Author Archives: Carlos

Going Viral

Traditional forms of marketing have been decreasing over the past decade due to new products that have enabled consumers to block out the inconvenient, and of course unwanted, ads.  Print advertisements, television commercials, and radio advertisements have been the most affected forms of marketing due to products that have enabled and even enhanced consumers’ arsenals against traditional media efforts.  The following products have lead to the decline of traditional advertisements effectiveness: increased use of the Internet, Smartphones, Satellite Radio, DVR, TiVo, iHeart Radio, and Pandora.  But why are these products so effective?  Well, I would contribute it to the need and/or desire for consumers to increase the number of hours in the day.  This of course is not possible; therefore, the only way to experience this feeling is through the process of multitasking.

Most of the products mentioned above were designed to simplify consumers’ demanding lives in one way or another.  For example the Internet allows consumers to search for a desired company’s information: hours of operation, product offerings/services, phone number, and coupons.  Social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) have enhanced the consumers’ experiences on the Internet by enabling the consumer to access insider information such as new products, locations, and/or coupons for companies of their choosing.  DVR, TiVo, iHeart Radio, Satellite Radio, and Pandora, on the other hand, has enabled consumers to either reduce or completely eliminate companies’ interjected commercials within their selected program/s.  These products cater to what the consumer wishes to hear and/or wants to see.

If consumers are able to drastically reduce the number of advertisements he or she sees, what does this mean for advertisers?  Well, advertising companies must catch the eye and connect emotionally with the consumer on some level.   This is where viral ads come into play.  Viral ads are my favorite type of advertising because companies typically take creativity to an entirely new level.  If done correctly, consumers will feel connected to the advertisement either in a positive or even a negative way and feel compelled to share it with friends, family, acquaintances, and eventually the world.  The best viral videos connect in some way with the lifestyle the brand has immersed itself into.  Please click the following links to view some of my favorite and highly affective viral videos by Red Bull, GoPro, and Budweiser.

Red Bull Kluge

Red Bull Stratos

GoPro HERO3

The Clydesdales: “Brotherhood”

By: Shelley Mitchell

Can Advertising Be Too Creative?

Like most Americans one of my favorite days of the year Superbowl Sunday. The beauty of it is I can get together with my football friends and talk about the big game, or I sit there with my friends who aren’t interested in the game and talk about the real entertainment, the commercials.

Usually there are a couple commercials worth a few laughs. When in doubt Doritos just about always come through for a laugh.

In recent years I’ve heard complaints that the commercials aren’t as funny as they used to be. While that’s probably true, the biggest problem I’ve seen is the lack in promoting the actual product. The reason I love the Doritos commercials is because they’re simple, funny, and most importantly focus on the product. THAT is what’s most important. Every year GoDaddy.com has a Superbowl ad that everyone talks about (for better or worse) but still a lot of people don’t know what the company does. It’s about the ad, not the service.

I notice this problem most frequently with car ads. Two years ago the big Superbowl ad was the kid dressed up as Darth Vader. It was creative, entertaining, and very popular. But when you stop and think about it, how many people really knew what the car in the commercial was? I asked that question to a room of 30 classmates. Only 5 could tell me it was Volkswagen.

In 2012 there were two major car commercials featuring major celebrities. One featured Matthew Broderick in a “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” type of setting, and another featured Jerry Seinfeld. Both were about cars, yet if you just showed them to a stranger who had never seen them before, they wouldn’t know what it was for. Broderick’s commercial was for Honda and Seinfeld’s was for Acura. While all of these commercials did feature the vehicles, it became more about the ad and less about the product, which in the long run doesn’t help boost sales. In essence it was too creative and got away from what the focus should be, which is the product.

It’s no secret creative advertising is a challenge. But with something like the Superbowl which costs $4 million a spot you need to make the most out of that investment. This holds true for all advertising. You could have the most creative idea around but if people don’t know what it’s for then it’s a waste. Especially if you’re a smaller company and need to stretch every advertising dollar. With a limited advertising budget the quality of your ad becomes more and more important. The creative needs to be something that gets a person’s attention but doesn’t take the focus away from the product. Finding that balance is key to successful advertising.

Why Small Business Needs Big Social Media

It’s been said over and over again in business the last few years; if you are trying to market you NEED to be on social media. Why is social media so important? For starters it’s the best way to directly connect with customers. Anytime something big is happening with your company and you need to let people know about it, social media is a low cost, instant way to alert your customer base.

