The Top Three Secrets to Succeeding at Social Media

Business owners often don’t understand the importance of social media. Yes, when teenagers are posting selfies on their Facebook pages, it’s easy to think that Facebook is for “the kids.” But here’s a reality check: More than a billion people are on Facebook and, unlike TV advertising, businesses can target them based on very specific aspects of their lives. Business owners should think of their brands’ social media as their own “channels,” in much the way that TV channels work: the more good, interesting content you put out there, the more likely people are to latch on to you, follow you and engage with you.
Of course, social media also means there’s much more room for glut – but it’s also a place for small businesses to defy the odds through clever marketing strategies. Here are some key takeaways for small business owners to help maximize their social media exposure.

1. Yes, You Need to Be on Social Media.

Regardless of a business’s size, being active on social media can only help your company. If you think people aren’t interested about, say, commercial plumbing services in Reno, Nevada, you’re wrong: people tweet and post about nearly every topic imaginable. Plus, social media is a great opportunity to field customer service inquires.

Businesses that still aren’t sure about social can implement testing strategies to determine social success, but be forewarned: as the world becomes more and more digital, there will be more and more reasons to be on social media.

2. No, You Don’t Need to Be on Every Social Media Outlet.

[quote]A company that specializes in SEO doesn’t necessarily need to be on Pinterest and Instagram, particularly if the business’s customers aren’t on Pinterest and Instagram.[/quote]Business owners have limited bandwidth, and with such an influx of social media outlets, no one expects a business owner to be on all of them. In fact, doing so could actually cause harm, because in trying to build communities on all of them, a business owner could essentially fail to cultivate a community on any of them. What’s the best way to deal with this? Select your small business’s first social media outlet carefully, and expand from there. Typically, companies will first look to Facebook or Twitter, and can expand once they’ve established a routine and a community on one of those sites.

3. You Might Want to Put a Few Bucks Into Social Advertising.

Companies that aren’t experimenting with social ads could see if a social ad strategy works for them. Facebook ads are hyper-targeted and can offer, for some businesses, a high return on investment for carefully crafted ads. The same goes for Twitter.

However, for some companies, Facebook ads may not make sense. For example, due to stiff competition, searches related to car insurance have a high premium on keywords. However, other outlets such as Reddit and Pinterest offer ads that may be a better fit for brands with competitive keywords.

These tips can help small businesses build their communities, ultimately leading to better brand engagement. The team at our Florida advertising agency has even more tips to help you build your brand, so contact us for more information on how to build your brand’s social media strategy!

Learn to Beat the Competition: It’s Agility in Action

At our Orlando advertising agency, we’re constantly taking strides to work efficiently and effectively. It’s easy to get bogged down in the details of day-to-day operations. However, in organizations across the country, managers are now looking to agile and lean tactics to help keep their businesses ahead of the competition. These managers understand that their businesses operate as a unity of moving parts, and as such they’ve taught their employees to move rapidly and outpace competitors through easy-to-execute maneuvers.

In an era of so many digital products, there are now new ways to practice agile tactics in order to help your business succeed. For example, I recently heard an anecdote about a person who works for large corporation. At that business, all tweets must be approved by a high-level marketing manager. While in theory this would make for higher-quality marketing, prevalent research shows this is typically not the case. Once a tweet has gone through the entire chain-of-command, Twitter topics may no longer be relevant. This results in inefficiency for both the high-level employees and the rest of the marketing department.[quote]As anyone with a Twitter account knows, posting dated information is a great way to lose followers.[/quote]

A simple solution here is to edit the Twitter process. By designing a playbook, the company could offer a listing of tweets pre-approved by management, as well as a listing of the tweets that should always be approved at a higher level. This simple practice could save hours all around, allowing the teams more time to work on other projects.

This is an example of an agile solution; a solution that reduces inefficient labor but still allows higher-level oversight of the day-to-day operations of the brand. Companies that don’t engage in this type of behavior are missing opportunities to connect with customers and add value to relationships with the brand’s fans and followers.

