Some time ago I planned to write an article about the increasing importance and value of Event Marketing. I planned the headline and the picture as I do to get the story in my head as i do every time, when I start thinking about what I will write about.
But this is not the article I planned to write on why Event Marketing needs to be a key component in every brand building and sales campaign these days.
The more I thought about the importance of Event Marketing and adding High Touch in a High Tech world was important I realised most EVENTS are missing some key components and we have not changed the basic way we do events of all types in business. The two key elements overlooked or lacking for all manner of reasons, not the least of which is we avoid things that are new and disruptive, are Event Media (as opposed to Marketing) and Event Presentation (as opposed to Production) …. as they just become part of the Marketing or Management and don’t get the focus deserved these days in a much changed world because they get squeezed out in a largely operational budgeting exercise. Continue reading Seduce and Enjoy – Engaging and Entertaining your Audience
Barely a day goes by without someone telling me they can help me get my site listed on the first page in Google via SEO, SEM etc etc
It is reasonable that in business we are obsessed with getting onto that page for our category of business in Google otherwise we may become invisible so we fall for these promises all too often.
Lets face it Google is an Ad Company they have no interest in your site ever being found unless you buy an ad (AdWords) from them. So they make it hard as possible for anyone to work out how to get found without advertising ….so don’t waste your money on people they say they can do it and spend it where it will get results.
As the number of websites continues to grow achieving this and standing out from the competition gets harder and harder and creativity becomes more and more important. So I repeat don’t listen to people that say they can do what you want as they are selling the same story to your competitors too.
Anyway given Google is the new Yellow Pages do you really want people looking for you on a page that features your competitors too or do you want to be unique.
In a recent post More Than A TV Commercial I talked about how we linked TV ads to the Website via a repeated call to act ….. and also the use of a unique and memorable domain name … The aim being to stop prospects searching generically based on what the business does and remember a catchy tag line instead.
Recently we have seen the proliferation of the hashtag and I see them as another means to make sure you get found.
What is a HashTag all about? Well according to Mashable.com
Hashtags are those short links preceded by the pound sign (#) — may seem confusing and unnecessary. But they are integral to the way we communicate online, and it’s important to know how to use them
On Twitter, the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. So, if you wanted to post about the Breaking Bad finale, you would include #BreakingBad in your tweet to join the conversation. Click on a hashtag to see all the posts that mention the subject in real time.
Now we see them everywhere on the backdrops for interviews on the red carpet at the Oscars through to weddings to ensure all the pics taken can be seen by all.
TV has been leveraging Hashtags for some time now to have viewers talk about shows while they air. And now there is talk about tighter integration between Twitter and TV
Given it can be a powerful search facility and it can be as memorable as you can be creative it is important for business to focus more on Hashtags.
Slogans and TagLines should be in hashtags and through common use the brand can own the Hashtag.
So just as it was once vital to register a Business name and trademark etc it became just as important to do the same with relevant domain names and Social Media handles in Twitter etc now its about HashTags.
They are informal there is no registering its all about usage so just decide on the best ones for you and start using them everywhere.
If you use a tagline for your web address and you should if its memorable then make sure you use it often as a hashtag too,
For as long as I can remember I have been highly cynical of Testimonials posted on websites …. in fact the more a business has, the more cynical I become. Generally they either feel like they have been written by someone like me for a client or written by a real customer struggling to not speak in marketing babble.
As such I have avoided where possible using Testimonials for my clients unless I can find ways to add credibility – inclusion of a real picture for example. And more recently I have dropped the term Testimonial and adopted the term Memories … a much softer and, in my opinion, a more genuine sounding description.
Of course the memories are always good ones.
In line with this concept we have recently developed a new Campaign for our client Property Asset Planning. For some time we have used the website address FindOutTheFactsNow.com as a slogan across all of our campaigns to imply that unlike our competition we deal only in the Facts.
But in an investment business that talks about reducing tax and increasing wealth it is not possible to substantiate some of the facts in a manner that is acceptable to CAD – Commercials Advice service which provides classification and information services to advertisers, agencies and production houses in relation to television commercials and infomercials and effectively governs what Free-to-Air TV stations will run.
As such we decided it was best to use the memories of our clients to tell the real facts that we wanted to convey to the general public in a series of Television Commercials to air on Network 10 over the next few months. Continue reading Forget Testimonials – Think Memories
When Twitter first appeared on the horizon and started getting publicity i decided to jump in and give it a go. Given the nature if my business at the time I did it for two reasons.
1. I wanted understand it and see what value it added to business
2. I wanted to show my clients and prospects that i continue to surf at the front of the wave.
I quickly found that it was very useful and had great potential reach wider audiences with relevant content. I also found that contrary to public opinion it was not for kids like Facebook was at the time it was more for older more serious types….like me. Why was that??
