7 Social Media Fails to Avoid in 2017

Chances are you’ve witnessed a social media fail sometime in the past year. It usually results from a sense of urgency, or a miscommunication that ignores common sense, all for the sake of gaining attention.

It’s true: Follow just a bit of poorly-advised posting on social media, and you, too, can create your very own brand fail in a matter of minutes.

Many brands are over-concerned with posting frequency and speed, and not concerned enough with tactics that ensure quality and proper context. A single spur-of-the-moment tweet can cause irreparable damage. And even after it’s deleted, the examples below show that content on social media never truly dies — so make sure you have a plan in place that establishes clear boundaries and best practices.

Click here to learn about using social media in every stage of the funnel.

As proof, here are seven of the worst social media fails you might ever come across.

7 Social Media Fails to Avoid in 2017

1) Meet-And-Greet, but Don’t Touch

Humor is a wonderful thing, especially on social media. A funny meme, GIF image, or video can reap a wealth of positive interactions. It’s common practice for celebrities to produce goodwill online by sharing one-on-one experiences with fans — meet-and-greets, and surprise appearances, for example, all have the potential to go viral. Unfortunately, the viral effect doesn’t always have the end-result you might wish for.

It doesn’t get much more uncomfortable than Avril Lavigne’s now infamous meet-and-greet photo session. Fans paid almost $400 for a chance to meet their idol before finding out there were some serious restrictions on their experience: no touching allowed. That meant no hugging, wrapping arms around each other, or anything else that tends to make celebrity meet-and-greet photos warm and cozy.

The pictures, as they say, are worth a thousand awkward words.

2) Rhode Island or Iceland?

Good intentions fell flat for the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation in 2016, when it made one grave error in a $5 million promotional video — and used footage not of the great state itself, but instead, of Iceland.

The mistake went viral and gained far more attention than an Iceland-free version of the promotion would have, but it wasn’t exactly the type of publicity we imagine the bureau of tourism was hoping for.

Thanks to the social media skills of Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, you can enjoy your very own private viewing of this social media fail.

 

3) Ten Cents off Your Next Playstation

In 2015, Amazon created #PrimeDay as its own corporate version of a Cyber Monday. Unfortunately, at that point, many of the discounts and offerings didn’t quite live up to consumer expectations — and the hashtag went viral for all the wrong reasons.

One kicker came when Amazon offered a whopping $0.10 discount on the Sony PlayStation 4 Console. It didn’t take long for #PrimeDayFail to start trending on Twitter.

4) #bendgate

Any time a brand winds up with a trending hashtag that includes the word “gate” in it, you know there’s trouble.

In 2014, Apple released the iPhone 6 with great fanfare, with one of the most aggressively highlighted features being that the phone wouldn’t bend under pressure in, say, your back pocket.

In a video that now has more than 69 million views, Unbox Therapy squashed Apple’s claims by demonstrating how easy it was to bend the iPhone 6. Once the damage was done there was no going back. A war of words promptly took place between avid Apple fans and detractors, garnering even more attention on social media

 

 

5) How to Turn a Fail into a Win

Robots aren’t always smarter. In 2014, a Google bot mistakenly attributed an offensive slogan to U.K.-based bakery, Greggs. Hilarity — to some, at least, ensued when Greggs’ Digital Brand Manager, Neil Knowles, turned a potential brand disaster into a monumental win.

Thanks to the clever back-and-forth between Knowles and the Google team, and the massive publicity garnered by the exchange, Google’s original error wound up being one of the best things to ever happen to Greggs.

6) Coca-Cola vs. Russia and Ukraine

If you’re going to create a huge promotion that displays a giant map of Russia, it’s generally a good idea to make sure that map is accurate. Or, better yet: When in doubt, don’t show a map.

Coca-Cola received massive backlash from Russian citizens when it posted a promotional branded image made to look like a map of Russia — which left out Crimea. In response, many consumers took to Twitter to post images of themselved pouring Coke into their toilets, leaving a trending impression.

Then, in response to the backlash, Coca-Cola published an updated map that included Crimea — which was promptly bombarded by outcries from Ukrainian citizens, due to tensions resulting from Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Lesson learned: Don’t publish original content that’s inaccurate, and has the potential to be highly (and globally) controversial.

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Source: The Guardian

7) A Giraffe for Ghana

Sometimes, all it takes to avoid a social media fail is a simple Google search.

During the 2014 World Cup game between the USA and Ghana, Delta sent out a congratulatory tweet to the U.S. soccer team. The tweet included an image of the Statue of Liberty with a “2” representing the U.S. score, and a giraffe with a “1” that was meant to represent team Ghana’s score.

There was one tall problem: Ghana doesn’t have giraffes. Of course, Twitter users jumped all over that one. 

Just remember: It’s always best to take extra time to conduct some easy research, and avoid social media gaffes — no pun intended — like this one.

Wrapping Things Up

You might have noticed a pattern in some of the “fail” examples. Twitter is not to be trifled with. Once something goes viral it lives on forever. The best way to avoid a social media brand fail is to establish a meticulous social media management approach. This allows you to control the types of content you post and the messaging your brand communicates with.

Regardless of how small your audience is or how innocent something might seem, there’s always a reason to quality-check before posting.

 

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7 Digital Marketing Strategies That Work: A Complete Guide

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There’s no question that, in the modern landscape, a big part of your marketing strategy is digital. Consumers and businesses alike are almost always online — and you want to be able to reach them and observe their behavior where they spend the most time.

But when you’re growing a business, it seems like this ever-evolving landscape can quickly become overwhelming. There’s already enough to do — how are you also supposed to create, fine-tune, and maintain an agile digital marketing strategy?

We’ve compiled a list of seven digital marketing strategies that marketers can adapt to help their teams and businesses grow, as well as a crash course on the meaning of digital strategy and marketing campaigns.

Click here to download our free guide to digital marketing fundamentals.

What is Digital Strategy?

In short: Your digital marketing strategy is the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s) using online marketing. The term ‘strategy’ might seem intimidating, but building an effective digital strategy doesn’t need to be difficult.

In simple terms, a strategy is just a plan of action to achieve a desired goal, or multiple goals. For example, your overarching goal might be to generate 25% more leads via your website this year than you drove last year.

