Posts Tagged ‘Marketing and Advertising’
Wednesday, June 1st, 2011
QR (Quick Response) Codes are gradually becoming more of a mainstream marketing tool for brands here in the US, as companies seek to take advantage of smartphone mobile technology. Media has become more integrated and more interactive than ever before, so it’s important for marketers to find ways to create additional levels of engagement. And when you increase audience participation you will also increase the amount of time an audience spends with your brand. QR Codes are an excellent way to give consumers that kind of experience.
For those unfamiliar with QR Codes, here’s a brief synopsis: There are several apps available for smartphones that allow users to scan barcodes while shopping. Once the barcode is scanned, information regarding the product is displayed (i.e. pricing information, store locations that carry the product, product reviews, etc.). QR Codes work in the same way. Users can scan QR Codes located on t-shirts, product displays, print ads, vehicles, computer screens – anything. Embedded within the code is a link to a mobile site where consumers can find additional content about a company, a product, service, or cause. Advertisers are now no longer limited to the confinements of a single print ad or billboard. They can now place QR Codes into the ad to provide consumers with more ways to get involved. Non-profits can use QR Codes to get people to sign a petition regarding a specific cause. Organizations can use them to link people to valuable information regarding storm clean-up schedules, recovery needs, etc. Companies can use QR Codes to link consumers to video content where they can view product demonstrations, see the product/service in action, view client testimonials, take a virtual tour, etc. It might be fun for advertisers to link their QR Codes to a series of behind-the-scenes videos which shows consumers how a particular ad campaign was conceptualized, written, shot and edited.
Have you considered ways to take advantage of smartphone technology in your marketing efforts? Here are some more ideas to help you brainstorm.
Thursday, April 14th, 2011
When I think about the amount of information out there on the web about blogging and about social media in general, it’s staggering. Just like Starbucks, it seems that self-professed social media experts are popping up on every corner. They churn out content on a regular basis, advising readers about the benefits of social media marketing. Most of the information I’ve read and/or heard about social media center on a few benefits it can have for your brand:
Social media marketing helps establish you as an expert in your field.
Social media marketing improves your website SEO.
Social media marketing increases your visibility.
Social media marketing will engage your potential customer by opening up a two-way street of conversation.
Social media marketing is a great way to network and build up your connections.
Social media marketing will lead to an increase in customers.
I’ve been blogging since 2005 and I can attest to its benefits. But there’s another important reason for blogging that I wanted to add to the above list. Yes, maintaining a regular blog for your company is a useful resource for your target audience, but it can be an enormous resource for you as well. Imagine you have been asked to keynote an important seminar pertaining to your field. If you have been maintaining a regular blog for a few years, you will have an enormous amount of content from which you can create your presentation. You don’t have to write it entirely from scratch. You don’t have to remember the details of a particular case study from three years ago. You don’t have to remember that piece of advise you shared with an employee or a client. It’s all right there in your blog. All you have to do is type in a search request and start pulling the articles.
A blog is a giant virtual file cabinet of ideas that can be re-purposed again and again. And you don’t even have to post a blog article every single day. To date, I have written 594 blog articles on a variety of topics pertaining to video and video production. I’ve been blogging for almost six years, which means I have posted roughly 99 articles each year; that equals to approximately eight articles per month, or two articles per week. It’s incredibly easy to do, and the benefits are far-reaching.
Thursday, March 31st, 2011
Here’s an important point to remember about creating an online video for your company – when you use it as a marketing tool, that video becomes part of your brand. It becomes part of your image, and it can affect what consumers think about you. A brick-and-mortar store takes great pride in its physical appearance. You, also, should take pride in the quality of your videos. You will hear the term “authentic” used a lot when people discuss online video. Consumers want companies to be real; genuine. As a result, people often believe that the quality of a video doesn’t matter. After all, if it looks bad, it will be more “authentic” and more people will respond to it. However…
- Would you use that same approach with the appearance of your store or office?
- Would you use that same approach with the design of your business cards?
- How about your website?
- How about the way your logo is designed, used, and displayed?
