Learning from Dove’s Viral Marketing Campaign

A few months ago, Dove launched a hugely successful campaign called “Real Beauty”. The first installment of their viral video series was called “Sketches” which featured women describing their appearances to a police sketch artist. The sketches turned out to be much less attractive than how other people described them to be.

dove

Source: YouTube screenshot

This instantly struck a chord with viewers and the viral video spread fast with more than 114 million views on the Dove YouTube channel. Even with the popularity of the video, responses were mixed. Some found the ads to be empowering, while others claimed that they were playing into beauty stereotypes. However, comments about the video on Dove’s Facebook page suggested that most found the video to be feel-good and inspirational.

Dove’s campaign can be a teaching lesson for digital marketing firms. Companies looking to release some viral marketing genius need to be in touch with who they are trying to sell to. Just as Dove has tried to stay in touch with the attitudes and frustrations that women have the beauty industry in general, companies need to become savvier with the interests of their customers to a more personal level. People are more willing to support companies that go above and beyond simply the money-making motivations, but also make the effort to recognize the problems that their customers have.

Recently Dove released a new video to add to its campaign. “Camera Shy” is a cheery, playful video, but also brings in a more serious question, asking viewers, “When did you stop thinking you were beautiful?” Do you this video have what it takes to achieve the same success as its predecessor?

Do you know how to write for social media?

Today, I want to talk about copywriting! In college, students are exposed to many different courses to enroll in. As an intern at Ingenex Digital Marketing, I have the opportunity to put in practice my skills and knowledge from college but it is also opening up my eyes about other courses I should have taken before graduating.

Like the majority of the students, everyone had to take a writing class, but in the field of advertising it is very important to have sharp copywriting skills. I learned copywriting through my past and current work experience, but if you have a chance to take courses beforehand, do it! By taking a copywriting course these skills are transferable to many other jobs and in the field of advertising it will make you look professional.

by MDGovpics

by MDGovpics

Sending tweets and posting tons of statuses on Facebook does not make you a social media expert. There are many guidelines to follow when writing for social media. In copywriting for social media, the voice, language and tone varies from one platform to another, from brand to brand and other aspects in between.

In the advertising and digital marketing industry, creativity is the soul of successful campaigns. Copywriters need to be flexible, creative and quick in their feet, especially in the field of social media, as there are constant changes and rapid communication in the online communities.

“Copywriting for social media is an interesting and deep topic because there are so many different channels, mechanisms and purposes. It’s almost like you have to learn a separate business … there’s the ad business … there’s PR … there’s social. Each slightly different.” said social media expert, Jason Falls.

With so many mediums like Twitter, Facebook, the ultimate goal is for your audience to click and respond your online message. Communication on social media outlet is a two-way channel if not more, this one of the reasons it is crucial to be human when crafting your message.

To be a well rounded copywriter, I encourage you to learn about the techniques and practices of copywriting for SEO and learn about the importance and value of keywords as they will play a major role in allowing your website to show up on search results.

I also recommend the New Media Drivers Licence course. This course gave me a competitive advantage when applying for jobs and internships. Best of luck and if you have any questions, feel free to contact me!

Lessons Learned at the National Advertising Conference

Photo by Rachel Keeton  Networking at big industry events, like the ADDY Awards, pays off.

Photo by Rachel Keeton.
Networking at big industry events, like the ADDY Awards, pays off.

This past week I had the opportunity to go to Admerica, the American Advertising Federation’s national advertising conference, in Phoenix, AZ. I was able to attend not only the Addy Awards Ceremony, but various forums, networking mixers and keynote speeches from the likes of Pete Cashmore (Mashable), Susan Credle and Lisa Cochrane (Leo Burnett/Allstate Insurance) and so many more. Being around some of the most creative, award winning industry professionals and ad agencies was an incredible, eye opening experience, especially as college student trying to get into the industry. It’s easy to get intimidated when you’re rubbing elbows with so many people who are “famous” in the advertising world, but you have to remember that these heavy hitters were once in the same position. Everyone I got a chance to network with was genuinely interested in what my future plans were and had great advice on how to get there.

