We got organized with ANTM competitor and Buffalo native Ivy Timlin

Kristin

As a part of the content team, I spend a significant amount of time interviewing and blogging for our clients. I constantly have the opportunity to meet new people and learn about their industry, but I can’t say I’ve ever spoken with a competitor on a national reality television series led by the Tyra Banks.

Until now, that is.

In a recent project for client Uncle Bob’s Self Storage, I got to speak with Ivy Timlin – a 20-year-old, top-14 competitor on Cycle 21 of America’s Next Top Model, who just so happens to be from Buffalo.

Not only did I get to speak with Ivy on what kinds of organization tips she lives by, but I had the opportunity to ask her about her ANTM journey and what’s next for the young and ambitious model.

Get Stor-ganized with Ivy Timlin

In our Get-Storganized blog, we focus on tips and tricks for getting your life organized. This week, our blog post focused on closet organization. In a post titled, “3 Simple Steps to your Closet Makeover,” we reached out to style experts and fashion influencers to compile our list of tips and advice. Since I attended St. Bonaventure with two of her sisters, I decided to go out on a limb and contact Ivy – hoping she would have some words of wisdom (and time in her crazy schedule) for me.

IvyTimlin Tyra Banks

On top of responding in a timely manner, Ivy had tons of insights to share with me. Most importantly, she was one of the most down-to-earth, humble individuals I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

Ivy shared tips for common issues, closet organization tips and how to pack efficiently. For the Uncle Bob’s post, we stuck to shoe-specific advice from the model:

“I’m traveling constantly and have over a hundred pairs,” she said. “If I ever tried storing all of my shoes within my closet space, I’d be in trouble. I find it best to store my super high-heeled (less worn) pairs under my bed, and separate my daytime pairs from my night-out pairs. On the road, I bring an over-the-door organizer so I can easily see my options. They pack easy, and my closet floor is always clean.”

The model also told me that her biggest issue with her closet is that every week she thinks she has all of her clothes and accessories organized — when in reality, one rushed morning or night out can completely ruin weeks of hard work.

Life as an ANTM Competitor

Ivy never imagined herself on ANTM, but when a casting agent saw her photos online and contacted her, she couldn’t resist the audition process. After making it to the top 14, Ivy may have been eliminated — but the young model is taking on the fashion world by storm.

After we spoke on the blog for Uncle Bob’s, she shared her high points, low points and future plans for after the show.

When did you begin taking interest in fashion and modeling? Did you always know you wanted to end up here?

I became interested in modeling when I was in high school. I took a trip to Canada with my parents to talk to some agencies when I was a freshman and after that I was fashion and model-obsessed! My passion for modeling was strong that I knew I had to pursue it.

Talk to me about your journey on ANTM. What was your biggest lesson learned? How did that help shape your future?

When I was first contacted about ANTM, I was unsure if I really wanted to be a part of it. I had modeled before, but I was a little skeptical about the whole reality TV aspect of it. Sure enough, the next month I was already in LA competing to be a finalist on the show.

“ANTM really helped me not take life so serious, which is the thing I most thankful for. The fashion and entertainment business is very tough, but ANTM allowed me to realize how lucky I was to be doing something I love every day.”

What was the toughest part of being on the show?

The toughest part about the show was that we had no privacy or down time. As a model, we are not allowed to watch TV, listen to the radio, or use a phone. Also, we had to wear microphones all the time and everything we said or did was recorded. I expected to not have any privacy, but I was surprised by how difficult it was to actually adapt to the reality TV lifestyle.

What’s next for you?

Well, next week I am moving to NYC and I might end up in Mexico City by the end of the month. I plan on continuing my modeling career and work towards starting an acting career as well.

Thank you so much for your time Ivy, we appreciate it! To view some of her awesome work, visit her portfolio on her new blog.

10 Interesting Millennial Marketing Notes

Ben

You can’t stroll around the Internet these days without hearing about the impact of Millennials on everything from advertising to zoos. As a Gen-Xer, this gets a little tiresome after a while, but I get it — Millennials are an 80 million-strong swath of 18-to-34-year-old Americans whose purchasing habits, work routines and (eventually) voting patterns will transform the shape of this nation in the years to come.

