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May 17, 2012 in Advertising, art, design, facebook, innovation, marketing mix, photography, social media, southwest florida | Tags: Advertising, art & photography, brand, clients, facebook, fort myers, graphic design, innovative, marketing, marketing mix, pushing the envelope, social media, Southwest Florida, tips | 1 comment
By: Annette Venditti
Remember the famous quote by Napoleon Bonaparte, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Napoleon was a man before his time as this holds true today as you are somehow moved on a daily basis when you see an amazing photograph or piece of fine art that just leaves you breathless… and you finally walk away knowing that you are the better for having viewed it.
How do photography and art (graphic design) come into the workplace as you market and communicate using tools like print, video and the ever-changing social media sites? Your goal should be to reach your researched target audience and make them trust, feel and connect with the brand, product or service you represent and really understand who the company is and what they stand for.
I want to share a few key points on how to correctly use photography, art and graphic design in your public relations and marketing mix. These tips will give you the tools you need to look at each project and create the best end product and message for your intended audience.
1. Think. Brainstorm. Create. This basic process must never be skipped if you want your message to be the best it can be. Ask your team to participate in a brainstorm session and let them go back and think about the task at hand, process overnight, etc. Compare ideas in an open discussion and see whether photography, art or a combination of the two is the best path to take. Think beyond the obvious and you and your client will be happy you took the time when you see the results.
TIP: As you develop concepts and ideas sketch them on paper. Really look at the text and image mix and be sure it’s simple, crystal clear and wildly creative. Too much of any of these elements in the mix will add up to a catastrophe that will confuse your audience and not win you any design awards. Research top rated print and social media advertising and campaigns and see what makes them stand out from the crowd!
When the chosen photograph, art or graphic combination hit the mark, you will need very little text to support the message and your audience will love you for it!
2. Hire a Pro. Please. When you need photography or art/graphic design (for an ad or for an event) do your research and hire a true professional to work with you and create the best possible images and designs for your needs. Don’t rely on friends or family to supply what you need, the cost of your initial investment will be more than obvious when you compare the finished product to a less expensive version created by your sister-in-law who “knows how to use Photoshop”. Yikes.
3. The Social Mixer. Social media has given us a vast variety of ways to share photography, text, videos and art/graphics on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube as well as Pinterest and Instagram, two image social channels that have changed how you and I see photographs, graphics and personal inspired interests shared. The same principles apply here, use professional images and graphics and be sure they are clearly stating your intended message before you share with your audience. Facebook Ads is another social media tool that allows you to share brand information and connect with potential customers. Take the time to research this ad platform and see if it might work for you and your client’s needs.
Keep in mind that every client (their brand, product or service) and every project you work on is truly unique unto itself. Challenge yourself and your design team to develop and create innovative solutions for every element and I can assure you this will keep your clients happy as larks and your team will walk away reveling in their hip new “creative genius” status.
By: Samantha Scott, APR
Grand Poobah of Pushing the Envelope, Inc.
It’s all the rage in social media now – Pinterest. If you’re like me, you aren’t super familiar with this social platform or how a business could use it to communicate online. Luckily for us, it’s very ease to pick up on this über-sharing site.
I once heard someone compare Pinterest to the old school push pin bulletin boards teenagers have where they pin things from magazines that they’re into – celebrities, sayings, clothing styles, etc. It’s a great comparison, in my mind. Pinterest is a digital way to collect and share all the things, places, people, etc. that you’re into.
So, how does this translate for businesses and how can businesses use it to communicate with potential and existing customers? It starts with setting up your account correctly, then building boards and connecting with others who have similar interests. Sound like any other social networks or set ups? It should.
Be forewarned though, it will take time. And by time, I mean a few hours to get things going. You’re starting from scratch and starting to compile things to pin can take a while. Like any social network though, it gets easier with time and you can add to it over time.
Share the love too, just like you should on Twitter and Facebook by “repinning”. Consider it the retweet of Pinterest. Not only does it show you’re engaging with or care about another user’s content, it’s helping build your repertoire. Don’t forget, you can pin things with links so if you’re pinning a product you sell, be sure to link it!
By now you probably know that there’s a new social network in town, and it’s not going away any time soon. Google+ has been hyped throughout the blogosphere as “the next big social network”. Some have even gone as far as calling “better than Facebook”.
So, should we freak out just yet? We all know that upstart social media websites can come and go like the wind… But this one is Google, and grew to over 10 million users in just 16 days, compared to the approximately 800 days it took Twitter or Facebook to reach the 10 million mark.
So why are people flocking to Google+? From what we’ve seen so far, it might be for good reason. Google+ has some very flattering traits:
Smart UI. It has a delightfully simple user interface. You log in, and there is a scarcity of crap. Google + is clean and easy to navigate. The “Circles” feature serves two purposes: sharing the right information with the right people, and viewing only the kind of information you want to view. Now you can share bad humor with your college buddies and not with your mom!
- Initial thought: IF Google+ becomes a behemoth like Facebook – and that’s still a big if – the Circles feature will force any marketer on Google+ to develop nothing but awesome content, or it will never be seen. This is because users can easily filter their activity by Circles. If they don’t want to see your boring, sales-y posts – they won’t.
Instant ubiquity. It’s a Google platform, and integrates with [most] other Google platforms seamlessly. Gmail, Google Talk, Google Reader, Google News, Google Calendar, and now Google+: All accessible and sharable with one login. You’ll notice the Google navigation bar received a facelift recently. The newly added “Share” button allows you to share any content viewed on any Google platform in Google+.
