How Slack is Making Product Marketing Addictive

Here’s what brands can learn from the companies and product marketing agencies that know how to sell products and design experiences at the highest level.

Slack, the social workplace messaging platform, has drawn lots of favorable notice in advance of its $23 billion IPO.  If you’ve used it, you understand why Slack has grown so popular. The overall experience is sticky in the extreme, encouraging near constant use. You don’t have to work at a product marketing agency or specialize in consumer marketing to recognize what an effective job Slack has done by integrating clever marketing with a deeply engaging user experience.

So how exactly has Slack been so successful? Let’s take a closer look.

How Slack uses clever copywriting to create highly addictive user experiences

If you’ve spent any time on Twitter in recent years, you’re familiar with a certain brand voice: Clever, self-deprecating, irreverent, but not offensive. In other words, the voice that many popular fast foods brands use on social media and featured in many startup marketing campaigns.

Slack uses its own version of this voice in its product, but deploys the voice strategically. The company understands that users have varying levels of receptivity to a lighthearted tone. After all, who wants to deal with jokes and puns when struggling to figure out an onboarding process?

Instead, Slack uses jokes and whimsical visualizations during so-called “end stage” or “empty stages” of the customer experience. These are pages or screens that don’t require any copy to help a user progress toward a goal — a “thank you for registering” page, for example.

While Slack takes a clever approach to copywriting, the company also understands that it’s important not to go overboard. Sara Culver, Slack content and design manager, listed a few of the company’s copywriting rules at a recent marketing seminar: 

  • Don’t make the user feel guilty. Anyone who has ever been asked to download an e-book or sign up for a newsletter is familiar with the standard guilt trip: The “yes” button includes language along the lines of “I want to take advantage of this incredible opportunity!” Meanwhile, the “no” button says something like “sorry, I’m not interested in subscribing because I want my competitors to put me out of business.” These guilt trips are annoying, alienating and defeat the purpose of using clever copy.
  • Voice continuity. It’s extremely off-putting to read copy associated with a product and have the language veer from voice to voice. Stick with your brand voice when creating product copy and users will be much more comfortable, and receptive to what you are saying.
  • Use active prose and eliminate repetition. Good product copy is lively and engages users from a slightly different angle than what they are used to. It also avoids repetition, which is clunky and unprofessional.
  • Great copy enhances product marketing but can’t make up for poor UX and/or functionality. Even the most clever and compelling copy won’t alleviate the stress users deal with when confronted by poor UX and confusing or inoperable functionality. 

What the right product marketing agency can do for you

If you’re looking for direct to consumer advertising and other creative services, you should have one key priority: Finding an agency that can deliver consistently compelling campaigns and strategy.

At Bigeye, we know the power of well-executed product marketing. If you’re looking for a product marketing agency to help you create the kind of sticky and hyper-addictive copy favored by Slack, don’t hesitate to reach out to us today.

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Out of Home Advertising

Heather Osburn and Jarrod Glick from Outfront Media discuss why out of home continues to see market growth compared to other traditional channels on IN CLEAR FOCUS.

In Clear Focus this week: out of home advertising. Industry experts Heather Osburn and Jarrod Glick from Outfront Media share their observations about the reasons why out of home continues to see market growth compared to other traditional channels. We learn how digital technology connects out of home boards with consumers’ smartphone screens, and hear how an art director’s experience with dating apps inspired a much-loved campaign for an Orlando animal shelter.

In Clear Focus: Out of Home Advertising

In Clear Focus this week: out of home advertising. Industry experts Heather Osburn and Jarrod Glick from Outfront Media share their observations about the reasons why out of home continues to see market growth compared to other traditional channels.

Episode Transcript

Adrian Tennant: You’re listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising produced weekly by Bigeye. Hello. I’m your host Adrian Tennant, VP of insights at Bigeye, an audience-focused, creative-driven, full-service advertising agency. Bigeye is based in Orlando, Florida, but serves clients across the United States and beyond. Thank you for choosing to spend time with us today. In today’s show, we’re focused on out of home or OOH advertising. Out of home is also known as outdoor advertising, out of home media or simply outdoor media. So let’s start with a definition. Out of home advertising typically reaches consumers when they’re on the go, in public places, in transit, waiting, or in commercial locations such as shopping centers. There are various out of home advertising formats, but probably the best known are billboards. According to the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, the industry’s trade association, this type of advertising can trace its lineage right back to the earliest civilizations. Going back thousands of years, the Egyptians employed tall stone obelisks to publicize laws and treaties, definitely outdoor media! In 1450 Johannes Gutenberg invented movable type printing in Germany, which led to advertising in the form of the handbill. The lithographic process was perfected in 1796 also in Germany by Alois Senefelder, which in turn gave rise to the illustrated poster. In 1835 the first large format posters appeared in New York advertising circuses and the first billboard was leased in 1867. Advertising has certainly changed over the centuries, but out of home is still a very prominent format for commercial communications today. If you live in a major metro area, you can see that many billboards are now like massive TV screens displaying messages that change frequently. Digital technology has also had an impact on the ways that billboards and other out of home can interact with consumer smartphones and other smart devices via Wifi and Bluetooth. Today it’s my pleasure to welcome two guests that live and breathe this type of media. We’re joined in the studio today by Heather Osborn, marketing manager at Outfront Media based in Orlando and Jarrod Glick, art director also with Outfront Media. Welcome to you both. Glad to have you here.