With that in mind, here are 10 quick notes about the Millennial generation (apologies for stereotyping a massive sociological demographic in advance) to keep in mind as you craft content and campaigns:

Millennial men and women: 10 notes for marketers to remember

  1. Millennials are an ethnically diverse group.
    From NPR: “‘Forty-three percent of millennials are nonwhite,’ says Eileen Patten, a research analyst at the Pew Research Center (and a millennial herself). ‘When we look at older generations — boomers and silents — less than 3 in 10 were nonwhite.'”
  2. Millennials are less interested in fighting the power than fixing the problem.
    “Millennials ‘have less of an interest in rebellion and revolution’ and tend more toward problem-solving,” according to a recent study by Havas.
  3. Millennials respond poorly to low-quality, high-quantity messaging.
    A study by Moosylvania (great name!) CEO Norty Cohen told Ad Week that, in years past,  “marketing was all based on sort of this militaristic approach: Here is your target, blitz them with media. And now what we’re finding is they don’t want to be blitzed.  … The tonality has to be in the zone of what’s on this page making people look good, keeping them entertained. It’s all about this friendship piece.”
  4. Millennials live their digital lives on their phone.
    No big surprise, right? What is a bit more eyebrow-raising is that nearly 20 percent of Millennials access the web on their mobile phone exclusively, according to comScore.
  5. Millennials have fewer hang-ups about sharing with brands.
    From Entrepreneur.com: “According to a study from Mintel, 60 percent of millennials said that they were willing to share details about their personal preferences and habits with advertisers.”Millennials infographic
  6. Millennials are have a social conscience.
    Angelia Davis of GreenvilleOnline.com writes that “The 2014 Millennial Impact report by consulting firm Achieve found that 87 percent of millennials donated to a nonprofit last year, up 4 percent from the 2012 report.”
  7. Millennials, however, don’t see social good and making money as paradoxical.
    As Wharton School of Business Americus Reed explains, “(previous generations felt) a conflict between doing good and making money. This generation, this younger crowd, feels that those two things are not in conflict with each other. It is perfectly OK to do good and to be socially aware, [and] also to pursue business-related activities and profits.”
  8. Millennials think the government should back off.
    Or their “creepy Uncle Sam,” as Evan Feinberg hilariously notes in his Oct. 6 post “Millennials to government: Back off, we’ve got this” on The Hill.com. “A recent poll by the Reason Foundation found that only 5 percent of young Americans support the ban on selling sugary drinks,” Feinberg writes. “The same poll found that Millennials oppose efforts to prohibit trans fats, food trucks, alcohol, and plastic bags in grocery stores.”
  9. Millennials are optimistic and confident about their prospects.
    If you’re wringing your hands over the thought of losing your job because you assume that penury is a legit option, you’re probably not a Millennial. “Nearly two in three millennial employees say they are confident they could find a job matched to their experience and current compensation levels within the next six months, compared with less than half of 35-54 year olds and less than one in four seniors,” MarketWatch reports in a post entitled, humorously enough, “Are Millennials Delusional About Their Job Prospects?”
  10. Millennials are growing up.
    “Millennials are expected to spend $1.6 trillion on home purchases over the next five years,” Diana Olick of CNBC writes. “In fact, 74 percent of millennials surveyed by the institute last summer said they expect to move in the next five years and nearly half of those said they expect to buy, not rent.” That gust of wind that just swept the nation was the sigh of relief of millions of boomerang parents.

What have you, in your experience, learned about the Millennials you work with or market to? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section or tweet us @QuinlanCompany.

3 Components for Successful Content Promotion

Kristin

You’ve heard the saying “content is king” – and, to some extent, this is true. We have a tendency to believe that content drives results. But what is your content without distribution?

Mashable reports that every minute of every day, 571 websites are launched, 350,000 tweets are sent and 48 hours of YouTube videos are uploaded.. The Internet is oversaturated with content, and it’s our job as content marketers to find a way to break through that noise.

Organic efforts and crossing your fingers isn’t always going to work. Your content needs a promotion strategy.

