College grads entering music marketing: Looking past record labels

The record industry’s dead. That’s what the news reports and the numbers support.  In the traditional sense it’s true. Music labels like Sony and Warner Music Group are like dial-up modems or skorts. Their model is broken, outdated and most likely never returning to its glory days. Thankfully though, the music itself isn’t going anywhere. If anything, it’s becoming more expansive and infiltrating more ear canals through the use of the latest and greatest marketing strategies employed by individuals and small firms who understand that success in the industry anymore is measured in Twitter followers and YouTube views.

Artists no longer need to rely on major labels to push their work for them. It’s a beautiful thing, really. And it means a whole lot to youngsters trying to break into the competitive, relatively small field of music marketing. In the past, labels threw hundreds of thousands of dollars toward the anticipation of album launches months ahead of their release.  Now, marketing lead-time is much more immediate.

Take for example, Kanye West and his GOOD Fridays. GOOD Fridays were the rapper / producer’s ingenious marketing ploy in support of his LP album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.  West released free singles on a weekly basis, generating 15 tracks in all.  What makes this tactic so effective is West’s understanding of the fact that consumers no longer want to wait for the rigmarole of an album launch to subside. In fact, the album as a primary moneymaking unit for an artist is no more. It’s a relic left over by labels that require artists to meet Minimum Delivery and Release Commitments if they want to see their bonuses.

[quote]Kanye may be a polarizing public figure; say what you will about him, but even Taylor Swift can’t argue that when it comes to self-promotion, the man is unmatched in his efforts. [/quote]

Upstart company Fanbridge is at the forefront of the shifting world of music marketing.  Based out of New York City, Fanbridge Co-Founder and President Noah Dinkin used to manage bands before launching the “leading fan management and marketing platform for email and social media.” Dinkin now helps artists, musicians, actors and athletes to grow their individual brand by growing their fan base. The site allows users to track and update Facebook, Myspace and Twitter pages all from a single location.

Other sites like CD Baby allow independent artists to distribute their albums online without having to go through major distribution channels. At the end of the day, our Orlando video production company realizes that music has fallen back into the hands of its creators. Those creators need to be informed of the various simple yet effective outlets available to them online. That’s where the music marketer takes the reins.

Marketers today must think on their feet. They need to help license material out to various commercials and television spots. Consider how helpful the MacBook Air ad was to Yael Naim’s “New Soul.” They need to ensure that an artist is continuously present in the eyes of his/ her fans. That can mean posting behind-the-scenes videos on YouTube or Tweeting links to new songs that can be previewed on Last.fm or SoundCloud. Mostly, it’s important to remember that a stodgy old print ad in Billboard Magazine only goes so far anymore. Live streaming, mobile applications, Tumblr, Do-It-Yourself (DIY); these are but a few of the buzzwords future music marketers would do well to familiarize themselves with.

Want to learn how to implement the latests trends in music for your next Video Production Project? Contact us to get a free quote!

BIGEYE’s Video Production: Annika Sorenstam & Arnold Palmer video

As a part of BIGEYE, an Orlando video production company, we are very proud to have the Arnold Palmer Hospital For Children as one of our notable clients. They are viewed as the leader in pediatric care in Central Florida. In 2006, the Arnold Palmer Hospital decided to specialize its care for women and children by opening up the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. In 2012, we ran a campaign that highlighted one athlete’s intimate experience with the Winnie Palmer Hospital.
In our society, it’s difficult to imagine superstars facing real life struggles. They lead very public lives and most of the time are viewed as almost superhuman. It’s important to remember that even though they might not face day-to-day struggles like you and me, they are still human beings. The athlete highlighted in this campaign is Annika Sorenstam, one of the LPGA tours most legendary golfers. In this video, Annika opens up about the complications she faced during her second pregnancy.

The video begins by highlighting some of Annika’s biggest achievements on the golf course. Shortly after, the film cuts to Annika and her husband, Mike, discussing that no matter how accomplished she has been on the golf course, starting a family has been her ultimate proudest moment. She then discusses how one Sunday night during her second trimester, everything changed. She woke up in the middle of the night to bloody sheets, which she later learned was caused by placenta abruption. Mike raced her to the hospital where she had an emergency C-section. Annika thoughtfully remembers that amidst the chaos that night, the nurses and doctors of the Winnie Palmer hospital remained calm and reassuring. Once their premature son was born, they recalled how strong and determined he was to fight for his life. They fittingly named him Will, because he had the will to get better. Neonatologist Dr. Michael McMahan was interviewed explaining how 95% of the babies that are born that severely premature end up living a normal and healthy life. Towards the end of the video, Annika, Mike and their two children were interviewed with Arnold Palmer, who is the benefactor of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. Annika explains how the Winnie Palmer staff were so incredibly caring and thoughtful. Mike calls the staff their “angels, because all they do is save lives.” Arnold Palmer then reflects on the Winnie Palmer Hospital staff and discusses how many lives have been changed for the better.