Heather Osburn: Thank you so much.

Jarrod Glick: Thanks for having us.

Adrian Tennant: Could you tell us a little about your roles with Outfront Media? Let’s start with you, Heather.

Heather Osburn: Hi, I’m the local marketing manager here in the Orlando market. I market Outfront Media on a local and sometimes regional and national level promoting our larger than life canvases, promoting our technology, our location, ACE platform, and creativity.

Adrian Tennant: Excellent. Jarrod?

Jarrod Glick: I’m the Art Director for Outfront Studios in the Orlando market as well and my job is pretty much to work on campaigns from concept to completion.

Adrian Tennant: So I understand that locally, Outfront Media reaches 98% of the market every week. I guess that most people are probably very familiar with billboards, but what other formats does out of home cover?

Heather Osburn: out of home is any canvas that exists outside of your home. So correct, digital and static billboards, but out of home also includes advertising within transit, like subway, commuter rail, and buses, walls. We have some beautiful walls in the state of Florida down in Miami, over a hundred feet high, bus shelters, airports, lifestyle centers, bike share, iconic locations like Times square or Sunset Boulevard, and we also consider mobile to be out of home at this point. So 68% of mobile use is done on the go. There’s a confluence between out of home screens, these giant canvases you see when you’re out and about and the screen that you hold in your hand.

Adrian Tennant: Now, traditional channels such as broadcast TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines are either static or actually declining in terms of the revenues that they attract from advertisers, yet out of home continues to see market growth. Why do you think that is?

Heather Osburn: Well, to start, our audience is growing. People are spending more time than ever outside their home, migrating to cities. This increases opportunities to connect brands with audiences when and where it matters most. Outfront is investing in the future, which means investment in technology. We’re deploying dynamic digital at scale and providing new creative opportunities. And in a digitally saturated world, there is new value placed on these giant in real life canvases. They’re trustworthy, impactful, and brand building. And these ads aren’t skippable but they’re also not intrusive in a way some digital advertising can be.

Adrian Tennant: Are there rules or regulations specifically covering what can or can’t be advertised out of home?

Heather Osburn: Yes, there are restrictions on outdoor advertising of certain products, services, and content and they may be imposed at the federal, state and local level. Some regulations as well as contracts with landlords, municipalities, and transit franchise partners. I mean the company has an internal copy approval policy to where the company reserves the right to reject copy or remove copy in certain circumstances. And as far as those rules and restrictions I mentioned at first, a good example of that might be not allowing an alcohol advertiser within so many feet of a school, something like that.

Adrian Tennant: Okay. So who regulates the industry?

Heather Osburn: We have multiple industry organizations that set best practice regulations including the Out of Home Advertising Association of America, also known as OAAA and Geopath, who provides ratings for out of home advertising via audience location, measurement insights, and marketing research innovation.

Adrian Tennant: I’ve lived here a while. So Outfront Media was previously known as CBS outdoor. What prompted the change of name?

Heather Osburn: So, right. We were previously under the CBS umbrella and in late 2014 Outfront split from CBS and became its own standalone company. The company went public as a wholly independent company, traded under the stock symbol, OUT. The name change to Outfront captured our identity and focused on innovative technology and creativity for our clients to take business to the next level.

Adrian Tennant: Alright. I mentioned in the introduction that out of home has become more digital. What does the application of technology in outdoor media mean for advertisers?

Heather Osburn: These are great advancements that allow for more opportunity in regard to a digital bulletin this can be as simple as day-parting your campaign. For example, a restaurant would have the ability to tease a breakfast or a lunch special to commuters making their way into work in the morning and then dinner options as they head home in the evening. At this point, even a static canvas is digitally enabled due to mobile, out of home being the best primer for all things digital, including social, mobile and search. We have about one in four Americans posting and an out of home ad to Instagram and massive digital deployment, which means more screens, more creative capabilities for advertisers, including dynamic campaigns with new sets of data feeds. We have these wonderful things called live boards in some of our bigger cities in New York and Miami and they can be used independently or they can be used together. So this is wonderful technology from a digital perspective where some of them are set up like triptychs and you can have motion video working across all three together. They can run independently, they can switch back and forth from that. They’re targeting people in these transit locations where they’re a captive audience. These advertisers are making the right choice as to who they’re trying to target and when they’re trying to target them.

Adrian Tennant: I mean audiences are a very significant part of our focus here at Bigeye but creative is super important. So, Jarrod, you’re the art director, can you describe some of the most effective or impactful examples of work that you’ve created with Outfront Media? I spend a lot of time on I-4 traveling between Orlando and the attractions area. You better talk to me about those rockets that I see by ChampionGate every day.

