Content Communities : A Powerful Part of Your Marketing Mix

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How Content Communities Can Benefit Your Brand

Content Communities are an amazing tool for businesses to incorporate into their marketing campaigns. The possibilities are endless and allow companies to connect with their customers on a multitude of levels. Content Communities also allow brands to share a variety of content, ranging from photos and articles to videos and podcast. This is why content communities are so beneficial to a company’s marketing campaign, they allow customers to see, hear, and experience their brand first hand. By brands posting content through multiple mediums on one platform, they can post content that appeals to every type of their customers.

Why Users Love Content Communities

Content Communities are also great for brands and users because they often connect users to multiple pieces of content from the same brand, therefore promoting more of their products or services. For example, if a user watches a video on a brand’s you tube channel, they can see more videos from the brand in the side panel and the next video that plays is usually from the brand as well. As seen below, users can also browse through the “playlist” feature on YouTube to see a brands similar videos on a subject. Features like these on Content Communities make the sites enjoyable for users as well. If they are interested in browsing a topic they are continually fed information on the topic until they click elsewhere. Content communities are also easy and enjoyable for customers to use on their mobile devices which makes them even more accessible and popular among users.

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How content COMMUNITies are growing

Pinterest is a Content Community that I use regularly for extended periods of time and love. The app makes photos, ideas, and articles easy to find and save into virtual “folders” for easy access later. The app is extremely popular among women for creative and stylistic ideas. Pinterest has room for much larger growth and use though. Recently they have launched ad and purchasing capabilities along with a web browser extension that allows users to add content to their boards from anywhere on the internet. With capabilities like these, Content Communities play an important part in a brand’s multimedia marketing mix and have exciting potential for the future.

Take a look below at two different ways companies can use Content Communities to market their brand.

Business Improv YouTube Playlist

Business Improv Pinterest Board

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Proximity Marketing in Today’s Mobile Society

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In today’s increasing mobile society, there are numerous benefits to using proximity marketing apps to promote a brand or business. One of the most outstanding benefits is additional free advertising. When a company convinces a user to “check in” on a proximity marketing app like Facebook or FourSquare, the customer openly advertises the business and often the promotion to all of their social media network connected to the particular profile. This does two things for companies, for one it widens their share of voice as well as markets to individuals they might not have had a chance to on their own. Secondly, it often promotes their product to a customer with similar interest to the one who “checked in” allowing the company to penetrate their target market without initiating the marketing themselves.

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Companies can also use proximity marketing applications to easily establishing a larger social media following and continually communicate to their customers. When customers “check in” they often have to “like” a page or join the company’s group which immediately benefits the company by increasing the number of customers they have to continuously communicate to. Another great benefit to proximity marketing applications is their ability to offset or supplement customer down times. For example, “Foursquare allows a merchant to load a deal or special at absolutely no cost to the merchant as long as the deal offers something of value to the user in exchange for a check-in. Specials can be strategically designed to bring traffic into your business during dead hours by placing time delimiters as a condition for the special (1-Trackers).” Using proximity marketing applications in this way can be a huge benefit to businesses and often times keep them in business through the valleys so they can make it to the peaks.

Wearables and Proximity Marketing

Wearables are another continuously growing and fascinating piece of today’s mobile society, but they aren’t just made to help you stay in shape or feel like Dick Tracy, they can be a huge asset to proximity marketing strategies as well. Wearables have the capability to put a message right in front of a customer’s eyes or draw their attention physically with a vibration without them ever having to look at their mobile device. Wearables influence proximity marketing strategies by forcing companies to create marketing messages that are compatible and will show up clearly on wearable devices.  Until technology advances further, this means that if companies want to market to customers running by their store with their Apple Watch or Fitbit they need to create a message customers can read clearly with a quick glance and hopefully influence their decision. In addition, “wearables have the ability to collect personal information such as biometric data, location data, spending data, and more “ (2-Clicker). These data collection capabilities majorly influence proximity marketing strategies by providing companies the information they need to market to their target customer at the exact time, place and way that will be most effective to influence the customer.

My Experience with Proximity Marketing

I am always interested in getting the best deal possibly whenever I purchase something, which is why I love proximity marketing. I gladly turn on my Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or open up a store app whenever I walk by a store. One of the most useful proximity marketing application offers that I love to use is Shopular. Anytime I am near a store that I have marked as one of my favorites in the app, I receive a push notification of coupons and specials. This is great for me because I have recently relocated and often times my favorites stores can find and send me a coupon before I have even found it! Most recently I was driving by the mall and received a great Banana Republic promotional coupon for women’s slacks. I needed pants for work and would have never thought of going there to pick them up if it wasn’t for the coupon!