Depending on the scale of your business, your digital marketing strategy might involve multiple goals and a lot of moving parts, but coming back to this simple way of thinking about strategy can help you stay focused on meeting those objectives.

Despite our simplification of the term ‘strategy’, there’s no doubt it can be difficult to get started actually building one. Let’s see what a digital marketing campaign looks like, and then, we’ll jump into those seven building blocks to help you create an effective digital marketing strategy to set up your business for online success.

What is a Digital Marketing Campaign?

It’s easy to confuse your digital strategy with your digital marketing campaigns, but here’s how to distinguish the two.

As we’ve already outlined, your digital strategy is the series of actions you take to help you achieve your overarching marketing goal. Your digital marketing campaigns are the building blocks or actions within your strategy that move you toward meeting that goal.

For example, you might decide to run a campaign sharing some of your best-performing gated content on Twitter, to generate more leads through that channel. That campaign is part of your strategy to generate more leads.

It’s important to note that even if a campaign runs over the course of a couple of years, it doesn’t make it a strategy — it’s still a tactic that sits alongside other campaigns to form your strategy.

Now that we’ve gotten to grips with the basics of digital strategy and digital marketing campaigns, let’s dig into how to build your strategy.

How to Build a Comprehensive Digital Strategy

1) Build your buyer personas.

For any marketing strategy — offline or online — you need to know who you’re marketing to. The best digital marketing strategies are built upon detailed buyer personas, and your first step is to create them. (Need help? Start here with our free buyer persona kit.)

Buyer personas represent your ideal customer(s) and can be created by researching, surveying, and interviewing your business’s target audience. It’s important to note that this information should be based upon real data wherever possible, as making assumptions about your audience can cause your marketing strategy to take the wrong direction.

To get a rounded picture of your persona, your research pool should include a mixture of customers, prospects, and people outside your contacts database who align with your target audience.

But what kind of information should you gather for your own buyer persona(s) to inform your digital marketing strategy? That depends on your businesses, and is likely to vary depending on whether you’re B2B or B2C, or whether your product is high cost or low cost. Here are some starting points, but you’ll want to fine-tune them, depending on your particular business.

Quantitative (or Demographic) Information

  • Location. You can use web analytics tools like Google Analytics to easily identify what location your website traffic is coming from.
  • Age. Depending on your business, this may or may not be relevant. It’s best to gather this data by identifying trends in your existing prospect and customer database.
  • Income. It’s best to gather sensitive information like personal income in persona research interviews, as people might be unwilling to share it via online forms.
  • Job Title. This is something you can get a rough idea of from your existing customer base, and is most relevant for B2B companies.

Qualitative (or Psychographic) Information

  • Goals. Depending on the need your product or service was created to serve, you might already have a good idea of what goals your persona is looking to achieve. However, it’s best to cement your assumptions by speaking to customers, as well as internal sales and customer service representatives.
  • Challenges. Again, speak to customers, sales and customer service representatives to get an idea of the common problems your audience faces.
  • Hobbies and interests. Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience. If you’re a fashion brand, for example, it’s helpful to know if large segments of your audience are also interested in fitness and well-being, as that can help inform your future content creation and partnerships.
  • Priorities. Speak to customers and people who align with your target audience to find out what’s most important to them in relation to your business. For example, if you’re a B2B software company, knowing that your audience values customer support over a competitive price point is very valuable information.

Take this information and create one or more rounded personas, like Marketing Molly below, and ensure they’re at the core of your digital marketing strategy.

2) Identify your goals & the digital marketing tools you’ll need.

Your marketing goals should always be tied back to the fundamental goals of the business. For example, if your business’s goal is to increase online revenue by 20%, your goal as a marketer might be to generate 50% more leads via the website than you did last year to contribute towards that success.

Whatever your overarching goal is, you need to know how to measure it, and more important, actually be able to measure it (e.g., have the right digital marketing tools in place to do so). How you measure the effectiveness of your digital strategy will be different for each business and dependent on your goal(s), but it’s vital to ensure you’re able to do so, as it’s these metrics which will help you adjust your strategy in the future.

If you’re a HubSpot customer, the Reporting add-on in your HubSpot software brings all of your marketing and sales data into one place, so you can quickly determine what works and what doesn’t.

 

3) Evaluate your existing digital marketing channels and assets.

When considering your available digital marketing channels or assets to incorporate into your strategy, it’s helpful to first consider the bigger picture to avoid getting overwhelmed. The owned, earned, and paid media framework helps to categorize the digital ‘vehicles’, assets, or channels that you’re already using.

Owned Media

This refers to the digital assets that your brand or company owns — whether that’s your website, social media profiles, blog content, or imagery, owned channels are the things your business has complete control over. This can include some off-site content that you own, but isn’t hosted on your website, like a blog that you publish on Medium, for example.

Earned Media

Quite simply, earned media refers to the exposure you’ve earned through word-of-mouth. Whether that’s content you’ve distributed on other websites (e.g., guest posts), PR work you’ve been doing, or the customer experience you’ve delivered, earned media is the recognition you receive as a result. You can earn media by getting press mentions, positive reviews, and by other people sharing your content on social media, for instance.

Paid Media

Paid media is a bit self-explanatory in what its name suggests — and refers to any vehicle or channel that you spend money on to catch the attention of your buyer personas. This includes things like Google AdWords, paid social media posts, native advertising (like sponsored posts on other websites), and any other medium for which you directly pay in exchange for visibility.

Gather what you have, and categorize each vehicle or asset in a spreadsheet, so you have a clear picture of your existing owned, earned, and paid media.

Your digital marketing strategy might incorporate elements of all three channels, all working together to help you reach your goal. For example, you might have an owned piece of content on a landing page on your website that’s been created to help you generate leads. To amplify the number of leads that content generates, you might have made a real effort to make it shareable, meaning others are distributing it via their personal social media profiles, increasing traffic to the landing page. That’s the earned media component. To support the content’s success, you might have posted about the content to your Facebook page and have paid to have it seen by more people in your target audience.

That’s exactly how the three can work together to help you meet your goal. Of course, it’s not compulsory to use all three. If your owned and earned media are both successful, you might not need to invest in paid. It’s all about evaluating the best solution to meet your goal, and then incorporating the channels that work best for your business into your digital marketing strategy.

Now you know what’s already being used, you can start to think about what to keep and what to cut.

4) Audit and plan your owned media.

