public relations

Turn Your Business into a Brand with Emotion-Driven Advertising

In recent years, Apple’s “Designed by Apple” commercials were easily recognized by their simplistic advertising: using their product displayed atop a white background, while demonstrating its capabilities to the melodic tunes of a fun, upbeat song.  While we learn what the product does, and may even discover a new song, the commercials lacked the emotional appeal that could further promote emotional bonding between the brand and current and/or potential customers.  Recently we’ve seen Apple commercials have changed their tune by taking us on a journey, in a sort of story-telling format.  In an almost voyeuristic manner, Apple shares special moments from two lovers on a bridge capturing a kiss under an umbrella on a rainy day to a grandparent video chatting with loved ones afar.

advertising agency atlanta gaIn a previous marketing blog we discussed the shift in advertisers tapping into an emotional angle when promoting their product or services to consumers.  With many competitors offering the same basic features, advertisers are tapping into the emotional benefits of their brand as a way to set themselves apart and build an emotional relationship with their customers.  Establishing an emotional bond with customers makes them more likely to use and recommend your product or service because they can relate to your messaging.  Today, prices and product claims are not enough to ensure that your customers continue to choose your business over the competition.  When a customer goes to buy a product, they may not necessarily remember what claims the product has as to why it’s a better choice; instead, they will remember how the advertisement made them feel.

There are a few questions you may want to consider when creating emotion-driven advertising to turn your business into a brand that resonates with consumers:

  • Who are your customers?  Defining your target audience is beneficial when considering the best way to brand your business.  By understanding what they want, you can market directly to the audience that would find your product.
  • What are the emotional benefits?  Figure out what customers find appealing about a product besides the price and features.  In a sea of similarity, standing out among the competition may seem hard but promoting your business in a positive way creates a bond with customers to encourage repeat business.
  • Why should customers come back?  Your goal is to promote a product that not only attracts new customers, but keeps them coming back time after time.  Asking loyal customers what they look for when purchasing products and researching competitors in your market are good insights that can help you strategize.

 

To learn more about branding your business or other advertising and public relations services offered at McCauley Marketing Services, contact us today.  To read the latest marketing and advertising news, connect with McCauley on FacebookTwitter, and Google +.

The Power of Social Media Reviews: How Advantageous are They to Your Business?

In a speech given in South Africa in 1890, Mahatma Gandhi said, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent upon us. We are dependent on him. He is not an interruption on work. He is the purpose of it. He is not an outsider to our business; he is a part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him. He is doing us a favor by giving us the opportunity to do it.” Gandhi knew the key to good customer relationship management, but somehow his profound words seem to have faded over the past 122 years.

As a full service marketing and public relations firm, McCauley Marketing Services strives to help our clients maintain lasting relationships with customers and patients while reaching new audiences. An internal marketing strategy is important to any business because like Gandhi stated, the customer is doing the business a “favor” by giving the business the opportunity to serve them. However, it seems as if more and more businesses care less about maintaining relationships.

In fact, in dealings outside of the office, some of the team members of McCauley Services have come to the realization that one of the only ways to have an issue resolved by a company’s customer service department in a timely manner is by reaching them on social media. Sitting on hold for 30 minutes just to reach a voicemail so that someone will call you back within 24 hours (most likely when you’re at work) or sending an email request in order to receive an automatic response explaining that your matter will be responded to in 24-48 hours (with no reference to when the issue will be fixed) sometimes just isn’t enough when a service you pay for isn’t working properly. In our experience, businesses often respond to social media requests within hours, usually fixing the problem completely within a 24 hour time frame.

While the power of social media is astonishing, should businesses not be responding to private phone and email complaints just as quickly as they do public complaints? Why is it that a customer who protects the business from unnecessary negative publicity by going straight to the source without posting a negative comment on Facebook or tweeting a complaint gets a slower response than those who do? By doing some research on various businesses on Twitter and seeing long lists of complaints and replies, it is obvious we are not the only people who have figured this out. It seems like it would take the same amount of time and energy for a company to respond to calls and emails about problems as quickly as they do social media requests, which would improve the company’s customer relationship management as well as their social media presence.

