Grassroots Marketing Ideas for Small Business Owners

Almost every day, I see a campaign and think of how, if I’d had that marketing budget, I could make it bigger, better and more engaging.  But unfortunately, the reality is that small businesses often have tight marketing budgets, and are unable to undertake the elaborate marketing efforts that someone with a multi-million dollar budget can.
Recently, the team at our Florida advertising agency has been consulting smaller businesses about ideas that they can put into play with small marketing budgets, in order to see big returns.  While every business has its unique strengths and weakness, there are a few universal tools that marketers can put into play at a grassroots budget in order to help market their businesses.

Celebrity Endorsements: Okay, so we realize that not every person is friends with a celebrity, or even if you are, it might not be the type of celebrity who is willing to endorse your brand for free.  But recently, a friend of mine gained headway on her brand’s social media page when she posted images of her fashions appearing on a popular network prime-time sitcom.  It was a huge draw for her brand’s target demographic.  Though it wasn’t technically a celebrity endorsement, it showed celebrity affiliation, which was great self-made PR for the people who purchase from her store.

Go to Your Target:  If you specialize in vintage silver, and your products are available online, why only reach out to your current “followers” when you could be gaining new ones? Though it’s sometimes hard to believe, the types of message boards that were popular years ago are still popular with thousands of people, people who identify with a given community.  Additionally, sites like Reddit and Craigslist feature bulletin board systems, allowing people to involve themselves in conversations based on niche topics.  You can also use social media monitoring to reach out to people who love your products or services to engage with them and reward them for posting.

Establish Yourself as an Expert: If your business is the leading website that offers realtime information about finance and interest rates, you can establish yourself as an expert in these fields by writing about these topics.  You can start your own blog, post informative slide decks on SlideShare, or can actively post in forms such as Quora to show off your expertise.  Expertise in a specific field is great publicity and marketing.  It helps lend credibility, not to mention helps your search engine ranking for people who organically search for keywords related to your terms.

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Connect with Potential Customers Online and Offline:  If your digital followers are also real-life customers, it’s important to make them feel as though they are part of your community both onscreen and off-screen.  A friend of mine incentivizes people to come into her store by offering exclusive discounts for birthdays and other life events, which she keeps track of through constant communication and a host of social media tools.  Though it can be difficult for her do this with every one of her hundreds of followers, the ones who do receive treats or discounts from her almost always react positively or share their finds.

If you’re looking for more ways to stretch your marketing budget, our Florida advertising agency can help introduce you to fun, interesting and innovative campaigns to help sell your product or service by connecting with your audience.

The Pope’s Election as a successful Marketing Campaign

The way everyone is talking about it, it could have been an announcement from NASA about life on another planet, or a miracle performed on earth in front of thousands of witnesses.  It’s all over newspaper outlets, television, social media sites, mobile phones and popular blogs (including this blog from your favorite Orlando ad agency!).  More than the Superbowl, the Grammys and the Oscars combined, Twitter feeds are lighting up with revelry about the big news.

Yesterday, the Vatican announced a new pope.  Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina will succeed Pope Benedict XVI as the leader of the Catholic Church.  Adding another layer of excitement to the announcement, Bergoglio is the first non-European leader in more than 1,000 years.

While it’s always big news when the Vatican announces a new Pope, the reveal has special significance in the digital era.  Because of the lightning-fast speed at which information travels, anyone can witness the digital behaviors that drive the spread of the big news throughout the Internet.  To be able to latch on to these digital behaviors is a marketer’s dream.  If any product or service launch gained the same traction as the announcement of the new Pope, then the marketers behind the announcement would certainly secure their places as leaders within the industry.

The ways that people share things have shifted dramatically in the past eight years, which was when the Vatican announced Pope Benedict XVI.  With the advent of social sharing, so too have come ways to reach millions of people instantaneously.

It starts with buzz.  People are excited about something new, and they want to share their excitement with others.  They may not even know what, exactly, it is that they’re excited about – that’s certainly often the case with the launch of items such as the iPhone and the upcoming Google Glass.  The buzz is that whatever it is, it will be revolutionary.  A new pope has the potential to shift the direction of the Catholic Churh, an organization that has members in countries around the world.

The buzz leads to anticipation.  More people are talking, and more media are covering the big announcement.  People around the world are sharing messages, reeling in anticipation, and covering every breaking bit of information from every angle (white smoke versus black smoke).  Just before the Vatican introduced the new pope, masses of people were in St. Peter’s square, eagerly awaiting the announcement.  From afar, people around the world tuned in via their televisions, mobile devices and laptops.  Who will it be?  When will they announce it?  Why does it matter?

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Ready to create your own buzz and anticipation?  Check out all of the services we have to offer including a range of video and digital services. We’ll be expecting your phone call. 407-839-8599.

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Then, once the team is ready to share the big news, it’s time for the big reveal.  The audience’s attention is focused, as they are eager and ready to share their thoughts.  The big reveal is an almost majestic experience – highly ritualized, and offering a spectacle for everyone waiting to witness history and hear the news.  For the announcement of the new pope, the ceremony is as old as the Catholic Church.  For Apple, it’s a press conference attended by only the most highly-regarded technophiles.

