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Why Mobile Marketing needs to be a part of your mix – Now.

If it’s not currently a part of your company’s marketing mix, start now. Start thinking about how you will stay ahead of your competitors by reaching the increasing number of smartphones & tablets being carried by your target audience. Is your website optimized for mobile? How about your blog? Is there a customized application you could develop that would provide additional value? How can mobile marketing be integrated into your existing marketing mix?

“Consumers are 25% more likely to respond to advertising, (print, billboards, bus shelters, etc) if they are able to do so via a mobile response” ~ BusinessWorld

“Based on 74 campaigns during Q4 2009, and with a huge 69,854 respondents, the research revealed that on average, 22% were aware of a mobile advert — leading to a purchase intent rate of 5.4%” ~ Brandchannel

Together, these two data points indicate that consumers are not only responding favourably to mobile advertising from an awareness standpoint, but that this technology is translating into genuine purchase intent and sales. It comes down to making it easy for your customers to buy your product/service. Each step in between your customer and that customer purchasing your product decreases the likelihood that they will buy from you.

So, what can you do now to improve your mobile marketing efforts and increase your conversion rates in print and traditional advertising? Try playing to a person’s curiosity by adding a QR code to your ad. Link it to a customized mobile landing page. Provide them with a means of discovering what makes your product or services, awesome. QR Codes are very robust and can be used to store links to websites, videos, audio files, images and even SMS messages, so think about how you could integrate these into your existing advertisements.

Recently, we ran a small, local promotion designed to raise awareness for QR codes, local businesses and most importantly, to have some fun with mobile marketing & communications! Over the course of 5 days, we hid prize baskets at 5 different businesses across the city. Using social media (Twitter, facebook and a customized blog), we shared a QR Code clue as to where the prize basket was hiding that day. The first person to arrive at the secret location, claimed the prize. We also installed ‘digital ballot boxes’ at each location in order to reward subsequent visitors for playing along. This ballot entered them into a draw to win some amazing grand prizes including, VISA gift cards and a Blu-Ray player.

After the promotion, we analyzed the data and developed a report that outlined the success of the mobile campaign and how similar campaigns could work in the future. Here are the results of the case study:

QR code

QR Code Project

We learned that not only is awareness for QR codes high, integrating them into existing marketing and advertising activities is an excellent way to add a layer of interactivity on top of your ads.

Adoption of smartphones will increase exponentially in the next few years so you need to begin allocating resources to mobile marketing. Email me: matt@oryxadvertising.com to chat about how we can work together to develop a successful mobile marketing strategy for your business. For starters:

  • K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple, SIMPLE. It’s not just about making a QR code link to your Web page or your Facebook page. Even if those pages are optimized for mobile, chances are the content isn’t. Mobile content needs to be easy to access, to appreciate and to easy to share. If it fails the user on any one of those counts, it won’t create the reaction you’re hoping for.
  • See. Scan. See you later. I’m a big fan of integrating QR Codes into existing activities because taking a picture is faster and easier than looking up a twitter handle or keying in a URL into your mobile browser. Other technologies will arrive making things even easier (See NFC), but right now, QR Codes are king as they’re readily available & easy to use.
  • Let context dictate content. Make sure your mobile content is useful to consumers in the same location you expect them to experience it in. Don’t offer them videos in a location where they won’t be able to watch them right away.
  • We’re still early in the cycle. People won’t buy anything or fill out long-winded forms via your mobile site. It’s just another touch point in a series of consumer touch points designed to keep your message consistent. Great mobile sites serve up awesome content and create a means for your customers to connect with your brand through their desired platform – later if they wish. Your mobile site is a powerful medium for you to wow your audience, raise awareness and keep your brand top of mind for when your customers are ready to buy.

Content from list derived from “How to blend mobile marketing with Social Media” article. Credit: Jesse Stanchak, June 15, 2011

SO you’ve un-boxed your Playbook. Now what?

May 25, 2011 5 comments

Following is a review of my first few hours with my new BlackBerry Playbook.

What are you going to use that thing for?

It’s a common question from my wife in regards to anything technology-based. Since I like shiny new pieces of tech, I usually come up with a really geeky response. The truth is – I’m not really sure just yet.

Based on what I know about tablets the moment I un-boxed my PlayBook, I made the following assumptions of what I would use it for:

For Fun: Movies & HDMI out, Twitter, browsing, writing entries in my blog, music, pictures, downloaded/YouTube/recorded videos.

For Business: Client presentations (go completely paperless), creative approvals and meetings.

Arguably, you can do all of this with a laptop – and that’s completely true. But what a laptop cannot do is offer all of this with the level of portability that BlackBerry can.