At the heart of digital marketing is your owned media, which pretty much always takes the form of content. Every message your brand broadcasts can generally be classified as content, whether it’s your ‘About Us’ page, your product descriptions, blog posts, ebooks, infographics, or social media posts. Content helps convert your website visitors into leads and customers, and helps to raise your brand’s profile online — and when it’s optimized, it can also boost any efforts you have around search/organic traffic. Whatever your goal, you’re going to need to use owned content to form your digital marketing strategy.

To build your digital marketing strategy, you need to decide what content is going to help you reach your goals. If your goal is to generate 50% more leads via the website than you did last year, it’s unlikely that your ‘About Us’ page is going to be included in your strategy — unless that page has somehow been a lead generation machine in the past.

It might more likely that an ebook gated by a form on your website drives far more leads, and as a result, that might be something you want to do more of. Here’s a brief process to follow to work out what ownedcontent you need to meet your digital marketing goals:

Audit your existing content

Make a list of your existing owned content, and rank each item according to what has previously performed best in relation to your current goals. If your goal is lead generation, for example, rank them according to which generated the most leads in the last year. That might be a particular blog post, an ebook, or even a specific page on your website that’s converting well.

The idea here is to figure out what’s currently working, and what’s not, so that you can set yourself up for success when planning future content.

Identify gaps in your existing content

Based on your buyer personas, identify any gaps in the content you have. If you’re a math tutoring company and have discovered in your audience research that one of your persona’s biggest challenges is finding interesting ways to study, but you don’t have any content that speaks to that concern, then you might look to create some.

By looking at your content audit, you might discover that ebooks hosted on a certain type of landing page convert really well for you (much better than webinars, for example). In the case of this math tutoring company, you might make the decision to add an ebook about ‘how to make studying more interesting’ to your content creation plans.

Create a content creation plan

Based on your findings and the gaps you’ve identified, make a content creation plan outlining the content that’s necessary to help you hit your goals. This should include:

  • Title
  • Format
  • Goal
  • Promotional channels
  • Why you’re creating it (e.g., “Marketing Molly struggles to find time to plan her blog content, so we’re creating a template editorial calendar”)
  • Priority level (to help you decide what’s going to give you the most “bang for your buck”)

This can be a simple spreadsheet, and should also include budget information if you’re planning to outsource the content creation, or a time estimate if you’re producing it yourself.

5) Audit and plan your earned media.

Evaluating your previous earned media against your current goals can help you get an idea of where to focus your time. Look at where your traffic and leads are coming from (if that’s your goal) and rank each earned media source from most effective to least effective.

You can get this information from tools like Google Analytics, or the  Sources Reports in your HubSpot software.

You might find that a particular article you contributed to the industry press drove a lot of qualified traffic to your website, which in turn converted really well. Or, you might discover that LinkedIn is where you see most people sharing your content, which in turn drives a lot of traffic. The idea here is to build up a picture of what earned media will help you reach your goals, and what won’t, based on historical data. However, if there’s something new you want to try, don’t rule that out just because it’s not yet tried and tested.

6) Audit and plan your paid media.

This process involves much of the same process: You need to evaluate your existing paid media across each platform (e.g., Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to figure out what’s likely to help you meet your current goals.

If you’ve been spending a lot of money on AdWords and haven’t seen the results you’d hoped for, maybe it’s time to refine your approach, or scrap it altogether and focus on another platform that seems to be yielding better results. (Check out this free AdWords guide for more on how to leverage it for business.)

By the end of the process, you should have a clear idea of which paid media platforms you want to continue using, and which (if any) you’d like to remove from your strategy.

7) Bring it all together.

You’ve done the planning and the research, and you now have a solid vision of the elements that are going to make up your digital marketing strategy. Here’s what you should have so far:

  1. Clear profile(s) of your buyer persona(s)
  2. One or more marketing-specific goals
  3. An inventory of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
  4. An audit of your existing owned, earned, and paid media
  5. An owned content creation plan or wish list

Now, it’s time to bring all of it together to form a cohesive strategy document. Let’s revisit what digital strategy means: the series of actions that are going to help you achieve your goal(s) using online marketing.

By that definition, your strategy document should map out the series of actions you’re going to take to achieve your goals, based on your research to this point. A spreadsheet is an efficient format — and for the sake of consistency, you might find it easiest to map out according to the owned, earned, and paid media framework we’ve used so far.

You’ll also need to plan your strategy for a longer-term period — typically, something like 12 months is a good starting point, depending on how your business is set up. That way, you can overlay when you’ll be executing each action. For example:

  • In January, you might start a blog which will be continually updated once a week, for the entire year.
  • In March, you might launch a new ebook, accompanied by paid promotion.
  • In July, you might be preparing for your biggest business month — what do you hope to have observed at this point that will influence the content you produce to support it?
  • In September, you might plan to focus on earned media in the form of PR to drive additional traffic during the run-up.

By taking this approach, you’re also creating a structured timeline for your activity, which will help communicate your plans to your colleagues — not to mention, maybe even help keep you sane.

Your Path to Digital Marketing Strategy Success

Your strategy document will be very individual to your business, which is why it’s almost impossible for us to create a one-size-fits-all digital marketing strategy template. Remember, the purpose of your strategy document is to map out the actions you’re going to take to achieve your goal over a period of time — as long as it communicates that, then you’ve nailed the basics of creating a digital strategy.

If you’re eager to learn more about this realm, and how you can build a truly effective strategy to help grow your business, check out our simple guide to digital marketing strategy.

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6 Big Myths About SEO

In the world of online marketing, misinformation abounds–and it gets compounded exponentially by an incredibly dynamic and rapidly evolving world. Most of the things you think you know (but don’t) about search-engine optimization, or SEO, may have been true a few years ago but have changed; one of the following was always a myth.

Here are some of the myths you need to move beyond to get smarter about SEO.

Myth 1: Metatag Descriptions Help Your Rankings

Not anymore; in fact, metatags are no longer even indexed by Google and Bing. But don’t ignore them altogether: Your metatags form the text that is displayed along with your link in the search results–and a more compelling description will compel more users to click on your listing instead of on others.

Here’s example of ours; the metatag is everything below the URL.

