How to Develop and Create a Wikipedia Page that Sails Through the Approval Process


Updated March 31, 2022

When Dianna Huff decided to create a Wikipedia page for her client’s technology, she had no idea what she was in for. Making updates to existing pages was simple. How hard could it be to create a new Wikipedia page?

Incredibly hard, as she found out. The lengthy process felt more akin to writing a college term paper than to writing marketing content, Dianna said.

How hard can creating a new @Wikipedia page be? Incredibly hard (but still worthwhile), as @diannahuff found out via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

But she felt the effort was worth it. Her client’s industry-changing technology became an official part of Wikipedia and generated traffic to their site. And the article she wrote about the process remains one of the most visited articles on this website 11 years after it first appeared.

We’ve recapped her solid advice and added a few updates and ideas from other experts. We’ve also kept the comments from Dianna’s original article so you can learn from others’ experiences.

Reasons to create a Wikipedia page

Almost everyone is now familiar with Wikipedia, the living encyclopedia where anyone can suggest or contribute pages, articles, and knowledge about just about anything: Rolling Stones (the band), video games, Mount Vesuvius, Web3, and even content marketing.

Few realize, though, the stringent threshold for article acceptance.

Should you still create a Wikipedia page (or try to have one added) about something related to your brand? Yes, if the subject meets a few essential conditions. Dianna recommends trying for a Wikipedia page if:

  • Your company invented or developed an industry-changing technology. The tech can be in any category, from mechanical to chemical to musical (e.g., iTunes).
  • You can’t find any information about your technology or topic on Wikipedia. Dianna explained that she created a page for her client’s technology when she couldn’t find any mention of it on Wikipedia.
  • Your founder or company is “notable.”Wikipedia editors apply a “notability” test to determine if your subject warrants a Wikipedia page, and passing that test is a requirement for publication.

Keep in mind, Wikipedia’s understanding of notability may differ from yours. If your company has invented something or your founder is a person-of-note (e.g., a famous author, the first person to row a boat across the ocean), then your company or founder might be a good candidate, Dianna explained.

But you need a unique story or angle – not every executive or brand is sufficiently notable for Wikipedia.

To be considered notable, you need to be able to cite articles from reputable sources.  As Jonathan Ricks notes in his recent article: “You need to develop a case, using only sources that Wikipedia recognizes, which explains why the entry warrants inclusion in a global encyclopedia,” he says.

Notes: A blue checkmark on Instagram or a page on IMDB does not guarantee notability.

@Wikipedia pages must be on notable topics or people. Use reputable, independent sources to meet notability requirements, says @jrick via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

TIP: Read  Wikipedia’s page on notability go deeper on the topic.

Steps to creating a Wikipedia page

Though you should visit Wikipedia’s help pages for more detailed information, Dianna shares this outline to provide a brief and helpful step-by-step version to create a Wikipedia page.

1. Do some research about Wikipedia

Learning the ins and outs of being a good Wikipedia citizen can help you create pages that are less likely to be deleted or challenged in the official review process review.

TIP: Explore Wikipedia’s conflict of interest guidelines before you begin.

2. Create an account

Only registered users can create or edit Wikipedia pages. Dianna advises using your real name and email address.

3. Edit existing pages

Test your skills by making minor edits to existing pages before creating new content. Dianna says to start with topics with which you’re familiar. For example, she updated her son’s fencing coach’s page (he’s an Olympic medalist) with new biographical information not available elsewhere on the internet, and she linked to his fan club’s website.

“By making these small changes, I was able to get more familiar with the site’s content management system and build my Wikipedia user profile,” Dianna says.

Before you write a new page for @Wikipedia, make minor edits to existing pages to get familiar with its CMS and build your user profile, says @diannahuff via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

TIP: Wikipedia tracks all changes made through your user account. With enough editing and creating activity under your belt, your user level can become an “auto-confirmed user.” This level lets you perform restricted functions, such as uploading images and moving pages to the public space.

4. Gather your sources

Verifiable, third-party sources are tremendously important in Wikipedia. After all, it’s an encyclopedia, not a marketing channel.

The content should be factual and unbiased. For example, Dianna had to include information about competitors and their technology (and links to their sites) on the page she created about her client’s technology.

TIP: You may know you, but unless your story is verifiable with objective sites or printed materials, Wikipedia doesn’t believe your first-person sourcing.

TIP: Images are only allowed if you own them or they’re not subject to copyright.

5. Write the text

Now you are ready to draft the content for your proposed Wikipedia page. You can type it directly into the Wikipedia interface or cut and paste it from your text software.

On the top right of your user page are headers – Sandbox and My Talk. You can use either to create, but My Talk ensures the page won’t be deleted.

Dianna says she found formatting the page using Wiki code took a little time even though she’s HTML savvy.

TIP: Though Wikipedia has a process to request an article (submitting a brief description and reliable, independent sources), it’s just a list of ideas that may get feedback from editors, writes William Beuhler. No one will create the suggested page, and Wikipedia encourages you to submit a draft article instead.

Press releases and your website don’t cut it as sources for a @Wikipedia entry, says @williambeutler via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

TIP: Read through Wikipedia’s Articles for Creation for additional explanations and guidance.

TIP: You can learn more about Wiki code by reading Wikipedia’s Help Pages.

6. Submit the page for review

With your page complete, submit it to Wikipedia for review. The process can take a few days or a few weeks (or more).

Dianna waited 12 days after submitting her client’s page. After seeing approvals, challenges, and deletions for other pages submitted when she submitted hers, Dianna assumed her page was fine and moved it to the public space.

One more thing

Shortly after it went live, a Wikipedia editor changed the page’s title and made other non-substantive edits. If you do get a page published, continue to monitor and update it as needed.

Dianna became a confirmed Wikipedia admirer, though she wanted to tear her hair out at times during the page creation process. “It was well worth the effort,” she says.

Have you tried to publish an article on Wikipedia? Share your learnings in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute





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These are the top 10 tech trends for communicators in 2022


Oh no. Not another list of tech you need to incorporate into your communications practice. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed with the list of things any professional needs to keep up with, so why add more?

Don’t worry.

Ragan’s new report, “Top 10 Tech Trends for Communicators in 2022,” isn’t about giving you more work. It’s about making the most of the tactics and strategies you’re already using – and considering smart, targeted expansion in one or two key areas.

Get the inside scoop on which new technologies are worth the hype and which you can let pass by.

In the free report, you’ll learn:

  • How to take advantage of the evolution of email.
  • Simple ways to test whether the metaverse is right for your organization.
  • The best workplace tools to reach dispersed workers.
  • Why short-form video isn’t just for TikTok.
  • How social monitoring and listening can help prove the effectiveness of communications to the C-suite.
  • And much more.

