiments—and the amazing people who dreamed them up. Read on, and get inspired to add your own innovative contribution to this list!

Best Marketing Campaigns 2016

1. Marketing himself, after a high-profile layoff

Marketer: Sree Sreenivasan

Innovation: If I were laid off from a high-profile job, I imagine I’d be pretty quiet on social media. But Sreenivasan,, former chief digital officer at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, wasn’t—he shared the news far and wide on Facebook, and asked for advice on what he should do next, even linking to a form inviting friends to give advice. In return, he racked up hundreds of likes, encouraging comments and more—proving that vulnerability can turn a low point into an opportunity.

2. The newsroom as marketing

Mattermark editorial

Marketer: Danielle Morrill

Innovation: To be an authority on your topic, you’ve got to know it inside and out. At Mattermark, which collects and organizes information on the world’s fastest growing companies, CEO Morrill takes authority one step further: The company basically set up a small, independent newsroom (led by former TechCrunch reporter Alex Wilhelm) within the team, producing reporting and analysis on financial trends, the venture capital space, startups and more.

3. The trend caller

Marketer: Mary Meeker

Innovation: No slide deck is more anticipated every year than Meeker’s giant analysis of digital trends from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. In the 2016 Internet Trends Report, Meeker breaks down why Snapchat video marketing works, what motivates Millennials and so much more.

4. The foolproof formula

Marketer: Bamidele Onibalusi

Innovation: Busy marketers love surefire formulas. We love it even more when someone lets us in on a secret they could have kept to themselves. Onibalusi covers both in his actionable and thorough step-by-step opus on writing content that gets more than 100,000 views—every time.

5. Bringing more fun to newsletters

distro snack email

distro snack gif

Marketer: Susan Su

Innovation: Is your inbox full to bursting? Mine too, but somehow there’s still room for newsletters that surprise and delight. Su’s Distro Snack, from 500 Startups, is one such delight, a beyond-quick read that consists of a daily startup growth tip and a “delightful GIF alongside.”

6. No more forms

Marketer: David Gerhardt

Innovation: Imagine a content marketing landscape with no gated content. No content upgrades. No more forms or hurdles to getting to what you want. At Drift, CEO David Cancel and Marketing Lead David Gerhardt are going all in on the idea of taking marketing back to its roots. Sensing a shift in the air toward true authenticity and connection above ROI, they’ve removed all forms from the site.  “All of the content we create and share from here on out will be free,” they announced. Talk about turning the funnel upside down!

7. Startups 101 on Snapchat

Suster on Snapchat

Marketer: Mark Suster

Innovation: Does Snapchat marketing have to look like emojis and rainbow vomit filters? Not necessarily. Suster, a venture capitalist in Los Angeles, uses Snapchat to deliver what he calls “Snapstorms”—mini lectures across many video snaps that offer the inside scoop about startup challenges like hiring, power dynamics among boards, CEOs, and shareholders; and how to write a great email. Follow him here:

Suster snapchat

8. The surprise mixtape

Marketer: Toki Wright

Innovation: While most brand’s April Fools Day jokes are forgotten within 24 hours, Hamburger Helper produced an April 1st “prank” that’s a cut above: a shockingly good mixtape called Watch the Stove. The project started as a Twitter joke, but after General Mills enlisted music veteran Toki Wright and the students at McNally Smith College of Music, the project took on new heft—and then took the Internet by storm.

9. The videos taking over Facebook

Marketer: Andrew Gauthier

Innovation: You’ve seen them on Facebook: Quick, mouthwatering recipes that you experience from beginning to end over the course of 30 seconds to a minute (sound optional!). The source is often Gauthier’s project Tasty, a year-old pilot from BuzzFeed that has amassed more than 62 million Facebook fans (and taken over your feed). BuzzFeed followed up Tasty’s success with TastyJunior as well as Nifty, a hacks and DIY site with an even bigger following.

10. The automation experiment

Autotweet results

Marketer: Tami Brehse

Innovation: Always be testing is our marketing mantra. So we were inspired by Brehse, who did just that by automating her Twitter posts for a full month to find out what would change (spoiler alert: the all-green stats above are hers!)

11. The DIY marketer

Annie Cushing DIY

Marketer: Annie Cushing

Innovation: OK, we all know SEO is important. But getting from that basic understanding to the intricacies of site audits and technical SEO can be a huge hurdle—unless you’ve got Cushing in your corner. After years of educating the public through speaking, she now offers resources that bridge the gap (site audits! analytics basics! Excel dashboards!) that turn any marketer into a technical marketer.

12. The authenticity revolution

Genuinely_logo

Marketer: Mack Fogelson

Innovation: When is a rebranding more than a rebranding? For Fogelson’s company, formerly known as Mack Web, rebranding was a chance to tie deeply felt values into their services. In doing so, the brand now known as Genuinely created a manifesto for a new marketing era:

“The way our world has evolved has completely changed how companies must shape and market. People not only interact differently with businesses, they expect more. A ‘brand’ isn’t about generating a virtual identity through websites, emails, social media, and being found at the top of Google. Great brands are real and human and they follow through.”

13. Virtual reality that connects an audience

Day in the life: What The New York Times’ first VR editor does

Marketer: Jenna Pirog

Innovation:  In November 2015, The New York Times distributed more than 1 million Google Cardboard viewers/glasses to Sunday home delivery subscribers. Since then,VR Editor Pirog has been in charge of innovating in storytelling’s newest platform: virtual reality. Viewers have explored everything from Pluto to SXSW thanks to Pirog’s pioneering work in a new medium.

14. Arts and crafts on Snapchat

Soul Pancake Snapchat

Marketer: Soul Pancake

Innovation: Far beyond selfies and landscapes, Soul Pancake is turning Snapchat into a true hub of creativity and community. On the day I wrote this, snaps focused on creating a doodle self-portrait and featured tons of community examples. Even better, lots of their coolest experiments are on YouTube in case you missed them on Snapchat. Follow them for more:

soulpancake

15. The newsletter that loves you

CB Insights

Marketer: Anand Sanwal 

Innovation: Ever wondered who’s really paying attention to the emails you’re sending? Sanwal, founder and CEO of CB Insights, a private market intelligence firm, did. So he changed tactics, adding conversational tidbits readers wouldn’t expect into his daily emails (each one is signed with an “I love you”). The result? The newsletter has nearly 200,000 subscribers and has “taken the tech industry by storm.”

16. The political mythbuster

Rhea Drysdale

Marketer: Rhea Drysdale

Innovation: When you name your company Outspoken Media, you set the bar high. But even for an outspoken marketer, Drysdale has been on a roll. Her honest account of being a pregnant CEO opened industry eyes and set the stage for her to debunk a political rumor involving Hilary Clinton and Google. When you know your stuff well enough to correct news outlets, you’re going to get lots of attention—deservedly so.

17. The real-time case study

Marketers: Devesh Khanal and Benji Hyam

Innovation: The co-founders of Grow & Convert are racing against the clock to hit a goal of 40,000 monthly unique visitors—and they’re doing the whole thing in public. (What can we say, we’re suckers for transparency!)

18. Simplifying remarketing

Marketer: Elizabeth Marsten

Innovation: Remarketing can be a big annoyance to your audience—unless it’s done right. In the presentation Make Your Remarketing More Than an Echo, Marsten lays down the context and strategy to make sure your remarketing hits all the right notes.

19. Inside views with Facebook Live

Marketer: Christine Dwyer

Innovation: Have you harnessed the giant potential of Facebook Live yet? Dwyer has. The fitness trainer and speaker uses Live to take viewers inside her classes on Facebook, with engaging results. No wonder she’s one of Facebook guru Mari Smith’s fave follows.

20. Email + video = success

Marketer: Ellie Mirman

Innovation: Video isn’t just for social media—it can also be highly targeted and optimized to convert just the right customer. Find out how with Mirman’s presentation from WistiaFestHow to Use Video to Nurture Leads through the Marketing Funnel. 

21. A heatmap for your Google Analytics

SEER heatmap

Marketer: SEER Interactive

Innovation: Google Analytics’ heatmap feature lets users visualize metrics, like users or revenue, over time. But you can’t have it in a report—until now.  The analytics team at SEER built a custom Google sheet that allows you to create a heatmap metrics and identify growing or hot trends over time.

22. Social with personality

US: DID IT WORK?
You: Did what work?
US: YOU KNOW, THE #NIGHTMARKETING?
You: No of course it didn
US: PLEASE BUY SMOOTHIES
You: [Sigh]

— innocent drinks (@innocent) July 5, 2016

Marketer: Helena Langdon

Innovation: Whether she’s live-tweeting the Euro 2016 semi-final or finding the humor in Brexit, Langdon, the social voice of Innocent Drinks, keeps followers enthralled by innovating on the medium daily. We’re also fond of Innocent’s compliment generator. It’s our kind of weird. 🙂

23. A Tumblr of Internet ephemera

Cyberspace Culture

Marketer: Juan Buis

Innovation: Honestly, I think I’m too old to understand what’s going on with The Next Web’s Tumblr, expertly curated by Buis. But I do know I couldn’t stop staring at it for quite a while.

24. She knows what we want to see

trend report

Marketer: Pam Grossman

Innovation: Where do stock photos even come from? Someone has to be dreaming up all those women laughing with salad, and that person is Getty’s Director of Visual Trends Pam Grossman (well, the salad thing probably wasn’t her idea). What visual trends are on her radar for this year? “People who push the envelope and visuals that break with tradition,” along with meaningful consumption and surreal imagery.

25.Keeping it weird on Facebook

Marketer: Sarah Burton

Innovation: How do you get an increasingly overstimulated audience interested in reading the news? What if you read it to them in a sultry whisper? BuzzFeed’s Burton has been experimenting with “ASMR News”—that’s “autonomous sensory meridian response,” for those not in the know, a kind of “brain orgasm” triggered by sounds such as scratching and whispering. “Right now we’re keeping it weird, but simple,” Burton told NiemanLab. “We’re trying to see what people respond to.”

26. Don’t skip the ads on this podcast

Another Round

Marketers: Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton

Innovation: There’s only one podcast whose advertisements I never, ever skip, and it’s Another Round, a “boozy podcast that covers everything from race and gender to squirrels and mangoes.” Heben and Tracy (and the whole “pod squad”) make sure to put thought into every single moment of their time on air, which means even ads become hilarious drinking games and pop quizzes.

27. Letting the community call the shots

Marketers: Benefit Cosmetics

Innovation: Another great Facebook Live example! We love Benefit’s”Tipsy Tricks” series every Thursday. Viewers have learned to count on this series, and know that  they’ll get the chance to ask questions, make requests, and generally take the lead in how the video will go.

28. Curation with care

Make Change

Marketer: Ashley Hockney

Innovation: Curated content works great because it’s not all about you. Hockney’s weekly “Make Change” newsletter from Teachable is such a great example of sharing the love and building authority and trust as a result.

Bonus: 75 more examples!

