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Being Social on Your Social Media Part 2

Being Social on Your Social Media

 

Aside from a few bigger companies that fear no controversy, most small to medium-sized businesses are very passive with their social media presence.

It’s like, they are aware of what social media is, and put up a page. However, they hardly do anything with it aside from the bare minimum.  It’s almost like they understand the media part of “Social Media”, but don’t understand its use as an interactive platform. So, I am going to go over some ways that you can make your social media more social.

 

Ways to Interact with Other Businesses

 

Brag About Your Business in a Fun Competition

One of the major things that people do on their private social media, is brag about the good things that happen in their lives. Sometimes, its a picture of a scrumptious meal, other times, it’s a photo of an amazing outfit or a breathtaking view. The point is, that if something awesome is happening in their lives, they are going to feel the need to brag about it.  Why shouldn’t businesses social media accounts do the same thing?

It always brings a boost to someone’s day when they get a chance to brag about something they love to do, and it gives your audience on social media a chance to take part in what makes the people in your workplace excited.

For example, I know that one of the few things that everyone on the internet can agree on is that baby animals are adorable.

So, when the Smithsonian national zoo posted, a picture of their latest arrival,

View image on Twitter
 The Virginia Aquarium decided to throw down a challenge that their animals were cuter.
View image on Twitter
After that, a friendly “twitter war” from every zoo and animal rescue center was declared over which animals were the cutest.
Who won? Everyone. Audiences got to see some adorable animals, the zoos got some free promotion, and everyone was left feeling happy.

And it doesn’t have to stop!  Not all friendly twitter wars need to be about adorable baby animals! It can be about how ridiculous someone could dress up in a costume shop, or how much cool stuff can be found in a retail store, or how creatively a grocer can stack the soda display. The possibilities are endless! As long as things are kept light-hearted and amusing, there would be no reason that you shouldn’t brag about your business social media page.

 

Collaborate on a Charity with a Rival

 

charity event,social media

 

There is an old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”.  In a world full of self-interest, profit margins, and bottom lines, we don’t hear that often about businesses working together to fight for a cause.  While healthy competition can be a good thing for growth, our society also relies on cooperation for survival. Even Charles Darwin had even outright stated in his published work The Descent of Man, ” There can be no doubt that the tribe including many members who are always ready to give aid to each other, and to sacrifice themselves for the common good, would be victorious over other tribes. And this would be natural selection.”

So, why don’t you try a new approach to your business’s publicity by collaborating for a charity? Find a cause that you have in common with your corporate business rivals and create a charity event. Maybe the public schools in your area are underfunded? Or perhaps, you both know a children’s hospital that you would be willing to donate to? Whatever the cause, as long as you can be seen doing right by your local community, you will only receive the best of publicity. And what is one of the best ways to record and share a collaborative charity event? Your company social media. When you do something for your community, people will take notice and every business needs the occasional positive attention.

 

We are Purple Tie Guys, Social Media Experts, SEO Enthusiasts and Top-notch Web Designers from North Alabama. If you like what you read, check out this article! Or this one! If you want to book an appointment, Click here and check out the Pop-Up!

By | 2018-04-14T17:38:30+00:00 April 14th, 2018|Post|0 Comments

Being Social on your Social Media Part 1

Being Social on Your Social Media

 

Like anyone who has a specialized job or skill, you often live, breathe and die by your knowledge of your trade. Naturally, that means you incorporate it to as much of your daily life as possible. My sister, for example, is a psychology student, and she can’t go a day without noticing things that factor into an individual person’s behavior. It is the same way with me and marketing or visual design. So it should come as no surprise that I, a person who has dedicated herself to a career of marketing in a business filled with social media experts, notice a trend in businesses and their social media accounts.

Aside from a few bigger companies that fear no controversy, most small to medium-sized businesses are very passive with their social media presence.

It’s like, they are aware of what social media is, and put up a page. However, they hardly do anything with it aside from the bare minimum.  It’s almost like they understand the media part of “Social Media”, but don’t understand its use as an interactive platform. So, I am going to go over some ways that you can make your social media more social.

 

Interacting with Other Customers

 

Greet Each and Every Follower

 

seo experts, social media, customer serviceAny business owner with a brick and mortar store will tell you that the most important thing to do, to gain business, is to interact with your customers. A good employee and a good store owner would go out of their way to ask customers how their day was, figure out what they are interested in, and find something in common.

If that’s the foundation of customer interaction, then why on Earth should the level of customer service go away as soon as your business became digital?

People are using social media to inform their purchase decisions more than ever! Why waste an opportunity to engage with them? Heck, even in the latest study that polled multiple customers, they stated that response was the utmost important thing to them on a business’s social media page!