Download the free ebook today and make the most of your communications tools and tactics.

COMMENT





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How Hollywood and streaming series are revolutionizing virtual events


Paramount+ series Star Trek Picard, Season 2 premiere virtual event. Image: Little Cinema.

During the height of the COVID pandemic, Brooklyn-based studio Little Cinema helped Hollywood clients pivot from in-person movie premiers to virtual and hybrid events. Now, two years after the first lockdowns, they continue to push the limits of interactive engagement.

Nearly all Hollywood releases had to adjust their 2020 schedules, but now they’ve added virtual and hybrid events to their marketing strategy, embracing the same transformation as many organizations that have helped virtual events establish themselves as a channel.

At the time of the first lockdowns in March 2020, Jonathan Blair and his team were in London. They were a hands-on group that constructed and helped organize in-person events and experiential pop-ups.

Because on-site location shooting and most other aspects of movie productions were suspended, Blair wasn’t sure what this meant for his Hollywood clients. Enter the Zoom era, and increased demand for remote experiences and virtual events.

Virtual premieres begin to snowball

“We called a bunch of people and brought in some hired guns to help us,” said Blair, who serves as CTO for Little Cinema.

One of their first projects in this new pandemic environment was the HBO virtual launch for the Snowpiercer TV series. The event earned coverage in Variety, and from there Little Cinema took on virtual event duties for Hollywood studios and streaming series.

Picard Season 2 virtual premiere. Image: Little Cinema

Little Cinema is up past 80 staff members, and they’ve built an 11,000 square-foot studio in New York in addition to a studio in Los Angeles. To date, they’ve surpassed 350,000 unique on-platform attendees and 1.3 million viewers on simulcasts.

Read next: Why we care about virtual events

Creating new virtual experiences

“We are very intentional about virtual and hybrid events,” said Blair. “We didn’t want to recreate the in-person experience. We wanted to take advantage of the medium we were playing in and lean in on live streaming and interactive broadcasting.”

Before Little Cinema’s innovations, the typical Hollywood premiere was an exclusive in-person event for a few hundred insiders at the most. With virtual and hybrid events, these premieres can be opened up to thousands of fans online, across the globe.

Fans and insiders watch Star Trek Picard Season 2 premiere. Image: Little Cinema

A multi-part narrative can be built around the event, with characters who narrate a story based on the movie or series. Attendees can interact through messaging or text with characters on-site. Little Cinema builds sets from scratch that are based on what’s seen in the production. Or, they can incorporate elements from the actual set, or plant movie props in the design as “Easter eggs” for fans to discover and point out to each other.

Other parts of these virtual events have been gamified using trivia contests and virtual puzzle room formats. Blair stated that in designing these experiences, he veered from 3D-digital or VR experiences because his clients are committed to a 2D medium, namely films and TV series.


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“We’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we can make an experience for all types of viewers,” said Blair. “Every one of our events is a little different. We don’t have an out-of-the-box solution. Some might have chats, call-in options, video, and allow participants to engage with people on the screen.”

A major goal for Little Cinema is to be able to support more engaged or “active” participants while also allowing for more “passive” attendees to watch the video live stream without having to solve puzzles, for instance.

“We tailor the creative and the technology to the specific viewers we’re targeting,” Blair said.

Trivia contest as part of Star Trek Picard Season 2 virtual experience. Image: Little Cinema

Expanding virtual and hybrid reach

“These were mostly industry events when we started, but now there are a lot more events toward fans,” said Blair. “Fans are super-engaged and content interactivity is an amazing way to reach them. Fan events are where we push the boundaries of virtual events.”

Little Cinema uses in-house technology to support the virtual events, and they’re getting prepared to release it as a product for other event marketers.

“You need to have options as marketers,” said Blair. In the world we live in now, there could be a new COVID-19 variant that would cancel an in-person event. What we’ve really seen is that hybrid and virtual events activate at a higher scale. From an ROI standpoint, you spend X dollars and now you can do both [in-person and virtual events].”

He added that a recent premiere for the Netflix series Bridgerton was both a physical event and a digital premiere, happening at the same time.

“There were thousands of people who attended online that wouldn’t have been reached otherwise,” said Blair.


About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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Announcing Our MozCon 2022 Community Speakers!


High fives and fist bumps for each and every person who took the time to submit pitches for this years’ community speaker spots!

Our selection committee read, watched, and researched, whittling things down to a shortlist of top contenders and then read, watched, and researched some more to determine if a potential speaker and their talk would be a perfect fit for the MozCon stage. We take lots of things into account during our review, but ultimately there are three main factors that determine our final selections:

  • Strength of the pitch (e.g., value, relevance to the audience, etc.)

  • Can the content reasonably be delivered in the time allotted?

  • Does it fit with overall programming and agenda?

After much deliberation, we settled on seven (yes, we added a seventh) community speakers that we’re confident are going to be a great addition to the MozCon Stage.

Grab a seat and see for yourself!

Ready to meet your MozCon Community Speakers?

Chris Long (he/him), VP of Marketing, Go Fish Digital

Chris is the VP of Marketing for the Go Fish Digital team. He works with unique problems and advanced search situations to help clients improve organic traffic through a deep understanding of Google's algorithm and web technology.

Talk: Advanced On-Page Optimizations

Take your on-page optimizations to the next-level using advanced tactics for one of the most common SEO tasks. This presentation goes beyond simply adding keywords to show how you can utilize tools such as IBM's Natural Language Understanding to find semantic entities of competitor pages, how Google's EAT guidelines apply to content, and what actionable steps you can take to improve content, perform on-page content experiments, and measure the impact of those tests.

Debbie Chew (she/her), SEO Specialist, Dialpad

Debbie Chew is an SEO Specialist at Dialpad with a focus on content and SEO. With over eight years of experience in digital marketing, she's passionate about link building and helping other marketers in this and other areas of SEO.

Talk: How to Capitalize on the Link Potential of a Research Report

There are many types of link magnets, but there's one that'll never go out of style: data-backed research reports. When done well, you're creating a piece of content that helps your E-A-T, drives backlinks, and is genuinely interesting content for your target audience. This talk will cover the different steps needed not just to create a research report, but to create one that can get links.

Emily Brady (she/her), SEO Consultant

Emily has worked in the SEO industry for 10 years as an individual contributor and team lead in both agency and in-house roles. Her focus includes content, local, schema, and on-site SEO — all of which she’s executed for small and enterprise businesses alike.

Talk: Get Your Local SEO Recipe Right with Content & Schema

Local SEO can be so much more than off-site listings, so let’s talk about it! By using content and schema on local landing pages, businesses can create unique value that satisfies customers and search engines.

