Archive for the ‘Marketing’ category

Get on Board the B2B Video Marketing Train.

May 24, 2018
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Everything today is about adding value, and that’s the number one reason to use video marketing. It plugs interaction — including face-to-face interaction — into your website, email promotions, social media and events. You also get a unique opportunity to blend your company’s personality and message into either an online or offline experience.

Here are 10 additional reasons to use video marketing:

  1. Raises your website’s search engine results. Media measurement and analytics company comScore says adding a video to your website can increase the chance of a front-page Google result by 53 times. Video software platform provider Brightcove claims video drives a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engines.
  2. Improves the potential for your message to go viral through the social networks.Brightcove research says social video generates 1,200 percent more shares than text and images combined.
  3. Increases the average amount of time visitors spend at your site. A blog post by Mary Lister of Fluent, LLC reports that the average user spends 88 percent more time on a website that uses video.
  4. Connects you to the coveted 25-34 (millennial) age group. Millennials watch the most online videos according to online agency WordStream.
  5. Offers opportunities to provide a tremendously rich offline media experience. Stuff a disk with video, personal messages, mobile apps, high-res product photos, web links and free downloads — and include it as part of a direct mail package.
  6. Augments and supports your existing online strategy. Combine it with direct mail to provide a seamless physical/digital experience that encourages double-digit response rates according to research studies.
  7. Appeals to people who like to see something before they read it. Most people view more than three fourths of a video and prefer video over reading text.
  8. Provides an opportunity to educate customers about a product or service. Since people prefer to watch video, give them what they want across the entire decision-making journey and increase conversions.
  9. Puts a face on your company and builds your brand. Simply put,  video is changing how brands communicate with customers.
  10. Engages your customers’ senses. Video triggers emotional reactions that influence buying decisions in ways that static content can’t.

Professional vs. Homegrown Video

The nice thing about digital video is that it doesn’t always have to be high end and expensive. The key is to know when you can use your flip camera and when you need a professional team.

And really, the rules are simple:

Homegrown video is fine for website demos, new product intros, how-to presentations, brief commentaries and the like. Further, excellent video production technology has become much more affordable over past few years. Companies such as VideoMakerFX, Sellamations and Vyond have greatly simplified video creation. Small companies should easily be able to produce a short demo or “how to” video for one or two thousand dollars. Homegrown solutions work great for purposes where immediacy is important, and viewers don’t expect premium content with the highest-end production. What’s more, Cisco claims that Live Internet video (video streaming) will account for 13 percent of the total video traffic

Professional video is a must when the production represents the official, animated face of your brand. That’s when you need a quality script, title slides, smooth transitions, excellent lighting and sound, multiple shooting perspectives and top-notch editing. It can also be a good investment when the video will have multiple purposes — website, direct mail, trade shows—and a longer life span. You also need to consider professional video whenever your audience is more sophisticated and has high expectations.

What’s the Right Length?

Everyone wants to know how long is too long. And the consensus for the appropriate length of online video is one to three minutes. But a research study by Wistia, which provides video platform solutions for business, shows that engagement is steady up to 2 minutes, meaning that a 90-second video will hold a viewer’s attention as much as a 30-second video. There is a significant drop-off between two and three minutes. Attention spans seem to grow shorter every day, especially online.

Yet purpose means a lot, too. So, a one- or two-minute product intro is not the same as a four- to six-minute in-depth case study.The bottom line is that your video needs to be as long as it needs to be. Based on the nature of the content, viewers will adjust.

You can also cut longer videos into segments that allow people to access only the parts that interest them. In general, you need to think of the video as an overview from which you can then link buyers to more detailed information in electronic or print form.

Regardless of length, relevance dictates how long people will view any video. Provide information that people want to know, and they’re far more likely to stay for the duration. When you’re trying to keep their attention, it pays to be tactical in selecting content and forget the broad-brush stuff.

Video Media Types

Video is an evolving medium, and different media types are emerging that include video:

  • Product demos
  • Product overviews
  • Email and social media promotions
  • Testimonials
  • News releases
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • Corporate presentations
  • Commercials
  • Trade show and event previews
  • “How-to” demos
  • Blog posts

As these media types mature, more specific standards for length and other factors will emerge as well. In the meantime, don’t be afraid to experiment. Viewership will tell you quickly enough what’s working and what’s not. In fact, videos built-in feedback loop makes measuring click-through rates, number of times watched and drop-off points a snap.

Want Expert Advice?

Bauer Associates helps companies of all sizes develop and execute effective marketing strategies. Message me at lbauer@bauerassociates.net, or call 708-610-9917 if you would like to discuss how video marketing can help advance your marketing strategy.

Business Gift Giving on a Budget.