Meet Shopular -- the App That Could save You Serious $$$     Meet Shopular -- the App That Could save You Serious $$$    Meet Shopular -- the App That Could save You Serious $$$

How Business Improv can use Proximity Marketing

One of the best ways my client, Business Improv, could use proximity marketing to their advantage in their marketing approach is through push notifications and check in incentives at trade shows or conventions. Since they do not have an actual brick and mortar location to attract customers to their services, they need a proximity marketing approach that can move with them and promote their services as they travel. This could be done in one of two ways or a combination of the two. Since they are already active on social media, particularly Facebook, when they are at a trade show or convention they could ask clients and participants to “check in” and “like” them on Facebook to receive a free swag bag or prize. Participants always love a free prize and when they check in on Facebook, they promote Business Improv’s services to their own social media network. This in turn could grab the attention of a fellow colleague at the convention or another friend in the industry who might also be interested in Business Improv’s services.  The second proximity marketing approach would be for Business Improv to create and send push notifications to potential customers through the trade show or convention’s own app. This would require Business Improv to pay a fee to the trade show for the services but would be advertising money well spent. This approach allows BI to grab the attention of customers who could greatly benefit from their services but might not know they exist. This proximity marketing approach allows BI to put themselves in front of their target market and sell their services at the opportune time and place, inside trade shows or conventions where participants are usually attending to improve their business or develop themselves.

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What other Brands have you seen using Proximity marketing to promote their business???

 

Cites

(1-Trackers): http://www.reviewtrackers.com/restaurant-marketing-tips-social-apps-foursquare-overcome-dead-hours-weak-sales/

(2- Click) http://www.clicksoftware.com/blog/wearable-technology-customer-service-50-innovative-examples/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/03/10/how-dick-tracy-invented-the-apple-watch.html

https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2015/03/10/the-apple-watch-against-dick-tracy-nostalgia/D7wvlHm2r9u9ZVebyEgmMP/story.html

http://brokeandchic.com/meet-shopular-the-app-that-could-save-you-serious/

Brand Marketing with Snapchat

What is Snapchat ?

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Today we are going to take a look at how brands can use the new social media platform Snapchat to promote their brand. According to Pocket-Lint.com Snapchat is a ”popular mobile app that allows you to send videos and pictures, both of which will self-destruct after a few seconds of a person viewing them. Snapchat is also a fun messaging app. You can take a photo or a video with it, then add a caption or doodle or lens graphic over top, and send it to a friend.” Although Snapchat was only original thought of as a social media app for the younger generation, new updates to the app have made it more appealing and realistic for companies to now use to market their brands.  According to Track Maven “the launch of Snapchat Memories is the major Snapchat turning point marketers have been waiting for. Brands now have the flexibility to upload branded photos and videos, save their snaps and stories, and repurpose content as needed. Or, they can export snaps, which can then be cross-promoted on other platforms.”

Using Snapchat for your Brand

There are many ways that companies can use Snapchat to promote their brands. Some of those include using Snapchat to:

  • Bring attention and excitement to a new product
  • Build anticipation around a product launch or promotional service
  • Create interest in an event, product or service
  • Provide live social media coverage of an event
  • Give viewers a “backstage pass” to company or event
  • Create customer engagement with a brand (ex. best Snapchat or doodle contest)
  • Increase social media followers
  • Thank customers

GrubHub Doodle & Snap Contest

 

Sour Patch Kids Snapchat Customer ENGAGEMENT Challengespkids

McDonalds Snapchat presence

My Snapchat Memory for client Business Improv

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Although I can see how beneficial Snapchat could be for a brand,  I actually found the app difficult and quite frustrating to use for this assignment. I have used Snapchat for personal use previously, but found it very difficult to use in a professional setting. The majority of the frustration came from the app being difficult to use, the Stories and Memories features on Snapchat seemed less intuitive than most apps today. Once I opened up a picture from the camera roll or made an edit to a snap, it was almost impossible to get out of the frame without closing the app and starting over.

I also found it difficult to use in a professional setting because of the lack of editing capabilities inside the app. There are a lot of options to add writing and stickers to snaps but there is no way to crop or rotate photos from the camera roll function. Every time I added a photo from my camera roll to my memory, it would appear sideways. There is a function to change this setting on live video but not from the camera roll.  I understand the idea of the app featuring “raw footage” and that the expectation might be less from viewers but I think most companies would want to present content that looks somewhat professional to the world. This brings me to the number one problem with using the app for professional use, there is no desktop compatible version. Everything must be done from a smartphone which must be challenging for companies to coordinate. With the Memories and Stories features companies have the option of adding other content to snap chat, this is very difficult to transfer if all of their content they would like to add had has been filmed elsewhere or is on a computer.

Click Below for the BI Snapchat in Video Form

The story I created for Business Improv on Snapchat could be implemented into the brands marketing campaign to simply promote and draw attention to their services. The images I chose are entertaining and easily grab a viewer’s attention to hopefully read the captions. The captions provide information on how Business Improv’s services can help improve other businesses which should attract viewers to learn more. The Snapchat Story also highlights different ways Business Improv’s services can be applied which should also spark interest. Snapchat could also be very beneficial to Business improve because it is a social media channel that is popular with one of their largest target markets, young students.

How do you think you can use Snapchat to promote your brand?

