5 awesome, unconventional marketing tactics you need to use

In a world where ROI and the bottom line rule marketing, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the fun, audacious, sometimes unconventional marketing tactics that probably drew you to the industry in the first place. We would never advocate that tracking your return on investment isn’t critical to the health and growth of your business; but rather, that we, as marketers, love to swing for the grand slam. For us, it’s all about finding the perfect balance between tried-and-tested marketing techniques and a few unconventional marketing tactics and campaigns with the power to disrupt the market and break through the clutter. Here are a few of our favorite awesome, unconventional marketing tactics.

1. Work for free:

When you pose this idea to your financial planning analyst, you may want to put a little marketing spin on the verbiage, but we’re just going to say it: you can get something for nothing. Offering a free consultation, inviting customers to try your services or products before they buy, doing pro-bono work, or giving high impact lectures (gasp!) for free can attract prospective customers who might have otherwise been on the fence. This technique works especially well for products that can’t be sold as a necessity, require customer education such as consulting or dietitian services, or are new entrants into the market. If you’re stuck on what might be of value to your target audience, lean on your marketing agency or advertising agency to do some research about what “hooks” – whether it’s features, face time with the CEO, or freebies – would get them in the door.

2. Take advantage of the halo effect:

It stands to reason that if you can be guilty by association, you can also look incredible by association too. The phenomenon in which a person or product enjoys increased brand association or a boost in perceived customer value thanks to alignment with another, more powerful or popular brand is called the “halo effect.” Established brands releasing a niche product sometimes use this to attract loyal customers to new markets, but any company can take advantage of this trend. On the local level, find charitable organizations, popular public figures or tastemakers, or trendy venues where you can host an event and start making connections. Most people and organizations are willing to exchange in-kind marketing collateral such as: access to shared email lists or exclusive discounts for your cross customer base when there is a mutually beneficial fit. This technique can scale all the way up to the national or global level depending on how dedicated you are. A good marketing agency will likely have pre-existing contacts and ideas on what might be a good alignment, so start there.

3. Build a memorable brand:

Do something quirky. Make mistakes. Be human. Even the most corporate, buttoned-up organizations can benefit from moments of humanity. Recognizing that there is a time, place, and audience who responds to this type of marketing and balancing it against more conventional messaging and imaging is key. Perhaps you limit the funkiness to your Snapchat or Instagram feed, or maybe you run simultaneous campaigns that target both sides of the same coin. A great example of an organization that does this well is Geico. Ask any millennial or hipster and they can probably cite several of the silly “Switch to Geico – it’s what you do” advertisements featuring everything from an addled Tarzan, to a dog stealing spaghetti from its owners’ plates. None of these ads mention the comprehensive asset protection or excellent customer service Geico has built a reputation on. That information is reserved for prospective customers looking for a quote or surfing their online space. What these ads do is disrupt a mature, saturated market and raise awareness that then drives prospects farther down the funnel and into exploration mode. Trust us, they are laughing all the way to the bank.

4. Everyone loves a themed party:

Think: product launches, fundraisers, new menu launches, release events, and more. The opportunities to host an event are near endless. Although the upfront cost and work of hosting an event can seem inhibitive, your marketing agency will help you offset this pain point and set measurable goals. Events often serve the dual purpose of raising brand awareness and generating leads. The trick is to host an event that speaks to your audience. Too often, organizations jump on an opportunity to attend an event without a clear understanding of who is actually in attendance. They generate leads by bribing unsuspecting bystanders to exchange contact information for freebies, but the quality of these type of leads is often low … people will do anything for a free t-shirt, right? Instead, get crisp on the type of customer you want to attract. If you are launching a new line of skincare products, consider hosting a spa party. If you’re releasing the newest issue of a community magazine, go for the hottest new venue in town. Everything from the theme to the event programming should speak to the people who would truly use your products or services.

