Innovative Marketing – No One Can Resist a Big Red Button

If you came across a big red button saying “Push to Add Drama” in a quiet pedestrianised square, could you resist? This was the premise for the interactive ad campaign of Flemish HD channel TNT. We won’t ruin the surprise by telling you what happened next – you can watch the video below – but the innovative marketing strategy won not one but FIVE gold medals at the 59th International Festival of Creativity at Cannes, with the viral video becoming the second most-shared commercial on the internet worldwide.

We love this ad, not only in the way it’s staged and executed, but in particular the way in which it entices its audience in an irresistible and innovative way. And if you think about it, all the best marketing plans do… When you’re constructing your own adverts and marketing content, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. As consumers and audience members, what do we want? We don’t want the hard sell, or a convoluted series of requirements to get something ‘for free’. We want to be entertained, shocked, impressed and informed. We want to be given something for nothing, be it a couple of minutes’ of fun, or a genuine freebie that makes us buy into the brand behind it.

So next time you’re putting together a marketing campaign, top of your list should be how to get your customers to “push the big red button”…

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

Integrating Online Marketing for Small Businesses

So, last month we talked about how to identify your target audience in our post on local marketing  in Milton Keynes. Today’s post is about how to begin integrating the different elements of your online marketing plan, including blogs, ads and social media profiles.

There are three points to consider here:

1) Cohesion

Firstly, you need to ensure that your branding is consistent across the different platforms you use – so your website, blog, social media profiles and advertising all carry your logo, perhaps your tagline and the same or similar colour schemes and imagery. You want all your marketing online to work cohesively together so that when a customer finds you on a new platform they instantly recognise that it belongs to your business. This not only keeps things from getting confusing, but it also fosters trust and familiarity.

The same goes with the keywords, titles and usernames you use. If your website is called: “Small Business Milton Keynes” but your Facebook account is something like “MK-MiniBusiness”, it won’t be immediately clear that they’re one and the same, and your customers certainly won’t be able to find you using the search option.

Another thing you want to keep consistent is your tone. Your business should have its own personality and social media is a fantastic way of getting this across. Are you humorous? Well-informed? Irreverent? Serious? If you don’t know what kind of ‘voice’ your company should have, look at your core values, goals and target audience – what does your business stand for and what kind of person are you aiming to attract?

All these things may change, adapt and adjust over time, but it’s important to keep things cohesive and recognisable, so that all the different facets of your online marketing act as ‘divisions’ of your company rather than separate entities.

2) Connection

There are two main types of connection we’re talking about here. First, there’s connection between your brand and your various points of contact online. There’s no point having a website, blog and social media profiles if they’re not connected with each other. The purpose of using different platforms for your internet marketing is that they serve as different outlets for your customers to interact with your company. It’s very simple to add a Facebook or Twitter button to your website pages and blog posts, or link from one to another using social media, and yet we’re often asked, “Why is no one ‘liking’ my Facebook page?” when there’s no direct link to it from the webpage – how are customers meant to know it exists? You can also use blog posts to link to internal content and remind users that they can get in touch with you in a variety of different ways.

The other type of connection that’s important is, of course,  connection with your customers. Once you have set up the different ways for your customers to find information and content about your business, you also need some sort of platform for them to contact you online. Social media goes beyond the slow and often impersonal dialogue of email, and allows your customers to reach you in real-time, and share their experiences, questions – and yes, complaints – in public. When you start adding content to your social media profiles, think about what your followers want to know or hear about. Tap into your demographic and make it reciprocal; provide them with discounts, promotions and exclusive information about your products and business, and in return they will give you recommendations and market research information for free, within your conversation.

If you are running a local marketing campaign, make sure you are making connections with other local businesses, groups and individuals who relate to your industry or company. Look into ways to cross-promote and mutually support complementary businesses to increase your audience.

3) Efficiency

Finally, you need to find a way to make your online marketing efficient and cost-effective. This means becoming organised in how you approach your social media management. It’s no good occasionally logging on to Facebook and posting a link here and there. If you are going to use social media as part of your internet marketing strategy, then you must treat it like any other part of your campaign and monitor, measure and adapt it according to its performance. Implement social tracking and analytics on your site and social profiles, and study what kind of content receives the best response from your followers. You can manage multiple social media profiles in a client dashboard like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to make things simple, or schedule blog posts ahead of time to ensure your content is going out regularly.

To start with, write a list of basic tasks that need to be done every day (such as checking your social accounts, looking at relevant daily news and any messages you need to respond to) and get into a routine of making sure they get ticked off. Set aside research and development time each week to look at trends within your industry, current news and what your competitors are up to. Think of short and long term goals you want to achieve with your online marketing and work towards them methodically – a very real danger of using social media for business is the tendency to get distracted and run away with the social element of things, while your original business intentions get left behind!

integrate online marketing for small businesses

We hope some of these tips will give you a good starting point in your online marketing plan – this is just a brief overview of the kinds of things you should be thinking about, but if you want more help please get in touch with us at Ikroh.com. We’ll be going into more detail about making valuable social connections, organising your social marketing and creating a cohesive brand in future blog posts, as well as more ideas on local marketing in Milton Keynes, so keep your eye out for those on the Ikroh blog soon!

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

What’s the Deal with Facebook Promoted Posts?

Facebook Promoted Posts

Run for the hills! Facebook have changed something! Arrghhh!

Ahem.

If this sounds like your reaction to the roll-out of Promoted Posts, then get yourself a cuppa, sit down, and read this post.

First: Stop freaking out.

Second: Have a biscuit.

Third: Your Facebook page has not suddenly lost ranking or visibility, so let’s calm down and see what’s going on here.