Cites:

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/131313-what-s-the-point-of-snapchat-and-how-does-it-work

How to Use Snapchat Memories for Brands

 

 

How to Use Vine to Make Your Brand Stand Out

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Hey Guys,

Today I am going to do something a little different and be your subject matter expert on a social media channel called Vine. First I will walk you through some background information on the channel, thenI will explain how companies are using Vine today as part of their marketing mix, and finally I will end with a presentation on how you can use Vine to impact your business. The channel has a lot to offer but today I will be focusing on the primary features of the channel for business purposes.

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About- What is Vine and How does it work?

Vine is a fairly new social media channel to the market, but has made quite an impact. According to their website:

“Vine is the entertainment network where videos and personalities get really big, really fast and trends begin and blow up. From “On fleek” to the Shmoney Dance, these trends evolve and extend beyond our phones, influencing culture and reaching millions of people around the world. “(1)

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Vine is a video sharing service app that allows users or companies to record and share six-second long looping video clips through it’s in app camera. The in app camera only records when the screen is touched which allows users to edit clips while recording or create “stop motion effects”. Users can also film short separate experiences and then link them together to form a complete six-second video. To create a Vine video a user must download the app and create an account. The app has a user friendly interface similar to Instagram and shows a scrollable feed of Vine friend’s videos on the home screen. Users can create a profile or easily transfers their information from their Twitter account. The app offers the basics of a mobile social network and even has a quick tutorial to guide users through creating their first Vine video.

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Never seen a Vine video? Click here  to see the the #1 Trending Vine Topic Ever!

The Whip

 

History – How did it start?

Vine was created in Florida by Dom Hofmann, Rus Yusupov, and Colin Krol in June 2012. The Vine app officially launched in January 2013 on the Apple iOS platform and by October 2012 the company was acquired by Twitter for $30 million dollars. Over the next few months, despite the apps low adoption, Vine became “the most used video sharing application in the market” (3) and on April 9, 2013 Vine became the “number one free app in the US iOS App Store” (4).

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Features and Integration– How do you use it?

Vine’s continuous loop videos can be seen and shared on the app, directly integrated through Twitter’s timeline or embedded into a web page. Currently Vine iOs users can also “quickly and easily revine, send posts to your friends via Vine messages (VMs), and share to Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr (8)”, these same features are coming to Android devices soon. Users can also post Vine videos to Pinterest. Vine is not integrated with Instagram; the two companies actually compete against each other ever since Instagram released their “Video Clips” feature in 2015.

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Currently the Vine app is free for Apple, Android and Windows devices. In 2014 an Xbox One version of Vine was released, along with a web version to further explore the looping videos.  In 2015 Vine also launched Vine Kids which is an app with “age-appropriate” content just for children. Currently this app is only available for Apple iOS but should be available for android soon. Vine is completely mobile friendly because it was originally created as an app. Currently users can view content via any web browser but in order to capture and share Vine videos the mobile app must be used.

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According to Wikipedia (2), over the past few years the Vine app features have been updated to include:

  • 2013 – Grid and ghost image camera tools, curated channels (ex. trending topics, themed areas etc.), ability to “revine” and protect posts
  • 2014- “Loop count” in top corner to show how many times a vine is viewed (including if the vine is embedded on another website)
  • 2015- Introduction of Vine music with a “Snap to Beat” feature that creates infinite music loops
  • 2016- Currently experimenting allow users to post 140 second video clips

(Source Wikipedia (2))

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Audience – Who is it and How Fast is it growing?

Vine has a very large target audience since its application can be used through multiple devices, shared through multiple platforms and enjoyed by a large demographic range. Basically anyone who has internet access can be reached by Vine.

“In June 2013, Wired noted that Vine grew from 77,000 unique visitors to 3.6 million unique desktop visitors in just five months” (5). Growth has continued and today Vine has over 200 million active monthly users (6). According to Media Kix, these active users “watch more than 1.5 billion “loops” (Vine’s term for video plays) per day” (7). According to DMR’s 2015 statistics, Vine reaches 14% of the total U.S. digital population and 71% of Vine’s users are millennials (9). In addition,  there are 100 million people who watch Vine videos each month (9).

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Impact- Brands using the channel EFFECTIVELY

Although there are millions of individual social Vine users, major brands and companies are making a huge impact through the channel as well.

 

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On “September 9, 2013, Dunkin Donuts became the first company to use a single Vine as an entire television advertisement” during an ESPN Monday Night Football game. (2,10) Scott Hudler, Dunkin’ Brands VP of global consumer engagement, explained an important aspect of using Vine for their brand advertisement to AdWeek back in 2013.