Jarrod Glick: That’s one of my favorite jobs I’ve worked on since I started with the Outfront Studios. That was about five months from concept to execution. The AE and I met with Visit Space Coast and they had put out a survey that asks one really simple question and that was how did you hear about us? And when 34% of the people responded, “We saw your billboards,” they knew it was time to invest a little bit more in out of home, so we decided we didn’t want to just create a billboard for them. We wanted to create a landmark. So we have this… It’s almost hard to describe. It’s a 30-foot rocket, which is a styrofoam prop. It’s built out of foam and steel. It has actual LED lights in the bottom that light up at night for the boosters. And I guess our goal for this was to… We wanted people to not say, “Hey, take the exit at ChampionsGate.” We want them to now say, “Take the exit at that big rocket.” 

Adrian Tennant: Jarrod, I understand the client for that project is The Space Coast Office of Tourism, but I’m kind of intrigued, how did you get that rocket in place?

Jarrod Glick: This was just an amazing collaboration between our creative team, our operations department, which were just incredible. They spent so much time measuring and measuring. We didn’t just measure twice. We measured a hundred times. They were in direct communications with this incredible prop manufacturer out of Canada and it just started with CAD drawings all the way… My sketch, which was horrible, I’m not going to lie, to some amazing card drawings to client approval and then literally down to the most micro portion of these billboards that you can imagine. They came to us one day and said, “We don’t think it’s going to work.” There was a 16th of an inch under one screw that they said would eventually start… The whole thing would start leaning forward. So we just kept adjusting and adjusting. And then otherwise… My favorite part of this was once it was done and it was approved and they had it on the truck and it was coming from Toronto and it got held up in customs. And I love this story because it literally looked like four missiles on the back of an 18-wheeler and they drove it in. It was in Toronto, I guess coming into the United States and they pulled it over. They held the driver for about 12 hours and we had to x-ray him. I love that that happened because I can tell that story.

Adrian Tennant: Super realistic looking and I can attest to that if you’re ever driving on I-4 from Tampa, so traveling eastbound and you are at Champion’s Gate, you will see this massive rocket and its boosters on a billboard, three dimensional, very arresting. The traffic’s usually pretty slow through there, so you get plenty of opportunities to look at it and enjoy it. So talking of which, since we are talking about spending a lot of time in static traffic on I-4, you’re currently running a campaign for Orange County Animal Services, I can only describe it as kind of like the concept of something like online dating for pets. What was the insight that sort of inspired that creative direction?

Jarrod Glick: This one has been… It’s a very personal one to me. We’ve been working on this for quite a few months now and when Orange County Animal Services came to us and asked for a billboard, just letting people know that they were out there, we did our research and when we learned that they have… That they rescue 51 animals a day every single day of the year on average. We knew we wanted to go a little bigger than just a static billboard. So they have these amazing… This great photographer on staff that takes these very personal, beautiful photos that really capture the attention, that really captures each one of these animals. And honestly, not that long ago I was online dating and I had all these photos of me and I’m picking the right photograph and I’m trying to write the right copy. So I thought these guys should have that… Sort of that same advantage to really speak to their audience.

Adrian Tennant: Right. I love it. I have to say as I’m often in static traffic. I appreciate the fact that those billboards are changing out and the messaging is different every day. That I really enjoy it.

Jarrod Glick: To that, I keep thinking we’re going to run out of ideas and we have written, I think 40 of them now, but we have this… It’s not just me doing this. I have a team of probably about eight to 10 designers. We brainstorm once a week. I keep thinking eventually we’ll just be able to go back and run some of the old ones, but we haven’t had to yet. Like they just they… We crack up we have a great time and it’s my favorite part of the job.

Adrian Tennant: Right. And of course, for the listeners, we’re going to provide links to some of these examples so you can see these for yourselves. So Heather, what excites you most about out of home advertising?

Heather Osburn: First of all, let me tell you, when you were saying static, you’re in a lot of static traffic, that’s actually what we call dwell time. So that’s allowing you to see those out of home messages while you’re in traffic, enjoying this out of home messages. What excites me most about out of home, 2019 has been a really amazing year for out of home. We are finally getting the respect the medium has deserved. There was a nice write-up on AdAge, we’re part of the 2019 predictions and what really excites me the most are the creative opportunities that come with out of home. Pretty much anything that you can think of we can make happen. 

Adrian Tennant: So Jarrod, what excites you the most?

Jarrod Glick: You know, we have some really cool stuff going on right now. We have a bus shelter that has a breathing man for Netflix’s Altered Carbon. It’s a little bit creepy. It’s kind of looks like a guy is sort of in a bag and as you’re just standing there it starts to breathe really fast gives you a bit of a fright. And then we have built this seven-story Amazon Echo in Times Square, which is the largest prop ever built in Times Square. It’s so realistic all the way to the little blue lights that circle around the top. Amazon leaned on our communications director to handle the PR for this which secured about 600 million impressions.

Adrian Tennant: Wow. That’s a lot.

Heather Osburn: It’s very exciting for us and exciting time for brands.

Adrian Tennant: So what does the future of out of home look like? What innovations do you see coming?

