Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Video Marketing: Tips for telling your best brand story

When it comes to quickly and effectively delivering a brand message, there is power in video marketing. According to data from Brightcove, social video generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined; and video drives a whopping 157% increase in organic traffic from search engines.

Why is video important?

At Shamrock, we see video as an absolute essential for helping our clients tell their stories: Video provides instant brand gratification. And regardless of industry or budget, it’s a channel easily incorporated into your marketing program.

Above all, video is the trend in marketing: It is estimated that 80% of all internet traffic will be video by 2019. (Cisco)

How can you put video to work for your brand?

Creating original, compelling, relevant content that makes a brand connection with your audience—that’s the ultimate goal of video marketing. There’s a lot of great ideas for videos that meet that criteria: Roundup The Team—take a camera around the office and have people briefly speak about the latest product introduction or community service project; focus on Live Customer Service—create a montage that captures customer service and value in action; or develop an enticing How We Do It video that shows behind-the-scenes innovation. 

Click below to access social video marketing tips—this MarketingProfs infographic covers it all from video topics and recommended length, to the pros and cons of each channel: 

https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2028/33411/social-video-marketing-tips-for-small-businesses-infographic
Click here to view
A recent study from Ascend2 concurs with MarketingProfs, citing the most effective video for converting sales leads include these topics:
  • customer testimonials
  • demo videos
  • explainer/tutorial videos
What’s great about these video themes is that the scripts practically write themselves: Capturing a testimonial or demonstrating a product or service are stories that authentically speak to your brand and its benefit to your customers. In other words: You know your brand best, so use that information to tell your story through video. Grab your device and get started.

All The Best,
Tim Connor

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

11 Tips For Successful Event Marketing 2018

A successful special event takes more than an engaging program and an open bar, it requires strategic marketing to drive attendance at, and create a buzz surrounding, the event experience.

Following is an essential event marketing checklist to keep the effort on track:
  1. Why/Who? Consider these questions first: Why and to whom are you marketing your event? Is this an annual meeting? A women in leadership event? The answers will shape messaging and drive marketing decisions.
  2. Invitations. Start with a save-the-date (card or email) 8 weeks out; and 4 weeks prior, follow with an invitation that provides complete event details.
  3. Survey. Send out a survey prior to the event—the responses will help shape content and can be used to generate ideas for session topics, speakers, etc.
  4. Content. Make it relevant to your audience. If it’s not, leave it out.
  5. Email. Take advantage of your regular email campaign schedule and use that as a platform to promote your event.
  6. Blog. Beginning four weeks prior to your event, blog weekly. Add videos to engage your audience: If you have footage from the previous year’s event, use that to drive interest and excitement; or create new video highlighting speakers, entertainment, venue, etc.
  7. Homepage link. In all communication (email, blog, social channels) provide a link back to your event homepage where people can register.
  8. Social media. Take advantage of all social media channels to market your event before, during and after. Facebook is the most popular social media choice leading up to and after an event, while Twitter holds the top spot during events. (Source: FreemanXP, Event Marketing Institute)
  9. Track results. Check to see what’s working from the links in different channels (i.e., email, blog, facebook). Redeploy as applicable.
  10. Promo items. Consider your audience and put thought into choosing a useful and/or unique gift.
    click here to view
  11. Branded convenience. In addition to gifts, make added brand impressions with on-site conveniences: Supply pens, notepads and device charging stations (how can they tweet with low battery?). Watch the video below:
Prior to the event, I always meet with my team to help outline individual charges: During the event, who do you want to meet? What are you hoping to glean? What does that conversation look like? 

This is the event marketing framework that I’ve found to be most useful. Are there other items that you would add? Connect with me
@ msmith@shamrockcompanies.net.

Megan Smith

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Make Timely Brand Connections Using Digital Targeting

We’ve all felt the rush of finding ourselves in the exactly the right place at the right time—like when the front spot in the over-crowded parking lot opens just as you pull up, or when the price of airfare drops the day you’re ready to book a flight.

Digital targeting creates that same sense of instant satisfaction. With your brand.
 
It positions your brand directly in front of your customers, at the right time, in precisely the right place and on the right device. Using this powerful one-to-one digital technology, you’re able to serve targeted content to your prospects, with incredible accuracy: It brings the location-specific accuracy of direct mail to digital advertising.
 
There’s a variety of digital targeting applications that can provide exceptional ROI for your marketing dollars. Here’s a few examples of how digital targeting technology can be used to make smarter, more effective brand connections:
  • send targeted display ads, video ads or trigger-based direct mail to your prospects’ homes (based on linking their postal addresses to their IPs)
  • capture people’s Device IDs at events they attend, where they work, where they study, where they shop—and then map the device back to a household address for targeting
  • take your CRM (or new customer list) and target their neighbors with ads
In so many instances in life, timing is everything. The exciting aspect of digital targeting is that it takes our marketing game to the next level—now we can use both time and place to our advantage. It allows for a stronger, more engaging brand connection.
 
If you’re interested in learning more about digital targeting, I’d love the chance to talk to you. Connect with me directly bdegarmo@shamrockcompanies.net
 
Bob De Garmo
 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Marketing Tips for Nonprofits

Nonprofit marketing requires a delicate balance. Often strapped with doing a lot more with a lot less, you still have to find a way to stand out among the other nonprofits vying for donors’ attention—and dollars.