“We think a billboard using Vine is dramatically more engaging than a standard billboard with a corporate logo on it. Everyone is multitasking while watching TV with their phone, tablet or laptop. A lot of times, the content on their mobile device is not related to their TV shows. We want to make sure we’re supporting our TV investment with social media that’s [relevant]. It’s our job to make sure that it’s tied together to drive consumer engagement.” (10)

Take a Peek of the First Dunkin Donut Vine

Today now many other brands are using Vine effectively for product launches, events and creating original content. Here is a portion of an article from Ad Parlor in 2015 who reported on “Brands using Vine Effectively and Uniquely”…

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MTV

“Since Vine was essentially made for the attention spans of the teen and ‘tween crowds, it only makes sense that MTV would be one of the most consistent brands on the platform. Posting multiple times a day, MTV uses Vine to show behind-the-scenes peeks at shows, along with celebrity cameos. In addition, the cable channel has been sharing immensely creative Halloween-themed posts. MTV gets it and has the nearly 650 million loops to prove it.”        Source: Ad Parlor “5 Brands Using Vine Effectively

Mashable

“Boasting 62.7 million loops, Mashable seems to be the champ on Vine when it comes to media brands. It has multiple profiles, as it does on other social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. On Vine, it shares not only event coverage, but also product teasers for reviews on its website.”   Source: Ad Parlor “5 Brands Using Vine Effectively

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According to Media Kix though, “for brands looking to market across social media channels, partnering with top Viners to develop sponsored videos remains the most effective way to reach new audiences and expand brand awareness” (7).  First Lady, Michelle Obama has even partnered with influential Viners or Vine “celebrities” to promote her “Better Make Room” campaign, “part of the Reach Higher initiative which seeks to provide educational opportunities for students around the United States” (11).

Take a look at the Vine video that went viral when The First lady invited Vine Celebrities to the White House to kick off the “Better Make Room” campaign!

 

So how can your brand follow in the footsteps of The First Lady and these other companies to effectively promote your brand on Vine? Take a look at my Prezi  Where I show you how!

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Click here for Vine Prezi Link 

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Cites:

 

 

Great Blogs on Fire!!!

 Some of my Favorite Blogs that are doing Amazing things Right now……..

1) The Small Things

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My absolute favorite blog right now, is a fun lifestyle blog called The Small Things by a young  lady named Kate. I don’t read blogs very often, unless I am specifically researching something, then I read everything on the internet! A few years ago I was on the hunt for a quick and easy way to create my own bridal updo for my upcoming wedding festivities (engagement party, bridal shower etc.). While researching online I kept coming across videos with a girl who had amazing hair and styled it beautifully, it was Kate. Since she made the styles look too easy I was convinced that they wouldn’t work for a nonprofessional. I decided to give her tutorial a try and by the end of it I was hooked!!

Amazing Tutorials from The Small Things Blog

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According to the classifications discussed in my Multi-Media Class, The Small Things is considered a semi-professional blog. The blog’s purpose has evolved over the years due to a huge increase in popularity. Originally, the blog was just used as a host for hair tutorial videos, over the years with Kate’s increasing popularity and curious followers, the blog has transformed to a full lifestyle blog but with a beauty focus. Kate describes the blog best in her about me page on her website.

“My blog is best known for the video hair tutorials that I started in 2011. I originally made them for my clients to reference, but after a pinning a few to Pinterest I learned that they were actually helpful to more people than I could imagine. Over 100 hair tutorials later, The Small Things Blog has become primarily a hair and beauty blog.-Kate, The Small Things Blog- About Me

Popular Easy wedding Hair post 

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One of the things that makes the small things blog unique is, the personality of the blog, basically Kate. She has over 8 years of professional hair styling experience so she understands the craft, but most importantly she explains and talked to her viewers like they are her best friend. When you interact with the blog, it almost feels like your friend is there showing and talking you through the steps of how to style your hair. Kate explains everything that she does and uses, right down to the type of brush she uses and the brand of bobby pins. She then goes on to show step by step how to prep, style and finish the look. She also breaks down her style into separate parts and refers you to a different video if you are interested for example in the products she prepped her hair with or the makeup she is wearing.

She Makes it easy

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Her overall blog approach makes it easy for the viewer to use, do, and understand her work which makes viewers excited to continually come back for more. These unique attributes really connect the overall brand which is all about making women feel good about themselves when dealing with the crazy world we live in. The Small Things blog helps women balance “doing it all” in life with short easy videos, tips and tricks, and overall great advice.

One of my favorite easy Hair Tutorials

These same attributes that the blog is based on is really what drives traffic, users trust the blog’s advice. They know where they can go to get quick and easy results when trying to figure out how to do something or just to have some fun. High results with SEO and IMC through YouTube drives traffic to the blog as well. If one searches for images of hair updos, multiple images of Kate, leading to her blog show up. In addition, when one searches on YouTube for specific hair tutorials or easy updos, The Small Things blog constantly shows up as a top result.

You Tube & Google Search

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In addition, when you search online for the best hair blogs, The Small Things blog is always listed.

The Small Things Blog Listed on top maneaddicts list

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The blog is very successful, especially per some of the characteristics we discussed in class this week. First of all, Kate always creates original content including hair tutorials, Q&A sessions, “in person” events, give aways, shopping lists and more. She also publishes posts often almost one new post every weekday! Lastly she makes it really easy to subscribe, follow and stay connected to her blog with active sign up links on the main page, social media icons permanently on the top, and sneak peek images from Instagram.