And finally, once the big reveal is completed, it’s the time for media reporting and social sharing.  The people who’ve bore witness to the main event are tweeting, Facebooking, posting on LinkedIn, blogging and engaging in all types of digital sharing.  The momentum lasts as long as people keep talking about it.  It’s big news, and in the age of digital sharing, anyone can contribute to the conversation about the new Pope.

The cycle operates in a bell curve, with the highest point being the big reveal.  Eventually, the excitement tapers off, and it’s up to the marketers to keep their product fresh and innovative.  For marketers, the entire scene is familiar.

The team at our Florida advertising agency wishes the new pope the best of luck in his endeavors in helping to guide the Catholic Church to greatness.

What do you think about the coverage of the new Pope?  Would love to hear your comments below.

Not Just For Cats & Kids: Up Your Marketing Campaigns With Videos

Cats and kids have long ruled the online viral video scene, with images of dancing babies and cats doing, well, pretty much anything, flooding our inboxes daily. Just how much do people love videos? A recent ComScore study revealed that 181 million U.S. Internet users watched nearly 37 billion online content videos in April of 2012. That’s a lot of cats playing the piano—and marketers can’t ignore those types of numbers.

People Are Visual

Of course there’s more to online videos than felines, and as a marketer, using video in a campaign feeds our instant gratification, I’m-too-lazy-and-or-busy-to-read lifestyles. Most people are visual and would rather watch and listen to a brand’s story by clicking play than by plodding through paragraph after paragraph of black-and-white text. So, consumers not only will watch your video, but they are probably seeking it out. Everyone loves a good how-to video, and these can serve as extensions of product videos and commercials. Short videos are easy for an audience to digest, and they ramp up click-throughs and open rates for email marketing campaigns.

Videos Bring Brands To Life

In a world where consumers can shop in their underwear from the comfort of their home, videos can do more to not only tell the story of a brand, but to promote a sense of closeness to that brand, bringing its products and the people behind them to life, and recreating the experience of shopping at the store. Who doesn’t want to know what it’s like to work at their favorite brands? Videos can provide that behind-the-scenes element that draws consumers in and makes them feel like the brand is a part of them and they’re a part of the brand. Consumers can see products at work or clothes in motion, making them more likely to purchase. Choose BIGEYE to assist in your Orlando video production, helping you create videos to integrate into your marketing campaigns to see results.

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Search Engines Love Videos

When an Internet user types a query into a Google or other search engine’s bar, a study shows they are 41 percent more likely to click on a video result than a plain text article of blog post. Statistics like this one make videos a must in marketing campaigns. In ranking video content, Google puts the same emphasis and uses the same algorithm as text content.

Videos Are Fun

Our agency can take your product and your brand to a new level with Orlando video production, helping you create videos that will enhance your marketing campaigns. Adding professional-grade videos to your arsenal will boost credibility and trust from existing and potential customers. Unlike most of the tasks you probably perform throughout the course of a work day, making marketing videos is a chance to let loose, have fun and be creative.

How have you used videos in your marketing campaigns? What type of results have you seen?

Part II – Creating a campaign around your brand identity

Once you’ve figured out your brand identity, it is essential to determine how to move forward with a campaign that strategically addresses your target consumer.  While the types of campaigns you can run are as varied as the types of businesses themselves, you can use some of our tips to help you design something that works efficiently and effectively to help target your ideal consumer.

Go Where Your Audience Is:  Think you know your audience, and that they’re all on Facebook?  You may be mistaken.  These days, Pinterest is extremely popular with adult women, while male geek-types may use Reddit more than Twitter.  Some children even view Facebook as something that only their parents use – certainly, no 12-year-old wants to hang out where his mom hangs out.  If you don’t know where to find your target consumer, it’s imperative to find out before you develop a social media campaign.

Keep Your Expectations Realistic:  If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years as a strategist, it’s that no one can make a video go viral.  This is particularly true if it doesn’t reach a person on an emotional level, such as through humor or heart.  If you think simply telling someone about your product or service in a video will garner millions of views, it’s important to review your strategy.  Instead, consider what will appeal to your audience, and market toward their emotions.

Remember the Brand Power of a Comprehensive Campaign:  Your Twitter strategy is getting tons of interaction, and your Instagram account gets hundreds of “likes” every time.  But something still seems amiss in terms of success.  What’s going on?

Perhaps it’s first important to address whether there is a clear call to action established within the context of the campaign.  If the goal is to get new followers, then reaching out to the people on Twitter who already follow your company doesn’t do much good.  In order to create the best interactive campaign you can create, our Orlando ad agency advises you to find ways to efficiently integrate several multimedia platforms if possible.  You can talk about your Instagram photo contest on Twitter and sync it with Facebook, or you can create a TV ad with a clear call to action to ask people to follow you on your various social media accounts.  Carefully consider the medium, the message and the desired goal.