Myth 2: The More Inbound Links, the Better

False. In all the recent updates to Google’s algorithm, the search giant has made it a core priority to have quality trump quantity. Gone are the days of having thousands of superlow-quality links driving up rankings; in fact, creating those links can look spammy and get your site penalized.

Focus on obtaining links from sites that are relevant to your products, services, or industry–and on having those links be surrounded by relevant text. A blog review about your “blue widget” that links to your site is far more valuable than a rogue link for “blue widget” stuck in the footer or sidebar of some site–even a highly ranked one.

Myth 3: PageRank Still Matters

Google’s infamous PageRank (named after Google co-founder and now-CEO Larry Page, mind you) is a 1-to-10 ranking of the overall authority of every website; the bigger the number, the higher the rank. In years past, this seemingly all-powerful number dominated the attention of SEO experts.

But today, Google’s algorithm has evolved well beyond any single indicator. The PageRank still exists, and if all things are equal, a higher PageRank trumps a lower one–but factors such as relevance and context matter, too.

As with inbound links: If you run a dental practice in Los Angeles, it’s better to have a link from a site that reviews doctors and dentists in L.A., even if it has a PageRank of 4, than to have a paid link with no context in a huge site with a higher PageRank of 7. 

Myth 4: Google Prefers Keyword-Rich Domains

In years past, Google seemed to put a disproportionate amount of emphasis on keywords in the domain name (what you may think of as the URL). For example, vinylhousesiding.com would almost certainly be ranked first in a search for vinyl house siding.

Not anymore, says Google. If vinylhousesiding.com is in fact the more relevant, authoritative site on the topic, it will probably still rank first–but not because of its domain name alone.

Myth 5: Websites Must Be ‘Submitted’ to Search Engines

In 2001, yes, this was the case–indeed, this was the first service that my company, Wpromote, ever provided. But in 2012? Not at all. At this point, if there is any connection from any site to yours, your site will be quickly discovered by Google.

Note that being indexed is a far cry from achieving high rankings–but that initial step of submission is no longer needed or helpful.

Myth 6: Good SEO Is Basically About Trickery

False, false, false. Although there are still some SEO experts out there who go about their business trying to “trick Google,” this is absolutely not the way to provide good, lasting SEO.

Good SEO is about creating a relevant, informative website, with unique content and great user experience, and encouraging the sharing and distribution of great content to drive organic publicity and links back to your site.

In the end, this is exactly what Google explicitly wants to reward with high rankings–so it is anything but “tricking” the search engines.

I’m planning to dive into other online marketing topics in the future, to find the biggest myths–so if you’ve got suggestions, please weigh in below.

 

SOURCE:

5 Email Campaign Ideas to Help Increase Conversion Rates [Infographic]

As businesses adopt inbound marketing and generate more and more leads, the need for an effective lead nurturing strategy becomes clear very quickly.

After all, 50% of leads aren’t ready to buy at the time of first conversion, so lead nurturing — especially through email — is the smartest way for marketers like us to reach them.

Why is email is the most powerful channel for lead nurturing? Because it’s a one-on-one interaction, and it can be highly personalized based on where a lead is in the buyer’s journey. In terms of engagement, research shows that lead nurturing emails beat out individual email blasts by far.

So, how do you get started with email drip campaigns? Check out the infographic below from Eliv8 for five email drip campaign ideas that’ll help you increase engagement and sales. (And read this post for even more ideas for automated email workflows you can set up to engage and activate the different contacts in your database.)

email-drip-campaigns-infographic.png

Source: 

Social Media Marketing on Mobile: Grow You Business with These 7 Mobile Content Strategies

The fact that screen sizes have gotten smaller plays a key role in today’s visual content revolution.

Since less information is in your field of vision on a phone (and since only a handful would stay long enough to read lengthy writeups), content needs to be presented in bite-sized but accessible ways. And you know what they say: a picture paints a thousand words.

We are already past the tipping point — the number of mobile users has surpassed the number of desktop users, with more than 60% of the traffic coming from mobile. Among social media users, 80% access their accounts via a mobile device.

image08
Made in Canva

Here’s another startling fact: 50% of small businesses need help with marketing on social media. They don’t realize the difference a user experiences while accessing social media from a desktop computer and doing the same from a mobile device.

Posting directly from a mobile device — which apps like Canva’s recently launched iPhone app enable you to do — makes it easier to simulate how the material would look like upon social media publication.

To help guide you on your mobile strategizing, we have scoured through the deepest ends of the internet to put together key tactics which will help you create engaging content for your brand on mobile. Ready?

01. Match the content with your medium

Each social media platform is different from the other, and their layouts change as you access them from mobile devices. Not to mention, there is such a thing asmarketing fatigue. If you cross-promote the same thing across all your social media channels at the same time, your followers

That is why it is important to approach each one of them differently and to focus only on the platforms that have the highest return for your brand.

Facebook

On Facebook mobile all the content is presented in a single column.

This means you only get a fleeting chance to impress people. If your content is just like everyone else’s, your potential customers will scroll through; but if your content is outstanding enough, you will get a higher engagement rate.

Facebook Mobile

Your visual content should be engaging enough to merit the user’s attention.

Not all visual content are created equally, though. Facebook’s newsfeed format treats image posts and website link posts differently. Even though Facebook pulls open graph images for website links, uploaded image posts get a slightly larger space on the newsfeed as compared to link posts.

So if you want the images to take the center stage, and also want readers to click on links, you could do exactly what JustB – add a link in the description over images.

Just B
Just B

Twitter

83% of Twitter users access the micro-blogging website through their smartphones.

In the last few years, images have become an integral part with the social media platform by introducing in-app gifs and rich cards for website links. Every website link on Twitter is now displayed much like Facebook’s, with the hero image as the main image on link post.

Not surprisingly, Twitter started pushing this feature on their mobile app first and then it made its way to the main desktop website.

Also, Twitter photos are not supposed to be square; they need to be rectangular in order to fit in the feed, read forward for the exact dimensions you should be using.

Twitter Mobile
Canva

Instagram

Instagram used to be all about filters and square images, but the image sharing social media app recently announced a big change — portrait and landscape images are now allowed on the app.

While many fashion brands like Zara are taking advantage of this new change, most of the other brands are sticking to the square image format.

Why?

Because square images take the most space on Instagram News feed, while other differently-oriented images will always have a bit of white space on the sides.

