Murdoch Marketing http://www.murdochmarketing.com Just another WordPress site Fri, 26 May 2017 14:20:47 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1 How Many Words Are Pictures Worth? http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/05/many-words-pictures-worth/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/05/many-words-pictures-worth/#comments Fri, 26 May 2017 14:20:47 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17775 In the age of digital media our brains are called upon to register more photos than words. Think about the last time you scrolled through Facebook. Do you remember the statuses or captions? Or do you recall the photos? Appealing photographs and graphics are new age marketing tools that can...

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In the age of digital media our brains are called upon to register more photos than words. Think about the last time you scrolled through Facebook. Do you remember the statuses or captions? Or do you recall the photos?

Appealing photographs and graphics are new age marketing tools that can help build brands, turning a virtually unknown product or service into a viral sensation. And how do brands achieve this level of success?

The hard truth: a picture is worth as many words as you allow it.

By showcasing original photography that tells a story and captures consumer’s interest, you’re already on the path to digital media success. Think of Instagram. There are thousands of brands that built a solid foundation solely through the photo-sharing app.

So what if you’re marketing an analytical brand and don’t think you’re visually appealing? Well, think like PayPal. A financial brand that stamped its footprint in the digital media world by creating visually appealing content for followers that still connected to their product.

It’s a competitive world and sharing stock images isn’t going to win you the race. Investing in photography and original content will not only help strengthen your brand image, but allow stronger connections to be made between your company and your consumer. By producing appealing photography, you’ll attract followers who see interesting content from a brand in which they are connected.

We mustn’t forget about writing, just embrace photography for its growing importance in digital media. Take a look at our Social Marketing employee Shalee Blackmer, who built a lot of her blogging business through photographs, recently featured in Forbes Magazine.

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The Words You Love http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/05/the-words-you-love/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/05/the-words-you-love/#comments Fri, 19 May 2017 10:18:04 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17758 Using this proven method, you are guaranteed to instantly achieve greater results from your advertising. What’s more, this new discovery is absolutely free, if you act now. There, half my blog is written. While we’re quick to use tools such as #hashtags and @symbols in our social...

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Using this proven method, you are guaranteed to instantly achieve greater results from your advertisingWhat’s more, this new discovery is absolutely free, if you act now.

There, half my blog is written.

While we’re quick to use tools such as #hashtags and @symbols in our social marketing, we often lose sight (or have never been taught the value) of using the other tools: the right words themselves.

We human beings are hardwired to respond to certain stimuli, and words are no exception. I’m not sure today’s copywriters are required to use at least 2 or 3 selling words in every ad, but they should be. Might feel lame, but it’s not. These words work.

The top words in effective advertising vary slightly from source to source, but you’ll be safe with these.

  1. You
  2. Free
  3. Now
  4. Instantly
  5. New
  6. Guaranteed
  7. Proven
  8. Results
  9. Discover
  10. Save
  11. Easy

To quote Mark Twain, “The difference between using the right word and almost the right word is the difference between a lightning bug and lightning.”

But if all else fails, you can discover guaranteed results @murdochmarketing.com. It’s #easy, and almost #free.

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Just Visiting http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/05/just-visiting/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/05/just-visiting/#comments Wed, 10 May 2017 13:29:59 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17737 To say the Saugatuck/Douglas area is “artsy” would be an understatement. Our welcome sign is a twelve-foot painter’s palette. The streets are lined with creative shops and a variety of galleries. And as expected, the local schools put a strong emphasis on the arts. I...

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To say the Saugatuck/Douglas area is “artsy” would be an understatement. Our welcome sign is a twelve-foot painter’s palette. The streets are lined with creative shops and a variety of galleries. And as expected, the local schools put a strong emphasis on the arts.

I was recently invited to participate in Douglas Elementary School’s Visiting Artist Program, pairing local artists with students from each grade. I’ve always looked forward to seeing which artist my boys would get to work with, and what they would create. But this year, with my third-grade son Frankie’s approval, it was my responsibility to make sure his project, and “artist”, were up to the local standard.

