1. Updated Look and Feel
2. Reduced Tab Visibility
3. No Default Landing Page
4. New Way to Feature Content
5. Current Tab Content and Applications Become Outdated
6. Private Messages Between Brands and Users
Dogbnb: DogVacay Wants To Help You Find A Boarding Alternative For Your Four-Legged Friends | TechCrunch
As a former dog owner, I know how challenging it can be to find the best care for your four-legged-friend when going on vacation or taking a trip. While boarding dogs at kennels is an option, I always prefer to have a dog sitter at an actual home (or at my own home) take care of my pet to ensure one-on-one care. The difficulty is actually finding dog lovers who want to babysit for dogs in their spare time. Enter DogVacay, a new marketplace out of Los Angeles incubator Science, that matches dog owners in need of pet-care services with qualified animal caregivers. The service is launching today in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Founded by a husband and wife team, Aaron Hirschhorn and Karine Nissim Hirschhorn, DogVacay was inspired by the couple’s desire to find a real, loving home for their own dogs, so that their boarding experience is as much a vacation as their owner’s.
As Hirschhorn tells me, there are many caregivers who love pets and use this as a way to make supplemental income. While these people have generally been found via word of mouth or sites like Craigslist, DogVacay allows these pet care providers to sign up for a free listing for dog owners who are looking for boarding and dog-sitting options.
The platform gives hosts complete control, from setting their own rates, deciding what size and type of dogs to host, and more. Each host is vetted via interviews and background checks with DogVacay staff before posting on the site, where the startup evaluates potential caregivers based on the amount of room in their homes, past experience and more. And DogVacay also includes user reviews for each host, social network connections, and will even train hosts in basic dog care.
Dog owners can sign up on the site and book services similar to the way you would book an apartment on Airbnb. In addition to boarding services, users can also find dog walkers, trainers, day-care, pet-sitting (in their own home), and other unique services like pet massage. DogVacay takes a 5 to 10 percent service fee from the host.
DogVacay offers full insurance covering the dog (up to $25,000) for a variety of emergencies. The startup has also partnered with a number emergency pet care hospitals in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Additionally, DogVacay encourages pet-sitters to send regular photo and video updates via email or MMS to the clients, so that they have reassurance that their pet is in safe hands and enjoying its ‘DogVacay.’
This is actually a huge potential market, as Science CEO Mike Jones explains that Americans spend nearly $10 billion per year on pet boarding and other services. DogVacay faces competition fromRover.com. And who knows; maybe Airbnb will launch Dogbnb.
As mentioned in my previous article about the movement towards content marketing, traditional marketing is being over-taken by content driven strategies that focus on distribution through social media. Advertising is not dead! On the contrary, advertising is stronger than ever, if you merge the old with the new. By combining traditional marketing, branding and advertising with content driven social programs, you are going to have exponential success through the combined efforts of you and your target audience.
Your content marketing strategy should be designed to expand on your traditional programs and develop relationships that will bring long term residual returns for all your advertising expenditures.
Here are some key steps to take when implementing your content marketing strategy.
Start with a set of goals – I always find the best way to implement any sales or marketing strategy is to first outline specific and measurable goals. Don’t just say, “Increase sales.” Your goals have to be well defined and measurable. An example of a productive goal is, “Increase sales by 15% within 6 months.” This goal is measurable and allows you to create accountability and benchmarks. Other goals to consider are increase mentions on twitter by 50% or secure 10,000 Facebook fans or add 5,000 subscribers to our monthly newsletter.
Who is your target? – Once you have a goal, you must identify who your target audience is and how best to speak to them. You aren’t going to grow your newsletter subscription rate if your target audience is 35-55 year old women by posting content about advances in fuel injection systems. You have to know who you are speaking too and what interests them. I try to place myself in the shoes of my customers or prospects and ask myself, what would interest me and keep my attention.
What are you trying to say? – Content marketing is no different than traditional marketing in that you have to have a message to deliver. What is it that you want to convey to your audience, what differentiates your brand or product, how are you better than your competition and how do you translate these attributes to a language that will be received by your target audience?