Siege marketing-examples

Marketer: 

Innovation: In case this post isn’t quite enough to get you inspired, Siege Media’s Heinz has curated an incredible resource of 75 content marketing examples, grading each one on a scale of elements that includes traffic, revenue, UX, design and interactivity.

Over to you!

It was so much fun to see all the cool ways folks are innovating with their marketing. I bet you know of many more incredible examples and marketers, and I can’t wait to hear them. Share your top picks for marketers doing awesome things in the comments and add to our inspirational list!

Image sources: WOCinTech, Pablo

Did you know: Over 6 billion emojis are shared every day!

Clearly, using emojis within messages, tweets, and all kinds of communication has become very popular over recent years, particularly on mobile devices where emoji buttons and keyboards have become quite ubiquitous.

But what if you’re working from a desktop and hoping to add an emoji or two to a message?

We’ve got a little-known emoji tip just for you — one that is easy to remember and quick to use. In this post, we’ll cover the little-known shortcuts to share emojis from Mac and Windows desktop as well as sharing how to use emojis to boost your social media posts.

Get ready for some fun!

The little-known shortcut for adding emojis on Mac and Windows

How to add emojis on Mac (keyboard shortcut): CTRL + CMD + Space

Add-emoji

1. Click on any text field

Position your cursor in any text field where you’d like to add an emoji. For example, you can do this in a Buffer post:

emoji-step-1

2. Press Command + Control + Space

Press the Command and Control keys on your Mac keyboard and then press Space:

mac-keyboard

3. Choose your emoji from the list

You’ll now see the emoji keyboard palette launch within your screen:

emoji-palette

You can scroll through all the available emojis and categories (People, Nature, Food & Drink, Celebration, Activity, Travel & Places, and Objects & Symbols) or search the full list of emoji from the search box at the top of the window.

scroll-emoji

4. Click to add the emoji to your text

Once you’ve found the emoji you’d like to add, click on it and it’ll appear in your text box to the left of the cursor:

emoji-added

 

How to add emojis on Windows: Touch keyboard

1. Open the Touch Keyboard

Click on the Touch Keyboard icon in the bottom right corner of your screen:

touch-keyboard

If you don’t see the Touch Keyboard option on your desktop, this guide will help you to enable it.

2. Click on the smiley face emoji icon

One the keyboard window has opened up, click on the smiley face icon next to the Control button.

windows-8-touch-keyboard

3. Choose your emoji

Your keyboard will now switch to an emoji keyboard and you can select the emoji you’d like to add to your text field:

emoji-keyboard

How emojis can impact your social media content

Emojis are incredibly fun, and they can also help increase the reach of your social media posts and boost engagement.

For example, internet marketer Larry Kim ran a quick experiment where he split-tested the same promoted post with and without emojis to the same targeting group at the same time. The results of this experiment were pretty impressive. The emoji version had 25.4% higher engagement (11.06 percent vs. 8.82 percent) and a 22.2 percent lower cost per engagement ($0.18 vs. $0.14)

larry-kim

3 simple-yet-effective ways to use emojis in your marketing

1. As a response

Emojis can be a great way to respond to people on social media. Instead of simply ‘liking’ or ‘favoriting’ a post, an emoji can convey a specific emotion. For example, if something made you laugh, the :joy: emoji could be a great one to react with 😂.

This article is the best! 😂https://t.co/4hG8gwwKve

— Not the Real Kevan (@fakekevan) July 5, 2016

2. To represent a topic

No matter the topic, there’s probably an emoji you can use to represent it. For example, if you’re sharing a video on social media you could use the video emoji to highlight that fact 📹.

Here’s an example of how we used emojis when we shared a design-focused post on Facebook:

3. To summarize your status

In some ways, emojis are enhancing our language.

What used to take a few sentences can now be summed up using a few icons. In our social media updates, we regularly use emojis at the end of sentences to summarize the topic we’re talking about.

In the below example we used the ⏰ and 💰emojis to essentially say “time is money.”

Over to you

The Mac emoji shortcut has saved me a ton of time since I discovered it and I hope these tips can help you save a little time and enhance your social media posts, too.

I’d love to hear any thoughts you may have in the comments below. How do you use emojis in your marketing? 

Further reading 📖

Image sources: Unsplash, Getemoji

I often think I have a lot to do with managing my own social profiles. But managing 60? (mind blown)

The team at Creative Click Media manages 60 social profiles for their clients, driving big results in traffic, leads, and sales with their team of three.

How do they pull it off?

Adam and Amanda from Creative Click were kind to share their workflows and processes for driving these results: everything from how they save time with social media management to how they iterate on blog posts and top tweets. Keep reading for our full interview with Creative Click, and learn some of their top secrets for success on social.

Creative Click Media team

Kevan, Buffer:

I’d love to learn how you view social media and what have been some of the key approaches, from a high-level, for Creative Click Media.

Adam Binder, Creative Click Media:

Social media is so vast and ever-changing. There’s so much that goes into it and so much time that is required to get it right.

Buffer as a tool — and really the word “buffer” — is great. It serves as a buffer and a bridge between the complete authenticity of being online 24/7 and also planning everything to a T.

I love the fact that social media can be scheduled. It really helps us stay authentic while also being able to grow our business, scale our business. Scheduling really helps us bridge the gap between automation and authenticity. You can tell with a lot of accounts that it’s scheduled and it wasn’t done with care, but Buffer really allows us to accomplish both authenticity and efficiency.

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Kevan:

Are there any specific tactics that you try to make things authentic? 

Amanda Erdmann, Creative Click Media:

We really use the team members section of Buffer to involve the clients, so they know what we’re posting and we know what they are posting. That helps a lot.

We are able to post a lot more with Buffer. We’ve expanded Twitter usage, and posting more on Twitter definitely helps brands be more active and engaging on there. We’re saving a ton of time by doing that. I would say working with the clients is probably the best way we stay authentic and using several team members here to post different things so that you get those different voices while also sticking with the brand.

Adam:

We’ve got the really large Buffer for Business account with 25 users. We’ve added some of our more savvy clients as users so they can work in real-time to collaborate with us.

One good case study would be the Jay and Linda Grunin Foundation. They are a non-profit. They do wonderful things for the local community. We work with them to come up with an overall strategy, and we come up with content. We put it in Buffer, we schedule it out, but their day-to-day operation is very nimble. They are doing a lot of things. They are out and about, and because they have access to Buffer they can move our posts around. If they have something more timely or pressing, they can switch things around to put out the current stuff immediately.

Teachers design the project, students create the solution. https://t.co/vMoVt7fCMq #Arts #Education #STEAM

— Grunin Foundation (@JLGrunin) June 1, 2016

Some clients are doing a lot on their own, and some clients may have busy moments. For the most part, we manage everything, and then they feel comfortable having the access to review what we have and to move it around if something pressing comes up. It allows us to be really nimble.

Kevan:

I’d love to learn a bit more about how social fits within your business plan or structure at Creative Click? Looks like you offer a lot of different, amazing services. How does social fit within that larger ecosystem of everything that you provide?

Adam:

Social media is really becoming very intertwined with SEO which is very intertwined with web design. Really, it all works together. I like to make an analogy with an electrical circuit. You can’t break it or else the whole thing won’t work. Social media is expanding rapidly. It is a ranking factor for Google now. Social signals definitely affect SEO. We can see, for the clients who opt in for our social media services, that they are definitely getting better benefit from SEO.

And social is great PR. Done correctly, it really can enhance your brand and it can boost your bottom line.

Creative Click Media started as a web design agency, and social media followed very quickly after. Then when we added everything else: social, SEO, videos and now PR. We’re going to continue to grow and I say diversify our portfolio of offerings. Everything is changing so rapidly.

Kevan:

That’s great. I’d love to learn a bit about how your team structure is set up. How many are on the marketing team and how many touch the social media channels ?

Amanda:

I’m the project manager, and I oversee everything; then I have two writers for various accounts for social media. They have access to Buffer. I have access to Buffer. Adam has access, too.

We use the analytics to find the optimum times to post, and we set the schedules for the clients. When it makes sense, as Adam mentioned before, we add the clients themselves if they want to see what we’re doing or if they want to schedule posts around them. We really work together because they have a lot of events so it makes sense for them to see and prioritize which events should go out.

Kevan:

When it comes to finding the best times to post, how are you finding out that data

Amanda:

We mostly use optimal timing on Facebook. Twitter is kind of trial-and-error, though the Twitter accounts tell you now when you get the most activity. We’ve been trying to look at that more. We’re trying to work with Facebook more also, to find those optimum times. I love that Buffer lets you set one schedule and keep it. It makes everything very consistent which is definitely one of the best things about it.

And Buffer tells you the optimum time to post to an account, which definitely makes things easier.

Kevan:

When it comes to analytics too, I’m curious to learn a bit about the reporting relationship you have with clients. How do you communicate with them how things are going on social?

Amanda:

Other analytics tools we used before were really pretty and graphical, but most of our clients didn’t understand what they were looking at. I like that Buffer very much simplifies it. You can compare two different things at once which is really awesome. You can show them exactly, “You gained this many likes and this is how your engagement also went up.” We try to keep it simple with clients and show them their best so they understand exactly what’s going on.

buffer analytics

We do this with screenshots, mostly. We will make reports. I will export the Excel file to really find the best post that the client had, and we will try to optimize those, to recreate them so we can use them again.

Adam:

One thing we’re looking into is creating custom infographics for clients, but it takes a little time to get that right. I think that would be a very boutique way to deliver the results and we’re working on it.

Kevan:

Have there been any kind of challenges that you find with doing social media for clients? 

Adam:

I think finding the brand voice is a big one. It’s something we’re very good at, but it’s a moving target. As clients’ businesses evolve, constant communication is really important.

I think images are always something that is needed.

Time is the number one resource that we seem to never have enough of.

Amanda:

I was just going to say, Buffer has helped us save a lot of time which is one of the main reasons we switched over to it. Scheduling with our previous tool, you had to do one post at a the time. Now we can upload a ton at once. We have 60 social media accounts on Buffer all for different clients, so being able to have one schedule and stick to it and upload as many as posts we want to has helped us save a lot of time.

We use Bulk Buffer for the bulk upload, and it works great with Buffer.

Kevan:

Where do you tend to pull those bulk updates? Is there a certain workflow that you use?

Adam:

Most of the updates we share for our clients come from content that we’ve created on our clients’ blogs. Basically, the blog feeds the social media.

We don’t only share our own stuff or our client’s stuff. We mix it up certainly and are careful to follow the 80/20 rule or better. We’re not overly promotional because that never works. We try to mix sharing of other people’s stuff, but a lot of the stuff, a lot of the social content, comes from the blogs.

We are careful to dissect the blogs into bite-size pieces for social media and we drive a lot of traffic that way. This is really why it intersects with SEO and why it’s so critical for SEO success. We drive a lot of traffic through Twitter. We don’t drive a lot of sales through Twitter, but I know it’s very helpful for SEO. We drive a good amount of traffic and leads and sales through Facebook.

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Kevan:

How have those numbers grown and evolved for you since you switched to Buffer?