I have had my Playbook working for less than 12-hours at the time of writing this post. After un-boxing it, updating the software and registering the device, I started using it immediately and pushing it pretty hard to see what it was capable of. Here’s what I can tell you so far:

What makes it AWESOME: 

  1. Flash: It may be a small point to some, but there’s something to be said for experiencing the Internet as it was intended. I can watch episodes of Fringe (big fan) online, in HD..on my Playbook because it runs Flash.
  2. File Transfer. Transferring files wirelessly over WiFi. This is as easy as drag n’ drop into a folder from my PC to PlayBook.
  3. Power: I was pushing almost 4GB of files over WiFi to the device, running YouTube in the background, ESPN.com on the browser, the Facebook App, AppWorld and my wife was playing Sudoku. There was no degradation of performance & she had no idea I was uploading files to the device.
  4. WiFi: With Playbook, you don’t need a separate data plan. Great for consumers, bad for carriers. It also works really well on WiFi or through BlackBerry Bridge.
  5. BlackBerry Bridge: Without a native Calendar or Email App, the BlackBerry Bridge makes it possible to have both on your PlayBook. It was easy to setup and these applications work very well on the Playbook.
  6. Screen Shots: Ability to take screen grabs of the device’s screen (found this by accident).

What I won’t use it for/What I didn’t like:

  1. Writing long messages (emails, blog posts). Unless you have a bluetooth keyboard, I wouldn’t recommend this. I found even Twitter posts to be challenging.
  2. Facebook & Twitter. These two Apps need work for the Playbook. If you try to open them in the browser, they default to mobile sites which aren’t as feature-rich. One way to get around this is to open up Hootsuite or Tweetdeck in the browser as these seem to work fine. I wanted to see how close these two platforms were to a true browser experience. There is also no native spell-check which is a problem for me as I seem to have breakfast sausages for fingers. Also, when in the photo application, you cannot automatically send pictures to twitter. You need to add them in Hootsuite or with plixi/Lockers which is a little annoying.
  3. Search Sensitivity of AppWorld: This is NOT a PlayBook issue but an AppWorld issue that I’ll address here. I spent some time searching for PaperPlane, which is a very popular game on the Playbook. I tried variations – Paper Planes, Paper Airplanes but I couldn’t find it in AppWorld. Finally, I googled it – and noticed that it was actually called, “PaperPlane”. Tried the search again in AppWorld and it came up right away.
  4. BBM: Not a huge deal to me, but when evaluating the overall experience, I wanted to see if BBM would work. With the new software update – it’s supposed to, but I haven’t been able to get it to work through the BlackBerry Bridge yet. UPDATE: Installed new version of AppWorld and upgrade to BBM. Now works perfectly!
  5. MyWorld Apps: If you have BlackBerry Apps that you’ve already downloaded and paid for, chances are they will not be available for Playbook. I found this frustrating.
Also, if you’ve just un-boxed your Playbook, you’re probably wondering what to do with it. Try these to get you started:
  1. If you have a blackberry, connect with the blackberry bridge. Use your calendar app, contacts, mail and browser.
  2. Visit your favourite flash website. try: www.espn.com
  3. Enable Video chat on the device & call someone you know with a playbook.
  4. Play Need for Speed!
  5. Turn on file sharing to transfer music/movies over wifi from you PC (Settings – top right > Storage & Sharing > File Sharing ON)
  6. Try watching streaming flash video. Here’s fringe: http://www.watch-fringe-online.net/
What’s exciting about the playbook is it’s sheer power and sexiness. The accelerometer is very responsive, multi-touch on the screen is amazing and it feels great in your hands. The high resolution display makes watching videos/movies and viewing photos amazing and it’s incredibly intuitive. I also like the HDMI out, although I haven’t used it yet. You can shoot in HD, and watch in HD on your TV. There is also a lot of potential with the QNX browser and the most exciting applications are likely the ones that have not been released or invented yet. I’m really looking forward to discovering new uses for my Playbook each day from a business and personal perspective.
Although it’s lightweight and portable, it’s not durable or practical enough to take it out during a concert to shoot HD video or take it mountain biking with you. But you can say this about any tablet – or laptop.  Even though I’ve only had the device in my hands for a short while, I’d have to say that if someone asks me if they should buy a Playbook – I would definitely say yes.

QR Code Egg Hunt – Location Four: WeSellIt

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Congratulations to all of those in KW who used their QR code scanner on Thursday to find the fourth secret location, WeSellIt in Waterloo! Krista, Will and Barry at WeSellIt offered up some cool prizes in addition to the hidden Easter basket. For finding the secret location, several people were rewarded with an electric weed wacker! Perfect since gardening season is just around the corner!

