brand

Video Marketing Rises in Popularity

Video-Marketing1Online content is getting shorter as attention spans decrease. Videos now serve as bite-sized content that keeps viewers interested.

According to an article by The Guardian, video is the best way to engage with consumers and to increase awareness of your brand.

Video will account for 69% of all online consumer traffic by 2017, according to Cisco. YouTube already receives more than 1 billion viewers per month, which is more than any other channel except Facebook. It is becoming a great tool for marketing, as its influence grows and becomes a factor in how consumers view a company. A study showed that seven out of ten people viewed a company more positively after viewing its interesting online content.

Video is an excellent choice for keeping consumers engaged because it holds one’s attention span longer than a still photo. Video content is also a very affordable method for small businesses and start-up businesses, as production costs are decreasing. It’s also increasingly easier to create content using apps, such as Vine and more. This means it could be a smart investment for your company. Nielsen says that 64% of marketers are going to be increasing their video budget and investment. Currently, about half of the market in the UK are using video to connect with their consumers, with this number expecting to increase dramatically.

Here are some tips to using video marketing successfully:

  • Think of your audience. Make your video relevant to them. If it doesn’t make sense to use video for your audience, don’t. Don’t waste time or resources.
  • Do not ignore social media. A large percentage of sharing and viewing happens from mobile phones – maximize that sharing and viewing potential by posting videos to social media.
  • Finally, be creative with the videos you make. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and be interesting.

If you have any questions about video marketing, please contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com

Re-Evaluating and Renewing Your Brand for 2016

NewYearGoalsIt’s a new year…so perhaps it is time to reinvent and think about those resolutions. It’s also time to evaluate the past year and move forward with those new ideas that you shelved. Setting new goals and resolutions for your business and brand is just as important as setting those personal resolutions.

Looking back at 2015, what efforts and campaigns did you execute? Did they work for your brand? These tips will help you to re-evaluate or re-invent your company’s brand to appeal better to your audience. If your resolution is to finally launch that business you’ve been dreaming of, then these tips are great tools for you to make it a reality in 2016!

1. Know your audience
What services/products does your business offer and who are you targeting? Asking this question is a good first step to understand if you’re appealing to the right group. All marketing tools and tactics that you employ will need to be relevant to your target audience, so you don’t waste your efforts. Learn about the interests, needs and concerns of your audience. Surveying your audience is a great way to get to know them and get feedback directly because you can ask questions about what they want, what their preferences are, and what you as a brand can do to fulfill them.

2. Ask yourself what goals you would like to achieve.
Are you looking to increase awareness, increase sales, or a combination of the two? For any campaign, it’s important to have a goal and a plan in mind. Listing your goals will help keep your company’s view and messaging focused. Getting to know your audience will help you define what goals are most realistic. Then, moving forward, keep going back to that goal to ensure you’re staying on strategy and on message.

3. Ensure your messages align with your brand’s voice.
Your brand is the personality and essence of your company. In Forbes’ article “Why Branding is Important,” Scott Goodson says, “Brands are psychology and science brought together as a promise mark as opposed to a trademark. Products have life cycles. Brands outlive products.” If you develop your brand with the proper messaging and audience in mind, it will expand and grow over time.

Researching and knowing your audience, again, is key in this realm. If your target audience is a younger demographic, you might want to adjust your brand’s voice to appeal to that target group. The use of images appeals to all audiences, but especially to younger groups. If you’re just launching your startup, you’ll want to develop your brand properly. Create a mission statement and a voice that conveys what your business does and why you’re doing it.

4. What channels does your brand use to communicate?
Surveying your audience first can help you determine the best ways to communicate. Ask them if they use Instagram. Ask yourself if that medium is an appropriate tool for your brand to use. You don’t need to be present on all channels of social media, but if you’re going to be on a channel, do it well. Use the media that best appeals to your brand and audience. Plan your posts ahead of time. Tailor your posts to what your audience wants to hear and decide what is relevant for you to share. There are so many ways to reach your audience, from snail mail and email to Instagram and Periscope – the proper connection is key.

