Monthly Archives April 2015

Calling All Foodies! @TwitterFood is here!

Exciting news on the social media and food fronts! Today Twitter launched @TwitterFood, a dedicated account that sifts through the thousands of food-related content shared on the social network and shares a curated selection of posts from the general public and food personalities including Mario Batali and Alton Brown.

TwitterFood
While I follow thousands of folks on Twitter, I do see a lot of junk food tweets. It’s great to see the best of the best come through in one handle, and probably it could drive people to tweet more enticing tweets than a random self-promo posts, which I’m guilty of doing. Here we go, I’ll step up my food tweet game. I’m hoping one of my foodie tweets from my foodie account, @deeCuisine, will get picked up so I can have a Twitter moment of fame.

In addition to @TwitterFood, Twitter also has other curated feeds – @TwitterMusic and @TwitterSports.

Building Great Editor Experiences with Umbraco

At Flightpath we love building websites with the Umbraco content management system (CMS) because it gives us complete control over how the site is rendered while providing the content editor with a great, easy-to-use experience. Last year the core Umbraco team overhauled the ‘back office’ with an improved interface and they have continued to refine the editors’ experience with subsequent releases.

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The State of Umbraco

Umbraco roots are growing in North America! Flightpathers recently participated in training and sessions at the second uWestFest in Orlando, Florida. uWestFest is the annual North American Festival centered around all things Umbraco. For those that don’t yet know, Umbraco is an open source content management system (CMS) built on the .NET stack with commercial support available from Umbraco HQ based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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The Ever-Evolving Sophistication of eMail Marketing – Square Breaks New Ground

I often tell the story about the first client assignment I got when I first founded Flightpath back in 1994 – managing the nascent email (listserv?) list for Bon Jovi on behalf of Mercury Records.

Email marketing has certainly evolved since then but it took a very interesting new leap last week with the introduction of a new email marketing platform called Square Marketing. Yes. Square Marketing comes from the company that to date has been known as an innovator in the credit card payment space.
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Who Is Flightpath?

Who is Flightpath

Flighpath is a Creative Digital Agency that’s been around since 1994. We’ve done it all, from designing apps and websites to providing social media, SEM and SEO services, but Flightpath is made up of more than just designers, coders and content developers. Check out the infographic below to see who we, Flightpathians, really are:

Flightpath_Infographic_v3.1

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How to Utilize User Generated Content

It’s the age of the Millennials, the first digital natives, the social media enthusiasts and the content creators. According to Crowdtap, Millennials, “report spending 5.4 hours a day with content created by their peers.” That said, not only is there more user generated content being produced at this point but it is also the preferred content for users to consume.

But, what is user generated content (UGC) really? User generated content (UGC) is defined as “any form of content such as blogs, wikis, discussion forums, posts, chats, tweets, podcasting, pins, digital images, video, audio files, and other forms of media that were created by users of an online system or service, often made available via social media websites.” As marketers we often use UGC to our benefit. However, are you sure you’re getting the most out of user generated content? Keep reading for three ways to use UGC to better your marketing game:

 

Content

The first use of user generated content may seem obvious, since it’s part of the phrase itself: content.  Repurposing user generated content for a client’s digital content, including social media posts, blogs and videos, can be a big win that can make a brand appear more approachable. The right usage, attribution and timing can result in shares, engagement and additional user generated content that a brand can use.

According to Socialnomics, “90% of consumers trust peer recommendations.” With that in mind, it makes complete sense to leverage content produced by average consumers who have naturally become brand advocates, instead of a traditional celebrity endorsement or spokesperson. The authenticity that is created when a “real” everyday person advocates for a product is what using UGC as brand content is all about.

 

Focus Group

A focus group is a demographically diverse group of people assembled to participate in a guided discussion about a particular topic. When it comes to sampling a demographically diverse group of people, there is no better place than the world wide web. Once of the greatest accomplishments of the digital age, is the ability to connect with people all over the world.

We recently learned about a new third party program called Chute Insights, “which monitors photos and videos shared about your brand, industry and competitors in real-time and organizes then by popularity, trends, content creators or time.” When Chute’s co-founder, Gregarious Narain, introduced Chute Insights, he referred to it as an “always-on focus group.” This analogy immediately made sense in a broader way.

As marketers we have the access and knowledge to utilize user generated content as a focus group anytime we need. By viewing UGC in this way you’re able to glean insights about demographics, sentiment, etc. and use that information to inform future strategy, campaigns and product development.

Campaigns & Promotions

We’ve all been there before, it’s been a long week and now you need a brilliant idea for a new promotion/campaign but your creativity well has run dry. This is the optimum time to turn to user generated content for inspiration. Taking a look at what consumers are celebrating about a brand, as well as, the negative chatter surrounding a brand is a great jumping off point when dreaming up the next big idea.

UGC may just be at the center of that next big idea. Everyone from Red Bull to Target have launched campaigns that revolve around eliciting user generated content from consumers, which in turn creates more content for these brands to use.

User generated content has become a vital tactic in content marketing to increase brand legitimacy, visibility and sentiment. As marketers we think we know brands better than anyone else, but as the saying goes, “The customer is always right.”

Creativity, Collaboration and Consequence

My 10-year old daughter is a fifth grader in New York City.  I often reflect upon the fact that a lot of her school’s educational philosophy seems well-tailored toward molding/shaping people with the same kind of skills and attributes that we look for in new hires at Flightpath.

With that in mind, it was with great interest, that I read an e-mail from her middle school principal, discussing his recent experience in Boston where he attended the National Association of Independent School’s (NAIS) annual conference. The theme of this year’s conference was “Design the Revolution: Blending Learning, Leading, and Innovation.”

The conference website explains that “Independent education plays a leading role in the revolution changing the way the world thinks. The myriad ways we can learn and innovate knows no bounds thanks to new patterns of innovation, an emphasis on instructional systems, and increasing interaction with new people and ideas around the globe. This freedom comes with a responsibility to design a plan for success that includes thinking creatively, problem-solving differently, defining 21st century learning, and leading students into a future we’ve only glimpsed.”

These are the same issues we ponder on a daily basis at Flightpath.  How do we alter and improve patterns of interaction? What new tools can we leverage to better communicate among teams and groups housed within and without our physical headquarters? How do we grasp new trends and opportunities? How do we infuse creativity and innovation into every thing that we do? How do we measure, assess, and improve outcomes?

If a mantra of NAIS is that “ongoing learning keeps NAIS schools strong and innovative” that also rings true for the team at Flightpath.  – To that end, apart from other avenues, we’ve got Flightpathers attending a slew of conferences over the next few months including SXSW, ClickZ Live NY, UWestFest, and An Event Apart.  As part of my own professional development, I’m going to start keeping an eye on the NAIS website and try read their blog regularly. If early indications mean anything, it’ll be instructive to glean learnings, ideas and parallels from this forward-thinking group.