When people visit your social media account or add you as a friend, they are doing the digital version of walking through your door and looking around.  If you do not provide them with a friendly greeting or are silently watching them comment,  you are literally doing the opposite of customer service. It would be no different from ignoring somebody while they are talking to you.

It doesn’t need to even be an overly official or a grand gesture. A simple “Thanks for liking our page!” is enough. Staying silent on your social media is doing a disservice to your business because customers will not have made a connection, ultimately leaving your business to be forgotten.

Offer Opinion Posts and Ask Questions

 

Whether your company has a mascot, or if the face of the company is its workers, it is beneficial for your business to use social media to engage in public posts. By striking up a conversation or posing a question to your audience, you are giving the public a stronger impression of your brand. This may seem difficult to someone who is not “social media-minded” or knows any social media experts. However, your customers will find your company more likable if they feel they have someone or something to relate to. And the best way to relate to someone is an open conversation.

For instance, most people work at a 9-5 job. A simple statement of “Yikes! It’s another Manic Monday!” or “Free at last on Friday night!” are ways to get people to relate to you and by association your company in a tasteful and harmless way with a pinch of humor.

 

customer engagement, social media, seo experts

 

The key to pulling this off successfully is to abide by a few general rules of social media etiquette:

  1. Don’t be disrespectful or  have malicious intent with your posts
  2. If you are not qualified to talk about a topic, do not engage in that conversation.
  3. Avoid taking hard-line stances on opinions ( unless it is satirical like pineapple on pizza.)
  4. Don’t state opinion as fact or declare something without evidence.
  5. Avoid talking about sensitive topics things like politics or religion unless it is your literal business.
  6. Be polite with people engaging you in conversation.
  7. Spell and grammar check everything before you post.
  8. Never post when you are tired or angry.

 

Good Examples:

A coffee shop on Instagram with a photo of several cups of their unique coffee drink mixes asking, “Which one is your favorite?”

A toy store with an employee posting a photo of him holding his favorite childhood toy with text below stating, “This was my favorite toy growing up. What was your favorite toy as a child?”

Bad Examples:

A clothing store employee posting about their terrible breakup and using the companies Facebook business page.

A restaurant business owner stating on Twitter that he was sick of immigrants taking over the country. He then states that he spots a few illegals in a rival restaurant from across the street, in hopes of destroying their reputation.

 

More suggestions in Part 2!

 

We are Purple Tie Guys, Social Media Experts, SEO Enthusiasts and Top-notch Web Designers from North Alabama. If you like what you read, check out this article! Or this one! If you want to book an appointment, Click here and check out the Pop-Up!

By | 2018-04-06T12:56:32+00:00 April 6th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Being Social on your Social Media Part 1

Advice for SEO Content

Good Sources for  Writing Quality Content- By an Alabama SEO Blogger

Google, these days, are ranking websites based on not only how much you post, but also by how useful that post is to others. This is the major rule of thumb that I have learned as an Alabama SEO blogger. Which means that unless your keywords are relevant to the posts you are making, Google would either ignore or outright penalize you for bad content. If you have trouble coming up with new or informative content, click here and read the related article. If you have already gone past this part, I am going to be focusing on the “relevant” part of the Google SEO search algorithm.

So,  if you have a topic in mind that you want to blog about, what do you do about gathering the right information? Here is where we start talking about…

 

blogging, alabama seo

Minding Your Sources

The internet in the U.S. has done amazing things for us over the last two decades. We are free to find almost all the information we could ever want about every subject with a lack of censorship, and we can connect to pretty much any community with common interests. However, the ‘power of the internet’ is more of a double-edged sword than most people think. Because the internet isn’t as regulated as some other forms of media, there is little to nothing stopping anyone from spreading false information or forming a negative community. So, how do we appear reputable to our readers and to Google? This is where minding your sources come in.

What Makes a Good Informative Source?

Know The Sources You Need

primary sourceAfter being an Alabama SEO blogger for multiple companies for over two years, I’ve learned if you want to prove a point or provide an answer, you need to err on the side of primary sources. If you are writing an opinion piece, or if you are just trying to share a recipe that will match a certain theme or ingredient, then you would bebetter off to use a secondary or even a tertiary source.

According to Willamette University, these are the three types of sources of information, when it comes to accuracy and filtration:

  • A Primary Source is “a first-hand account or individual representations and creative work. They are created by those who have directly witnessed what they are describing, and bring us as close to the original event or thought as possible without being filtered, influenced or analyzed through interpretation.”

General Examples: Letters, diaries, speeches, interviews, correspondence, original works of art or fiction, analyzed results from a biological study, etc.

  • Secondary sources build off of primary sources with more extensive and in-depth analyses. They summarize, evaluate, and analytically interpret primary material, often by offering a personal perspective. While these are used to check what other experts in the field have to say, they are not considered evidence.