5. Tell stories, share experiences.
Consumers are valuing experiences more and more, and the social tools available are making it easier than ever to appeal to that. With apps like Periscope or Meerkat, you can live-stream an event and share it with your consumers. With Instagram, you share your brand purely through images. This can help build a connection between the company and the consumer. In Psychology Today, Pamela B. Rutledge Ph.D., M.B.A. said, “When organizations, causes, brands or individuals identify and develop a core story, they create and display authentic meaning and purpose that others can believe, participate with, and share.”

Starting a company blog is another way to share your message, while giving consumers insight into your brand. You can share stories about impacts your business has made, for example. A blog is a great way to build a connection with your audience and your company. Consumers don’t want to interact with a big corporation; they want to feel the personalized, intimate connection of a small start-up. They want to share your experiences and understand your brand.
If you’re looking to start your business or make a change to your brand this new year, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com

Use Snapchat to Attract Millennials and Centennials

Snapchat

Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to view images and videos that disappear after displaying for up to 10 seconds. According to GWI, Snapchat was the fastest growing social app in 2014 with over 100 million daily active users.

Marketers have been struggling to target Millennials through various mediums, primarily due to the lack of targeting and understanding of specific subgroups. Recently, marketers have sought ways to target Centennials, also known as Generation Z, who currently make up more than 25% of the U.S. population. Here are a few statistics that demonstrate why Snapchat is the perfect social media platform to attract both groups:

  •   71% of Snapchat users are under 25 years old
  •   77% of college students use Snapchat daily
  •   30% of U.S. millennial internet users access Snapchat regularly
  •   34% of 18-34 year olds in the U.S. have a Snapchat account
  •   32% of teens (13-17) use Snapchat

If that doesn’t convince you, a recent study by Mashable shows a lot of opportunities for companies to expose their brand to college students. Here were some key findings:

  •   45% of college students would open a Snapchat from a brand they don’t know
  •   73% of college students would open a Snapchat from a brand they do know
  •   67% of college students would want to receive discounts or promotions from brands on Snapchat
  •   58% of college students are likely to purchase a brand’s product or service if they send them a Snapchat coupon

Although this data shows that Millennials and Centennials are frequent Snapchat users, only 1% of marketers use Snapchat. Brands that are afraid to experiment with new social media platforms are making a big mistake.

Wet Seal, for example, stepped outside the norm by hiring a 16-year old to manage their Snapchat account. Within two days, the brand had 9,000 new followers and 6,000 views of Wet Seal’s Snapchat “story.”

At the end of the day, brands should not be afraid to use Snapchat, especially since Snapchat’s CEO is a Millennial himself!

Invest in Your Internal Brand

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Once you have budget to invest in your brand, you may be wondering if it is best spent on a local television commercial or an ad on YouTube. Instead, we encourage you to consider investing in your people!

Google, for example, has spent little on advertising and more on its employer brand. Its main focus is on getting and retaining the best employees, knowing customers will follow. Google invests in its people and its “People” team by paying some of the highest salaries, giving out the best perks and having the most stringent hiring process. As a result, its team morale improves, workers are engaged and there is less turnover. In addition, Google employees brag about the investment, which is organic marketing at its finest.

AETNA, the health insurance company, offers another great example of a company investing in its employees. On April 30th, AETNA announced a raise to its lowest-paid workers to $16 an hour.  Mark Bertolini, CEO of AETNA, believes the raise could pay for itself by causing workers to be more productive. Approximately 5,700 employees will be affected by this pay raise, including people who have made ends meet by seeking public assistance such as food stamps or Medicaid for their children. Although some people are skeptical about this tactic, Bertolini stays firm in his belief that it is the right thing to do and many people agree.

