Struggling for Good Content? Consider the UGC Technique

UGC is an underappreciated technique used by creative brand consulting firms, yet provides overly successful content creation for your brand.

It’s a fact of life that creative brand consulting firms are always in need of fresh and compelling content. Unfortunately, they often struggle to meet these demands. That’s because it typically requires time, talent and money to generate high-quality marketing content.
Here’s the good news: Agencies and brands are solving this problem with content generation strategies that ensure access to a consistent pipeline of high-value material.

One of the most overlooked of these strategies is the use of UGC — or “user-generated content.”

Who’s down with UGC?

UGC is simply defined as any content created and shared by consumers, fans or any unpaid contributor. This content often takes the form of videos, photos, testimonials, social media posts, and stories.

One recent example: Coca-Cola’s wildly successful personalized Coke bottle campaign. The beverage giant replaced its iconic logo with 250 popular first names and sold hundreds of millions of bottles of cola as a result.

As part of its product rollout, Coca-Cola asked consumers to upload photos and videos of themselves drinking from their personalized bottles. Thousands did, giving Coca-Cola free content and advertising — and providing a great example of the power of UGC in action.

Coca-Cola isn’t the only beverage company to use UGC to great effect. Pepsi’s “Max It Now” campaign was built around legendary NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon, who famously raced under the number 24.

Pepsi asked fans to complete 24 social media challenges (such as Tweeting why Pepsi Max is better than Coke Zero in 24 words, or Instagraming a photo of themselves with Pepsi Max) in order to win prizes.

This UGC campaign was hailed for the way it engaged with a dedicated cohort of so-called “superfans” a.k.a people with deep loyalty to Jeff Gordon, NASCAR — and now, very possibly, Pepsi Max.

Tips for your next UGC campaign

We’ve discussed one benefit of UGC — providing access to a stream of valuable content, an eternal need for brands. Yet there’s another important advantage: UGC resonates with audiences.

Why? People perceive non-commercial content generated by people like themselves to be more authentic. Similar to word of mouth advertising, they also perceive UGC to be more trustworthy than conventional marketing or advertising. In today’s ad-soaked environment, more consumers than ever simply tune out anything with an overtly commercial feel. UGC cuts through this barrier.

Additionally, a UGC campaign allows brands to place consumers front and center. Rather than dictate the story through a creative brand consulting firm, UGC campaigns allow consumers to play a key role in telling the brands journey themselves. When this occurs, brands create campaigns that connect on a more personal level, while also encouraging consumers to feel like they are invested in the campaign — and by extension the brand itself.

So now that we’ve established why UGC works, let’s review a few tips for your next campaign:

1.Create excitement and anticipation

This is one of the best ways to ensure that you receive strong user participation. Set a content submission date and spend the days and weeks ahead of that date building anticipation across all relevant marketing channels.

2.Offer creative awards for participation

This is the key to engaging with people who aren’t already dedicated fans of a brand. Public recognition, company swag or prizes help people feel like their work is worth it.

3.Ensure your campaign is legally compliant

Is your campaign a sweepstakes (random drawing) or a contest (with criteria to meet)? Depending on your jurisdiction, these may have differing legal requirements. Check with an attorney if you have any questions.

Finding the creative brand consulting Firm

Our team of creative renegades specialize in strategic UGC-based campaigns that move the needle. If you’d like to learn more about the power of UGC, please don’t hesitate to call us today.

Simple Yet Breathtakingly Beautiful Video Ads is All it Takes

Simplify your work efforts and partner with a video production company to bring your branded ads to the next level of sophistication.

At this point, we’ve all heard countless messages about the critical role video plays in a modern marketing strategy. Yet we’re still surrounded by video content that’s flat, un-engaging and uninspiring. Many brands understand the importance of video, but simply lack the expertise, capacity or creative ability to translate this into something tangible. By partnering with a top video production company, however, you can turn even the simplest of video concepts into something truly magnetic.

The blooming of a brilliant idea

In video marketing and advertising, the best ideas are often the simplest. This was made evident by a stunning video ad recently created by the advertising firm TBWA/Paris on behalf of the French railway firm SNCF. The goal was to create an ad that thanked riders for reducing their carbon footprint by choosing to ride the train.

The ensuing idea was elegantly simple: Plants blooming set to a score of fireworks popping. Now, if you were to throw that pitch out at a creative meeting, you’d likely get a positive response — something along the lines of “Oh, that’s nice — very clever.” Flowers blooming resemble fireworks exploding, and both are colorful.