General examples: Textbooks, monographs (books), encyclopedias, analysis, review articles, dissertations, thesis, reviews of other experiments, lectures.

  • Tertiary sources are These are sources that index, abstract, organize, compile, or digest other sources. Some reference materials and textbooks are considered tertiary sources when their chief purpose is to list, summarize or simply repackage ideas or other information.

General Examples: Dictionaries/encyclopedias (may also be secondary), almanacs, fact books, Wikipedia, bibliographies (may also be secondary), directories, guidebooks, and manuals.

Things to Consider when Choosing a Source

What source would be considered credible? After all, anyone can claim anything and claim its a study. After all, one scientific journal claimed that vaccines caused autism and since then we had eradicated diseases come back thanks to anti-vaxxers who read it. So, who can you trust? What makes a good source?

First, you need to ask these questions, when considering a source:

  • Do they have an agenda?
  • Are they an expert in their field?
  • Are they being paid by a company for favorable results?
  • Is there political or religious motivation involved that could bring bias?
  • Is money a motivation?
  • Do they intend to educate people?
  • How current is this source?

Cite Your Sources

Even an Alabama SEO blogger like myself knows that citing your sources is crucial to gain credibility with your audience. But in the case of the SEO writer, it is also crucial to Google website rankings.  Google penalizes plagiarism, and if you don’t cite your sources, your website will suffer and all the SEO in the world can’t save it.  So how does Google recognize when you are citing a source? It isn’t like blogs have an MLA or APA format.

That is where backlinks come in.

By backlinking your sources, you are telling Google and your audience, “This is where I got my information from!” The older the website, and the more relevant the information, the more the backlinks will actually count in your favor.

What’s more, if you link to other relevant parts of your own site, you will gain further credibility as a someone who has taken the time to study the relevant subject matter.

Web Design By Purple Tie Guys Decatur Alabama, alabama seo company, huntsville marketing company, alabama marketing companyThis Blog was brought to you by Huntsville, Alabama SEO experts, the Purple Tie Guys. If you want to read more about something like this, click here! If you want to set up an appointment to get your business visible on the web, head to the home page and click on the pop-up.

By | 2018-03-27T17:12:23+00:00 March 27th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Advice for SEO Content

Advice for SEO Content

What Makes Quality Content?

When you read or regurgitate any information about SEO practices and technique for a while, you tend to read and hear the same thing over and over again.  Publish quality content. We need quality content. Only quality content will give your website an advantage. This rule of thumb turns into a never-ending nagging loop that is the blogger’s equivalent of the “wash your hands” sign in a fast food restaurant bathroom.  I hear so many people harping on writing quality content, but they forget to actually address what quality content is.

SEO, ranking on google

So, what do you do, when you have to write an article or two every week to bring up your SEO ranking?  How do you write something interesting about a topic that is maybe, boring, filled with technical jargon,  or something taboo that no one really wants to explore? After having done this a couple of years, I can confidently throw my hat in the ring of online articles that lecture about how a person can make good online written content.

 

Answer your Own Questions

If you ever been around a small child, you will hear a litany of questions that involve a diverse range of topics. Questions such as ” why is the sky blue?”, and  “where do babies come from?” It can be annoying, but it is how small children learn about their world. Human beings are naturally curious. So, out of our need for an explanation for our surroundings, we either fabricate or investigate an answer before sharing it with others.

seo blogging, alabama seo

SEO blogging may be one of the best ways to satisfy your own curiosity, as well as provide quality content for your audience. No, I am not kidding. D0 you think that all SEO keyword bloggers are experts in everything they write about? Do you think that I magically knew everything there is to know about air conditioning, gastric bypass surgery, marketing, and nutrition? Of course not. I graduated college as an art major. I did not go to technical school for AC repair, I am not that good at nutrition, and I am certainly no surgeon. But I write for them anyway, because it’s still my job.  So, how do I write for them?

I revert back to my childhood curiosity and start asking questions about the subject. Why do people respond to ads this way? Who invented the air conditioning unit? When was the first gastric bypass surgery? How do people in China define nutrition?

My best content came from asking my own questions and finding the answers to them while writing them down. Sure, I do what I can to add relevant keywords to the situation. But, for the most part, as long as the content is relevant, I write about what I learned.

 

Web Design By Purple Tie Guys Decatur Alabama, alabama seo company, huntsville marketing company, alabama marketing company This Blog was brought to you by Huntsville, Alabama SEO experts, the Purple Tie Guys. If you want to read more about something like this, click here! If you want to set up an appointment to get your business visible on the web, head to the home page and click on the pop-up.

By | 2018-03-24T13:26:01+00:00 March 24th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Advice for SEO Content

Why Did Toys-R-Us Go Out of Business?