While brands should pay attention to every image that they post, they should also make sure the account’s feed overall looks good as well. Posted images shouldn’t look out of place — they should blend in together.

Zara
Zara

02. Invest in your cover photo

Whether it’s Facebook or Twitter, the header image is the first image people see, and it’s the best opportunity to give followers a great impression.

Your brand’s header should give your followers the message you are trying to convey. For instance, Red Bull —which always claims that their drinks give people ‘wings’ — makes sure that their Facebook feed is filled with adventurous photos and videos. Hence this adrenaline-filled cover photo makes complete sense for them.

Red Bull
Red Bull

Disney Pixar, on the other hand, uses cover photos to let their fans stay updated about all the new releases — which in this case is the highly anticipated Finding Dory.

Pixar
Disney Pixar

03. Maximize your phone’s native camera by taking creative selfies

Taking out a professional camera to send out every little update, is not just time consuming, it takes out that “genuineness” you want to impart to your fans. (And what if you want to share a selfie?)

Use your phone’s native camera. With the right light and angle, you can capture a high-quality photo with just an 8-megapixel camera. To make the whole process easier, you can take pictures through Canva’s iPhone app and start editing it right away.

And the best thing you can do with a native camera? Take a selfie.

Selfie social media campaigns have proved to be successful for many brands because it’s relatable and authentic (or at least authentic-looking). There is no reason why your brand should stay behind.

When Samsung launched their flagship phone, S5, they launched a #UnderwaterSelfie challenge where they dared followers to post selfies from underwater.

Screen Shot 2016-07-16 at 1.26.20 AM

UNICEF decided to use selfies for the greater good where they asked celebrities to post morning pictures with the hashtag #Wakeupcall to bring the global attention to the Syrian crisis.

UNICEF Ireland
UNICEF

If you’re using this technique, make sure to use your camera-dependent platforms. Selfies and social channels like Instagram, Snapchat, and Vine are particularly popular to younger users — so this might only be effective if your brand caters to this demographic.

04. Implement the correct image dimensions

Did you know the ideal image dimensions for a typical photo post on Facebook is different than images upload for link posts?

While the photo posts on Facebook can be square or other ratios, the images used for website link posts need to be an exact dimension or else they won’t take up the whole news feed space, and you will get something like this.

Indian Screw Up

Has this happened to you before?

Instead of getting stuck at the last place fidgeting with dimensions, it’s much better to just start right.

An ideal Facebook image for website should be 948x788px. And take note: a Facebook header image doesn’t have the same dimensions as a Twitter header image.

Canva has pre-made layouts for every social media platform, so you don’t just get the right dimensions, you also get thousands of templates which you can customize according to your brand. Canva’s iPhone app makes it possible to do all this through your phone.

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05. Stick to a consistent schedule

Most social marketers fear that if they don’t post enough, their followers might forget their brand even exists. That’s why consistency combined with the right schedule is the key to everything.

Yes, if you post too less, your followers might get enamored by other brands; but if you bombard your followers with posts, they’ll get annoyed. It’s important to find the balance between these two.

The amount you post will depend on the social media platform you are posting to. While posting 10-15 times on Twitter is considered normal, posting that many updates on Facebook or Instagram is just downright spam-y.

Use analytics to find out which type of posts are topping your charts and at what time of the day they are doing the best, and then tweak your schedule accordingly.

Most people like to check their social media on their phone when they are commuting to work or when they are free in the evening, so that could be a great window to get the maximum attention.

06. Post live updates

With a mobile phone you can post live updates on-the-go. Brands now take part in live tweeting or streaming on Facebook to let their followers know about upcoming events or ongoing ones to keep the conversation going.

There is a thrill in being live that can’t just be replicated with scheduled social media posts. Live updates are one of the main reasons why Snapchat and Periscope got so popular, so quickly.

And you know what they say: if it isn’t live-tweeted, snapchat-ed or Instagram-ed about, it might as well have never happened. That’s why, sharing visual content is important — with the right hashtag, of course.

But keep in mind: the quality of your post shouldn’t suffer just because you’re on mobile and you’re doing it quickly. Each picture you post should tell a story about your brand’s identity and uniqueness.

Well, we have some good news: Canva’s iOS app has the tools you need to create awesome visual content wherever you are. Aside from the live camera feature, it has collection of professionally designed templates, customizable filters, and a library of high quality images.

And aside from the 14 pre-set filters, you can play around with all the settings to create your own customized filter. You can also save the filter codes for faster editing. To help you keep your posts on-brand at all times, here is a complete guide on how to use filters on Canva.

07. Don’t be fooled into thinking you need a mobile-only strategy

We warned about cross-promoting and marketing fatigue in the first item and now we dole out advice about not creating a mobile-only strategy. That’s because in the first item, we talked about for-regular posting content; in this item we’re going to discuss advertising.

You can’t rely on just the mobile aspect of the digital marketing spectrum because you can never predict how people will engage with your brand. Internet users can be on their cellphone and then their desktop at different times of the day, in different situations.

In order for them to accumulate impressions of your brand, it will need to be available

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10 Handy Gmail Tips That’ll Help You Stay Organized & Productive [Infographic]

Gmail is one of the most popular email clients for webmail right now — and with good reason. It’s one of the most powerful and reliable email clients available, and makes checking and organizing email easy. (And dare I say fun?)

But there are a whole lot of cool things you can do in Gmail that not a lot of people know about.

For example, did you know that you can automatically categorize some of your incoming emails so they’re labeled, archived, deleted, or forwarded — without ever having to see them in your inbox? Or that you can save and send canned emails so you’re not typing out the same response to different folks over and over and over again?

Check out the infographic below from NeoMam Studios to learn 10 tips to help you become a Gmail power user. You’ll find yourself spending a lot less time looking through email — and more time doing the things that actually matter. (And read this blog post to learn how to get to inbox zero in Gmail, once and for all.)

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What’s the Deal With Ad Blocking? 11 Stats You Need to Know

It’s no secret that internet users are no strangers to seeking out the information they need online — in fact, Google now processes over 40,000 search queries every second.

And as the volume of search queries continues to climb, advertisers are recognizing an opportunity to introduce a number of different types of ads. (Think: pop-up ads, autoplaying video ads, and the dreaded mobile ad that takes up the entire phone screen.)