Adam:

Twitter has exploded for us because we’re able to post 8 to 10 times a day instead of 1 to 3. The life of a tweet is 12 minutes, I read somewhere, maybe even shorter now. it’s probably old data. Your timeline just flies so quick. We drive a lot of traffic from Twitter, and Buffer has been an integral piece of that.

Kevan:

What other tools do you find useful with your social media efforts for your clients?

Adam:

We use Canva for graphics. We use hashtagify.me for hashtag research. Bulk Buffer for bulk uploads.

Facebook ads we do right in Facebook.

I’ve tried Twitter ads a couple of times for myself and for clients. They’re okay. I think the thing with the Twitter ads, like I said, we don’t really get a lot of leads from Twitter. I just think it’s the nature of the platform. Things are going by so quickly, but it’s great for sharing information and driving traffic. Again, I’m saying no one that contacts us says, “Hey, I found you through Twitter.” That doesn’t mean that they haven’t. They kind of got hooked into a piece of content and then followed us for a little while. We’re really not too sure about that. I know that the Facebook ads are huge, and they are definitely a revenue driver.

For lead tracking, I’m using the HubSpot CRM, which lets us track pretty much everything. We always keep detailed notes on everything. We always make sure that we ask our clients, if it’s a phone call, how they found us. A lot of times it is through our website — and they could just say website, but really it was the website via Twitter.

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The goal of Facebook’s News Feed is to show people the stories that are most relevant to them. That’s no small task when you have over 1.65 billion people to keep happy and over 1,500 stories per day to prioritize for each of those individual users. Now, Facebook has announced one of their most significant News Feed shuffles.

On Wednesday, Facebook shared that the News Feed algorithm is going to shift so that it will more favorably promote content posted by the friends and family of users.

These changes are likely to mean that content posted by brands and publishers will show up less prominently in News Feeds. In the announcement, the company explained their priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.

Back in April 2015, Facebook made a similar algorithm update trying to ensure that stories posted directly by the friends you care about will be higher up in News Feed, so you are less likely to miss them. But based on feedback, Facebook understands that people are still worried about missing important updates from the friends.

This update is likely to affect all types of content posted by brands and publishers, including links, videos, live videos and photos. Facebook said it anticipates that this update may cause reach and referral traffic to decline for many Pages who’s traffic comes directly through Page posts.

The update will have less of an impact, however, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it. Links or Page content shared by friends or content your friends interact with frequently will still appear higher in the feed.

For example, the post from my personal Facebook account (on the right below) would be more likely to appear above the post from Buffer’s Page (on the left) in the News Feed:

newsfeed

What do users expect from the News Feed?

Facebook’s success is built on getting people the stories that matter to them most.

To help make sure you don’t miss the friends and family posts you are likely to care about, Facebook try to put those posts toward the top of your News Feed. The News Feed learns and adapts over time based on the content you interact with the most, too. For example, if you tend to like photos from your sister, they’ll start putting her posts closer to the top of your feed so you won’t miss what she posted while you were away.

Facebook research has also shown that, after friends and family, people have two other strong expectations when they come to News Feed:

  • The News Feed should inform. People expect the stories in their feed to be meaningful to them — and we have learned over time that people value stories that they consider informative. Something that one person finds informative or interesting may be different from what another person finds informative or interesting — this could be a post about a current event, a story about your favorite celebrity, a piece of local news, or a recipe. Facebook’s algorithm is always trying to better understand what is interesting and informative to you personally, so those stories appear higher up in your feed.
  • The News Feed should entertain. Facebook also found that people enjoy their feeds as a source of entertainment. For some people, that’s following a celebrity or athlete; for others,  it’s watching Live videos and sharing funny photos with their friends. Again, the company’s News Feed algorithm tries to understand and predict what posts on Facebook you find entertaining to make sure you don’t miss out on those.

The makeup of a successful social network (and why this update is essential for Facebook)

Despite its venture into publishing and partnerships with large news and entertainment brands, at its heart, Facebook is still a place for friends. And without solidifying our connections with those closest to us, Facebook could face struggles to keep its 1.65 billion monthly active users coming back.

To understand the inner-workings of social networks and what makes us keep using them, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology studied networks like Friendster and Myspace with the goal of figuring out what factors can be detrimental to a social network.

As explained over at Wired:

They found that when the time and effort (the costs) associated with being a member of a social network outweigh the benefits, then a decline in users becomes likely. If one person leaves, their friends become more likely to leave and as more people leave, this can lead to a cascading collapse in membership.

Networks like Friendster and Myspace were the Facebook of their day. Both had tens, and eventually hundreds, of millions of registered users, but what the study found is that the bonds between users weren’t particularly strong. Many users had very few close connections, and it appears there’s a direct correlation between how connected we feel to our friends and family and our affiliation with each network.

If Facebook users are worried about missing important updates from the people they care about most, then their affiliation with the network could begin to decline as they find other ways to stay connected. And once user begins to leave, or become un-engaged, it could have a waterfall effect on the network. David Garcia, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, explains:

“First the users in the outer cores start to leave, lowering the benefits of inner cores, cascading through the network towards the core users, and thus unraveling.”

You can see how a social network unravels in the below graphic (Friendster is used in the image):
social-network-connections

For Facebook, the News Feed is the most integral part of their product to make us feel connected with those we care about. And as such, it’s important for Facebook to keep the content we want to see the most at the top of the feed.

How will this update impact business Pages?

The changes will affect all types of content posted by Pages, including links, videos, live videos and photos.

In their “News Feed Values” shared alongside this announcement, Facebook made it clear that content from friends and family will come first. And the company also highlighted the importance of authentic communication and being inclusive of all perspectives and view points without favoring specific kinds of sources — or ideas.

We expect that this update may cause organic post reach and referral traffic to decline for some Pages. The impact will vary for every page and will greatly depend on the composition of your audience or the way in which your content is shared on Facebook. For example, if a lot of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, there will be less of an impact than if the majority of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.

As with all Facebook algorithm updates, it may take a little time to determine exactly what will continue to work and how to increase organic reach (though Facebook feels like it’s shifting more towards a pay-to-play market for businesses). 

One tactic that could become increasingly important is the amplification of brand content. With Facebook favoring content shared by users rather than Pages, it feels essential to find new and innovative ways to encourage your audience to share your content directly to Facebook. Ensuring your content is discoverable away for the Facebook News Feed could be another key play as well.

It also feels important to keep a focus on what people are looking for from the News Feed. As mentioned earlier, aside from friends and family, Facebook users turn to the News Feed to be informed and entertained. With those goals in mind, it’s worth thinking about how the content you create for Facebook can satisfy those desires.

Over to you

In their announcement, Facebook says their work is “only 1 percent finished” so it feels like there are plenty more twists and turns ahead for the News Feed.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this update and how it may affect the way you use Facebook and the types of content your share? Please feel free to leave a comment below and I’m excited to continue the conversation with you. 

It’s an exciting time to get to know Instagram. The popular photo-sharing app is fun, simple and growing—Instagram has more than 300 million daily users and sky-high user engagement levels.

And for marketers, it’s an especially interesting time. The company just announced that it will open up a set of business tools including new business profiles, analytics and the ability to create ads from posts directly within the app.

With such brand-friendly features on the way, it seems like marketers might be more keen than ever to get acquainted with Instagram for their business. I know we are at Buffer!

Lately, we’ve been sharing, liking and trying new ways to grow Buffer’s Instagram account, and it’s been so much fun. Since Instagram is a platform we’re keen to focus on, we thought it would be fun to research some ways to grow a following there.

Update: We recently launched one of our biggest product enhancements, Buffer for Instagram, to help you plan, track and amplify your Instagram marketing.

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Whether you’re growing your own personal account or working on behalf of a company, read on to find out the 10 best tactics (with tools and examples!) we uncovered that could help you grow a bigger, relevant audience on Instagram.

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Want to make your business stand out on Instagram? Check out our complete guide to Instagram marketing and get the playbook that drives results for Instagram’s top profiles.

Top 10 Instagram Growth Tactics

10 actionable ways to supercharge your follower growth on Instagram:

1. Post consistently (at least once a day)
2. Study and load up on quality hashtags
3. Share user generated content
4. Ask users to “tag a friend”
5. Use the right filters
6. Host a photo contest
7. Add some emojis
8. Cross-promote
9. Try video, too
10. Share the love

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 1. Post consistently (at least once a day)

Social media analytics tool Quintly analyzed over 5,000 profiles in early 2015 to learn that the average Instagram account posts once per day.

More intriguing: Accounts with the highest number of fans tend to post a bit more than that–up to 2 or 3 photos per day on average. This data might allow us to say that “more successful” accounts tend to post with a higher frequency.

Quintly study Instagram

The key takeaway: Post often on Instagram. Brands that get in a regular flow with Instagram posts tend to see the best results.

Instagram is rolling out a Facebook-like algorithm based timeline and consistency feels like a key element to getting your posts seen and appearing at the top of the timeline. If your posts are shared on a regular basis and picking up good engagement, then our hunch is Instagram’s algorithm may then determine this post should appear near the top of your follower’s feeds.

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Further reading: 8 Ways to Get Your Best Instagram Marketing Results with Buffer

Buffer for Instagram is Here: 8 Ways to Get Your Best Instagram Marketing Results with Buffer

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2. Study and load up on quality hashtags

We’ve explored hashtags a lot on the blog, but it seems that nowhere on social media are they quite as important as on Instagram. The right hashtags can expose your image to a large and targeted audience, and Instagram users don’t seem to get hashtag fatigue in the same way they might on other networks.

In other words, hashtags could be your best bet for growing a fast following on Instagram. Instagram allows for a maximum of 30 hashtags per post, and many power users max out this ability. For example, check out how many hashtags our recent Bufferchat guest, Jeff Sieh, used on a post of his:

insta-example

A TrackMaven study discovered that interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags. instagram tips, instagram statistics, instagram statsWhich hashtags should you use?

It can be a little difficult to discover the right hashtags to add to your Instagram posts and I’d love to share a few tips with you here.

One method I use a lot is to look for hashtags on similar posts to mine. Here’s how I do it in a few quick steps:

  1. Add a couple of relevant and obvious hashtags to my photo before posting it.
  2. Then I’ll click through to search those hashtags and scroll through other, similar photos that share my hashtag to see what other tags those users have added that I might add, too.
  3. Then I go back to my photo and edit it to add all the additional relevant hashtags I’ve found.

You can do this process in a more formalized way by searching and recording hashtags relevant to your brand, in a similar way you might do keyword research for a blog post. Brands are using hashtags to run unique campaigns as well—here’s a look at just a few:

instagram hashtag campaigns

Another way to discover hashtags is to check out the top 100 hashtags from Websta here. (You can also use Websta to search relevant keywords and find popular accounts.)

3. Share user generated content

In under 3 months, we grew our Instagram account by 60%  – from 5,850 to 9,400 followers. And a large percentage of this growth was down to embracing and sharing user generated content.

The easiest way to think about user generated content is this: brands taking the best-of-the-best user content from around the web and featuring it on their own social media or other platforms while giving credit to the original creator (user).