Karen Hopper (she/her), Performance Marketing Strategist, Razorfish

Karen brings a data-driven perspective to everything she does, from testing to creative, email to social media, advertising to websites to text messages. She spends her days helping clients understand their data, and A/B testing just about everything.

Talk: Beyond the Button: Tests that Actually Move the Needle

In a world that has a million different options for every creative element... where do you start? How do you know this or that element is where you'll see an impact big enough to make a difference for your bottom line? This is the number one question CRO strategists get asked, and the answer every time is: it depends! This session will walk through how to understand your testing opportunities, generate test ideas, and measure your results with scientific accuracy.

Paxton Gray (he/him), CEO, 97th Floor

Paxton Gray serves as the CEO of 97th Floor, the team behind award-winning work for mid-market to enterprise clients like EOS, Google, Celebrity Cruises, AT&T, and Salesforce. He has been building agency marketing teams for 13 years.

Talk: How True Leaders Transform a Marketing Department into a Dream Team

There are hidden, structural factors holding stellar marketers (and their teams) back‚ and it's not their fault. Discover what these factors are, how to root them out, and how to help your existing team members reach their potential.

Petra Kis-Herczegh (she/her), Solutions Engineer, Yext

Talk: Things I Learned from Sales Teams that Every SEO Should Know

Whether you're trying to build a business case or get buy-in for your SEO project, some of the core challenges will come down to the same thing: How well can you sell it? As SEOs, we often forget that even though we spend our day-to-day analyzing data and optimizing content and websites for bots, at the end of the day, we are working with human beings — and some of those people have decision making power over what we can and can't achieve in our roles. This is where learning a good set of sales skills becomes crucial. In this talk, Petra will explore some of the key skills and methods sales teams use, and how you can apply these to your SEO work. 

Tina Fleming (she/her), Senior Brand Strategist, Designzillas

Tina Fleming, Sr. Brand Strategist at Designzillas, is a level 20 inbound marketing mage with questing experience in conversion marketing and SEO. Her passions lie within the realm of unifying digital strategies, clarifying brand messages, and being ferocious.

Talk: How Marketing Data Intelligence Skyrocketed Our B2B Conversions

If you want to geek out on data, you've come to the right session. And we're not talking about Google Analytics or your plain ol' CRM data. We're talking about de-anonymizing your website traffic, providing one-on-one personalized user experiences, shortening your lead forms without missing out on valuable information, and doing everything you can to get to that SQL. In this presentation, Tina will demystify the basics of marketing data intelligence, reveal actionable strategies for your day-to-day conversion marketing, and share real examples of how her agency has skyrocketed B2B conversions with the addition of marketing intelligence.





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Word of Mouth Marketing: Why It Is Still Just as Important Today


Word of Mouth Marketing: Why It Is Still Just as Important Today

The marketing world is forever evolving, but that doesn’t mean tried and tested methods like word of mouth marketing are irrelevant.

In a fast-moving, competitive world, word of mouth marketing (WOMM) is more critical than ever. Why? Just look at the facts.

Jonah Berger, a marketing professor and the author of Contagious, explains that word of mouth marketing is so effective because of the trust element: consumers trust their friends and relatives more than brands.

Another reason WOMM works is it allows better targeting. As Berger explains, we tend to share products with people we know are likely to be interested in them.

Word of mouth marketing is great because it can work for everyone, even lesser known brands or start-ups.

For example, the e-commerce platform Ugmonk relies heavily on word of mouth.

Jeff Sheldon, founder and designer of Ugmonk, credits word of mouth marketing with a considerable part of its success, estimating 50 percent of its customers come from this method.

As Sheldon explains, Ugmouth’s word-of-mouth strategy is straightforward:

“…it’s all about making remarkable products where people can’t help but tell their friends about them…”.

What Is Word of Mouth Marketing?

Word of mouth marketing occurs when satisfied customers spread the word about your business, happily recommend you to friends and family, and write positive (or negative) reviews.

This tactic is an essential part of your business toolkit because, as we’ve already mentioned, consumers are more likely to listen to their friends, family, and other customers’ perspectives when making purchase decisions.

Consider these stats:

There are two types of word of mouth marketing: organic and amplified.

Organic word of mouth marketing is where happy customers make recommendations. Amplified word of marketing occurs when brands incentivize buyers to get the word out with user-generated content and influencer marketing.

Take Tesla, for example.

Most people are familiar with Elon Musk’s company, yet it doesn’t spend much on advertising—its success is primarily due to word of mouth marketing.

When Musk spoke to YouTuber Marques Brownlee, he shared:

“The key to selling a product is having something people love and will talk about. If you love it, you’re going to talk and that generates word of mouth.”

Why You Should Care About Word of Mouth Marketing

Today’s consumers are savvy, using user-generated content, reviews, and social media to research purchases. They care what people say about your product or service, or as Swellcx.com puts it:

“Prospects choose businesses with the best reputation.”

There are more benefits to word of mouth marketing, including:

The History and Evolution of Word of Mouth Marketing

Some argue that word of mouth has been with us throughout history. However, psychologist and author George Silverman is often referred to as the pioneer behind WOMM, with his 1970s “teleconferenced peer influence groups,” or focus groups.

In the 1990s and 2000s, word of mouth marketing became more sophisticated thanks to the rise of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Nowadays, people are increasingly turning to social platforms to share product reviews.

Naturally, brands have realized just how powerful social media and reviews are for their reputations. Rather than leaving it to consumers to spread the word, they’re actively taking steps to urge shoppers to talk about their brands.

Apple, for example, has word of mouth down to a fine art. Like other top names, Apple creates unique, innovative products that people can’t wait to shout about.

It also:

Any business can use these methods to create excitement and increase word of mouth marketing.

Word of Mouth Marketing Strategies and Uses

Word-of-mouth marketing builds trust and makes consumers more confident about making purchases. If so many people are raving about a product or service, it’s got to be good, right?

However, there’s plenty more to WOMM than exceptional products: you need to give customers something worth sharing, and you need effective techniques to get buyers talking.

Below are several word of mouth marketing strategies you can start using today.

Leverage Social Media for Word of Mouth Marketing

Social media platforms are an ideal way to leverage word of mouth marketing because that’s where many of us go to find out more about a company. Research from BrightLocal shows that in 2021, 48 percent of consumers went to Facebook to evaluate a local business.

Some brands are exemplary at social media, and you can copy their methods.

Let’s look at the fast-food chain Wendy’s and its winning approach to social media. It uses several tactics, including:

Additionally, Wendy’s takes the view that people come to its social channels for entertainment value. The brand adapts its tone to the social media platform it’s using.

Wendy’s also:

Word of mouth marketing Wendy's Twitter account

Leverage Online Reviews for Word of Mouth Marketing

There’s no denying the power of online reviews, and in this day and age, reviews have the power to make or break your business.