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William Nicholas McGee was born via c-section on March 21, 2011 after Annika suffered a placenta abruption at just 27 weeks along. He arrived weighing 2.12 lbs and measuring 15 inches long. He was born 13 weeks early. Placenta abruption is the separation of the placenta from the uterine lining. The placenta is part of a baby’s life support. It transfers oxygen and nutrients to the baby. When the placenta separates, it can interrupt the transportation of oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Only about 1% of all pregnant women will experience placenta abruption and most cases can be successfully treated.

The video shoot was very complex. The camera used is known as a ‘red camera’. It has the ability to shoot ‘4 K raw footage’ which allows the film to obtain double the amount of pixels. In a way, it’s almost like using two cameras. This camera is extremely high end and our video team describes the style of the type of footage captured “similar to the footage in The Hobbit.”

We hope you enjoy the video!

 

The business of social media: Do you still need a sales team?

With social media, individuals and small businesses have the power to reach thousands of people in mere seconds.  Our smartphones and computers allow us to reach anyone in almost any part of the world in less time than it takes to warm a microwave burrito.  Business contacts, colleagues, associates, consumers – they’re all right there at the tips of our fingertips.
So that leaves some members of our Florida marketing agency wondering, what’s the point of your sales team if you can broker sales through effective use of social media?  The “push” sales strategy may be losing its place in a “pull” culture, where people go online to seek out only the information that they need in order to formulate an opinion as to the products or services that they find valuable.  [quote]Through social media, people can buy items with just a few clicks, which in some cases could virtually eliminate the need for a costly sales team.

Like us. Follow Us. Tweet Us. Pin Us. Watch Us.

While it may seem tempting to save thousands of dollars each year by pink-slipping your entire sales team, I’d instead argue that the role of the salesman has changed.  Individuals have been very successful in pushing their products through online sales, so perhaps for companies such as cell phone retailers, the benefit to a so-called sales team is to offer potential consumers opportunities to demo products and explain services, and to provide customer service when people have issues.

Sales teams will almost always remain important in fields where connecting online may not be the best or most practical option.  Perhaps your desired audience may not be tech savvy, or isn’t as plugged in as most of the world.  Though it seems as though everyone you know has a smartphone, as of a year ago, only ½ of the United States’ mobile phone owners had one.

Your sales team can be beneficial if you arm them with the tools to properly use social media to their advantageVideo programs are offered by executive training companies such as McKinsey, as well as online courses from top continuing education institutes on how people can properly use social media in either a B to B or B to C sales capacity.  These classes can teach about the benefits of using Facebook and Twitter to connect with people who may provide valuable resources for your company, and can teach your employees to seek out potential buyers and distributors through LinkedIn.

Returning to the original question, does your company still need a sales team?  Maybe not!  Certainly, it’s contingent upon your industry.  But, for those of you in fields reliant upon tech, it may be beneficial to hire a social media expert to help you master the art of sales through social media.  Additionally, offering opportunities and incentives for social sharing may help drive your company’s bottom line through active use of social media.

While our Florida advertising agency doesn’t suggest that you immediately get rid of your entire sales team, we do suggest that you teach them strategies to use social media in a professional capacity to help build sales and increase revenue through social media.  We imagine a future where all business sales come from the relationships established and maintained through the use of social media.

What does your sales team look like?

How advertising is like parenting pour three-year-old kid

When you’re three, you don’t know much.  The world around you is an amazing stimulus of glittery, shiny and bright things, just waiting for you to touch them and explore them.  As adults, when people are subject to advertisements and promotions, they experience marketing in the same way.  Good marketing makes people impulsively want to reach out for things, try new products and seek new experiences.
Like a good parent, the marketer’s goal is then to push the person in the right direction.  We make hundreds of choices each day about where to eat, what fabric softener to use, and what type of chair looks best in the dining room.  Though we may not realize it, it’s marketing exposure that allows us to make informed choices.

