Heinz-Kraft Merger, Pope to Visit White House, Periscope, and Munch Madness

451 Labs

Top Story: Heinz-Kraft Merger

HJ Heinz, owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, is to merge with Kraft Foods Groups to form the fifth-largest food and beverage company on earth. By joining forces, Kraft and Heinz executives expect to save $1.5 billion in annual cost by the end of 2017. The merger is valued at $36 billion, and the new company will have revenue of approximately $28 billion. “This is my kind of transaction, uniting two world-class organizations and delivering shareholder value,” Warren Buffett said in the statement. “I’m excited by the opportunities for what this new combined organization will achieve.” Kraft brands like Jell-O, Oscar Mayer, and Kool-Aid will join Heinz Beanz, Ore-Ida potato fries, and Weight Watchers meals to become The Kraft Heinz Company. Here’s an infographic from Heinz showing some of the biggest brands in the combined portfolio: o-HEINZ-KRAFT-900

Under the Radar: The Pope Visits the White House

[caption id="attachment_11354" align="aligncenter" width="453" class=" "]Pope (Photo credit: GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP/Getty Images)[/caption] The White House announced yesterday that Pope Francis is to meet with President Obama during his trip to the Unites States later this year. The Pope will visit the White House on September 23, where the two will discuss “caring for the marginalized and the poor; advancing economic opportunity for all; serving as good stewards of the environment; protecting religious minorities and promoting religious freedom around the world; and welcoming and integrating immigrants and refugees into our communities,” according to a statement from White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

Tool of the Week: Periscope

Periscope Logo Last week, we featured the live-streaming app Meerket that was launched at SXSW and has already gained major popularity and buzz. Twitter responded by launching its own live-streaming app for iOS, Periscope, and then cutting off Meerkat’s access to Twitter’s social graph.

How does it work?

Perisocpe Periscope users sign in with Twitter and find a list of streams that are currently live. Below it, there is a list of recent streams, although not all can be played back. Users have the option to stop their streams from being replayed with a single tap; however, streams save by default, and the result is an app that can be browsed. Replay is Periscopes differentiating feature that just may win the game.

Perisocpe

Periscope also allows users to send a heart (or two) to the person recording a stream, with the tap of a finger. The heart appears on the screen for the sender and the audience to see. It is a cute feature that lets the person recording know that what they are doing is appreciated. "It’s like the crowd going wild — who doesn’t like that?" says Kayvon Beykpour, Periscope’s co-founder. The goal is to make broadcasting less intimidating to the average person. So far, users have streamed everything from what they had for breakfast to an explosion in NYC. nyc explosion

Around the Hub: Munch Madness

Munch Madness Munch Madness, created in 2010 by the Boston Globe, is a tournament pitting 64 local restaurants against one another. It’s down to the final four with just two rounds left: Island Creek Oyster Bar vs Toro, and Oleana vs. Hyland Kitchen. Cast your votes and follow the action at bostonglobe.com/munchmadness. Join in on Twitter using hashtag #munchmadness. Who do you think will come out on top?

Read More

3 Tips for Utilizing Social Media for Recruitment Marketing

3 tips With more than two billion active social media users around the world, job seekers are increasingly using platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to search for employment. According to a recent Jobvite study, 21% of “social job seekers” have found their “favorite or best” job through online social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter. 76% of social job seekers found their current position through Facebook. Additionally, these job seekers used LinkedIn to do most of their job searches, and asked others via Twitter for help and advice in regards to their job search. As social job seeking increases in popularity, it’s especially important for brands and recruiters to participate in job search-specific social conversations when seeking qualified talent. To do this, brands and recruiters should consider these three tactics:

Create Careers-Specific Social Platforms

When sharing content about job openings through a brand’s corporate page, it is difficult to ensure that messages will be shared with the appropriate audience. By creating careers-specific social media accounts, you can be assured that most followers are interested in working within your company or your industry in the near future. You can then utilize these careers-specific social platforms to share information about job vacancies, showcase what it’s like to work at your company and why it’s a great place to work, and relate to those who are currently job hunting through shareable, lifestyle-oriented content.

Keep Content Balanced, Engaging and Informative

Since each social platform has its own purpose, unique functionalities, and limitations, it’s important to keep their differences in mind when creating a content strategy for each platform. On platforms that utilize hashtags, a cohesive hashtag strategy should be put in place to attract those interested specifically in your company, as well as those searching for jobs in general. Overall, content should be a fun, balanced mix of information relating to job openings, exciting company news, current employees and their accomplishments, and lifestyle-oriented content relatable to the job-hunt. Aim to create content that relates back to career opportunities at your company. However, keep in mind that it is important to avoid promoting your brand on holidays and when content has a serious subject matter. As a client of 451 Marketing, Ericsson’s Employer Branding team successfully reaches key target audiences by maintaining several recruitment-specific social media accounts including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Across these platforms, Ericsson Careers shares job openings, company news, and engaging custom image series like “Ericsson Career Tips,” “Ericsson Careers Inspiration,” and “Ericsson Careers Health Tips.” These custom image series always relate back to the job search and working in a professional environment. Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.58.11 AM