The best advice the students received at the Admerica conference was from AOL’s Digital Prophet, David Shing, to “embrace change and take massive risks in your careers when you’re young.” He went on to tell the crowd about the pressure of figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, and to instead start with what you don’t want to be doing. By simplifying a process like that, it allows you to spend more doing what you love. This advice is applicable across all industries, and should be something that students take to heart.

Students and young professionals need to remember to take advantage of networking events around them. College career services offices can sometimes be the best source of information on upcoming events, and they are always more than willing to help alumni. The old saying, “you reap what you sew” holds true when talking about networking. The effort you put into making new connections will pay off in the future, when you’ve graduated and are actively seeking a job. So get out there when you’re still young, and it’ll make the job hunt a lot easier when the time comes!

—Rachel Keeton

 

 

Building Your Customer Network

Business action and conduct are purposive: to solve problems (customer problems) and provide services, of course in a profitable way.  The sense of mystery regarding the future has always been a bother and slight annoyance for everyone, especially businesses.  Nobody knows if customers will suddenly drop in the near future or if the economy will suddenly go into recession.  Now with the existence of digital communications (content, media, behavior, and expectations), digital marketing has been created.  People now use multiple devices (all digital) such as smartphones, PCs, tablets, mp3, etc. to communicate contents such as apps, files, photos, music, and videos.  People are pursuing a digital lifestyle these days, thus businesses can tap into the psychology of their clients through digital marketing.  The future can be predicted due to the ability of tracking consumer-making decisions.  Due to this growth of a digital lifestyle, people leave behind their digital footprint that businesses follow to track and predict their behavior.  In order to track statistics related to consumer behavior, there must be a relationship between customers and businesses.  Through digital marketing, not only does a relationship form, but so does an interdependency between enterprise and consumer develop.  Marketers must study the customer decision journey, which has become increasingly digital.  Once businesses can see how consumers include certain brands and ditch others, they can adjust their company’s image to the liking of their customers.

Photo by thetaxhaven: thetaxhaven.posterous.com

The relationship between a business and its customer is no longer solely about the transaction; now customers become attached to their favorite brands and they try to advocate for them because they know there will be something in it for them ultimately.  When customers develop emotional and rational attachments to a brand, they become bonded and advocate, support, and protect that brand.  They know that they can score special deals, free offers, and even money for promoting their favorite brand.  They are also aware that if they keep their brands going then prices will be kept low.  Companies are obviously dependent on their clients, so they try very hard to keep their customers and to constantly attract more people who are similar to their steadfast clients.  There is most definitely a correlation between customer behavior and digital marketing efforts such as fantastic websites, personalized email campaigns, visually appealing graphics, social networking, photos/videos that give outsiders an inside look on what goes on behind the scenes.  The more energy businesses put into digital marketing, the more consumers will get excited and respond to the attention.

You should interview, say, at least 30 of your clients and find out how they feel about your company and it’s services.  Customers want to help you improve so that the products they receive from you are better.  Discover the fallacies about your company from your clients and others and then try to correct them.

Accumulate publicly attainable data on search activity of your company’s field and traffic patterns.  Use standard Google Analytics, Universal Analytics, Crazy Egg, Lyris HQ Agency Edition, WebTrends, SiteCatalyst.  You should track the number of people who use your site, comparing the number of visitors on each page, the number of visits by different users to see whether the same people keep returning to your site or if lots of people only visit once or twice.  It is also important to track your visitors with factors such as the country, state, city they’re from and what pages they look at while visiting your site.  Discover the keywords or phrases people typed into search engines like Google or Mozilla Firefox.  If that doesn’t give you enough information, buy additional data.

Ultimately, brands must find where their customers have discussions in order to learn what they think of the brand’s products.  Answer your customers’ questions and help them get what they need.  Listen to their suggestions and adjust accordingly in order to gain more advocates of your brand.

-Ariana Sauber

 

Use Pinterest to Market for Your Company

Pinterest is a site that has everything from grandma’s old-fashioned recipes to an array of wedding gowns. People use the Pinterest application to search for products and processes that they wish to use in the future to enhance their life. Companies should use Pinterest to market their products because consumers are already searching for products.