My Expectations

I’ve organized Cub Scout events; coached soccer, baseball, and basketball teams; and even worked as a camp counselor one summer. Armed with a well-planned schedule and a positive attitude, I knew I had this!

The Idea

Working with the Brittany Boverhof, Saugatuck Public School’s resident artist, art teacher, curator, and one of the schools many magic makers, we laid out a game plan and rough timeline. Over the next three weeks, our third graders would create Andy Warhol inspired pop art pieces that incorporated different facets of commercial art. In other words, cool soup cans.

Day 1

  • Introduce myself, the project, and let the students ask a few questions before setting them loose. (5 minutes)
  • Using a template with multiple blank soup can labels, each student will test out color combinations. (30 minutes)
  • Explain color separations and introduce the class to Pantone color matching guides. (5 minutes)
  • Select corresponding CMYK values with the help of Mrs. Boverhof and a couple amazing parent volunteers. (10 minutes)
  • Four students at a time will take headshots of each other. They will then import these photographs to a desktop computer, select the image they would like to use, edit it in Photoshop using prebuilt actions, and place it into their InDesign file. (10 minutes per group)
  • Day one goals: Each student’s photo and colors have been selected.


Andy_Warhol_Cans

Day 2

  • Short font discussion followed by directions for their next tasks. (10 minutes)
  • Using templates of various fonts, each student will trace their first name in one font, and their last name in a second font. (40 minutes)
  • Four students at a time will work with me on the computer entering their CMYK values into their InDesign file. (10 minutes per group)
  • Day two goals: Each student’s names have been drawn and colors have been entered.


Visiting_Artist_Fonts

Day 3

  • Explain lighting, camera settings, and the importance of good photography. (5 minutes)
  • Hand out each student’s printed label and help them adhere it to their soup can. (10 minutes)
  • Photograph each can in a professionally lit mobile studio. (25 minutes)
  • Place these new can photographs into an InDesign file for a group poster. (10 minutes)
  • Finish with any questions they have about Art Direction, Photography, Graphic Design, etc. (10 minutes)
  • Day three goal: Survival.


Douglas_Elementary_School_Poster

A Few Takeaways

First, we have amazing kids. Funny. Creative. Energetic. Interested. Helpful… Loud.

Second, my lesson plan was laughable. Seriously, I could write an entire blog on the things that went wrong. I have no idea how our teachers do it.

Third, get involved. Get out of your comfort zone. This project, and many like it, wouldn’t be possible without parent volunteers like you. (Big “Thank you” to all of the parents who helped with this project!)

Last, I wonder how many people in our artsy community will consider this “art”? As one student said, “you’re using a camera, so it’s not really…”

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The Power Of The Pop-Up http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/05/the-power-of-the-pop-up/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/05/the-power-of-the-pop-up/#comments Thu, 04 May 2017 18:44:22 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17719 You’re browsing a site, reading along, when all of a sudden a form or message box pops up. Some times it blocks the content you were reading. You didn’t ask for it or click to view it on your own. They can some times be...

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You’re browsing a site, reading along, when all of a sudden a form or message box pops up. Some times it blocks the content you were reading. You didn’t ask for it or click to view it on your own. They can some times be a little annoying, am I right?

So why are more and more sites using them? The simple answer: they work.

The main purpose of a pop-up is often to provide a very strong call-to-action. They can be a great tool for collecting emails, promoting a sale or promotion, directing users to specific information or offering users a quick, easy way to request more information.

A pop-up on your website can be more beneficial than you think. Pop-ups command attention. Users may have over-looked the information or sign-up opportunity located right on your web page. A pop-up puts that information right in front of your user and demands an action. Studies have shown pop-ups provide an increase in conversions, leads and email collection.