With the prevalence of online review sites, consumers don’t hesitate to turn to platforms like TrustPilot, Google Consumer Reviews, and Feefo to state their opinions. According to research by PowerReviews, 99.9 percent of consumers read reviews, making them crucial to your word of mouth marketing strategy.

The best way to get your customers to write reviews is to reach out to satisfied customers and ask them to share their experiences online.

To get the most out of online reviews, make sure to:

Once customers leave reviews, you can then make them part of your marketing campaign.

At Home did this well.

It sent out emails with an intriguing subject line: “You rated and reviewed; we rounded up your faves,” encouraging subscribers to open the email and find out more about the rated products and read their reviews.

Word of Mouth Marketing - example of email

By doing this, At Home is driving traffic back to its site and tempting customers to make another purchase.

Reputation Management as a Form of Word of Mouth Marketing

The goal of reputation management is to proactively manage your company’s reputation by responding to negative reviews, providing stellar customer service, and solving customer problems.

Like reviews, reputation management is essential to any business that wants to succeed these days and marketers understand this.

According to reputation management company Birdeye, in its 2021 State of Experience Marketing report, 57 percent of marketers prefer using reputation management to paying for ads.

Additionally, the survey found 88 percent of multi-location marketers experience a direct relationship between an excellent online reputation and growing revenues.

As one consumer surveyed by Birdeye says:

“In this digital age, reputation is everything,”

Dave Lehman, CEO and president of Birdeye, explains:

“This survey further validates that successful businesses are seeing more customer interactions and increased profits through reviews, referrals and their overall online reputation. Marketers should focus on growing their businesses through happy customers.”

That’s why the likes of Starbucks, Nike, and Yelp use reputation management as part of word of mouth marketing. Below are some of their strategies you can adopt:

These companies all have considerable budgets, but any brand can own its problems, respond efficiently to complaints, and offer freebies or discounts. User-Generated Content as Word of Mouth Marketing

Thanks to the smartphone, consumers have easy access to camera and video technology—and are keen to share their content. It’s no wonder some describe user-generated content as the “new word of mouth.”

Top brands like Coca-Cola and Hilton Grand Vacations employ user-generated content regularly.

Although word of mouth marketing is vital to every sector, research indicates it’s especially crucial to the travel industry, helping consumers to:

However, user-generated content works just as well for other niches.

Smart wearable company Amazfit is one of the top brands in the East, but it’s not familiar to many Western consumers. Amazfit launched a UGC campaign by adding content to its main digital touchpoints including their homepage, community pages, and blog.

Amazfit’s approach allowed consumers to see how others were using its products, and the results are impressive. With its strategic placing of UGC, the Hong Kong-based company:

If you want to create a similar campaign, you can:

Offer Incentives for Customer Referrals

Sometimes your customers need a nudge to start referring products or sharing your content. Why not make it worth their while with incentives?

Giving incentives is a great way to build word of mouth marketing; it’s a win-win situation for both the customer and the company. Offering incentives is a simple concept, but does it work in practice?

Absolutely. Just look at Airbnb.

Its incentive program is among the most popular and uses a two-pronged campaign: one email offers $25 for the referrer, while the other gives the referrer and their friend $25.

Word of Mouth Marketing - Airbnb referral scheme

Airbnb found referred customers:

Combined, the referral program enhanced bookings by more than 25 percent in some sectors, and its upgraded 2.0 referral scheme created an impressive 300 percent additional bookings and signups.

However, Airbnb’s success didn’t happen by accident. Here’s how the brand found success:

How can you use this strategy? Consider offers like:

You can also create a process for telling customers when their friends or family join so they can discuss their purchase.

Try Influencer Marketing

Word of mouth marketing is difficult to control. You have little impact over who’s talking about your brand, what they say, and where they say it.

However, influencer marketing allows brands to target specific communities by connecting with names they already know. It’s like word of mouth marketing, just on a larger, more focused scale.

Brands are increasingly realizing the value of influence marketing, and the sector is on an upward trajectory.

According to the State of Influencer Marketing Benchmark 2022 report, the global market size is now worth $16.4 billion and 75 percent of marketers are dedicating a budget to influencer marketing.

Word of Mouth Marketing Strategies - Try Influencer Marketing

If you decide to give influencer marketing a try, you are going to be in good company. Learning portal Lynda, Audible, and Adidas are just a few brands using this tactic.

Adidas teams up with celebrity influencers like Selena Gomez to host contests. The results can be dramatic; in the campaign with Selena, Adidas gained 41,000 new followers, a surge in hashtags, and a 24.2 percent increase in sales.

You can identify the right influencers for your brand and work with them to create content that will help you reach your target audience and make a lasting impression.

You don’t need award-winning musical artists to see results from influencer marketing. Micro-influencers with a hyper-targeted audience can be incredibly effective for smaller brands or more niche products.

Word of Mouth Marketing Frequently Asked Questions

Is word of mouth marketing the best form of marketing?

Most marketers agree that word of mouth marketing is one of the most effective forms of marketing. After all, it’s often free, and any size brand can use it. The changing world of word of mouth marketing, which encompasses review sites, influencer marketing, and social media, also gives brands and marketers a wider audience.

What are the most common types of word of mouth marketing today?

The most common types of word of mouth marketing include customer reviews, and posts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What are the digital versions of word of mouth marketing?

Digital word of mouth marketing includes online reviews, social shares, and blogging.

How effective is word of mouth advertising for small businesses?

Word of mouth advertising can be very effective for small businesses in terms of building consumer confidence, trust, and loyalty, resulting in returning customers.

How do you encourage word of mouth marketing?

The best way to encourage word of mouth marketing is by providing excellent customer service and innovative and developing quality products/services that stand out from other brands. Asking users to leave reviews or share their favorite products can also be effective.

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Conclusion: Word of Mouth Marketing

Word of mouth marketing has been around for centuries but is changing fast thanks to the internet.

Consumers have moved a long way from spreading the word among friends, family, and colleagues and now share their experiences on social media and review websites.

Brands can leverage these trends by incorporating reviews in their email marketing campaigns, running user-generated content campaigns, and influencer marketing.

Word of mouth marketing is so effective it has the power to make or break a brand. Best of all, any brand or marketer can use word of mouth marketing, regardless of their budget.

Although the results can be dramatic, the techniques are simple and easy to implement.

Do you use word of mouth marketing? Which are the most effective techniques?



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Four Ways to Prioritize Customer Experience


Four Ways to Prioritize Customer Experience

As many marketers will tell you, customer experience is a key topic of conversation in 2022. In reality, it’s always been at the core of what we do, but the last few years have upended what it actually means. 

The pandemic accelerated us into the all-digital world, and marketers have had to sink or swim when learning to deal with an all-the-time (or always on) customer base. The first lesson learned? Implement a robust customer experience strategy that mirrors where and how customers prefer to engage your brand.