Business owners wouldn’t consider an unkempt retail location as a sign of being “authentic.” And they wouldn’t equate a shoddy logo design as an effort to be “real.” Authenticity isn’t necessarily related to quality. Image is an important part of your company’s identity, and careful thought should be given to your video marketing strategy before you dive in head first.
Monday, February 28th, 2011
Image via Wikipedia
I had the opportunity this past Thursday night to attend the 53rd Annual Birmingham Ad Federation ADDY Awards. For those unfamiliar, the ADDYs celebrate the best advertising in all forms of media (print, interactive, TV, radio, video, etc.). They also recognize the content creators behind the ads. It’s an opportunity to see the caliber of creative talent right here in Birmingham and the quality work they produce each year. For me, this year’s event was an improvement over previous ADDY Awards and I really think the local AAF (American Advertising Federation) chapter is starting to hit its stride when it comes to the annual awards show.
First, it was decided that a new trophy be designed – one that would remain unchanged from year to year. In the past, the ADDY trophy would take on different forms, depending on the particular theme for the year. As a result, the award itself had no real continuity because it always looked different. I applaud the choice to keep the trophy consistent. Over time it will create instant recognition for those familiar with the ADDYs.
I also really enjoyed this year’s choice of venues – the Alabama Theatre. The winning entries (including the TV spots and sales videos) were projected on the large screen as they were announced. The seating was ample and comfortable. It really felt like an award show and not just an after-work social event. However, networking is an important part of the ADDY experience and I only wish the Alabama Theatre had a little more lobby space to accommodate the attendees and the food. Navigating through the crowd was difficult. I was also disappointed that the entries were not on display for everyone to see. In previous years, tables had been set up so that people had the chance to see the entries.
In all, this year’s ADDY Awards show was a great experience. Even if you don’t work in the creative industry, attending the event will expose you to some great creative work happening right here in Birmingham.
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010
There is an enormous amount of content out there to help sales professionals improve their performances. Being in sales is a tough, competitive business, so it’s important to find an edge. That’s why I want to use this article to explore specific ways in which you and your team can implement video into your sales strategy.
- VIDEO EMAIL – There are services out there that allow you to embed a video directly within an email. No external links. No attachments. Using video in an email to a potential customer is a unique way to provide your lead with important information about your products and services. However, you need to keep it short: 30-60 seconds is ideal. Then, at the end of the video, ask the viewer to go to your website to learn more. Video email is more interactive and catches the viewer’s attention. Plus, it’s unique and certainly stands out from all the other sales people who spend time cold-calling.
- WEBINARS – Sales professionals schedule regular lunch-and-learns where they invite potential customers to attend a free lunch. After the meal, the sales team will make a presentation about the products their company offers. Face-to-face time with prospects is great for developing and nurturing business relationships, but it’s almost impossible to get everyone to attend. However, you and your sales team can take the same presentation, incorporate video, and stream it online as a webinar Then, people who are too far away to attend your lunch, may still participate. You can also make the webinar available for download at a later time, in case other prospects were unable to watch the presentation live.
- PRODUCT DEMO’S – There’s nothing like seeing a good quality product in action. Why tell your prospect that your company’s knives can cut through a car door when you can show them (remember the old Ginsu knives infomercials)? Why tell your audience that your blender can blend anything when you can show your blender shredding an iPhone? That’s the power of video. You can use video to produce impressive product demo’s that you can then pass around to prospects, insert into printed materials, show off at trade shows, or use as a leave-behind following a meeting. When people ask me what I do, I usually pull out my iPhone and show them some of my video production work. The images speak for themselves.
- PODCASTS – If your company offers products that are constantly changing, or if your products service an ever-changing industry, using video to create regular podcasts is a great way to distribute timely information. A regularly updated video podcast featuring your products, services, and relevant industry information will inform and educate potential customers, thereby increasing their willingness to buy from you. Creating valuable content establishes you as an expert in your field and creates trust and credibility. You can host the video podcasts on your website, on YouTube, or both.
Video is an excellent tool for bringing attention to your brand and the products and services you offer. Sometimes it takes a little creative thinking on how best to implement video, but the efforts will certainly pay dividends.