Facebook Live, Trend or Tremendous?

One of the biggest trends in content marketing in 2016 was video and this trend will continue to rise in 2017. If you think about it, video is absolutely everywhere online: from live streaming to social media, articles, ads and these modes will only continue to grow in the years to come. Global giant Facebook recognized this trend and staying ahead of the curve launched Facebook Live in 2015, which is now available on all Pages and profiles on Facebook for iOS, Android, and the Facebook Mentions app.

So, what is so cool and beneficial about Facebook Live?
It gives anyone the chance to share live video stories, awareness campaigns, events, even products with your followers and friends in real time. One of the coolest elements of Facebook live is the interaction with real people in real-time. Facebook Live allows followers and friends to make comments while the presenter is speaking which helps to shape the discussion, flow, and overall feel of the live event. This type of personal interaction is unparalleled in any form of advertising. The other major benefit is that you don’t have to spend hours on editing and creating fancy videos, you only need a phone, a Facebook account and a good topic for your live story to reach your audience.

Here are some ideas for your first Facebook Live session:
– Hold a Q&A on issues or topics your followers are interested with or need help with.
– Explain, inspire and share with your audience a little bit of your mastery through live tutorials and workshops
– Give your followers an exclusive look into your brand by going behind the scenes
– Show a Demo
– Interview an interesting friend or colleague
– Livestream an event. Keep in mind that your live broadcast can last up to 4 hours.
– Launch a themed video series, like TV shows that would appear regularly on a set date and time.

Video is taking over the web, it is not a trend, so jump on the band wagon! Reach out to us at AFFIRM to plan your next Facebook Live event.

Source: https://flothemes.com/benefits-facebook-live/

You Can Help!



Source: Cookthink.com

This time of year, it’s pretty normal to hear the question: “How can I help?” It’s a question our parents made us ask our friends and relatives when arriving at their homes for holiday get-togethers as kids, but it’s an important question for adults, too. “Thanks, we’re all set!” is the response you’ll get more often than not, but once in a while you will be asked to chop onions, set the table, get the baby away from the dog food, etc.

“How can I help?” is courteous when you’re a guest in someone’s home, but it’s an important question for life in general, too. This time of year, many of us are fortunate in that we can get together with our friends and families to enjoy a nice meal, gifts, and so on. Not everyone is so fortunate.

That’s why, this time of year, I always encourage people to take a little time to ask “How can I help?” in a more comprehensive way. There are people all around us that could use a warm meal or even just people to enjoy it with. As the winter starts to move in, a warm coat and some gloves are important to have, too.

There are a million ways that you can help others make their holidays better, if not special. A quick Google search of food pantries and shelters in your area will find you plenty of worthy recipients for your time, money, and even physical items like food, toys or clothing (especially outerwear). If the huge number of options gets overwhelming, feel free to drop me a line, and I’ll be happy to recommend some of the organizations that our staff and I contribute to!

Do as you are able, but don’t feel you need to do more than you’re able. Every little bit helps. If you find that giving back a little this holiday season takes exactly zero skin off your nose, then feel free to continue helping as you see fit in January, February and beyond!

Thank you all for reading, and from all of us at Staples Marketing, have a very HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

“Google Gesture” Student Concept Video Delights Then Disappoints Web Audiences


Source: ADWEEK.com

Let’s touch on some awesome, albeit “fake,” technology! Let’s also touch on how “fake” marketing might also lead to some pretty fascinating technological advancement. Based on my research, the “Google Gesture” program involves an app that strives to help people understand sign language in real-time with the help of a wearable wristband that analyzes muscle movements made when signing in a process known as electromyography. The movements read by the wristband would then, in theory, be communicated to the app and translated into audible words pretty much instantaneously.

Sounds neat, right? However, the concept video that went viral on the web was actually created by marketing students at Berghs School of Communication in Sweden and, as stated in a follow-up article put out by Mashable, “The concept isn’t real, but the thinking behind it is smart: an app that can translate sign language into speech, with the help of a wearable wristband. The video was filmed by students at Berghs School of Communication and is presented as though it was developed by Google.”

The concept video is fabulous and would serve as a wonderful marketing tool. It tactfully addresses the needs that Google Gesture technology would meet and introduces the profound impact such technology would have on the communication abilities of many individuals around the world. After watching the video, I felt deeply moved; I understood the technology, respected the mission of Google behind the technology, and would certainly support its further development and widespread use.

The video does a fine job of outlining scientific information in some pretty basic terms and with strong graphic representation. It also nicely plays on the heart strings of people everywhere by addressing the human condition, and specifically, our need to communicate with one another. As stated by Ludwig Hallstensson, a member of the team that dreamt up the concept and put together the promotional video, “Sure, new technologies are really cool, but it is first when they are interacting with humans in a way that they solve real problems [that] they get interesting. When this is achieved, you can communicate in [a] way that makes people listen and care about them, not only thinking it is cool.”

So, although the concept video nor the product are actually real, much can be gained from taking a look at what some creative young people not only envisioned, but also successfully marketed. While the product doesn’t currently exist, the video was so touching that I sincerely wish it did! And so do many others who expressed sadness and frustration at learning the product is not currently in existence. But hey, given the positive social media coverage resulting from the concept video, and subsequent uproar as interested parties learned the product doesn’t yet exist, I imagine Google may soon take heed, turn some dreams into reality, and positively impact society in the process.