5. Blog, blog, blog:

And then blog some more. This is such a simple, low-effort marketing technique with tremendous potential. All you have to do is consider the amount of amateur marketers and online celebrities who are consistently making thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars, garnering huge followings, and receiving coveted brand endorsements to see the potential in blogging. Blogging is still often overlooked in the marketing mix because it is sometimes hard to quantify the return on investment and requires nurturing to build a readership. That said, it only takes one person to find a niche topic that attracts prospective customers and brand partners (see above and remember that halo effect) to start a blog. Any good digital marketing agency or content marketing agency can support your in-house blog writing to ensure your content is relevant and consistent. If you aren’t ready for the full commitment, consider writing guest blog posts that are popular among your audience to test the waters and build out a larger blog program from there.
These unconventional marketing tactics are not only fun – they are effective and are an excellent compliment to your traditional marketing campaigns and initiatives. It really is okay to think outside the box.

Generate traffic to your resort website with content marketing

Resort marketing still continues to largely hinge on a flawless content strategy: you have to have the photos, the reviews, the descriptions, and some seriously intriguing copy that makes website visitors want to become real visitors. In addition to the obvious benefits of engaging and converting web traffic, content marketing can generate even more traffic to your resort website by boosting SEO rankings and viral traffic.
Here are some tried and true industry insights that’ll be sure to help pump up your SEO rankings and generate more traffic to your site.

CONTENT MARKETING MEETS SEO RANKING: 

We’ve all heard the same ole’ song that content is king – well, it is. Strong, relevant, and consistent website content boosts your SEO ranking on two fronts, branded terms (i.e., your resort name) and non-branded terms like geo-specific data (i.e., Jamaica resort, tropical hotel, etc.). Working with a marketing agency to develop a better understanding of the right terms for your brand, which is always based on your search budget and competitive set, will give you a crystal-clear roadmap to success. Use those terms to tag your photos and build out your property descriptions, and as search engines crawl your site, having these terms in your copy will ensure your resort appears relevant and pops up when tourists are searching for related terms. Of course, the more your resort appears in search results (and the higher it ranks), the more traffic will hit your website. Within your site, you can also link to deeper pages within your web ecosystem or link outwardly to relevant website authorities such as bloggers and review sites to encourage better search rankings. Although SEO efforts aren’t as tangible as other agency marketing efforts, they can absolutely make or break how much traffic your website receives. Which in turn, has a huge effect on your business. And remember, you multi-million dollar resort and its respective website are only as good as the traffic that finds it.

OUTWARD BOUND – CONTENT MARKETING AND VIRAL TRAFFIC: 

Although it can feel incredibly time consuming, blogging is one of the single most important content marketing strategies to boost traffic to your resort website. By actively blogging about relevant content related to the resort industry, you become an authority on your travel destination. Blog as a guest expert on other sites, publish your posts in an email newsletter, share them on social media, get the word out. The more shareable your content is, the more likely it is to be … well … shared. If your in-house team is too small, consider working with a content marketing agency to generate and post blog entries. Not only can these agencies write on your behalf, but they can help you determine where to post your content and who to reach out to, ultimately ensuring your articles are seen. Regardless of your budget, most agencies will work with you to build a successful strategy. A good rule of thumb is that you should post at least one to two articles per week that include approximately 500-600 words and several instances of your primary keywords. The added bonus of creating highly shareable content is that it also supports your SEO strategy. And that my friends, is what we call a two-for-one.

We can’t stress enough that content helps potential customers understand your brand and drives new visitors to the top of your exploration funnel. Keeping this content up-to-date is important to ensure your site stays relevant to both your audience and search engines. Your website is never “done” and there is always more content to be written, fresh news to share, and new traffic to entice by updating your content on a regular basis.  So get to writing – go ahead, unleash your creativity – and don’t plan to stop!

Click here to see how we take on the world of content marketing.

3 marketing myths that make millennials hate your brand

The holy grail of marketing to millennials has been debunked! Not that you should be surprised – millennials love to break (bend, change, or influence) the rules. Slapping a few digital ads on social media and running deep discounts to hook and book today’s largest emerging consumer demographic is no longer enough. To create a successful millennial marketing campaign that will engage and grow this audience, it’s important to understand what they value and how they like to interact with brands. On the flip side, it’s equally – if not more – important to understand what doesn’t work for this group. As the Baby Boomers retire and Generation X continues to take a backseat to the very visible, loud and proud “x, y” generation, unpacking the marketing psychology that drives millennials will become increasingly important. We’ve debunked three of the most common millennial myths that plague brands and drive this critical demographic away.

