April 15, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Earth Day is April 22. In honor of our environment, here are a few ways to use social and online media to extend your marketing reach without expanding your environmental footprint. Added bonus: you won’t have to add a lot to your budget to do it.
Use social media to build interactive relationships with consumers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and others can give them a more personal insight into your company and brand. And don’t just use these outlets for “show and tell.” You can gather information about what people like or want through polls, questions, contests, freebies, photos and videos. Inviting interaction builds trust and creates interest. To be effective, you must post consistently, and always try to respond to viewers’ input.
Social media information generally falls in three categories:
- General – tweet your own or others’ articles about your industry, ask questions (what should our next product be?), request help/suggestions
- Company – show product photos, share staff and customer support information and client news, offer tips on using your product or service, post frequently asked questions with the answers, note press mentions about your company
- Sales/Marketing – promote events, time limited sales, coupon codes, web site specials, store or service specials
E-blasts are a cost-effective way to market directly to an interested audience. For these, keep your message focused and brief, with eye-catching visuals and headlines. Use them to promote a specific service or event. It’s usually best to limit them to 1-4 times per month – any more and recipients may begin to ignore them.
Blogs are another way to promote interest in your company, and they drive viewers to your website. They can be written or in video form and might be educational, thought provoking or simply entertaining. Some people do weekly blogs then promote them via e-blasts to readers who opt in. There’s no need to be elaborate – this is about presence, being in their inbox on the same day every week. Software programs are available to automate the sending process.
March 12, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Sports, in some fashion, is an area of interest to most people – whether following a favorite team or just staying fit. It appeals to people’s needs for fun and for being a part of a larger group. There is also an innate competitive spirit that resides to some degree in all of us. Generally speaking, sports engenders positive feelings in most people.
Capitalizing on that and associating those feelings with a company or product just makes sense.
An infinite amount of ink has been spilt on the topic, so we will review just one aspect of sports marketing – sponsorships.
Sponsorships serve two purposes – developing name recognition among your target market and being seen as a generous supporter in your community. Whether you title-sponsor a nationally televised college bowl game or simply buy an ad in the local high school’s game program, sports venues are an excellent opportunity to get your company in front of a captive audience.
We recommend creating an event that is unique to you. The key is to focus on who you are as a company. Here are a couple of examples of our clients’ involvement with Mississippi State University’s athletics program that demonstrate how to think outside the box.
- Golden Triangle Regional (GTR) Airport’s “Catch a Ball, Catch a Flight” promotion takes place each spring at MSU’s home baseball games. Anyone who catches a fly or foul ball is registered to win 2 free round trip tickets from GTR to be given away at the last game. GTR gets season long promotions and gets to make the on-field presentation to the winner. In the process, they create what they hope will be two more long-term customers for themselves.
- The second example involves Triangle Federal Credit Union. During each home football game, the stadium cameras pan the student section to find the fan that is dressed to show the most Bulldog spirit. The chosen student is then brought to the field for a presentation that is shown on the giant video screen. The Triangle Federal Credit Union Student Fan of the Game is given a check for $500 from the credit union. Triangle FCU has found this is a good way to get students’ attention and their business.
The cool thing about both of these promotions is that they are unique to the clients and emphasize what it is their businesses do. They also focus the entire stadium’s attention on their company at a single point in time. The athletic department appreciates these type promotions because they add to the overall game experience, giving fans one more reason to buy tickets. A promotion of this sort is a win-win for both parties.
So, we encourage you to think about sports sponsorships as a vehicle to share what your company does with an enthusiastic crowd, and if you need some creative ideas, give us a shout.
January 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
To help make the most of their investments, many advertisers have been building anticipation and audience through social media campaigns.
Social media marketing focuses on drawing potential customers into interactive relationships. The Super Bowl this year has presented loads of opportunities for “real people” to take part in ad campaigns – yes, you could be in a Super Bowl ad.
A scan of the Internet reveals some of the places where you can watch for your Aunt Edna or next door neighbor Bob to show up:
• Doritos is holding its seventh “Crash the Super Bowl” contest, in which the top two amateur-submitted ads (one chosen by public votes online, the other by Doritos) run during the game. The higher rated winner will get to work with director Michael Bay on the next “Transformers” movie.
• Coca-Cola’s polar bears have been replaced by showgirls, cowboys and badlanders. During the football game, viewers will be able to play a social media game in which they can pick their favorite group and sabotage the others. Sharing it with other consumers will allow players to unlock more content, such as coupons for free product. A cross-promotion with Domino’s has their delivery drivers showing up in the game, too. Teaser commercials have already been running, and a first-quarter ad is expected to set the scene. A spot after the fourth quarter will reveal the results.
• Jimmy Fallon was enlisted by Lincoln to solicit consumers’ road trip stories via Twitter. The company chose five to incorporate into their commercial, which will be Lincoln’s first in the Super Bowl.
• Pepsi drinkers were invited to submit photos of themselves to be used in the brand-sponsored halftime show, and 50 of their names were drawn to be on the sidelines at halftime. Photos are expected to be featured in a first-half commercial as well.
• Pizza Hut’s commercial will feature customer-submitted video clips in which the fans are yelling “Hut Hut Hut”. Also, if a quarterback says “hut” during the game, Pizza Hut indicates it will give away samples of a new product the following Tuesday.
• One of the most “out there” promotions is by Axe, the line of men’s hygiene products. The brand known for extreme ads is sending regular people into space. Yep, space. Until Feb. 3, would-be astronauts can apply for 22 open spots on a private spaceship. The brand’s Super Bowl ad is expected to kick off a contest for a 23rd spot.
Of course, Super Bowl commercials are also about marketing through entertainment. You can expect to see some old favorites like E-Trade’s talking baby and Budweiser’s Clydesdales. You’ll be able to preview anticipated blockbuster movies like “Star Trek into Darkness” and “Oz: The Great and Powerful.”
And high-profile folks will get their share of the advertising focus. Some of those you can expect to see are Amy Poehler for Best Buy, Danica Patrick for godaddy.com, Usher and Kate Upton for Mercedes-Benz, Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson for the Milk Processor Education Program (the “got milk” people) and Tracy Morgan for Mio.
Let us know what you think about the game-day ads as they run! Join Quest on Facebook for our Get Your Game Face On party and commentary this Sunday at 5 pm.