Closing their Doors

After existing for many decades, the large toy company “Toys-R-Us” is closing its doors. This leaves over 31,000 employees without jobs, and many older generations feeling the pain of a nostalgic icon becoming no more. But where did all of this come from? While they did mention closing one-fifth of their stores back in January, it didn’t seem like their situation was that dire. What really went on? And what sort of factors played a part in the closure of this mega toy chain?

toys r us, closing, marketing strategy

Debt

Toys-R-Us had an issue with debt for years it seems. As far back as January 2005, Toys R Us had a hard time managing their monetary resources. This isn’t a new story. After all, many companies have gotten into debt at around this time period.

But, it seemed every effort they made into paying off that debt only made things worse. According to one article in Forbes.com  “In 2005 KKR and Bain Capital (which included former Presidential candidate Mitt Romney) bought Toys R Us for about $6.6billion, plus assuming just under $1B of debt, for a total valuation of $7.5billion.  But the private equity guys didn’t buy the company with equity.  They only put in $1.3billion and used the company’s assets to raise $5.3billion in additional debt, making total debt a whopping $6.2B. ”

Any money that was acquired from then on went towards paying the debt and only the debt, which left stores untended to and staff members underpaid and overworked.  This invoked a chain reaction of shoppers not being pleased with the environment, hurting the revenue of the business, and repeating the never-ending cycle of debt all over again.

In 2017, they tried declaring bankruptcy to consolidate the resources they had and use them to reinvest in the company. However, it was too late. They owed too much money and had to liquidate all assets.

Competition

Competition in the marketplace is a good thing. It provides customers a way to exercise their freedoms through choosing what to purchase or where to purchase an item. The unfortunate downside for companies when it comes to competition, however, is that there is always a loser involved. Some companies will last because they can adapt, while others will become a casualty of the rat race.  Toys R Us became the loser in a competing market.

When Walmart and Target started to grow in popularity, Hasbro and Mattel had sold just as much product to them, as they did to the Toys-R-Us chain. Also, Walmart/Target both had the advantage of placement. They had their toys in the same place that mothers would buy groceries and home appliances. All they had to do was add competitive pricing to blow away the competition.

Then the rise of Amazon came. With people willing to pay a little more for shipping in order to shop conveniently at home in their pajamas, Toys R US lost even more of their market share to the competition.

Between those three giants, they would net big losses on top of the debt they were in, and the lack of revenue from customers who weren’t thrilled with a dingy warehouse-setting and overworked staff.

Lack of Brand Awareness

brand awareness, toys r us, closing

Do me a favor, and think real hard. When was the last time that you have seen a Toy’s R Us commercial? Because I think maybe I remember seeing one at around Christmas time in 2008.And even then I was shocked that they were playing an out of date commercial.  Sure, kids of yesteryear remember the store chain, it was a huge part of their childhood. But what do the kids today know of that brand? Do they even know what a Toys -R-Us is? Or that its mascot is a giraffe? What about the jingle? Sure, Toys R Us does technically have a website but I didn’t know about it until I checked to see if there was a .com attached to that web address. This is proof of another one of the contributions to their downfall, the fact that there is no brand awareness of their company at all.

They have not actively stated who they were or what they did to the up and coming generation, literally leaving the kids clueless about the fact that their toy store company existed in the first place.

They say in the business world that it is better for people to hate your business than for them to be indifferent to it. That’s because indifference means that no one cares enough to even bother with your business in the first place.

It is no good for a brand to simply exist. If it exists with no marketing strategy then it will die a slow and painful death from a lack of public awareness, just like Toys R Us.

This post was brought to you by Purple Tie Guys, the best in Huntsville/Decatur marketing strategy. Do you want to know more about brand awareness? Click here! If you want to book an appointment to make your business visible today, Head here and Click on the Pop up!

By | 2018-03-16T13:02:04+00:00 March 16th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Why Did Toys-R-Us Go Out of Business?

Brands, Memes, and Marketing

Are Brands and Memes all that Different?

Anyone in the marketing field worth their salt would know the definition of a brand on the top of their head. A brand is an image or slogan designed to promote a product or service.  It is an assigned identity given to a company for the public to identify with via visual or audio shorthand. When those in marketing who do their job well, people would only have to hear a few notes of a jingle or see a specific image to immediately know how to define a company. What if I were to tell you that memes, by definition, aren’t all that much different from brands.

For those who are unaware of meme culture, they would define memes as “funny internet pictures”. While it covers how the internet defines a meme, it is only a small fraction of the definition. It has a grander purpose and is defined by a cultural phenomenon that predates the internet.

 

kilroy memes and branding

What is a Meme?

