Ben & Jerry’s Twitter Treats, promotion in a creative way

Most Twitter users hardly ever use all of the allotted 140 characters they’re allowed to tweet. Ben & Jerry’s decided to utilize this fact to promote a witty campaign called Fair Tweets (see the video splainer – a BIGEYE favorite), not only for its company, but also for a good cause.
On May 14, in honor of World Fair Trade Day, Ben & Jerry’s asked Twitter users to donate their spare characters to raise awareness of Fair Trade. They created a user-friendly application that allows people to type tweet whatever they’d like and automatically fills in the remaining unused characters with a Fair Trade message and hyperlink. So, if your tweet is only 20 characters, Ben & Jerry’s will immediately fill in a 120-character message about Fair Trade for you … and they might even throw in a link or hashtag too.

Once your message is created, you simply click the “Tweet It!” button, and your Fair Trade message is sent off to Twitter for all of your followers to see. It takes two seconds (depending on your typing skills), and spreads awareness for Fair Trade around the world. Not to mention, it leads people to Ben & Jerry’s as well. Promoting a cause through your company is always admirable, but Ben & Jerry’s showed us how to make it clever and fun too. We think they deserve two thumbs up for promoting themselves and a good cause in a cool, non-garish sort of way. Don’t you?

To learn how to effectively incorporate twitter into your campaign, contact us here!

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It’s here, Honeysuckle: A bright idea for Pantone in 2011

For those who saw The Devil Wears Prada (c’mon boys, you know you loved it), believe Miranda Priestly when she tells Andy:
“That sweater is not just blue, it’s not turquoise, it’s not lapis, it’s actually Cerulean … That blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and it’s sort of comical how you think that you’ve made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you’re wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room.”

In 2000, Pantone LLC, the world’s leading color authority, decided Cerulean would be the color of the year. It made its way through fashion shows, interior decorations and graphic designs. No doubt, we caught a glimpse of Cerulean every day in the year 2000, whether in passing on a billboard, in the Target Home Furnishings section, or in Macy’s clothing department. Pantone’s Color of the Year affects our daily lives. Ms. Priestly was right (she just forgot to mention that Pantone plays an influential role in the colors designers incorporate into their pieces), so why not embrace it?

Over the past 10 years, Pantone has chosen colors like Fuchsia Rose (2001), Aqua Sky (2003) and Sand Dollar (2006) as the colors of the years—each varying in only pinks, blues and yellows, oddly enough. So it comes as no surprise that 2011’s choice is none other than the vibrant, rosy-colored Honeysuckle. That’s right, we said rosy. We thought Honeysuckle was an orangey-yellow, too.

According to Pantone, Honeysuckle’s dynamic red and pink tones encourage us to push beyond the escape and “meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of [our] everyday lives.” It’s vibrant and uplifting, sure to bring confidence and liveliness back into our world; and it’s about time. Get ready to see Honeysuckle in weddings, bedspreads, commercials and so much more. Pops of this playful pink are about to start showing up everywhere, so how are you going to utilize it?

Color can affect us both physically and emotionally, according to Kate Smith from Sensationalcolor.com. Vibrant pinks like Honeysuckle can increase blood pressure and encourage action and confidence. It’s the color of happiness, often reminding women of the lightheartedness of their youth, according to TK person. We see pink as an international symbol of hope in the fight against breast cancer. But it’s not just a feminine color. The Japanese associate the color with masculinity, symbolizing fallen Samurai of the past in the annual blooming of the cherry blossom trees. Any chance you’re craving sweets after all this pink talk? It’s been said to do that too.

In search of a color palette to best represent your brand? Our creative team possesses the expertise to assist you in finding your perfect match – contact us today to schedule a consultation!

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What to Expect in Marketing in 2011 and what you need to know

If 2010 was up for a marketing superlative, it would definitely be voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” This past year, we saw the launch of the iPad, the expansion of the Facebook “Like” button to other popular websites and the rise of singer-songwriter Justin Bieber, who can thank YouTube for the fact that he can now retire at age 16. But while 2010 focused on finding new, bigger and better vehicles to market products and services, 2011 will focus on tying them all together. Gunning for the “Best-All-Around” title, 2011 will be the year that we see businesses weave online, print, broadcast, mobile, and social media initiatives together into a greater marketing plan to achieve bigger goals. And the leaders of the pack will be those who recognize this need to take a step back and see the bigger picture. Read on to find out more about Covenant’s projections for 2011, and how big-picture thinking could lead to a big ROI.