As a reaction to some of these disruptive online ads, internet users have started installing ad blocking extensions by the millions. In case you’re wondering: Ad blockers scan websites for advertising code to prevent them from loading on a browser.

Here’s a visual look at how they work:

To help marketers get a handle on the state of ad blocking today, HubSpot Research dove deep into the issue to create this report. Below, we’ve outlined some of they most noteworthy statistics and takeaways from our research to get you up to speed quickly.

11 Ad Blocking Stats You Need to Know

1) Adblock Plus, the world’s most popular ad blocking extension, has been downloaded over 500 million times.

Many research and news sites have different numbers, but it’s hard to ignore the hockey stick growth in adoption here.

Image Credit: PageFair

2) Ad blocking is blamed for costing the advertising industry $22 Billion in 2015.

Why is ad blocking a big deal? When ads aren’t displayed, content sites that host ads and the advertiser lose out on potential revenue. And the losses have been enormous.

3) As for potential revenue losses in the future, Ovum predicts that $35 billion in ad revenue will lost by 2020 because of ad blocking.

4) 64% say ads today are annoying or intrusive.

5) Pop-up ads, autoplaying video ads, and online video ads are the most disliked online ad types.

6) 70% of respondents say they would have a lower opinion of a company that uses pop-up advertisement.


7) 34% of people say usually click online ads by accident.

8) Adoption of mobile ad blocking is growing even faster (90% YOY) than desktop-based ad blocking adoption. A study fromPriori Data suggests 419 million people (a fifth of the world’s internet users) have some type of mobile ad blocker installed.

9) 83% of online browsers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, and France say they’d like to block mobile ads.

10) 73% of people stated that ads that cover the entire screen on a phone are the most annoying, followed by ads that track browsing (65%).

11) When asked about the best way to support websites (to cover costs), the majority (68%) of respondents say they don’t mind seeing ads — as long as their not annoying.

The lesson? Marketers need to use unobtrusive forms of advertising (native ads, social ads, etc.) that people tolerate more than interruptive ads like pop-ups

22 Companies With Really Catchy Slogans & Brand Taglines

You know what’s really difficult?

Being succinct. Seriously … it’s ridiculously hard. If you don’t believe me, just grab yourfavorite copywriter and ask them.

It’s especially difficult to express a complex emotional concept in just a couple of words — which is exactly what a slogan does.

That’s why we have a lot of respect for the brands that have done it right. The ones that have figured out how to convey their value proposition to their buyer persona in just one, short sentence — and a quippy one, at that.

Download our essential guide to branding here for even more tips on branding your company. 

So if you’re looking to get a little slogan inspiration of your own, take a look at some of our favorite company slogans from both past and present. (Note: We’ve updated this post to include some suggestions from the comment section.)

Before we get into specific examples, let’s quickly go over what a slogan is and what makes one stand out.

What is a Slogan?

In business, a slogan or tagline is “a catchphrase or small group of words that are combined in a special way to identify a product or company,” according to Entrepreneur.com’s small business encyclopedia.

In many ways, they’re like mini mission statements.

Companies have slogans for the same reason they have logos: advertising. While logos are visual representations of a brand, slogans are audible representations of a brand. Both formats grab consumers’ attention more readily than the name a company or product might. Plus, they’re simpler to understand and remember.

The goal? To leave a key brand message in consumers’ minds so that, if they remember nothing else from an advertisement, they’ll remember the slogan.

What Makes a Great Slogan?

According to HowStuffWorks, a great slogan has most or all of the following characteristics:

It’s memorable.

Is the slogan quickly recognizable? Will people only have to spend a second or two thinking about it? A brief, catchy few words can go a long way in advertisements, videos, posters, business cards, swag, and other places. (Take this quiz to see if you can guess the brands behind 16 memorable slogans.)

It includes a key benefit.

Ever heard the marketing advice, “Sell the sizzle, not the steak”? It means sell the benefits, not the features — which applies perfectly to slogans. A great slogan makes a company or product’s benefits clear to the audience.

It differentiates the brand.

Does your light beer have the fullest flavor? Or maybe the fewest calories? What is it about your product or brand that sets it apart from competitors?

It imparts positive feelings about the brand.

The best taglines use words that are positive and upbeat. For example, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups’ slogan, “Two great tastes that taste great together,” gives the audience good feelings about Reese’s, whereas a slogan like Lea & Perrins’, “Steak sauce only a cow could hate,” uses negative words. The former leaves a better impression on the audience.

Now that we’ve covered what a slogan is and what makes one great, here are examples of the best brand slogans of all time. If we missed any of your favorites, share them with us in the comment section. (Note: We’ve updated this post with several ideas folks have shared with us in the comments.)

22 Companies With Really Catchy Taglines & Slogans

1) Nike: “Just Do It”

It didn’t take long for Nike’s message to resonate. The brand became more than just athletic apparel — it began to embody a state of mind. It encourages you to think that you don’t have to be an athlete to be in shape or tackle an obstacle. If you want to do it,just do it. That’s all it takes.

But it’s unlikely Kennedy + Weiden, the agency behind this tagline, knew from the start that Nike would brand itself in this way. In fact, Nike’s product used to cater almost exclusively to marathon runners, which are among the most hardcore athletes out there. The “Just Do It” campaign widened the funnel, and it’s proof positive that some brands need to take their time coming up with a slogan that reflects their message and resonates with their target audience.

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Source: brandchannel

2) Apple: “Think Different”

This slogan was first released in the Apple commercial called “Here’s to the Crazy Ones, Think Different” — a tribute to all the time-honored visionaries who challenged the status quo and changed the world. The phrase itself is a bold nod to IBM’s campaign “Think IBM,” which was used at the time to advertise its ThinkPad. 

Soon after, the slogan “Think Different” accompanied Apple advertisements all over the place, even though Apple hadn’t released any significant new products at the time. All of a sudden, people began to realize that Apple wasn’t just any old computer; it was so powerful and so simple to use that it made the average computer user feel innovative and tech-savvy.

According to ForbesApple’s stock price tripled within a year of the commercial’s release. Although the slogan has been since retired, many Apple users still feel a sense of entitlement for being among those who “think different.”

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Source: Blue Fin Group

3) Dollar Shave Club: “Shave Time. Shave Money.”

