The Bizz by

Business & marketing advice, news and features, design inspiration, and the art of gifting.

Why (Not How) Social-Media Marketing Works: It’s Just Like Dating


By Fausto Mendez

    Most people understand how social-media marketing works, but a lot of business owners and marketers can’t wrap their heads around why it works. In my most recent guest post at Smart Blogs, I break down “why” - not “how” - social-media marketing is such an effective marketing channel. 

    Actually, the answer is more closely related to the mechanics of dating than any subcategory of marketing. It turns out good daters may have it all figured out. I suggest you dive into my post at Smart Blogs for the details. It’s a short but insightful read, and if you’re involved in marketing in any form, you may find it more useful than you may have assumed.

    Once you understand why social-media marketing is so powerful, you may find a boost in your ability to execute more effective marketing campaigns in any marketing channel.

    I’m currently authoring a new guest blog for a different site, but the details are still up in the air. Needless to say, I’m excited. Of course, you’ll hear about it when it finally hits the air.

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by

Activision’s Brilliant Marketing Strategy on YouTube: Target the Content Creators and Curators


By Fausto Mendez

    Social-media marketing is often perceived as a mysterious and powerful beast, but video game maker Activision doesn’t see it that way. Activision has tamed YouTube for its national and international marketing campaigns, and this is how the company is doing it.

    Though it may seem like YouTube is all about funny animal videos and poorly produced cover songs, the video-centric social network has been a staple in video game culture for about as long as the site’s been around. Passionate gamers know the site for its healthy library of game trailers, homemade walkthroughs (guides), news, commentary, parodies and more. Activision understands this, and the company develops content exclusively for YouTube in order to rouse up passion for new and upcoming games.

    You may be surprised to learn that YouTube viewers watched over double the hours of gaming videos than other types of videos in 2012. In other words, YouTube is one of the industry’s cultural hubs, where gamers of all types and ages unite to enjoy gaming beyond games. As usual, the old saying applies, “go to where your audience is.”

    Ad Age does a great job of breaking down Activision’s entire strategy for YouTube, so I suggest you check out the full article. However, one tactic really stands out. 

Harnessing the Content Creators and Curators

    Prior to major gaming expos, trade shows and premieres, Activision invites some of YouTube’s most popular content creators and curators to real-world presentations, which include the distribution of exclusive information and video assets, such as clips and trailers. Promotional giveaways also play an important role at these events. The YouTube stars are sent home with brag-worthy bags of promotional swag, such as custom shirts, cups, accessories and keychains, which the YouTube stars sometimes give out to their own audiences. As a result, the promotional items are a low-cost and effective way to catalyze buzz about the brand between fans, not just the YouTube stars.

    The exclusive events make it easy for Activision to spread information, hype, trailers and clips on YouTube because the company doesn’t need to directly develop and hold an audience. The content creators and curators have already taken care of that. All Activision has to do is get the right content to the right people, and those “right” people will repackage the content into a form that best suits their audiences. From there, the information will naturally spread throughout Activision’s fan base. Easy, right?

    Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ or Linkedin, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis. Brought to you by

How to Tell if Your Blog Sucks: The Blogging Basics Every Pro Blogger Knows


By Fausto Mendez

Blogging is a cultural phenomenon, but it retains a consistent subculture across the World’s Web-connected communities. No matter where you go in the world, blog fans expect bloggers to deliver in a few basic ways that outsiders don’t understand. This is a simple truth about blogging: if you don’t deliver the basics, the blogosphere - and the general Web - will ignore you. 

    Blogging basics break down to four elements: utility, entertainment, writing talent and community. Depending on your audience, one of these elements may be more important than the other. An important professor’s blog may require an elite level of grammar and writing talent. On the other hand, a popular video game blog may focus more on entertainment value. But in any case, you should consider all of these factors to be critical elements.

    Utility refers to how useful your blog is to your readers. You should aim for a high utility value, but offering exclusive utility is also important. If your readers can’t get the same information, advice or commentary anywhere else, they have no choice but to depend on you. 

    Entertainment value is all about how entertaining your content is to your readers. In some ways, this is similar to utility because entertainment can be useful, but entertainment goes well beyond utility. When you move a reader’s emotions - whether it’s with simple laughter or heart-breaking sadness - you and your blog have a much greater chance of being remembered, whether or not the reader hopes to remember you. Utility without emotion, on the other hand, is more easily forgettable. 

    The value of writing talent is self explanatory, but you might be surprised by the vast number of pro or semi-pro bloggers that assume that writing talent doesn’t matter.

    Some hopeful bloggers are accustomed to reading posts by a few successful bloggers with terrible writing styles and horrible grammar habits, and they assume that they can imitate their success by imitating their writing style. The reality is that some bloggers can write poorly simply because they are famous, so their fans will read anything they write. Or they may have access to very exclusive information, so it’s irrelevant how they write. Alternatively, some blogs blew up during the infancy of the blogosphere, so as one of the first to reach the masses, they had few competitors. And today, they continue blogging on the momentum of their early success, celebrity fame or exclusive utility, so unless you’re a part of one of those three groups, writing talent is critical to your readers. Study the best writers and bloggers. Get a decent education, and learn some proper grammar. It makes a difference.

    Finally, community is just as important - if not more important - than the other elements of your blog because a blog is useless without a community, not just a community of readers but also a community of bloggers that share, comment and develop larger conversations around your posts. Of course, your community has a direct effect on your pageviews and ad impressions, but it’s also a healthy place to learn. An online community can challenge and/or shape your beliefs and opinions. More importantly, other bloggers can teach you a lot about writing, marketing, SEO, tools, software and creative out-of-the-box strategies. Your community might even introduce you to other communities that can have a significant impact on your blog - and sometimes even your life.

    Join the conversation on FacebookTwitterPinterest, or Google+, and stay ahead of the game with an occasional laugh and non-stop marketing & business advice, news and analysis.

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