Be it social media or review sites like Google, Yelp, Yahoo, etc. negative online reviews are unavoidable even with the best internal marketing strategies—you can’t make everyone happy. It is still important to strive to keep customers happy by serving them well and in a timely manner to minimize negative reviews, but if you can’t avoid it, be sure to respond to them. Don’t ignore them, and try to make amends. Never assume your business is more powerful than the consumer, but don’t let the consumer overrun the company.

The members of McCauley Marketing Services have high customer service standards and attempt to reflect these standards in our company as well as to our clients’ companies. Visit our website to learn more about our marketing and public relations services, and contact us if you’re looking to revise your internal marketing strategy. For more examples of the power of social media and other marketing news, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.

When Personal and Professional Profiles Cross: Responding to Social Media Mistakes

Last week’s blog discussed physicians and professionals misusing social media. An article recently written by Ryan Homles, CEO of HootSuite (a social media management tool), reminds us of a prime example of social media misuse. In February last year, a social media specialist for the American Red Cross intended to send a personal tweet via her personal profile using HootSuite when she inadvertently sent it to the Red Cross’ 286,000 followers. The tweet stated:

“Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer… when we drink we do it right #gettingslizzerd”

Wendy Harman, the American Red Cross’ Social Media Director, was quickly alerted and knew she had to react to what could be a public relations disaster. Her first response was deleting the tweet. She hurried to collaborate with her coworkers and determine a plan of action which included a follow-up tweet and blog post explaining the situation in a humorous manner. Their response on Twitter declared:

“We’ve deleted the rogue tweet but rest assured the Red Cross is sober and we’ve confiscated the keys.”

In making light of the situation, the American Red Cross received positive attention. Not only did the hashtag #gettingslizzerd showed up as a trending tweet the following day, but Dogfish Head Brewery requested people to donate to the Red Cross. Although they couldn’t determine how many donations were made due to the attention on Twitter, they did receive more donations than average during this time. They even received a donation from HootSuite.

While it is important to put company social media policies into place to avoid negative attention, not all mistakes are avoidable. In fact, as we discussed in our blog on what happens when social media marketing flops, even posts you intentionally make can work to your disadvantage. Once a mistake is made, responding effectively is most important for reputation management. The Red Cross went beyond sending a tweet to admit their mistake:  they even wrote a blog post to further explain and warned against giving blood and drinking alcohol. Additionally they were very appreciative of their online communities’ positive response understanding that their followers could have easily reacted poorly.

As a full service marketing and public relations company, McCauley Marketing Services understands the importance of keeping a defined line between personal and professional social media profiles to avoid similar situations and protect our clients’ brands. Recognizing the importance of customer relationship management, we also know how to effectively respond when crisis occurs. Keep reading our blog to stay up-to-date on marketing news, and if you haven’t already, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

You’ve Been Promoted! Twitter Offers Advertising Options

mccauley servicesIf you’re a frequent Twitter user, you’ve probably noticed the tweets of people or organizations that you don’t follow have started showing up in your feed along with a little orange box. Twitter is now offering forms of advertising to companies looking to capitalize on the search-engine-like capabilities of the social media platform: promoted tweets, accounts, and trends.

According to Twitter’s website, promoted tweets are the space purchased by advertisers to show up on the Twitter feed of a certain group of people characterized by the people users follows and their interests. Promoted accounts are similar except they show up in the “Who to Follow” box, and promoted trends appear in the trend box underneath that. Promoted tweets and trends are currently in the Beta stage, while promoted accounts are available.