The folks at Dollar Shave Club have made their way onto quite a few of our lists here on the blog — like this one on promotional product videos and this one on holiday marketing campaigns. In other words, it’s safe to say that when it comes to marketing and advertising, they know what they are doing. And their slogan — “Shave Time. Shave Money.” — is an excellent reflection of their expertise. 

This little quip cleverly incorporates two of the service’s benefits: cost and convenience. It’s punny, to the point, and it perfectly represents the overall tone of the brand. 

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Source: TheStephenHarvey.com

4) L’Oréal: “Because You’re Worth It”

Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re worth it? The folks at L’Oréal know that women wear makeup in order to make themselves appear “beautiful” so they feel desirable, wanted, and worth it. The tagline isn’t about the product — it’s about the image the product can get you. This message allowed L’Oréal to push its brand further than just utility so as to give the entire concept of makeup a much more powerful message.

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Source: Farah Khan

5) California Milk Processor Board: “Got Milk?”

While most people are familiar with the “Got Milk?” campaign, not everyone remembers that it was launched by the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB). What’s interesting about this campaign is that it was initially launched to combat the rapid increase in fast food and soft beverages: The CMPB wanted people to revert to milk as their drink of choice in order to sustain a healthier life. The campaign was meant to bring some life to a “boring” product, ad executives told TIME Magazine

The simple words “Got Milk?” scribbled above celebrities, animals, and children with milk mustaches, which ran from 2003 until 2014, became one of the longest-lasting campaigns ever. The CMPB wasn’t determined to make its brand known with this one — they were determined to infiltrate the idea of drinking milk across the nation. And these two simple words sure as heck did.

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Source: Broward Palm Beach News Times

6) MasterCard: “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”

MasterCard’s two-sentence slogan was created in 1997 as a part of an award-winning advertising campaign that ran in 98 countries and in 46 languages. The very first iteration of the campaign was a TV commercial that aired in 1997: “A dad takes his son to a baseball game and pays for a hot dog and a drink, but the conversation between the two is priceless,” writes Avi Dan for Forbes. “In a sense, ‘Priceless’ became a viral, social campaign years before there was a social media.”

One key to this campaign’s success? Each commercial elicits an emotional response from the audience. That first TV commercial might remind you of sports games you went to with your dad, for example. Each advertisement attempted to trigger a different memory or feeling. “You have to create a cultural phenomenon and then constantly nurture it to keep it fresh,” MasterCard CMO Raja Rajamannar told Dan. And nostalgia marketing like that can be a powerful tool.

7) BMW: “The Ultimate Driving Machine”

BMW sells cars all over the world, but in North America, it’s known by its slogan: “The Ultimate Driving Machine.” This slogan was created in the 1970s by a relatively unknown ad agency named Ammirati & Puris and was, according to BMW’s blog, directed at Baby Boomers who were “out of college, making money and ready to spend their hard earned dollars. What better way to reflect your success than on a premium automobile?”

The goal? To reinforce the message that its cars’ biggest selling point is that they are performance vehicles that are thrilling to drive. That message is an emotional one, and one that consumers can buy into to pay the high price point.

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Source: BMW

8) Tesco: “Every Little Helps”

“Every little helps” is the kind of catchy tagline that can make sense in many different contexts — and it’s flexible enough to fit in with any one of Tesco’s messages. It can refer to value, quality, service, and even environmental responsibility — which the company practices by addressing the impacts in their operations and supply chain.

It’s also, as Naresh Ramchandani wrote for The Guardian“perhaps the most ingeniously modest slogan ever written.” Tesco markets themselves as a brand for the people, and a flexible, modest far-reaching slogan like this one reflects that beautifully.

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Source: The Drum 

9) M&M: “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands”

Here’s one brand that didn’t need much time before realizing its core value proposition. At the end of the day, chocolate is chocolate. How can one piece of chocolate truly stand out from another? By bringing in the convenience factor, of course. This particular example highlights the importance of finding something that makes your brand different from the others — in this case, the hard shell that keeps chocolate from melting all over you.

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Source: Platform Magazine

10) Bounty: “The Quicker Picker Upper”

Bounty paper towels, made by Procter & Gamble, has used its catchy slogan “The Quicker Picker Upper” for almost 50 years now. If it sounds like one of those sing-songy word plays you learned as a kid, that’s because it is one: The slogan uses what’s called consonance — a poetic device characterized by the repetition of the same consonant two or more times in short succession (think: “pitter patter”).

Over the years, Bounty has moved away from this slogan in full, replacing “Quicker” with other adjectives, depending on the brand’s current marketing campaign — like “The Quilted Picker Upper” and “The Clean Picker Upper.” At the same time, the brand’s main web address went from quickerpickerupper.com to bountytowels.com. But although the brand is branching out into other campaigns, they’ve kept the theme of their original, catchy slogan.

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Source: Bounty

11) De Beers: “A Diamond is Forever”

Diamonds aren’t worth much inherently. In fact, a diamond is worth at least 50% less than you paid for it the moment you left the jewelry store. So how did they become the symbol of wealth, power, and romance they are in America today? It was all because of a brilliant, multifaceted marketing strategy designed and executed by ad agency N.W. Ayer in the early 1900s for their client, De Beers.

You can read all about the strategy here. The four, iconic words “A Diamond is Forever” have appeared in every single De Beers advertisement since 1948, and AdAge named it the #1 slogan of the century in 1999. It perfectly captures the sentiment De Beers was going for: that a diamond, like your relationship, is eternal. It also helped discourage people from ever reselling their diamonds. (Mass re-selling would disrupt the market and reveal the alarmingly low intrinsic value of the stones themselves.) Brilliant. 

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Source: Sydney Merritt

12) Lay’s: “Betcha Can’t Eat Just One”

Seriously, who here has ever had just one chip? While this tagline might stand true for other snack companies, Lay’s was clever to pick up on it straight away. The company tapped into our truly human incapability to ignore crispy, salty goodness when it’s staring us in the face. Carbs, what a tangled web you weave.

But seriously, notice how the emphasis isn’t on the taste of the product. There are plenty of other delicious chips out there. But what Lay’s was able to bring forth with its tagline is that totally human, uncontrollable nature of snacking until the cows come home.