While most digital marketers think of agile tactics in terms of social media, these types of practices can be spread across the board in terms of measures that businesses can take to be more responsive on a daily basis. For example, one medium-sized ad agency in Manhattan now engages in daily “standing meetings” at the beginning of the day, meetings in which each person in the organization announces what they’re working on, and where they can use help. This collaborative environment helps people work together in new ways, all based on a firm understanding of the need to be responsive and flexible in the agency environment.

Other agile tactics in marketing may include customer service initiatives, such as introducing social media customer service via Facebook and Twitter. More and more large companies are seeing success through effective communication via social media, which are often a preference for people tired of waiting on hold for hours and filing email complaints that go unanswered.

Like the best athletes, the best businesses are the ones that are powerful, but are also focused on keeping up. Companies that fail to embrace innovation risk futures such as those of Polaroid or Microsoft – futures where their entire business model depends on people failing to adopt new practices that help them thrive in the digital era.

Interested in innovative ways to stay ahead of the competition in your industry? Contact BIGEYE’s team of marketing strategists at today to uncover new ways to differentiate your brand!

Why Email Marketing Maintains Its Value & Why You Should Use It

Email marketing is a very important aspect of almost any business’s growth. It’s how brands, both large and small, communicate sales, special events and interesting content in order to help the brand remain on the subscriber’s mind. Many companies require submission to their email lists in order to use their services.  And, it’s a simple equation: people are willing to give up their email and personal information to receive some utility, even if it means accidentally subscribing to an email list you might not have accepted otherwise.

Each day, I receive at least twenty emails from companies trying to offer me a product or service. Sometimes, I’ll even receive three or more emails from the same company. I had to unsubscribe from Spotify because it would email me each time one of my friends joined the social network! It’s easy for a marketer to want to shy away from this model… after all, who doesn’t despise the task of going through and deleting irrelevant emails on a daily basis?

But, the reality is that email marketing remains valuable because it works. As much as I’m complaining, I recently purchased a Groupon for discount personal training sessions. I saw it in my inbox, it looked like a good deal, the location was convenient, and I was sold.

[quote] Take a peek at how email marketing served a beneficial purpose for an Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children donorship event – thanks to BIGEYEs’ effective strategies! [/quote]

How else would I have known about the sale? Perhaps Facebook or other social media? Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that I would have seen it there. Groupon’s hyper local model isn’t exactly conducive to allowing the company to tweet every single deal from its master account, and I’m only on Twitter a couple of times a day anyway, so I could easily miss the notice. Facebook is even worse… last year, Facebook announced that the average Facebook post reaches only 16% of fans.   Sponsored posts are supposed to take care of this problem, but only go so far in reaching intended audience segments. For one, if multiple brands are running sponsored posts targeting the same group, the individuals are bound to miss at least some of those postings.

Email marketing is a great way to ensure that your audience at least has the opportunity to receive your message. Unfortunately, email marketing presents some complications in and of its own. First of all, in an era of glut, how do you get people to sign up for your list? And, once they sign up, how to you ensure that they’ll actually open it and ultimately convert that person to a purchaser?

These questions are tough to tackle, and may require some advanced strategies to address. However, your company can invest in an email client that helps service some of your needs and provide analytical data as to open rates, click-throughs and conversions. This data can be invaluable in assessing what your potential customers need.

For more ideas and suggestions as to how your company can use email marketing to help gain customers, please contact our Orlando marketing agency – you can even sign up for our email list to receive the BIGEYE Newsletter for regular updates.

Become a Destination Spot: Online Tourism Marketing Tips

The tourist market is quite competitive with the ever-changing economy, fickle weather conditions and seasonal slumps. In light of these challenges, it’s important to bring your A-game when it comes to marketing strategy. As a Florida advertising agency, we partner with many clients in the tourism department and have found that with a few simple additions in your online tourism marketing plan, campaign strategies and outreach, business owners can boost their sales and become a destination spot.