As a nonprofit, your advantage is your story. By harnessing the power of that story and communicating with your audience in an effective and authentic way, you’re one step closer to converting those connections into brand advocates or even champions for your cause. Here are 10 marketing tips that can help you get there:
  1. Make your message clear. Let people know who you are and what you stand for. Transparency is important: Donors want to understand exactly how their money being spent and the impact it will have.
  2. Create content. Content marketing is a powerful way to demonstrate to donors what you stand for and to share your passion about your goals. Use a marketing automation platform to manage your outreach with greater efficiency.
  3. Have a solid social media plan. To reach donors, you need to connect with them where they are—and facebook, twitter, Instagram and Snapchat is where they reside. Post regular content and place ads on these channels and take advantage of analytics to ensure the best ROI.
  4. Use hashtags. You can create your own (both brand- and event/campaign-specific) and also use popular nonprofit hashtags to boost your visibility in searches: #charity, #DoGood and #volunteer are great options. 
  5. Take SEO seriously. For donors to give money, they have to be able to find you online—so embed social media feeds, ads, blogs and key words to boost SEO.
  6. Use video. Tools like Adobe Creative Cloud and Canva make it affordable to edit and create great video content. Then post on social platforms that allow you to livestream content; and embed clips in email campaigns, on your website, etc.
  7. Write a blog. This platform gives you the opportunity to share more about your cause and to tell your brand story.
  8. Engage social media influencers. According to TapInfluence, “influencer content on social media earns more than 8X the engagement rate of brand-direct content.” Connect with influencers who align with your cause for added visibility.
  9. Forge partnerships. Reach out to other nonprofits, corporations and organizations that are in sync with your mission and your values for organic cross-promotion opportunities.
  10. Use digital apps. Digital tech apps offer unique functionality ideal for events: push notifications, GPS/map features, schedule of events, social media tags, response polling, video links, program updates—the list goes on.
As with any brand-promoting effort, the key to nonprofit marketing success is to use an integrated strategy that employs multiple channels as part of one seamless campaign.
 
What is the most memorable non-profit marketing campaign that caught your attention? Chime in on our Facebook page.
 
Tim Connor

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

5 Corporate Apparel Trends to Follow

Know your audience. It’s the basic first-step when you’re approaching any marketing task—and making corporate apparel selections is no exception. Whether you’re buying branded items for your own team or purchasing apparel as gifts or giveaways for clients and vendors, start by first considering who you’re targeting.

Millennials have surpassed Gen Xers and Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the U.S. labor force—so, if you’re looking to reach these decision-makers and influencers with your apparel offerings, then speak their language. These top trends should help you make the right choices:

1. Athleisure
Blending activewear with comfortable, street-savvy style is on trend. Athleisure gives people the best of both worlds: casual, stylish apparel they can wear outside the office. This apparel choice offers comfort and adaptability—it can go from the gym to the office or lunch. Look for style as well as performance features such as moisture-wicking fabric, UV protection and/or antimicrobial properties that keep fabrics fresh. Consider subtle branding like tone-on-tone logo for a refined look.

2. Vintage
What’s old is new again: The broken-in, weathered look is in. Super soft-feel vintage t-shirts are very popular; they are as comfortable as they are stylish. Raglan baseball shirts and varsity-inspired jackets are also making a comeback. Check out this video that features one of our Shamrock vendors that offers beautiful quality and great designs in customized vintage apparel:

click here to view

3. Bright color
Bold, bright colors are making a statement. (Pantone named Ultra Violet as its 2018 Color of the Year.) But you don’t have to go with a neon shirt or pullover to be current. We’re seeing splashes of color used in accent stitching, in logo treatments, on reflective stripes and cording, and more.

4. Functionality
When it comes to branded corporate apparel millennials and Xers expect more out of their garments: They want style and quality, but also with extra performance and functionality such as comfort/stretch, lightweight/warmth or wind repellant/slim fit. 

5. Responsibility
The apparel you choose to represent your brand says a lot about your company and the values that are important to your organization. Choosing organic or recycled fabrics, eco-responsibly sourced materials and socially-conscious brands are all opportunities to make a brand statement in a subtle but powerful way.

Connect with me at tberry@shamrockcompanies.net if you’d like to learn more about brand-driven corporate apparel solutions.

Tim Berry

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Make Tangible Brand Connections with Experiential Marketing

More experiences. Less stuff. That pretty much sums up the millennial mindset. Today, more young adults are choosing experiences over possessions…like travel over a new car; or concert tickets instead of designer shoes.

Experiences matter—not only in everyday life, but also in marketing. The rise of experiential marketing gives today’s mobile-driven consumers what they want: A firsthand, engaging and tangible connection with your brand.

Creating these brand experiences is simply smart business: According to data from the Event Marketing Institute, 72% of consumers say they view brands that provide quality experiences more positively, and nearly three-quarters said that when they can engage with a brand's experience, they're more likely to invest in its products or services.

When you consider that 49% of people create mobile video at branded events — 39% of which is shared on Twitter — it makes sense to incorporate subtle branding in a way that can be shared socially to drive recognition beyond the event or experience.

A great example of experiential marketing done right is Google’s Mini Donut Shop experience: To promote the new Google Home Mini automated assistant—which happens to be the size of a donut—Google opened pop-up donut stores in strategic cities. They welcomed visitors inside where they were met by conveyor belts moving donuts and Google Minis throughout the space. When the customer asked the Mini a question, a donut box slid down the conveyor and onto the counter—some boxes contained donuts, and others, the new Google Home Mini. Watch the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seJiMKOE6kA
Google Home Mini Donut Shop

The campaign was a success because it was engaging, unexpected and multi-sensory—there was a “sprinkle” booth that showered customers with confetti. Combining Google and irresistible donuts was a genius idea that created a viral celebration surrounding the brand.
If you can’t go as big as Google with a pop-up store experience, consider borrowing a few of the essential elements from the campaign: Create a non-venue venue (in a park, a neighborhood, a lobby, etc.); create/encourage interaction with your product; provide a giveaway; and create a hashtag to drive social media sharing.

Can you think of an experiential marketing campaign that caught your attention? Join the conversation on Facebook.