You can watch the Google Gesture concept video here: http://mashable.com/2014/06/20/google-gesture-app/

Let me know your thoughts on both the fictitious product and the concept video in a comment below!

Using Discomfort as a Tool for Change


Have you ever seen or heard an ad that really rubbed you the wrong way? Did it rub you the wrong way because you knew it was true, but didn’t want to acknowledge it, or did you truly find it offensive? The Strong4Life campaign, an anti-obesity ad campaign that ran in Georgia several years ago, spurred much controversy by publishing ads featuring obese children with headlines such as, “Fat Kids Become Fat Adults,” “Big Bones Didn’t Make Me This Way; Big Meals Did,” and “It’s Hard to Be a Little Girl If You’re Not.”

Critics argued that the campaign offered no solution to the problem and employed inappropriate shock tactics, but Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, which co-founded the Strong4Life campaign, intended for the ads to be controversial. The goal was to help parents recognize the severity of the obesity epidemic in Georgia. And they were done trying to “sugarcoat” the problem.

The ads didn’t run for long, but conversations regarding the campaign continued online and in media coverage worldwide for quite some time. This only added to the debate over what makes an ad effective. If people are still talking about the campaign today, I’d argue that all publicity is good publicity. The controversial nature of the campaign certainly got people talking about the subject, which certainly seems like a first step toward combating childhood obesity.

I agree with Maya Walters, a teenager with high blood pressure who appeared in one of the ads, who said, “It’s very provocative and makes people uncomfortable, but it’s when people are uncomfortable that change comes.” Based on what I’ve learned about advertising and social marketing both through formal education and personal experience, what Maya stated proves true more often than not. Shock value that leads to discomfort doesn’t work for everything, but in this case, I think it truly encourages change.

As a New York Times article commenting on the issue stated, “The problems that obese children face, like hypertension and bullying, won’t be lessened by ignoring them” (Georgia’s Tough Campaign Against Childhood Obesity, KJ Dell’Antonia, 6/3/12).  Because in many cases, addressing obesity is something individuals can tackle with a commitment to lifestyle changes, the ads weren’t targeting and attacking people for something they could not change. Rather, they were designed to inspire people to begin making changes that may ultimately save their lives.

I can’t speak for other people, but often for me, feeling a little guilty about my choices and where they’ve led me serves as powerful motivation for making changes for the better.

An Important Message About Unimportant Messages


A new documentary short by German director Werner Herzog has been added recently to Netflix and other online streaming outlets.   A number of his documentaries can be found on Netflix, and some of his narrative films, as well, but this particular film strikes a chord with us here at Staples Marketing.

The film is called FROM ONE SECOND TO THE NEXT and it tells the stories of four different texting-while-driving accidents, and the effects that they have had on those involved. The message is an important one, and it couldn’t be more clear: texting and driving destroys lives.

Staples Marketing interviewed Xzavier Davis-Bilbo (the first of the four accident victims in the film), along with his mother, for a Wisconsin DOT “Distracted Driving” message.  You can find that interview at http://www.zeroinwisconsin.gov/media.html

We are continuously grateful that we’ve been able to work with the Wisconsin DOT on their vital ZERO IN WISCONSIN campaign, and we are always encouraged to see others (including prominent filmmakers) get involved with a similar message. Click below to see the trailer:

Social Marketing vs. Social Media


Did you make any New Year’s resolutions? Start wearing a seat belt? Lose weight? Quit smoking? Stop drinking? That decision might just possibly have been the result of SOCIAL MARKETING. Social marketing is an effort to affect a behavioral change instead of to sell a product (check out Donald Driver, a regular wearer of seat belts).

You might use social media to help effect that change. In fact, FitBit and other exercise programs can be very effective because people are sharing their experience with others using online/social channels and making use of the spirit of competition to help motivate everyone to meet their goals.  

So, what is social marketing and how is it different from social media?

Social marketing: Social marketing was “born” as a discipline in the 1970s, when Philip Kotler and Gerald Zaltman realized that the same marketing principles that were being used to sell products to consumers could be used to “sell” ideas, attitudes and behaviors. Kotler and Andreasen define social marketing as “differing from other areas of marketing only with respect to the objectives of the marketer and his or her organization. Social marketing seeks to influence social behaviors not to benefit the marketer, but to benefit the target audience and the general society.” 

Social media: is just one of a wide range of tools and tactics that can be used to help support a social marketing effort. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest are just some of the social media channels available.

Many public health efforts use social marketing to help effect changes – such as cancer screenings, smoking cessation, food safety, nutrition and more. Through research, we get at the heart of both what motivates as well as what barriers exist in affecting behavioral change among our target audience. We then craft the messaging and the method in which those messages will be delivered based on the audience. Social marketing is measured in years, not months.  

Staples Marketing specializes in social marketing – we help reduce the number of deaths on Wisconsin roadways and increase the number of people recycling or using public transit. If you’re still confused about the difference between social marketing and social media – let us know. We’ll be glad to help clarify.