Photo via Pinterest

Companies such as Anthropologie, Etsy, Home Depot, and Target are Pinterest users. They post their product prices and step-by-step ways to use them. These companies chat, connect, visualize, and share their products daily to over 25 million users, many of whom are young females who are well-educated, have disposable income, and are in constant search for new products.

Consumers are coming to the company using Pinterest instead of the typical marketing route where companies seek out consumers. If a company has a product that Pinterest users are looking for they will “repin” (save) the product onto their categorized board, and now all of their followers will see the product too. Products can gain a huge reach when repinned. Companies can even continue to re-pin their original post so frequency can increase.

Pins are very organized. Viewers just click on the pin to increase the image size. If they believe the product is something they would want to use, they can click on the image again which can lead right to the company’s website. This can make it easy for consumers to click, learn, and order products instantly. Even if consumers don’t want to make a purchase at that moment, they can save your product on their boards and go back to them later.

Photo credit: molliesu!

Consumers today thrive on convenience. The ability to learn about and buy something without leaving their home is ideal, and Pinterest provides this conveniency. Consumers are always on the go, so with the Pinterest mobile app they can search for the products they need while they are already out, and stop by the establishment to buy it.

Companies can also use Pinterest to discover who their target audience actually is. By following people who re-pin their products, companies can view that users Pinterest boards. Deeper views onto boards allow companies to see what goals and needs their target audience has and what products they are seeking to accomplish this. Companies also have the ability to interact with their consumers. They can pin information about contests, sweepstakes, giveaways, coupons, sales information, and answer questions so they can be more connected with their target audiences.

Have a product or idea you want to share? Use Pinterest to market your product. This easy to use, easy to share, convenient website can help a company gain the reach and frequency to their target audience easily and efficiently.

Mixed Feelings on the New Facebook Graph Search

Facebook has revealed its latest attempt to stay ahead of the game with what it calls its “Graph Search” feature. After much criticism regarding its current search engine, the company has finally decided to improve its strategy. Although the initial news of the development came with much excitement, there are always skeptics who will have something to say.


The new search method comes with many benefits for big brands, small businesses, and the average Facebook user. Very specific searches like “Friends that live in New York” will produce answers. You can even submit multiple searches at once. For example “Friends that live in NY” followed by “that like Sushi” will narrow it down even further. This provides Facebook users with more tailored results based on their needs.

While media and marketing analysts commend Facebook on their innovation, they predict that the hype will not last long enough to provide the company with significant results, monetarily or otherwise. Many critique the new search method by saying that Facebook is too late in the game with this improvement. Users are already too comfortable with their current search tactics, like Google, and they will continue to go about their regular ways even after the Facebook Graph Search is implemented.

It will be interesting to see how Facebook rolls out this advancement and more so how the social media world reacts to the change. There are always those critics who say the company has lost its “mojo” and is trying anything and everything to stay relevant. What many skeptics may fail to remember is that Facebook is one of biggest pioneers in the social media movement and if they want to innovate their search methods, they most definitely have that right.

Personally, were all very excited here at our social media agency for this latest Facebook development and eager to test it out!

photo credit: AJC1 via photopin cc

Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Yelp!

Aside from Google, one of the most important websites for small businesses (and their social media agency or department) is the crowdsourced review site Yelp!. If you’ve eaten out lately, you’ve probably seen the little red “People Love Us On Yelp!” sticker on the door. I know I personally use it quite a bit when trying to find new places to eat, and I review places on it quite frequently, so I thought I’d share some fun facts about Yelp!, because we’re all kind of tired of election news, right?

1. Yelp! is unique in that most of its site traffic is generated on its desktop site and not the mobile site! You wouldn’t think this would be the case in 2012, but 60% of searches are from regular computers, and the company’s mobile apps are used by about 7 million people. Yelp.com gets 78 million visitors per month. However, like other social media agencies, mobile is starting to gain some serious footing.

2. Every star on a review means about a 5-9% jump in revenue. Yelp uses a rating system like movie critics do – using stars. Every “star” a place gains on it’s Yelp rating means a revenue jump, according to a study by Havard professor Michael Luca, who found a correlation between high revenues and high Yelp! ratings.

