Facebook: The next big place for brand videos?

FacebookLikeAccording to a recent study by Socialbakers, video posts on Facebook now have the greatest reach of all types of posts. (And photos, once considered the best way to reach audiences on that social media platform, are eating video’s dust.)

So if you’re already annoyed by the number of videos cropping up in your Facebook timeline, brace yourselves. More video is coming. And marketers, obedient lemmings that we are, will quickly run to Facebook as the platform for sharing video.

What does this mean for YouTube?

Despite Facebook’s recent claim that it is the platform where the majority of videos are shared, this post makes a good argument in favor of YouTube reigning supreme in the online video world for some time to come. YouTube is the No. 2 search engine (after Google), its videos can be shared across many social platforms and it gives video uploaders a cut of ad revenue — all proof that YouTube is not dead yet.

Still, it will be interesting to see how the rise of video on Facebook will challenge YouTube and other more established platforms.

How is your organization using Facebook for video?

Facebook “like” image via PRDaily

A refreshing take on the work we do

Steve Virtue (@SteveVirtue) — who once upon a time worked in our world of higher education marketing — recently pointed me to a nicely done article about the PR business in higher ed. It’s a brief op-ed by Léo Charbonneau, the deputy editor of University Affairs, titled Spare a thought for university communications offices.

It’s a refreshing look at the work we do in higher ed marketing and PR, and I’m glad that Mr. Charbonneau took the time to spare some words about us. He points out how the PR problems we face can be “silly or just irksome” — and shares some examples of both. He points out that the job is becoming more complex, thanks to social media and myriad stakeholders, and how it can be a frustrating job due to “competing interests and the diffuse structure of [a university’s] governance.” But his conclusion — that all in all, higher ed PR is a pretty good gig — rings true to me.

Charbonneau’s thoughts focus mainly on the public relations side of our business — probably because, as a journalist, he’s dealing with our institutions’ media relations officers more than marketing managers or graphic designers. Still, I suspect that some of his key points hit home with other disciplines that find themselves as part of the higher ed marketing/communications enterprise amalgam — photographers, writers and editors, graphic designers, user interface designers, videographers, and so on.

His conclusion certainly hits home with me.

In my experience, there have been some very good, and some very bad, university communications departments. At one university that shall remain nameless, the constantly revolving staff was legendary and their default attitude towards the media was always suspicious. At others, there are familiar names who have been there for many years unfailingly doing their best to attend to the media’s requests.

Earlier this week, I began my 25th year in this business, all at the same university. And while some days on the job make me crazier than others, I still love this gig and hope I will for years to come.

2015: the new ’90s?


Salt-N-Pepa are pushin' Geico. They're pushin' Geico real good.

Salt-N-Pepa are pushin’ Geico. They’re pushin’ Geico real good.

Welcome to the Internet of 2015. Which, according to this recent post from The Verge, looks a lot like the Internet of the 1990s.

Writes Verge’s Nilay Patel (@reckless):

2015 will be defined by the Revenge of ’90s Internet: media and tech giants flirting with each other, dominant players throwing their weight around, and portals, portals everywhere.

Google is the new Microsoft, Patel writes. Facebook is the new AOL (“pitching itself to media companies as their savior, just as AOL once did”). Buzzfeed is the new Yahoo, and Apple is the new Sony (which was “a hardware juggernaut in the ’90s,” as Apple has become).

It’s an interesting read, even if Patel did overlook some of my favorite 1990s Internet services with his “_____ is the new ______” analysis. (What’s the new Netscape, for example? What about Prodigy, AIM or Usenet?) It’s also a cautionary tale, as Patel notes that the ’90s were “a decade of excess and mistakes and excessive mistakes” which led to the dot-com crash of the early 2000s, “the memories of which continue to shape the industry today.”

Let’s hope we learn from the mistakes and excesses of the ’90s — not only in the tech world but also in marketing.

Remember all those AOL CDs that landed in our mailboxes? Each week, it seemed, the number of free hours offered kept climbing in a sort of hyperinflation that rendered the service as worthless to consumers, except as miniature Frisbees and drink coasters.


What can we in the higher ed marketing realm learn from the ’90s?

Unfortunately, in some ways, our marketing practices haven’t changed much since the days of Salt-N-Pepa, who are now shilling for Geico in a TV ad practically everyone on the planet has seen by now. So we have no “retro” to fall back upon.

In many ways, we continue to operate like the AOL of the 1990s. So if 2015 truly is the new 1990s, we’re ready.

Friday Five: Millennials (still) rising edition

It’s 2015, but here in Marketing World we’re still obsessing over Millennials like it’s 1999.

If you think these are Millennials, then you haven't been paying attention

If you think these are Millennials, then you haven’t been paying attention

Who knew that the most over-analyzed generation in history was still a thing?

Think tanks and marketers and brands and journalists and brand journalists, that’s who.