Decide on a strategy – Content marketing typically is broken into three strategies: long-form, short-form and social conversations. Long-form includes blog posts, articles and press releases. Short-form is typically Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn updates and graphics. Social conversations might include participating in and driving conversations by link sharing, video and blog commenting and forum discussions. You may decide to only use one or all three. All can be effective on their own and when used together.
Gotta have a plan – First you plan the work, then you work the plan. Your plan should include a calendar that works backwards from your goal date, include benchmarks along the way and include specific strategies, tactics, calls to action and responsibilities. This process can be a major project, but you will be glad you invested the time at the beginning, as it makes execution so much easier.
Build your content – You will be building content throughout the entirety of your project, but by creating about 20% of your content pre-launch, it allows you to both refine your message before it is seen and give you a cushion if you should fall behind during your campaign. Your content should be unique and different and speak to your audience incorporating your key message.
Grow a relationship – Remember you are not selling or closing, you are building the awareness of your company and product or service through engagement with your prospects and customers on terms that they prefer and desire. If you do this right, they will buy from you because they trust you and know you.
Remember, content marketing isn’t only about what you have to say. At least 70% of what you share should be curated (not your own) and specific to the needs and wants of your target audience. Remember you are building a relationship…it is all about them!
Share your message – It is time to get your words out there. Build a machine that includes relevant key words to your product or service and attach them to your message. Make sure you are using these key words in your tags and imbedding them into your blogs posts. SEO can play a huge part in getting your message found and increasing subscribers and followers. Don’t forget about Twitter, Facebook and social bookmarking sites like Digg and StumbleUpon. Don’t wait for your customers to spread the word, everyone on your marketing team needs to like, plus, retweet and repost your content.
Review and refine – Don’t wait until the end of your campaign to see if it worked. You need to measure everything and watch the benchmarks you have established. You should also be able to see what is working the best and what didn’t. Do more of what works and refine what didn’t. If you can’t get it to work, try something else. I have been shocked more than once at what blew up and went viral and what was completely ignored. Learn from your successes and failures along the way and refine your campaign to ensure you hit your goals and exceed them.
Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, you can’t go from 1 to 1 million followers with getting to 2 and every success is preceded by a thousand failures.
About Resident Places
Resident Places is a zero cost amenity to residential and mixed use properties where residents receive valuable money saving offers from local businesses through a co-branded coupon portal. These neighborhood deals are made available without any sales activity by leasing staffs or IT teams. Every deal printed through the co-branded portal will include the name of the property and is shareable via social media networks like Facebook, Google Plus and Twitter, which expands the reach and audience of the community’s brand to their residents, prospects and area businesses. For business owners, our unique offering gives access into a typically difficult advertising market – multifamily communities, with a low cost, high tech solution.
Twitter begins self-serve advertising for small businesses
(Reuters) – Twitter Inc. on Thursday formally launched a service to allow small businesses to buy and place ads on the online messaging platform.
Twitter, which for years has sought ways to expand its advertising revenue, hopes the new ad service will at least partially answer looming questions about its long-term business strategy.
Since 2010, Twitter’s in-house sales staff has sold “promoted tweets” to large businesses on a case-by-case basis. The company spent last year developing a self-serve system that could handle a far greater volume of ad transactions and, in November, opened the system to a small number of clients for testing.
Officially launched on Twitter’s website on Thursday, the new service is limited to merchants and advertisers who use American Express cards. Twitter will open the service to other cardholders in the coming months.
The rollout comes at a critical phase in the company’s development and will be closely observed by investors and analysts curious to see if the company will go public anytime soon.
Founded in 2007, the San Francisco-based company lets people send 140-character messages, or tweets, to groups of followers. The company has more than 100 million active users and a valuation topping $8 billion, even though it has not yet established a money-making model.
Co-founder Jack Dorsey said in January that Twitter’s “business model has been in development for some time and it works.