Tavanberg's monthly round-up of ideas
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Hello friends,
It’s December, the most wonderful time of the year! We’ve been busy decking the halls, spinning our dreidels and fa-la-la-la-la-ing our way to an eagerly anticipated break. Here’s wishing you and yours a joyous and peaceful holiday season.

At Tavanberg we rely on a brilliant group of expert contributors – our writers, editors, designers and more – to create awesome content, and so we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of their work outside Tavanberg.
Crystal Luxmore, beer sommelier and writer, was featured as an expert on this CP video on beer for the holidays.
Writer Rosemary Counter wrote about the queen of gingerbread houses for Bon Appétit.
Designer Stephanie Han Kim created the art for this feature story about giving for Today’s Parent.

Writer and cocktail expert Adam McDowell covered the history of moose milk (Canada’s answer to eggnog) for Imbibe.

Designer Scott Newlands created some adorable gifs and images promoting charity Oceana Canada's new Marine Life Encyclopedia. 

Food writer Valerie Howes blogged about Canada's Christmas markets for Via Rail.
And editor Corinna vanGerwen has launched an online store for her gift styling business Gift Horse + Co. 

Without further delay, here are some of the articles that caught our attention this month.
Can you fake your way to Instagram stardom?
Consider the case of Bloomberg writer Max Chafkin, who, for the purposes of investigative journalism, goes undercover and hires a social-media marketing agency to turn him into an Instagram “influencer.” His faux niche: men’s fashion. Expensive professional photography, stylists and many, many hashtags later, he fesses up with this detailed account of what it takes to be an Instagram star, how much money can be made from it and what he's doing with his newfound fame.
How readers become your sales force
Even if you don’t know a lip stain from a lipstick, you’ll find this longread about new beauty brand Glossier instructive. Into the Gloss began as an editorial-only site for all things beauty, with a legion of followers. Now it’s morphed to include a blazingly successful cosmetics company, Glossier. Fuelling its success are the young women who promote its products via social media – not for dollars or freebies, but because they love them. Glossier is going to formalize this, however, with paid representatives. Mary Kay for Millennials, if you will.

The Snapchat revolution
Farhad Manjoo is one of the best-regarded tech writers out there, so when he says that Snapchat is revolutionary, we are inclined to believe him. “If you secretly harbor the idea that Snapchat is frivolous or somehow a fad, it’s time to re-examine your certainties,” he writes. “In fact, in various large and small ways, Snap has quietly become one of the world’s most innovative and influential consumer technology companies.” At the heart of his thesis: Snap is a daring pioneer, and it’s changing how humans interact with computers. 
(New York Times)

The role of goals in social media marketing
Throwing money at social media marketing on Twitter, Facebook and the gang doesn’t always yield profits, even now that we’ve amassed a decade of experience on these platforms. The key for all of the skeptics is not to throw the strategy out with the bathwater, but rather to set specific and well-defined goals, like growing your mailing list, or raising a certain amount of money. Also discussed in this article are four other case-study based strategies to consider, including a cautionary tale involving Mountain Dew.
(Profit Guide)

Haruki Murakami’s content marketing
Back in the ’80s, before the height of his literary fame but while he was gaining a respectable readership, Japanese author Haruki Murakami struck a curious marketing deal with preppy clothier J. Press. For its magazine advertisements, he agreed to pen short stories. Sure, they were technically advertorials, but Murakami was allowed to write whatever he wanted. In the ’90s he wrote 24 more, this time for a fountain pen company, Parker. This article is an intriguing look at this unique intersection between advertising and a literary giant.

Thanks for hanging out with us in 2016. See you next year!

Copyright © 2016 Tavanberg Communications Ltd. All rights reserved.

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