These days, customer experience doesn’t simply support the business; it is the business. Customer experience encompasses how companies engage with their customers during every single stage of the customer journey, and these days, there are plenty. 

Marketing, sales, customer support — each touchpoint gives companies an opportunity to maximize their relationship with the consumer through building trust. It’s the common denominator. Trust can be crucial in maintaining customer loyalty, even when other parts of the business are lacking. 

In short, building a strong customer experience can make or break your business. A recent Salesforce study reported that 79% of consumers agree the experience a company provides is as important as the products or services it sells. 

Excellent customer experience is not a should. It’s a must.

No. 1: Recognize that the customer is always on, all the time

With the pandemic came an acceleration into the digital world. Customers are continually interacting with brands online, whether conscious of it or not. They’re scrolling past ads of those gym shoes they’ve been eying on their Facebook pages or watching a well-trusted Instagram influencer tout a new luxury handbag. 

Customers are always engaging with you, whether they’re reaching out to your service desk or skimming your posts on social media. And they will continue to do so in even more insistent ways.

Take the metaverse, for example. The concept of the metaverse is to augment (some might even say, replicate) physical environments, allowing brands to better connect and collaborate with consumers in immersive and engaging ways. With that comes the need for companies to understand what their customers want out of these interactions.

Companies already are looking toward how they’re going to leave their footprint. Just look to premier athletic brand Nike, which has begun shaping its metaverse strategy by filing several trademark applications that will allow it to make and sell virtual Nike-branded shoes and apparel. 

One thing is for certain: The customer is continually engaging with your brand. Companies would do best to remember that they too are “on” all the time, providing what the customer needs when the customer needs it. 

And yes, that means in the metaverse, too.

No. 2: Establish accountability for CX efforts

With the increased focus on creating the ideal customer experience and the reality that trust can be cemented or broken across multiple stages of the relationship, there’s been an ongoing debate on which team is responsible — and accountable — for the customer experience. The answer? All of them.

Unless you’re willing to dedicate an entire role to the customer experience with a more holistic focus on the relationship (look to Grad Conn, chief experience and marketing officer of Sprinklr, as a great example), your teams are going to have a department-centric view of their role, which in turn creates a fragmented experience. 

Pointless arguments over who owns the customer experience are getting us nowhere. Instead, your team’s energy should be spent determining how your department can take its seat at the table in designing and nurturing the experience from end-to-end. Customer experience is at its best when every single department treats it for what it is: the bedrock of a successful customer-brand relationship. And that bedrock is set by the executives, who must recognize that customer experience is at the core of a successful business. 

The strongest customer experience teams are built of different roles that directly affect the CX. This effort not only includes marketing and sales but also product development, customer service and UX design. Customer experience, like many business practices, is strongest when it’s an organization-wide effort.

No. 3: Use proactive, not reactive, customer service as a key differentiator 

Gone are the days of undercutting prices to stay on top. 

Now, the businesses coming out ahead are the ones investing in their customer experience, so much so that spending on customer experience is expected to reach $641 billion by 2022. That’s a lot of (well-spent) money.

The challenge comes in the definition: What does a successful customer experience look like for your company? How do you provide meaningful moments of differentiating delight that keep your customers coming back for more? For some teams, effective CX could be engaging with customers via social media channels. For others, it might be always-on support for customers in the form of a company representative available as a post-purchase resource. 

Regardless, customers want to know that they’re being taken care of. The brands consistently proving they can do so are the ones that stay top of mind. Take, for example, Amazon, Home Depot, Citibank and Salesforce — all of whom have found success by consistently showing up for their customers through their customer experience strategies.

At Ceros, we understand that our services organization is a key measurement of brand value. We recognize the need for further communication and engagement beyond the simple sales cycle, so we created two inclusive assets: Ceros Educate, a wealth of resources including detailed training lessons and simple, quick tips that our customers, and anyone else on the web, can use at any time; and the Inspire Gallery, where customers can go to get inspired by creative ideas to shape their own.

 

These resources show that we: 

  1. Value our customer’s time. Let’s skip the lengthy customer service phone call if possible. Answers on-demand 24/7.
  2. Acknowledge the need for extended touchpoints. We won’t leave you high and dry. We’ve got your back.
  3. Want our customers to succeed. End of story.

No. 4: Don’t think of CX as a fleeting trend

If you think CX is only the latest trendy industry topic, that you can throw a little money at it and be successful, you’re in big trouble. 

In order to be effective, customer experience needs to be approached as an ongoing, immovable foundation for your business strategy. Too often, business leaders are looking at customer experience through the singular lens of routine customer service: How can I optimize responses? How can I resolve customer issues quickly? 

While effective conflict resolution is a large part of a strong, ongoing customer experience strategy, so too is the ability to provide trust and value. When evaluating customer journeys and considering where to invest in touchpoints, businesses must remember that intent is just as important as execution. 

To build long-lasting relationships with customers, companies need to demonstrate that they care about their customers’ experience both now and well into the future, not just when it’s convenient or “trendy.” 

When it comes down to it, customer experience is all about delivering experiences that delight customers on an emotional level when they interact with your brand. That’s what’s going to build loyalty, and loyalty is what’s going to keep customers coming back time and time again.



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9 Visual Content Tips and Examples From Creative Brands and Experts


Updated March 30, 2022

Visuals are essential to creating content that will help your business stand out and draw in an audience. Not only does imagery help make text-centric content more eye-catching, digestible, and memorable, but it can communicate compelling messages that speak volumes without any text.

Visual trends and creative platforms come and go in the blink of a smartphone camera’s eye. Take a fresh look at how your brand’s photos, videos, and graphics can do the talking. This collection of best-practice tips comes from some of the industry’s most creative and design-minded content experts. It also includes best-in-show examples to inspire you to put your brand’s vision on display.

Take a fresh look at your brand’s photos, videos, and graphics to get a better focus on your #VisualContent strategy, says @joderama via @CMIContent @corpv. Click To Tweet

1. Consider the story – not just the visuals

Visual storytelling isn’t just about the pictures. Visuals should enable a clear, consistent story from your brand. Even if each individual visual asset doesn’t tell an obvious story, your audience should be able to follow the narrative thread.

It’s a point CMI’s chief strategy advisor Robert Rose emphasizes in his detailed Marketing Makers lesson on the subject. His top-line advice: Think like a storyteller. Then plan your visual media to represent and relate the story across all your platforms.

Think like a storyteller, then plan your visuals to tell the story across platforms, says @Robert_Rose via @joderama @CMIContent @corpv. Click To Tweet

It’s a lesson executed skillfully by the mindfulness app Calm. Whether viewing their ads in your Instagram Stories feed or scrolling the daily affirmations and meditations posted to its profile page, the cool blue color palette and serene background scenery create visual reinforcement of the brand’s overarching story of enabling people to find balance in their lives.