Leverage Employees for Content and Engagement

Featuring current employees is an excellent way of showcasing how and why your company is an exciting place to work. Engaging forms of employee-focused content include: employee testimonials, inspirational quotes from company leaders, career tips from employees and those in hiring positions, and photos from events and exciting office activities. In honor of International Women’s Day, Ericsson Careers asked its female employees to share how they feel empowered in the workplace. These quotes were then implemented in a creative custom image series that was shared on Facebook in an album. The album was a success, receiving about 2,275 likes and 23 shares, and showcasing Ericsson’s dedication to diversity and employee support. Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 11.58.17 AM Employee engagement on social media can also be another driver of success. All employees should be encouraged to follow your company’s social media accounts and share posts with their friends and followers. During exciting office events, employees should also be prompted to share photos and stories of their experiences. During the 2015 Mobile World Congress, Ericsson Careers shared daily content, uploaded by Ericsson’s student ambassadors attending the event.

Our Ericsson student ambassadors took some time for a leisurely lunch at Mobile World Congress! #MWC15

A photo posted by Ericsson Careers (@ericssoncareers) on

What are some creative ways your brand has utilized social media to recruit employees?

Read More

3 Tips for Branded Content Marketing for Community Banks

branded content marketing To attract new customers and retain existing ones in today's digital age, the need to optimize one's online brand image is more important than ever. This is especially true for community banks. Gen-Z is coming of age, the Gen-Y segment continues to mature, and the Gen-X and Boomer segments are embracing online communications like never before. Therefore, it’s no wonder that the national and regional banks are already using branded content marketing to reach out to your customers. Not every community bank has the internal resources to implement a full-blown online marketing strategy. But branded content marketing used in an engaging, consistent, and timely way will win new business and help retain the business you have—even when done on a small scale. By integrating your brand messaging with content that engages and entertains your audience, you can still stay top-of-mind without saturating them with sales messages. For instance, you might build a news page on your bank’s website and create a planned schedule of posts to be uploaded monthly or quarterly. Topics could include online security, smart money management, investing and saving, or community news. Then, replicate that periodic messaging across multiple touch-points. multiple touch points To be effective your content marketing campaigns should utilize at least two or more of these channels, but the key is consistency and authenticity. branded content must be It’s important to analyze the results of the campaigns. By understanding the “what, when and where” of audience interaction and consumption of your content, you will know how to fine-tune and refocus your efforts as you go forward. Of course, always be sure to have your legal or compliance officer check over your content first prior to publishing. One of the interesting trends in bank marketing is behavioral retargeting. This is where the viewer will be served up a unique content based on their previous online behavior – where they went and what they browsed. utilize behavioral targeting   For instance, if a user went to your website and read about how to switch to your bank, but left your site without filling out the contact form on the web page, they would be served banner ads reminding them about switching to your bank while they visit other websites later on. This technology gives you the ability to create content that speaks directly to the consumer’s needs in a timely way. Whatever your marketing plans, know sooner or later you will have no choice but to improve your online brand image. Just as mobile banking is now becoming standard for community banks, so too will branded content marketing. Ultimately, that means understanding what your bank’s brand stands for and how to tell your brand story consistently across multiple online channels. The sooner you can institute these changes to your online marketing strategy, the better it will be for your brand!

Read More

SXSW, Meerkat, March Madness and Boston Record-Breakers 2k15

labs

TOP STORY: SXSW

South x Southwest South by Southwest is inarguably the festival of festivals. With 4 days of conferences featuring some of the most innovative leaders in the interactive world, 5 days of concerts by some of the world’s hottest artists, and 8 days of film screenings from some of the best indie minds out there—it’s certainly an event that makes a splash. South by Southwest doesn’t end until this Sunday, but we’ve compiled a list of some of the most buzz-worthy moments in interactive, film, and music from the festival so far:

Trainwreck

Trainwreck movie A work-in-progress version of director Judd Apatow’s new film Trainwreck premiered to excited audiences at SXSW. The film, written by lead actress Amy Schumer, is a humorous romantic comedy about a thirtysomething journalist-by-day, partygirl-by-night. Schumer explains that the film is loosely based on her life and experiences growing up in New York City. Viewers akin the film to Schumer’s work on her cult Comedy Central TV show Inside Amy Schumer. Though the film is yet to be released, one thing is for sure—Amy Schumer is the Next Big Thing in comedy (she’s even being considered as a replacement for Jon Stewart). Take a look at the trailer: [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MxnhBPoIx4[/youtube]

Music Festival Begins

SXSW music festival With the music festival portion of SXSW launching just yesterday, buzz is still generating over which acts will take the cake this year. We’ll leave you with some lists compiled by Billboard, SPIN, and The Guardian of what acts to pay attention and what sets are sure to thrill audiences. With 2,000+ bands playing during the five-day festival, we’re likely to see some new stars emerge from SXSW.