Here are three necessary steps (and tools for each) from gathered from content marketing experts and social media influencers to help promote your content:

1. Target your audience.

Before promoting content, we need to be sure we’re researching and targeting the right niche. If you don’t develop a thorough understanding of the audiences you wish to target, how can you plan for successful community building?

Tools like QuantcastFollowerWonk and Feedly allow marketers to discover who is interested in topics their brands wish to explore, where these people hang out online and what retail-based problems they are trying to solve.

  • Quantcast: Offers public access to traffic and demographic data for millions of web sites and detailed user insights. As of 2013, it was said to be one of the world’s top five big data processing organizations.
  • FollowerWonk: This allows organizations to dig deeper into Twitter analytics. Who are your followers, where are they located and when do they tweet? Expand your audience and connect with new influencers in your niche.
  • Feedly: Find and follow the sources of information that matter to you, while also having the capability to save and share content – all in one place.

2. Distribute your content. 

It’s not surprising that more than 90% of companies say they are pursuing a content marketing strategy — brands search for any edge to get noticed.

Since content distribution can take a few different paths, I broke this section into three components – paid promotion, content broadcasting and influencer outreach.


1). Paid promotion tools and native advertising.

According to Ryan Skinner’s Forrester Report, native distribution is more conducive to content marketers than banner ads and lacks the pervasiveness of “banner blindness.” Content distribution networks like Outbrain and nRelate enable publishers to recommend related articles to their readers in a nonintrusive way on existing content pages.

  • nRelate: Instead of relating content by tags or categories, this content system analyzes each post and finds other pages on your site with similar content. Publishers can give their readers an easy way to find more content from within their site, and marketers get their content in front of highly engaged readers.
  • OutBrain: As the world’s largest and most trusted content discovery platform, Outbrain offers a personalized experience for your audience. You can use the platform to distribute your content on other sites where people are already content-engaged and looking for something new, or install Outbrain’s technology to offer recommendations and help your audience discover more content on your site that they find interesting.

2). Content broadcasting.

Services like Hootsuite and Buffer help to schedule and share your content to a mass audience. Granted, this can actually be one of the least effective ways of promotion for brands that do not have a significant social following. On the other hand, it is a fast, efficient way to pump out your content and interact with your followers.

  • Hootsuite: This social media management system monitors multiple streams in one place. You can cross-post, manage customer service and engage with your audience while promoting and scheduling your content in an efficient manner.
  • Buffer: Very similar to Hootsuite, Buffer allows you to manage multiple social media accounts, schedule posts and collaborate with team members.

LinkedIn, Tumblr, Facebook and Pinterest are also ways you can broadcast your content, but I assume you’ve heard of those platforms.

3). Influencer outreach and sharing with sources.

The result of outreach can be something as simple as a social share or a direct endorsement on a blog. Outreach can also lead to full-on collaboration for your organization.

Take, for example, my post last week. I shared my Hubspot takeaways with Chad Pollitt, who then personally thanked me – and shared our blog to his followers.

chad

We immediately saw a profound traffic spike, and the post performed above average for the remainder of the day.

Whether it’s a follow-up email, a mention on Twitter or a message on LinkedIn, you never know who might find value in your content — or, actually, you do. Do your audience research and connect with your fans, followers and targets. Share with your influencers as often as you can.

3. Monitor metrics and analytics.

We’ve targeted the right audience, created quality content, buddied up to our influencers and distributed our work over several channels, but all of this means nothing if we don’t know what success looks like. Services like Optimizely and BuzzSumo help keep an eye on metrics and performance.

  • Optimizely: This software tracks engagement, clicks (or anything else that matters to you) in a few simple steps. Optimizely aims to improve conversions through A/B testing and has custom-goal tracking to help monitor measurable actions.
  • BuzzSumo: Find out what content is working well and which topics in your industry receive the most attention. This tool has the capability to alert you when any new content mentions your specific keyword, and can also track your competitor’s content performance.

Sixty-two percent of content marketers find their content to be ineffective. Are you content to be part of the miserable majority? Or will you break through the online noise and drive traffic through all necessary steps of promotion?

I’d love to hear your content promotion practices and favorite tools. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter @KristnSullivan, or with the team @QuinlanCompany.