2. Align the visual story with your content marketing strategy

Posting a photo or video online and waiting for the business offers to start rolling in is not a strategy. Neither is hinging your visual content success on creating the next viral phenomenon. Like any content marketing format, you need a compelling rationale for visual storytelling and a clear plan for turning views into meaningful marketing results.

Posting a photo or video online and waiting for the business offers to start rolling in is not a strategy, says @joderama via @CMIContent @corpv. Click To Tweet

Before your creative team sketches any ideas, make sure they answer these questions:

  • What are we trying to accomplish with our visual content?
  • Who are our audience members? What kinds of content experiences interest them?
  • What problems does our organization solve?
  • What is our clearly defined vision of what makes our brand unique? How can we communicate those messages in a compelling and visually consistent way?
  • What metrics will we use to measure success? For which terms should this image appear in search engine results?

To ensure your visual vision aligns with your marketing purpose, let audience preferences – not your gut feelings – guide the selection of themes, topics, and approaches.

For example, a current rule of thumb dictates videos should run between 30 seconds and six minutes. However, video pro Andrew Davis rarely creates videos less than seven minutes.

Why does he buck convention? It’s what his audience wants, according to his metrics. As Andrew explains, “The real core of my audience doesn’t want a superficial marketing tip and trick because they can get a million of those elsewhere online. I’m trying to help people think strategically about the marketing they’re doing and how to deliver a better customer experience. To me, that [requires lengthier videos].”
Don’t just follow best practices on #video length. Figure out what your audience responds best to, says @DrewDavisHere via @joderama @CMIContent @corpv. Click To Tweet

To find audience insights to guide your creative decision-making, Andrew suggests tracking:

  • Audience retention rates: Compare the retention rates for each video. For example, one of his popular videos showed a 50% retention rate – half who viewed the video watched until the end. When videos fail to meet that retention rate, he does a deeper dive into their creative and technical details – length, topic, title, and tags – to discern what didn’t work well.
  • Subscriber responses: Track direct replies to those who subscribe to your content. Andrew includes links to his videos in Loyalty Loop, a weekly email newsletter. “Lots of people click, open, and watch it, but the people who respond – especially when it’s about something that really hit a chord – help me understand what’s working because it tells me what they’re liking, what’s challenging them, and what are they learning,” he says.
  • Comments: Read responses posted below the videos. Andrew mines the comments viewers leave on the YouTube page and below his LinkedIn posts where he shares the link.

TIP: If you’d like more guidance on building a strategic framework to support all your content efforts, this three-step content marketing strategy tutorial can help.


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3. Ensure images reflect and represent your whole audience

Images might speak a thousand words, but those words do not necessarily convey the same message to everyone – especially those who aren’t represented authentically in your brand’s visual stories.

African-American Marketing Association founder Michelle Ngome implores marketers to consider diversity in their content creation. “What kinds of content are you sharing on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn company pages, and Twitter? What do your messaging and images look like? Is there a healthy balance of perspectives shared in [your] choices of topics and the [faces and voices behind] your messages?… Does it prioritize the experiences of some groups over others?” Michelle asks.

A lot of organizations are diverse but are they inclusive, asks @MichelleNgome via @joderama @CMIContent @corpv. Click To Tweet

Michelle points to Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage X Fenty as a shining example. She credits the brand’s broadly inclusive visualization model as a key reason it reached a $1 billion valuation just two years after launching. You can see evidence of that in a Valentine’s Day post shared on Instagram and Facebook emphasizing that sexy isn’t based on age, skin color, or sexual preference.

Keep in mind: Diversity doesn’t need to be the focal point of a visual story for it to play a key role. In fact, normalizing the representation of diverse communities as part and parcel of your creative process means you won’t have to think about it on an asset-by-asset basis. It will happen organically. That’s a goal GLAAD, Getty Images, and Ceros are working to further with their collaborative initiative Seeing is Believing.

A Getty Images’ Visual GPS 2021 Study found countries with greater representation of the LGBTQ+ community in their media and advertising exhibit less discrimination and less bias. The resulting partnership was forged to “elevate diverse narratives that can alter perceptions, evoke empathy, and build community.” The effort included a calendar of LGBTQ+ celebration days and a gated Visual Storytelling Guidebook to inspire increased inclusion and thoughtful portrayals of the LGBTQ+ community. Getty also compiled special collections of stock images emphasizing intersectionality and authenticity over the narrow, stereotypical depictions commonly seen in media.

4. Use your fans’ content – or let them do the work for you

Consumers love to snap pictures and share selfie videos with their friends. Instead of interrupting their experience with product shots and promotional pitches, why not include their creative work in your content marketing?

In a recent Teen Vogue article, Abercrombie & Fitch explains how it turned to the TikTok community for help shedding its early 2000s “preppy surfer” look. While the company ran sponsored ads and partner posts on the platform, much of the credit for its successful refresh is owed to the Gen Z consumers who posted their own videos tagged with #AbercrombieHaul and #AbercrombieStyle.

For example, Teen Vogue points to Andy Lobos’ TikTok video about Abercrombie’s logo-less hoodies, which earned over 1 million views. Once an Abercrombie product goes viral on TikTok, it typically sells out on the site.

@andy_lobosReply to @gunnawut surprisingly there is no logos on this just a good blank hoodie #fyp #abercrombie♬ original sound – led

5. Stay on brand

Whether fans are involved in your imagery or not, take steps to maintain your brand’s visual identity, including the use of corporate colors and logos. Ideally, all your content assets feature a consistent visual design – one that viewers instantly recognize no matter where the content appears or who creates it.

For example, Planters decided to sit out the 2021 Super Bowl ad frenzy in favor of a cause-based play to promote “little acts of extraordinary substance that make the world a better place.” But despite benching its ad, the brand didn’t bench its signature colors or its resurrected mascot in its videos and social media posts about the campaign:

When creating branded assets, consider how target distribution platforms might render them. The specs might not be the same across the board. If you don’t pay close attention, the hard work to create a shareable image can be fruitless as the image gets mixed up or mangled that masks your brand’s value.

For example, embedded links can be problematic if not used appropriately. Visual content strategy expert (and avowed comics geek) Buddy Scalera says a platform’s native tools might pick a less-preferred image from the content to display as the thumbnail or preview, or they might crop it in a way that robs some of its resonance and branding elements. As a workaround, he suggests using Open Graph tags – a piece of code that gives you greater control of the visual experience you’re trying to create.