Once that seed of an idea blooms onscreen, however, the response becomes very different. The TBWA/Paris ad is breathtakingly beautiful, featuring gorgeous high definition video of exotic flowers in bloom. Yet because TBWA/Paris synchronized each movement of the blooming flowers to the sound of exploding fireworks, the experience goes beyond beauty — the viewer marvels at the interpolation. They are very different, yet somehow the same.

That’s the power of truly creative video production in action.

Tips for creating memorable video content

In order to create video content that connects, it’s important, to begin with, a strong concept. However, there are also a variety of other smart practices you can follow to help ensure that your message is a memorable one. These include:

Shorter videos

Thanks to the five-second skip, consumers often exercise little patience with videos. Multi-minute videos are generally best left to master directors and storytellers, or high-profile brands that can afford to cast well-known actors. For everyone else, it’s better to aim for maximum impact in the briefest possible time. Data from Facebook and Instagram shows that 15 seconds or less is ideal for businesses creating a mobile video.

Keep it simple

If you’re going to create shorter videos, you need to work from simple concepts. Cut out the filler and focus on the core message.

Emphasize the beginning 

Great videos seize the viewer’s attention immediately. Today’s consumers won’t sit still for too long of a buildup or exposition — you need to grab their focus in the first few seconds and refuse to let go.

Make it emotionally resonant

Nothing builds connections and increases engagement like an emotional investment. It doesn’t have to be sappy or cloying, either; the TBWA/Paris flower ad creates a connection by emphasizing the wonder and beauty of nature.

Tailor it to your audience

A great video is one that is tailored to your specific audience but can still be universally appreciated.

The TBWA/Paris ad shows us how a simple yet clever idea can be elevated dramatically through video. Not every business, of course, has the skill, capacity or resources to develop this kind of video.

That doesn’t mean that a great video is out of reach — a talented video production company can help make this a reality.

Choosing the Right Video Production Company

Our requisite creative skills, technical abilities, and industry experiences allow us to create deeply memorable, creatively inspiring video ads that are exponential. If you’d like to learn more about how we help businesses connect with customers through video, please reach out today.

Hey Alexa, Why is NLP Revolutionizing Marketing?

Utilize natural language processing (NLP) to increase your overall ROI by partnering with a digital marketing agency ASAP.

Remember the first iteration of Siri on the iPhone 4s? She was charming but clunky – and ended up being more of a curiosity rather than a real voice assistant. Today, however, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are both powerful and deeply integrated into our daily lives, thanks to advances in natural language processing (NLP). If you’re a brand or a digital marketing agency, these advances in NLP can also be used to help create more effective and engaging campaigns.

The evolution of NLP

Natural language processing draws on computer science, linguistics, machine learning, sophisticated language modeling, and analysis to allow computers to generate and understand human language. In essence, it’s the technology that allows computers to finally interact with us in an intuitive, seamless — and human sounding — fashion.

The introduction of smartphones and other mobile devices made communicating, working and performing basic life tasks easier and more efficient. Smart speakers and other NLP-equipped devices are taking things a step further. Instead of mediating interactions through a keyboard, we can navigate with simple voice commands to a sophisticated AI-based voice assistant.

As you might expect, this is not an easy endeavor, as language is deeply complex; until the last few years, NLP-equipped devices were limited in functionality and were largely unable to have advanced, human-like conversations. Humans pick up complex language because we are naturally hardwired to understand it; machines, however, have no such innate advantage.

Today, NLP technology has taken a quantum leap forward and is now being used in smart speakers, chatbots, and predictive text suggestions — the kind you see in search engines, email, and smartphones. It also has an important role to play in another human endeavor with digital marketing agencies.

How NLP is transforming the way we live, work and sell

The business of marketing has become incredibly data-driven in recent years. In order to effectively market and sell products and services, businesses need to target the right audiences. In order to do that, they need a way to identify who they mean to target — and that’s where data analysis enters the equation.

There’s still one significant challenge, however: More than 90% of the data that’s generated online falls into the category of “unstructured data.” This includes emails, reviews, social media posts, etc. Because this information is not classified or structured — and because enormous amounts exist and are being continually generated — it’s difficult for marketers or anyone else to make sense of it, let alone derive actionable insights. Which is where a digital marketing agency & NLP come together.

NLP offers one solution to this problem. One recent example: EssayPro, an online service that helps students become better writers, uses NLP to analyze unstructured data in an effort to better understand the problems students have when composing their papers. It then applies these insights to its marketing strategies, targeting students with specific solutions to the precise problems with which they are dealing with.

Businesses can also use NLP to conduct sentiment analysis and identify propensity signals on social media. By analyzing this data, brands can learn — almost in real time — how audiences are responding to goods, services, and marketing messages.

NLP can also be used to help businesses that gather high volumes of customer feedback through chats, emails, voicemails, and social media posts. By applying NLP to this data, businesses can unlock deeper insights into customer experience, and make any necessary adjustments to their marketing strategies.