Marketing to millennials myth 1: They are cheap and narcissistic

With the advent of “cheap chic” fashion trends, thanks in large part to popular discount brands like Target and H&M, it’s not surprising that the general population believes millennials are overly consumed with the appearance of wealth and trendiness (minus the price tag). A solid marketing agency often translates this into either discounts and rebates, or campaigns that imitate luxury brands while visibility toting their lower prices. Although many millennials struggled to find post-graduate employment after the recession in 2008, they are bouncing back with the economy and finding themselves with a sudden influx of disposable income thanks to booming startups, fast-paced tech agencies, and non-traditional employment opportunities. Almost 50% of millennials are more willing to buy a product if it supports a good cause. The critical emphasis on this research is that millennials are not only more willing to buy a product that contributes to a greater cause in some way, but to actually choose it over more expensive alternatives that don’t support similar initiatives. This type of research suggests that millennials are neither cheap nor narcissistic, but in fact are more than willing to pay for the right product and the right brand.

Take Love Your Melon, for example. They are able to charge a premium cost for a simple product because they speak to millennial ideals, not their vanity or bank accounts. Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America as well as supporting nonprofit organizations that lead the fight against pediatric cancer. Pretty inspiring, right? Love Your Melon has built their business on millennials and their mission is the reason why they’ve been so successful at it. Maybe it’s time to consider ditching the promotion in favor for a buy one, give one (to a community in need) campaign.

Marketing to millennials myth 2: The best way to reach them is social media

Marketing to millennials has long hinged on social media campaigns, pop up or in-app advertising, and digital outreach. However, this hyper-connected generation finds great satisfaction in discovering the world when they are unplugged and engaging with it. This is an untapped territory for brands looking to break through the clutter. 48% of millennials say they would (and could) happily function without their smartphone or digital devices according to Retailing Today. While many millennial myths want you to believe that this generation can’t (and won’t) interact with a brand unless it’s bombarding them online, many millennials discover brands at the top of the funnel when they’re unplugged, exploring, and experiencing. This type of organic discovery leads to deeper brand loyalty and longer lifetime value. We aren’t suggesting getting rid of your digital marketing campaigns, we’re just simply advocating that you add in a few guerrilla or grassroots tactics that reach this audience in the real-world environment they so crave in today’s hyper-digital world. Think: Coca-Cola’s happiness phone booths or Redbull’s partnership with extreme sporting events.

Marketing to millennials myth 3: They can be somewhat transactional

One of the most deadly millennial myths results from the culmination of the previous two myths. Marketing to millennials should, first and foremost, hinge on expressing your brand’s value proposition and ideals. Contrary to popular belief, millennials are not transactional shoppers. According to Medallion Research, millennials are not nearly as concerned with money and status as they are with relationships and experiences. This dovetails from the idea that millennials are not cheap or narcissistic. They don’t care about the product, they care about the brand and lifestyle it’s associated with. When selling consumer packaged goods or services, this may seem difficult to surmount, but when you step back and look at the success of Apple’s “Think Differently” campaign, it becomes clear that products – whatever they may be – are simply an expression of this generation’s values. So make sure your brand values speak loud and clear. As was the case with Apple, you may need to expressly spell this out for the new generation. But, the results will be well worth the effort.

Simple, right? Marketing to millennials really comes down to two things: Say something about your brand and make sure it’s authentic they’ll sort out the rest.

Contact us today to learn how we can help you reach your target audience!

Welp, Super Bowl is over: Crush 2017 using 3 ad campaign ideas

People all around America celebrate the Super Bowl in approximately one of three ways:

1. The over zealous football fan throws a party for all of his best friends. He smears paint all over his face, wears his favorite (“lucky”, probably smelly) jersey, stocks the refrigerator full with beer and makes so many chicken wings it seems impossible that they will all be eaten (but don’t worry, they will be).