3. Most places that get reviewed aren’t restaurants. I was especially surprised by this, considering restaurants are primarily what I have used Yelp for, but in 2011, shopping venues reached “parity” with restaurants. The “restaurant review site” perception still exists, though, as restaurants do have the natural advantage because they see far more customers than, say, your doctor’s office would.

The social media agency can definitely take advantage of Yelp!, as it offers the user a direct chance to voice their opinion in a public forum. This gives you feedback in very nearly real time to see if a campaign is doing what it should and engaging an audience. Just don’t encourage people to review – artificially boosting your Yelp! rating does more damage in the long run.

New Resource Guide a Must-Read for New Media

If you are looking to understand social media marketing, search engine optimization, blogging, digital public relations, Google, and more, you are in luck. Richard T. Cole, professor of public relations at Michigan State University and Derek Mehraban, owner of Ingenex Digital Marketing, have combined their expertise to bring you the resource guide to be successful in new media. Titled New Media Driver’s License: Using Social Media for More Productive Business and Marketing Communications, this book will better equip you to build your own personal brand, help to market your products, start a blog, write public relations news releases, master social media websites, and much more.

Why is new media so important? New media is the answer to the on-demand access to content at any time, any where, on any digital device. Educating yourself in the new media ways will give you the advantage on the evolving world of digital media. Keep up with companies who are also learning to adapt to these new forms of media in strive to create an edge for themselves. Employers will be looking for prospective employees with knowledge in new media. This resource guide is your tool to accomplishing just that.

5 Resolutions for Digital Marketers in 2012

The expanding digital industry, as Jonathan Gardner of Vibrant Media puts it, is “destined to affect what we discuss, buy and watch, who we friend, what we Like, and how we share — all year long.” Along with eMarketer’s projection of a 14.4% increase in U.S. online ad spending, there is no question digital will make an impact in the new year. The best practices with optimal results will be the ones that will carry into 2012, even for digital marketing agencies.

  1. Take initiative into obtaining keywords using search engine optimization. Look to the future for insight on the next hot key term. Word ownership will do the work for you, setting the path for your brand to gain ownership of its voice around the web. Focus on your consumer when constructing your marketing strategy. What do they want, hope for, aspire to?
  2. Focus on your the product’s value. Consumers are becoming more spending-conscious. Focus on what content your audience wants to watch and read. Deliver ads to people who actually want to see them.
  3. Content is crucial. The most successful display ads connect content with the context of the page. The best digital marketing in 2012 will have to be dynamic.
  4. The revolution in tracking consumer behavior continues. With all the content on the web, it is quality that will produce the results in the end.
  5. Can you believe 98% of 18- to 24-year-olds use social media? More reason to develop new ways to make your social media assets deliver as seen by Best Buy and “Twelpforce” and Axe with their social toolbar.

Explore the Digital World of Marketing with MSU’s New Media Driver’s License

If you’re interested in the rapidly growing world of online marketing, this is the perfect class for you! With Michigan State University’s New Media Driver’s License, you will learn all about the different aspects of online marketing from the experts. Derek Mehraban, CEO of Ingenex Digital Marketing, shows his students the many facets of the digital world in a fun, easy to learn way.

One of the greatest things about this class is that you are learning brand new things, but a lot of it is just expanding your knowledge of media you already use. Not everyone blogs, but it’s a pretty simple thing to do and you will learn the little extras that turn your good blog into a great blog. Most of the students who take this class already have accounts on at least one social media platform. Learn how to use platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube to their full advantage.

Some things you may know little or nothing about are search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM) and Google and Yahoo! search rankings. When you successfully complete this class, you will have an understanding of these things and just how great of an impact they have on a business.

Another great thing about this class is that it is (mostly) online. From experience, I can say this is one of the most enjoyable and most useful classes I have ever taken. I loved the convenience of being able to do my work when it worked best for me.

Sign up now for the Fall 2011 New Media Driver’s License (ADV420) course!

 

THE NEW MEDIA DRIVERS LICENSE IS PROVIDED BY The Michigan State University Advertising, Public Relations & Retailing Deparment in Partnership with Derek Mehraban.