Congratulations to Caryn who was the first to find WeSellIt’s store location in North Waterloo by using her QR Code reader to scan the secret clue:

QR Code Easter Egg Hunt

Secret Location

Here’s a picture of Caryn with her prize:

QR Code Easter Egg Hunt
There were also three others who found the secret location and walked away with special gifts from WeSellIt:

The final KWeggHunt location will be revealed on Friday! There are chances to win a Blu-ray player, $25 Visa card from ORYX Advertising, or a signed jersey from the Kitchener Rangers! Happy hunting!

QR Code Egg Hunt – Location Three: The MUSEUM

April 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Congratulations to all of those in KW who used their QR code scanner to find the third secret location, The MUSEUM in Kitchener! Included in the gift basket was a Nike Golf umbrella from BlackBerry, which proved to be a great prize as it has been raining quite heavily in KW over the past week. The clue was shared at 11:15 AM and was swiftly found and claimed by Jason less than 15 minutes later!

Here is what the clue looked like:

QR code egg hunt

QR Code Clue

Here’s a picture of Jason with his prize:
QR Code Egg Hunt

Jason with his KWeggHunt prize

Here’s a look at all of the goodies inside of the basket:

QR Code Egg Hunt

Easter Basket

Also, Jason had this to say about The QR Code Egg Hunt:

Jason's Status

QR Code Egg Hunt

Response to the promotion has been excellent and people around Waterloo Region are definitely tech savvy, having no trouble finding the secret location using QR code readers on their smartphones.

Friday marks the last day that a #KWeggHunt basket will be found & the secret location will hold a draw where someone will win a Kitchener Rangers Jersey, Blu-Ray player or $25 Gift Card from ORYX Advertising!

Why do we treat NEW friends better than OLD friends?

March 18, 2011 3 comments

Note: The views expressed in this post are my own. I am in no way affiliated with Ally Bank. I have included this video to illustrate a point.

Twitter’s recent 5th Birthday was a significant milestone. Almost half a million twitter accounts are created daily which means more people on Twitter, more brands on twitter, more potential followers and more creative ways for companies to activate this audience via promotions, contests and giveaways.

You have no doubt seen contests like this one on facebook & twitter:

Twitter contest

It’s an attempt to promote your company by offering people an incentive to follow or like your brand. This acquisition strategy is typically reserved for big banks (Brilliantly illustrated by Ally Bank above) and telecommunications companies (New customers get a free HDPVR if you switch from your cable provider – Existing customers get nothing).

Why do we treat new friends better than old ones?

I think this strategy is backwards in Social. I understand that companies are looking for a way to monetize these platforms, but touting the number of followers you have or your likes on Facebook not only means nothing to your executives, it demonstrates no engagement with your audience.

And, there are other consequences of these types of ‘new follower’ promotions:

  • Existing follower/like base is highly likely to follow/unfollow, follow/unfollow, like/unlike, like/unlike you several times in an effort to qualify for the promotion. This leads to unnecessary monitoring and management of your followers.
  • Your existing follower base is likely following you because they like your products and want to remain in touch with you for special offers. They are likely to unfollow you/unlike you for good and never return.
  • People are only liking your brand in response to a promotion. It’s unlikely that they truly ‘Like’ your brand and are unlikely to recommend you to their followers.

Here’s a thought: A contest for everyone!

If you truly want to add to your engaged audience, not annoy your existing fans/followers and improve how you are being perceived by your Social audience, why not run a promotion such as this:

“As soon as we hit 10,000 followers (whatever the level) we’ll hold a random draw to give away a Blu-Ray DVD player to one of our lucky followers!”

You will notice the following:

  • Through Retweets and sharing on Facebook, your existing base of followers/likes will actively promote YOU as they try to help you hit the promotion level.
  • Higher retention of followers. People will assume this isn’t a one and done promotion and will follow you longer.
  • Although it has no meaning, you will quickly increase the number of followers/likes you have on Facebook/Twitter
  • You won’t exclude anyone that shouldn’t be excluded & won’t annoy your base of existing followers.

Now, go do it. I’m frantically following & unfollowing the above company in order to try and win the £20 Online Voucher!

Stop Linking your Social Media Profiles.

February 18, 2011 3 comments

Please. Stop.

I used to do it. I admit it. I enjoyed the convenience of being able to update FB & LinkedIn together with a single tweet. I then realized how annoying this is. Not for me – for my followers. So I stopped.

The reality is that these are very different platforms. My Facebook friends are very different from my LinkedIn connections and twitter followers. A small percentage of my following crosses these platforms, but for the most part, these audiences are independent of each other.

The nature of the messages I post inside of each platform for the most part are very different as well. Inside of Facebook, I might post a photo album of a recent vacation or wish a friend a Happy Birth Day. With twitter, I’m constantly re-tweeting information that I believe will be relevant to my twitter followers such as articles, links to videos on YouTube or breaking news. In LinkedIn, I will infrequently post links to business articles, business recommendations, etc.