December 7, 2010
  1. Give a donation with a twist. Donations in honor of your customers aren’t novel, but getting them involved in the act is a fun twist. Select four or five charities and establish a pool of money (you don’t need to reveal the size of the pool). Send a letter explaining the program and ask them to designate the charity of their choice from the list. Customers can respond through a postage-paid postcard, an email or a personalized URL that takes them to their own landing page. You simply divide the money by the percentage of votes and have the charity send a recognition letter to each participant without stating the amount of the gift. Low cost. Multiple touches. Customer involvement.
  2. Send a product. This doesn’t work so well if your product is cement, but lots of companies make consumer or business products that are appropriate for gift giving. Or perhaps your company makes a range of products where the customer can make a choice. One of our favorite examples was an ad agency with a client that manufactured a line of high-end “arty” coasters that looked really cool on your table. They came in a wide range of choices, and the agency let each of their customers select a set from the brochure the agency had created for its client.
  3. Get intellectual. A popular business book (especially one on marketing) can make a thoughtful, moderately priced executive gift that doesn’t break the bank. It also gives you an opportunity to personalize the selection based on what you know about your client and provides future opportunities to discuss the content. If you’re not sure what book they would want or you’re afraid you’ll buy something they already own, then give them a few choices and benefit from the interaction.
  4. Gift the group. You can save money by sending a share-the-gift food item to the entire department in care of your lead contact. These types of group gifts tend to fly under corporate radar and can save you money if you’ve been providing a lot of individual gifts. You might also score points by paying attention to your customers’ employee health objectives. If they’ve been making a big push on the health and wellness front, try to find foods that are tasty but are also reasonably good for you.
  5. Do a service day. Don’t have any budget at all? Donate a service day (or morning or afternoon) to an area charitable organization. Your local homeless shelter, food bank or no-kill animal shelter are especially appropriate for the season and the economic climate. You can add to your time by having employees collect items from the organization’s urgent needs list. Whatever you do, be sure to take your camera along and share the story with your customers. Communicate that you performed the service in their honor in lieu of business gifts.

So what’s our holiday gift to you?

The second edition of The Little Book of Marketing Do’s and Don’ts is hot off the press. It’s a full-color, illustrated collection of the popular “Do’s and Don’ts” that accompany each issue of PrintStrategist.

We would love to mail you a gift copy in appreciation of your loyal readership throughout the year. Just send an email request to Larry Bauer. And if you have time, let us know what you did for corporate gift-giving this year.

Then relax, turn off the digital devices and enjoy a wonderful holiday season.

Upcoming Newsletter Topics.

October 26, 2010

Just a few of the topics we’re working on for future newsletters:

  • What’s the big deal about QR Codes?
  • Evaluating illustration vs. photography.
  • Choosing the right personalization strategy.

Upcoming Newsletter Topics.

August 24, 2010

Just a few of the topics we’re working on for future newsletters:

  • What’s the big deal about QR Codes?
  • Evaluating illustration vs. photography.
  • Choosing the right personalization strategy.

Upcoming Newsletter Topics.

May 26, 2010

Just a few of the topics we’re working on for future newsletters:

  • Evaluating illustration vs. photography.
  • Dimensional mailers—making your “dream” project a reality.
  • Choosing the right personalization strategy.

Are You Still Selling Your Father’s Postcards, Print Strategist?

April 13, 2010

Postcards are more popular than ever, though many writers and designers run for cover when they hear the word. Some don’t like condensing the message into such a small space. Others dismiss them as low-end, low-value promotions for companies that can’t afford anything else.

But savvy print strategists know better.

Postcards can be performance powerhouses when done right. In fact, they sometimes do remarkably well even when done poorly. One of the reasons they continue to work is that postcards come “pre-opened.” There’s no decision to make. The offer is right in front of you. Postcards draw immediate attention and give your customers more than a fighting chance to entice prospects even when the sender is unknown.

Perfect for today’s over-messaged marketplace.

Understanding Postcard Basics.

Although our intent is to encourage you to take the form to its highest level, there are four postcard basics that your customers need to get right no matter what technology you integrate into their campaigns:

  1. Attention-demanding Headline. They only get a few seconds to gain attention, so headlines must be big and benefit oriented.
  2. Involving Visual. Draw in the recipient by making the visual and headline work as a team. Visuals should be as large and involving as possible. Showing a product or service in action is always an effective recommendation.
  3. Persuasive Copy. Maintain interest with strong, feature- and benefit-oriented copy. Since the postcard is likely the first in a multi-step approach, copy should entice and qualify.
  4. Call to Action. Be sure your customers are telling recipients exactly what action to take and to assume nothing. They should direct the person to “Call toll free today for a free sample and information kit,” or whatever is the appropriate action for the program. Multiple, user-friendly options tend to work best.