At Buffer, we started the hashtags #BufferStories and #BufferCommunity to showcase the unique stories of our users. These hashtags have opened up a huge variety of content options from curated stories of digital nomads to social media tips from marketers. Each time we share a new UGC photo on Instagram we are sure to include these hashtags. Every once in a while we include a CTA along the lines of: “share your story using #BufferStories” to keep the campaign alive.

Buffer, Buffer Instagram, User generated content, UGC, instagram growth, instagram

Further reading: Check out our full guide to user generated content on Instagram here.

4. Ask users to “tag a friend”

I recently got a great Instagram tip from some new local friends who helped me out with marketing a non-profit food tasting event. They shared a food photo from a past event and asked their 11,000 followers to comment and tag a friend they wanted to attend with. The response was awesome, and exposed our event to a lot of people who wouldn’t have heard about it otherwise:

tag a friend

I’ve seen this tactic work well for lots more than events, too.

5. Use the right filters

All those filters Instagram gives you to use aren’t just fun—choosing the right ones can actually lead to more views and engagement. Researchers from Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs analyzed millions of photos and corresponding data on how frequently they were viewed and commented upon to determine that filtered photos are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than unfiltered ones. What kind of filter works best? After examining five different types, researchers found that the top filters to increase chances of views and comments are those that create:

  • higher exposure
  • warm temperatures
  • higher contrast

Higher exposure was the most tied to more views, and warmth had the biggest correlation with comments.  Two types of filters had negative correlations: Saturation correlated to slightly lower views, and age effects led to lower comments. Curalate has a great infographic with even more specific pointers on optimizing the look of your image for greater engagement:

Curalate infographic Instagram

6. Host a photo contest

Instagram hashtags make it easy for to collect photos from followers around a theme, and many brands have had success and fun using this capability to host photo contests. Here’s an example of Instagram itself hosting a photo contest, asking users to recreate an iconic image and share it with the hashtag #recreatedclassic.

instagram photo contest

Instagram has a great blog post with some tips for getting your photo contest off on the best foot, and Social Media Examiner has an awesome primer on all kinds of Instagram contests.

7. Add some emojis

Emoji are becoming a universal method of expressionInstagram reports that nearly 50 percent of all captions and comments on Instagram now have an emoji or two. I know I’m drawn to them in posts and I’ve noticed some folks are even adding to their user names for a bit of extra pop.

Anthony Thompson explains over at PostPlanner how he earned 3x Instagram growth by calling on emojis to ignite engagement in both posts and comments—smart. He uses this adorable example from Sue Zimmerman to prove his point: suezimmerman insta emoji

8. Cross-promote

Make sure your existing fans know you’re on Instagram through cross-promotion. Instagram makes it simple to share your images to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, and Foursquare, which could be a great tactic to get some extra exposure. You can also try embedding Instagram photos in your blog posts (see the bottom of this post for an example) or adding an Instagram feed to your Facebook page for some additional discovery. Here’s a look atBuffer’s Facebook page with an added Instagram feed:

Facebook page with Instagram feed

A Buzzsumo study of over 1 billion Facebook posts from 3 million brand pages found that images posted to Facebook via Instagram receive more engagement than natively published images:

facebook-image-engagement

9. Try video, too

Instagram allows users to upload videos between 3-60 seconds in length, and when the feature was introduced, more than 5 million were shared in 24 hours. However, an April 2015 study from Locowise found that only about 10% of all posts on Instagram are videos right now, but they’re getting 18% of all comments. This shows there’s still plenty of room for you to focus on video and be one of the first!

10. Share the love

In our quest to grow our followers, it’s always helpful to remember what really matters in all of this: The friends we’ll talk to, the relationships we’ll create and the fun we’ll have.

An easy way to keep this principle central is to spend a bit of time each day just hanging out and enjoying Instagram. You might respond to comments, like photos, follow some new friends, and comment on awesome posts. If the “follow like like like” strategy above tells us anything, it’s that time spent showing and sharing the love can pay off in new followers. It also creates a better social media experience for everyone.

One last tactic: How to drive traffic from Instagram?

One of the challenges of marketing on Instagram (and possibly a part of its joy for users) is that you can’t quite add links for your viewers to click.

If you want to send your followers to a specific link, though, it seems that it’s becoming common practice to change the link in your Instagram profile and add the comment “link in bio” to a corresponding photo or video.

Wrapping it up: Anatomy of a perfect post

We’ve gone over quite a lot of tactics to remember and try! The kind folks at Made Freshly combined lots of these tips for growing a following into this fun infographic:

IG anatomy high res

Bonus: How to use Buffer to start amplifying your Instagram marketing today

With Buffer for Instagram, we’re excited to be giving you the power to manage your social media marketing from one central location, and we’re eager for you to have the tools you need to plan, track, and amplify your Instagram marketing.

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What are your Instagram experiences?

We’d love to keep the conversation going—both in the comments here and on Instagram, of course! Lots of awesome friends shared their top tips for marketing on the photo social network, and we’d love to hear yours, too! Add your thoughts below!

Millions of blog posts are published every day.

A small percentage gain traction and attract readers.

And among those readers, 55% will read the blog post for 15 seconds or less.

(If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking with this one!)

The internet is a daily battle for attention. Everywhere you turn, people are trying to share the latest marketing hacks with many of the same points echoed repeatedly.

I’m guilty of it myself, and I completely understand why many of us write articles that are a little similar and repetitive. It’s because they work. You could argue that content is becoming less art and more science. There are formulas to it — if you find the best keywords and write the correct content, you can build a high-traffic blog (that’s almost a guarantee).

But is traffic the goal of content? Or can there be some new and unusual ways of measuring content success? I have some ideas I’d love to share.

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Do the surface metrics really matter?

Why pageviews and sessions might be the wrong numbers to chase

Often (and, I’m guilty of this too) you’ll hear someone talk about the success of their content by saying something like: “10,000 people read my post” or “60,000 people saw my video on Facebook.”

But I’ve started to wonder if this is really an accurate measure of successful content?

Even if someone clicks on your article, the likelihood of them taking it all in is very slim. The internet has changed many of our habits. But one thing that hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years is the way we consume content online. Most of us still skim and rarely read a full post.

Many publishers have now started to focus on “attention metrics” alongside more traditional measurements like pageviews. Medium’s Ev Williams explains their stance on which numbers are meaningful:

We pay more attention to time spent reading than number of visitors at Medium because, in a world of infinite content — where there are a million shiny attention-grabbing objects a touch away and notifications coming in constantly — it’s meaningful when someone is actually spending time.

Maybe we need to stop focusing on how we can hack and grow the number of views our content gets. And instead, focus on how we can make each reader care about what we’re saying.

I’d argue that you don’t build a successful blog by accumulating a huge number of page views. Rather, you build a successful blog by creating something of value.

The only way content will drive results for any business is if it provides value to someone else. It’s not necessarily about how many people you reach; it’s how many you connect with. Because when people connect with us, they remember us, come back for more, trust what we have to say, and may eventually buy from us.

When you’re creating great content, you don’t need to live or die by your analytics. Maybe we should let go of our desire to write for everyone in order to skyrocket our pageviews, and instead hone in on sharing what’s unusual, valuable, and unique?

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How to measure the value of your content

3 under-used metrics to tell you just how valuable your content is

Value is quite subjective and can be hard to measure. In this section, I’d love to share a few ways we’re starting to measure the value of our content here at Buffer.

1. Run an NPS survey

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is commonly used to measure loyalty between a brand and a consumer. It can also be a great way to measure the value that your blog is delivering to readers.

You calculate NPS by asking a simple question: How likely is it that you would recommend our blog to a friend or colleague? (Using a 0-10 scale to answer.)

Respondents to the question are then grouped as follows:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter).

This handy graphic from the Net Promoter Network highlights the formula:

nps

By running an NPS survey on your blog you can begin to understand how many of your readers truly value the content you’re creating and whether they would be happy to share it with their networks.

How to run an NPS Survey

There are plenty of great tools out there to help you run an NPS Survey on your blog and I’d love to share a few below:

You can also create your own survey using a tool like Typeform and distribute it to your readers. One thing that feels important to be mindful of is ensuring you reach all kinds of readers with your survey. For example, sending it only to your email subscribers could slightly skew results as they’re likely to already be your most engaged readers.

2. Pay attention to the comments

There has been a lot of debate about the state of blog comments. With the rise of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, readers have a multitude of ways to engage with your content:

  • They can share a link to your post on Twitter, Facebook (or any network of their choice)
  • They can interact with a post where you’ve shared a link back to the blog (favoriting a tweet, sending a reply, liking on Facebook)
  • They can retweet your tweet sharing the post or share your Facebook post
  • And much, much more…

With all these options and ways to interact with content, you could argue that a blog comment is losing its relevancy — or on the contrary, you could see it that the value of a blog comment is rising.

Knowing that people can share and comment on your post anywhere, the fact they’re taking the time to respond directly within the post itself could be perceived as the highest form of engagement.

For us, comments are an increasingly important metric and one we’re focused on measuring. In Q2 2016, we’ve had a focus on increasing the average comments on each blog post by 100% from Q1 and here’s how we’re getting on:

comment-tracking

Comments feel like a great measure of the value your content creates. If someone takes the time to spark a discussion on reply to us through a comment then we feel the post must have been useful to them in some way or sparked some curiosity.  A great example is our recent social media study post. This one generated over 70 comments with readers sharing their thoughts on the study and also how our findings compare to their own.

3. Monitor mentions and shares

Whenever I publish a post on the Buffer blog, I’ll get a few mentions on Twitter or LinkedIn when people share it. As a result of this, I’ve started to build a slight intuition around how much value each post is generating based on shares and mentions.

When a post really delivers value and goes above and beyond reader expectations, I’ll notice a distinct spike in the number of shares it receives and the number of mentions we receive both via the @buffer accounts and my own personal social media accounts.

It’s super easy to keep tabs on how many times your content has been shared. Sharing plugins like SumoMe and Social Warfare can provide share counts on your posts and PostReach (full disclosure: this is a tool a few friends and I have built) and Buzzsumo can pull in data about who is sharing each of your posts on Twitter. I also like to pay extra close attention to my mentions on Twitter after a new post goes live so I can gauge how it’s doing and see what people are saying.

A quick tip: Promise value in your headline

Headlines are amazingly important to the success of a piece of content. Before we publish a post, we spend a bit of time focusing on how we can craft a headline that gives the content the best chance of being seen. Amazing content behind a weak headline probably won’t get seen.

Sometimes we’ll create between 20-30 headlines for each post and choose the one that feels best and other times we’ll have a quick chat and riff on how we can make the headline stand out. Here are some extracts from a recent conversation between Leo and I:

headline-convo

The original headline we had was:

53 Graphic Design Terms and Definitions for Non-Designers

And the title we decided on when we hit publish is:

Why Every Marketer in 2016 Needs to Be a (Part-Time) Designer: 53 Design Terms and Tips to Level-Up

This post has generated plenty of shares so far and 18 comments (at the time of writing). By focusing on the headline, we were able to promise value: 53 Design Terms and Tips to Level-Up. And also spark a discussion about the role of a marketer: Why Every Marketer in 2016 Needs to Be a (Part-Time) Designer. Without the time spent tweaking this headline, I’m not sure we would have had such success with this post.

line-section

What makes an idea worth writing about?