But children are unpredictable sometimes, as are consumers.  Ask a group of well-educated adults what they want in a smart phone, and you’ll get a host of complicated features.  Apple’s Steve Jobs took it upon himself to dismiss focus groups and instead to create the features that people didn’t know they wanted yet… applications, web browsing features, music, video and, most importantly, efficient design.

Around age three, a child learns how to identify with a group.  While this tendency is most pronounced in young children, the fundamental learnings they take home during that time stay true well into adulthood.  These attitudes are the same ones we fall back upon when we identify with groups as adults.  Nike capitalizes on the people who identify as athletes, designing products suited toward athletic lifestyles and even engaging in content marketing directed toward that group.  Throughout our lives, we’re constantly evolving and identifying with our favorite brands, purchasing Apple products or showing a preference for Pepsi over Coke.  Our perceptions of our own identities evolve as we grow to learn more about the world around us.  Advertisers can latch on to this concept to sell us their products at every stage of our lives.

Parenting is hard, and in the way that children trust their parents, consumers trust advertisers and marketers to point them into the right direction.  [quote]Marketers strive to make that meaningful connection to their consumers, much in the way that parents strive to see the world in the way that a child can understand.  [/quote]Consumers reciprocate when they find brands reliable and trustworthy.

For advertisers and marketers, the realization that our client base may not fully understand the science behind the marketing of the good or service means that we have the ability to teach them.  We can also grow with them, and can learn from their mistakes.  But, in any case, the brand is the guide – at our Florida advertising agency, we believe that a successful brand will teach consumers to comprehend new products or ways of thinking, or to experience existing products or services in an emotionally-connected way.

The team at our Florida marketing agency wants to remind you that the next time you receive criticism from a client, or you experience surprising or even erratic behavior from consumers, it’s important to step back from your consumers and instead view them from a parental perspective.  They trust you, and they’ll lash out against you, but if you’re able to build trust and respect within the relationship, you’re able to nurture a healthy, long-lasting relationship.

To learn more about our advertising and marketing services, please contact BIGEYE today at 407-839-8599.

The newest buzzwords & what they mean to your company

The marketing and advertising industries are notorious for making up their own buzzwords, in order to emphasize and, in some cases, glamorize trends and ideas as they come into the public space.  (I once received an email from a media company encouraging me to “techcessorize” my iPad – how’s THAT for corny PR language?)  Here are a few definitions intended to flush out fresh trends from Orlando advertising agencies, and what they could mean for you.

Advocacy: A new phase in the traditional marketing cycle, where fans of a brand encourage active engagement by sharing, via their own social media platforms.

Aggregator: An aggregator collects content from a number of sites around the web, and allows people to search the aggregated content to find links that they may find of interest.  Popular aggregators include Reddit and Google Reader RSS Feeds.

Agile Marketing: A marketing technique that involves the use of agile tactics, such as real-time response to marketing opportunities, brief stand-up meetings and investing resources in production and project execution (as opposed to planning).

API: Application Programming Interface.  Companies such as Facebook and Foursquare allow third-party applications to access their systems in order to create innovative uses for such platforms.

App: Short for application.  Though mostly associated with smartphones and iPads, browser-based applications may connect to Facebook or other social networks, such as Facebook games like The Sims Social or Words with Friends.

Content Marketing:  Based on the theory that good content creates reader and viewer interest and encourages engagement and social sharing, content marketing describes the consistent generation of branded content to create and sustain search engine traffic, and to keep people returning to a company’s website or social platforms.  (Content marketing = keeping your blog up to date.)

eCommerce:  All commerce activities that occur on the internet.  While people commonly think of companies such as eBay and Amazon, newer power players in the eCommece industry include companies such as Groupon and Fab.

Engagement:   The process by which readers and viewers interact with your content, generally by commenting, “liking,” up-voting, mentioning and sharing.

Frictionless Design: The development of intuitive, painless digital interfaces that reduce bounce, increase conversion and increase user satisfaction.

Gamification:  This technological function makes digital behavior into a game.  Though Foursquare didn’t create this type of tactic, which encourages repetitious behaviors that presumably lead to more points, the company made it popular by including “badges” in its platforms, allowing people to earn various badges (and therefore, social capital) for their check-ins.

Hybrid:  A hybrid delineates a person who has a broad skill set applicable to a number of technological disciplines, though that person typically also has one or two areas of true expertise.

Infographic:  A visual representation of a data set.  Sometimes funny or downright hilarious.

