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5 things that will tell you what good looks like?

28 Jul

By Tim McKane

What makes a good web site? Or a good digital campaign or good advertising?

 

The change that digital marketing has brought about is that you can now measure good. You can track people’s level of engagement through use of analytics.

  1. What is the click through rate from Google to your page? Do you know what the industry standard is for a good click through from impressions?
  2. How long do they stay on your site? Is a minute good or bad?
  3. How many pages have they looked at? Is four a positive result?
  4. Have they come back for a second look?
  5. Have they left you some way of getting in touch?

Good advertising can be measured by results, but more often than not is about whether people like the creative treatment or not.

Good digital is all about statistics and data. 

Memoirs of a Marketing Man

24 Jul

By Tim Mckane

1 – How I got my start….nepotism…

Cookstown Sausages Image

I was sitting at the dinner table in May 1968. It was sunny (wasn’t it always). There were butterflies flitting in and out of the open windows, and bees buzzing around the roses that were beginning to bloom. The shafts of sunlight showed the midges having a great time.

We were sitting down to a salad. A real salad, not one of your new fangled comes in a pot with lots of peppers. This was a hard-boiled egg, a tomato, a slice or two of ham, some lettuce, there was only one kind of lettuce, green and floppy, some new potatoes and dollops of salad cream.

Dad looked up.

“Guess who I was talking to today?”

I guessed. Bobby Charlton. No, Dennis Law. No. The Queen?

“George Best”

No. Impossible. No-one spoke to George Best. He was a God. He was the superstar of Manchester United. He had scored in the European Cup final a couple of weeks before. He had beaten Scotland single handed. He was my one and only hero.

“He’s agreed to do an ad for us. Cookstown Sausages.”

The rest is history. I got to meet George, in Newtownards at a Northern Ireland training session. He was a nice guy, and I was very nervous and small (that changed, the last time I met George I was my fully grown 6-4).

But when Dad talked about the ads that he made, he would always bring it back to the reason for Cookstown paying George £500 and for the media time on UTV.

Sales went from five tons a week to over 100 tons a week.  Ivan Bell, the sales manager at the time, told me about saying to the van drivers that if George scored (a goal) to tell the shopkeepers to remind the Mums, and they would buy another packet of sausages.

I started work when still at school in the afternoon. I worked in the summer, doing anything that was needed, including reception, answering calls, driving the van to the papers to deliver the copy. I learned how to use the bromide camera (high tech).

Yes, I got my opportunity through nepotism, but I also put my time in. I didn’t put on a suit until I was 24, and by then knew all about production, media and creative (Letraset anyone?)

And I knew the secret. It is all about sales.

 

Can you Kickstart your business idea to success?

23 May

 

At the beginning of the week the first full official trailer for “I wish I was here” was released.  The film, which will premier in July, has been funded by a hugely successful Kickstarter project.  The project gained 46,520 backers, exceeding its $2 million target by well over another million.

 

 

Writer and director Zach Braff has stayed in touch with his backers with regular email updates, including links to interesting content such as the movies soundtrack, they will get an invite to an exclusive online screening and a PDF of the script before its release date.

The whole online experience is one businesses should aspire to. Instead of ineffectively targeting a mass audience with behind the scenes clips Zach Braff has released so much content exclusively to his backers that they feel they are part of the project. The project’s backers have become more than loyal and engaged customers, they have become marketers of the film who share their experience online and with their friends.

But how does a Kickstarter project become so successful?

While it certainly helped that Zach Braff is already a famous actor and director, his Kickstarter success cannot be attributed to this alone. Music artist Bjork and Zosia Mamet, actress in HBO’s hit series Girls are among celebrities who have tried and failed.

The idea

Firstly, before you do anything online you have to have an idea that people actually want to see happen. It has to be unique, not a copycat idea. Check out the t-shirt below, if somebody actually wanted a t-shirt this cringey they could easily order one online.
Captureq

Here’s another idea that simply doesn’t make sense…it looks like they have draped a necklace over a shoe and for a laugh decided to see if someone would be stupid enough to back it.

Capturex

The Reward

Rewards are there to persuade people to back your project. People don’t give away their money for nothing, make it worth their while. Zach Braff’s rewards were great, his top backer who donated $10,000 will get to be a cast member, with a spoken line and star treatment, they’ll also get rewards given to other backers such as an invite and plus 1 to the premiere and afterparty, art prints, a t-shirt, soundtrack, production diary and script.

On the other hand Melissa Joan Hart (Sabrina the Teenage Witch actress) another celebrity who failed at her Kickstarter attempt, offered the reward for backers who contributed $300 that she would follow them on Twitter, a tad egotistical… I mean if she was in the league of Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie maybe this approach might have worked!

The video

Your video is your pitch, you have to engage with your audience quickly or they will hit stop and click on to the next project. This video is visual, comic and interesting the project gained over double the funds it required because people loved the idea and how it was presented.