When adding a pop-up to your website, you should follow a few guidelines:

  • Offer something of value in your pop-up. You’re interrupting your user’s browsing experience, make the pop-up be something that will help and benefit your user. Offering free downloads, a promise of a newsletter or prizes can increase conversions.
  • Offer users an easy way to close the window. Always offer an ‘X’ in the corner for a quick window close.
  • Include a ‘Do Not Show Me This Again’ option that users can click. If users click on this box, the pop-up will not appear on their next visit to your site.
  • Choose the appropriate place and time for your pop-up. You don’t need one on every page, be selective and intentional on where you place them.  Also, be selective on when they pop-up – timing can be very important depending on your pop-up content.

Pop-ups are certainly not right for every site, but when used in the appropriate circumstances, can be a highly effective marketing and email collection tool.

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What’s In A Name? A Marketing Opportunity. http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/04/whats-in-a-name-a-marketing-opportunity/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/04/whats-in-a-name-a-marketing-opportunity/#comments Thu, 27 Apr 2017 20:23:29 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17677 MailChimp is a pretty familiar tool to most, with over 15 million using their email marketing services worldwide.[1] Despite its popularity and a name that is relatively easy to pronounce (really, though – imagine being named Iulia), the folks at MailChimp apparently had a history of people mispronouncing the...

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MailChimp is a pretty familiar tool to most, with over 15 million using their email marketing services worldwide.[1] Despite its popularity and a name that is relatively easy to pronounce (really, though – imagine being named Iulia), the folks at MailChimp apparently had a history of people mispronouncing the service. So, did they see this as a marketing opportunity to release a campaign with a pronunciation guide to help educate the masses? Not quite.

 

That’s right. An entire campaign embracing the mispronunciation. Droga, the studio behind the piece, writes on their website, “instead of the expected brand campaign, the company created an ecosystem of additive, artful and playful experiences.”[2]. The Did You Mean MailChimp Campaign pieces include video ads, custom domains and websites, and even short films – just to name a few. It’s loud, it’s humorous, and even playfully informative. Most of all — it’s MailChimp.

This approach won’t necessarily work for everyone, but there are some key takeaways one can learn from this:

1. Tap into a unique (maybe even funny) aspect of your company narrative. 

MailChimp, rather than just correcting the mispronunciation phenomena surrounding its name (or ignoring it and hoping it went away), highlighted the unique ways all of their customers interpret their company.

2. Marry your brand message and tone to the medium(s) you will use.

MailChimp has always had a playful brand, so it’s no wonder that for this campaign they fused the slight absurdity of their messaging with unique platforms. Nothing says playful absurdity like several short films screened in select theaters.

3. Never miss an opportunity to reinforce your brand identity.

The entire Did You Mean MailChimp campaign just felt like MailChimp. They paired bright, vibrant visuals with a tone that was in line with MailChimp’s language throughout their site.

The success of this campaign boiled down to one thing for me — the campaign reflected MailChimp’s service and customer base. The various websites and fake business and movies reflects some of the diversity of those who use MailChimp’s email marketing service. Second, the color and visuals supported the messaging by conveying a sense of ease – a big promise with their platform.

A  playful campaign like this can be very tempting to a lot of companies, but that doesn’t make it the right approach for everyone. Remember that clients do not revisit or recommend brands that feel inauthentic. So, when approaching your next brand campaign, carefully consider how the different components of your brand — from the voice, to the visual elements, to the formats it takes — interact with one another. You might learn more about your brand than you expected.

Signed,
“you-lee-uh”

 

p.s. Check out more of the campaign on MailChimp’s website.

 

Sources

 

[1] mailchimp.com/about

[2] droga5.com/work/did-you-mean-mailchimp

[3] thinkbonfire.com/blog/brand-authenticity-data-infographic

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The Social Media War between Snapchat and Facebook: What it Means for Marketers http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/04/the-social-media-war-between-snapchat-and-facebook-what-it-means-for-marketers/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/04/the-social-media-war-between-snapchat-and-facebook-what-it-means-for-marketers/#comments Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:11:04 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17664 Snap, parent of Snapchat, has a problem—a big one—and it’s Facebook. Ever since Facebook tried to buy Snapchat in 2013 for $3 billion dollars and was spurned, Facebook has been trying to reinvent Snapchat-like features through Instagram, owned by Facebook, and through its main Facebook...