Heather Osburn: Many of them are already here. We have integration with augmented reality and social influencer to more precise audience targeting and we expect those to grow. Jarrod, from a creative standpoint…

Jarrod Glick: I have seen some really cool stuff with the augmented reality. We have these giant canvases out of the world. We have these small screens in our pockets and it’s just such a fun way to put them together. We’ve done some really cool stuff with Dogology, with Hims, I believe was kind of a fun campaign that we did in Times Square. So I’m really excited about the AR stuff coming down.

Adrian Tennant: So for anyone listening that wants to learn more about the creative possibilities out of home advertising offers, what resources can you recommend?

Jarrod Glick: You can check out our work at Outfront Studios on Instagram and we also have an Outfront Studios Behance page as well.

Adrian Tennant: Perfect. Well, it’s been a real pleasure. Some of the things that stood out to me from our conversation. Today’s out of home advertising can be really creative in concept and execution. The digital boards offer the ability to day-part with dynamic creative and integrate external data sources such as local weather or traffic information. I loved the story about the physical three-dimensional rocket advertising the Space Coast because it illustrates how an advertisement can become something of an iconic landmark. And of course, since Bigeye is an audience-focused agency, it’s interesting to learn how insights can fuel the creative process for out of home and how consumer behaviors can be tapped to marry Outfront Media physical boards with a mobile experience. So thank you to our guests, Heather Osbourn, marketing manager and Jarrod Glick, art director both with Outfront Media here in Orlando. If you would like to learn more about the history of out of home advertising, you might want to check out a video available on YouTube called The Past is Prologue filmed at Duke University and featuring a lot of visual examples as well as new interactive applications. We’ll include a link in this episode’s transcript. You’ve been listening to IN CLEAR FOCUS, a unique perspective on the business of advertising produced by Bigeye. If you have questions or comments about the content of today’s show, please email us at info@bigeyeagency.com and if you have ideas for topics that you’d like us to cover, please let us know. To ensure you don’t miss an episode, subscribe to IN CLEAR FOCUS on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, SoundCloud, or your favorite podcast player. And if you like what we’re doing, please rate the show and leave a review. It really helps. You’ll also find a transcript on today’s show on our website at bigeyeagency.com under insights. For IN CLEAR FOCUS, I’ve been your host, Adrian Tennant. Thank you for listening and until next week, goodbye.

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Apartment Marketing Solutions Through Programmatic Media Buying

Apartment complex owners who want to cut their marketing budget while strategically targeting their advertising are turning to programmatic media buying.

Programmatic Media Buying Explained

Do you remember how difficult comparative shopping and informational research used to be before the Internet? If so, you certainly know the incredible value of software algorithms and data analysis.

In short, when you search for something online, you are letting state-of-the-art technology do most of the work for you, thereby making your search far easier, faster, and more efficient. Online searches can also help you focus your efforts in the most fruitful areas and save you a tremendous amount of money.

Programmatic media buying works much the same way in the world of Internet advertising. While traditional manual methods of purchasing online ads is both time-consuming and labor intensive, programmatic media buying employs automated processes to executive targeted purchases across a wide spectrum of digital channels that include desktop/laptop, tablet, mobile, connected TV, and outdoor digital media formats.

Programmatic media buying involves the use of a particular type of software called a demand-side platform (DSP), which allows agencies and advertisers to buy media inventory across a multiple channels. Because the automated DSP purchasing process is so fast, it can sort through incredibly large amounts of digital advertising options to target the exact right consumer at precisely the right time.

Through a DSP, marketers can also buy media inventory at an exceptionally good price. This is because programmatic media buying works through automated platforms that employ cost effective processes such as real-time bidding (RTB). Also called “open auction,” RTB sells media inventory to the highest bidder, allowing marketers to target the most viable consumers at rates that are often far below average market value.

The Popularity of Programmatic Media Buying

Considering the tremendous amount of work and lack of efficiency that go hand in hand with the traditional media buying process, more and more agencies and advertisers are benefiting from the speed, ease, and cost-effective benefits of programmatic media buying. In fact, trusted industry news outlets that range from Ad Age to  eMarketer have identified programmatic media buying as an essential component in the future of marketing.

In fact, eMarketing projects a considerable increase in programmatic media buying over the next year alone. According to this research, roughly 58 percent of live video and video-on-demand ad spending occurred as a result of programmatic media buying processes in 2019. By 2020, however, this figure will jump to approximately 80 percent.

Programmatic Media Buying for Apartment Marketing

As the number of advertisers using programmatic media buying continues to rise, companies across a wide range of business sectors and markets must leverage the benefits of this technology if they wish to remain competitive.

The unique characteristics of apartment marketing make programmatic media buying particularly valuable within this industry. In particular, apartment marketers stand to benefit from the highly targeted nature of programmatic media buying.

Since only a small percentage of the general public will be interested in renting any specific apartment unit at any specific time, multifamily residential marketers absolutely love programmatic media buying’s ability to reach out to an exact audience base that is severely restricted according to geography (where a prospective renter lives) and demographics (age, gender, income, etc.).  Programmatic media buying can even target digital media users according to their unique personal interests and daily behaviors.