The term meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. A portmanteau of gene and the Greek word mimeme ( meaning roughly “imitated thing”), the word meme is defined as an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture—often with the aim of conveying a particular phenomenon, theme, or meaning represented by the meme. This serves the purpose of carrying, replicating, and dispersing information of cultural value from person to person as a form of natural selection.  Also, these ideas, just like the people who are sharing them, can grow and evolve. This is done to suit the needs of the culture carrying the information.

Anything can be a meme, and it doesn’t have to be limited to the internet to spread. Take, for instance, Kilroy, a meme that got its start as a private joke between WW2 soldiers out on the battlefield.  All that is required to make a meme is for someone to create a message that other people identify with and a vehicle for that message to spread.

Why are Memes Associated with the Internet?

When the internet became the most popular method of sharing and altering information, memes exploded.

meme brand culture

Many people who visited the same forums and websites started to create, alter,  and recycle inside jokes in the form of images and slogans to create a sense of community. These forums like 4Chan were somewhat niche and were mostly reserved for nerds, loners, and creatives. The would get on their computers making jokes with a brand of creativity that only people with too much time on their hands could possibly come up with.

Then, came the rise of social media, like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram which added a whole new level of connectivity. This expanded the popularity of memes where it escaped its niche origins and became more visible to the public eye.   The more popular a meme is, the faster it would spread onto public consciousness until the meme runs its course and is replaced by a new one.

When a message or a joke can spread like wildfire over the internet, people are going to take notice. Including high-end advertisers that are paid to come up with creative and popular ways to sell a product.

 

Can you Integrate Memes and Brands?

There are already some striking similarities between viral memes and popular brands. Both of them rely on people understanding an image or a slogan to represent their concept, both of them are created for people to share and consume, and both of them are culturally inclusive. The only

wheres the beef, memes, ads, advertising, marketing

difference between the two is that brands exist to connect with people to sell a product. Memes exist only as a cultural connection.

Can a brand be a meme? Yes. The most popular advertising slogans can be considered memes of the time. One example that comes to mind is Wendy’s 1980’s commercial campaign of  a little old lady asking, “Where’s the Beef?” It’s quick, catchy, funny, and people who watched that commercial in America during the 80’s are in on the joke. Another is the “Got Milk?” Ad. People still joke about it today or reference it in popular media.

Can you integrate memes with a brand? It’s possible but it must be done in the right context. Memes, like brands, stand for a particular idea or meaning and have a specific sense of humor. If you try to use it like an out of touch principal speaking outdated slang, the consequences of that campaign could be cringe-inducing.

There are a plethora of good and bad examples of companies that try to integrate memes into their marketing strategy. I will go over them into more detail in the next post!

This post was brought to you by the best of Alabama Marketing, the Purple Tie Guys! If you want to read more stuff like this, click here! If you want to contact us, click the call button on the homepage!

By | 2018-03-02T13:08:30+00:00 March 2nd, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Brands, Memes, and Marketing

Mobile Marketing isn’t for Everyone

Why You Can’t always stick with Mobile Marketing

 

The standard practices of marketing are much more nuanced than people would like to think it is. It is more than just coming up with a bunch of slogans and slapping them all over in hopes of getting enough people to buy their product.  In fact, if you were to summarize the definition of marketing as a practice, you have smaller definitions that make them up as a whole.

There are “5 P’s”  that make up the definition of marketing. Promotion, place, price, product, and people. Each “P” needs to be kept in the minds of marketers while creating and executing an advertising campaign. Today, I am going to focus on the Promotion part of the “P’s”.

 

We all saw this coming. People have lectured on this subject for years. Hell, even us, a small Huntsville marketing company, called it over a year ago, when we were preaching incessantly about mobile-friendly websites on both our blog and our radio show. However, this headline has got me to thinking about something else.  Most of that money is a waste.

 

Rising Trends in Mobile Advertising

Marketing Strategy in Huntsville Alabama

 

 

I had been researching for an article topic when I noticed an interesting headline from 

 

Forbes.  “Mobile Advertising Will Drive 75% Of All Digital Ad Spend In 2018: Here’s What’s Changing”.  75% of America’s digital advertising budget is being spent on mobile advertising.  75%.  That’s a lot of revenue for one advertising platform.

 

 

Because not all businesses need to advertise through mobile. Some don’t even need a website.

I know, it sounds horrible for a digital marketing company to say, but there is a reason I am saying it.

 

No Marketing Platform is a One Size Fits All Deal

 

The only guaranteed advertising tactic that will work to some extent for all products and services are word of mouth. Period. But you still need to get people through the door for that to happen. And in order to do that, you need to find the right way to reach your audience. Advertising through Mobile devices seems like a lucrative venture. However, there is an important thing you need to realize about mobile devices and marketing. Not everyone owns a mobile device and not everybody uses their mobile device in the same way.