Every blog post begins as an idea, but what makes an idea stand out and how do you know which ideas to act on and publish?

Before choosing a post to write, I tend to ask myself three questions:

  1. Is this actionable?
  2. Who will amplify this?
  3. What makes it unique?

And I’d love to go into detail on each of the three questions below:

1. Is it actionable?

On the Buffer blog, we strive to deliver content that helps readers solve a problem or challenge they face in their every-day work environment. This means we like them to be able to read a post and directly action something they’ve learned from it.

We focus on making content actionable because we believe that if someone learns something from one of our posts they’re likely to remember us and even share the post with their network as a New York Times study found that content that is practically useful gets shared more than any other content:

surprising-interesting-practical-viral

2. Who will amplify it? 

When creating content, it’s important to hone in on your audience and think about who you’re writing for. One way I like to frame this is to ask myself “who will amplify this post?” If I can’t answer this question then I won’t write the post. Normally, this question forces me to focus on a specific area of marketing or a specific role.

(h/t to Rand Fishkin for this one)

3. What makes it unique?

We’re surrounded by content nowadays and if you want to stand out, you need to craft content that’s unique.

What makes a piece of content unique can vary from post to post. Sometimes it can be timing that makes a post unique, for example, when we published our post on Twitter Polls it was launched shorty after Polls were publicly announced and was one of the first guides on how to use the feature.

Other ways to make your content unique include:

  • Sharing your unique perspective: One of the best ways to make a piece of content unique is to create something that only you can by adding in your own perspective and point of view. As Jory McKay explains on the Crew blog: “Everything has been said before, but it’s never been said by you.” 
  • Going deeper on a topic that anyone else: There might be a ton of posts out there about Facebook Ads, for example, but you can create a unique post on this subject by going more in-depth than anyone else has.

line-end

Over to you

I believe we can create more value if we pay closer attention to depth than breadth. It’s not so much how many people click on our content, it’s how many people pay attention to our content. It’s how many people we can make an impression on and connect with that really matters.

Measuring the success of blog content is an interesting topic and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Do you feel we put too much focus on the metrics like page views and sessions? How do you measure the quality and value provided by a blog post? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

Millions of blog posts are published every day.

A small percentage gain traction and attract readers.

And among those readers, 55% will read the blog post for 15 seconds or less.

(If you’re still reading, thanks for sticking with this one!)

The internet is a daily battle for attention. Everywhere you turn, people are trying to share the latest marketing hacks with many of the same points echoed repeatedly.

I’m guilty of it myself, and I completely understand why many of us write articles that are a little similar and repetitive. It’s because they work. You could argue that content is becoming less art and more science. There are formulas to it — if you find the best keywords and write the correct content, you can build a high-traffic blog (that’s almost a guarantee).

But is traffic the goal of content? Or can there be some new and unusual ways of measuring content success? I have some ideas I’d love to share.

line-section

Do the surface metrics really matter?

Why pageviews and sessions might be the wrong numbers to chase

Often (and, I’m guilty of this too) you’ll hear someone talk about the success of their content by saying something like: “10,000 people read my post” or “60,000 people saw my video on Facebook.”

But I’ve started to wonder if this is really an accurate measure of successful content?

Even if someone clicks on your article, the likelihood of them taking it all in is very slim. The internet has changed many of our habits. But one thing that hasn’t changed in nearly 20 years is the way we consume content online. Most of us still skim and rarely read a full post.

Many publishers have now started to focus on “attention metrics” alongside more traditional measurements like pageviews. Medium’s Ev Williams explains their stance on which numbers are meaningful:

We pay more attention to time spent reading than number of visitors at Medium because, in a world of infinite content — where there are a million shiny attention-grabbing objects a touch away and notifications coming in constantly — it’s meaningful when someone is actually spending time.

Maybe we need to stop focusing on how we can hack and grow the number of views our content gets. And instead, focus on how we can make each reader care about what we’re saying.

I’d argue that you don’t build a successful blog by accumulating a huge number of page views. Rather, you build a successful blog by creating something of value.

The only way content will drive results for any business is if it provides value to someone else. It’s not necessarily about how many people you reach; it’s how many you connect with. Because when people connect with us, they remember us, come back for more, trust what we have to say, and may eventually buy from us.

When you’re creating great content, you don’t need to live or die by your analytics. Maybe we should let go of our desire to write for everyone in order to skyrocket our pageviews, and instead hone in on sharing what’s unusual, valuable, and unique?

line-section

How to measure the value of your content

3 under-used metrics to tell you just how valuable your content is

Value is quite subjective and can be hard to measure. In this section, I’d love to share a few ways we’re starting to measure the value of our content here at Buffer.

1. Run an NPS survey

A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is commonly used to measure loyalty between a brand and a consumer. It can also be a great way to measure the value that your blog is delivering to readers.

You calculate NPS by asking a simple question: How likely is it that you would recommend our blog to a friend or colleague? (Using a 0-10 scale to answer.)

Respondents to the question are then grouped as follows:

  • Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth
  • Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.
  • Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth.

Subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters yields the Net Promoter Score, which can range from a low of -100 (if every customer is a Detractor) to a high of 100 (if every customer is a Promoter).

This handy graphic from the Net Promoter Network highlights the formula:

nps

By running an NPS survey on your blog you can begin to understand how many of your readers truly value the content you’re creating and whether they would be happy to share it with their networks.

How to run an NPS Survey

There are plenty of great tools out there to help you run an NPS Survey on your blog and I’d love to share a few below:

You can also create your own survey using a tool like Typeform and distribute it to your readers. One thing that feels important to be mindful of is ensuring you reach all kinds of readers with your survey. For example, sending it only to your email subscribers could slightly skew results as they’re likely to already be your most engaged readers.

2. Pay attention to the comments

There has been a lot of debate about the state of blog comments. With the rise of social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, readers have a multitude of ways to engage with your content:

  • They can share a link to your post on Twitter, Facebook (or any network of their choice)
  • They can interact with a post where you’ve shared a link back to the blog (favoriting a tweet, sending a reply, liking on Facebook)
  • They can retweet your tweet sharing the post or share your Facebook post
  • And much, much more…

With all these options and ways to interact with content, you could argue that a blog comment is losing its relevancy — or on the contrary, you could see it that the value of a blog comment is rising.

Knowing that people can share and comment on your post anywhere, the fact they’re taking the time to respond directly within the post itself could be perceived as the highest form of engagement.

For us, comments are an increasingly important metric and one we’re focused on measuring. In Q2 2016, we’ve had a focus on increasing the average comments on each blog post by 100% from Q1 and here’s how we’re getting on:

comment-tracking

Comments feel like a great measure of the value your content creates. If someone takes the time to spark a discussion on reply to us through a comment then we feel the post must have been useful to them in some way or sparked some curiosity.  A great example is our recent social media study post. This one generated over 70 comments with readers sharing their thoughts on the study and also how our findings compare to their own.

3. Monitor mentions and shares

Whenever I publish a post on the Buffer blog, I’ll get a few mentions on Twitter or LinkedIn when people share it. As a result of this, I’ve started to build a slight intuition around how much value each post is generating based on shares and mentions.

When a post really delivers value and goes above and beyond reader expectations, I’ll notice a distinct spike in the number of shares it receives and the number of mentions we receive both via the @buffer accounts and my own personal social media accounts.

It’s super easy to keep tabs on how many times your content has been shared. Sharing plugins like SumoMe and Social Warfare can provide share counts on your posts and PostReach (full disclosure: this is a tool a few friends and I have built) and Buzzsumo can pull in data about who is sharing each of your posts on Twitter. I also like to pay extra close attention to my mentions on Twitter after a new post goes live so I can gauge how it’s doing and see what people are saying.

A quick tip: Promise value in your headline

Headlines are amazingly important to the success of a piece of content. Before we publish a post, we spend a bit of time focusing on how we can craft a headline that gives the content the best chance of being seen. Amazing content behind a weak headline probably won’t get seen.

Sometimes we’ll create between 20-30 headlines for each post and choose the one that feels best and other times we’ll have a quick chat and riff on how we can make the headline stand out. Here are some extracts from a recent conversation between Leo and I:

headline-convo

The original headline we had was:

53 Graphic Design Terms and Definitions for Non-Designers

And the title we decided on when we hit publish is:

Why Every Marketer in 2016 Needs to Be a (Part-Time) Designer: 53 Design Terms and Tips to Level-Up

This post has generated plenty of shares so far and 18 comments (at the time of writing). By focusing on the headline, we were able to promise value: 53 Design Terms and Tips to Level-Up. And also spark a discussion about the role of a marketer: Why Every Marketer in 2016 Needs to Be a (Part-Time) Designer. Without the time spent tweaking this headline, I’m not sure we would have had such success with this post.

line-section

What makes an idea worth writing about?

Every blog post begins as an idea, but what makes an idea stand out and how do you know which ideas to act on and publish?

Before choosing a post to write, I tend to ask myself three questions:

  1. Is this actionable?
  2. Who will amplify this?
  3. What makes it unique?

And I’d love to go into detail on each of the three questions below:

1. Is it actionable?

On the Buffer blog, we strive to deliver content that helps readers solve a problem or challenge they face in their every-day work environment. This means we like them to be able to read a post and directly action something they’ve learned from it.

We focus on making content actionable because we believe that if someone learns something from one of our posts they’re likely to remember us and even share the post with their network as a New York Times study found that content that is practically useful gets shared more than any other content:

surprising-interesting-practical-viral

2. Who will amplify it? 

When creating content, it’s important to hone in on your audience and think about who you’re writing for. One way I like to frame this is to ask myself “who will amplify this post?” If I can’t answer this question then I won’t write the post. Normally, this question forces me to focus on a specific area of marketing or a specific role.

(h/t to Rand Fishkin for this one)

3. What makes it unique?

We’re surrounded by content nowadays and if you want to stand out, you need to craft content that’s unique.

What makes a piece of content unique can vary from post to post. Sometimes it can be timing that makes a post unique, for example, when we published our post on Twitter Polls it was launched shorty after Polls were publicly announced and was one of the first guides on how to use the feature.

Other ways to make your content unique include:

  • Sharing your unique perspective: One of the best ways to make a piece of content unique is to create something that only you can by adding in your own perspective and point of view. As Jory McKay explains on the Crew blog: “Everything has been said before, but it’s never been said by you.” 
  • Going deeper on a topic that anyone else: There might be a ton of posts out there about Facebook Ads, for example, but you can create a unique post on this subject by going more in-depth than anyone else has.

line-end

Over to you

I believe we can create more value if we pay closer attention to depth than breadth. It’s not so much how many people click on our content, it’s how many people pay attention to our content. It’s how many people we can make an impression on and connect with that really matters.