- Initial thought: This allows for super convenient and super rich posts! Check out this example: This person is sharing their location with Google Check-ins, with along with a Google Map, and a picture, right from their Google phone.
Unique features. Case in point: Hangouts. Essentially, Hangouts is a platform for spontaneous video chats. With hangouts, you can broadcast to any of your circles that you are up for hanging out. Up to 10 people can join in at one time, and share text, their screens, and YouTube videos. Other very notable features include Huddle (for texting in real time with a group of people) and Sparks (Google’s new “social media reader”).
- Initial thought: These are all great – but are people going to “get it”? Younger generations that have grown up on MySpace and Facebook might thrive on this technology, but will this be tech-overload for the masses?
Speed bumps for the future… There ARE some minuses when it comes to Google+.
- For one, the most recently updated content rises to the top of the stream, no matter what it is. We’ve all seen the annoying Facebook posts that have 957 comments, and this is the kind of post that Google+ will keep right at the top of your stream!
- Also, there’s no stream search? Seriously?! The worlds most popular search company didn’t build a stream search into their social network?
- Also, it’s silly how many steps it takes to send a private message to someone. I won’t go into detail, just trust me.
- And no YouTube integration? The new navigation bare and share button would be way cooler if it were on YouTube as well.
- Lastly, although the Google+ team HAS addressed the issue: There are no business pages, and no marketing tools for businesses – yet.
Despite the minuses, and the uncertainty of any social network’s future, Google+ is an exciting new online experience for us to partake in. The best part about it, in this social media guy’s experience, is that other social networks (ehem… Facebook!) will certainly have to up their game in order to compete. So, whether Google+ succeeds or not – the Internet will become a better place for all users because of it.
Check it out for yourself, at plus.google.com.
Last week I ventured up to Tampa, FL for a social media conference called Social Fresh (see Twitter @sofresh) for info on this and other events they are coordinating around the country.). Stoked to get a $120 off coupon (thanks to the event coordinator monitoring their Twitter feed as a friend of mine and I chatted about the cost being a bit prohibitive) I gleefully – this could be an exaggeration - left my house at 5:00 a.m. to get there in time for coffee, bagels and meet and greet prior to kick off.
I was not to be disappointed! With speakers from GM, InterContinental Hotel Group, Brains on Fire and more, Social Fresh gathered some of the major engines running successful social media (from a marketing perspective) and put them together for one big brain dump.
I dutifully tweeted the entire time (see #sofresh for commentary from me and other guests) and took notes. I’ve broken them down below by speaker and will be posting them weekly – Here’s your first dose. Hopefully you can take something away vicariously and perhaps plan to attend a Social Fresh in the future.
Brains on Fire
WOM Marketing & Social Media
Common Strategy – this DOESN’T work. Or, if it does, it’s only a little.
- Blogger Outreach
- Facebook fan page
Average ROI advertising is less than 4%… Think about it! If you talked to people in real life like you do in advertising, you’d get punched in the face.
90% of WOM is offline – something to consider as social media isn’t the cure all for ALL clients. Are their/your customers even on Twitter? If yes, you/they should you be there.
Factoids for safe keeping:
- 80% of Twitter accounts are non-active!
- SM will never replace face-to-face interactions.
- Advertising is for awareness. WOM is for credibility.
- “Advertising is the tax that you pay for being an unremarkable brand.”
- “Above all, find a way to be RELEVANT to your consumer.”
Language – change it in house and OUT, with customers, clients, etc.
- Campaign – war vocabulary. No wonder people don’t trust us
- Movement – Fans, inspirations, kindred spirits, grassroots, passion, love
Movements are other people talking about you. They are volume dials. No 0 on the dial, or off switch.
Campaigns = us vs. them. We’re going to get them to do something.
Movement – All the rules of friendship should apply. You don’t MAKE your friends do anything. They will tell you the truth.
10 Lessons Learned by igniting brand ambassador movements
- Movements are about the PASSION conversation, not the PRODUCT conversation.
- Re-frame the conversation. Instead of talking about not smoking, they created a place for a conversation
- Movements begin with the first conversation.
- We participate in people’s lives. 90% of WOM happens offline, get engaged to learn what they are into, what they think.
- ScoutLab, Radian6 – good listening tools/companies
2. We’d rather find someone deeply passionate about something than really influential.
- With SM now, we can MAKE someone influential. Just give them the tools.
- Works better than giving away free product and asking them to talk about it.
- Influential will talk about you now, then move on. Passionate will continue talking about it.
3. Passion can’t be created.
4. Movements Require a Barrier to Entry
- People who want to be a Fiskateer have to ask via online form. Then, they get a response within 24 hours & have to reply why they want to be a part of it or no entry.
- It’s not about the numbers. It’s about the engagement and passion.
5. Movements Empower people with knowledge
- About themselves
- The product
- Social media, marketing, etc.
6. Movements have powerful identities
- Fundamentally, everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Everyone wants to be bigger than they are.
- I am a ______. Our job as marketers is filling in that blank. We have to bond our clients & their customers together.
7. Movements encourage shared ownership
8. Movements make advocates feel like rock stars.
- Sometimes it’s just sitting down, talking to them and letting them know you’re listening to them.
- Special handles, engraved. Welcome kit, etc.
9. Users know the brand better than we do. Leverage this.
10. Movements live online & offline
- Save money on focus groups
- Save money on R&D because we get free ideas from the group
- Save money on customer services because people are talking about what’s wrong and how they fixed it, etc.
- Measure success in the ways we save money too.
- Movements fight an injustice