Using a Qualified Marketing Agency for Your Programmatic Media Buying

A July 16 article by the independent news outlet Target Marketing has determined that nearly 47 percent of advertisers are now performing programmatic media buying in-house. However, article author Lina Lugova recommends that advertisers coordinate their programmatic media buying through a qualified and specialized marketing agency for a number of important reasons.

In particular, forward-thinking marketing agencies that were able to predict the tremendous value of programmatic media buying have employed the best and brightest of industry professionals with a depth programmatic skill, knowledge, and experience. These agencies are also well connected with multiple leading online traffic platforms and resources, enabling them to negotiate the absolute best prices for media inventory.

Contact Bigeye Today

Want to learn more about programmatic media buying and the apartment marketing solutions that it provides? An agency that has earned a widespread reputation for innovative thinking, Bigeye specializes in leveraging state-of-the-art technology to boost your bottom line. A skilled and knowledgeable Bigeye representative is standing by to explain how programmatic media buying can set you apart from your closest competitors.

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CBD Marketing in 2020: What You Need to Know

A report by Bigeye, an Audience-Focused, Creative-Driven, Full-Service Advertising Agency devoted to creating CBD marketing campaigns that drive conversions.

The Quick-Takes

  • Millennial women are the most avid CBD fans — and they desire products formulated and sold in a certain way.
  • Follow the lead of caffeine and market a feeling, not an ingredient (think energy drinks).
  • Half of Americans think CBD and cannabis are the same thing, so transparency, education and trust in CBD advertising is essential.
  • Regulations are moving quickly. Pressure is building for national CBD advertising standards as restrictions are slowly slackening.
  • Smart marketers can sidestep these restrictions by advertising on podcasts and other CBD-friendly channels.
  • Most CBD marketing is yawn-inducing. If you want to engage audiences, you need to be bold. Tap into the Zeitgeist by taking what people fear and dislike about the  modern world and position your product as an antidote.
  • Bigeye understands the CBD marketing space in a way that your current agency can’t equal. Don’t believe it? Read on…

CBD is 2020’s Breakout Product

Not only are CBD products flying off retail shelves everywhere, the product has ignited a firestorm of cultural conversation and consumer interest.

If you’re in the CBD advertising business, that’s great news — you’ve got a product that sells itself in many ways. Yet here’s the rub: with rapid growth comes stiff competition. Everyone sees the generational opportunity that hemp-derived products like CBD represent, and they are rushing in to carve out market share.

In order to help you flourish in a crowded space, you need to understand the challenges inherent to CBD marketing, while keeping abreast of all changes in this fast-evolving market.

Let’s take a closer look at some key aspects of CBD advertising and CBD product marketing that you may not have fully considered.

CBD Marketing and Advertising Tips for 2020 and Beyond

There are nearly 4,000 brands within the CBD space in the United States. Given that kind of competition, it’s essential to develop a sophisticated marketing strategy and execute flawlessly. Let’s take a closer look at some tips CBD marketers can follow when creating their next campaign:

  • Differentiate your products through branding. Let’s be honest: There is often very little to differentiate CBD products. Oils, gummies and tinctures are…oils, gummies and tinctures. Differentiation, therefore, needs to occur through branding. Many CBD enterprises have chosen to target the health and wellness market, pitching CBD products as lifestyle enhancers that can help consumers deal with pain, anxiety, insomnia etc. in a natural way. This is a powerful argument, as there is a considerable backlash within society at the moment with regard to overprescription of pharmaceuticals. By pitching your product as an all natural, healthy way to treat common ailments, marketers can target those who use pharmaceuticals while activating a vast market of people who are healthy, but are seeking to use CBD as a life optimization product. 
  • Know your true audience. If we asked you which kind of person has the most interest in CBD, would you say a millennial woman? If not, then your marketing may be off-target. According to a new research report, CBD products hold more attraction for women than men — and women generally prefer “softer” CBD products (such as gummies, infused beverages, beauty products etc.) while men prefer “harder” CBD products such as concentrates, vapes and tinctures. Across all genders, millennials exhibit more interest than any other demographic group, and they are particularly focused on CBD in the wellness context. 
  • Market a feeling, not a product. Given the relatively faceless nature of CBD brands and uniformity of the products they sell, smart marketers should remember that they are marketing a feeling as much as anything else. What does this mean in practical terms? Think about caffeine — nobody markets caffeine directly, although it is consumed in enormous quantities. Instead, companies market the feeling it produces: energy. Brands built an entire product category out of feeling-oriented marketing (energy drinks). Alcohol companies, meanwhile, have build campaign after campaign centered around the social aspects of beer and wine.
  • Focus on trust and transparency in CBD marketing. One of the most significant reasons why people fail to try CBD is because of fear or skepticism about the effects of CBD on the body and the product quality and/or supply chain. This is largely borne from ignorance. Despite its surging popularity, research shows that 60% of people don’t know what CBD is and don’t understand its effects. When a product is this widely unknown — and is also linked closely with psychoactive compounds — it’s hardly surprising that some people are hesitant to put this substance into their bodies. In order to overcome this reticence, CBD product marketing should emphasize trust and transparency with regard to CBD sourcing.
  • Tap the emerging markets. CBD is making waves in a variety of industries, but it is gaining particular traction within the pet industry. Why? The first reason is simple: Dogs suffer from many of the same maladies as their owners, and CBD’s clinical effects can help them manage these symptoms. Second, today’s pet owners are willing to pay almost any premium to provide their animals with the best possible lives — just look at the growth in grain-free dog food.

