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Perspectives by GMU Internet Marketing Students


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Tips to make your video worth watching

Blogger: Chris Saunders

Video marketing has never been easier to do. With the recent emergence and boom of easy to use platforms like YouTube, video marketing can be both a successful and profitable tactic for any business. Getting the video out to the public is simple, but getting the right video out still has its difficulties. Getting the right message and properly voicing it to your audience can be quite a tough task. Every business is different, and each business can benefit from following these few simple tips, which will ultimately improve the success of your business’ video marketing.

Tip 1 – Your targeting audience will respond much better to a video with more personality. Now by personality, I mean a video that is both captivating visually and audibly, and still informative enough to get the point across. A bland video with words on a white background or a salesperson reading to you is less likely to have a positive effect on you than a casual, more intriguing video taking place in a real-life environment. Compare these two videos and see the difference for yourself.

  • Example 1 (Bad) – Not only is the ad fairly boring to watch and monotone, it could also be considered quite offensive. Additionally, you don’t find out what brand the ad is for until the last five seconds.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmYeFLLHmS0
  • Example 2 (Good) – The ad is mildly humorous, keeps your attention, and puts a strong, positive focus on the brand throughout the entire ad.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeDOcYOurUs

Tip 2 – Another important piece of advice is to maintain consistency. Be consistent in displaying and releasing new ads. Don’t release new ads too often, but don’t make them too sparse. A weekly or monthly set schedule can significantly improve your targeted audience’s response. Also, be consistent in releasing ads based around the same subject. A good example would be Geico, the car insurance company; they always feature the gecko and a similar type of scenario which consumers can recognize and build a minor, but important, relationship with.

Tip 3 – Following the same advice from the last tip, a relevant video is a good video. Keep your video short, concise, and focused on your brand, while still retaining audience attention and being informing and entertaining. Now this is easier said than done, but also hard to mess up at the same time. Say what you need to say about your brand, and nothing more. Provide enough information to entice consumers, and allow them to further research your product or service, which if they are interested they will surely do.

Tip 4 – Last but not least, testimonials can go a long way. Providing truthful and convincing testimonials can further instill consumer’s trust in your brand and give them the push they need to look into/purchase your product or service. The one caveat to this tip, is that if done wrong, it can do exactly the opposite of what you want which is push consumers farther away and lose their trust. For instance, have you ever seen those hair growth or weight loss commercials? If so, then you most likely always question whether the person in the before picture is the same person in the after picture. Situations like this can substantially damage your brand’s image, so keep your testimonials short, simple, and most of all truthful and believable.

Video marketing is readily accessible for the smallest to the biggest companies and can provide a large boost in not only your brand’s image but also to the amount of potential consumers you reach. Follow these tips and your video ads will have a much higher rate of success, and possibly make you more money too!


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Content marketing strategy & implementation

Blogger: Lea Rossetti

Today, content marketing strategy has become a major challenge for marketers to develop their brand and create brand awareness. But what is content marketing?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is “planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.”

Content marketing has to be explained, developed and then applied. The firms first have to give a clear statement of what they want to do and how they will put it in action as an internal marketing process.

A solid strategy is needed to create a relevant content strategy. It has to earn the faith of the consumers to be used and applied. The strategy can be defined thanks to clear goals to reach. Here is a Content strategy cycle (Kathy Hanbury – 5 things you need to know about content strategy):

5-Things-You-Need-to-Know-about-Content-Strategy-Chart

On a deeper aspect, content marketing strategy is just a part of an overall marketing strategy. It can’t work by itself, but it is really effective, as it adjusts to the budget you can afford, and what you want to invest in terms of time. The Content Marketing Strategy has to adapt to the image of the firm to the customers, and to the marketing tactics of the whole company.

Concerning the implementation of the content strategy, it’s a complex process. Many tools can be used including social media, and blog posts.

According to an article in Heinz Marketing website, there are five stages to successful content strategy implementation. First, the statement of clear objectives. The content will adapt depending of the objectives. It is so important to know them well to apply the best strategy. The second stage is the asset architecture. This is about asking yourself the good structural questions to create a coherent strategy to fit your goals. Those questions will give the structure you want to have to create the overall Content strategy. The third step is the execution. During this stage, you need to set a clear schedule, and to really consider the potential customers review, to make changes if necessary. As the small sample of potential customers will tell you what they like or don’t like about the strategy, you can modify it to suits better and to please them. During the execution, you also need to be really careful about not getting outside of the content, meaning that you need to be coherent in your actions. The fourth stage is measurement. This step is one of the most important as it will help the firm to see if the content strategy works; if the result matches expectations and objectives. It also helps to move to the last stage – continuous improvement. As you will measure the benefits from the content strategy, you need to find a way to get even better in order to be even more efficient. It also helps to keep track of the strategy, for future needs. You might as well think of another solution or improvement at the end that might be conducted at the same moment and so be complementary of the strategy.

