Archive for Digital Marketing Course

Captivating Contests for the Creators of the Mouse

The Walt Disney Company uses social media contests to attract fans and increase enthusiasm.  By promoting online connections through social media, the company is really establishing stronger bonds of brand loyalty and connectedness with their customers.  As David Meerman Scott relates in his book, it is critically important in such a digital age, for companies to get connected through social media.  There are no charges to get connected in this way, and with increased brand recognition, higher brand authority, and the opportunity for customer insights, there are really no downsides to social media application.

Through social media, the Walt Disney Company has also become very invested in contests and sweepstakes programs to further involve customers.  For example, this year, Disney launched a “Show Your Disney Side” contest.  Using the hashtag #disneyside on all social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Vine, and Instagram, individuals were chosen to be featured on the Disney Side Website.

Disney Examiner articulates that Disney Side is, “a place where guests get to show off their crazy, fun, cheesy, and happy times while living in their Disney dreams. They’ll be able to do that by sharing those moments on social media because that’s where most people (especially Disney fans) are nowadays as seen in the massive amount of moments that are already shared there. The fact that Disney is already making their following and guest engagement stronger through social media plans like these are really appreciated by people like us because we believe no one will know their Disney side until they see yours!”

Through this social media contest, top candidates had the opportunity to win Disney Parks Vacations and even cash prizes.  Using incentives such as these, The Walt Disney Company is really drawing customers in through social media and ultimately benefiting from the promotional effort.  An additional nationwide competition Disney participated in was the Cheer on Your Disney Side campaign promoting ESPN.  Again, using these online social media sites to promote such contests are benefiting the company at large tremendously.

Some of the benefits of social media contests discussed in Professor Sweet’s class include the following:

– Contests connect with consumers

– Consumers get something for nothing

– Companies earn Quid Pro Quo (something for something)

– Represent real engagement

– Pro-sumer opportunities (producer and consumer)

– Surprising creativity

– Contextualized to various SM platforms

– Contests reveal:

○ Social media as communication platform

○ Social media as testing platform

○ Social media as recognition platform

By employing social media contests such as that which is presented above, The Walt Disney Company is using its’ digital footprint wisely.  Through contests, Disney is building up brand loyalty in a way that is current and in line with the modern times.

What are some suggested contest or sweepstakes ideas that huge companies such as The Walt Disney Company might consider pursuing?  In what ways do you feel contests help consumers to feel more connected with an institution?

The Importance of Thought Leadership Marketing with Disney

Like any industry front-runner in today’s marketing sphere, The Walt Disney Company has thought leaders within each section of their organization.  These leaders think innovatively and out of the box when it comes to creative projects and research ideas to pursue.  Outstanding individuals are what drive the company as a whole to the success and achievement it has earned.  These corporate thought leaders work within the company to advance the organization at large.

The Walt Disney Company as a whole also serves as a thought leader in the family entertainment and vacation industry today.  As such, it is recognized by competitors and consumers as the ground-breaker that demands authority and succeeds in its’ specific area of expertise.

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Thought leadership marketing is “Using a variety of media– blogging, social media, websites, video, whitepapers, books, e-books, webinars, speaking appearances, etc. — thought leadership marketing aims to earn trust, build credibility and develop recognition that differentiated you from your competition” (Professor Sweet, Digital Marketing).  While it is not intellectual capital or subject matter expertise, thought leadership marketing is “about developing, capturing, and marketing your intellectual capital” (Professor Sweet, Digital Marketing).

The Walt Disney Company uses thought leadership marketing to share content about the industry at large with its’ consumers instead of just trying to sell products.  It also consistently keeps the viewer in mind and caters to their questions and interests instead of strictly those within the organization.  As an extension of the brand, thought leadership marketing has benefited The Walt Disney Company greatly in its perception and credibility.

What are some other companies/organizations or individuals which also serve as thought leaders in the family entertainment industry?  What other names come to mind when you think about thought leadership marketing?

Disney takes on Instagram Advertising

The Walt Disney Company continues to adjust its digital marketing approach with each new product publicized.  Most recently, (Friday November 7th) Disney released its newest animated film, Big Hero 6.  The marketing strategy of this movie is particularly noteworthy because it is among the first to use a new digital advertising tool.  Disney along with the CW, Activision, Banana Republic, and Lancôme are the first companies to use Instagram video ads to promote their products.

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The creators of Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) had been searching for an area in which they could make profit, while also keeping users happy with their online experiences.  For six months, they had been testing Instagram video ads, before they were introduced to the public earlier this year.  Disney’s first 15 second advertisement promoting Big Hero 6, shows the two main characters taking a selfie.

Disney’s Big Hero 6

The digital and increasingly mobile marketing domain is growing daily.  Mobile advertising is also becoming a larger piece of many products marketing mix, including Disney products.  As Stephen Kapusta expressed during a presentation on Luna Metrics in our Digital Marketing class today, mobile marketing is certainly not going away any time soon.  According to his predictions for the future of the marketing industry, increased spending and competition in the digital space are huge factors to consider.  Mr. Kapusta also highlighted that mobile advertising has increased by 81% during this year alone.  It is inevitable that this industry will only grow to be a more powerful force in the marketing sphere.

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In what additional ways do you feel that The Walt Disney Company should be expanding to the mobile market with any of its products?  What is your reaction to the Big Hero 6 Instagram advertisement released by Disney?

Disney is Better Off Thanks to Blogs

Included in the super-set of social media, blogs, are an extremely valuable digital marketing platform for organizations including The Walt Disney Company.  As such, blogs are ideal areas in which communities of individuals interested in all things Disney can connect and communicate.  While The Walt Disney Company provides its’ own official blogging sites, countless other Disney fanatics have also begun blogging on their own Disney related online platforms.

Official blogs of The Walt Disney Company include:

  1. Disney Post
  2. Disney Parks Blog
  3. The Disney Cruise Line Blog 

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Unofficial blogs relating to The Walt Disney Company include:

  1. Oh My Disney 
  2. The Disney Blog 
  3. The Disney Food Blog 
  4. Disney Tourist Blog 

As discussed in Digital Marketing class with Professor Sweet, using social media plugins on blogging platforms is a terrific addition.  All of the aforementioned blogs offer subscription to RSS feeds as well as easy connectors to other social media sites such as Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.  Using all social media platforms together, provides an even stronger foundation from which viewers and bloggers can connect and share in community together.

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The official blog sites of The Walt Disney Company focus on providing content to their viewers.  Instead of trying to sell readers on specific products or vacation packages, the blogs all relate to audiences through recent happenings in the company.  For example, Disney Post recently shared how ESPN is using mobile phones as a primary resource to connect with interested individuals and in September 70.1 million people accessed ESPN through mobile devices alone.

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Unofficial Disney blog sites, “created by fans for fans” also promote content for The Walt Disney Company.  Bloggers review special events that they took part in at Disney locations, offer character quizzes, and share their favorite things Disney-related.  While they are not working in any way for the company, these bloggers are really offering digital marketing for Disney.  By providing public relations, bloggers offer credibility and a realistic, person to person communication element that larger official sites often cannot exhibit.

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Through both official and unofficial blogging, The Walt Disney Company is largely benefiting from having an active social media presence online.  By offering connectors to related social media and content marketing to viewers, blogging is effective in allowing individuals to get engaged, communicate and connect with one another, and track Disney trends in the industry.