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Source: Amazon

13) Audi: “Vorsprung durch technik” (“Advancement Through Technology”)

“Vorsprung durch technik” has been Audi’s main slogan everywhere in the world since 1971 (except for the United States, where the slogan is “Truth in Engineering”). While the phrase has been translated in several ways, the online dictionary LEO translates “Vorsprung” as “advance” or “lead” as in “distance, amount by which someone is ahead in a competition.” Audi roughly translates it as: “Advancement through technology.”

The first-generation Audio 80 (B1 series) was launched a year after the slogan in 1972, and the new car was a brilliant reflection of that slogan with many impressive new technical features. It was throughout the 1970s that the Audi brand established itself as an innovative car manufacturer, such as with the five-cylinder engine (1976), turbocharging (1979), and the quattro four-wheel drive (1980). This is still reflective of the Audi brand today.

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Source: Cars and Coffee Chat

14) Dunkin’ Donuts: “America Runs on Dunkin”

In April 2006, Dunkin’ Donuts launched the most significant repositioning effort in the company’s history by unveiling a brand new, multi-million dollar advertising campaign under the slogan “America Runs on Dunkin.” The campaign revolves around Dunkin’ Donuts coffee keeping busy Americans fueled while they are on the go.

“The new campaign is a fun and often quirky celebration of life, showing Americans embracing their work, their play and everything in between — accompanied every step of the way by Dunkin’ Donuts,” read the official press release from the campaign’s official launch.

Ten years later, what the folks at Dunkin Donuts’ realized they were missing was their celebration of and honoring their actual customers. That’s why, in 2016, they launched the “Keep On” campaign, which they call their modern interpretation of the ten-year slogan.

“It’s the idea that we’re your partner in crime, or we’re like your wingman, your buddy in your daily struggle and we give you the positive energy through both food and beverage but also emotionally, we believe in you and we believe in the consumer,” said Chris D’Amico, SVP and Group Creative Director at Hill Holiday.

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Source: Lane Printing & Advertising

15) Meow Mix: “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask for It by Name”

Meow meow meow meow … who remembers this catchy tune sung by cats, for cats, in Meow Mix’s television commercials? The brand released a simple but telling tagline: “Tastes So Good, Cats Ask For It By Name.”

This slogan plays off the fact that every time a cat meows, s/he is actually asking for Meow Mix. It was not only clever, but it also successfully planted Meow Mix as a standout brand in a cluttered market.

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Source: Walgreens

16) McDonald’s: “I’m Lovin’ It”

The “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign was launched way back in 2003 and still stands strong today. This is a great example of a slogan that resonates with the brand’s target audience. McDonald’s food might not be your healthiest choice, but being healthy isn’t the benefit McDonald’s is promising — it’s that you’ll love the taste and the convenience. 

(Fun fact: The jingle’s infamous hook — “ba da ba ba ba” — was originally sung by Justin Timberlake.)

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Source: McDonald’s

17) The New York Times: “All the News That’s Fit to Print”

This one is my personal favorite. The tagline was created in the late 1890s as a movement of opposition against other news publications printing lurid journalism. The New York Times didn’t stand for sensationalism. Instead, it focused on important facts and stories that would educate its audience. It literally deemed its content all the real “news fit to print.”

This helped the paper become more than just a news outlet, but a company that paved the way for creditable news. The company didn’t force a tagline upon people when it first was founded, but rather, it created one in a time where it was needed most.

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Source: 4th St8 Blog

18) General Electric: “Imagination at Work”

You may remember General Electric’s former slogan, “We Bring Good Things to Life,” which they initiated in 1979. Although this tagline was well-known and well-received, the new slogan — “Imagination at Work” — shows how a company’s internal culture can revolutionize how they see their own brand.

“‘Imagination at Work’ began as an internal theme at GE,” recalled Tim McCleary, GE’s manager of corporate identity. When Jeff Immelt became CEO of GE in 2001, he announced that his goal was to reconnect with GE’s roots as a company defined by innovation. 

This culture and theme resulted in a rebranding with the new tagline “Imagination at Work,” which embodies the idea that imagination inspires the human initiative to thrive at what we do.

19) Verizon: “Can You Hear Me Now? Good.”

Here’s another brand that took its time coming up with something that truly resonated with its audience. This tagline was created in 2002 under the umbrella of “We never stop working for you.”

While Verizon was founded in 1983, they continued to battle against various phone companies like AT&T and T-Mobile, still two of its strongest competitors. But what makes Verizon stand out? No matter where you are, you have service. You may not have the greatest texting options, or the best cellphone options, but you will always have service.

(Fun fact: The actor behind this campaign — Paul Marcarelli — recently began appearing in new advertisements for Sprint.)

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Source: MS Lumia Blog

20) State Farm: “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There

The insurance company State Farm has a number of slogans, including “Get to a better State” and “No one serves you better than State Farm.” But its most famous one is the jingle “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there,” which you’re likely familiar with if you live in the United States and watch television.

These words emphasize State Farm’s “community-first” value proposition — which sets them apart from the huge, bureaucratic feel of most insurance companies. And it quickly establishes a close relationship with the consumer.

Often, customers need insurance when they least expect it — and in those situations, State Farm is responding in friendly, neighborly language. 

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Source: StateFarm

21) Maybelline: “Maybe she’s born with it. Maybe it’s Maybelline.”

Can you sing this jingle in your head? Maybelline’s former slogan, created in the 1990s, is one of the most famous in the world. It makes you think of glossy magazine pages featuring strong, beautiful women with long lashes staring straight down the lens. It’s that confidence that Maybelline’s makeup brand is all about — specifically, the transformation into a confident woman through makeup.

Maybelline changed their slogan to “Make IT Happen” in February 2016, inspiring women to “express their beauty in their own way.” Despite this change, their former slogan remains powerful and ubiquitous, especially among the many generations that grew up with it.

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Source: FunnyJunk

22) The U.S. Marine Corps: “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.”

The U.S. Marine Corps has had a handful of top-notch recruiting slogans over the decades, from “First to fight” starting in World War I to “We’re looking for a few good men” from the 1980s. However, we’d argue that “The Few. The Proud. The Marines.” is among the best organization slogans out there.

This slogan “underscores the high caliber of those who join and serve their country as Marines,” said Maj. Gen. Richard T. Tryon, former commanding general of Marine Corps Recruiting Command. In 2007, it even earned a spot in Madison Avenue’s Advertising Walk of Fame.

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