The below video is an example of how not to promote your project. The video is dull and un-engaging from the offset so that you don’t want to watch more than a few seconds. Their idea might be useful but they need to quickly draw in their audience with the use of humour, shock or emotion.

Online promotion

Less than half of Kickstarter projects reach their target goal, and 12% don’t even manage to get one single backer, not even a sympathetic family member or loyal friend. Often Kickstarter will promote projects that are doing well as staff picks, you have to create your own support and following before you can feature here and hopefully get the backing of a wider audience.

Prior to launching your project on Kickstarter build awareness online, so that when your project goes live it will start gaining backers. You might think more funding time is better, but don’t want your Kickstarter project to be online too long, you want to create a sense of urgency. Kickstarter campaigns lasting for 30 days have around a 35% chance of success whereas campaigns lasting for 60 days have just a 29% chance of success. That’s why investing time and promotion prior the the launch is hugely important.

Create a blog for awareness, try to get others to feature it in their own blogs by guest blogging on a regular basis. Create a form to collect email addresses of people who are interested in your project, so that you can email them when you launch it on Kickstarter. Join niche interest forms on Reddit to engage with those who may be interested in backing you.

You have to be dedicated enough to plug your project constantly on your social channels and pester your friends into sharing as well. You have to create your own hype before your project will start to get noticed amongst the competition on Kickstarter. This is easier said than done though. Try creating a page on Facebook for your project and promoting it with targeted ads. If your project is to create an local art project for example target those in your area who enjoy art.

Kickstarter can be a great source for funding your project; especially if it’s something out of the ordinary, but you have to be prepared to put in the effort elsewhere online to make it work. Don’t forget to make it worthwhile for your backers also!

Sudden changes from Snapchat

2 May

By Viki McAdoo

Over 700 million disappearing Snapchats are sent a day, that’s doubled since this time last year and with its latest update it is sure to double again. Just when everyone over the age of 14 had got their head around Snapchat, it’s updated. Snapchat now comes complete with an instant chat feature as well as live video chat functions. Many brands have been unsure of how to use it but gradually big players and smaller players are embracing it.

The latest surprise update has taken the social media world by storm causing chaos and confusion as the tutorial snap was watched. What’s it about? Let me explain…

It’s taking on the giants

When Facebook bought over the instant messaging giants WhatsApp it seemed like a direct move into the instant messaging marketplace. It was however, a move to monopolies the marketplace and increase downloads of Facebooks Messenger app which just happens to come complete with Skype-like calling services now integrated. Facebook are aggressively pursuing an acquisitions arms race and Snapchat put a hurdle in their way. In 2013, 23-year-old Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel rejected a $3 billion offer from Mark Zuckerberg reportedly because he sensed weakness and opportunity. Snapchat have just upped their game in this arms race which is becoming less about what you can buy and more about what you can develop.

It’s going to mean changes for your brand

Snapchats update should result in a new, slightly older segment of users. This means brands need to once again reassess what segment they can actually target using Snapchat, and how to do it.
Real life interactions with customers and consumers are coming ever closer for brands. Although at the moment the live feature is only applicable for person to person conversations, with time and patience it could become a really innovative way to show behind the scenes in sites. As a promotional tool it could be used as part of a competition, locking customers into starting a live conversation with you and then choosing a winner from those involved in live conversations.

It’s veering away from its traditional USP

I am a bit dubious. Snapchat rose to fame in a quick bolt of lightning because they were masters of one very simple and still very unique thing – they were masters of disappearance. There are aspects of the new feature which stay true to their disappearing act – all conversations disappear once both participants have left the conversation. This novelty is one that hasn’t been adopted by direct competitors.

Also, because users are always aware that snaps or the new conversations will disappear they focus and absorb all content – a VERY useful tool for marketers. In Snapchat’s blog post they have said, “Until today, we felt that Snapchat was missing an important part of conversation: presence. There’s nothing like knowing you have the full attention of your friend while you’re chatting,” but I don’t agree. Half the enjoyment in Snapchat was using facial expressions to say a thousand words to friends, but for brands it the attention that is valuable.

For now the Snapchat update has limited marketing options for brands but I suspect in the coming months this will change as Snapchat succumb to the need to monetise their app and users. Watch this space.

Four Twitter changes affecting your brand

14 Apr

By Dee Jardine

Here are the main changes that are being rolled out and how you can use them to your brand’s advantage.

1) Profile redesign

Twitter is moving away from profiles that look text heavy in favour of larger images, this might look a lot more like Facebook, but is in fact a good thing as visual marketing is proving big so far in 2014. With the realisation that in an overpopulated world of online advertising customer’s attention spans are growing shorter, more and more brands are getting to grips with Snapchat, Instagram and Pinterest marketing, all heavily image focused.  This gives you the opportunity to show your brand’s personality at a glance with an image rather than words.

How Starbucks are using the new page today.