    Even though science shows that grain-free dog food might be worse for animals than conventional dog food, people buy it anyway because of the general bias against gluten and the fact that it sounds healthier. CBD-infused pet products, however, have been met with positive anecdotal reports and are selling at a brisk clip. In fact, CBD pet products are the fastest growing category within that industry. The beauty industry is also witnessing exceptional sales growth within the CBD category, as consumers seek natural skin treatments.
  • Stay on the right side of regulators. The FDA is busy sending out warning letters to CBD companies that skirt the rules of legal marketing. According to a recent release, the FDA is cracking down on companies that illegally sell “unapproved products containing cannabidiol online with unsubstantiated claims that the products treat teething pain and ear aches in infants, autism, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), as well as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, among other conditions or diseases.”

    Given CBD’s clinically established success in treating a variety of significant illnesses, it seems foolhardy to stretch the truth by making unsupported assertions. Not only can you quickly run afoul of FDA regulators, such unethical practices make all firms within the CBD market tainted by association.
  • Consider the FTC as well as the FDA. Additionally, the FDA isn’t the only controlling body that needs to be accounted for. The Federal Trade Commission has its own standard, which makes it “unlawful to advertise that a product can prevent, treat, or cure human disease unless the advertiser possesses competent and reliable scientific evidence, including, when appropriate, well-controlled human clinical studies, substantiating that the claims are true at the time they are made.” That’s a reasonably high bar — and one that all CBD marketers should be familiar with.
  •  Counter widespread misunderstandings. Marketers aren’t immune to the “Curse of Knowledge.” We often get so close to the industry in which we operate that we have a hard time understanding that most people lack even glancing familiarity with the products and services we know so well. In the case of CBD, you may be shocked to learn just how much bad information is circulating.

    According to new research from the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, 40% of Americans believe CBD is another name for cannabis. Roughly 51% of Americans believe taking CBD will get them high. Approximately 76% of Americans believe CBD is fully regulated at the federal level. Wrong, wrong and wrong. While the FDA is enforcing CBD ad violations, it is working under outdated statutes governing supplements. There is no CBD-specific set of federal guidelines governing the sale and marketing of CBD. Marketers need to understand just how limited the understanding of CBD is among the general public and take steps to help people learn. 
  • Go against the grain. This is advice we’d give to brands in almost any industry, but we think it applies with special emphasis within the CBD product category. The CBD category is driven largely by millennial and Gen Z consumers, all of whom have grown up in an environment where advertising, whether in hard or soft form, is pervasive. As such, routine campaigns often don’t resonate.

    Cliched 4/20 style product packaging or sedate-and-yawn-inducing wellness branding probably won’t move the needle very far. There are two ways you can avoid falling into this trap: Come up with strikingly original copy and visuals, or tie your marketing into the larger concerns and obsessions of millennials and Gen Z consumers. By this, we don’t simply mean pumping out low quality memes on social media.
  • Get creative. One of our favorite examples of this type of marketing in the CBD space comes from Recess, a CBD beverage brand. The company brands its products as “an antidote to modern times,” tapping into millennial and Gen Z angst about the state of the world they are inheriting. The brand’s narrative is “the world has gone crazy and we all need a recess.” This works because it taps into a widely shared feeling; it’s pulled directly from the millennial Zeitgeist. As such, it’s very powerful. Recess makes this CBD marketing strategy even more potent by using surrealistic designs on its beverage cans. Their cans are personified, dressed in office suits and shown staring wistfully outside windows. It’s a brilliant strategy — but it’s also a strategy that can only be developed by a brand or CBD marketing agency with real creative skill and industry insight.

Creating Effective Digital Marketing in an Often CBD-Unfriendly World

Due to its connection to cannabis and hemp, CBD products have faced significant restrictions in terms of digital marketing. Facebook and Google, who dominate the digital ad space, both made advertising CBD products on their properties verboten. If you run a CBD marketing agency or a brand, this obviously ties your hands and you need to understand the rules for advertising CBD on social media.

Fortunately, times are changing. Facebook has recently loosened its CBD advertising rules, and will now allow a narrow category of digital CBD ads. As CBD grows more mainstream (and becomes fully legal in all state jurisdictions) it’s very likely that restrictions on Facebook and Instagram will be lifted entirely. After all, that’s a very large pot of ad revenue Facebook is forgoing. Snapchat, meanwhile, takes a somewhat more liberal approach to CBD ads, and as a result is one of the most effective social platforms for CBD ads.