Content marketers should wrest control of their visuals from @Microsoft, @Google, @Facebook, says @BuddyScalera via @joderama @CMIContent @corpv. Click To Tweet

TIP: Don’t forget to add your logo to original images and tag them with relevant keywords, categories, hashtags, and metadata. This helps your fans find your content even when shared in unfamiliar contexts.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 9 Steps to Optimize Images for SEO

6. Tailor visuals to the delivery platform

You also need to consider each sharing environment to determine how well the visuals fit the conversational context and audience preferences. Of course, with the right insights, your visuals can find an audience in places you wouldn’t expect to be a good fit.

For example, the Instagram audience might not seem like an obvious fit for the long-form literature at The New York Public Library. But its content team translated a series of text-heavy content into snackable visual segments that deserve a special place on its shelves of great works.

Insta Novels visualizes five iconic novels as Instagram Stories. Each edition includes the full text along with illustrations and an animated intro. It even includes a place to pause on every frame for those who aren’t skilled at reading in the platform’s 15-second increments. These visualized novels gained more than 300,000 views and added more than 140,000 followers to the library’s Instagram account.

Image source

[email protected] reinvented five classics novels – without changing a word – on #Instagram. They gained 140,000 followers, says @Everypixelcom via @CMIContent @corpv. Click To Tweet

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

7. Don’t be afraid to get emotional

Some of the most memorable visual experiences tap into the power of emotion. Need proof? I challenge you to watch this emotionally charged video from Oreo and not get a little misty-eyed at the display of fatherly love and acceptance:

All Animals – the flagship magazine of the Humane Society of the United States – also aims for the heart with its visual content. For a feature story on the Black Beauty Ranch, a sanctuary for wild animals and farm stock that have been abused, injured, or abandoned, the editorial team used photos of the animals looking directly at the camera to create a powerful connection with viewers. In its article about fur farms, the faces of the caged animals get across the organization’s message without viewers having to read a word.

This level of deliberate planning also helped the U.S. Humane Society catch the eyes of the 2021 Content Marketing Award judges, which recognized All Animals as a finalist in the Best Feature Design and Best Use of Photography categories and the winner for Best Nonprofit Publication.

Famed photographer Pete Souza captured plenty of posed snapshots while documenting the presidencies of Barack Obama and Ronald Reagan. Yet, in his keynote address at Content Marketing World 2021, Pete shared his most enduring images that say something essential about the person behind the institution.

He included many of those photographs in his two best-selling books, Obama: An Intimate Portrait and Shade: A Tale of Two Presidencies. “The way [Obama] interacted with other people showed what he was like as a human being,” Pete told the crowd.

President Barack Obama greets children at a day care facility adjacent to daughter Sasha's school in Bethesda, Md., following her 4th grade closing ceremony, June 9, 2011.

Image source

8. Repurpose information and insights as visuals

A stock-image service can be a viable alternative when cutting-edge equipment (and the talent to operate it) is out of your price range. The key? Put your brand’s spin on the images before you publish them.

You also can “skin” your brand’s content without going the stock route, many of which might offer a stronger balance between cost-effectiveness and audience impact.

For example, in a content partnership with Quartz, Deloitte Global enlisted its creative services studio to help turn its lead-gen white paper on the millennial work experience into a highly immersive interactive version anchored by vibrant full-screen illustrations.

The cast of characters for The Resilient Generation was established with a drawing of an apartment and its inhabitants. Then, artist Paige Vickers created lush, individual scenes with whimsical details. She depicted three typical young professionals at home mid-pandemic — working next to a roommate, taking a mental health break with the dog, and preparing for a climate protest.

The original artwork might have been more expensive than stock art, but the investment paid off. A week after launch, Deloitte’s page visits grew approximately 964%, and white paper downloads increased 33%. It was also a hit with the 2021 Content Marketing Award judges, too, capturing the win for Best Use of Illustration.

9. Follow the patterns of effective design

A wealth of DIY design tools online and on social media gives almost anyone the ability to produce visual content. However, those tools still require some design chops to create clear, compelling, and readable images and videos.

That process can be simplified with design templates. That was the idea behind a holiday email campaign from Adobe Creative. It offered its newsletter subscribers intriguing ugly Christmas sweaters Photoshop templates. Customers could turn their favorite images into a virtual sweater pattern with just a few clicks.

Image showing Adobe ugly sweater Photoshop action turning half of a reindeer image into an ugly sweater-style pattern.

Adobe’s newsletters also featured templates for cozy winter cards, as well as non-holiday options like how to make a risograph-style print in Photoshop.

Adobe risograph-style print template gif

Sharing visual content that helped Adobe’s audience create their own was a smart marketing play. It got creators to experiment with Photoshop’s tools and features while providing step-by-step instructions and delivering a free holiday gift of surprise and delight.

Audiences love free things – templates, tools, and images make great #content and great #email subscriber gifts. See examples from the @AdobeCreate newsletter via @joderama @CMIContent @corpv Click To Tweet

Of course, when working with templates isn’t a viable option, your best bet is to default to the basic principles of good design. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Give your imagery room to breathe: Failing to leave enough white space between visuals can make a page cluttered and hard to follow. Remove images that don’t add to the visual conversation and expand the space between unrelated elements to clarify page structure.
  • Don’t get color-blindsided: Stay true to your branding guidelines, including color preferences. But don’t get so caught up in executing this priority that you overlook whether those colors will work well together online. Pick one color to use as a base, then find complementary colors with an online color-wheel tool.
  • Speed up your page loads: Visual experiences are slowed when images aren’t properly sized and compressed. Use tools (like this simple one from Google) to check how quickly images load. If it’s too long, adjust for consumption on different platforms and devices, including mobile.
  • Make good typography decisions: Not only is choosing the proper font size, weight, and spacing critical to readability, but poor typography decisions can conflict with crafting understandable and memorable messages.

TIP: Don’t forget to get your visuals shared as far and wide as all your other assets. Influencers can be instrumental to this goal, especially on social media. Make it easy for them by offering multiple options – such as tagging them on social media or providing direct access to the raw files for download.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT: 3 Graphic Design Tips for Non-Designers

How do you visualize your brand’s story?

Of course, these ideas are just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll find more image-centric inspiration in CMI’s content hub on the subject. We also would love to hear how other businesses are painting pictures of marketing success. Tell us about your favorites in the comments. 

All tools mentioned in the article are identified by the author. If you have a tool to suggest, please feel free to add it in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute





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Research-backed ways to foster inclusion in your workplace


The average worker will spend 13 years and two months of their lifetime at work.

That’s why many people place a premium on feeling included at the place they choose to spend their working hours — to feel like they belong.

And while it’s easy for organizations to say they strive to build an inclusive work environment, it’s become evident over the past several years that lip service about valuing employees isn’t enough for a workforce that is more transient than ever.