Adding Some Technology Juice.

Separate your clients’ postcards from the competition by taking advantage of the technology you offer (or should be offering):

  • Encourage Data Mining. From variable data digital printing to inkjet imaging, print technology provides opportunities to personalize and customize postcard mailings. There’s a strong likelihood that your customers have plenty of existing data to elevate the performance of their postcards. Encourage them to start simply, if necessary, and then help them work their way up. But do bring data into the picture. Every personalization step they take will deliver better results. Keep in mind that there’s also worthwhile demographic information to append from outside sources while they’re building their internal database. Offer to provide data services through an outside partner or, if you have one, your in-house team.
  • Personalize. Get your clients past the “name thing” quickly. It’s not that using someone’s name isn’t worthwhile—it is—but today’s variable technologies allow marketers to do so much more with photos, graphics and copy if they know anything at all about their target. You can help them create postcards that are variable in every respect with digital presses or do something as simple as offline-inkjet imaging a store location map while you’re doing the addressing. You can also help them create postcards with personalized URLs (pURLs) that connect recipients to a personal landing page where they typically receive an incentive for their effort. Advise your customers to provide offers at the personal landing page that go beyond the original promise, such as an opt-in newsletter or club membership. Besides the personalization effect, the big benefit of pURLs is that they provide a reliable method for tracking postcard recipients who went online as a result of the promotion, whether or not they took advantage of the offer.
  • Involve. Postcards can now be more involving than ever. Consider QR Codes, the two-dimensional barcodes that enable smartphone users equipped with the correct reader software to scan the code. This causes the phone’s browser to launch and redirect to the programmed URL. A real estate company, for example, could offer a property on the postcard and the QR code might take the recipient to a video tour of the home. But don’t dismiss involvement devices such as scratch-offs, repositionable notes and other proven techniques that can boost the effectiveness of postcards.

The bottom line is that postcards not only work, but also are evolving tools that can achieve virtually any level of marketing sophistication your customer requires. They provide a great opportunity for Marketing Service Providers to take customers beyond commodity postcards and into more sophisticated solutions.

While you’re at it, why not demonstrate your capabilities through your own postcard campaign?

By Larry Bauer

Want Expert Advice?

Bauer Associates helps printers of all sizes develop and execute effective marketing strategies. For more information, email Print Strategist Larry Bauer

You can connect with Larry Bauer on LinkedIn. Or follow him on Twitter. Or join Print Strategist on LinkedIn.

Do’s and Don’ts of Postcards.

April 13, 2010

We once knew a youth soccer coach who was 10-0 in her first season and knew it was the coaching. Then she went 0-10 in her second season and knew it was the players. Consistent success depends upon bringing all the elements together. Here’s how to help your clients trounce the competition with their next postcard campaign.

Do

  • Grab attention with a bold headline—postcards have to work fast.
  • Focus on one big idea and one main point per card.
  • Emphasize what the recipient will get by taking the next step.
  • Include all the elements of a direct mail package in short form—letter, brochure and reply.
  • Use tracking identifiers to know what’s generating inquiries.
  • Include a strong, crystal clear call to action.
  • Make the card interactive with QR codes and other devices.
  • Use a personal message style over a display ad approach.
  • Increase the card size to 6” x 9” if possible—higher response rates and more marketing space usually justify the costs.
  • Approach your database work as carefully as you would any other mailing.

Don’t

  • Get spooked into ultra-short copy—the billboard notion is a myth.
  • Use technical words or jargon—this isn’t the place, if there ever is one.
  • Forget to include incentives for taking the next step.
  • Think that color and graphics will outperform personalized content—put them together for maximum results.
  • Try to make the sale on the postcard—they are multi-step marketing vehicles.
  • Use smaller than 8 pt. type anywhere on the postcard.
  • Neglect direct mail basics—get your lists, offer and creative right in that order of priority.
  • Accept any old paper—your stock selection is a visual element too.
  • Think that postcards are just for small companies—check your mailbox.
  • Settle for your office printer.

By Larry Bauer

Missed Getting Your Copy of The Little Book of Marketing Do’s & Don’ts? Not to worry. We printed plenty of copies, and we’d be happy to connect you with one. The Little Book of Marketing Do’s & Don’ts is a collection of the eight most viewed “Do’s & Don’ts” published by our PrintStrategist newsletter to date including:

  • Taglines
  • Print Advertising
  • Referrals
  • Trade Shows
  • Corporate Brochures
  • Direct Mail
  • Thought Leadership
  • White Papers

Simply email Larry Bauer your postal mailing information and we’ll send you a complementary copy.


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