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Honestly, I can’t say very much is missing from the blog, I guess having a main home page that was permanent would be nice to explain and welcome people to the blog. Other than that I would love to see her Makeup favorites updated soon, it seems to be the only “Kate’s Favorites” product list she is missing and I have been waiting for a while for her to update it.

July Makeup EXAMPLE

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The Small Things Blog has multiple advertisers along with sponsors. The ads run along the right side column of The Small Things throughout the site. The blog also has sponsorships and Kate partners with brands to create, review, and feature products.

Advertisements on the site

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Overall The Small Things blog is extremely successful, it is fun and exciting and does a great job of providing content their viewers are interested in and enjoy.

2) Lauren Conrad

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Another blog that I absolutely love is Lauren Conrad’s lifestyle blog. My fascination with her, along with many other viewers, began over 10 years ago when she was a reality TV star from Laguna Beach and The Hills. From her popularity on the shows, Lauren went on to create an enormous brand based around her “posh” LA designer lifestyle. Lauren Conrad did the reverse of most celebrities and went from being a TV star to a star blogger.

Blog Home Page

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Her blog is unique because it has amazing professional content but she is still easy to relate to. Lauren Conrad is just a regular young female living her life and doing the same things her followers are doing; she just has amazing style. Through stardom she quickly became a fashion icon and fans basically were begging to hear from her, so now she tells her story via a blog.

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According to this week’s lecture, the Lauren Conrad blog is characterized as a professional blog. She contributes her own content as the editor and chief but also has a large staff of contributing writers. She has multiple books, clothing lines, and sponsors philanthropic and fashion events, so there is always something to read about. The purpose of the blog is a young women’s full lifestyle blog and gives suggestions and creative ideas on everything from what to cook and read to how to DIY crafts and put on eyeliner.

Multiple Topics

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The blog and brand is unique because they execute stories and research on such a large scale that everything always looks pristine and tried and tested. This is a reflection of the brand because they constantly document their research “in the field” with pictures and live interactions with followers. Lauren Conrad actually brings her blog content to life and sets up “pop up” shops with her clothing or book events where she interacts with her readers. This unique aspect of the blog brings the concept full circle and truly makes a name for the brand.

LC Paper Crown and Runway popups

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These live reader interactions drive enormous traffic to the brand but social media interaction is what grabs the attention of even a greater audience. Lauren Conrad has a clothing line with Kohl’s that links to her blog, along with a personal fashion line called Paper Crown. She is also very active on social media and continuously publishes posts with links to her blog. In addition, when one types in Lauren Conrad into google, her blog is the first thing that comes up.

Other Websites with Blog Links

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Google Search

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Instagram Blog Mention

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The blog overall is extremely successful and meets every “successful blog” requirement we covered in class. New posts are published constantly, usually one or two a day. She is extremely active on social media, she creates original diverse content, and makes it very easy to subscribe to and share her blog.

Social Media Links & Instagram

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The one thing I think the blog is missing is an upcoming events page or calendar. Lauren Conrad is always making exciting appearances or hosting events and I think readers would really enjoy attending something if they knew in advance, instead of just finding out via a blog post.

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The only advertisers Lauren Conrad has on the blog are ads from her own product lines, brands or sponsors of Lauren Conrad. There is not outside advertisement so she keeps the reader fully engaged in her brand the entire time they are on the blog and I recommend she keeps it that way.

Advertisements

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Overall the blog is extremely informative and always shares something new and creative with its readers. I always love her Fall and October posts so I can’t wait to see what she has in store for the rest of the month!

October Posts I love

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What blogs are out there that you are loving right now??????

CREATING A FACEBOOK CAROUSEL AD

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This week in my multi- media class we take on the next step of creating an integrated marketing approach, advertising. Not just any advertising though, today I’ll be focusing on a fairly new, very specific social media advertising tool, Facebook Carousel Ads. I have been fairly impressed with Facebook Carousel ads, I think they are a quick, effective way to grab a customer’s attention. The fact that users can click or scroll through the ads without taking them away from what they are looking on social media I think is a huge factor of their impact and success. The platform to create the carousel ad is also user friendly and makes it easy and more affordable for companies to quickly advertise new product releases, features, or services.

To demonstrate the capabilities of Facebook Carousel ads, I will continue working with the company called  Business Improv (BI). BI is an amazing company that brings improvisation techniques to the demanding world of business. BI creates customized programs to help professional organizations nurture and build the best human capital possible through their unique approach to corporate creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Improv training can improve the way a team communicates helping leaders, managers, and executives better negotiate and conduct business.