Measuring the success of blog content is an interesting topic and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

Do you feel we put too much focus on the metrics like page views and sessions? How do you measure the quality and value provided by a blog post? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

I believe you can learn something from everyone—as long as you’re listening. We’re always building on the legacy and lessons of those who have come before us.

For marketers, this is quite a legacy indeed. Although the discipline of marketing only emerged in the 1900s, it builds on a foundation of sales, advertising, copywriting and relationship-building that is much older.

Some of its wisest teachings are hundreds of years old. Some of its big lessons happened only months ago. And for every brilliant marketer and thinker mentioned here, there are likely 10 more I haven’t thought of. (Would love to hear your picks in the comments!)

Nonetheless, I hope there’s some wisdom for the ages below. I loved learning about each personality and philosophy, and hope you will too. Here are 40 essential lessons from some of the most famous marketers in history.

1. ‘A brand is a contract’

simon clift

Who: Simon Clift

What: The former Chief Marketing Officer of Unilever likes to say “a brand is the contract between a company and consumers.” The consumer has choices, and can simply choose to enter a contract with another brand if they find a company “in breach” of the contract. Are you holding up your end of the bargain with consumers?

2. ‘Always be closing’

glengarry glen ross

Who: Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross

What: This line became famous from Glengarry Glen Ross but is a also well known sales mantra expressing that everything you say and do should ideally be done with only one goal in mind: closing the deal.A more modern, less ruthless take for today’s world? The customer is always listening and evaluating. Even if you’re not consciously selling, everything you do is part of your marketing.

3. ‘Appeal to the reader’s self-interest’

John Caples

Who: John Caples

What: One of the most famous copywriters of all time, Caples hit on a winning formula early with this ad:

they-laughed-john-caples-ad

The ad works because it doesn’t sell piano lessons, it sells self-esteem. (And who doesn’t want that?) Caples would repeat this formula again and again, each time appealing to a reader’s deepest self-interest. How can you go deeper in your marketing to know your customers’ self-interest motivation?

4. ‘Become interested’

Dale Carnegie

Who: Dale Carnegie

What: We are pretty big Dale Carnegie fans at Buffer, and his advice to truly be interested in others is no small part of why.  One of his famous quotes on the topic: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

5. ‘Break the internet’

Kardashians

Who: The Kardashians

What: Media pundits thought Kim Kardashian would break the internet when she bared all for Paper magazine, but the Kardashians’ real power move is to make sure they’re offering a multi-platform experience—much more than you see on social media, including custom emoji and a branded content portal.  “I see what we do on social media as the appetizer,” Khloe Kardashian told the New York Times. “Not everything we do can be captured in an Instagram shot.”

6. ‘Cash from chaos’

malcolm mclaren

Who: Malcolm McLaren

What: The man who largely initiated the punk movement, managing the infamous Sex Pistols, made “cash from chaos” his motto. He bore it out in stunts like getting arrested outside the Houses of Parliament, spreading rumors about the band and intentionally canceling gigs. What can we learn from this bad behavior? Today more than ever, controversy gets people talking (case in point: Kanye West). Hey, no publicity is bad publicity, right?

7. Details matter

walt disney

Who: Walt Disney

What: At Walt Disney’s Disneyland, every detail is thought through—to the point that the Disney team has planted “hidden Mickeys” throughout the park, which dedicated fans spend decades discovering and cataloging. When you pay attention to every detail of an experience, you can make fans for life.

buffer-share

8. ‘Eat your own dog food’

paul maritz

Who: Paul Maritz of Microsoft

What: This colorful colloquialism describes the idea that a company should be the biggest user and proponent its own products or services. The first recorded usage was in 1988, when Microsoft executive Paul Maritz e-mailed a colleague, “We are going to have to eat our own dogfood and test the product ourselves.” Are you your product’s biggest fan?

9. Educate your audience

john deere

Who: John Deere

What: John Deere may be best known for farm equipment, but he also has another distinction: He may very well have created content marketing. In 1895, he launched the magazine The Furrow, providing information to farmers on how to become more profitable. The magazine is still in circulation today, reaching 1.5 million readers in 40 countries in 12 different languages. Helping your audience grow and improve is always in fashion.

10. Find a star slogan

mary frances

Who: Mary Frances Gerety

What: Charged with kickstarting the sales of diamonds following the Great Depression, copywriter Mary Frances Gerety came up with the timeless gem “A diamond is forever” in the middle of the night. The slogan has since been used in every De Beers ad and in 1999 was named the slogan of the 20th century by Advertising Age. Today, more than 80% of women in the U.S. receive diamond rings when they get engaged. Think her campaign was effective?

11. Get people talking

conrad gessner

Who: Conrad Gessner

What: This botanist “invented” word of mouth marketing in 1559 with his passion for tulips. To familiarize Europeans with the then-foreign flower, he penned an easy-to-repeat poem that eventually spurred “Tulipmania”—some bulbs sold for what would be several million dollars today. What can you do to get people talking and create more demand?

12. ‘Give them quality’

hershey

Who: Milton Hershey

What: The founder of Hershey’s had a simple marketing philosophy: As long as consumers saw the high quality of Hershey’s’ chocolate, the product would practically sell itself. He’s know to have said: “Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising in the world.”

13. Harness your haters

beyonce

Who: Beyoncé

What: When the world gives you lemons, just turn to Beyoncé to figure out how to turn them into lemonade. After getting negative feedback for her 2016 Super Bowl performance, including boycott calls, Queen Bey hatched a canny plan to turn the furor into a boon: She sold her own “Boycott Beyoncé” T-shirts on tour.

buffer-share

14. Headlines are everything

helen gurley brown

Who: Helen Gurley Brown

What: In 1965, Hearst hired Helen Gurley Brown to take over a flagging magazine called Cosmopolitan. Her revamp was heavy on sensational headline and earned millions of devoted readers, kickstarting the sexual revolution in the process. Today you can still get plenty of tips on writing great headlines right from the magazine racks.

15. Influencers make the brand

estee lauder

Who: Estee Lauder

What: The co-founder of Estée Lauder Companies, Lauder was the only woman on Time magazine’s 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century. Her marketing genius? Lauder gave her famous friends and acquaintances small samples of her products for their handbags; she wanted her brand in the hands of people who were known for having the best.

16. Issue a challenge

ernest shackleton

Who: Ernest Shackleton

What: Although its veracity isn’t certain, it’s still one of the most famous ads of all time. Explorer Ernest Shackleton supposedly sought to recruit men for a new expedition with this newspaper ad:

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.”

Whether or not it’s true, can we all agree it’s awesome? Don’t you wonder how you’d fare on this trip? To me, this taps the same impulse as modern-day hidden bars and speakeasies. We like a challenge, and tend to share it with others when it creates social currency for us.

17. ‘The job is not the work’

seth godin
Who: Seth Godin
What: Marketers get pulled in a lot of directions throughout the course of a day—and a career. When this happens, maybe this philosophy from Seth Godin might help. In Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, he defines the difference between the job and the work:

“The job is what you do when you are told what to do….Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin….The job is not the work.”

When you’re doing the job, remember to do the work, too. You’re the only one who can.

18. ‘Listeners will end up the smartest’

yi and bernoff

Who: Charlene Yi and Josh Bernoff

What: In an ever-changing media world, how do you keep up and stay relevant? The answer Yi and Bernoff proposed in their book Groundswell is a simple one: Keep learning, keep listening.  “We’re all learning here,” they write; “the best listeners will end up the smartest.”

19. ‘Make the customer the hero of your story’

Ann Handley

Who: Ann Handley

What: Everyone wants to be a hero. That’s the central idea of marketer Ann Handley’s contribution to our list, “make the customer the hero of your story.” Her suggestions to do this including content curation, user-generated content and using social media to tell bigger stories.

20. ‘Markets are conversations’

cluetrain manifesto

Who: The Cluetrain Manifesto authors Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger

What: In 2001, social media barely existed. But The Cluetrain Manifesto predicted a future of connectivity that would change the face of business, media, and culture.

“A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.”

What we learned then is still relevant today: We want a conversation, not a one-way ad barrage. Meet your audience where they are and get real with them.

21. Market what people want

creflo dollar

Who: Creflo Dollar

What: You don’t have to believe in televangelist Creflo Dollar’s controversial prosperity gospel (I don’t) to learn from the astounding growth of his World Changers Church International, which started with 8 people in an elementary school and now has a reported 30,000 members. If you ask me, the not-so-secret to his success is selling something lots of people want: to be wealthy without the guilt. Lesson? Before you start marketing, be sure your product is what people want.

22. ‘The medium is the message’

Marshall McLuhan
Who: Marshall McLuhan

What: When you communicate with someone, what’s more important: what’s actually said, or the method in which it’s communicated? McLuhan’s famous argument is that the medium is the message—that the two are so inextricably combined as to be one and the same. Now social media has proved him more prescient than ever. The reason we know when something is a Tweet vs. a Snap and understand the importance of choosing the right medium for each message? That’s McLuhan.

23. ‘Most ideas are a bit scary’

Lee Clow

Who: Lee Clow

What: The healthy fear of hitting the ‘publish’ button is something that comes up a lot on the blog. Feeling uncomfortable is often a sign you’re on to something big, as legendary advertiser and art director Lee Clow puts so beautifully: “Most ideas are a bit scary, and if an idea isn’t scary, it’s not an idea at all.”

24. Name your audience

Mel Martin

Who: Mel Martin

What: Hey, you! Yes, you right there. Media these days is fast-paced and confusing. Does your audience know you’re talking to them, specifically? If not, borrow a trick from copywriter Mel Martin and name them right in your message. Martin wrote headlines like “For golfers who are almost (but not quite) satisfied with their game — and can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong” and the above similar variation (hey, that means it must have worked, right?)

25. ‘Never stop testing’

david ogilvy

Who: David Ogilvy

What: Considered “The Father of Advertising,” Ogilvy was among the first to perfect the split test for marketing, where two versions of an ad were published at the same time with a unique way for consumers to respond so the winning ad could be identified. One of his most famous quotes: “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”

26. ‘On fleek’

peaches monroee

Who: Peaches Monroee

What: Never heard of Peaches Monroee? You might know the phrase she coined that’s been appropriated by everyone from Ariana Grande to Anderson Cooper to IHOP: “on fleek.” She tossed off the catchphrase in a June 2014 Vine video that now has more than 40 million loops (views, for non-Viners). “I gave the world a word,” she has said. “I can’t explain the feeling.” These days, it’s not high-paid marketing execs who are creating the taglines of the future. It’s more often young people, particularly people of color. Embrace it and learn from it, but don’t misappropriate it.

27. Power up your network

Mary kay Ash

Who: Mary Kay Ash

What: Mary Kay cosmetics became a pioneer of multi-level marketing by tapping a great underutilized workforce: housewives. Her marketing innovations included expensive gifts (the famous pink Cadillacs) that extended the brand, offering incentives for recruiting others, and an emphasis on direct sales through friends and family. Learn from her: Your network can be a powerful tool.