Keep It Agile:  Even amazing ideas may fail sometimes (remember Friendster, the precursor to MySpace [which was the precursor to Facebook]?).  But, if you’ve formulated a strategy that you can pivot as it takes shape, you’re far ahead of your competition and, in some cases, can prevent major PR disasters should your plan go awry.

Learn From Mistakes:  Every single company in the world makes mistakes from time to time, and often these mistakes involve failed marketing strategies.  Examine what went wrong, and what you could do differently.  Even in the case of a successful campaign, it is important to examine the results in order to help duplicate success in the future.

Follow these brand identity tips, and our Florida advertising agency assures that you’ll hit the target consumer with the target strategy at the right time.

Take a second to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’re witty and we know it!

Looking for a creative way to get your foot in the door?

So—after weeks of searching and qualifying, you’ve found the perfect prospect. All you need now is a short face-to-face meeting to make this work. But after multiple calls, e-mails, and visits, you just can’t seem to get your foot in the door. You need a way to stand out… A way to make it worth their while.

BIGEYE, a Florida advertising agency and Orlando video production company, has been excited to work with this revolutionary new sales company called Complete the Pair.

With Complete the Pair, you’re a shoe in—literally. Here’s how it works! Simply visit their website and place an order for a pair of brand new shoes. Complete the Pair will send one shoe to your prospect and the other to you—both beautifully shrink wrapped in clear plastic. Try to get that lost in a stack of mail!

Attached to the prospect’s shoe will be a unique code and instructions directing them to the Complete the Pair website. Once the code is entered, they’ll see a personal message inviting them to “complete the pair” simply by attending a short meeting with you. More than likely, they’ll agree to it for two reasons—one is they’ll be excited to meet with someone like you who creatively thinks outside the box, and the other is to support a great humanitarian cause. Because once the shoes are reconnected and returned to us, Complete the Pair will provide a free pair of shoes to a person in need through Soles4Souls, a charity that has distributed over 19 million pairs of shoes in over 130 countries around the world.

When the cycle is complete, it becomes a fresh start for you and your new colleague and a new beginning for a person in need. And don’t worry—you won’t be violating any gift-acceptance policies. Nothing of value is left behind once the shoes are returned to their headquarters.

Attracting attention while making a positive difference has never been easier. So, step up! Visit and make an impression that goes further than ever thought possible.

Clever, right? See other videos that BIGEYE has created for some amazing clients. To learn more about the latest video production trends, contact BIGEYE today at 407-839-8599.

Caring about your consumers time could change the ad world

It’s a fact that people are inundated with branded content hundreds of times a day. The advertising industry is worth billions of dollars, and brand marketers latch on to this by finding ways to reach you EVERYWHERE, including billboards, television, smartphones, tablets, magazines, websites and search engine pages.
If you’re developing an advertising or marketing strategy, then chances are that you’re thinking about how you can get the word out about your brand or business. (Of course that’s what you’re thinking about; after all, that’s the primary goal of the entire industry!) However, as you develop your new video or concept, I encourage you to think carefully about the end result.

Many times, the specialists at our Florida advertising agency see competitors carefully craft high-budget interactive media projects without giving much consideration to the most important aspect of the campaign: the end user. If you are creating digital content, you are, in essence, asking people for a piece of their time, which, for many people, is more valuable than money or material goods. As a goods or services provider, once you have peoples’ attention, you are then asking them again to convert; i.e., to make a present or future investment in your product or service. The question then becomes: what are you offering this person that makes it worth their time?

[quote]Numerous advertising campaigns fall flat because the advertising doesn’t reach the person in a meaningful way.[/quote] Rather than focusing on companies that have tried to reach their readers and failed, I thought it better to highlight innovating digital marketing projects that have succeeded beyond expectations.

If you represent a deodorant brand, you have to work hard to convince your audience that you’re superior to anything else your potential customers may be able to find on the shelf. But, if you’re a company like Old Spice, you’ve managed to prove that you’re a lifestyle brand. After discovering to the interesting insight that women often purchase deodorant for their boyfriends or husbands, Old Spice introduced “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like,” which featured a muscular male model. The campaign proved such a hit that the man soon had his own following. Rather than leaving the rest up to fate, Old Spice took advantage of this and offered opportunities for fans to interact with the Old Spice Man through their website and social media platforms, including a series of YouTube video responses that were extremely popular.

Another innovative video concept came from Mitsubishi, in conjunction with B Reel Productions. The project, called Mitsubishi LiveDrive, allowed people all over the world to test drive the Outlander from their own computers, using the buttons on the keyboard to drive. The concept was the first of its kind, and garnered massive publicity, as people were impressed with the ability to control a car from thousands of miles away.

When Jay-Z came to Droga5 for ideas as to how to help launch his book Decode, the company partnered with Bing to come up with a concept that offered insight into the places that Jay-Z references in his book, as well as a gamification element that kept people returning for more.

The only thing that truly sets these campaigns apart from numerous other failed campaigns is that they all encompass a single quality: an appetite for innovation. Our agency believes that we can also help you develop an innovative digital marketing campaign on any budget.

Contact us to help create your own innovative digital marketing campaign!