The current American Population, as of 2017, is 326,766,748. For the sake of ease, I am rounding the number up to 327 Million.   According to the latest census, 77% of Americans own a smartphone, so that is 252 lowered to million.

smart insights, mobile data usage

Copyright SmartInsights.com

In early 2017, a study was done what people used their mobile devices for.  55% of mobile users use social media, where, let’s face it, most of the ad revenue is going towards these days. This lowers the number further to 138 million. That excludes 188 million potential targets customers for your business alone.

The 138 million is a lot of people who will see your campaign but there are other factors that have to be taken into consideration in order to have your marketing money well spent.  You need to account for things like the age range of your customer base, how much spending power they have,  and if they have a quick and easy way to buy your product or service.

This can either narrow the numbers down even further and it could make your marketing campaign flop if you’re getting too few returns on your investment.

 

So Who Should Spend Money on  Mobile Advertising?

 

  • Businesses with an Online Store

Businesses that have an online store are more likely to succeed with mobile campaigns than purely physical stores.  This is because it decreases the amount of time it takes for a customer to make a purchase decision, leaving little room for them to change their minds. The quicker they can access your product, the better.

  • Businesses With a Target Demographic of a Younger Generation

Younger generations are more equipped with the skillset of handling technology, and see it more as a necessity since they haven’t lived long in a world without it.  They have learned to utilize technology as part of their daily lives, so you are much more likely to reach them with a mobile ad than you were for older generations.

  • Businesses Involve Travel and Entertainment

They get the highest click-through response rate at 60%. I think this has to do with the correlation of both escapism through leisure time in browsing social media, and the Gen X/Millennial need to experience new things.

  • Businesses with a Concise and Condensed Message

If your business has a short, simple message that states what it is, where it is, and why it is here then you are more likely to succeed than ads long-winded messages.  The attention span of mobile users are short since they are both always on the go, and live a fast-paced lifestyle.

 

Web Design By Purple Tie Guys Decatur Alabama, alabama seo company, huntsville marketing company, alabama marketing companyThis post is brought to you by Purple Tie Guys, a Huntsville Marketing Company dedicated to making your company visible.

If you want to read more stuff like this, click here. If you want to set up an appointment, click the call button on the Homepage.

By | 2018-02-23T13:48:28+00:00 February 23rd, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Mobile Marketing isn’t for Everyone

Marketing Lessons Major Companies can Teach Us

What are Brands?

 

Back in 2014, a  Supreme Court ruling was held during the controversial trial of Burwell vs Hobby Lobby. The issue in question was if a privately held company could opt out of government mandates and regulations based on the grounds of a corporate claim of religious belief. The court ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby which stirred a national debate among business owners  and workers alike. Can a corporation have the same individual rights as a person? And if so, what would it mean for the people working under that corporation. Granted that ruling only works for more privately held companies but it still caused quite a stir among the public. Mainly about how a corporation , an abstract non-living entity made up of multiple people, could even have a religious identity.

Corporate person hood, while a hot topic in today’s highly capitalistic society, is not a new debate.  Hell, corporations have had varying degrees of person hood in the United States since at least 1818 after the question was raised whether corporations could enforce and participate in contracts. But this does leave me wondering,  do companies have identities? Are they shaped by brands as we know it? Does our perception of a company help or hurt them in the long run?

 

alter ego, brandBrands Serve as Company Alter Egos

A brand, as the layman would describe it, would be a logo and a tagline attached to a product by a major company. But is that all what branding really is?  After all,  just about anybody can combine an image with a product then buy some advertising space in hopes that someone sees it.

But a catchy slogan alone cant grab public attention.  Take it from someone who works at a Huntsville marketing firm. A flashy logo without any context or assigned value to it is as useless as the preview family photo in a picture frame you just bought. It’s just there to take up space and is utterly pointless.

So, what is a brand if it isn’t just a tagline and an image? It is an identity that serves as a way for the public to identify what makes the company unique.

 

Example: The Disney Company’s Child Friendly Identity

 

The Child Friendly Brand that Built an Empire

 

Even in the early stages of his empire, Walt Disney knew who he wanted to be, and by extension how his company would reflect it.  His goal for his company was to instill a sense of wonder and imagination for children and adults alike. He accomplished this with three major business strategies. First, he gave his company a family friendly persona to reach his target demographic. Then, he kept either inventing or utilizing new forms of  technology for film and the theme parks. Finally,  he positioned himself and his company in places where the entertainment industry was growing.

When his animated films and theme parks became a big success, everyone who had seen anything remotely to do with Disney could immediately get the impression of what he was about. Child-like wonder. And it worked tremendously. Disney is a global empire with multiple theme parks world wide and has a place in both the film industry with Pixar and a lot of success with merchandising.

