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/

Silly Season Sanity: Tips for Marketing During an Election Cycle

The silly season (i.e. political campaign and election cycle) has been upon us for a while, and it is only going to heat up over the next few months heading into what will be a historic presidential election no matter what happens. If you are a marketer in a contested state like Wisconsin, you may be wondering, “Is it even worth putting your message out there among the political ads and news coverage?” The answer is “yes.”

Here are a few tips for helping your brand not only survive, but thrive during silly season:

  1. Choose your media wisely: political campaigns spend most of their dollars on broadcast and cable TV.  That means that with increased demand and decreased availability, rates will go up. You may find yourself bumped for someone paying more money, or you might have to pay higher rates to keep your schedule intact. If you usually run a TV flight in the fall, you might want to consider radio, outdoor or online/mobile strategies instead. HOWEVER…if you do decide to use TV, your message will likely stand out as a refreshing change from a sea of politics, so it could be worth the extra budget.
  2. Piggyback off of preferences: candidates can be known for certain preferences, such as favorite foods or sports. Do you have a product or a service that might take advantage of that? If so, then use it. For example, Ronald Reagan was known to love jelly beans. The Jelly Belly factory (visitor’s center and warehouse are in Kenosha, WI) supplied Reagan with jelly beans all eight years of his presidency and sales grew exponentially. Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter were peanut farmers – peanut and peanut-related product sales grew significantly as a result.
  3. Stay above the fray: watch what you post on social media about politics and political candidates, especially if it could be perceived as disrespectful. It can get back to clients and customers. Best to follow the rule, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything.”
  4. Timing is everything: while it’s probably not ideal to launch a new product on November 8, 2016, remember that November 9-11 might still be crowded with all the pent-up marketing that has been waiting until that day is done. November 14-23 is likely to be a grand time for advertising and PR for your product or service.
  5. Believe in your message: if you believe in your message and its value, then keep the word out there, no matter how silly this election season gets. Someone will be grateful you did and reward you with their customer loyalty.

Don’t Be Scary

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Spiders, heights, and public speaking – oh, my! Or maybe it’s enclosed spaces, dogs, and the dentist’s office. For me, it’s centipedes and… [deep breath]… clowns. Everybody has at least one terrible personal fear, but there are things that scare us professionally and as consumers, as well.

Thousands of area businesses have websites these days, and many utilize social media, too. While it’s important to have these outlets to engage with prospective and current customers, it’s equally important to use these tools wisely. For customers, a sloppy online presentation is like spiders, public speaking, and clowns all rolled into one – SCARY!

How do you make sure you’re not scaring away business? Start by covering the basics:

– Spelling

– Punctuation

– Grammar

– Nice-looking pictures

It’s not that error-free copy is so impressive. It’s just that copy errors can be very off-putting. Save the text message language for text messages (unless they’re business-related texts).

The same goes for pictures. A photo of your company’s mascot can make for a good first impression, unless it’s blurry, pixelated, or has a big “PROOF” watermark in the middle of it. Find some nice pictures of your business, or better yet, hire someone who knows what they’re doing to take some new ones.

Also, keep your information current. You wouldn’t submit a résumé with nothing but your high school babysitting and lawn mowing gigs listed, would you? Your contact information, list of employees and clients, and case studies should all reflect what’s happening at your business right now. Make updates as often as they happen, not as often as you feel like doing them.

If you struggle with these types of things, we’ll be happy to help. Our writers and graphic artists are serious about quality presentation, and they can help you to put your best (and least scary) face forward!

Learn to Laugh a Little

Some of the best advertising done involves humor. Nothing gets people talking like a clever advertisement that makes you laugh. One recent commercial that comes to mind is done by Taco Bell, for their new breakfast menu. Various men across the country try the new breakfast items, all sporting the name “Ronald McDonald.” Get it? Ronald McDonald loves Taco Bell breakfast?! Great stuff.

Taco Bell’s twitter account is pretty hilarious too; if you’ve got some time to kill, check out @TacoBell.

And which Super Bowl commercials generate the most buzz? The ones that make us laugh out loud. People want to find things that make them laugh, so why not provide this while promoting your product? It’s a win, win.

There seems to be a barrage of inspirational, tear jerker advertisements out there right now. While these advertisements have their place, all the stock nature videos or scientists working hard on curing the world of its ills, can start to blend together.

I don’t know about you, but I won’t be sharing the ad of the business people talking at a round table, on any social media accounts of mine. But I did send the Taco Bell commercial via Google chat to a group of friends.

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So, when given the opportunity, it usually bodes well to lighten up and learn to laugh a little.

 

Social Marketing vs. Social Media

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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.    

Why do you have a website?

Like the rest of your marketing toolbox, the purpose of your website generally can be traced back to “maximizing profits”. This may seem overly crass, but of course, the details of the execution here are crucial. Depending on the industry, maximizing profit may look a lot different on a case-by-case basis. It’s important to figure out early on in the web design process how your website is intended to support your overall marketing efforts. The important question is:

What do you want people to do, and how easy is it to do that?

Say we’ve got three different clients looking for websites. The first makes custom smartphone accessories and wants to sell them directly to consumers. The second is a fairly well-established tool & die manufacturer looking to secure its position as an industry leader, and accrue new clients. The third is a local restaurant looking to bolster their marketing with a website.

Our smartphone accessory maker wants people to buy their accessories. They’ll need a mobile site that loads lightning-fast, with great pictures of their products in action, and an easy way to buy them. These users are bandwidth-constrained, so we’ll reduce the overhead of the site as much as possible by optimizing images or using other techniques to get a suitable aesthetic while providing a great user experience. Their e-commerce solution will need to be fast, easy to use, and thoroughly integrated with the site. They want people buying their accessories, so we remove every little bit of friction possible from that process.