28. Quarter-inch holes (vs. quarter-inch drill bits)

Theodore Levitt

Who: Theodore Levitt

What: Why do people buy quarter-inch drill bits? It might not be the reason you think. In The Marketing Imagination,  Theodore Levitt says:

“They don’t want quarter-inch bits. They want quarter-inch holes.”

The quarter-inch bit is only a means to an end. Marketing the drill bit based on its features (it fits into your drill) wouldn’t be as successful in this case as marketing it based on the benefits (you can create a quarter-inch hole). In other words, a feature is what your product does; a benefit is what the customer can do with your product.

29. Reinvent your medium

Hamilton

Who: Lin-Manuel Miranda

What: Chances are, you didn’t think much about Broadway until this year. What changed? Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smashHamilton.” It’s the world’s first (as far as I know) hip-hop musical, it’s about one of the least exciting people imaginable, and it’s cast of mostly people of color. It’s truly something new, and audiences can’t get enough of it. Lesson for marketers? Whatever medium you’re working in, stretch it, bend it in new directions and reinvent it. Then you can own it.

30. Sex sells

helen lansdowne
Who: Helen Lansdowne
What: Could this be the first example of “sex sells” marketing in the Western world?

skin you love to touch
In 1911, Helen Lansdowne changed the face of advertising forever by being the first to harness sex appeal in an ad. Her Woodbury soap “Skin You Love to Touch” campaign focused not on the product but its effects—“the attention of dashing young gentlemen.” Then as now, a hint of the sensual both scandalized and worked—the campaign increased Woodbury sales by 1,000 percent.

31. Surprise and delight

Taylor Swift

Who: Taylor Swift

What: There seems to be no consensus as to who came up with the phrase “surprise and delight,” so I’m going to give the title to the modern-day master, Taylor Swift. “Surprise and delight” experiences focus on randomly selecting an individual or group to receive a unique gift or experience, and Swift is the queen. She’s popped up at bridal showers and weddings, and her Swiftmas gift-giving is legendary. “Fans are my favorite thing in the world,”she has said. Her fans seem to feel the same about her. Do yours feel that way about you?

32. Tell a (real) story

P. T. Barnum

Who: P.T. Barnum

What: Hmm, this is a tough one. Creator of Barnum & Bailey P.T. Barnum is undoubtedly one of history’s greatest marketers, but what can the man of infinite hoaxes teach us today? Maybe that storytelling is powerful, but also that the story has to be authentic and real. Barnum proudly played a bit fast and loose with this, but then Twitter hadn’t quite been invented yet to fact check him.

33. ‘Think different’

Steve Jobs
Who: Steve Jobs

What: Why is Steve Jobs an enduring icon? Because he didn’t just sell us a phone; he sold us an experience. A way to live. An ideal to aspire to. Through him we learned to think different and to sell the dream as well as the product.

34. ‘Tune your message to them’

nancy duarte

Who: Nancy Duarte

What: The writer, speaker, and CEO best known for working with Al Gore on An Inconvenient Truth has a simple message for would-be presenters: It’s not about you. As she writes in Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences“The audience does not need to tune themselves to you—you need to tune your message to them. Skilled presenting requires you to understand their hearts and minds and create a message to resonate with what’s already there.”

35. Unique selling proposition

 rosser reeves

Who: Rosser Reeves

What: A “unique selling proposition “is the idea that successful advertising campaigns focus on a single, unique element that can nudge customers to switch brands. And advertising exec Rosser Reeves was the one to usher it into our vocabulary. Reeves’ ad is for Anacin, a headache medicine, was considered grating and annoying by many viewers but it also tripled the product’s sales. Another great Reeves example? M&M’s “melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

36. Vulnerability connects

Tavi Gevinson

Who: Tavi Gevinson

What: How does a teenage girl create a media empire before she’s out of high school? For blogger, author and Rookie editor-in-chief Gevinson, the secret is relating deeply through vulnerability. “I think that when you make yourself vulnerable, the thing that you do next is better….The thing that bonds you to a new friend isn’t that you went to a fun party; it’s ‘cause you had a really weird, sad conversation.” Can you dig deeper and be more human with your community?

37. Write for someone specific

Tim Ferriss

Who: Tim Ferriss

What: How did Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week become such a huge hit (besides promising copious leisure time)? He focuses on trust, the kind that comes only when you know your audience deeply. It may feel like you have to write for everyone, but Ferriss says the opposite is true. “Write for two of your closest friends who have this problem that you have now solved for yourself.”

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38. ‘Write something worth reading or do something worth writing’

Ben Franklin

Who: Benjamin Franklin

What: Instructions for creating a legacy, whether you’re a human or a brand: Listen to Benjamin Franklin. His quote is the end-all on the topic of getting attention: “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.”

39. 10x content

Rand Fishkin
Who: Rand Fishkin

What: Moz’s Rand Fishkin coined the term “10x content,” which is content that stands out in our busy streams because it’s just 10x times better than anything else out there on that topic.

40. ‘Your culture is your brand’

tony hsieh

Who: Tony Hsieh

What: “What’s a company to do if you can’t just buy your way into building the brand you want?,” the Zappos founder wrote in a pivotal blog post. “What’s the best way to build a brand for the long term? In a word: culture. We believe that your company’s culture and your company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin…Your culture is your brand.”

Over to you!

Whose wisdom is missing here? I can’t wait to hear the lessons you’ve picked up from famous and up-and-coming marketers alike! Share your picks in the comments to add to our list.

I believe you can learn something from everyone—as long as you’re listening. We’re always building on the legacy and lessons of those who have come before us.

For marketers, this is quite a legacy indeed. Although the discipline of marketing only emerged in the 1900s, it builds on a foundation of sales, advertising, copywriting and relationship-building that is much older.

Some of its wisest teachings are hundreds of years old. Some of its big lessons happened only months ago. And for every brilliant marketer and thinker mentioned here, there are likely 10 more I haven’t thought of. (Would love to hear your picks in the comments!)

Nonetheless, I hope there’s some wisdom for the ages below. I loved learning about each personality and philosophy, and hope you will too. Here are 40 essential lessons from some of the most famous marketers in history.

1. ‘A brand is a contract’

simon clift

Who: Simon Clift

What: The former Chief Marketing Officer of Unilever likes to say “a brand is the contract between a company and consumers.” The consumer has choices, and can simply choose to enter a contract with another brand if they find a company “in breach” of the contract. Are you holding up your end of the bargain with consumers?

2. ‘Always be closing’

glengarry glen ross

Who: Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross

What: This line became famous from Glengarry Glen Ross but is a also well known sales mantra expressing that everything you say and do should ideally be done with only one goal in mind: closing the deal.A more modern, less ruthless take for today’s world? The customer is always listening and evaluating. Even if you’re not consciously selling, everything you do is part of your marketing.

3. ‘Appeal to the reader’s self-interest’

John Caples

Who: John Caples

What: One of the most famous copywriters of all time, Caples hit on a winning formula early with this ad:

they-laughed-john-caples-ad

The ad works because it doesn’t sell piano lessons, it sells self-esteem. (And who doesn’t want that?) Caples would repeat this formula again and again, each time appealing to a reader’s deepest self-interest. How can you go deeper in your marketing to know your customers’ self-interest motivation?

4. ‘Become interested’

Dale Carnegie

Who: Dale Carnegie

What: We are pretty big Dale Carnegie fans at Buffer, and his advice to truly be interested in others is no small part of why.  One of his famous quotes on the topic: “You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

5. ‘Break the internet’

Kardashians

Who: The Kardashians

What: Media pundits thought Kim Kardashian would break the internet when she bared all for Paper magazine, but the Kardashians’ real power move is to make sure they’re offering a multi-platform experience—much more than you see on social media, including custom emoji and a branded content portal.  “I see what we do on social media as the appetizer,” Khloe Kardashian told the New York Times. “Not everything we do can be captured in an Instagram shot.”

6. ‘Cash from chaos’

malcolm mclaren

Who: Malcolm McLaren

What: The man who largely initiated the punk movement, managing the infamous Sex Pistols, made “cash from chaos” his motto. He bore it out in stunts like getting arrested outside the Houses of Parliament, spreading rumors about the band and intentionally canceling gigs. What can we learn from this bad behavior? Today more than ever, controversy gets people talking (case in point: Kanye West). Hey, no publicity is bad publicity, right?

7. Details matter

walt disney

Who: Walt Disney

What: At Walt Disney’s Disneyland, every detail is thought through—to the point that the Disney team has planted “hidden Mickeys” throughout the park, which dedicated fans spend decades discovering and cataloging. When you pay attention to every detail of an experience, you can make fans for life.

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8. ‘Eat your own dog food’

paul maritz

Who: Paul Maritz of Microsoft

What: This colorful colloquialism describes the idea that a company should be the biggest user and proponent its own products or services. The first recorded usage was in 1988, when Microsoft executive Paul Maritz e-mailed a colleague, “We are going to have to eat our own dogfood and test the product ourselves.” Are you your product’s biggest fan?

9. Educate your audience

john deere

Who: John Deere

What: John Deere may be best known for farm equipment, but he also has another distinction: He may very well have created content marketing. In 1895, he launched the magazine The Furrow, providing information to farmers on how to become more profitable. The magazine is still in circulation today, reaching 1.5 million readers in 40 countries in 12 different languages. Helping your audience grow and improve is always in fashion.

10. Find a star slogan

mary frances

Who: Mary Frances Gerety

What: Charged with kickstarting the sales of diamonds following the Great Depression, copywriter Mary Frances Gerety came up with the timeless gem “A diamond is forever” in the middle of the night. The slogan has since been used in every De Beers ad and in 1999 was named the slogan of the 20th century by Advertising Age. Today, more than 80% of women in the U.S. receive diamond rings when they get engaged. Think her campaign was effective?

11. Get people talking

conrad gessner

Who: Conrad Gessner

What: This botanist “invented” word of mouth marketing in 1559 with his passion for tulips. To familiarize Europeans with the then-foreign flower, he penned an easy-to-repeat poem that eventually spurred “Tulipmania”—some bulbs sold for what would be several million dollars today. What can you do to get people talking and create more demand?

12. ‘Give them quality’

hershey

Who: Milton Hershey

What: The founder of Hershey’s had a simple marketing philosophy: As long as consumers saw the high quality of Hershey’s’ chocolate, the product would practically sell itself. He’s know to have said: “Give them quality. That’s the best kind of advertising in the world.”

13. Harness your haters

beyonce

Who: Beyoncé

What: When the world gives you lemons, just turn to Beyoncé to figure out how to turn them into lemonade. After getting negative feedback for her 2016 Super Bowl performance, including boycott calls, Queen Bey hatched a canny plan to turn the furor into a boon: She sold her own “Boycott Beyoncé” T-shirts on tour.

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14. Headlines are everything

helen gurley brown

Who: Helen Gurley Brown

What: In 1965, Hearst hired Helen Gurley Brown to take over a flagging magazine called Cosmopolitan. Her revamp was heavy on sensational headline and earned millions of devoted readers, kickstarting the sexual revolution in the process. Today you can still get plenty of tips on writing great headlines right from the magazine racks.