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Snap, parent of Snapchat, has a problem—a big one—and it’s Facebook.

Ever since Facebook tried to buy Snapchat in 2013 for $3 billion dollars and was spurned, Facebook has been trying to reinvent Snapchat-like features through Instagram, owned by Facebook, and through its main Facebook app. Facebook is not hiding the fact that they are holding a grudge. In the past few weeks, Facebook has added several features similar to Snapchat such as a camera with filters and editing tools right in the mobile app, a button to video feeds, not to mention the “live” video feature.

Investors and Wall Street analysts seem to think that Snapchat has plenty of room to grow, probably one reason for the fairly good start of their IPO in March. So, if you’re a business, how do you decide where to allocate time and social media resources amid these changes?

Here’s the lowdown:

PLATFORM DAILY ACTIVE USERS TOTAL USERS BIGGEST DEMOGRAPHIC
Facebook* 1,230 million 1,860 million 25-34
Instagram** 240 million 500 million 25-34
Snapchat** 158 million 300 million 18-24

*Zephoria  **CSD

Note: Statistics vary slightly in timing and according to the source. This is meant for general comparison only.

A wait-and-see approach might be best at this point. Facebook has the potential to preempt its users from switching to Snapchat if they were not Snapchat users before, and therefore, prevent new growth for Snapchat. Current Snapchat users, who are also Facebook users, may find value in having all of the fun stuff integrated into one app, especially if Facebook is better at developing those bells and whistles that seem to attract the under 24 age group, especially the under 17 group. They may drop Snapchat in lieu of Facebook, unless they still want a platform that is mostly free from parents’ watchful eyes. However, Facebook is likely to win on sheer numbers and global reach.

Ultimately, the social media platforms you choose will be driven by your product, target market, overall brand and marketing strategy. If you are clearly aiming for the younger set, Snapchat may be worth the effort. One thing is for sure, it will all be different next week. In the meantime, we can look forward to more interesting developments between the two companies. Stay tuned, this war is far from over.

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Is Audio Overlooked in Marketing? http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/04/is-audio-overlooked-in-marketing/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/04/is-audio-overlooked-in-marketing/#comments Thu, 13 Apr 2017 13:00:48 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17649 Contemporary companies and brands are no strangers to the increasing popularity of integrated campaigns – which can be fueled by social media, experiential design, and even environmental components working in unison. It’s now a knee-jerk reaction for a company to immediately to request a campaign...

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Contemporary companies and brands are no strangers to the increasing popularity of integrated campaigns – which can be fueled by social media, experiential design, and even environmental components working in unison. It’s now a knee-jerk reaction for a company to immediately to request a campaign that hits Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Maybe we’ll throw Pinterest into the mix, just to spice things up.

It’s not a wrong approach, by any means. Statistically, no matter what you post on social media, you’ll get some results. But usually, it takes the backing of a marketing partner’s expertly crafted message and visual to truly succeed. Often this is because this request doesn’t come from an evaluation of previous efforts or a stronger understanding of the target audience, but rather because they saw a similar campaign and want to give it a spin.

But you can go beyond that. Every single marketing effort is an opportunity to establish and reinforce the brand and brand value. With a little ingenuity and a clever marketing team, you can take advantage of existing platforms that might provide a more valuable customer reaction. Chances are, most of your marketing efforts are visual. It’s an approach that fails to acknowledge that humans are wired in the history of storytelling, and our brains continue to favor auditory information.