1. Video

In the next three years, 90 percent of the Internet will be video, according to Cisco Systems. Video has become a powerful way to talk directly to your target audience and build upon or strengthen the relationship they’ve already established with your brand. Video can also be repurposed on multiple platforms, from your company’s website to its Facebook Fan page. Your customers can even share the videos with their friends and family by reposting links or by embedding the video itself onto other Web pages. And the unique thing about video is that it can still be viewed years after it is initially posted.

There are many ways that video can be utilized on the Web to not only promote your brand, but also to establish it as the go-to resource in your industry. If you’re a healthcare facility, add a five-minute tutorial on tips to avoid the flu before cold season (such as washing your hands, just like Mom always said). If you’re a homebuilder, show short clips of a remodeled cabinet you did, with before and after shots. The idea is to think of a topic that will interest your customers, and then hire a professional to do the work. While flip cameras are great for taping your grandma doing the electric slide at your cousin’s wedding, they won’t deliver the same professional look and feel that a production company can. In order to effectively position your products and services in your marketplace, it’s crucial to get the right message, sound and light in place before you start rolling.

2. Digital Marketing

The last time someone in our office used a phone book was to get to the last Sweet’N Low packet on a hard-to-reach shelf. And we would venture to say the same is true for many of our clients (unless they prefer Splenda). More often than not, consumers are looking online to gather information and pricing for the products or services they need. Therefore, companies will need to move their rates, discount packages, services, and offerings where their customers are looking for it: online.

In addition to making it easier for your customers to include you in their budget for the upcoming year, it’s also more important now than ever to include digital media in your own. With new channels and capabilities being developed daily on the Internet, websites are becoming far more complex than the five-page, static HTML pages they once were. They’re incorporating instant messaging, applications, video, podcasting, gaming, blogs, social networking, and dynamically generated content pulled by an RSS feed from other sites. All of these separate initiatives are great to keep your audience coming back for more, but this year, business leaders will need to develop an overall digital marketing plan to play out how each initiative will work together to achieve their company’s greater goals.

3. Social Media

By now, even old-school business executives that were once hesitant about jumping into the social media pool are taking the plunge. It’s no longer a question of whether or not you have social media, but rather how you decide to utilize it, and whether or not those initiatives have resulted in an ROI. Offering free giveaways or coupons to people who “Like” you on Facebook is a great way to build your audience in the beginning stages. But after you get their attention, it’s just as important to keep it there. This will happen by engaging your customer through relevant—and frequent—posts, messages, photos, videos, and other offerings. It’s also important to include a call-to-action in order to drive traffic where you want it to go, such as sharing a link to a new product or service featured on your company website. This year, expect to see more in the realm of Social Listening Research and Influencer Marketing, which allow you to analyze your target audience members to better understand your customers and their needs.

LinkedIn, a professional networking website, will also continue to be a social media platform to watch in 2011, with more than 12 million small-business leaders on its site, according to its blog last year. It’s become a huge resource for finding a job, finding a job candidate or making a connection with a potential business partner.

4. Multi-channel and Integrated Marketing

It’s great to market your company across different mediums, from online, print and broadcast to mobile applications and social media platforms. But if the vehicles you’re using to promote your brand don’t cross promote one another, you’re missing out on a lot of business opportunities you could have had if they did. For example, this can take the form of a billboard with a QR code (barcode readable by dedicated QR barcode readers and camera phones), print advertising with a mobile phone SMS call to action, or a link on a company website that redirects to its Facebook page to “Like” them. It should always come full circle. You want to engage your audience to interact with you and your brand, not just hit them once with a well-designed piece that leaves them thinking, “OK great, but now what?”

It simply isn’t enough to just do a newspaper advertisement or buy a radio spot anymore. It must be integrated into multiple platforms and, consequentially, be strongly branded to your company on those platforms. This will change the role of your audience members from recipients to participants.

5. Personalized Marketing

You may have already noticed this on Facebook, but in 2011, expect to see more websites with personalization capabilities. This means that if you frequently visit a website, it will track the keywords you search for and post and store this information in its database to customize what’s displayed on the site the next time you visit. It not only determines what’s displayed based on the keywords you search, but also by the pages you visit within the site and, for first time visitors, even the referring URL that linked you to the site.