To wit:

  1. First up is FastCompany, which never misses an opportunity to flog a trend into the ground. In How Brands Can Attract Millennials Looking for Meaningful Work, published on the magazine’s Co.EXIST site, suggests that “mission-driven” (?) brands consider “non-monetary forms of compensation that they can offer, like a sense of purpose, opportunities for growth, and a quality work culture” as incentives for attracting Millennial workers. Meanwhile, a recent article on Money.com suggests that Millennials increasingly link money to fulfillment. Like many of the rest of us, Millennials probably just want to do meaningful work and be well-compensated for it.
  2. Move over, Baby Boomers. The Millennial Generation will finally outnumber Boomers in the U.S. in 2015, according to the Census Bureau and as reported by the Pew Research Center. This year, 75.3 million Americans will be Millennials, while 74.9 million will be Baby Boomers. Immigration has helped to boost the number of Millennials.
  3. On the news beat, the world of newspapers is still trying to figure out how to get Millennials to pay attention to local news. Neiman Lab reports on how one newspaper, the Charlotte Observer, is trying something new with an online site called Charlotte Five. One strategy of this new push is to publish what the Observer‘s director of digital strategy, Ted Williams, calls “Seinfeld Journalism,” aka “stuff people talk about but isn’t really news,” just as the TV series Seinfeld was described as “a show about nothing.” Hmmm. A news model based on a 1990s sitcom? That could be a winner. (Related: Will Millennials cough up money for media? This report projects that millennials will spend, on average, more than $300 in 2015 for pay TV, $125 on music and $100 on gaming, but only $19 on newspapers.)
  4. Millennials are redefining what adulthood means, says Kim Parker, director of social media research trends for Pew Research Center, in this snack-sized New York Times op-ed. They face economic challenges but are “stubbornly optimistic” about the future.
  5. Social media, from a Millennial’s perspective. An “actual teen” (a 19-year-old college student, on the young end of the Millennial generation) wrote this piece about what teenagers think about social media. It’s insightful if not somewhat predictable: Facebook is “dead to us” but something everyone still needs, like a P.O. Box; Instagram is popular and free (so far) from spammy BuzzFeed quizzes; Twitter seems pointless; and LinkedIn was something “we have to get,” so “we got it.”
  6. Bonus read: Move over, Millennials. We’re so over you.

Gain inspiration for the new year with #Resolve2015

Introducing-Resolve-2015-1024x768Editor’s note: Even though I’ve resolved to make no resolutions for 2015, that doesn’t mean I’m opposed to moving forward and making improvements, personally and professionally. My higher ed colleague, Liz Gross, has kicked off the new year with a series of blog posts from other colleagues in the higher education business. Today’s post by Liz outlines that project and offers a peek at what is ahead for her readers over the coming weeks. – AC 

Guest post by Liz Gross

A new year is upon us. Hopefully, you haven’t given up on your resolution yet—or maybe you haven’t gotten around to making one. Andrew has kindly given me the opportunity to tell his readers about Resolve 2015, a series of 30 blog posts in 30 days from higher ed professionals in the U.S. and Canada designed to inform and inspire you to make 2015 the best year of your career.

The series kicked off on January 2 with reflective post from Lisa Endersby, National Chair-Elect of the NASPA Technology Knowledge Community, which encouraged us to define success by ourselves and for ourselves, not by what we’re seeing and hearing from others. In a world full of “humble brags” on social media, this is a very poignant message.

While the remaining posts will come from professionals within a variety of functional areas in higher education, I’d like to highlight the posts from folks working in marketing, communication and web/technology—those with job functions similar to readers of this blog. Here’s what you can expect from your higher education colleagues this month:

  • Kristen Abell, web developer at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, will encourage younger professionals to consider non-traditional career paths instead of marching straight up the prescribed career ladder.
  • Ma’ayan Plaut, manager of social strategy and projects at Oberlin College, brings us a double-header with two posts in the series! She’ll write about the value of investing in your own professional development and sharing your work.
  • Keri Duce, external relations manager at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, will publish a post about the importance of understanding your sphere of control.
  • Bryan Fendley, director of instructional technology and campus web services at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, will share his experience with online professional development.
  • Deborah Maue, senior strategist at mStoner, is writing about mindful meditation.
  • Lori Packer, web editor at the University of Rochester, will help the more bashful among us with tips on attending your first professional conference.
  • Karine Joly, founder of Higher Ed Experts, will help us write better conference proposals, focusing in on upcoming calls for proposals from PSEWeb and EDUWeb.
  • I shared my first post today, How to Create Your First Professional Conference Presentation, and later this month will write about how to create and maintain successful relationships with service providers and vendors.

There are many more posts to come from colleagues working in other areas of campus, all across the country (and in the great land to the north). All of the posts are hosted on my blog, Gross, Point-Blank. If you’d like to receive every post for the rest of the series in your inbox, you can subscribe here. This will also add you to my mailing list, so you’ll continue to receive future blog posts when Resolve 2015 is finished. I’ll be blogging much less frequently (usually only a few times per month), and you can unsubscribe at any time.