These forms of social media advertisements work on a cost-per-engagement basis in which a company advertising through a promoted tweet pays their bid price every time a Twitter user clicks on, retweets, replies to, or favorites your tweet. Bid prices can range based on the popularity of your topic and are available in Twitter search where they are targeted toward keywords. Promoted accounts are charged on a cost-per-follow basis, meaning the bid price is charged each time a Twitter user follows that account. Promoted trends are offered on a flat daily fee usually costing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but your trend is posted at the top of each logged-in Twitter user’s Trend list, regardless of location.

The high cost of advertising on Twitter has turned off many potential clients including HBO and Toyota according to an article on VentureBeat.com. However, the article’s author, Tom Cheredar, speculates that this high cost is due to the fact that, “Unlike search engine marketing, those who advertise their message with Twitter have a better chance of creating a long-term relationship with consumers.”

The newest addition to Twitter’s list of promoted content includes an enhanced profile page to allow for more company brand identity than usually allowed on a typical Twitter profile including a header image (similar to Facebook’s new Timeline cover photo), featured content including automatically expanding videos in promoted tweets, and a matching mobile version of your profile.

While Twitter advertising may help companies target customers who are more likely to be loyal, does the high cost of their promoted options give advertisers a good return on investment (ROI)? The Twitter website offers case studies of companies who have taken advantage of the promoted offerings and used them to their full potential. One men’s apparel company, Bonobos, offered a sale on a style of pants only through Twitter, a “Twixclusive.” Over 80 people retweeted the offer in about 8 minutes, and the company reported a 1200% ROI in 24 hours. The case study also reports that, for Bonobos, it was 13 times more cost-effective to get new customers from Twitter than any other marketing approach.

While this case study is obviously meant to highlight the best case scenario, it shows the potential that Twitter’s promoted advertising offers companies. If your organization is looking into investing a large amount into social media advertising like that offered though Twitter, it’s best to thoroughly research your social media campaign.

For more information on social media marketing, sign up for our newsletter. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Bombs Away! What is a Twitter Bomb?

The advent of social media means marketers are trying many new ways—some sneaky and some legitimate—to get their names in front of more potential customers. Twitter, while a helpful, fun, and interesting form of social media, also works as a sort of search engine for individuals looking at hash tags. People looking to take advantage of Twitter’s hash tag and trending topic algorithms use a type of guerilla marketing technique called Twitter bombing.

twitter-bombTwitter bombing is the use of trending topics or popular Twitter hash tags to direct people to unrelated websites or products. Many political groups have taken advantage of this tactic to trash opposing candidates. Companies use popular trending topics from around the world to attach links to their tweets and drive more people to their websites.

The key in Twitter bombing is that multiple accounts (sometimes thousands) are created to overtake the normal trending results. While in a typical fashion, this seems like black hat SEO, some companies are smudging the boundaries to utilize Twitter bombing without annoying users. Skittles encouraged its customers to tweet using the hash tag “#Skittles” and they would appear on the company’s homepage. This resulted in thousands of people using the word “Skittles” along with other hash tags, spreading the company’s name far beyond their regular audience.

The not-so-accepted way of Twitter bombing involves creating multiple dummy accounts and sending a large number of tweets in a short period of time. This method is usually pretty irritating for Twitter users who are actually trying to use the social media site to gain specific information. It’s also a rather ineffective way to market when you actually do the math. The amount of time and man power spent on creating so many accounts to bombard the Twitter search results is outweighed by the short amount of time the “bombs” will be a top search result.

Because Twitter is a constant stream of tweets from millions of people, there are tons of new hash tags and trending topic tweets flooding in every second. Getting your bombs to the top of search engine results is like a salmon struggling to swim upstream in a violent current. Instead, Twitter is now offering sponsored tweets which are strategically focused toward your target market.

Because social media is still new (and ever-changing) marketers are coming up with new ways to engage the users of these internet playgrounds. Remember, though, it’s more important for your business to have a solid set of faithful and interactive followers than thousands of “friends” that aren’t engaged in your social media. Effective social media marketing is more than a number of followers! This is an instance in which quality really is better than quantity.

For more information on social media marketing make sure to check out our website. You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for marketing tips and the latest in marketing news.

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