March 26, 2013Posted by: Todd Senne, Partner and President
In the height of March Madness, collegiate powerhouses are facing off, each searching for the glory of a championship. But for some smaller, lesser-known schools, just making it into the NCAA tournament will go down in the record book as a win. Take, for instance, Liberty University, which sent both its men’s and women’s basketball teams to the playoffs. Even though they didn't advance, the school will enjoy more national name recognition than it likely has in years. And, for all organizations, that’s where success in marketing begins.
Of course a company must sell its products or services to survive and thrive. But, depending on your market position, rushing to “slam dunk” a sale might not be where your efforts are best spent. Rather, start with getting your name in front of the right audience. People need to be aware of you before they can buy from you. Maybe that means a sponsorship at an event you know your target customers attend. Or perhaps you should engage in media relations to try earn your business news coverage. Or how about a Facebook ad that links to your company’s Facebook page so consumers can get a feel for your products and company culture.
There are many effective, affordable ways to simply get your name out there, which for most businesses is often the first step down the court.
For ideas or to learn more, contact me or visit www.trilixgroup.com.
February 28, 2013Posted by: Trilix
Words like “engagement” and “join the conversation” are buzzing around marketing strategies today as new vehicles for communication emerge all the time. Thanks to inventions like mobile devices, in-house editing programs and social media, there are more avenues than ever to connect and make our brands more personal, responsive and timely.
A snack food’s simple, well-timed ad makes an opportune moment out of a nationally televised mishap, and a cell phone company’s ability to air ads in real-time during the Olympics are just a few examples of how brands are striving to make their presence known when and where their target audience is already tuned in. We often have a crisis management plan in place to react to negative circumstances, but why not have an opportunity management plan ready to take advantage of local news and events, political seasons, pop culture or national headlines?
One step toward this strategy is to put a team in place that can regularly research and prepare content and manage an efficient approval process while topics are hot. Social media is certainly one tool that can be used in this way, but with each component of an advertising campaign, you can bring this conversation to the table and create a plan that utilizes these tools and topics for compelling, relevant advertising.
September 14, 2012Posted by: Lauren August, Account Manager
Admit it. Everyone has either blocked, or wanted to block, a certain Facebook friend’s posts from their newsfeed. Typically, the people who get blocked feel that politics, religion and dislike for their jobs is daily content to be shared with the world. Twitter posts, LinkedIn additions, foursquare and Pinterest updates and articles they just read online junk up Facebook feeds constantly. “Friends” like this bring to light a highly debatable question about social media: Is there such a thing as too much exposure of your personal life?
For some, social media has become such a large part of daily life that it’s hard to imagine a time when brushing your teeth would have happened without first alerting all 700 Twitter follwers of your teeth-brushing intentions. For others, the number of possible communication outlets available today and the frequency with which some participate is seen as unnecessary. The actual importance of social media, like most things in life, probably falls in the middle.
Why over-sharing can be a concern: Social media is a road upon which professionals must tread lightly, as separating one’s personal and professional social media activity has become increasingly more difficult with the growing number of sharing outlets available. Despite one’s best efforts, the line between the two has likely already been blurred by friends or followers who associate with your co-workers and business connections and, more importantly, connections who do not hesitate to share what they see — e.g., the “funny” picture from last Friday night’s bar visit you’d never want your boss to see.
Why under-sharing is bad: Abstaining altogether is not only difficult, but places you outside of the circle of relevancy, as social media is now closely tied to almost all businesses in some way. The world and its views are changing on an hour-by-hour basis, and often it’s social media that alerts us to those changes. By not engaging in social media, professionals risk becoming irrelevant and behind-the-times for not only future job searches, but also the job they currently hold.
How to stay balanced: When in doubt, observe the activity of a co-worker you respect and follow their guidelines, and always remember that “a little mystery is never a bad thing.” This advice about self-restraint was originally given to me by my father while I navigated the high school dating pool, and while his advice hasn’t always been spot-on, (e.g., “Don’t tight-roll your jeans” circa 1989), applying this rule to your social media activity is still pretty solid advice.
July 26, 2012Posted by: Katie McDermott, Public Relations Specialist
To use or not to use Facebook ads? That’s the question of the day. Advertising on Facebook is somewhat of a mystery to those hoping the social media giant can help boost awareness, increase sales or build a loyal customer base. Are clicks and “Likes” worth the money spent?
Many marketers are conflicted in their views of Facebook advertising success and conversion rates of users into consumers, but there’s no mistake in the value that Facebook offers for one important factor: demographic target marketing. Facebook users do half the work for advertisers; they are more than willing to tell you, along with the rest of the world, what they want. Hobbies, interests, relationship and family statuses — the information is there. It’s available to those willing to pay for it, in the form of a thumbnail-sized ad and call to action or memorable phrase.
There’s value in the ability to narrow down your audience to the detail. You can target certain states, cities or even ZIP codes; you can sift through ages, gender or marital statuses. Be in front of those whose interests are relevant to what you’re offering with broad categories like “cooking” that can be fine-tuned to “Italian cuisine.”
Facebook is an investment, like traditional advertising, and it gives you the opportunity to get in front of your target audience and influence their decisions. Though Facebook ads should not be the end-all to your advertising strategy, one thing is clear: there are millions of Facebook users all over the world, and within that critical mass of people, your potential customers are out there. So go find them.
June 29, 2012Posted by: Trilix
With the advent of social media and smartphones, destination marketing has changed. The days of dad hunching over a road map at the wheel, while mom asks aunt Ethel where that museum is, are gone. Nowadays, dad navigates using the GPS on his iPhone while mom checks foursquare for recommendations on top local attractions. People still rely upon their friends’ advice in unfamiliar places, but word of mouth is rapidly being replaced by word of tweet or Facebook post.
Thanks to this social technology, the goal is no longer just to get travelers to a certain destination. The goal is to get them to spread the word about it once they arrive. The growing popularity of tablets and smartphones means the ways in which people share are virtually limitless. Whether it’s in a written or video format, if you can get people to share their positive experiences about your community, attraction or business online, chances are their friends will become visitors themselves.
Guaranteeing this level of consumer interaction is not always a simple task. There are hordes of companies investing considerable amounts of money to promote and develop their social strategies. There’s also an ever-expanding list of social media outlets to consider, including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and foursquare.
Fortunately for destination marketers, there’s one basic principle that holds true regardless of your location or business — your product must make an impression. That means creating something that will make people take notice and want to share it on the web. So start with training your staff to provide exceptional service and making certain your facilities are spotless and safe for visitors. In other words, “wow” them so they have something positive to talk about. Then work with your web and social media teams to develop a cohesive online presence that allows your guests to engage with your brand before, during and after their visit, all while sharing their experience with others. Possessing a strong online presence will also help make you more accessible to industry experts and thought leaders. Through blogs and other online outlets, these people are influential in providing advice and opinions to their followers. By swaying them towards your brand, you take a big step towards creating a positive online brand image.
Remember, destination marketing is not only about getting people to your area or business, it’s about getting them back again and more importantly, getting them to tell their friends to head in your direction, too. Exploiting the power of today’s social media is the ideal roadmap to make that happen. Have a great summer!