TOOL OF THE WEEK: MEERKAT

Meerkat SXSW is famous for helping to launch apps like Twitter and Foursquare. This year, the app to pay attention to: Meerkat. Meerkat is a live-streaming app that allows users to live-stream video from their phones with just a click of a button. How does it work? Meerkat connects your phone camera to your Twitter feed, and once you've downloaded the app, you type in a status and hit "stream." Voilà, a link goes out to your Twitter followers with live video. The goal is citizen journalism. With Meerkat, broadcasters can share what they're seeing in real-time. The app has already been used to show the world a demonstration from Ferguson and a U.S. Secretary of Commerce swearing-in ceremony. You can also catch novel bits of journalism, like Jimmy Kimmel being interviewed by USA Today as it happens. The festival turned out to be the perfect place to launch as festivalgoers used the app to live-stream concerts, conferences, panels, and the more from SXSW. Already the app is growing traction outside the SXSW community and Meerkat’s developers are working quickly to make the app more streamlined and available on Android. Take a look at Meerkat in action:

UNDER THE RADAR: MARCH MADNESS

March Madness It’s that time of year again—March Madness. The NCAA teams are preparing for the “Round of 64” that will kick off the Tournament. Everyone is filling out their brackets, eager to see how their teams will perform, with even President Obama joining in on the action (with the prediction that the Wildcats will win). Kentucky is going in undefeated with their next game tomorrow against the Pirates. The top seeds in the other tournament regions are Wisconsin in the West, Villanova in the East, Duke in the South. Do you have any opinions on who is going to make it to the Sweet Sixteen? (Or if basketball isn’t your thing, enjoy a Film vs. TV themed bracket from io9)

AROUND THE HUB: RECORD-BREAKERS 2K15

Boston snow record breaking As if Boston’s winter wasn’t bad enough, now it’s gone and broken a record. On March 15, after a late afternoon flurry, Boston gained the 2.9” it needed for it to set the record as the snowiest winter in Boston history with 108.6 inches of snow total. The previous record was from the winter of 1996-97 (107.9 inches). Prior to the record being broken, some were rooting for the record to be broken; others just wanted the snow to stop. Which side were you on? See images of the historic snowfall here.

Read More

80% of Secure URLs Aren’t Appearing in Searches [Report]

google announces It’s no secret that online privacy is a pretty big deal these days. It’s such a big deal that last summer, Google announced that they’d begin to give a slight boost in rankings to sites that used strong HTTPS encryption by default. The announcement wasn’t missed by many webmasters, who rushed to enhance the security of their sites in the hopes of improving rankings and grabbing an easy share of more leads or driving more sales. Unfortunately, as many as 80% of these webmasters didn’t take the extra steps necessary to ensure their site’s improved rankings. Google’s Gary Illyes announced recently that 80% of eligible HTTPS URLs aren’t being displayed as such in Google Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). It’s an unfortunate number, but it’s not surprising. If your site is using HTTPS URLs but you’re not seeing them in SERPs, here are some of the most likely reasons why, and what to do about them:

URLs have crawl issues

urls_crawl_issues If this is your issue, you’re in luck, because these are an easy fix. The HTTPS URL can’t be accessed by Google, either because it’s password-protected, blocked by the server, or the page doesn’t exist anymore. To fix this, have your webmaster first make sure that the page exists (meaning that it doesn’t return a 404 error), and then make sure that your servers aren’t blocking it, and that it doesn’t need a password to be accessed.

URLs have “noindex” designation

urls_no_index

Often, when pages are under development, webmasters will use the “noindex” designation to make sure that Google isn’t crawling an incomplete page. If an HTTPS page has a “noindex” tag on it, even when it’s done being developed, Google still won’t crawl it, and therefore it won’t show up in SERPs. The fix on this one is an easy one too: just have your webmasters remove any noindex tags on HTTPS pages that are ready to be viewed by the public.

Rel=“canonical” tags use HTTP variant

rel_canonical_http

Canonical tags are often used by webmasters to inform search engines which pages should be indexed when there are multiple pages on the site that are very similar. In this case, it’s likely that webmasters put a rel=“canonical” tag on the HTTPS URLs that point at the HTTP version. Again, this is an easy fix: just have your webmasters switch this tag out so that the canonical tags on the HTTP pages point at the HTTPS pages.

XML sitemap contains HTTP variant

xml_sitemaps_http_varient

XML sitemaps are the roadmaps (remember those?) of your site for search engines. Many content platforms will automatically refresh the sitemap after a certain interval of time (sometimes days, sometimes weeks), but they don’t all refresh themselves, so it falls on the webmaster to make sure that the most recent URL structure is easy for search engines to find. This fix may be a bit more involved, especially if your site doesn’t have a plugin that updates the sitemap, but it should still be a pretty easy task for accomplished webmasters. Once you can cross all these items off of your to-do list, re-submit the sitemap to Google via Webmaster Tools and it shouldn’t be long until you’re able to see your HTTPS URLs ranking in SERPs!

Read More