content marketing


In episode 034 of the Social Currency marketing podcast, we jump on the rise of social shopping. With the introduction of Instagram Checkout and the growth of Pinterest Shoppable Pins, has the age of contextual commerce arrived?

The concept of social shopping has been around since early 2000s, but with the launch of new capabilities like Instagram Checkout and the ease of setting up Pinterest Shoppable Pins, it's easy to see the natural connection between social, influencers, and the consumers interested in what's new, cool, and next. Social shopping is interest-based: Native, natural, and now easy, because it's seamless and in context of the content you are already enjoying.

This is contextual commerce. Now that the platforms are enabling the power to access consumers in a new way, with clear attribution models and integrated e-commerce capabilities, why wouldn't you use social to sell...and shop?


We love eMarketer’s in-depth reports on all things digital marketing. In this episode, we discuss the highlights from this 18 page report on the podcast. Big thanks to Debra Aho Williamson for including Jess in the interviews and research.

Instagram is hitting it out of the park across so many vectors. Influencers is yet another one. According to eMarketer’s research, the fleeting nature of Instagram stories combined with the ability to include outbound links is hugely attractive for both brands and influencers. If your influencer program is not leveraging both the Instagram feed and stories platforms, it should.

The rise of “tiering” of influencers has also caught our attention. With celebrity influencers losing credibility with audiences and inflating their follower counts, many brands are turning to microinfluencers and nanoinfluencers. Are you a nanoinfluencer? Find out in the podcast?

Budgets are growing, both in whole number spend and as a percentage of the overall marketing mix. 31% of marketers say that they are increasing focus on influencer marketing. A quote from the report:

At Qualcomm, it’s still a very small percentage of the overall marketing and PR budget,” said Jessica Jensen, the company’s global director of digital marketing and strategy. “But because there is enough interest in it, and an awareness that it’s not going to go away, there will likely be additional budget.

So much more in this in-depth report on all things influencers. Listen to episode #33 to get our POV.

Links we reference in the show are below:
Intro to report and link to buy:

eMarketer’s Podcast with highlights from the report:


Recording together from our alma mater, Pepperdine University, in episode 032, we jump in on the latest news from our old friend, Facebook. This time around, it’s all about PRIVACY.  Zuckerberg says they want to move from a town square format to a smaller, living room scenario. This will have huge implications for the newsfeed, Facebook Messenger, and even Instagram Stories. With more scrutiny than ever from regulators in Washington D.C., security breaches and the never-ending pressure to reinvent, Facebook is pivoting fast.

Also, what’s all of this have to do with massive Chinese-based social platform, WeChat? Is Zuckerberg looking overseas for domination inspiration? We think Facebook is positioning itself to be the next super app by tying its messaging platforms together as they let slip a couple weeks back. Now, it is just a matter of time before this is monetized. These are signals to watch and Facebook is giving all the clues to what they are going to be next.

If you aren’t yet on Facebook or Instagram, this is the time to get involved: B2B, B2C, services, products, global, domestic - the next wave of innovation is coming and you want to be ready.


Links we reference in the show:


Just when we think we’ve got social media dialed, it changes on us. Unlike the internet, which often feels like a utility, social media platforms are living, breathing entities. They are run by people, respond to market changes, and are constantly evolving their functionality and algorithms. The Social Media Marketing World conference, held in San Diego, California, brings together over 100 social and digital marketing experts and really punched above its weight this year. In this podcast, we riff on what we learned AND the patterns we’re hearing. So much good stuff!

Our key takeaways:

  • Less than half of marketers report they’re using live video or Instagram/ Facebook stories in their content strategy, yet this is where organic reach and engagement are still alive and well. Do video now. Ephemeral is the new black! Huge opportunity here.

  • Vanity metrics are meaningless. Stop counting likes. Start listening (and participating) in conversations about your brand and focus on your core KPIs.

  • Show, don’t tell. Demonstrate your product or service visually. Then let your audience tell the story - on your behalf. Everyone is a reporter now. The power is in the hands of your customers. Make it easy.

  • Relationships are marketing. Focus on “micro-interactions.” Less is more, if it is meaningful. We explain the CARE model.

  • Craft your LinkedIn profile for the reader, not you. Don’t be myopic. What are you and/or your brand offering your audience?

  • Lastly, no one gave us an operating manualfor how to live in the era we do. This digital era. Experiment. Don’t be afraid to start today. It’s not too late. We are all figuring it out together!

Links  and people we reference in the show:


There is one constant in digital marketing. And it is change. In episode #30, we discuss three topics that all revolve around this ongoing pattern of change, growth and consolidation.

Up first is TikTok. If you haven’t heard of it, you will soon. The short video sharing app just reached 1 billion installs across iOS and Android, globally. In fact, in 2018, TikTok was the 4th most downloaded non-game app worldwide and the most downloaded non-game app in the US as of January 2019.

TikTok is owned by China-based company, ByteDance, who bought and consolidated lip-syncing app into TikTok. It’s demographic is largely gen Z with a large growing user base in India. While TikTok may not have yet made it into your annual digital strategy, it is one to watch.

Next, we discuss Amazon’s return to video as a content format aimed to sell` more product. Back in 2016, Amazon dabbled in video with their “Style Code Live” effort and now they return to video as a content strategy. Live video, reality show and celebrity guests like Heidi Klum and potentially Blake Lively will up the ante for the over 100 million Prime members offering exclusive content. 90% of Amazon’s product views result from searches within Amazon. Adding in this element of video is, no doubt, going to increase time on site and average spend per transaction. Amazon is on fire!

Last, we comment on how fast digital marketing spend has grown. In 2019, it will surpass traditional marketing spend for the first time (per eMarketer’s forecast) topping out at $129.3 billion in the US. We both recall when digital spend was lucky to earn a seat at the table, perhaps comprising 10 or 15% of the marketing budget. If spend is any measure of where attention is going, all eyes should be on digital marketing.

Key takeaways:

  1. Digital channels continue to grow, evolve and reinvent themselves. If you have a dollar to spend, put it on digital marketing.

  2. The connective tissue between content (video, in particular) and commerce grows tighter and we’ll see e-commerce players reap the rewards first.

  3. Keep your eyes on new platforms. TikTok is on the rise, and it is heavily influencing the under 25 demographic.

Links we reference in the show:

TikTok Surpasses One Billion Installs on the App Store and Google Play

Tik Tok settles with FTC on children’s data

Amazon launching a live-streaming video version of a home shopping network

US Digital Marketing Spend Beats Traditional For The First Time