2. You have the neighbor/friend/spouse etc. that knows nothing about football. But they follow the crowd, go to the party for the free food, and pretend they know why, exactly, grown men are running into each other.

3. The best people (we like to include ourselves in this category) may go to the party, or they may not. Favorite game-time snack and beverage in hand, these people watch the game patiently. Anytime now, they think. Leaning forward in their seats, they hush everyone in the room. A commercial break has finally arrived. It’s Super Bowl ad time, and the real game is about to begin.

The Super Bowl, with one of the highest ratings in all of U.S. TV history, the lure of high, and often engaged, viewership is too strong for advertisers to ignore. The Super Bowl has seen some of the best – and worst – ads in its 50 year history, creating a great database of success stories for advertising during both the big game and every other day of the year. Alas, let’s take three lessons from the game changers of the ad industry and answer the question, “what should we do for our next ad campaign in 2017?”

DO: Involve your consumer

Doritos’ ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ campaign is one of the best examples of this idea. A 10-year campaign, Doritos made the risky decision to outsource their most important ad dollars of the year. The ‘Crash’ campaign consists of consumer-generated content, something that was nearly unheard of — and hard to swallow by the Doritos marketing team — until 2006 when the strategy turned out to be a success. Widely accepted among consumers, the amateur home-videos shined a light on the potential creative of everyday consumers and created valued engagement and connection between the company and its most-valued target audience. In its 10th and final year, Doritos’ ‘Crash the Super Bowl’ campaign is sure to be a highlight of this year’s game day.

Doritos Manchild – Crash the Superbowl 2015 Finalist

Written, Directed, Edited by Armand de Saint-Salvy Wife: Lydia Sarks Husband: Mitch Wright Cinematography: Ben Raymond Production Assistant: Lev Jutsen Sound…

DO: Try new things in your ad campaign

A must watch in any intro to advertising course and widely considered one of the best ads ever, Apple’s ‘1984’ broke boundaries. The ad, a play on George Orwell’s popular dystopian novel, was the first of its kind and set the standard for Super Bowl advertising to come. Despite the fact that the ad almost didn’t see the light of day and faced much pushback from Apple executives, the ad made a lasting impact on both the industry and the consumer. Long gone were the days of mediocre Super Bowl advertising. Apple, a pioneer on many fronts, also became the pioneer of high-quality, large scale ad campaigns. The ad only aired one time but created a buzz so strong that people are still talking about it more than 30 years later.

1984 Apple’s First Macintosh Commercial

This was the commercial that introduced the Apple Macintosh Computer to the world. (This video was uploaded a couple of weeks after the official public launc…

DO: Use social media as a supplement to your ad campaign

Volkswagen’s ‘The Force’ is possibly one of the cutest (aww) ads ever, featuring a little boy dressed as Darth Vader attempting, with little luck, to use the force on any and all things around his house. Surprised, he is (see what we did there), to find his powers work on his parents’ new VW, aided only by the remote control start his dad secretly uses from inside the house. While this ad did wonders to capture the consumer and hit a solid 10 on the cuteness scale, that is not the reason it caused buzz in the advertising industry. VW had only bought a 30-second spot in the Super Bowl, but they were convinced their best work was the full 60-second version. With no way to air the 60-second version during the game, VW made the decision to post ‘The Force’ on Youtube days before it was set to air on TV. Up until this time, Super Bowl ads were kept well under wraps and locked behind bulletproof glass (maybe not, but seems likely) to prevent early viewing and what was considered a loss of impact. VW’s early release of ‘The Force’ opened the door to social media teasing and an entire new layer to the Super Bowl ad campaign frenzy.

Well, your 12 month countdown begins NOW! We hope these lessons from these game changers will help drive an awesome 2017 campaign.

For more info on how the experts at BIGEYE create Ad Campaigns, click here.

The art of integrating customer service into social media management

Social media is a powerful, organic force that can make or break a brand –  or even set the tone and personality of an organization. One of the most overlooked facets of social media management is its power to enhance your customer service strategy. According to Nielsen’s Social Media report, 67% of your audience uses social media to seek advice, share a review, or make some noise (aka complain). Did we mention that 33% of social media users also prefer this type of customer care to complex phone prompts or sitting on hold for 45 minutes? Yeah, we weren’t surprised either.
If you aren’t already using social media monitoring to integrate customer service into your social media strategy, we’ve put together our top eight reasons to jumpstart your social care team.