In the case of the tool & die manufacturer, they’ll be emphasizing business-to-business marketing. We’ll want the site to work well on smartphones & tablets, but that probably won’t be our primary concern. We may need to pay extra attention to compatibility with older browsers, as their clients may not be on the cutting edge. We want to make information about the company readily accessible, and give good reasons for companies in need of manufacturing assistance to consider them first. It’s also important to consider how people in the business search for manufacturing partners, and tailor the web content to that. On top of that, we want to make it easy for their potential clients to become actual clients. We’ll streamline the contact form, and recommend that they name someone specific to be in charge of responding to submissions within hours.

Restaurants want people to visit them, order a lot of food, and tip well. For some reason, many restaurant websites do nothing to help these goals. Much like the smartphone accessory maker, it’s crucial to tailor this site to at least be accessible by smartphones. After all, if a group of friends is out & about and trying to decide on a dinner destination for the evening, we don’t want them going elsewhere because they can’t find the restaurant’s address, hours, or menu on their site. So we make a nice quick site with all that information quickly & readily accessible.

As you can see, the goals of any given website could vary wildly. With this in mind, careful consideration of your goals is essential as you add a website to your marketing efforts.

Top 5 Mistakes Businesses Make With Facebook

By Jenny Bixby

It’s safe to say that the vast majority of businesses have facebook pages. It’s also safe to say that many of these businesses are mismanaging them. The following are the top five mistakes that businesses make with their facebook pages.

  1. Too many posts.
    Nothing will drive fans away from your page faster than too many posts.  Although it varies with the type of industry (think news outlet vs. coffee shop), the general rule of thumb is no more than 5-10 posts per week.
  2. Too few posts.
    Just as important as not posting too often is, is posting too little. Fans will quickly become unengaged and you will lose your ranking, resulting in not showing up in newsfeeds. You’ll lose your ability to get any messaging out there and also any opportunity to have your post shared.
  3. Sounding too “salesy.
    No one wants advertisements constantly thrown in their face. A sale here or there is acceptable and even encouraged, but too many percentages off with exclamation points showing up will quickly get your page unliked (and possibly marked as spam).
  4. Unresponsiveness.

    It is critical that the page is monitored daily. It’s easy to assume that a lack of responsiveness on a facebook page is translated to the business as a whole. Set up the page so that you are sent alerts when something is posted on your page so you can ensure things are taken care of in a timely manner

  5. Boring content.
    It’s good to mix things up, such as a links to a news article related to your industry, YouTube videos, and photos. Keep things light-hearted and include humor. Make sure you have content that fans want to be engaged with and not something that will lead them straight to the unlike button.


    The best way to manage a business page is to design it and update it with the mindset of a consumer. Ask yourself what content you’d like to see and what you’d like to gain from a business page that you have liked. Thinking only like a marketer will get you into trouble in this case; you have to think like a social media participant, as well.

48 Significant Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics Plus 7 Infographics

Written by Jeff Bullas
I came across some interesting statistics that has me quite concerned about the dental hygiene levels on this planet.
Apparently there are 600 million more people that own a mobile phone compared to those who own a toothbrush.

Some research reveals that there are 4.8 billion mobile users but only 4.2 billion people with a toothbrush.

Does that mean that every mobile should be sold with a free toothbrush or should you need to produce your toothbrush before you are given possession of your new mobile phone to ensure that future personal close encounters are engaging and pleasant?

Another interpretation of those statistic is that toothbrushes are too expensive.

Read the entire story at- www.jeffbullas.com

Substantial Growth in Ads Is on the Way to Facebook

By TANZINA VEGA, NY Times
Published: February 29, 2012

Facebook’s hundreds of millions of users could soon be faced with a lot more advertising — in their newsfeed, on their mobile devices and even when they log off.

On Wednesday, the company announced a new suite of advertising products intended to insert more ads into Facebook’s traditionally clean interface and to take more advantage of mobile ads, where the company has struggled. The announcement was made at its first marketing conference, held at the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

For users, the announcement could mean many more ads on Facebook. For advertisers, the effort offers a chance to reach more users in more places.

Despite aggressively courting Madison Avenue for the last few years, Facebook has been an anomaly in the world of digital advertising. The ad units offered less creative options for advertisers who want to, say, take over the site’s home page or add moving text to an ad. Rather, the value in Facebook’s ads was in their data and personalization.

The potential for more ad dollars was reflected in the company’s first filing for a public offering in February. At the time, analysts said the company was expected to be valued at $75 billion to $100 billion. But according to the filing, Facebook made only $3.7 billion in revenue last year, the bulk of that from advertising.

Read the Full Story at New York Times

Case Study: CREATING FOREVER

When we were first approached by Rogers & Hollands Jewelers to develop a new sub-brand for their engagement ring sales, we wanted to come up with something that would resonate with the target audience, but that wouldn’t be a typical wedding cliche. We brainstormed over 100 names and then held a focus group to narrow the choices down. We then took the top three and presented them to the client at their corporate headquarters in suburban Chicago. Happily, they selected the one we all felt was the best, CREATING FOREVER. We then went on to create all the deliverables, from billboards to store case cards, necessary to launch the new sub-brand in their five Milwaukee area stores. Now, almost two months into the CREATING FOREVER campaign, engagement ring sales are up, with hundreds of couples taking advantage of the free $500 gift package they receive with the purchase of any engagement ring of $1500 or more. This campaign is a great example of how clients and agencies can work together to cover all the bases, from great creative to compelling promotions, giving themselves the best chance for success.