What Bloggers and Marketers Can Learn From the Olympics

It might just seem like fun and games, but there really is a deeper level of meaning and lessons the Olympics can teach us.

In case you weren’t aware, the Olympics have been underway for nearly 2 weeks, and there have been many memorable performances (and losses) that have taken place.  But before any of these athletes are even able to get to this point, they have to spend a lifetime preparing, and dare I say, failing.  But it’s ultimately their tenacity and desire to succeed that fuels them forward.  It’s a form of thinking that many bloggers and marketers could benefit from.

Hence, let us learn from the Olympics and these amazing athletes.

Mental preparation.

As an athlete, a blogger, a marketer, there is a breaking point where the mind becomes fragile and prone to giving up.  It’s a natural occurrence that some sort of failure will have you second-guessing your abilities.

But that’s what sets successful bloggers, marketers, and Olympians apart.  That understanding that if they just keep pushing, if they just keep training, there will be gold at the end of that lane.

Realistically, not every failure you come across will be of your own doing.  Sometimes projects just go awry, or business partnerships don’t play out as expected, regardless of how much effort you put in.  When facing these hurdles, a healthy mindset will keep you from staying down, even after taking a bad dive.

Analyzing your weakness, and developing a plan to improve in these areas, will keep those legs pumping until you reach the finish line.  And it all starts with some mental preparation.

On your mark. Get set. Goals!

Look, we all want to be that blogger that extraordinarily writes 10,000 words in one sitting.  Obviously nobody wants to be “last” in their respective careers, but in order to reach those 10,000 words, you have to start at 1,000 first.

It’s in these realistic and manageable goals that we begin to develop our techniques and improve our style.  Yes, initially we may not perform as well as we would like, but as we reach some of those smaller achievements, our mind state (remember mental preparation) changes from uncertainty to “can do”.

As marketers and bloggers, you’ll hopefully service clients that are a bit outside of your comfort zone.  Look at these challenges as an opportunity to expand your skill set and develop muscle where you may not have known it existed.  These small projects (read steps) can help you to polish your abilities until you become the Usain Bolt of the digital marketing world.

1…2…3…Cobalt Digital Marketing Team!

Marketing and blogging isn’t necessarily an individual sport, instead, look at it more like Olympic basketball.  Sure having a 50-point game might make me look good, but who wants to lose the game if the team isn’t performing well together?  Success in marketing and blogging is ultimately a team effort.  It requires the dedication of every individual involved to have a shot at a medal.

Heck, sometimes it goes even beyond that.  When you consider your readers, your social media followers, the people who have influenced you, and all those potential teammates out there who may not just quite know you – all these individuals are helping you (and your company) get a chance to even get to the Olympics.

The reality is that successful Olympians only make it as far as they can because of a whole team of people helping them and rooting for them every step of the way.  So make sure you have the right people in your corner.  And if you do, be thankful.

Timing is everything.

As a blogger and marketer, you have to be up on current trends, events, and news stories.  If I decide to write about the Olympics in 2 months, will it have the same effect that it would have now, as the Olympics are actually happening?  I’ll let you figure that one out.

The truth of the matter is that Olympians have a sense of urgency because they recognize that their mission is limited by time.  A successful blogger isn’t going to necessarily take weeks to create a 500 word blog about an event that happened months prior.  They are aware that time is of the essence in an ever evolving, constantly updating, digital world.  By focusing your energy on the moment, and trying to get done as much as possible before the buzzer goes off, you might just place first.

Of course this doesn’t mean to rush through every event or even your training.  Rather, recognize that if you’re going to make something happen, now just might be the perfect time.

What are the Olympics without competition?

There’s something about going head to head against your favorite competition that pushes one to strive even more for success.  Whether in marketing, blogging, the sports world, or the general business world, there’s always something that we can learn from our competitors.

It might be approaching a story from a new angle that you might not have previously thought of.  Or perhaps it’s a marketing idea that you can expand upon and make it your own.  Perhaps it’s simply a visceral emotion to be the best damn blogger in the world and destroy the competition.

Regardless if it’s an internal or external motivator, anything that prompts you to improve your content and deliver greater value should always be looked upon as a positive.  Sometimes to be the best you have to beat the best.

