New Content Marketing Tool

Startup Little Bird, which just raised $1.7 million in new financing, boasts a powerful new content marketing tool that helps marketers discover and reach out to individuals who have a large social media influence in particular fields or on a certain topics, saving time and increasing ROI.

Authentic Social Media

Hang w/, which launched around this time last year, is rapidly growing—the app hit one million downloads this past January. The founders of Hang w/ wanted to create a more authentic social media experience as they thought the more popular sites were becoming less authentic with the advent of professional Twitter teams and Facebook posting services. Hang w/ allows users to live stream their experiences for three, six or nine minutes and chat with the broadcasters or other viewers.

“The Doctor Is Always In”

At last! Two new apps in recent months signal the coming of online doctor’s visits at nominal prices. American Well provides service 24/7, in 45 states. (60% of video visits are mobile.) December startup Doctor On Demand (pictured below) provides similar services. Both are between $40 and $50 for a 10- to 15-minute visit.

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Google +

The consensus among social media gurus seems to be that it’s time for marketers to jump on the Google+ bandwagon. Recent improvements and distinctive features like Communities, Hangouts and the ability to share specific content with targeted groups portend major growth in 2014. The recently announced “promoted posts” (or “Plus Post Ads”) will give marketers a new tool to display content to a very wide network of individuals.

Seeing Is Believing

The trend toward image and video content continues. About 89% of the 18 to 34 age group will watch online video content at least once a week in 2014, based on recent figures from Brafton. Image-based social media sites like Pinterest, SlideShare, Tumblr, Path, and Mobli will continue to grow and “sharability” of photos will matter more and more, according to social media guru Jeff Bullas. Apps like Snapchat and Vine will be hot. Meanwhile, the relatively new app Momentage (pictured below) is gaining popularity among young users. This app lets users combine photos, videos and SoundImages into a single post in order to create sharable “moments.”

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Telehealth Targets Giant Health Problems

Among the many telehealth apps, these two take aim at major health problems:

Authentidate’s telehealth solutions (including the InscrybeMD Telehealth Tablet App, Electronic House Call and InscrybeMD Interactive Voice Response) are designed to improve clinical outcomes and reduce hospital readmissions—a major health system goal these days—by helping clinicians monitor congestive health failure, COPD, diabetes and other chronic disorders. The platform includes a tablet application, an interactive voice response service and a dashboard of vital signs and patients’ questions for clinicians.

Targeting 87 million Americans with pre-diabetes, Omada Health’s Prevent platform is designed to lower the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes. Modeled on the federally funded Diabetes Prevention Program, it monitors weight change for groups of 12 patients who are paired with a coach.

Power to the Users

What’s the most effective kind of content? What Octoly.com calls “user generated content (UGC)” can be more powerful than you could possibly imagine. They measured UGC on YouTube for some popular brands, finding that 99% of the views about “Lego” and 99% of the views about “Apple” are not bought or “owned” by the brands, but come from content created and shared by fans. Another study from ODM Group showed that 53% of users recommend products or companies in their tweets.

Find Your Niche

Birds of a feather flock together, and marketers follow them. A few noteworthy niche social networks include:

PatientsLikeMe, which boasts more than 200,000 members representing more than 1,000 ailments. A new tool called Open Research Exchange allows researchers to test patient questionnaires for measuring outcomes.

Wanelo is a new kind of networking site for shoppers who may become the wave of the future—featuring over 200,000 brands but no advertising. Users simply upload brands they are interested in.

Women are heavier users of social networking sites than men (76% to 66%, according to Pew Research). CafeMom (pictured above), with a community of over one million, is the place for moms. ThirdAge, for “boomer & beyond” women, boasts four million unique visitors a month. The elegant BlogHer is a large and distinctive female blogging site.

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