So, Disney’s personal brand made him a success because he gave his company an alter ego for the public to easily identify with.  But how well does it hold up after many years of being on the entertainment scene for families?

But Also Doomed It

 

While the Disney company has certainly grown and continues to grow with their acquisitions of both Marvel Entertainment and the Star Wars franchise. However, you are not going to see an R-rated Marvel superhero movie unless its from Fox.  Nor, are you going to see a PG-13 Pixar film talking about seriously controversial topics.  And you are never going to see a Disney animated version of Joan of Arc with her burning at the stake.

You will never see those things because it clashes with the public perception of the Disney brand. If they toe too far out of line with the public perception of them, they will get a huge backlash from their audience. Human beings, are social creatures that find comfort and safety in predictability. Its why most of us are part of a culture, and it is why every single person has at least one daily ritual or habits.  Any deviation from that norm will upset people and make them angry enough to push the offender out of their life.  And a company that deviates too far from a strongly held identity could fall apart at the seams.

It could be argued that this is a good thing for children. This may be true to some extent.  But this also caused some tonal issues with Disney films like Hercules, Pocahontas, and, the Hunchback of Notre Dame. You could tell during production that there was a clash with the project directors and the constraints of the brand. These clashes combined with the taking off of Pixar has mostly lead to the end of the Disney Renaissance and its 2d animation studio.  This has brought Disney criticism as being either “too commercialized” with either dark or ethnic source material or “too pandering” towards younger audiences.

Then you have other criticisms landed by both conservative and liberal families that both want their values and reputations due justice but fall in direct conflict with one another. Because Disney wants to cater to as many families as possible, they try to please everyone, pleasing no one in the process.

Conclusion

The perception of the family brand Walt and Roy has painstakingly cultivated over the years has made Disney huge. But, it has also doomed the company from personal growth by trying to appeal to everyone.  The company is lucrative, but it is also creatively stagnant They are currently trying to mitigate that stagnation by owning other properties and integrating them into their somewhat outdated parks, but there isn’t as much of that original creative spark that the company used to have. And I wonder, just how long their strategy is going to last?

The sort of Aesop that can come from the Disney company’s story is that its great to have an identity for your company. But, you can’t let that identity consume your company to the point where it excludes creative possibility.

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By | 2018-02-17T18:10:19+00:00 February 17th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on Marketing Lessons Major Companies can Teach Us

What Makes Content Marketable? – What you Offer

The Recipe for Marketable Content

 

Offering A  Solution to a Problem

A product or service cannot always sell itself on its own. If it did, then there would be no need for advertisers or marketers for any product ever. Selling anything to another person is a hard task because it involves convincing another person why your product or service is exactly what they want or need.  There are different ways to relay your message, whether it involves presenting that message in an entertaining format or through a new medium. However, those presentations will fall flat if you cannot tell your audience about what your product is, and how they benefit from it.

People will ignore what they think they don’t need. So, it’s your job to tell them why they need your product. Marketers and salespeople alike often refer to the problems that need their product as a solution as a ‘pain point‘. And, a good salesman and marketer know how to press on that pain point in order to get people to pay attention.

 

Done Right

In September of 2017, the Coca-Cola company launched an ad that shifted the focus from their titular product to their company identity as a whole. The voiceover of the ad explained that they offered more than just Coke. They showcased Smart Water, Honest Water, Odawalla, and other types of drinks in their portfolio to illustrate their product range for the variety of needs that come with a person’s drink choice. They also highlight their ties with local communities through the number of people they hire, their water sustainability program, and their scholarship programs.

2017 coca cola ad

This ad perfectly illustrates the different needs of the customer base that they are trying to reach. The ad also illustrates how they satisfy the needs of local communities, through visual examples of employment, educational, and environmental outreach. This is most likely to cement their reputation as a brand that is good for the community in an attempt to get as many people as they can to gain a preference for their product line.

Their shift away from the soft drink aspect of the company couldn’t have come at a better time for them. Sodas are dropping in popularity over the last few years, thanks to local governments and the younger generations becoming more health conscious. Coca-Cola is proving to those who are watching that they are capable of diversifying and surviving in the up and coming millennial influencer market.

Done Wrong

The Side Hustle Campaign from Uber always bugged me. Almost to the level that the Kylie Jenner Pepsi Ad bugged me. I think it is because it strikes me as something just as tone deaf.

uber side hustle bad

The driver in the commercial points out that  “everyone needs a side hustle” before dancing in his car to a song that was written for the commercial. He smiles and points out when he is chilling, working or earning with each scene afterward.  The tone of the ad gives the impression that driving for Uber is less of a second job and more of a cute hobby.