Despite these clear advantages there are still several companies that aren’t utilizing social media. Now it’s true most of the large companies and corporations have Facebook pages or Twitter accounts that allow them to directly interact with customers. The companies who usually don’t utilize social media for their business tend to be small businesses. This could be because they aren’t as heavily focused on marketing and don’t have a business savvy account executive telling them this is how to advertise. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s actually small businesses that should be utilizing social media more than big businesses.

Imagine you’re the owner of a brand new sporting goods store. You want to compete with the big boys like Dick’s and Sports Authority. You need to generate interest in your store so you make a website and company Facebook page. Now anyone can make a Facebook page but you have to find a way to make it mean something. How do you generate more likes and use that page to get people’s attention?

The answer is you make it worth their while. Make your page something people want to like and get announcements about. Use it to let your customers know about any deals, sales, savings, or something else that will benefit them. If you don’t have something like that going on at the time, simply post something to get customers talking. You’re a sporting goods store ask your followers if they’re excited for baseball season or who they think is going to win the NBA finals. Not only is this a simple, fun way to interact with your customer base, but it also builds customer loyalty. It makes them feel like they’re a friend and you’re noticing them when you respond.

I’ve worked for two companies while in college. One of them did social media right, the other didn’t. From my freshmen year to end of my junior year in college I worked at a national company that had a Facebook page but rarely tried to use it to move the company forward. This has changed since I left but it stills baffles me that for three years this company didn’t make any strides in using a simple tool to reach customers. Especially since it was a wholesale club and could’ve used it to tell customers about that months new coupons or what was being marked down. It was certainly a missed opportunity.

The second company I worked for in college was an event called the Best Damn Race. This was a first year event in Clearwater, FL. This company did everything it could with social media to generate interest and get people to get excited for the event. It used Facebook to ask runners why they were running the race, announce new sponsors, post pictures of the t-shirts and finisher medals, give away free stuff, etc. They made sure everyone was informed about the event and the excitement level never let down. This is how you use social media as a small company.

So why is social media important for a small business? It’s low cost and simple to use. It also allows businesses to directly reach its customers which will build long term customer loyalty. Any small business not currently using social media to expand their business is falling behind. This is a golden opportunity for growth.

LinkedIn Marketing Strategies

Content Creation

LinkedIn is a social media website that is designed to help individuals and businesses network in the professional community. A company’s page can create an easily accessible inside view of a company for its current and prospective customers while it enables the company to have a better understanding of their customers’ demographics, wants, and needs. This social media website allows users to search, create, and/or access viable content. Creating content on the company’s LinkedIn page is crucial in order to gain more followers.

The creation of content in LinkedIn can also benefit a company’s search engine optimization (SEO). It is recommended that the company create new content each day. This can be done in only a few minutes by typing a brief update. In order to network most efficiently through LinkedIn it is recommended that the businesses:

1. Customize LinkedIn URL to include company’s name
2. Link the URL to the company’s pages (website, blogs, Twitter page, Facebook page, Pinterest page)
3. Link to the URL (on other social media page,business email, company blogs)
4. Recommend and get recommendations (recommend businesses, contractors, former employees in order to receive recommendations)
5. Create/Lead a group (typically the group members are in the same industry or have similar interests)
6. Include educational content in order to create Buzz

Targeting Your Audience

Did you know LinkedIn enables businesses to reach their targeted audience through targeted messages catered to a defined demographic? With over 200 million professionals and businesses on LinkedIn this option is extremely beneficial for companies of all sizes. But how is it done? A company with a LinkedIn profile can use LinkedIn’s analytical and insight studies tools in order to define their targeted audience on LinkedIn. The target audience of a company’s LinkedIn is defined by their followers’ demographic/s – ethnicity, age, gender, geographic, etc. In order to reach these consumers the company must cater their strategy to the defined demographic/s. The company can also take a more direct route via contacting individuals in the targeted audience via InMail, LinkedIn’s version of an email inbox. Due to LinkedIn’s reputation as a social media website where professionals and businesses connect, users are more likely to open their LinkedIn emails.

By: Shelley Mitchell (Intern)

5 Marketing Resolutions for the New Year

Since 2012 is soon to be a wrap, it only seems fitting to decide your 2013 marketing resolutions. Marketing is one of the most important aspects of a business, be sure to think long and hard on your new resolutions. Look back at the past year, and decide what you may have done differently. If you need help with determining your business’ resolutions don’t worry we are here to help. Make 2013 your best year in business yet.