With the astronomical growth of Groupon and LivingSocial in the past two years, smart startup companies are starting to use geo-location capabilities to drive foot traffic to their local businesses. This acceleration would largely be driven by discovery via location-based social experience sharing. The explosive growth of Instagram is also an early sign of this experience-sharing trend, and we will witness a whole lot more in the coming year.

6. Print

This just in: print is not dead. Print has reinvented itself more times than Cher and Madonna combined and, like their careers, it thrives by changing its look to stay relevant. In an “all-about-me” marketplace, printers have learned that in order to stay in touch with consumers, they have to get personal. Literally. Data-driven print (also known as 1:1 printing, variable data or personalized printing) is continuously growing in popularity and often involves strategically placing a customer’s name onto an already printed piece.

For example, vacation timeshares may put a customer’s name on the back of a white robe hanging in the closet of a bedroom. A sports clothing brand might put a customer’s name on the back of a football jersey. The options are endless, and it’s a great way to get creative and grab your audience members’ attention by reaching out to them by name.

7. SEO

Ah, the ever-elusive concept of Search Engine Optimization. In recent years, the most common question we get from clients is hands down, “What can we do to become No. 1 in Google’s search results?” This isn’t surprising to us since your customers, like you, are probably using search engines as their primary means to find the information they are looking for. But the answer is much more complex than the reason behind the question. Although there are definitely ways that marketing professionals can help improve your SEO through keywords, tags and content, there is no silver bullet for getting the No. 1 spot. With the introduction of new search engines such as Bing in the U.S., Baidu in China and Yandex in Russia, Google’s not the only player in the search engine game anymore. In addition, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter are also becoming popular resources for searching, making it even more difficult to solve the equation to get to the No. 1 spot. In 2011, look for things to get even more complex as search engines advance, mobile phone searches get thrown into the mix and geo-location searches also become a factor in where you fall in search result listings.

Even if there isn’t a foolproof formula to guarantee your ranking, there are certainly ways to improve your SEO. Marketing experts have conducted plenty of research in this realm and can advise you of small things you can do to make a big impact in the long run.

In conclusion, the key to a successful year in marketing will be to engage your audience, be strategic in your initiatives, customize your offerings and keep your overall goal in mind. But if all else fails, post a really funny video of your cat sneezing on YouTube and watch the TV interviews, book deals, magazine covers, and sports drink sponsorships just roll in.

In need of a little guidance in order to continue on the right foot? Contact our team of marketing experts today to develop the perfect approach for your brand in 2011 – and beyond!

There is Greater Potential of Becoming a Global Brand

In traditional advertising, the advertising campaign is usually limited to particular geographical regions or spaces. With the internet, the scope seems to be endless and a greater potential of becoming a global brand. If you are able to handle goods and supply them across the globe in a reasonable amount time, you are likely to have a customer from there. The reaches are almost without limits and are only limited by your own ability. The synchronization of payment methods through credit cards has made serving remote communities even easier.

Focused Internet Marketing

There is evidence to show that over 60% of people that buy an article or service online made some effort to search for the product or service beforehand. Therefore if you know the possible customer profile for your goods, you can target your advertising efforts to the sites that they are likely to visit. Creating your site with relevant keywords will make the site come up in targeted search by the users. Therefore the person that sees your product is possibly someone that is already interested in what you are offering and he will be more likely to convert.

Quicker Conversion Times

One of the greatest advantages to internet marketing is that the conversion time is far less than the conversion time for traditional advertising campaigns. One of the reasons for this short conversion time is that it is easier for the user to react to the advertising message in internet advertising. Most of the time, the advertising itself is a link to the product page and a user is able to buy with a few clicks.

More Product Knowledge

With traditional advertising such as TV and Radio, there is not enough space to explain to the user what the good or service is really about and what advantages they might get from using the good or service. With internet advertising, the interested user can click on the advert, search for information about the good or service and then make up his mind whether to buy or not. It is easy to inform the client without the use of your own time and effort. More over the client can get enough information and buy without spending time in traffic to visit your store or depot as in a traditional setting.