The takeaway

We believe great campaigns require more than compelling creative work — they also need to be supported by a sophisticated understanding of the latest technological tools. If you’d like to learn more about how NLP can help you improve your marketing efforts, please contact us today.

The Art and Science Behind Landing Pages That Convert

Explore the steps suggested by a content marketing agency that is essential to building an aesthetically pleasing landing page full of conversions.

If you were running a brick and mortar business, you wouldn’t put extremely uncomfortable chairs in the lobby, or decorate in a manner that recalls the local DMV. Customers would quickly tire of their surroundings and depart. Yet many businesses are, in effect, doing the very same thing with their websites and landing pages — making the services of a smart content marketing agency all the more important.

The art of great landing page design

Websites and landing pages are the public face of a business and reflect both the competencies and priorities of that enterprise. If your web pages are riddled with spelling or grammar issues, for example, it sends a terrible signal to prospective customers. If the site is cumbersome to use and not intuitive, customers will give up in frustration and fail to convert. Or, even worse, depart for a competitor’s page.

So why use a content marketing agency? And what makes an appealing landing page? For the most part, it can be distilled to a few simple steps:

1. Simplicity and clean design 

Aesthetics are a key consideration when creating a landing page. A cluttered presentation is not only displeasing to the eye, but it also reduces functionality. Worse, it simply looks unprofessional. Good landing page design is clean, sleek, and simple. A landing page should always be designed around one key objective: A conversion.

2. Consistency in branding

All landing pages should display good continuity with the website as a whole. Logos and other branded elements should remain consistent as should brand voice.

3. Effortless navigation

Businesses can’t afford to lose customers because of poor design or UX. A great landing page needs to close the deal. Landing page navigation should be intuitive and effortless, but also limited. You want the visitor to remain focused on converting, and too many navigational options may send them off in another direction, never to return.

4. A clear and compelling CTA

A great landing page has a succinct and persuasive pitch. Your call to action should also be prominently placed. Use appropriate color, design, and text elements to make your CTA stand out.

5. Refined, concise sales copy

A good landing page doesn’t waste a single word. All copy should be calibrated to convert. Be direct, be compelling and explain the value proposition as simply as possible.

Other key tips

In addition to mastering design, tone, and voice, businesses should ensure that landing page functionality is a priority. Forms for collecting leads and social sharing options should be simple to use and work flawlessly. Because businesses are asking visitors to take an extra step when they fill out boxes or click to share, these processes need to be as frictionless as possible.

Testing is another key part of an effective landing page design. Running some simple A/B tests can help you determine which design elements are the most engaging, and help you make the choices that lead to maximizing conversions.

While there are many options for template-based do-it-yourself options for landing page design, businesses seeking to build the most professional and engaging pages possible should consider partnering with a content marketing agency that specializes in design and website development.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we believe that great landing pages are the result of stellar design, creative copy, and rigorous testing. If you’d like to maximize your conversions, please don’t hesitate to reach out today to learn what a great landing page can do for your business.

Why Great Marketing Means Thinking Outside the (Sandwich) Box

Think outside of the box or in this case outside the sandwich and partner with a brand package design agency to creatively connect with your consumers.

There’s no denying that subscription services are hot. You can now have razors, meal kits and even a curated selection of candy from across the globe delivered to your door, weekly or monthly. This shift toward subscription goods is one reason why brand package design has become increasingly important in recent years. A beautiful or visually arresting design can make regular delivery of expected goods feel almost like a gift.
Given the rising popularity of the subscription model, it’s hardly surprising that brick and mortar businesses are attempting to join the party. What may surprise you, however, is the identity of some of these legacy brands.

How Arby’s took “thinking outside the box” to a new level

In early January 2019, the fast-food franchise Arby’s announced it would begin rolling out a new subscription service for sandwich lovers called “Arby’s of the Month.”

If you’re breaking out in “meat sweats” at the thought of a limp, week-old roast beef sandwich arriving at your door, fear not: These boxes contain “sandwich-inspired items” rather than actual buns, beef and horsey sauce.

The first boxes were distributed to members of the “Arby’s of the Month” club and contained the following promotional items: A visually pleasing brand package design with red and white Arby’s ski hat, a scarf designed to look like a giant slice of bacon, temporary Arby’s sandwich tattoos, a branded dining tray and a note from the company’s so-called “Head of Sandwiches” promising five more months of Arby’s themed goodies.

Arby’s priced the six-month subscriptions for a flat $25 fee. While they quickly sold out, the company says it will alert consumers as soon as more subscriptions come available in the coming weeks.