1. Social care drives social media strategy:

If the heart of social media strategy is about creating authentic brand experiences, then it should be easy to understand how a personalized social media experience might satisfy your customers’ need to feel heard. Social media is a proverbial platform or soapbox for your customers to cheer for, or on the flip side – to chastise your brand. When you use social media to monitor your clients’ satisfaction and respond to issues openly in an arena where they arguably have more control than you do, you are setting your brand up for resolution more quickly because the audience knows they are being taken seriously.

2. Multi-channel care supports flawless social media management:

You know the value of multi-channel sales: some people like to talk on the phone, some people prefer to read information online and digest it before making a decision, and others flock to social media to choose the solution their peers recommend. The same applies to customer service. Multi-channel care allows your customers to seek the type of help they need. If they feel best calling in – let them. But if they prefer to interact with you on the fly as they are checking-in at their favorite lunch spot – why inhibit the conversation from evolving naturally? Letting your customers communicate with you how and where they want to do so is a small gesture that reminds them that you care about their needs.

3. Anticipate your customers’ needs with social media monitoring:

Good social media monitoring allows you to understand and anticipate your customers’ needs. By listening to what your customers are saying on social media and adapting your self-service portals accordingly, or addressing hints of poor service experiences before they blossom into full-scale issues, you can cut back on the volume of care required of your customers. This can save you costs on call centers or service fees and – more importantly – create and maintain a satisfied customer base. After all, keeping a customer is a lot easier than finding a new one.

4. Set your own benchmarks. Against yourself:

Social media monitoring also helps to ensure that you remain honest with yourself. With such a wide variety of monitoring tools from word cloud generators to social media attitude aggregators, it takes very little effort to gauge and track sentiment toward your brand. If one of your goals is improving customer satisfaction, use social media to get a quick pulse on how you’re measuring up to your expectations. It’s easy to blame slow customer service evolution on complicated or expensive measuring tools and unreliable or qualitative feedback. Social media monitors make it quick, simple, and (hopefully) painless. In other words, no more excuses.

5. Time is money:

Most consumers expect a one day turn around when sending emails to a customer service account. And in a world filled with endlessly high call volumes, they also expect service calls to take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour. It’s safe to assume that when a customer is reaching out about an issue, waiting does not positively impact the situation. Good social media management that supports your care team can alleviate this pain point in two ways. First, it frees up your customers to multi-task in a pleasant online environment while they wait for a response. Second, it frees up your team to respond to and resolve multiple issues at once on an as-needed basis. We like to think of it as instant gratification at its finest, and on all fronts.

6. Create brand advocates through social media management:

Turn an issue into advocacy. If your social team responds to customers who are self-selecting social users in a speedy and thoughtful fashion, those same public complainers may quickly turn into public brand cheerleaders, touting your individualized service experience, responsiveness, and transparency when dealing with issues. That makes you look like a rock star and allows prospects to see how much you value your customers. This same audience of consumers understands that brands make mistakes. After all, they’re (run by) people, too. How a brand handles those issues is the real question. From that perspective, your customer support must to be included in your social media strategy.

7. Control the conversation by setting the tone:

In the customer service world, it isn’t always what you say – it’s how you say it. Social care gives you the opportunity to respond in a tone that matches your brand, eliminating costly and time-consuming coaching, training, or any errors associated with maintaining call centers. If your brand tone is casual and cool, your social media responses can instill that same sense of calm in unhappy reviewers. If your brand tone is formal, a white-glove approach via customized social posts during and after an issue might be just what your clients need to restore their faith in your organization.

8. Because there’s no reason not to:

And last – but not least – why not? Whether you use an agency to take care of your social media management or DIY tools such as Hootsuite, responding to customer service issues and formulating a seamless follow-up plan around your customers’ needs has never been easier, more efficient, or less expensive.