BI has a few different customer profiles that they might market to but today we are going to focus on the type of customer their business started with, MBA Graduate students. More specifically the Graduate Directors and Organizers who coordinate academic programs to help their MBA stand out and be successful. As I mentioned in my previous post, BI complements any graduate program that has career-focused students because it teaches behavior skills of how to interact and react to the business world.  The programs also teach particularly useful interview and networking skills to help in the competitive job market. Graduate Directors and Organizers should be impressed by the positive results of students from Business Improv programs, making it easier to regularly secure the program as part of their curriculum. Business Improv provides an exceptional opportunity for MBA schools to achieve results by differentiating their program, helping their students succeed and find jobs, as well as improving their reputation and ranking. MBA Directors and Organizers are normally active on Facebook with their own business profiles, as well as groups and pages for the University.

I created the Carousel ad in the way I did to grab the audience’s attention by speaking to something that MBA Directors and Organizers are constantly looking to do, differentiate their program. They are looking for creative solutions to educate their students both in and out of the classroom to ultimately get them their dream job. I originally showcased the ad in a setting they could identify with and then continued to gain their interest by changing the ad to show the natural progression they would like their students to take. MBA schools are rated on job placement statistics and it is one of the most important aspects that students evaluate when looking to attend a school. Therefore, job placement success is a very important topic for Graduate Directors and Organizers so I made sure the end of the Carousel ad showed that Business Improv was their answer to achieving such success. The daily budget used for this ad was $20.00 and the duration of the ad is 14 days, after that Business Improv might consider creating an ad that would target one of their other types of potential customers.

 

Carousel Promotion Information

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Link in Promotion: http://businessimprov.com/approach/

Business Improv Carousel Ad

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Slide Two:

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Slide Three:

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Slide Four: 

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Mobile Version:

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STAY TUNED FOR THE NEXT PART OF CREATING AN IMPACTFUL MULTI -MEDIA MARKETING STRATEGY FOR BUSINESS IMPROV…..

Business Improv Competitor Website Analysis

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Image result for business improv logoBusiness Improv Competitor Website Analysis

Today, through my multi-media class, I continue exploring how I can help a company called Business Improv (BI) take an integrated approach to their marketing and ensure their brand message reaches their intended audience. If you are just joining me, BI is an amazing company that brings improvisation techniques to the demanding world of business. BI creates customized programs to help professional organizations nurture and build the best human capital possible through their unique approach to corporate creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Improv training can improve the way a team communicates helping leaders, managers, and executives better negotiate and conduct business.

This week to continue creating a multi-media marketing plan for Business Improv, I analyzed their website along with two similar competitors. Business Improv is the only business of its kind, and a relatively new concept, so it is important that the website and all of their marketing material, focus on educating and enticing new customers. While there are improv comedy companies that provide corporate training services, corporate training is not their main focus. So instead I analyzed two competitor websites that offer corporate leadership, sales, and presentation training for large corporations. ad-logoCompetitor number one, called Advantage “is a professional services firm dedicated to providing a continuous stream of creative learning and consulting solutions that equip individuals, teams, and organizations to be the best at what they do”.

dale-logoCompetitor number two is the training company built by the famous author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” Dale Carnegie. According to their website “Dale Carnegie Training has evolved from one man’s belief in the power of self-improvement to a performance-based training company with offices worldwide. We focus on giving people in business the opportunity to sharpen their skills and improve their performance in order to build positive, steady, and profitable result”.

The three company’s website effectiveness was rated in the following categories; Communication, Brand Consistency, Easy Navigation, SEO, Conversion Forms and Analytics. An overview of the analysis can be seen below, click here to download and see the full analysis and notes.

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Push and Pull Marketing

Through my analysis, I realized that unfortunately none of these companies are using the full benefits of push and pull marketing to promote their brands. None of them used any true digital push marketing techniques like pop-ups or chat boxes. They do all, however, use the push technique of email newsletters, which is technically only accomplished first through a pull technique.

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All three companies also have a social media presence on multiple platforms, which is technically only a pull technique on the surface. Offline Business Improv using push marketing by having sales personnel directly contact prospective clients face to face. Dale Carnegie uses push marketing techniques of attractive packaging and design to promote their training services on their print books and products.

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All of the companies use some form of digital pull marketing to promote their services. Business Improv uses extensive SEO to promote themselves. When “Business Improv” is put into a search engine their company and articles about their business are the only items that populate.

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 Advantage uses pull marketing by providing multiple free resources for users to read and download along with an extensive blog. 

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Both Advantage and Dale Carnegie also use pull marketing through their association and listing on industry websites like The Training Industry. Dale Carnegie also uses pull marketing by offering white papers and other resources to engage users  and ensure they return.

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Websites And Social Sharing

All three of the companies had extremely user-friendly mobile websites that made it easy for the customer to use an access information. Business Improv and Advantage had the most updated and clean mobile platforms while Dale Carnegie looked a little less professionally put together and dated.

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All of the companies all had easy to identify social sharing buttons on both their mobile and website platforms. Business Improv has Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with accessible icons directly at the top of their website and mobile site. They do not request for users to follow them or share them on social media which could be a large benefit to the company. Their mobile website is very easy to navigate with a clear menu along with appropriate tags and categories.