Starbucks new Twitter page

2) A wider audience

Twitter have made this change to appeal to a wider audience who enjoy sharing content and interacting with friends, but are daunted by the unfamiliar look of twitter and its long feed of text. Those who are more comfortable with the style of Facebook may be more likely to join Twitter now too. If twitter can widen their audience, you widen your potential audience also, with a wider reach on your #hashtags.

3) Filter your timeline by Tweets, Tweets and replies, or Tweets with photos and videos

You will now be able to be more creative about the look of your Twitter profile page and represent your company in the best way for your brand.  Customers will immediately see you how you want to be seen. You can pin your most relevant and popular tweets to the top of your page to send a clear brand image and to make it easier for your customers to find the information they are look for, for example details about offers or ongoing competitions.

4) The more you engage the bigger your Tweet

Tweets with the most Retweets and favourites appear larger and more prominently on your feed.  This is great for any brand that can engage with their market, with a few retweets and responses your tweet will increase in size making it more eye-catching to a wider audience, again increasing your potential to engage.

There is also the rumour that along with Twitter labelling your Tweet as “low”, “medium” or “high” affecting its presence in your customers feeds, Twitter may also give companies the opportunity to pay for a “high” ranking allowing them to ensure their content is seen by more people.

Microsoft Scroogled Again

21 Mar

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. If you heard an almighty thump recently coming from Redmond, Washington, it was probably the sound of Microsoft falling from their high horse.

Email Wars
The Softies have spent considerable time and effort recently painting themselves as the good guys to Google’s bad guys in the Outlook.com v Gmail war. Jonny wrote in depth about it here, but in essence, they championed their “we don’t scan your email” approach whereas “evil Google” do.

scroogled.com

scroogled.com

So far, so good. Except no one told the marketing department that Microsoft do scan your inbox and, worse, actually have people read your mail. Where’s the ethical high horse now?

Microsoft have been going to great lengths to tell anyone who will listen that they’ve done nothing wrong. The T&Cs of Hotmail, Outlook.com’s predecessor, allowed them to read the bloggers email and they were looking for someone stealing corporate secrets.

Maybe that makes it all OK. But if you position your company as the ethical white knight, you can’t throw that positioning out of the window because it’s a bit inconvenient.

Much like when Google admitted scanning emails for marketing purposes, this revelation is unlikely to lead to millions of users dumping their accounts and switching service. But there is a salient lesson in there for marketing teams and corporate culture.

Brand lesson
Your brand isn’t just what’s written on your posters, published on your website or rolled out in marketing campaigns with amusing titles. It’s the sum total of what people think and feel about your company when they see or interact with your firm.

Microsoft have fallen into the trap of operating in silos (maybe that’s inevitable with over 100,000 people in the company) but it doesn’t have to be this way.

When you’re developing your digital marketing, remain authentic to what your company is and what your company does. Just because you’re operating on social media doesn’t mean you have to start talking like da kidz. We’ve got a name for that here at Navajo: putting a baseball hat on it. And we don’t like it!

Be credible, be authentic, let your brand emerge from within the company and reflect back at your stakeholders – customers, shareholders, staff – what it means to them. Don’t try and chase cheap column inches or get one up on competitor with short term gimmicks because, as Microsoft has shown, that’s a good way to find yourself scroogled.

Ireland, Digital Marketing And The Big Bang

20 Mar

Okay. I’ll admit it. The Big Bang makes my head hurt.

So when I hear that the people who seem to have a level of creative thinking (one that makes my development of a number of good, indeed prize winning, advertising campaigns seem somewhat mundane) talk about the beginning of the universe, I get lost.

For example, where did the Big Bang happen thirteen odd billion years ago? Apparently that is the wrong question, as it happened everywhere at once, or something along those lines. And what did it bang into? Don’t go there…

Ireland Inspires The World

So here is my take on it, inspired a little by the #irelandinspires video on YouTube.

The Irish, both North and South, have expanded like a big bang across the world. Starting on a small island with a tiny population, we now see that there are millions of Irish people spread across the world, particularly in the US. Everywhere you go there will be someone who knows someone who knows you…if you are from Ireland. (Other people from other countries don’t believe this – but it is true).

Space Invaders

The expansion of digital and social media has mirrored the expansion of the Irish. The video game Space Invaders gave us the first hint of things to come. In one summer every player knew the cheats. How, before the internet? Simply by word of mouth (we are talking 1979 here). People exchanged information that must have come from one person working for Atari, and it exploded around the world. In Belfast, Fergie brought it back to us from the US.

Now you have connections everywhere all the time. Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Whatsapp, Tumblr and more are the multiple big bangs of communications. You can trace these. From a bedroom in Harvard, an office in California, a garage in Idaho (I think I made that one up). And like the Big Bang they are expanding at an exponential rate, with more people spending more time on more forms of communication than ever before.

So we start with the Universe, go to Ireland and end up with digital media – what does it tell you?

That I wrote a blog inspired by two things; St. Patrick and a tremor in the first trillionth of a trillionth of a second…