Last I checked, most people don’t take second or third jobs just for the heck of it, and they certainly don’t always enjoy them to the extent of the people in the commercial. We take those jobs because we are trying to enter a job market during a time of an economic depression. In fact, the Washington Post even pointed out that the need for a side gig and the participation of a shared economy is a symptom of a much bigger economic problem.

But this commercial doesn’t even address the reason why anyone would need a side hustle, much less the guy in the ad. He looks like he has a stable income, a nice house and not a care in the world.  He doesn’t look like he really needs any of it.  It doesn’t even sound like a solution to any problem. The commercial just advertises that Uber exists.

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By | 2018-02-10T01:24:40+00:00 February 10th, 2018|Post|Comments Off on What Makes Content Marketable? – What you Offer

What Makes Good Content – Entertainment Value

The Recipe for Marketable Content

 

I might have made this statement in the past, but it bears repeating, nonetheless. Putting in an advertisement that just point blank tells you to ‘buy this product’ is no longer a valid form of selling anything to anyone. The last two generations of consumers have seen commercials since birth and are practically immunized against standard advertising tactics. I would even go far enough to say that they have become cynical about our consumer-based economy. So, the more forward-thinking marketers of today address this obstacle by creating marketable content for target audiences.

However, this raises a thought-provoking question. What makes marketable content? Effective marketable content can successfully connect, entertain, and offer something that audiences need. Through a few examples over the next few posts, from the perspective of someone who works in an Alabama marketing company,  I will explain what these three factors have done right and done wrong.

 

Entertaining Content

Advertising as a whole has changed significantly since its beginnings in visual media. What started out as content with company sponsorships in the 1950s has morphed into a rat race to maximize the attention span of audiences all over the globe. With more companies paying for more advertising slots, audiences are getting overwhelmed by too many advertisement interruptions.  And who could blame them? Ad run times have grown longer to the point where shows have started to become unwatchable.

For example, in the 1960’s when television was getting popular, there was a total of 9 minutes of advertising for an hour-long program. That’s a reasonable amount of time to be interrupted for any activity. In the 1990’s, an hour-long program contained 19 minutes of advertising runtime. After getting that much interruption, why would anyone bother to watch the program, let alone commercials?

So what is the answer for advertisers who are getting skipped over?  Keeping audiences engaged and entertained while you sell your product.

 

Done Right

mister clean commercial- entertaining advertisementA good ad campaign can entertain. A great ad campaign gets viral. And no Superbowl ad has gotten more viral last year than the 2017 Superbowl Mister Clean-Cleaner of your Dreams commercial. It takes a bold company to take a mascot that’s been around since the 1950’s and update him to something on par with a trashy romance novel or a cheesy 1990’s R&B music video.

It looks at first, like the woman in the commercial is hesitantly being turned on at the thought of buff  Mister Clean, of all people, sexily wiping down counters and mopping floors. She slowly gets into it until The mythical cleaning figure becomes her husband, who was doing the chores. She tackles him in a passionate embrace over the couch when a tagline pops up and reads “Gotta love a man who cleans.”

The commercial was created with the intent of making the old mascot more relatable with modern lifestyles where men and women both divvy up household chores. And even if you aren’t part of the middle-aged house husband/wife demographic, the image of the woman who is initially unsettled then slowly seduced by a sexy CGI Mr. Clean is outright hilarious.

As of  February 2018, this commercial has  17,721,768 views.  And with the new super bowl coming up in a few days, I hope that Proctor and Gamble can top this one.

 

Done Wrong

 

bad advertising, Entertaining for an audience is a subjective task, but when you come up with skits or key concepts, you need to be able to relate to as many people as possible, by going out of your way to understanding your audience.  The last thing you want to do is to alienate your audience or worse, pretend that you understand them, and come across as unauthentic or insincere. So, of course, when the Kylie Jenner Pepsi ad came out, it fell flat.

I already wrote about this in depth, so I am just going to briefly cover it here.

It caused outrage from the protest crowd because the politics that were surrounding both the Occupy Wallstreet and Black Lives Matter conflicts were important and had to do with things like fighting corporate corruption and drawing attention to police brutality.  This commercial dumbed the conflict down into a “trendy millennial thing”, which infuriated all of the people who had worked so hard to take it seriously.  Pepsi talked down to its audience and as a result, hurt their publicity.

 

Web Design By Purple Tie Guys Decatur Alabama, alabama seo company, huntsville marketing companyThis article was brought to you by Purple Tie Guys Media Services, a Huntsville Alabama Marketing Company.  If you want to read more about stuff like this, check out our blog!

By | 2018-02-02T13:00:20+00:00 February 2nd, 2018|Post|Comments Off on What Makes Good Content – Entertainment Value