In summary, content marketing strategy is really important to any firm in order to achieve any clear marketing objectives (ex: what do you want to do to attract new consumers? How can you drive awareness to you firm? How do you want your brand to be perceived by consumers?). To do so, many tools can be use, and some simple steps need to be followed in order to be strongly efficient and to achieve goals, with continuing improving.

Article 1: http://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2011/04/5-things-about-content-strategy/

Article 2: http://www.heinzmarketing.com/2012/06/five-stages-of-effective-content-strategy-implementation/


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Content Marketing

Blogger: Bryan Reilly

Online marketing has changed very rapidly over the past 5 years. While it once was about packing your website with popular keywords and reworked content so you would be seen, Google and other popular search engines are getting smarter. As highlighted in Karl Fendelander’s article Google Knowledge Graph and SEO: Search Gets Smarter, Google has a comprehension of what people are looking for based on what they query. So a website that packs its content with SEO words instead of viable content will more likely be flagged as spam than ever before. The Google spider is also beginning to identifying blatantly reworked content so it will no longer be displayed as an organic search result. So there is no doubt that the landscape is changing in the online marketing world as search engines begin to catch up with past practices.

The new focus for online marketers must be on content marketing and creating a valid website with important information that is constantly updated. With this in mind, Randy Milanovic developed a small article and infographic titled The 21 New Rules of Content Marketing. He begins with a short but important statement that highlights the transition to content marketing; “In this new world of Internet marketing, it’s not about being ’optimized’,” but being ’easy to find.’” The new way to be found or optimize is through compelling and rich content.

A few of the rules Randy has in his article include: treat keywords like hot sauce, headlines are everything, and don’t just post…engage. Unlike in the past, keywords should now be used sparingly but powerfully. Keywords should mean something and bring people to the content they want. Headlines are also key to grabbing the attention of readers as they are the first thing that people see. If your headlines don’t draw people in than it will be much more difficult to get people to your content. Lastly when good content is posted on a website, marketers should never let it sit idle. Marketers must continue to engage with their own content and the people looking at it. Good content loses its potency if people aren’t drawn in and if people aren’t engaged with.

In the development of their content, many companies try to develop something eye-popping and cutting edge. According to Alexander Jutkowitz in his article Content Marketing: It’s Not about Shock, but Good Storytelling, content development should be about authenticity and providing customers with an experience or knowledge they can actually use. Once companies stop thinking about ways they can shock people into paying attention through Miley Cyrus style VMA performance methods, they can focus on the kind of information that people are truly interested in. The goal for companies should be to find out what people don’t know, what you can provide them, and then provide them with rick content that they can look at every day.

As a closing point, the development of content should not be developed simply as a shallow form of advertising and should not be seen simply as a means to grab customers. If this mindset is taken, even though customer generation is always the key, content development will fall short and people will see through what you are doing. Authenticity and an understanding of you customer’s wants and needs is the best way to create content that people want, and will ensure that your content is found online.

 


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Content is King

Blogger: Prabhjot Sohi

Jayson DeMers, contributor of The Top 7 Content Marketing Trends That Will Dominate 2014, says “A successful content marketing campaign establishes you as an expert in your field, and that sets the groundwork for a long-term business.” And he is right. Content marketing is KING or key in attaining a lead presence in the market.

Today I would like to discuss how to devise a successful content marketing strategy.  I would also like to explain the correct way of implementing your strategy.

The main goal of devising a content strategy is to drive visitors to your site. The way you do this is by providing value to the customer in terms of content. You want to present exactly what a potential customer would be looking when inquiring about your product or service.  Jayson DeMers believes the purpose of this is “building trust, branding, awareness, and positive sentiment.” A superior content strategy will do all of these things.

In a different article (How to Build a Kickass Content Strategy) written by Jayson DeMers he discusses that there should be two types of strategies implemented: offsite and onsite. Onsite strategies involve content on your specific site. Your onsite strategy should include all the following: differentiation from competitor sites, user needs and long-form content. It is important to avoid trying to use sales driving literature, because this will not help you gain the potential customer’s trust.