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Advantage had the most visually appealing and professional looking website and mobile website compared to the competition. Their website had interesting, simple but appealing graphics that prompted users to a call to action. The mobile website is also very graphically appealing and easy to navigate. Their social media “share” icons really stand out and stay at the bottom of the mobile page throughout their mobile site and on the side throughout their website. They use Sumome to encourage users to “share” Advantage with their own social media followers. They are active on just about every social media platform and encourage users to make comments, like them, and visit their pages. I think one of their biggest downfalls is that they are branded as just “Advantage” instead of “Advantage Performance” which is the name used for their URL and how they are identified through SEO.

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Dale Carnegie’s website and mobile site have entirely way too much content on them and easily overwhelm the user. It is hard to immediately understand if they are selling books, offering personalized classes or corporate training.  They would benefit by more clearly categorizing their content or possible making separate websites or areas for the three different divisions of the company. Both the website and mobile platform see outdated and not as sharp or professional as you would expect from such a large corporation.

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Initially, the mobile website is actually much more visually appealing and less chaotic than the website but once you open a link or category there is an overflow of information. Dale Carnegie does do a great job on their mobile website of clearly offering free tips, secrets, and white pages for users to download. They also promote sharing their mobile website with a link at the top of the page.

Business Improv IMC Advice

After comparing the Business Improv website, who ranked number two among the competitors, I came away with some interesting insights and advice for a stronger IMC and multimedia marketing strategy. The biggest take-away from the analysis is that Business Improv could benefit from drastically increasing their interaction with customers or potential users who visit their website. Currently, their marketing is very “one-sided” and involves them informing the customer but not creating a lasting relationship with them or a reason to return to their website. They have links to articles they are featured in but could really benefit from showcasing these achievements by making a special “featured in” or “recommended by” section. Also to ensure return customers they need to continually update their blog and start offering resources that potential customers would be interested in and return to their website to see. In addition, since their concept is so new to the industry they should use more push marketing to get involved with the customer. They could activate pop ups for email entering or chat boxes for representatives to immediately help inquiring customers. BI should also encourage users to “share” information about their company by offering a link to share the company concept via email to whoever is in charge of hiring training services or would approve training payments. Encouraging social media shares would also be extremely beneficial because other followers might be very interested in a “new” approach to training that comes from a well-known comedy club and is used by top Ivy League schools.

Well Known Partners that BI should Promote through:untitled

Lastly, I advise Business Improv to post videos showing how dynamic and innovative their training seminars can be right on their website, that require no searching to see. Business Improv is a new concept to the corporate world and could truly benefit from educating and engaging potential customers right on their website.

Business Improve introduction video hidden within website:

Stay tuned for the next part of creating an impactful multi -media marketing strategy for Business Improv…..

 

BUSINESS IMPROV CONSUMER PROFILES

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My goal throughout my multi-media class is to learn how I can help a company take an integrated approach to their marketing and ensure their brand message reaches their intended audience. Currently, I am working with an amazing company called Business Improv (BI) who brings improvisation techniques to the demanding world of business. BI creates customized programs to help professional organizations nurture and build the best human capital possible through their unique approach to corporate creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Improv training can improve the way a team communicates helping leaders, managers, and executives better negotiate and conduct business.

This week to begin to create a multi-media marketing plan for Business Improv, I broke down three potential consumer profiles from their B2B target market. Copiously profiling a potential consumer profile will help BI better understand their clientele, what they are looking for how they should market to them. The three consumer B2B profiles for BI that I will be discussing today are 1) A Large Corporation’s Sales Department (J&M Consumer Products) 2) Corporate Executives and Managers  (Buzz Inc.) 3) Directors and Organizers of a traditional full-time MBA Program (UT MBA Graduate School of Business). Although all of these potential consumer profile names and “personas” are completely fictional, they represent and have the characteristics of real potential profiles of B2B customers for Business Improv. Take a look below at the consumer profile charts for each company, along with what characterizes each of these companies as great potential clients for Business Improv to market their services to.

 

Consumer Profile #1  – Company Sales Department
J&M – a large consumer products company, based in the US
Target within company – Sales department

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The services of Business Improv are particularly beneficial to this customer profile because BI programs help companies improve the human capital of their sales force by teaching them how to “react, adapt, and communicate” in their everyday roles.  The program gives the sales force the tools necessary to handle unexpected business hurdles with their clients and their products.  With a sales force focused on consumer habits and time sensitive forecasting, it is vital companies prepare their teams to communicate effectively with their clients to help build professional, successful relationships that in turn produce positive sales results.