Audio-based marketing carries a lot of benefits – including lower production costs and inherently dynamic content. Here are two auditory formats and some ideas on how to implement them in your next marketing campaign:

Podcasts

A growing audio medium, podcasts allow you to offer relevant information in a more dynamic, freer format that lends itself to an “on-the-go” audience. This should by no means be an audiobook, but take a more conversational tone. Given the nature of the format, you’ll probably want to experiment with the tone (humor might not be fitting to every subject, for example). Utilize the podcast format to:

  • Build Trust   In addition to factual and relevant information, dynamic voices, interesting conversations, and even guest speakers will deepen a sense of brand trust and credibility.
  • Quickly Provide Valuable Content   Think of a podcast as a living ebook. You’ll want to provide relevant, topical information. Perhaps a service you offer is something you often get questions about? Create a podcast miniseries to dive into a particular subject.
  • Offer Accessibility   Perhaps a significant portion of your target audience has poor eyesight. Perhaps they’re too busy to sit and read an ebook.
  • Solidify Your Brand Voice   Due to the relatively lower production costs, podcasts are a great tool for younger brands or brands in the middle of a refresh to solidify their brand voice and tone by allowing more freedom for experimentation (and iteration).

Spotify

You’re probably no stranger to Pandora and Spotify ads, but have you considered going a bit beyond? Spotify offers more than enough formats for you to get creative.

  • Branded Playlist   The most obvious avenue to take, a branded playlist is a custom playlist that features your logo, an easy way to establish or reinforce a brand connection. Share it on your social media, in a newsletter, or as an email blast freebie.
  • Locale Playlist(s)   Create a soundtrack for an event your brand is a part of, or share a playlist played in a physical location (waiting room, retail location, etc.).
  • Make It Collaborative   Spotify allows you to create a playlist and allow any number of collaborators. Maybe try a competition for the perfect playlist and offer a prize.

 

It’s time to add something new to your marketing. Next up: Smell-o-vision.

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Give Customers What They Want. Two Words: Pink Starburst. http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/04/give-customers-what-they-want/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/04/give-customers-what-they-want/#comments Thu, 06 Apr 2017 15:20:36 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17624 How often are you listening to your customers? How closely are you watching social media posts, reviews on your product, and buying trends? Wrigley’s, the well-known candy company that produces Starburst Fruit Chews, can teach us a thing or two about giving our customers what...

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How often are you listening to your customers? How closely are you watching social media posts, reviews on your product, and buying trends?

Wrigley’s, the well-known candy company that produces Starburst Fruit Chews, can teach us a thing or two about giving our customers what they want.

Starburst recently announced they will soon be releasing limited edition ‘all pink’ packs of their famous candy. Social media and news outlets have been buzzing with the news.

If you’re a Starburst fan like myself, I am sure you can relate to opening a pack of Starburst and searching for those select few pink ones … often pushing the orange and yellow to the side for later.

Social media played a part in the special edition of the candy, according to Matt Montei, Wrigley’s senior director of confections. “On social media we’re seeing people talk about pink Starburst more than any other flavor; there’s even a meme about being treated ‘like a pink Starburst,’” Montei said. “The pink conversation and fanfare has continued to grow, so we decided to act.”

The ‘all pink’ packs will be available in April … just in time for Easter. (coincidence?)

There’s nothing more effective for improving your product or service then listening to the feedback of your customers. So review those social media posts, ask for customer feedback and offer online survey and review opportunities. Give them what they want and they’ll show you even more support and be life-long customers.

(Image via Starburst’s Facebook page.)

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Algorithms Gone Wild http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/03/algorithms-gone-wild/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/03/algorithms-gone-wild/#comments Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:32:47 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17638 You may have heard recently that the British unit of Volkswagen, Hyundai, McDonald’s and L’Oréal dropped some advertising from Youtube when algorithms served up their targeted advertising alongside controversial content, spurring a seething caldron of debate about censorship of user-generated content by Google, a role...

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You may have heard recently that the British unit of Volkswagen, Hyundai, McDonald’s and L’Oréal dropped some advertising from Youtube when algorithms served up their targeted advertising alongside controversial content, spurring a seething caldron of debate about censorship of user-generated content by Google, a role that they are reluctant to take. After all, advertisers should have been aware of how the platform and algorithms work, right?

