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Entries Tagged as 'Media'

QR Codes – your destination should not be a dead end

June 26th, 2012 · Media, Mobile, Strategy

According to the most recent statistics, 3 bazillion QR codes are scanned every minute. (Okay, maybe I’m off by a half bazillion but you get the idea) And truth be told… most of the destinations suck.

Come on ad agencies, big brands and web gurus — stop creating QR code campaigns that drive the user into a dead end.

What do I mean by a dead end?  A destination where I get stuck.  I watch your video, look at your desktop site (come on people!) or view your print ad (seriously?) but have no where to go from there.

How do you avoid creating a dead end? Remember that marketing is a series of “next steps” so give me one to take.  Try one of these on for size:

  • Invite me to sign up for your e-newsletter
  • Give me a chance to win something worthwhile
  • Ask my opinion (let me vote, rate or comment)
  • Give me the chance to share your destination with my social networks
  • Let me request a sample
  • Offer me a coupon to download or email to myself
  • Make it possible for me to call your store/office
  • Let me do some product research
  • Entice me to buy something

If you can get me to actually scan your QR code, I must have some interest in what you have to say.  Don’t create a stunted, one-way conversation.  Give me a chance to continue the dialogue.

If we don’t start getting a whole lot smarter about the QR code campaigns we create — we’re going to train people that scanning one leads to a frustrating, unsatisfying experience.  Which means that pretty soon, they’re just going to be more noise.

Stop creating dead ends.  Instead, create a real conversation.

 

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Find newsletter content in a flash

June 8th, 2012 · Copywriting, Marketing, Media, Web/Tech

Drew’s note:  Here’s a guest post by Patrick Carver on a relevant topic — how do you create and sustain the creation of an enewsletter.

Don’t you just hate writing newsletters?  We all know the feeling. It’s Saturday afternoon and you realize the company newsletter is due to go out on Monday.  You can feel the blood start to boil when you remember how long it ACTUALLY takes to write all that content.  Don’t you just wish your newsletter would just write itself?

A great option is creating a ‘hybrid’ newsletter using a mix of original and curated content. Curation is a fancy name for finding relevant content (articles, videos, white papers, etc.), qualifying it, and then sharing it with your audience.

Using curated material is a great way to complement your own message and save a lot of time ‘thinking of what to say’.  You can use the outside content as a jumping-off point and establish yourself as a thought leader in your niche at the same time.

The first place to look for free content is through one of the these tools.  Google Reader let’s you add your favorite websites to a list and then view all their most recent posts in one place. A great way to monitor your sites without having to bounce around.  Google Alerts is another free tool that lets you add specific keywords to a list and then will email once a day with relevant links and stories.

There are a handful of social bookmarking sites out there like DeliciousReddit, and Digg  that will help you find material but these aren’t always terribly useful.  Without a human curation element, there is way too much automated/aggregated content on there to really find what you’re looking for.

One of the best options for finding free content is using a ‘personal newspaper’ service.  The gist is that you add some topics that you’re interested in and then the software produces a personalized digest of the ‘best’ stories on that subject for you.  Some of the more popular products are paper.liscoop.it , and Flipboard  but there are lots of these sites out there.  AllTop  is a great resource that will list all of the relevant blogs on a topic and display their latest 5 posts.

Now you just have to incorporate all that great content with your newsletter template. People often use an email marketing tool like Constant Contact, MailChimp or InfusionSoft for this. But, if you don’t like messing around with templates, you might consider trying FlashIssue  (it’s Free).

Newsletters can be a lot of work but it’s definitely worth the effort.  Don’t get deterred if your first try doesn’t come out amazing and go viral.  Stick with a core theme but experiment as much possible with different story-lines until you find something that really sticks.  If you can figure out how to speak to your customers in a way that makes them want to listen, you’re on to something big.

Patrick Carver is the Director of Marketing for FlashIssue, the newsletter solution.  You can follow him @FlashIssue or read more of his stuff on the FlashIssue Blog.

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Where are digital marketing dollars being spent?

April 20th, 2012 · Media, Trends, Web/Tech · 20 Comments

Wondering where people are expending their efforts (and money) when it comes to digital marketing? Take a look at this chart — it’s pretty telling. (This chart is part of the 2012 edition of The SoDA Report, from the Society of Digital Agencies.  More on the SoDa Report here.) As you can see, when marketing [Read more...]

How non-profits can get media coverage for their events

April 18th, 2012 · Media, Passion · 16 Comments

I was recently asked how a non profit can get one of one of their local TV stations to run PSAs to promote a fundraising event. Here’s what I replied: Most TV stations (and many radio stations as well) DO NOT donate a ton of time to run local PSAs because: Although they are bound [Read more...]

Crisis communications – don’t wait to create a plan

February 6th, 2012 · Business owner/leader stuff, Media, Strategy · 10 Comments

Does your organization have a crisis communications plan that you could actually put into action at this very moment? All of the hubub surrounding the Susan G. Komen decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood and then their reversal of that decision following a 72+ hour firestorm of public outrage should have scared the bejesus out [Read more...]

Don’t dismiss traditional media quite yet

October 26th, 2011 · Media, Trends · 5 Comments

We tend to gravitate towards the shiny new object in the marketing world.  Today, we’re a buzz about QR codes, social media and all things digital.  But as you are planning your marketing for 2012 (you’re doing that, right?) don’t dismiss traditional and local options. According to a survey by the Pew Research Center’s Project [Read more...]

How to use Facebook ads

October 12th, 2011 · Marketing, Media, Social Media · 8 Comments

  Facebook advertising best practices For many businesses, advertising on the social network Facebook has proven to be a very successful model.  Facebook’s model is to be pretty rigid in terms of what you can and can’t do on your ad.  They’re all the same size and shape.  The format for all ads is exactly [Read more...]

Mix your media for best results

October 3rd, 2011 · Customers/Clients, Media · 14 Comments

This is not a new notion but when you’re buying/using media — use more than one vehicle and when possible, blend how the information is ingested.  In other words, I see/hear your TV spot (or YouTube video), so add in a print element or something online that I can read.  Access more of the audiences’ [Read more...]

Mercedes uses visual storytelling

October 2nd, 2011 · Branding, Media, Storytelling · 15 Comments

Mercedes Benz released this print ad series earlier this year and as it often goes, it is just starting to get some viral buzz. It’s a great example of story telling and connecting with your customers.  It’s a visual version of the Mac versus PC TV spots that we all loved. Interestingly, the copy on [Read more...]

Why Facebook matters to every business

September 21st, 2011 · Media, Social Media, Strategy · 13 Comments

  Why Facebook matters to every business   I’ve heard all the reasons, especially from B2B companies…but the “our customers aren’t on Facebook” excuse is just that, an excuse. We buy radio stations and send direct mail hoping to hit some of our target audience.  Why do we look at Facebook so differently? With statistics [Read more...]