Most mass trends these days are driven by some form if celebrity involvement. In the case of Twitter it seems that the older celebs got to it first. One of the most notable early adopters was British actor Stephen Fry who garnered a serious and older group of followers while Oprah was another that developed following early.
As such it seems the younger Social Media devotees avoided it … at one stage the average demographic for Twitter was closer to 40 than 20. The the younger celebs like Brittney Spears and Justin Bieber jumped n board and the demographic headed south rapidly.
But a real driver of the Twitter phenomenon was delivering of instant news and the restriction that kept posts short and therefore easy to judge value and impact. The rebellions on the Middle East certainly proved the impact of the info restrictions.
But the instant nature and relevant and easy to interpret info had proven to me very quickly that Twitter was the most valuable of all the Social Media because I could get up to date instant trends and info quickly …much more useful as a search engine to me than Google’s mish mash of old and new posts, paid and organic, relevant and not so… and as such I had extolled its virtues to my family but apparently they weren’t listening.
But then one evening as I slept peacefully on the couch having been put into a coma by yet another night of uninteresting TV programming…a mini earthquake hit Adelaide. I was quickly woken from my slumber not by the earthquake but by my family wanting to know what had happened.
“Quick, get on Twitter and find out if that was an earthquake” was the cry from my wife and teenage daughters.
So I did and found there was … and 20 minutes before TV or Radio reported it I knew roughly where the centre had been and within 2 hours I was being told I could buy online T-Shirts proclaiming I Had survived the Earthquake!!
So instant news combined with the celeb factor has seen a very rapid uptake …. along with ease of use and the short concise info restrictions.
No matter if you want to listen or be heard by the masses Twitter is the tool for you
For the past couple of weeks Harvey Norman have been advertising Flip SD Video cams for $78 or $88. As the one I have has a cracked screen I decided to buy one. So I took trips to two stores over the past two weeks … but alas neither store had any in stock… despite being in the store at 9 am on the day the catalogue appeared.
So today I turned to Twitter to see if they were listening. In my Social Media presentations I quote the COO of Harvey Norman from a recent interview where he says he has a small team who listen to Social Media to ensure customer alignment so i was very pleased to have a reason to test them out.
As you will see my Tweet was reTweeted and very quickly picked up by The Manager for Social Media who apologised for the delay in getting back to me….even though he responded within an hour or so on Sunday evening!!
He followed through on email to get further details and has assured me I will hear from my nominated store tomorrow once they have one in stock for me.
So I am pleased to know they are listening … and outside of normal hours … and they are effective in responding and dealing with the problem.
In my next presentation I will go from quote to personal case study.
Twitter is changing service for the better …. just a pity there are so few that have embraced it yet in Adelaide!!
Quite often I am involved in discussions and debates about why business will or wont adopt Social Media. Generally these arise because Social media is generally talked about in non hard edge business terms and the focus is on the warm and fuzzy. People (inc me) talk about numbers and stats, communities ans conversations when business wants to know about customers and sales.
There is an old business adage – Nothing Happens until Someone Sells Something!!
So when I read stories about why business should be using social media I generally draw on my past experience in sales and managing sales to teams to analyse what will turn business on about Social Media.
The first thing that comes to mind is the need for some cultural change and some organisational change for Social Media to thrive in business. Marketing, PR, Customer Service and Sales need to take down the walls and work as one team to leverage Social Media for real business benefits. Having done that they can focus on getting from conversation to contract.
Recently I sparked a great discussion around this topic on Twitter by asking why would business adopt Social Media if it didn’t deliver direct bottom line benefits ….
My question was – If businesses join Social Networks to sell ….. but nobody ever joins to buy…. why should business bother.
It was a very useful exercise and unearthed many opinions and in the end I think there was some consensus ti the views I presented. Combining the feedback with our experience in working with a variety of clients … and my direct experience in sales and marketing with companies small and large, local and multinational I have come up with some basics for business:
Tell genuine stories to build awareness & credibility and engage buyers in conversation with a focus on making sales and develop long-term loyalty,that’s what business should reasonably expect from Social Media not warm and fuzzy PR and shout out advertising.
A Social Media Campaign must deliver
+ Consideration and genuine interest
+ Willingness to try and buy
+ Loyalty and ongoing alignment
+ Advocacy and “ownership”
Some basic rules
Be What You Say ….. and …. Say What You Be
Talk about the benefits you bring to people Not about how good your organisation is
Have others tell your story for you
At the end of the day Social Media is old-fashioned business it’s about building Sales by Listening, Building Credibility, Solving Problems and Word of Mouth Marketing.