1.    Target Advertising

Need to cut down your marketing budget this year? Marketing research is key to advertising. Research which demographics would most likely use your product or service; focus on this small demographic group when marketing. When targeting certain segments, it will decrease the amount spent as well as focus on the group that would most likely buy into your product or service.

 2.    Increase your Social Media Presence

Does your company currently have a social media presence? Social media can engage past clients as well as bring in the new. If you are currently on social media platforms, step up your game. Start using new and different platforms in 2013.

3.    New Connections

Make 2013 a year of networking. Attend association luncheons and conferences, these are perfect places to network. Not only could these people be your future customers, but you can actually learn something from them to. Keep these new connections engaged through social media and email marketing.

4.    Try New Things

Don’t let fear keep you from trying new things. Sometimes taking a risk can be a good thing, especially in marketing. Think of innovative ways to get your brand out there. Be creative. Create monthly emails, new discounts, create a YouTube channel, Facebook more often, or create a Twitter account.

5.    Give your Website a Facelift

It is important to keep your website up to date on the latest information. Your website could very possibly be a customers first impression of your business. Make sure your website is easy to navigate, has your company’s current information, and appealing to the eye.

Have we given you enough resolution ideas? Reminisce on 2012, and start brainstorming today on your 2013 resolutions. Take what you have learned from the past year, and use those lessons and experiences this year. Remember to take a risk and try new things this year.

Source: Flow Town

Increase Your Company’s Sales Through YouTube

Did you know YouTube has become the second most used search engine? This is why your company should utilize this social media channel. Video marketing can increase your company’s sales drastically. This is why video marketing should be implemented into your company’s marketing plan.

Why has YouTube become so big? Videos keep people’s attention, rather than long articles. People of all ages- both young and old use YouTube. Businesses should use YouTube for many reasons. Inform potential customers about your business. These potential customers can learn about your business prior to contacting you. Businesses should also take their YouTube videos and place them on their webpages. Google has started to rank webpages higher when they contain videos. Businesses can demonstrate their expertise and knowledge about their industry. Remember, 10 million people watch YouTube everyday if you don’t have videos on YouTube, your customers will learn about your competition.

Are you convinced yet? If not, here are 4 steps to show how easy it is to create YouTube videos:

1. Decide the message of your video:

You must first ask yourself- what type of business are you and who are your customers? Remember to inform your customers do not try to sell them on some product. (40% of searches on YouTube are “how to” videos).

2. Record and Edit your video:

Make sure to convey one piece of information. Have clear, concise, thoughts. Create your video and edit.

3. Create your business’s YouTube channel           

4. Distribute your video to current and past clients:

Send your video out to past clients through an email blast; add the video to your monthly email blast. Don’t forget to share your new video through social media. LinkedIn is a great place to share your video. Join groups, post your videos, and be involved in discussions. Get the viewers to watch the video on your website. Create lead captures (white papers, information forms, etc.) so you can obtain their information to educate them more.

Increase your sales through Video Marketing. In today’s age, it is imperative to have a YouTube channel. Remember, YouTube has become the second most used search engine. Begin creating videos today to educate current customers and potential customers. Don’t get discouraged if you do not see immediate results. Stay positive and keep with it.

Protect Yourself From the Flu this Season

Did you know the flu season could start as early as October? Have you gotten your flu vaccine yet? The seasonal flu usual begins in the Fall and ends in the Spring. You may be asking when should you receive the flu vaccine? That is why we are writing this post! We want you to know how to protect yourself from the upcoming flu season!

Who and When Should A Person Receive the Flu Vaccine?

The flu vaccine takes about 2 weeks to be affective. Patients are recommended to come in and receive the vaccine as early as August. Who should receive the vaccine? Most doctors recommend people over the age of 6 months should receive the flu vaccine. Although it is optional for people to receive the flu vaccine, the following list of people are at a higher risk and are strongly encouraged to receive the vaccine:

  • People who have certain medical conditions (asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease)
  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 years and older

Flu Symptoms:

If you or a person you know has one or more of the following symptoms, they should contact their doctor immediately:

  • Fever (usually high)
  • Aches and pains in the joints and muscles and around the eyes
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dry cough
  • Sore throat

Make sure you are protected from the flu this season. Receive your flu vaccine today. Remember to talk to your doctor for more information about the flu virus. The doctors and nurses at CalltheDoc.com are available all day, every day to answer your questions about the flu or other medical problems. Call 1-800-414-7882 to learn more about our services, or sign up today.