Boost Business with Bloggers

Instead of a press release in a local paper or magazine, spread the word about your business among the online travel community. Gain traveling clout by pitching your destination to travel bloggers. Bloggers want to discover the untapped destinations, so talk about the latest and greatest and you could be among their list just by simply pitching your destination.

Here a few things to consider when reaching out to bloggers:

  • Create a press packet that has the background story of your business, what you offer, why you are unique, plus images that showcase your business. Send this packet along with your initial email for bloggers to get a handle on your business and also use the content for the blog itself.
  • Invite a blogger to enjoy a free dinner, one night at your hotel, etc. in exchange for a mention in their travel diary. Bloggers love being able to experience all things first-hand.
  • Not only can bloggers offer a write up about your business, they can also offer advertising. Consider purchasing ad space from a blogger that shares the same target audience as you and take advantage of their online traffic.

Great travel blogs: Hotel Belle, Camels & Chocolate, The Everywhereist, Delicious Baby, Johnny Jet

Get Social

Remember it’s all about connecting with the customer. The more communicative and personal your business is, the more a customer will feel comfortable buying into what your company has to offer. Start a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and even a blog account to start the buzz about your business and add some personality.

Here are just a few ideas of how you can use social media to boost sales:

  • Post images and tips about other local spots that guests can enjoy while visiting your business-it may strike up some B2B relationships with other local businesses and will definitely boost your audience’s engagement with your business and local community.
  • Use these social media hubs as a platform for promotional campaigns. Run a holiday special for just Twitter and Facebook users.
  • Host a weekly or monthly photo contest using Instagram. The guest with the best photo wins a free meal, 10% of a service you offer, etc. It’s a great way to build positive social content and promote your brand.

 

Gain Referrals & Recommendations

Word of mouth referral is the best organic marketing tool out there and has quite a high conversion rate. However, it usually comes sporadically and doesn’t have a lasting or widespread impact. The next best things are online recommendations and referrals. Consider setting up business accounts with sites like Trip Advisor, Wanderfly, Yelp and Foursquare.

These services are free and will not only optimize your chances of being found online, but also give your audience a chance to leave feedback about their experience. Recommendation sites drive referral traffic and help your customer conversion rate climb. It also works as a great checks-and-balance system for you and your staff to uphold a high level regarding customer service and experience.

Contact us today to develop the perfect online tourism marketing strategy for your destination!

 

Resources:

http://www.tourismknowhow.com/how-to.html

http://www.mywebschool.com/blog/mobile-marketing-for-tourism/

 

Viral Videos: Creating Videos People Love & Will Share

Flu season is upon us and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) says the number of recorded cases this year has already reached epidemic proportions. The team at our Orlando advertising agency has received office-wide preventative vaccines so shoo flu, don’t bother us!

We hardly take the potential severity of Influenza lightly, but we can’t help but compare the virus’s widespread impact to another virus; a promotional technique for which there is no known prophylactic: viral video marketing. The term stems from the idea that if an ad reaches a “susceptible” user, that user becomes “infected” (i.e. accepts the idea), shares what they’ve seen with others, others do the same and so on and so forth.

Viral Videos—VV’s we’ll call them—are a relatively new phenomenon owing their exponentially increasing presence to YouTube’s 2005 launch. Not all VVs contain a marketing component, but for the purposes of this extremely well written and thought-out blog piece, we’re only interested in those that do.

One of the first VV campaigns was released even before it had broadly reaching social platforms like YouTube and Reddit at its disposal.  Recorded way back in 1995 A.D.—the same year O.J. was on trial and Alicia Silverstone played Cher in Clueless, the greatest cinematic masterpiece of the 20th century— Loronix Information Systems released an innovative ad promoting surveillance computers. THIS CLIP features a distraught, overweight cubicle worker with a case of misplaced rage.

The clip played on one of the most important aspects of VV marketing. Just like the first rule of Fight Club, “You do not talk about Fight Club,” the first rule of VV marketing is making sure not to make transparent an intention to sell a product or service. For a video to even be considered “viral,” the litmus test is 100,000 views within a 24-hour span—anything less than that, and it falls into the much lesser “cough due to cold” category.  In order to reach such lofty numbers without seeking “seeding help” from companies like Pimp My Views or View Tornado, a VV must first and foremost entertain.