Offsite strategies can be developing posts on sites that your target audience would be likely to visit. If you are developing these posts on other sites DeMers states it is important that you are providing feedback in the form of “discussions” if there are any. Another point DeMers reiterates for offsite strategies is to “never sell.” Also, it is important to post quality content. Anything poorly written will reflect poorly back on your company. It is better to not post than to post content that is subpar.

The key theme in developing your strategy should be focusing on the USER!

“Combines the powers of all media channels” this is DeMer’s idea of successful execution of a marketing strategy. Encompassing several different arenas of media will “position you as an industry leader,” says DeMers in his article, How to Execute a Converged Media Content Strategy (And Why You Should).  He breaks the different media channels into three categories “Owned,” “Earned,” and “Bought.” Owned content is developed on your company site. Earned content is recognition content you get from others. Examples of this could be bloggers blogging about your company. Finally bought content is advertising which you pay for. Of the three DeMers emphasizes that owned content and earned content are what business are lacking in and are most important.

Concluding our topic of Content Marketing, remember to remain focused on your USER (also known as target customer) when developing your content. When executing your strategy it is important to use all three different media outlets, and to especially focus on Owned and Earned content.


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Why mobile marketing is important

Blogger: Mir Hussain

Mobile marketing is connecting to consumers through mobile devices such as smart phones, tablets etc.  70% Mobile searches are acted upon 1 hour of the search and most of the time the searches are local.  Mobile marketing has to be quick, fast and has to have location services.  Word press touch, responsive design, and using codes to redirect to mobile webpages for the website as a work around.  There are a lot of reasons that mobile marketing is important and few of the highlights are:

  • 75 percent of consumers often choose a restaurant to dine at based on search results.
  • According to Google and Nielsen, 73 percent of mobile searches trigger additional action and conversion.
  • 97 percent of consumers go online to research products or services in their local area.
  • 49 percent of searches for local businesses occur without a specific business in mind.
  • 70 percent of those consumers who run local mobile searches act on their search within an hour.

Jamie Turner is considered to be an expert in mobile marketing who appears as a guest for CNN and other media outlets on a regular basis. He is the CEO and founder of the 60 second marketer which is an organization that provides tools, tips and tutorials on social media and mobile marketing.  Jamie says that most crucial tool a business can have is a mobile website before anything else like an app or so on.  Consumers are looking for products through mobile devices and want to connect with a business.  Google search, QR code scan, mobile banner ads, and ad SMS are just a few ways consumers and companies engage each other.

I personally see mobile marketing being the most crucial part of a marketing campaign because of the amount of people that have mobile devices.  I use apps on my phone to look for new restaurants for date night with my girlfriend. .  I looked up a fine dining Italian restaurant in DC called Palena for our anniversary.  I found while I was looking for upscale restaurants in yelp.  They had a 5 star rating and 4 $ signs to show how expensive they were.  These types of apps which allow you to read reviews and also book a reservation through a simple click enhances the experiences of the consumer.   Apps such as yelp, foursquare, Google Chrome etc.   Everybody is researching a product or service on a mobile device most of the time because of the convenience.  Mobile devices are easier to access than desktops which are becoming obsolete,  and know some cases a laptop.   I work at Verizon and the specs that some of these phones that come in are just as good as some laptops.  Right now I have the LG G2 which has a 2.26ghz, quad core processor.  The things you can do like having having access to sites and mobile apps help companies a lot to market their products and services.  Also a lot of restaurants are on Groupon and living social which are coupon based apps help market particular restaurants.  Nowadays a lot of people including myself will go to restaurants if we find a deal and then research the restaurant in yelp or another review site/app to see how good the service and food is at the particular restaurant.  The companies are connected to the consumers directly through their mobile sites and apps and also third party apps and sites which increases their exposure.

As we were talking in class with our mini project of a food truck, our group decided on the idea of making a app that keeps track of amount of times a customer came in to eat and they would receive the 10th meal free.  Having links to Facebook to make a quick profile which is a deeper connection to the customer promoting the product and service of our food truck.  Also having QR codes on the side of the truck to give out deals to customer so with a scan with their mobile devices they would be able to get instant deals.  Mobile apps have made everyone’s life easier when you look at all the things that can be accomplished such as managing your finances with apps from the credit card companies like Amex, also managing your social media pages like Facebook and Twitter, and keeping up with news and information whether is international to domestic or sports. If companies don’t take advantage of having a presence in mobile marketing, they are already a step behind the competition.


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Mobile Marketing: Why is it important?

Blogger: Trevon D. Jones

Mobile Marketing is extremely important in today’s society. According to an article from Business West.com entitled, “Your Customers Have Gone Mobile,” research shows that more than 50% of cell phones are now smartphones along with the increasing use of tablets. An estimation was made that the number of mobile internet users will exceed those of PC internet users by next year.