A few weeks before AETNA’s announcement, Gravity Payments’ CEO Dan Price also gave his employees a pay raise.  He cut about 90% from his salary, nearly $1 million, and gave it to his employees. Not only is he getting widespread media attention for the pay raise and his sacrifice, but he is developing a stronger company culture.

LVM hopes that you find these stories inspiring! Investing in your internal brand is a new way to think about branding and a great way to improve the lives of your employees. For more information about branding, contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

Finding a Catalyst to Ignite Change in Your Brand

Brand photo

Every year brands seek to increase their favorability, but only a few are successful in doing so. If you are wondering what you can do to increase your business’ impact, find a catalyst. Forbes considers catalysts as the “bold, simple and powerful statements that indicate what a company stands for, where they are going, and what matters – to customers and employees”. Companies with outperforming brands had leaders who focused on how the brand could communicate its strengths, which in turn energized and accelerated the business.

Catalysts are focused on long-term brand commitment by stripping away distractions, honing in on what matters most, and showing a clear vision. To find a catalyst that will ignite a change in your brand, look in these three places:

  1. Your brand’s expression

You may already have the inspiration for your catalyst in the words and symbols representing your brand. Use that to your advantage.

For a broad change or already loved brands, a powerful catalyst can also be a new visual brand identity.

  1. Your brand’s experience

Most of the time your brand is already taking the right action, without creating a big buzz. As marketers, you should be able to identify those actions and highlight them. For example, if a new business strategy is implemented in a large company, embrace it by aligning branding, communication and PR efforts around that new strategy.

  1. Your employees

Don’t take this part for granted. Your employees have a great impact, both internally and externally. Employees need to be aware and supportive of a common goal or purpose to successfully deliver the brand externally.

For examples on how catalysts have ignited change in companies’ brands, please check out Forbes’ article.

Dove’s Campaign is Really Making a Difference

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Dove wanted to rebrand itself by doing something out of the ordinary. Many advertisements for beauty products target women and the media has a certain way they portray ‘beautiful women‘. After discovering, through a survey, that only two percent of women across different countries consider themselves beautiful, Dove launched its “Campaign for Real Beauty” in 2004.

According to Dove, the campaign was created to provoke discussion and encourage debate. In 2010, the brand evolved its campaign vision to provide women with opportunities to mentor the next generation and celebrate real beauty. Since Dove launched this ongoing campaign, they have increased sales and succeeded in increasing women’s confidence. Dove’s latest film, for example, encourages girls to love their curls as only 4 out of 10 curly-haired girls love their hair.

After seeing the results of their initial survey, Dove was not only focused on rebranding itself but wanted to make a difference in the way women viewed themselves. Their latest video is a testament to their success.

LVM provides branding solutions that will help you make a difference. To learn more about branding, please read our recent blog Branding Your Startup or contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com.

 

Branding Your Startup

Branding your startup this year will be challenging but full of opportunities. Use these four proven strategies to brand your startup:

1) Tell stories

Tell a story about your brand; but most importantly, brand yourself as a storyteller. Make a bigger impact on your potential customers by telling stories that evoke emotion.

It’s becoming a new trend for marketers to brand themselves as storytellers instead of telling a story about their brand. Potential customers should remember your brand from your stories, not from telling them how you want to be seen.

2) Take a stand

Instead of focusing on the revenue, focus on causes. If you want to get the millennials’ attention, you need to be a cause-driven business. What we mean by cause-driven business is that you shouldn’t make the mistake of only doing cause-driven marketing. Millennials are becoming less trusting of those strategies.

3) Defy expectations

Steer away from competition by defying conventions within your industry. Depending on your industry and your audience, you will have to decide which conventions to break and determine the extent that you will defy them.

4) Focus on great design

It might not seem as a surprise, but prioritize making products and experiences remarkable for your customers.

To learn about specific examples where these strategies were successful, visit Entrepreneur’s recent article on branding.