The key is posting RELEVANT information for each audience. Which is what marketers and advertisers should focus on as well.

Recently, someone I follow on Twitter and LinkedIn posted a link to a videothat updated in both platforms: I thought it was hilarious and excellent content for twitter, but I also thought about how a colleague, peer or client might perceive this post in LinkedIn.

Be mindful of message frequency in each platform.
Twitter – High-volume of updates. Frequent posting is less likely to annoy your audience/followers.
Facebook – Medium-volume of updates. Frequent posting is likely to annoy your audience/friends.
LinkedIn – Low-volume of updates. Frequent posting is extremely likely to annoy your audience/connections.

Signs people are getting annoyed at your linked updates:
1. One of your Facebook friends says, “Man, you tweet a lot” (and, they’re not on twitter)
2. You’re talking to a client connected through Linkedin and they say, “Wow. It looks like you really had a lot of fun on Saturday….”
3. Someone creates a blog post called, “Stop linking your social media profiles.”

Social media should be social. It should be about connecting with your audience by sharing information relevant to them. When you link your profiles, you not only look like a robot – it’s like saying, “I don’t know you very well” to your friends, followers and connections.

2011: The Year of Engagement

December 15, 2010 1 comment

Twitter has over 200 Million users generating over 65 million tweets per day. Facebook has more than 1/2 a Billion users and has overtaken google as the number 1 online destination. LinkedIn is adding users at a rate of one per second. These are just the big three. Over 1/5 of the world’s population is now a member of one of the world’s two-dozen social media platforms.

These platforms are becoming powerful sources of information and connection. They have changed the way we receive information. People are creating audiences and networks of believers. Audiences are listening to influencers. Audiences are engaged. It has changed the way that people interact with brands, and how brands interact with people.

If you’re in the communications industry, you need to understand this trend. You need to be able to react quickly to the lightning-fast changes and instant feedback that is now a part of everyday life. You need to respond to your audience instantly or, at least within 24-hours. You need to create value within this channel. You basically need to forget the traditional marketing methods that have brought you success in the past. In the words of Scott Stratten, you need to STOP Marketing and START Engaging.

Although I feel the term ‘engagement’ runs the risk of becoming a redundant buzz word, the fundamentals behind this term will be the key to success in any marketing activity in 2011 and beyond. People want to buy what they know and seek out opinions from trusted sources. They recommend what they like and recommend avoiding what they dislike. Think about what you dislike about companies that market to you. Do you shift+delete a company’s newsletter or email? Do you automatically toss a Direct Mail piece in the blue box (without even opening it)? Do you avoid answering the door when you see a person standing on your doorstep with a clipboard? Do you cringe when the call-display comes up with a 1-800 number during dinner?

I’ll assume you answered, ‘Yes‘ to the questions above in which case, why are you trying to reach your audience using the same methods that drive you crazy?!

People want to deal with people, not brands. After all, you don’t talk to a brand; you talk to a person. Engagement means creating content that creates conversations and ultimately, connections. Engagement creates relationships. It strengthens perceptions and it spreads quickly (both positively and negatively). Social media fosters those relationships. It enables people to connect with other people quicker and on a deeper level than ever before. It creates trust. It creates equity.

Brands that are effective at engaging their audience are seen as leaders in social media marketing. They don’t set out to monetize the platform, or show the ROI, rather – they understand the value of creating deep, meaningful relationships with their audience. They seek out ways to find and connect with the influencers within their industry. They know that engaging these influencers favourably will help them connect with a huge number of potential customers that each influencer is connected to.

Sounds great. But, how do I find influencers and engage my audience?

As they begin to shine up the ball in Times Square, marketers should focus on the following and apply them in their marketing activities in 2011.

1. Create conversations and provide value in your social media platforms. If someone sends you a message on twitter, or facebook, retweets one of your messages – respond to them! If they have a question, recommend a solution and help to connect them with that solution.

2. Find and engage your influencers. If your influencers like the content you are serving out, they are likely to share it with their networks and so on, and so on.

3. Reward people for following you. Create promotions that are exclusive to your social media followers and tailored to their specific needs. They are likely to share this experience with their followers as well.

4. Create promotions specifically for influencers. Use services like Klout, PostRank (and others) to find the influencers within your industry. This will be a handful of people but their effective reach is exponential.

If you’re one of the few marketers who have already embraced these practices, you already know the impact they can have on your existing marketing activities.  Since you’ll be talking to the right audience, you’ll see higher response rates.  Since your solution comes recommended from a friend, you’ll increase conversion rates.  Your effective reach is increased.  Your leads increase.  Your facebook fans increase.  Your Twitter following increases.  Your sales increase.

Thanks for reading.  Now, start engaging!  (leave me a comment)!

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