Alternative Digital Marketing Options

CBD ads have also faced some resistance from major digital publishers, who have banned CBD product marketing from some of their most popular websites. Third party marketing platforms specially designed for the cannabis and CBD markets have been created to help brands create an effective CBD marketing strategy for the digital channel. These platforms use technology that automatically verifies the ages of browsers and the states in which they are located in order to ensure they remain compliant with all relevant regulations. This is one clever approach that can help CBD brands negotiate the tricky task of staying compliant, while gaining critical access to high authority publishers such as Buzzfeed and USA Today.

Thought Leadership and Education

If direct digital marketing is still largely unavailable, there are some alternate paths for a CBD brand or CBD marketing company to take. One example: Thought leadership and education pieces. These do not fall under the direct advertising designation and there is considerable public appetite for educational content. The CBD space, while growing quickly, is still something of a blank slate to most consumers. Providing them with high-quality educational content is an excellent way to turn “CBD curious consumers” into loyal customers.

Sponsored Content

It’s also important to remember that many publishers and ad platforms do not have these restrictions and are, in fact, happily courting the CBD market. FieldTest is one such platform. The company has negotiated agreements with high level publishers across the Internet to host CBD display ads. Sponsored content/native advertising placed on third-party websites is another path that can be taken, although many of these programs have the same type of limitations in place.

Influencer Marketing

It’s also important to avoid looking the past the value of influencer marketing. In just four years, influencer marketing has grown from a $1.7 billion enterprise to a nearly $7 billion market. Google searches for “influencer marketing” grew by an astonishing 1,500% over the same period. Instagram alone is well on its way to two billion daily users.

Influencers on that platform and others are not subject to the same restrictions found within conventional CBD digital marketing, which makes them a valuable commodity for brands seeking digital traction. Partnering with the right influencers, however, is key. Raw numbers don’t tell the whole story in terms of reach or influence. It’s better to find an influencer with 10k highly engaged followers than partner with someone who has collected (or even purchased) 100k largely random followers.

Podcast Ads

CBD brands can also take a more unorthodox approach and pursue something like podcast advertising. Growth in the podcast market has been exceptional in recent years, and CBD brands are a natural fit for the podcast demographic. While many people are under the mistaken impression that most podcasts are little more than a couple of people in a basement studio, the top podcasts generate millions of listens and downloads. By choosing podcasts with a strong following (and an audience that overlaps in some sense with CBD buyers), a brand or CBD marketing company can generate a surprisingly high ROI.

Finally, affiliate marketing services such as ClickBank offer another avenue into digital marketing for CBD brands.

Creating High-Level CBD Marketing and Advertising with Bigeye

If your CBD marketing campaigns aren’t resonating, it’s time for a switch. At Bigeye we believe that real results come only when you find a creatively dynamic partner with true domain expertise. 

That’s what we offer our clients. We’ve been working in the CBD space almost since its inception; we’re no late entrant into the field, seeking to capitalize on the latest trend. We keep our pulse on what’s happening in the CBD industry, and we’re always one step ahead of evolving regulations and industry standards. Using that expertise, we create highly compelling CBD campaigns and pair them with the ideal distribution strategy, ensuring that you messages are served to the most relevant audiences possible.

If you’re looking for a creatively inspired CBD marketing campaign that engages audiences on a deeper level and gets them to convert, we urge you to reach out to Bigeye today. We’d love to show you the power of a creatively inspired, tech supported CBD ad strategy.

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How to Effectively Market Your Nutraceutical Product

The nutraceutical market is booming. Here’s what you need to know in order to make your product stand out in the crowd.

With the US population aging and rates of many chronic diseases continuing to soar, consumers are in need of new products that promote health and wellness. Nutraceuticals, with their emphasis on natural health benefits, are one popular option.

Nutraceuticals, which have been positioned as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical treatments of physiological problems, have seen substantial growth in recent years. The global market is worth roughly $241 billion and is projected to reach $373 billion by 2025. 

Nutraceutical marketing, however, can present something of a challenge for people without true domain expertise. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at a few key tips for optimizing your nutraceutical marketing.

Understanding What Motivates Buyers in the Nutraceutical Market

Nutraceutical development is often targeted at physiological conditions that have a nutritional component. Certain diseases have dietary risks that are related to disease progression; other diseases simply do not have a long list of viable medical treatments. Patients that fall within these groups, naturally, are highly motivated to seek impactful medicines or supplements.

Smart nutraceutical marketing is aware of these distinctions, and should make an effort to target and activate consumers and patients who are being poorly served by traditional healthcare approaches. Brands should also be cognizant of buyer preferences within this niche; for example, nutraceutical buyers want green and sustainable product packaging.

Finding Where Nutraceutical Prospects Live Online

Buyers of nutraceuticals blur the line between patients and conventional consumers and this is reflected in their online behavior. When developing a nutraceutical marketing strategy, brands should focus on health and wellness websites, patient support groups and any channel where large numbers of people with medical issues congregate. That said, brands should also focus their marketing efforts on the segment of the nutraceutical audience that is motivated more by wellness, fitness and preventive medicine.