Why Arby’s chose the subscription box marketing route

Marketers can leverage larger societal trends to great effect. Look no further than Gillette’s recent #metoo-inspired “We Believe” ad, which gained massive attention while courting considerable controversy. Another example: Nike’s 2018 campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which leveraged the football star’s visibility as a social justice figure.

Now, a “Sandwich of the Month” club doesn’t have the same gravitas. Yet it falls perfectly in line with Arby’s playful, slightly goofy brand identity. Audiences don’t expect a roast beef purveyor to create an idealistic, high-concept ad campaign focusing on human rights. A campaign that builds upon Americans’ recent fascination with subscription delivery boxes — presented in Arby’s signature off-kilter style — is perfectly pitched.

Merely choosing to use the subscription-based model isn’t enough, however. For a truly successful campaign, Arby’s needed two additional things: Delivery items that would delight their customers and an appealing box in which to contain them.

Arby’s succeeded with the former — after all, who wouldn’t be amused by receiving a giant, flowing bacon scarf? For the latter, Arby’s chose to partner with the ad agency Fallon, who came up with a striking example of a strong brand package design to support the campaign.

Overall, Arby’s delivered a clever, on-trend and on-brand campaign idea supported by great design and social media marketing. With those elements in place, it’s little wonder that Arby’s new promotion sold out almost immediately.

What BIGEYE can do for you

If your brand would like to elevate its current marketing approach — or take advantage of truly compelling brand product design — we urge you to contact BIGEYE  today.

Warning: This Blog Post May Lead to Cuteness Overload

Prepare for an emotional overload! Work with a brand development company to help craft an ad that pulls at the heartstrings and connects consumers.

Any good brand development company knows that emotional resonance is one of the keys to great advertising. If you can move someone emotionally, there’s an excellent chance you’ll be moving some product soon afterward.
Obviously, not all emotions are created equal in this sense. Brands making a habit of sending audiences into a hot rage probably wouldn’t be beneficial.

But joy? Wonder? Delight?

If you can master those feelings throughout your brand messaging the way Disney has, your brand has unlimited potential.

Disney and the science of “cute overload”

You’ve probably noticed that people are naturally drawn to cute things, with babies, puppies, and kittens serving as exhibits A, B, and C.

But baby ducks might be the cutest of them all. Small, squeaky, and equipped with adorably goofy bills and oversized webbed feet, baby ducks are certainly in the Pantheon of Cuddly Animals.

Disney’s recent ad showcasing its EuroDisney theme park exposed our collective love of baby ducks in brilliant fashion. The story plays out like this: A tiny, lonely baby duck finds an old Donald Duck comic book in a field and is instantly infatuated. The duckling mimics Donald’s poses and seems to spend all his time absorbed in the book’s pages.

Unfortunately, a change of season comes in the form of a nasty thunderstorm and some seasonal migration. The duckling has to leave his beloved comic book behind, as he flies away to parts unknown with the rest of the flock.

In a heartwarming twist, however, the flock’s new home just happens to be on the outskirts of EuroDisney. Who does the duckling see standing in front of the theme park? Donald Duck himself, resplendently clad in his customary three-sizes-too-small sailor suit.

The duckling runs to Donald, hugs him and closes his eyes in sheer bliss — striking the same pose that millions of children visiting Disneyworld have also experienced after meeting Donald, Mickey, Minnie, etc.

It’s a pretty brilliant advertisement — even for a company that specializes in creating this kind of magic. If you’re a brand or a brand development company, it also provides a good opportunity to examine just why this approach is so effective.

As it turns out, it’s all in our DNA.

Why the cuteness sells

It’s not uncommon to see someone pinch a baby’s rosy red cheeks. Or, to hear someone utter the (slightly unnerving) phrase “you’re so cute I could just eat you up” when in the presence of a baby.

So why do humans feel a compulsion to pinch and squeeze babies and puppies?

Science has an answer. According to a 2015 study conducted by Yale psychologist Oriana Aragon, the feelings that adorably cute babies and animals inspire in us are so overwhelming that we instinctively follow them up with feelings of aggression. The general idea is that humans are designed to maintain emotional equilibrium. The presence of a baby (or an adorable duckling) sparks such an emotional reaction within us that we immediately compensate by thinking or acting in a more traditionally aggressive manner.

That’s a fascinating finding — and one with interesting implications for any brand development company, as well as the advertising and marketing industry as a whole. If emotional resonance is the Holy Grail of connecting with audiences, cuteness overload might be the map that helps brands discover it.

The takeaway

At BIGEYE, we help brands create the kind of advertising and marketing campaigns that inspire and delight audiences. If you’re not getting maximum value from your current marketing approach, please contact us today to learn what we can do for you.