Ten years ago, Bridget opened a yoga studio in her small, Midwestern hometown. Back then, yoga’s popularity was on the rise and she was among the first to introduce it to her community. Before long, she had a waiting list of students.
Flash forward to today …
There are dozens of yoga studios and other places to attend classes. Moms in yoga pants are everywhere you look, and Bridget is far from the only yogi in town. Lots of people saw the same opportunity, and even though the potential customer base for yoga has grown, her market is oversaturated. Bridget needs a way to differentiate her business from the competition.
I bet you think we’re about to suggest content marketing as the solution? Nope. In fact, digital content creators have the exact same problem as Bridget.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a coffee shop, commercial construction, or your content marketing plan, when you’re not the only player in the game, you need to find a way to stand out from the crowd.
Digital marketing strategies often fall flat because companies fail to analyze the competition’s efforts before jumping in. You must look for ways to add value and break through the noise. But how?
Continue reading How to Create Content that Cuts Through Clutter and Crushes the Competition
Picture this: you live in a small town where everyone knows everyone and nothing’s a secret. One day, Nancy has a bad experience with a clerk at the grocery store. Tales of the rogue clerk spread through book club and golf league like wildfire, and the grocer soon sees his sales plummet.
In this digital age, the web is much like that small town. Rumors take root on sites like Google Places, Yelp, and Angie’s List, and, if left unmanaged, spread and endure, damaging sales like Negative Nancy’s comment did to our poor grocer.
What to do? Some may tell you to ignore the haters and focus on what you do well. We’ll argue the opposite. The first step to effective online reputation management is embracing the negativity that comes with a digital presence.
Continue reading Online Brand Reputation Management: The Good, The Bad, and the Trolls
There’s a lot of advice out there about email marketing, from myths and best practices to guidance from gurus and case studies with stats that will blow your mind. But is it all trustworthy?
If you’ve become frustrated with your company’s email marketing results, you may be relying too much on outdated, inaccurate, or anecdotal evidence. Here’s the truth about email marketing best practices and some honest advice about what matters most … Continue reading Email Marketing: Can You Trust Best Practices?
As amazing as it would be, the vast majority of us will never be able to afford an advertisement during the Super Bowl.
If you do happen to have four or five million dollars in your marketing budget, that money might be best spent somewhere besides a single 30-second spot.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t strive to make a Super Bowl caliber commercial.
In fact, if you play your cards right, you could create something that gets just as many eyeballs and buzz as the Budweiser frogs. Thanks to the magic of the internet, you don’t have to pay millions to get people talking. You just need to make something that’s worth talking about.
Let’s take a look at some of the elements that go into making an advertisement of Super Bowl quality.
Continue reading 7 Ways to Make a Winning Super Bowl Commercial
Let’s talk about the ‘b’ word everyone likes to avoid: Budgets. When it comes to putting together your marketing plan or next project, writing down that number next to each line item can be tricky. While you’re planning out how to create a marketing budget, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Look at previous plans and budgets. Past project costs will shed a lot of light on your budget and is a great place to start when planning.
Don’t forget the details. Make sure you fully understand what all needs to come out of your marketing budget (salaries, agency fees, printing, postage, media, etc.). Next, add as much detail next to each line item as possible. Understanding where expenses come from within each project will help you make a more accurate projection.
Be upfront and honest. If you work with an agency, talk candidly about your objectives and budget. There’s always multiple ways to skin the cat so perhaps they can find ways to shave off dollars without losing the impact. Even if the initial project estimate is out of your ballpark, it’s worth a conversation to explore the possibilities.
Prioritize based on your goals. Which projects will have the most impact and will directly affect your annual objectives? Move these to the top so that if you can’t stretch your budget to accommodate all your activities, you’re at least getting done the ones that will move the needle.
If you’ve got too much on your plate or are looking for a fresh perspective on your marketing plan, remember agencies have experience planning and budgeting for a variety of clients and can add valuable perspective to the budgeting and planning process.
By: Kate Shropshire
Twitter started real-time conversations, now they have facilitated real-time video with their on-the-rise app, Periscope. We can do more than listen, we can watch things happen live. Periscope is a platform for users or brands to live stream video to the world where users are tuning in to see live broadcasts of the first appearance of the Royal baby or sunsets on mountains.
Similarly, Snapchat is bringing brands to the devices consumers are attached to. Snapchat users can see celebrities get ready for award shows or watch a video story of an international musical festival and its attendees.
So why do these platforms matter? They provide new ways for brands to showcase a story on social media. These platforms also require creativity to breakthrough the status update quo. Here are 4 tips for brands when crafting a storytelling strategy.
- Think Mobile. As more and more people rely on the Internet for news, entertainment, and communication, it’s no secret your consumers are on their phones. To reach consumers, brands need to participate on the platforms people use daily. Brands are using Snapchat to give an inside look to consumers. Taco Bell shows off new products in Snapchat stories and the NBA generates excitement around the playoffs. As a brand, you can be one click away to consumers on the platforms they already trust and love. (picture source)
- Offer True Engagement. Engagement comes naturally as users can comment on Periscope streaming videos while they are happening. As a brand, there are now opportunities to really connect with consumers instead of pushing one-way messages at them.(picture source)
- Keep It Short. Some users are watching 8-second Snapchats instead of 2-minute videos. People want quick content that costs them little time as they move on to the next thing. Consumers want behind the scenes, exclusive looks at the world around them, and they want it fast. For the Billboard Music Awards, brands showed red carpet updates to fans through quick stories that highlighted the popular stars.
- Channel Your Inner Artist. With Snapchat, brands can type, doodle, use emojis, and pick filters for video and pictures. Brands can create anything they want since custom content is easy. Use the opportunity to show case some personality and get creative. (picture source)
Now go explore the story-telling possibilities. Try it out and showcase the personality of your brand.