With our society now currently having that “on-the-go” lifestyle, we tend to prefer convenience and efficiency above anything else. The use of the smartphone allows us to access the internet, download different apps of our choice (some of which could already be a part of the package such as Facebook), utilize the Global Positioning System (GPS) for directions, and not to mention, to call, text, and leave voicemails. With us able to do all of these different activities via a smartphone, something small and light that we can easily carry around, we tend to prefer to use those over a PC. However, it is important to note too that due to the growth of the mobile marketing trend, companies need to, if they haven’t already, adjust their websites accordingly. As we discussed in class, companies with websites need to have a responsive website which the site itself would essentially adjust itself according to the length and width of the current screen it is being displayed on. So for instance, if a viewer accesses your site via a mobile phone/smart-phone, they should be able to view your site without having to do extra zooming or scrolling to read the content.

Another reason why mobile marketing is so important is because it is seen as an opportunity for companies to have essentially an effective marketing strategy. For instance, companies can use mobile marketing as an integrated content delivery, a direct response vehicle, a cross-media driver, or essentially a form of marketing communications according to the article “Mobile Marketing: Its Time Has Come.” Additionally, the article states that with the improvement of technology and reporting, companies can now follow their audiences. Not to mention either, the cost to do such marketing is relatively cheap. The Mobile Marketing article points out this example: “From local retail stores to amateur garage bands, it is now possible to design and implement campaigns to connect with customers and fans alike, with little effort and money.”

STEVENS, TINA. “Your Customers Have Gone Mobile.” Businesswest 30.3 (2013): 18. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2013

Westlund, Richard. “Mobile Marketing: Its Time Has Come” Adweek (2008): 6. MasterFILE Premier. Web. 11 Oct. 2013


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PPC

Blogger: Alexa Filipek

The first article I read: PPC for brand impact explained the benefits and advantages of companies using the PPC campaign to brand and rebrand their products and services. “Paid search marketing is the process of gaining traffic by purchasing ads on search engines. It is sometimes referred to as CPC (cost-per-click) or PPC (pay-per-click) marketing” (Shuen). The added bonus is companies only pay for actual advertising results, when someone clicks on your add and visits your website. Not all companies can afford to spend money on fancy campaigns to promote their brand, so the PPC campaign is a cost effective alternative.

Every successful business has a webpage, and in this day in age customers, and clients rely on that webpage for important information, and companies rely on their webpage gaining a lot of traffic. With internet marketing being such a useful tool, PPC can help your company gain more traffic and generate more clients for your business.

“For something that has been around for a few years, PPC has become an established part of online marketing for many companies” (Shuen). One of the main advantages of PPC is that it can be very effective for branding, and rebranding awareness of a product or service.  For example, ServiceMagic was a company who was looking to rebrand after using their name for over a dozen years. The new brand name is now HomeAdvisor, and this company used the PPC approach to learn and test traffic impact. The company was simply looking for a way to increase the number of clicks, as well as increase web traffic, and using the PPC campaign was able to accomplish just that, and this method proved to be a success for the company.

The second article I read, Why PPC ads will always work, Cunnignham provides three specific advantages and benefits of using PPC.

  1. “Speed (PPC works on a bidding system, you can competitively bid so more people see your ad. This means if you put up an ad today you can gain traffic today from that ad, no waiting).”
  2. “Target (With PPC you can target certain types of people with certain interests with your advertising, and not have to pay for people who don’t care to see your ads).”
  3. “Results (No internet marketing tool brings more immediate results).”

 

“The typical click through rate (CTR) for a decent ad campaign is anywhere from 1-5% (the ratio of people who see your ad to those who click through). The good news, is you aren’t paying for the 5,000 people who don’t click on your company’s ad, but you pay for the 50 who do click on it. “Depending on the exact targeting of your ad, you will probably begin paying about $1-2 per click, and if you’re good or have good people working for you, they will half that cost in a few weeks by optimizing your campaign, so in the beginning you’ll be paying $50-100 per sale or new lead; in the end about $25-$50” (Cuningham).

With results and benefits mentioned previously, it is hard to see why companies wouldn’t want to spend time creating a PPC campaign for their company. It has proved in many situations to be successful and help companies promote their products and services, by targeting their specific audience efficiently and effectively.

Article #1 http://socialmediatoday.com/sookie-shuen/473076/death-pay-click-advertising-ppc

Article #2 http://www.cowleyweb.com/blog/why-ppc-pay-click-ads-will-always-work