Differentiate Your Offering

The nutraceutical market is highly fragmented, with a few large multinationals at the top and thousands of small players operating in the industry. In order to stand out in this landscape, companies need to differentiate.

The problem is, most companies are selling variations on the same products. This means that branding is a critically important differentiator. The brands that do the best job of developing a valuable brand and building awareness will be in the strongest competitive position.

Leverage the Latest Technological Tools

If your nutraceutical brand isn’t devoting significant resources to cutting-edge digital marketing, you’re putting your organization at a significant disadvantage. Digital outreach, whether it’s via programmatic ads or social media campaigning, is critical. Without it, you can’t properly segment and target your audience and gather important insight into the efficacy of your marketing efforts.

Savvy brands go one step beyond traditional approaches and employ more sophisticated digital tools, including geo-targeting and search-based targeting, then support these efforts with advanced analytics that offer deeper insight into campaign performance. 

Partner with a Third Party When Necessary

Let’s face it: Many nutraceutical brands don’t have the in-house expertise to develop the kind of tech-centric campaigns that move the needle. In cases such as these, it makes sense to work with an outside marketing agency.

Choosing the right agency is imperative, however, as few have true nutraceutical domain expertise. Without that key element, you simply can’t create informed and authoritative advertising and marketing content. If you choose to opt for an external agency, make sure that your partner has experience with the nutraceutical niche.

Why Bigeye is the Ideal Partner for Nutraceutical Marketing

At Bigeye, we are domain experts in the realm of nutraceutical advertising and marketing. This allows us to create campaigns that are highly targeted, strategically sound and easily scalable without breaking the bank.

Contact us today for more information about what Bigeye can do for you.

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How to Choose the Best Apartment Marketing Company to Brand My Development

In light of the supreme importance of your apartment complex brand, you’ll want to enlist the help of top professionals to help develop and maintain it. But how can you find the best apartment marketing company for you?

Why Branding is Essential for Your Apartment Complex

If you are in the process of launching your first multifamily residential business or considering a rebrand for either a longstanding property or recently acquired apartment property, you are likely asking, “What is the best apartment marketing company to brand my development?”

Furthermore, if you aren’t questioning your current branding efforts, you probably should be. Most residential development marketers realize how important it is to promote the outstanding features and conveniences of their apartment complexes and specific apartment units. However, even seasoned professionals in the multifamily residential field often underestimate the incredible value of brand optimization.

An overwhelming amount of statistical research confirms the superlative importance of company branding across a wide range of industries and markets. In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute 77 percent of marketing leaders identify branding as critical to growth. On the consumer side, Small Biz Genius reports that 89 percent of shoppers remain loyal to brands that share their values. Furthermore, 64 percent of people surveyed by the Harvard Business Review cite shared values as their main reason for establishing a consumer relationship with one or more specific brands.

In the highly competitive multifamily residential real estate market, branding is particularly important for businesses that want to differentiate themselves from their closest competitors. After determining the outstanding features and amenities that make your property unique and the exact audience demographic that you wish to target, a good apartment marketing agency can develop and/or build upon a brand image that rises to the occasion to meets your particular wants and needs.

Tips for Choosing the Ideal Apartment Branding Agency

But how can you find a marketing company that has what it takes to spearhead branding operations for your multifamily residential business? The masterminds at Ad Age Magazine have come up with a couple of general guidelines to start you off in the right direction:

  • Establish clear goals and expectations – Before you can find an agency to deliver a specific result, you must first clearly define exactly what that result should be. After you have established your specific objectives, you can source and examine the options that are most likely to meet them. You might search out that edgy marketing startup to make your provocative marketplace splash or gravitate toward that industry stalwart to foster an image that is both stable and trustworthy.
  • Narrow your search – Anyone attempting to sort through thousands of potential advertising agencies will quickly become overwhelmed and lose all sense of perspective. In fact, even choosing between a dozen or so agency options can become quickly problematic. To combat this problem, Ad Age says that even “your initial ‘long” list should be relatively short and focused.” Real estate professionals can turn to their affiliated industry associations or a qualified search consultant to source only the most effective potential candidates.

Forbes Magazine reached out to a variety of marketing leaders to get further tips for choosing the right marketing agency for specific branding purposes. Some of the results were quite inspired.

The HOTH’s Marc Hardgrove, for example, recommends a close examination of each candidate’s in-house branding and advertising efforts. After all, any agency that cannot brand itself is likely to have difficulty branding your apartment complex.

In its 2018 article, Forbes also quoted Danielle Wiley of the Sway Group, who cited a compatible business philosophy as the top reason to choose a specific marketing agency. If your multifamily residential company, like most successful enterprises, fosters business approaches that are collaborative, practical, and forward-thinking, you would be wise to embrace an advertising agency that has similar values.

Reach Out to Bigeye Today

If you’re looking for an exceptional branding company for developments in the multifamily residential sector, Bigeye offers a range of personalized services to help you build a unique brand from scratch, execute an efficient rebranding, or refine your existing brand to connect with a whole new audience. Contact us today – a skilled and knowledgeable marketing professional is standing by to answer any questions that you might have.

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