And sometimes you just need some Cobalt Digital Marketing Catalysts on your team.  Our expert bloggers, marketers, SEO experts, and web developers have done the training and fought for their chance to be on that podium.  In fact, we’re not only hungry for the gold.  We want silver and bronze as well (and maybe a little pizza).

Don’t forget, Cobalt Digital Marketing.  It’s where we build Olympians.

Big Brother Is Watching…Oh…Never mind…It’s Just Twitter

Twitter “officially” opens its data platform, Gnip, so brands can get analytics on demographics and interest data about those who visit their sites or view their tweets. 

No…it’s not “Big Brother” that’s keeping a tab on all of your Twitter activities.  The social media platform just recognized how valuable their data can be for businesses (shocker).

So of course Twitter does have quite a bit of information about us stockpiled in their databases, but we’re talking some basic stuff here.  Gender, language, the type of music you like, what major city you’re in, cell service provider, you first crush, first kiss, when the last time you went to the bathroom was (guess which of those aren’t really being tracked).  Now, through Twitter’s Audience API system, brands can have easier access to that wealth of information.

As for now, Twitter isn’t expanding to any new interest data types that weren’t already a part of the API beta period.  The data points brands will be able to analyze will likely be:

Location: This analytic will allow brands an opportunity to figure out where their audiences are on the globe.  From what country that person resides, all the way down to what specific market area they live.  This information is garnered from Twitter’s ability to locate an individual through a web IP address, GPS signal, Wi-Fi signal, and location (if attached) to a person’s tweets.  By knowing their geographic market area, companies can invest resources strategically and offer specialty items dependent on the area’s needs.

Language:  Filtered from someone’s Twitter language setting and the actual language they write in when tweeting, this data point breaks down what percentages of their audience speaks a certain language.  Look for brands to utilize this to promote their products appropriately, rather than a hit-or-miss system.

Gender:  Gnip will provide interested brands with information about a market’s female and male percentages.  Though definitely not a bullet-proof scheme, Twitter currently assumes gender based on profile names, the accounts they follow, and then do some cross-referencing analysis.  Again, not anything groundbreaking, but such data can be optimized for sales and marketing.

Interests: Whenever you decide to follow a specific company or your favorite band, or ‘like’ every @cobal_digital tweet, then Twitter will begin to group you into defined bands dependent on those likes.  So you might fall under an audience of sports, music, and My Little Pony, and then under a sub-category of basketball and Bronies (yes we know you’re out there).  Naturally, if a company – let’s say like Nike – has you in their scopes because of this data, then they can target ads and offerings more effectively.

TV:  Again, not a completely accurate representation of the various genre-specific demographics, but Twitter is offering brands an estimate based on tweets, who people are following, and what tweets are receiving attention.  No news is…well…bad news.  Brands will definitely seek to enhance their TV presence with this info.

Now to answer the question that’s probably on your mind.

No, Twitter is not giving out specific information about individuals, such as Edward Sanchez and the fact he still sleeps with a night light (not true).  Anonymity is the key word, and data will be aggregated into groups of at least 500 accounts.  And the reality is that this information is only useful when it takes into account a large population.

But when it does make sense to interpret this information, brands will be able to get a better understanding of their market and make adjustments to their approach.

Though the API system as been available since October 2015, it’s current incarnation is easier to use.  Information can be pulled about anyone, so long as they follow a specific Twitter account, signed up for newsletters, or visited a site.

Data can also be drawn from those who already on a given brand’s customer database.  This provides for some very in-depth analysis.  Brands will be able to create various bands of audience segments without having IDs, as well as draw data from anyone who was shown an unpaid tweet within the past 90 days, or whoever engaged with a brand’s tweet by clicking on it, liking it, or retweeting it.

It’s definitely going to take some meaningful analysis for brands to fully benefit from Twitter’s Audience API system, but in today’s fast paced world, that egg will be cracked relatively soon.

And if you want to be one of these organizations on the cutting-edge of social media, tech, and marketing, then look no further than Cobalt Digital.  We stay on top of the ever changing landscape and thrive on facing new environments.

Follow us on Twitter @cobalt_digital to stay up on the latest news.