And just like that, 2018 has come and gone! It may have only been EMB’s first year, but it certainly kept us busy. We took on new clients, created websites, forged relationships, posted more social media content than we can count, and of course, established our weekly blog. Today, we wanted to take a moment to reflect back on our five most popular blogs from 2018.
Early on in the year, we began a series of case studies examining companies or advertisements with so-called “cult followings.” In other words, rands that had customer service or marketing campaigns so exemplary it earned them a fanatical base of loyal customers. Lululemon Athletica established themselves as an icon in the retail industry and earned them scores of lifelong customers, or as some of them call themselves, “Luluheads.” The Canadian luxury retailer has generated nearly $2 billion in revenue and only continues to rise in popularity. I suppose it’s thanks to the Luluheads that this was our most read article of the year!
Influencer marketing, the trend sweeping the nation. As platforms like YouTube and Instagram continue to grow, as do the career opportunities associated with them. In today’s climate, young entrepreneurs are able to make a six-figure salary by building their own brand via a written or video blog that they promote on their various social media accounts. Just in the last few years, Instagram has introduced stories, galleries, IG Live, and most recently, IG TV, making these influencers that much more accessible to followers. Influencer marketing spend on Instagram is forecasted to reach $2.38 billion in 2019, up from an estimated $1.6 billion in 2018. If you’re not already taking advantage of the power social media influencers wield, it’s time to start.
With all of the controversy that can be stirred up just by saying Colin Kaepernick’s name, it’s no surprise this blog makes the list. In early September, Nike rocked the world by premiering a new ad campaign starring Colin Kaepernick. The quarterback gained media attention in 2016 when he elected to remain sitting during the national anthem sung before the NFL game as a form of protest to the racism and oppression across the country. This seemingly minor incident created a movement that still echoes today and made Kaepernick a controversial figure and political activist. Knowing this, Nike made a calculated risk in making him the face of a new ad, and while some responded with criticism, many people applauded the brand for creating a powerful statement. Whether or not you agree with Kaepernick’s beliefs, this advertisement was a significant talking point in 2018, and one that will not soon be forgotten.
Yeti was what inspired us to begin our cult brand case study series, and we’re so glad to see our inaugural post was so popular. Through an incredible branding strategy, Yeti turned their brand into so much more than a line of coolers and drinkware, it became a lifestyle. If you use Yeti products, you’re an outdoorsman. The company was founded in 2006 and is already valued at more than $5 billion; those $400 coolers add up fast I guess! But when you shell out hundreds of dollars for a cooler, you’re not just getting a cooler, you’re getting an experience and an invitation to the Yeti community.
It feels appropriate this makes the list as it supports the reason this list even exists. Companies that blog receive 97 percent more link to their site compared to those who don’t. In 2019, whether you’re a B2B or a B2C business, you simply cannot afford to ignore the blogging trend any longer. Not only is it a way to strengthen your relationship with the customer by building trust, but it’s also much more cost effective than the money put toward paid advertisements. Not to mention, not only do 615 million devices around the world use ad blockers, but 77 percent of Americans will leave sites that use ad block walls. Blogging, on the other hand, has a positive ROI, drives potential customers to your site, and best of all? Blogs don’t stop working, even when you do.
We have so much fun creating these blogs every week and we hope you enjoy them, and maybe learn something new. We can’t wait to see what new trends will emerge in 2019 and you can be sure we’ll be here to tell you about them!