15. Influencers make the brand

estee lauder

Who: Estee Lauder

What: The co-founder of Estée Lauder Companies, Lauder was the only woman on Time magazine’s 20 most influential business geniuses of the 20th century. Her marketing genius? Lauder gave her famous friends and acquaintances small samples of her products for their handbags; she wanted her brand in the hands of people who were known for having the best.

16. Issue a challenge

ernest shackleton

Who: Ernest Shackleton

What: Although its veracity isn’t certain, it’s still one of the most famous ads of all time. Explorer Ernest Shackleton supposedly sought to recruit men for a new expedition with this newspaper ad:

“Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful. Honour and recognition in event of success.”

Whether or not it’s true, can we all agree it’s awesome? Don’t you wonder how you’d fare on this trip? To me, this taps the same impulse as modern-day hidden bars and speakeasies. We like a challenge, and tend to share it with others when it creates social currency for us.

17. ‘The job is not the work’

seth godin
Who: Seth Godin
What: Marketers get pulled in a lot of directions throughout the course of a day—and a career. When this happens, maybe this philosophy from Seth Godin might help. In Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?, he defines the difference between the job and the work:

“The job is what you do when you are told what to do….Your art is what you do when no one can tell you exactly how to do it. I call the process of doing your art ‘the work.’ It’s possible to have a job and do the work, too. In fact, that’s how you become a linchpin….The job is not the work.”

When you’re doing the job, remember to do the work, too. You’re the only one who can.

18. ‘Listeners will end up the smartest’

yi and bernoff

Who: Charlene Yi and Josh Bernoff

What: In an ever-changing media world, how do you keep up and stay relevant? The answer Yi and Bernoff proposed in their book Groundswell is a simple one: Keep learning, keep listening.  “We’re all learning here,” they write; “the best listeners will end up the smartest.”

19. ‘Make the customer the hero of your story’

Ann Handley

Who: Ann Handley

What: Everyone wants to be a hero. That’s the central idea of marketer Ann Handley’s contribution to our list, “make the customer the hero of your story.” Her suggestions to do this including content curation, user-generated content and using social media to tell bigger stories.

20. ‘Markets are conversations’

cluetrain manifesto

Who: The Cluetrain Manifesto authors Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls and David Weinberger

What: In 2001, social media barely existed. But The Cluetrain Manifesto predicted a future of connectivity that would change the face of business, media, and culture.

“A powerful global conversation has begun. Through the Internet, people are discovering and inventing new ways to share relevant knowledge with blinding speed. As a direct result, markets are getting smarter—and getting smarter faster than most companies.”

What we learned then is still relevant today: We want a conversation, not a one-way ad barrage. Meet your audience where they are and get real with them.

21. Market what people want

creflo dollar

Who: Creflo Dollar

What: You don’t have to believe in televangelist Creflo Dollar’s controversial prosperity gospel (I don’t) to learn from the astounding growth of his World Changers Church International, which started with 8 people in an elementary school and now has a reported 30,000 members. If you ask me, the not-so-secret to his success is selling something lots of people want: to be wealthy without the guilt. Lesson? Before you start marketing, be sure your product is what people want.

22. ‘The medium is the message’

Marshall McLuhan
Who: Marshall McLuhan

What: When you communicate with someone, what’s more important: what’s actually said, or the method in which it’s communicated? McLuhan’s famous argument is that the medium is the message—that the two are so inextricably combined as to be one and the same. Now social media has proved him more prescient than ever. The reason we know when something is a Tweet vs. a Snap and understand the importance of choosing the right medium for each message? That’s McLuhan.

23. ‘Most ideas are a bit scary’

Lee Clow

Who: Lee Clow

What: The healthy fear of hitting the ‘publish’ button is something that comes up a lot on the blog. Feeling uncomfortable is often a sign you’re on to something big, as legendary advertiser and art director Lee Clow puts so beautifully: “Most ideas are a bit scary, and if an idea isn’t scary, it’s not an idea at all.”

24. Name your audience

Mel Martin

Who: Mel Martin

What: Hey, you! Yes, you right there. Media these days is fast-paced and confusing. Does your audience know you’re talking to them, specifically? If not, borrow a trick from copywriter Mel Martin and name them right in your message. Martin wrote headlines like “For golfers who are almost (but not quite) satisfied with their game — and can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong” and the above similar variation (hey, that means it must have worked, right?)

25. ‘Never stop testing’

david ogilvy

Who: David Ogilvy

What: Considered “The Father of Advertising,” Ogilvy was among the first to perfect the split test for marketing, where two versions of an ad were published at the same time with a unique way for consumers to respond so the winning ad could be identified. One of his most famous quotes: “Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”

26. ‘On fleek’

peaches monroee

Who: Peaches Monroee

What: Never heard of Peaches Monroee? You might know the phrase she coined that’s been appropriated by everyone from Ariana Grande to Anderson Cooper to IHOP: “on fleek.” She tossed off the catchphrase in a June 2014 Vine video that now has more than 40 million loops (views, for non-Viners). “I gave the world a word,” she has said. “I can’t explain the feeling.” These days, it’s not high-paid marketing execs who are creating the taglines of the future. It’s more often young people, particularly people of color. Embrace it and learn from it, but don’t misappropriate it.

27. Power up your network

Mary kay Ash

Who: Mary Kay Ash

What: Mary Kay cosmetics became a pioneer of multi-level marketing by tapping a great underutilized workforce: housewives. Her marketing innovations included expensive gifts (the famous pink Cadillacs) that extended the brand, offering incentives for recruiting others, and an emphasis on direct sales through friends and family. Learn from her: Your network can be a powerful tool.

28. Quarter-inch holes (vs. quarter-inch drill bits)

Theodore Levitt

Who: Theodore Levitt

What: Why do people buy quarter-inch drill bits? It might not be the reason you think. In The Marketing Imagination,  Theodore Levitt says:

“They don’t want quarter-inch bits. They want quarter-inch holes.”

The quarter-inch bit is only a means to an end. Marketing the drill bit based on its features (it fits into your drill) wouldn’t be as successful in this case as marketing it based on the benefits (you can create a quarter-inch hole). In other words, a feature is what your product does; a benefit is what the customer can do with your product.

29. Reinvent your medium

Hamilton

Who: Lin-Manuel Miranda

What: Chances are, you didn’t think much about Broadway until this year. What changed? Lin-Manuel Miranda’s smashHamilton.” It’s the world’s first (as far as I know) hip-hop musical, it’s about one of the least exciting people imaginable, and it’s cast of mostly people of color. It’s truly something new, and audiences can’t get enough of it. Lesson for marketers? Whatever medium you’re working in, stretch it, bend it in new directions and reinvent it. Then you can own it.

30. Sex sells

helen lansdowne
Who: Helen Lansdowne
What: Could this be the first example of “sex sells” marketing in the Western world?

skin you love to touch
In 1911, Helen Lansdowne changed the face of advertising forever by being the first to harness sex appeal in an ad. Her Woodbury soap “Skin You Love to Touch” campaign focused not on the product but its effects—“the attention of dashing young gentlemen.” Then as now, a hint of the sensual both scandalized and worked—the campaign increased Woodbury sales by 1,000 percent.

31. Surprise and delight

Taylor Swift

Who: Taylor Swift

What: There seems to be no consensus as to who came up with the phrase “surprise and delight,” so I’m going to give the title to the modern-day master, Taylor Swift. “Surprise and delight” experiences focus on randomly selecting an individual or group to receive a unique gift or experience, and Swift is the queen. She’s popped up at bridal showers and weddings, and her Swiftmas gift-giving is legendary. “Fans are my favorite thing in the world,”she has said. Her fans seem to feel the same about her. Do yours feel that way about you?

32. Tell a (real) story

P. T. Barnum

Who: P.T. Barnum

What: Hmm, this is a tough one. Creator of Barnum & Bailey P.T. Barnum is undoubtedly one of history’s greatest marketers, but what can the man of infinite hoaxes teach us today? Maybe that storytelling is powerful, but also that the story has to be authentic and real. Barnum proudly played a bit fast and loose with this, but then Twitter hadn’t quite been invented yet to fact check him.

33. ‘Think different’

Steve Jobs
Who: Steve Jobs

What: Why is Steve Jobs an enduring icon? Because he didn’t just sell us a phone; he sold us an experience. A way to live. An ideal to aspire to. Through him we learned to think different and to sell the dream as well as the product.

34. ‘Tune your message to them’

nancy duarte

Who: Nancy Duarte

What: The writer, speaker, and CEO best known for working with Al Gore on An Inconvenient Truth has a simple message for would-be presenters: It’s not about you. As she writes in Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences“The audience does not need to tune themselves to you—you need to tune your message to them. Skilled presenting requires you to understand their hearts and minds and create a message to resonate with what’s already there.”

35. Unique selling proposition

 rosser reeves

Who: Rosser Reeves

What: A “unique selling proposition “is the idea that successful advertising campaigns focus on a single, unique element that can nudge customers to switch brands. And advertising exec Rosser Reeves was the one to usher it into our vocabulary. Reeves’ ad is for Anacin, a headache medicine, was considered grating and annoying by many viewers but it also tripled the product’s sales. Another great Reeves example? M&M’s “melts in your mouth, not in your hand.”

36. Vulnerability connects

Tavi Gevinson

Who: Tavi Gevinson

What: How does a teenage girl create a media empire before she’s out of high school? For blogger, author and Rookie editor-in-chief Gevinson, the secret is relating deeply through vulnerability. “I think that when you make yourself vulnerable, the thing that you do next is better….The thing that bonds you to a new friend isn’t that you went to a fun party; it’s ‘cause you had a really weird, sad conversation.” Can you dig deeper and be more human with your community?

37. Write for someone specific

Tim Ferriss

Who: Tim Ferriss

What: How did Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week become such a huge hit (besides promising copious leisure time)? He focuses on trust, the kind that comes only when you know your audience deeply. It may feel like you have to write for everyone, but Ferriss says the opposite is true. “Write for two of your closest friends who have this problem that you have now solved for yourself.”

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38. ‘Write something worth reading or do something worth writing’

Ben Franklin

Who: Benjamin Franklin

What: Instructions for creating a legacy, whether you’re a human or a brand: Listen to Benjamin Franklin. His quote is the end-all on the topic of getting attention: “If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do things worth writing.”

39. 10x content

Rand Fishkin
Who: Rand Fishkin

What: Moz’s Rand Fishkin coined the term “10x content,” which is content that stands out in our busy streams because it’s just 10x times better than anything else out there on that topic.

40. ‘Your culture is your brand’

tony hsieh

Who: Tony Hsieh

What: “What’s a company to do if you can’t just buy your way into building the brand you want?,” the Zappos founder wrote in a pivotal blog post. “What’s the best way to build a brand for the long term? In a word: culture. We believe that your company’s culture and your company’s brand are really just two sides of the same coin…Your culture is your brand.”

Over to you!

Whose wisdom is missing here? I can’t wait to hear the lessons you’ve picked up from famous and up-and-coming marketers alike! Share your picks in the comments to add to our list.