A recent Forbes article calls this approach “Candy with the Medicine,” a philosophy that recognizes a message is best received within entertainment. So, focusing first on the entertainment value (the candy) and then following with the message (the medicine) is the only way to ensure maximum results. From an application standpoint, which would you rather watch? THIS or THIS?

The first is part of a series of Old Spice commercials developed by Oregon ad agency, Wieden and Kennedy. Titled “Believe in your Smelf” it’s a follow-up to “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” which received 40 million YouTube views in 12 months, leading to a Twitter following increase of 2700%, a Facebook interaction increase of 800% and an overall sales of Old Spice body wash 107% increase. The second clip is a more traditional, jingle reliant commercial.  It also happens to be one of the most obnoxious, ear gratingly, jaw grindingly, amateur spectacles ever to come out of New York.  It shoves the “message” down the consumer’s throat while casting the “entertainment” portion of the model to the wayside. In summation, the first example makes viewers laugh; the second doubtless forces them question the future prospects of the human race.

Viral Videos: providing hope for humanity.

Interested in ways to create viral video content that has the potential to spread your brand message to the masses? Contact our team of video production experts today!

What is Old is now New: Learn Museum Marketing in 2013

You walk into a museum, and you find yourself surrounded with relics from the world around you.  Sure, you can experience each item by looking at it, and you can even go on a tour.  But what if you could experience the entire process using interactive features that embrace technology, by using your iPad or your smartphone?
Museum marketers are catching on to the fast-paced changes in digital technology, and are finding creative ways to leverage innovation to create an enhanced museum experience.  Whereas once museum artifacts were stuck between the confines of a building dedicated solely to housing the items, today’s museums can reach people on their computers, smartphones and tablets.  Such museum marketing efforts are blurring the lines between marketing and curating.

Here’s a quick run down of our Orlando marketing agency’s favorite ways museum marketers are embracing digital technology.

Content Creation: Keeping and maintaining a regular blog helps not only inform potential visitors of museum happenings, but also helps bolster SEO rankings and search engine visibility.  A blog need not be limited to museum events; marketers can also use it to provide historical information about current exhibits and other materials of interest to the local community.

Social Media: While these days, most museum marketers are savvy enough to keep active Facebook and Twitter pages, marketers at some of the nation’s leading museums are taking social media to a new level.  For instance, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has a massive Pinterest presence, using the social media platform to share beautiful images from its various collections.  The Brooklyn Museum website uses the Foursquare API to highlight its guests’ activities, and to display images of each of the museum’s visitors.  It also highlights the museum’s Foursquare mayors, both past and present.

Press Releases: Even small museums can benefit big time by using press release wire services to help distribute news and information about upcoming museum events.  Press release wire services reach thousands of people in an instant, and most of these people are journalists who are hungry for stories.  Additionally, press release wire services increase search engine visibility and help expose museum news to audiences that would not have seen it otherwise.  While press release services are not fail-safe, they are a great tool for museum marketers.

Interactivity: Even with limited budgets, most museums can afford to design simple apps to help visitors tour the museum, either in-person or virtually, from the comfort of their homes.  However, with bigger budgets, there are endless possibilities to create games and interactive exhibits.  For instance, the Smithsonian museum offers virtual tours and mobile scavenger hunts.

As digital technology allows more and more opportunities for growth, museums will undoubtedly be on the forefront of embracing the changes that affect the world around us. This means that we can expect to see complex and advanced marketing strategies for development within the museum marketing.  The team at our Florida advertising agency believes that as the world becomes more tech-friendly, the possibilities for museum marketers will be greater than ever before.

While many have historically been open to the public for years, finding new and innovative means to capitalize on effective museum marketing strategies requires the expertise of a trusted agency partner. Looking to uncover opportunities to reach today’s savvy visitor? Contact us today to learn more!