More Cost Effective

Internet advertising generally has lower entry level fees than traditional advertising methods. If you have the time and with some effort, there is a great deal that an entrepreneur can usually accomplish in terms of advertising without incurring costs.

You are able to restrict your advertising by a certain amount each day on advertising platforms which is a great thing for your budget. Moreover, there are some internet campaigns that will only charge you for activity. That is you won’t be charged unless a user interacts with your advert in some way. This is a great value for each advertising dollar.

Good Conversion Tracking

One of the greatest advantages of internet marketing is that it offers conversion tracking. Therefore you can quickly know your target population and optimize your campaign for these, or see where you are falling short and try to make your net wider.

These advantages show that internet marketing is certainly useful and it will increase profits and visibility for the budding entrepreneur – just is it will the accomplished businessman.

 

Ready to leverage the benefits of a strategic internet marketing approach that helps your company’s goods and services develop into a global brand? Contact us today to learn more!

How to use viral marketing tactics to promote your brand

Viral marketing (also sometimes described as marketing buzz, viral advertising, or buzzwords) can be defined as marketing techniques that use existing networks to spread awareness of a particular brand or service and thus creating a process whereby the existing network is responsible for propagating the marketing message and this can take the form of video clips, interactive games, adverts, eBooks, images or text messages.
[quote]The overall goal in creating a viral marketing strategy is to reach a wide audience in the shortest time possible and with as little expenditure as can be managed. [/quote]The message receivers are responsible for carrying the message across to other receivers and so the marketers try as much as possible to create a message that will appeal to their target group which should be people that have preferably a high social networking potential , making it more likely for the message to go across through the targeted medium to the target audience.

In order to use viral marketing successfully, you should be able to meet these three conditions:

– Identify the right messengers to propagate the message

– Create the right message

– Choose the medium to diffuse the message

Identify the Messenger

The messengers ideally are the people that are always looking for new things in an area. They actually specialize in this area or take it as a hobby. They could be bloggers or reviewers and will usually have a lot of following for their opinions.

Once they get the message and are happy with it, it gets transmitted to their immediate social network and thus gets propagated to friends of friends and when rightly done it might make the whole world within 24 hours. Imagine the impact it might have on the potential of a company to sell.

Creating the Message

Getting the right message, the right pitch is the key to viral marketing. The message should essentially be simple, easily memorable and should sell itself. This is the greatest part of the venture, and the right message will always find a way out. Sometimes it may take several attempts and slight changes to make it more effective and viral.

The Environment

The environment, the timing and the expectations of the public all play a vital role in the propagation of a message. It should resonate with the economic and political climate at the time. However unlikely messages have been known to take hold and spread, so you just have to pull your resources together and give it a go.

There are many strategies that you can adopt for effective viral marketing and learning how to use viral marketing for your business from time to time can establish you, give you a wider customer base and generate profits for your business.

Some of the elements you can include in your viral marketing strategy include:

Offering free products and services

Free services and products are usually very attractive and call for a lot of attention. Viral marketing usually uses the idea of offering services to individuals that propagate the message, usually if they are able to let the message reach a certain number of individuals, they are more likely to get a free product or service. Generally the free offer calls for attention to your free product, but it might also be a direct way of getting the person to explore other products and services on offer which might eventually convert to a sale.

Using Existing Social Networks

Without an existing network of peers to take up the message, a good message may remain in marketing dump and never see the light. Even if you don’t have a social network, it will be essential to create one, link with people, leave messages on their message boards and participate in forums. Once you get this organized, it will be easier to get your message across to the first group of social network active people that are important for spreading the message across once they get fired up!

Prepare for the Expected Increase in Traffic

In order to successfully use viral marketing, you should be prepared for the increase in traffic, or in sales. Not being able to satisfy the curiosity of the people that have come into contact with your messages will spell failure on your part, and may even incur a backlash from the very socially active population that are first on the line. Therefore make sure that your equipment and staff are well able to handle the possible surge in business that may arise from the marketing effort.

Create Compelling Messages

Use great design and clever marketing to create a compelling message. Viral marketing is as much a psychological process as a marketing activity. Strive to understand what moves your niche population and you will be more likely successful at creating something that they can identify with, love and spread around.

In need of a viral marketing message that will resonate with your target audience? Contact us today for proven ways to boost traffic for your brand!