Meme:  You know those funny cat pictures, or those sarcastic eCards that always pop up in your Facebook feed?  As people share those photos and images, and continue to alter them in ways that are humorous and make sense within the context of the original content, they becomes Internet memes.  (It’s pronounced like “theme.”)

Native Speakers (of Technology):  This term is used to describe a generation that is growing up with smartphones, tablets and computers as the norm.  These children are learning through interactive games as opposed to books and notebook paper.

Pivoting:  When a company realizes it’s not meeting its goals, it may pivot to set a new trajectory.  This may occur in a single marketing campaign, or may apply to an entire business strategy.

SEM:  Search engine marketing.  SEM may involve paid search, search engine optimized content, or both.

Social Capital:  Many people believe that social capital is at the core of most individuals’ content creation and sharing behaviors.  The theory is that people share content with the hope or idea that it will elevate or retain one’s status within their online community.  Put simply, the idea is that people share content because it makes them “look cool.”

Social Listening: Monitoring digital media to assess what’s being said about a company, brand, product, or person on the internet in real time. Listening provides opportunities for quick response to customers, get ahead of public relations issues, and trending topics.

Social TV:  This describes technologies and behaviors that combine television and social media content.  For instance, when brand marketers encourage fans to live Tweet sporting events, this is a form of social TV.

Trendjacking: Leveraging a trending topic to generate buzz around a brand. Like most marketing tactics – there are smart, creative ways to do this right, and also terrible, clunky attempts that get this all wrong.

Viral Video:  No one can create a viral video; rather, they can aim to create a video that “goes viral.”  Though many viral videos have well over 1,000,000 views, a video can be said to have achieved some level of virality at views as low as 100,000.

We sometimes throw these words around at our Orlando marketing agency, but we’ll never leave you in the dark about what they mean, and the implications for your company.  (And we’ll never ask you to techcessorize ANYTHING.)

Contact us and we’ll help fill you in on the fancy lingo.

How digital video can help sell your brand’s story

Fewer than two weeks ago, Korean recording artist Psy was virtually unheard of in America.  But now, the video for his song “Gangnam Style” has more than 335,000,000 views, and the song itself holds the number two spot on the Billboard charts – and the song isn’t even in English!  That type of crossover language success would be impossible without the Internet, as well as a video that adequately captures Psy’s concept and personality through a montage of humorous visuals.
While not every video is guaranteed to reach 335,000,000 views, Psy’s story touches on the massive impact that a visual presentation can add to a product or service.  People are visual beings, and when a video goes viral, it’s typically because it triggers a powerful emotion, which makes people feel the need to share.

If you’re feeling jazzed about a new product or service from your company, or you want to circulate important news about future projects or concepts, you may want to consider bringing on an agency to help you create a video to help spread the word.  A video is a terrific way to tell a brand’s story, which is becoming more and more essential in today’s world of high-impact, compelling digital content.  A well-executed video can help humanize a brand, and can bring product features to life in a way that, even just five years ago, was only possible through expensive production budgets and television airtime.

Don’t get us wrong… at our Orlando advertising firm, we find other digital content such as blogs, photographs and infographics extremely valuable, as they tend to be cheaper and easier to produce.  But when was the last time you heard of a piece of written content being shared 300,000,000 times?  While each format serves its purposes (i.e., our blog a better forum for our Florida marketing agency to tout the benefits of digital video in a format that you can print out for easy reference), a video can leave a long lasting impact with a higher potential to go viral.

[quote]While a company can benefit from all types of content, many people actively seek out branded video content.[/quote]  Brand fanatics regularly check to see what companies such as Nike and Pepsi are up to behind the scenes.  Brands are essentially now media companies, ones that people look to in order to stay up to date with current trends, ideas and innovations.

According to a recent report from searchenginewatch.com, video content can drive social currency.  Social currency can heighten your brand’s profile within your digital community, especially if such content is informative, funny, or both.  And, while a cheap smartphone photo can offer fun insights into your company, a professional video offers credibility, which helps establish trust and rapport amongst your audience.

Ideally, a company should target the content portals where their target community already exists, integrating text, video and social content into the digital marketing strategy that reaches potential customers across platforms.  But, where the concept and budget permits, a video may be the most effective way to tell a story and allow it to reach across numerous fronts.

Our Orlando advertising agency can help you create a targeted video to help tell your company’s story in an effort to help grow your business to its fullest potential. Contact us today!