Inclusion vs. diversity

Inclusion is often neatly packaged alongside diversity and equity in organizational commitments to building a better workplace. Following the murder of George Floyd and the ensuing civil unrest, Americans began demanding more from employers on overdue commitments and workplace transformation, such as racial and ethnic diversity in hiring and promotions.

But where promises to increase diversity are easily measured — commit to hiring X number of employees with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds — inclusion is more difficult to quantify.

Yet inclusion is the more important ingredient in creating meaningful change within organizations.

Shelley Willingham, vice president of The Diversity Movement, explained in comments to PR Daily: “I think there are a lot of disconnects in the way that companies are wanting to show that this is a priority…They’re doing some things out of order.”

What defines inclusive organizations?

Bain & Company surveyed 10,000 people across a wide spectrum of industries, seniority levels and demographic backgrounds to identify what makes a workplace “inclusive.”

Unsurprisingly, diversity is part of the equation. The survey found that people describe inclusive organizations as “diverse places where people are heard, valued and supported.”

From the report:

When asked what inclusion feels like, employees across all demographics say it is being treated with dignity, able to bring their authentic selves to work, able to contribute, and feeling connected to others—which is our definition of inclusion.

How to build — and maintain — an inclusive workplace

The report lists behavioral and systemic “enablers” that, when executed, result in most groups feeling included. These enablers include peer and leadership mindsets, structures and purpose, strategy and aspiration.

Luckily, there is one tactic that the survey found boosts feelings of inclusion among all demographic groups: opportunities for professional development.

(Image via)

Professional advancement opportunities were found to be the most effective enablers of inclusion, followed by open and honest communication and an organization’s DE&I mission and goals.

The report suggests prioritizing professional development and career coaching and developing mentorship programs to help employees get their footing within an organization.

Why inclusion matters

Inclusion is a key ingredient for holding onto workers during “The Great Resignation.” And employees who feel they belong are more likely to perform their best work.

According to the survey, around 65% of people across all demographics see an inclusive environment as “very important” during the job hunt. Employees who feel “fully included” are more likely to feel comfortable innovating and challenging the company’s status quo than those who don’t feel fully included.

It’s also essential for building your reputation as an employer. Employees who feel included in their workplaces are much more likely to share their positive thoughts about their company.

(Image via)

Does your DE&I commitment include a meaningful inclusion strategy, or are you simply relying on diversity to carry your workplace improvement promises?

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Levi's Turns To Next-Gen Bots For Labor Efficiencies



The clothing company has set the ambitious goal of saving 20,000 hours of manual work for employees across the organization by introducing robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities into its operational processes. The smart-bots being deployed are meant to take care of some of the more burdensome and labor-intensive tasks across Levi’s business and retail operations, freeing up both frontline and back office staff to focus on more frontal-lobe driven procedures like analytics and other judgment based work. 

To do so, Levi’s is creating a Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence (RPA COE) team which has been tasked with identifying potential areas for automation and legacy operations where efficiency could be improved and streamlined through the application of next-generation artificial intelligence technologies. The retailer plans to introduce up to 50 new bots in 2022 alone, all geared toward slashing employee man-hours and simplifying tasks. 

One of the new bots being rolled out is a Purchase Order Closure bot, designed to automate and scale the purchase orders Levi’s finance team is able to close out. Traditionally a bit of a tedious process that requires sifting manually through thousands of open purchase orders, the bot will be able to handle all correspondence itself and close out the addressed purchase orders in a timely manner, saving time for both Levi’s internal teams and the retailer’s external vendors. This bot-based application will create a more accurate understanding of budgeting and finances overall for the company, empowering the finance team to reconcile purchase orders on a quarterly basis rather than annually, and gain more time for other, relevant projects. 

Another bot, geared toward Levi’s merchandise coordinators, is replacing the efforts of five team members by automating the entry of more than 4,000 product codes into the retailer’s store systems and saving more than 750 hours of manual work. The company’s Oceania-based teams in New Zealand and Australia are also enjoying the seamless efficiencies of a bot which is able to invoice wholesale partners in just 20 seconds, down from the five minutes it used to take for employees – who used to have to block of entire days of the month to handle emailing the statements. 

By leveraging bot technology to mimic employee workflows and pinpointing solutions for simplifying tasks the retailer is ensuring its teams across functions have the tools and services they need to work and thrive within a digital-first environment. The company is already seeing a reduction in “heavy lift” tasks across its operations, including a reduction in costs as well as increased employee productivity and satisfaction as team members are freed from the mundane to focus on higher-value, more rewarding activities. 

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This article originally appeared in the PSFK iQ research report, AI Enhanced Customer Service.



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Metaverse jobs surge as businesses scramble to grow VR presence


Metaverse job openings have nearly quadrupled since last fall, according to job search engine Adzuna.

Last October, when the marketing world was still speculating about why Facebook’s parent company rebranded as Meta, the number of job openings on Adzuna for “metaverse” was 697.

In February, 2022, that number soared to 3,339.

“Crypto” job vacancies also hit an all-time high last month with 5,302 listings.

Why we care. Brands are always on the lookout for new customers, especially in younger demographics. That’s one of the stated reasons why, for instance, Acura opened up their showroom on Decentraland (over 500K monthly active users).

Investments in metaverse and NFT activations by brands also involve agencies who are assembling their own teams and organizing collectives like Hogarth Worldwide’s The Metaverse Foundry.

Read next: Why we care about metaverse activations

Image: Adzuna

Accelerating job demand. Adzuna points out that the first metaverse post on their platform dates back to April 2019.

Still, the presence of metaverse positions has really gained steam in recent months, as more marketing budgets are committed to establishing a foothold in VR environments.

“Metaverse experts are the new hot ticket with related roles ranging from developers to data scientists, writers, and creatives,” said James Neave, Adzuna’s head of data science. “This follows booming interest in crypto and cybersecurity roles throughout 2021 and we continue to see the tech sector growing and strengthening during this time.”


About The Author

Chris Wood draws on over 15 years of reporting experience as a B2B editor and journalist. At DMN, he served as associate editor, offering original analysis on the evolving marketing tech landscape. He has interviewed leaders in tech and policy, from Canva CEO Melanie Perkins, to former Cisco CEO John Chambers, and Vivek Kundra, appointed by Barack Obama as the country's first federal CIO. He is especially interested in how new technologies, including voice and blockchain, are disrupting the marketing world as we know it. In 2019, he moderated a panel on "innovation theater" at Fintech Inn, in Vilnius. In addition to his marketing-focused reporting in industry trades like Robotics Trends, Modern Brewery Age and AdNation News, Wood has also written for KIRKUS, and contributes fiction, criticism and poetry to several leading book blogs. He studied English at Fairfield University, and was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He lives in New York.



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