Facebook Promoted Posts

When Facebook made its new Promoted Posts feature public, it also added information to the bottom of every post you create, telling you how many people you reached (both organically and virally) and what percentage of your fans this makes up. What Promoted Posts aims to do is make sure that a greater number of your ‘likers’ sees your posts in their timeline when it might not ordinarily do so. The introduction of Promoted Posts has not decreased your visibility, it’s just offering you more. At a price, of course.

Facebook are now in effect monetising posts by offering page owners the option of paying to increase the visibility of their status updates. This means when you write a status update, you’ll see a little drop-down option asking if you want to “promote this post”. You’ll then get the option to decide how much you want to spend according to the potential audience reached. I italicise that because there’s no guarantee that your spend will equate to the actual numbers quoted.  For many bog-standard posts, expect about half that total. However, write an engaging and interesting status that provokes lots of interaction and you might be looking at a higher number.

But isn’t that the same without promoted posts?

Well, yeah. And it’s what you should be doing anyway if you want to reach more than the average 9%-16% of fans that most pages actually are visible to. Yep, we know, it’s a measly little percentage, but that’s the way it is, and it’s nothing new. But rather than bitch and moan about it, let’s look at the numbers on each post and try to make them BIGGER.

So, let’s say you write a neat little status on your page. Out of 1000 fans, you may have only reached 16% (ie 160 people), but the total number of Facebook users who saw your post is generally higher than that (something like 210 people, perhaps). As your fans click, like, share and comment on your status, it spreads into their timelines and becomes visible to their friends, too. Nothing new here, but to boost those numbers, you have to entice your fans into taking action and interacting with your posts.

A lot of page owners have been freaking out thinking that the introduction of Promoted Posts had somehow minimised their visibility – in effect, blackmailing them into paying to having their statuses appear in their fans’ timelines. The thing is, the Facebook algorithm hasn’t changed – you were only reaching that number before Promoted Posts arrived – the only change is that now you know about it.

So what ya gonna do?

The short answer is: be more interesting.

The long answer goes something like this:

The average Facebook business page reaches less than 20% of their fans with each post they write. Not great, but then, we only see a very small percentage of our friends’ statuses in our newsfeed. If we saw everything that everyone posted, all the time, we’d be wading through thousands of baby pictures and meal descriptions and spam and check-ins every time we logged on.

Facebook’s algorithm takes it upon itself to decide which of your friends’ statuses and which posts from pages you’ve ‘liked’ are important enough to appear in your timeline. That depends on several things. Firstly, their posts must be relevant to the kinds of things you’re interested in and post about yourself. It also depends heavily on the amount of interaction you have with that particular person or page – the more likes, shares and comments a post has, the more visible it becomes. Finally, there’s a time issue – the older the post, the less weight it carries – hence Promoted Posts only being available to recent posts and only over a period of three days.

Fairly standard stuff, right? So why are people surprised when their uninspiring sales pitch posts are only hitting the 7% mark? And at this point, should you be diving right in to promoting posts or writing ads that STILL aren’t going to reach as many fans as you’d like, because they’re just not engaging enough?

Facebook Promoted Posts

By all means, play about with Promoted Posts, see what you find (here’s an example of a basic test that compares Promoted Posts to Facebook Advertising, to give you an idea of what to expect), but really it comes down to this: if the new insights have made you aware that your page isn’t doing as well as you though it was, CHANGE SOMETHING.

And by something, I mean everything: what you’re posting, why you’re posting it, how you’re phrasing your statuses, who you’re connecting with and even what time of day you’re posting. Research shows that most users respond more readily to images and videos than links and plain text. Open questions are going to provoke more of a conversation than closed (yes/no) questions. Self-promotion turns into spam when there’s no dialogue with your audience…

We’re going to go into this in more depth in another post, but for now, consider this (ridiculous) example (sorry, it’s Friday):

Type of status that receives 7% (or less) visibility: “Click here for something about rhinos.”

Type of status that organically receives more like 25-30% visibility: “I did a double backflip over a rhino today. It was pretty awesome – take a look: <link> What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever backflipped over?”

I know which one I’m more likely to ‘like’, comment on or share. And then try to replicate at the zoo and get arrested.

In short – before you start stressing about whether or not you should be using Promoted Posts, see how much extra visibility you can get by improving the interaction of your statuses and posts.

And if you’re still flummoxed, please feel free to get in touch with our social media department at Ikroh, and we’ll do our best to help.

[Oh, and one final note: Promoted Posts are not the same thing as Sponsored Stories (damn all this alliteration!) – we’ll be explaining that one shortly, too.]

 

 

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.

6 Million LinkedIn Passwords Hacked

linkedin paswords hacked

linkedin paswords hacked

Time to change your LinkedIn password (and any other similar/identical password on your other social/email accounts – come on, you know you sometimes get lazy and use the same one…)!

A list of over 6 million encrypted LinkedIn passwords was recently posted on a Russian online forum, sparking serious worries about the social network’s security. Site security was “compromised” on the professional social network, and users are strongly recommended to change their log in data as soon as possible. Experts are assuming that the hackers are likely to have had access to usernames as well as passwords via a LinkedIn computer.

Since the hack, LinkedIn changed the way they store passwords and updated their security, and users whose passwords have been obtained have had their accounts frozen and been notified by LinkedIn in order to securely change their passwords.

In a second, unconnected but equally unfortunate security breach, the LinkedIn mobile app has come under fire for a privacy flaw. The app was sharing unencrypted calendar information with LinkedIn’s servers without user permission, including meeting notes, dialling numbers and conference call passcodes.

 

About Ikroh SEO tm

Ikroh has over 35 years of experience in the industry.