It’s easy to think of social media as a place for top-of-funnel brand explorers to find information or happy customers to engage with your brand. But that would be missing the other 33% who just need a little social love, which is why we believe social media monitoring is a key component when providing flawless customer service and care.

To develop the perfect social media monitoring strategy for your business, contact our team of digital experts today to get started!

Why video production matters more than ever for your business

Just because cable and network broadcasting subscriptions are dropping, doesn’t mean people aren’t watching videos and rich media. In 2016, Google announced that more then 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube per minute. That’s right, we said per minute. Last year, that number was only 300 hours per minute. In other words, that’s a 200% annual increase in video production. In addition to user-based video hubs such as YouTube or Vine, streaming video sites such as Netflix, Hulu and PrimeVideo are all on the rise. There is no sign that video production is decreasing – it’s just being consumed in a different way, which is why videos for businesses are becoming such an integral part of the marketing mix. If you’re still on the fence about the value of a strong video marketing campaign, here’s our two cents on the matter:

Videos drive engagement:

Studies show that you have less than 3 seconds to grab your consumer’s attention. So yes, first impressions seriously matter. Three seconds isn’t enough time to read detailed copy about your customer service and product features, but it is ample enough to allow viewers to become drawn into a powerful video showcasing your brand values in a way that makes your audience want to learn more. Good video production will engage your audience and hold their attention longer than text or static images ever could. In a recent study by Implix, companies found that people were 96% more likely to click on an email if there was an introductory video embedded in the content. If the very act of showcasing a video can drive double-digit engagement, imagine what watching compelling videos for businesses has the power to do.

Conversion, conversion, conversion:

We’re not shy. We know your main goal is to drive business and conversion, which is why we love videos. According to Forbes, more than 90% of retail consumers cite video as a key part of their purchase process and that they are 64% to 85% more likely to buy a product after watching an informational video. E-commerce sites such as Zappos and Amazon rely on videos to showcase their products in a real-world setting, while hotels and tourism sites use video to show off their venues and unique experiences, and business service organizations employ video production to explain complicated products or add service value. No matter what industry you’re in, video can capture your value proposition and translate it in a way that drives consumer engagement by building trust and clarity.

Videos help people do business with brands they like:

It’s no secret that the general public trusts social media, user reviews, and viral content more than carefully curated ad campaigns and polished publicity stunts. While this isn’t surprising, the shift has thrown marketers into a tailspin over the past decade. Are marketers becoming obsolete in a world where consumers have the power to oust bad brand behavior and share their real-life experiences with your products? No. But we do need to start communicating with our audience from a place of authenticity and transparency. Corporate video production is your chance to show your brand’s personality from a genuine perspective that allows your audience to choose if your value proposition resonates with their needs. Whether you’re working with user-generated videos or a professional video production company to craft your media, there is something deeply humanizing about watching other people just like us on film. And at the end of the day, most people want to do business with people and brands that they truly like.

It’s okay to be trendy:

Whether you’re a YouTube or Netflix junkie – or neither, the internet has exploded with video content. And each episode of your favorite sitcom and trendy YouTube tutorial usually comes loaded with a video ad. ComScore estimates that more than 45.4% of internet users view at least one video per month. If your audience isn’t watching your viral video that just hit 1.5M views, they could at least be watching the video ad you ran before their next funny dog clip. People are self-selecting video content as a primary way to learn about brands and communicate with each other. Corporate video production gives you the unique opportunity to take advantage of this trend and get in on the action while it’s still a relatively new and emerging media.

The trick to successfully driving video marketing campaigns is to target the right audience at the right place and at the right time. A strong video production company or social marketing agency can help you define your strategy and begin building your voice or help you find tools to serve and measure your audience’s needs. From there, it’s a simple matter of being you and letting your brand shine. Video production can be as simple or as complicated as your budget or taste allows, and it can be as inexpensive or cost-intensive as you’d like. It’s one of the most flexible marketing tools we have at our disposal as well as one of the most efficient. In all honesty, we can’t think of a reason why producing videos for a brand don’t just plain make good business sense.

Are you ready to put video to use when engaging with your prospective audience? Contact our team of video production experts today – we’ll show you how video can align perfectly with your existing branding efforts!