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Consumer Profile #2- Corporate Management & Executives
 Buzz Automobile Company- Hi-Tech USA Luxury car Manufacturer
TARGET WITHIN COMPANY – Management Executives & leadership team 

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For today’s business leaders, effective management is rooted in effective communication. Executives need to learn how they can positively influence people and that is done through communication, which is why corporate leadership is such an important customer profile for Business Improv to impact.  Unexpected “curve balls” aren’t just thrown in comedy improv, they are constant in the ever-changing business world also. Which is why Business Improv can be so beneficial to Executives. BI creates programs that foster cooperation, inspire adaptability, teach communication and foster openness to creativity, all qualities of effective leaders.  Business Improv can also significantly assist this particular customer profile by providing tactics to encourage creativity, motivation, effective brainstorming and help build open corporate cultures. BI can help give corporate executives the competitive edge to be effective leaders in a cooperative, creative, results-producing corporate environment.

 

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Consumer Profile #3  – Graduate /Professional Programs
UT Traditional Full-Time MBA Program  with job seeking experienced graduate students
TARGET WITHIN COMPANY – Directors and Organizers of MBA Student programs

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Graduate Directors and Organizers are always looking for great academic programs to make their students and school more unique and successful. Business Improv is actually a program that was created at one of the top business schools in the country, which is why this customer profile is a perfect match.  BI complements any graduate program that has career-focused students because it teaches behavior skills of how to interact and react to the business world. BI teaches students how to overcome “collaboration blockers”, adapt to obstacles, react to failure and foster a creative, positive environment. BI also teaches particularly useful interview and networking skills to help in the competitive job market. Graduate Directors and Organizers should be impressed by the positive results of students from Business Improv programs, making it easier to regularly secure the program as part of their curriculum. BI serves this customer profile because it provides an exceptional opportunity for them to achieve results by differentiating their program, helping their students succeed and find jobs, as well as improving their reputation and ranking.

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Stay tuned for the next step in creating the ideal multi- media marketing plan for Business Improv………….

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The IMC Imprint of Kohl’s

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Expect Great Things

When asked what your favorite brand is, ….it should just come to you, right? You should be wearing it, or carrying it, or using it, right? For me it is not that simple, I do have favorite things that I carry, use or wear but they are different brands. They are different brands that all have one thing in common, they are all from KOHLS! This is why Kohl’s is my favorite brand. Kohl’s has items for every member of the family and every part of the home from a mixture of brands, all at amazing prices. I am not the only one that thinks Kohl’s does great things though. Their social media following is huge, they have fans from all over the world, and Kohl’s interacts and appreciates their fans across multiple media platforms. Depending on the focus of the promotion Kohl’s is running at the time, all of their media platforms send out the same message. Kohl’ is very successful in using multimedia communications both online and offline to interact and reach their customers. When it comes to Kohl’s, their customers always EXPECT GREAT THINGS……

Kohl’s is consistent in their message across all of their media channels and use many of the same distinct images. They also utilize similar colors in their graphics and brand all of their promotional material with their Black “Kohl’s” logo which conveys calmness and balance.  To tie everything together they also use consistent hashtags, links, or titles.

Kohl’s Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube pages with similar graphics:

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Along with their consistent messages, Kohl’s  also advertises their sales, discounts, and promotions in the same manner both online and offline to their customers. They often send out the same coupon or promotion via email, text or print mailer, along with TV and radio advertisements to go online or text a number to get the same promotional coupon sent to them.

Kohl’s online coupon:

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Kohl’s email coupon:

Kohl’s Text Message Coupon:

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Currently, Kohls Is running their Everyday is a Runway campaign in conjunction with their transition to fall fashion. Their efforts can be seen across all of their social media platforms, on their website, in email and text message promotions and in their TV and print ads.

#EverydayRunway on Twitter:

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Kohl’s  Everday Runway on Youtube:

Kohl’s Website :

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Not only does Kohl’s have great merchandise and promotions,  but they are compassionate and giving as well. This is something I love and truly admire about the company. They make it fun and incredibly easy to help and show compassion for others through programs like “Kohl’s Cares for Kids” or sponsoring and promoting other philanthropic efforts and causes.

#KohlsClassroomDonation on Instagram:

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#KohlsClassroomDonation on Twitter:

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Lastly, Kohl’s shows constant appreciation for their customers and continually delivers excellent customer service. They religiously monitor, respond and resolve questions and comments on all of their social media platforms along with offering in-person customer service assistant in their stores.

Customer Service Comments on Facebook:

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Last year,  Kohl’s even knew and immediately reacted to great video a Kohl’s customer posted to their own personal facebook page. Check out the great article below and watch the video that went viral and got more hits than the infamous blue/gold dress!

How a Chewbacca Helped Kohls…

Kohl’s Visits the Happiest Chewbacca:

Kohl’s Chewbacca Mom Goes Viral:

Kohl’s does so many great things as a company both online and offline to interact with their customers which I, along with thousands of others,  find fun and exciting and truly love the brand for.

 

Welcome!

Hello and welcome!

Thanks for stopping by for my very first post! I am so excited to embark on this blogging journey, so I am so glad you have joined me. My previous profession cut me off from the social media world. So now I am hoping this class will give me the tools to rebound and fight back as I go back to school for a Master’s certificate in Social Media, find out more on my About Me page!

That’s all for now, don’t want to be late for my next date!

xoxo

-J

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