We are finding out that, through the rich data and sophisticated algorithms at companies like Facebook and Google, we have in some manner achieved the marketer’s ultimate dream as far as being able to segment and target their brands to a highly specific audience but it’s coming at some cost. In the world of ever-changing, user-generated content, advertisers can have a far reach into markets, but sometimes with unintended consequences.

But can you have your cake and eat it too? With ad spending on digital channels surpassing that of traditional linear TV advertising for the first time this year according to eMarketer, companies are starting to take notice. The dilemma is asking Google (and Facebook too) to exert greater control over the user-generated content, which may contradict the fundamental nature of the channel, yet advertisers still want to make use of algorithms to reach their targets. Are we headed down a slippery slope? What about content that is just questionable, or just a little more nuanced?

Google, undoubtedly has no choice in the matter. They will have to find a way to improve their filters or figure out new algorithms that steer ads to a yet more refined audience, lest be threatened with loss of ad revenue. With more powerful artificial intelligence via robust neural networks and deep machine learning, we may find more solutions, as well as more problems, and so therein lies the beauty of the internet and all the ensuing technologies. In the meantime, it’s “buyer beware” for marketers that comes with a promise for more intelligence.

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Does Social Work? http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/03/does-social-work/ http://www.murdochmarketing.com/2017/03/does-social-work/#comments Thu, 23 Mar 2017 20:05:04 +0000 http://www.murdochmarketing.com/?p=17629 How we quantified a social promotion. This post will not answer every digital question facing your company. What it will do, is outline a highly successful cross-platform social media campaign we currently ran for one of our clients. The first step in any promotion is...

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How we quantified a social promotion.
This post will not answer every digital question facing your company. What it will do, is outline a highly successful cross-platform social media campaign we currently ran for one of our clients.

The first step in any promotion is to define your objectives. Are you trying to expand your reach? Establish your brand? Sell your product? For our example, we planned to do all three with an emphasis on expanding reach. Specifically, we planned to increase our Facebook following by 10%, increase our email mailing list by 15%, gain 25% more YouTube subscribers, and sell more product.

With our objectives clearly defined, our next step was to create a promotion and social plan. After considering our goals, budget, and the odds of this promotion “going viral”… here’s what we did:

1. Established a Baseline

2. Found Partners
We approached two non-competing companies, with products in the same market as our client, and asked them to donate a product to our promotion in exchange for the exposure this promotion would provide.

3. Developed a Promotion
WIN a FREE (awesome product), (partner product A), (partner product B), this accessory, that accessory, those accessories, and more in our New Years Giveaway! We then built a page on their website and gave users three chances to enter… encouraging them to enter three times.
       1. Share this promotion on Facebook.
       2. Subscribe to our YouTube channel.
       3. Sign up for our Newsletter.

4. Built our Assets
Our messaging focused on clarity and quickly digested content, while our visual goal was to gain attention, evoke excitement, and hold our clients brand. Copy and graphics were developed for multiple social channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, and email.

5. Communicated
With creative assets in hand and a valuable award on the line … spreading the word was the easy part. We released our message across our client and partners’ social channels. We strategically promoted a few posts early in the contest to jump-start our initial reach. And then nurtured the organic growth by following up on conversations, tweets, shares, and doing our best to fan the flames. (Tip: Genuine interaction is one of the best-kept secrets in social).

6. We Delivered
When all was said and done, we delivered…

In Review
The statistics for this promotion are clear, we exceeded our objectives.


1. We increased our Facebook following by 11.3% and our promotion was shared over 13,000 times.
2. We more than doubled our email mailing list, increasing our contacts by 106.2%.
3. We gained 690.3% more YouTube subscribers. No, that is not a typo.
What isn’t shown in these social media statistics is that this promotion moved the bottom line. Significantly. It was truly a tipping point for our client, as online sales went from five units per day to twelve, and those are numbers we can hang our hat on.

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