Storyscape; Explaining this marketing trend and my 6 basic principles for marketing success.

“Storyscape” is a coined term for the latest alternative to traditional advertising and media plans by getting the consumer more involved in the “brand’s world” through various media channels. Create a world for the consumer using StoryscapeThe consumer wants to feel like a part of a story and think, “wow, that is cool” about the brand. The concept is to build a brand story that builds an emotional association that inspires the consumer’s behavior. That is the key, creating an emotional connection between the consumer and the product. Apple products are a perfect example of that – their customers have an emotional connection, a story to tell about their iPhone or iPad and how it changed their lives, which compels them as devoted customers to share their experience with like-minded people.

That said, there should be one strategy – versus a strategy for social, a strategy for events, a strategy for digital, and a strategy for public relations – there should be just one cohesive plan for all, Strategic thinkingand it’s directed by the big idea that organizes those activities. I ask my customers, “what’s your purpose?” Today’s customer wants to be able to connect to brands they trust, believe, feel are authentic, fill their needs and are able to take part like they are part of the company’s culture. They want to feel they connect with the company, like a friend, and are proud to say they are loyal supporter and part of the brand’s story.

So how is that type of marketing accomplished? It’s about creating a world or landscape of ideas that could be physical, virtual, emotional, and more than likely it’s all of those things. For Storyscape strategyexample a Storyscape for selling a new house; baking chocolate cookies in a model home’s oven for visitors so it has a nice homey smell, the website touts your model dream house and has free cookies when you visit, offer a recipe for the cookies in a blog and on Pinterest so that a story or idea for engaging the consumer crosses all media platforms. That way the consumer looking for a house creates their world or story about that experience at all marketing touch points – so they not only experience a world they helped create, but they also tell a story about their experience.

The social media world changes so quickly. The traditional media plan keeps different media in separate boxes with target dates – where as we need to be more fluid and to think about how the different media interact and affect each other, as well as being affected by an event that causes a rippling effect throughout the media plan. The key difference with Storyscape, it’s designed to give the consumer control over which marketing connection points they wish to be engaged with and then encouraged them to interact across those channels — all supported by an organized idea and not the marketer choosing, based on analytics and data, which channels might be more efficient to reach them.

It’s a more organic or worldly version of a customer testimonial. In traditional marketing, the marketer writes the customer testimonial Customer-testimonialso it fits the needs of the marketing plan and gets the customer to signoff on it or tweak it for approval. The hope is that it resonates on one particular level with other consumers. Where as Storyscape opens up the world to all possibilites, so when the consumer’s exposed to the “idea” – they have an experience in the world they helped create that is a life-changing and they are willing to share it with other like-minded people.

The marketing industry is famous for creating new trends. Keep in mind, every couple of years a marketing person coins a phrase for a “new” approach to marketing, sells a bunch of books and it becomes the latest defacto marketing tool to be used. A year  later, another marketing approach is the latest thing to do.

Marketing trendsRegardless of the latest marketing trend or coined name, it has been my experience for marketing to have been effective for the last 10-15 years –and going forward, it has these 6 basic principles:

1. Understand what the customer wants or needs,
2. provide a logical and emotional dialogue so the consumer has the information they need to help them make a decision,
3. give them plenty of opportunities for that exposure,
4. make sure customers feel connected to the brand’s world and product,
5. provide them with easy access (distribution points) to purchasing the product and,
6. after the sale, make the customer feel special and part of the brand’s family.

 

5 Social Media Marketing Trends for 2015

social media analytics

 Use advanced analytics for your website and social media platforms

My social media marketing predictions for 2015 should be your resolutions …

1. Digging Deeper into Data. Using advanced analytics for your website and social media platforms is key in knowing what to write about as well as knowing your visitor’s likes, shares, engagements, demographics, etc. Making the most of your metrics will help you identify the right prospects and pinpoint the right offers at the right time.

2. Eliminate Advertising-based Content. Over and over again I see companies writing blogs that are just product descriptions and – essentially just a landing-place to copy and paste content from data sheets. Write to your customer’s needs, not just what you are selling. Content Marketing is all about providing content that has value to consumers. It can offer practical information, tell a touching story, or be outrageously hilarious. It should forge emotional connections that nudge people toward the business that rolls out the content. Make your content stand out in 2015 by performing thorough keyword research, present new information, offer something innovative, and distribute it to your customer base effectively.

3. Being Candid and Honest. Zig Ziglar once said, “Honesty and integrity are by far the most important assets of an entrepreneur.” TTransparencyhe same principle rings true for current marketing trends. The best brands will give an accurate and real-time picture of what they are doing in the interest of the consumer, at any given time.

4. Social Media Connections. Your target customers have some traits in common, but that doesn’t mean that they all are the same entity. People want to feel they are part of a group, crave connection, and participate with others of like-mind. Consumers buy from friends – companies can be perceived as a friend by sounding more personal in their writing styles. When you are writing, talk to your customers and future clients like each one really matters, because they do.  
Personal Social media marketing 5. Personalization. One way to send personal messages is via triggered emails. When a customer joins your rewards program or signs up for your newsletter, send a warm welcome. You can even include a special freebie or stellar discount. On your customers’ special dates, such as birthdays – send a friendly greeting. These automated messages can make recipients feel that you care about them.


No one can say for certain what the future holds, but the current direction of marketing shows that the above trends will impact marketing in 2015. Expect marketing to move strongly in a digital direction and focus on transparency, technology, personalization, and quality.

What is Your “About” Really About?

Marketing bestOne of the most important pages on a website  is a company’s “About” page, yet most companies spend the least amount of time putting good content on it. They plop their official PR paragraphs from their press release, throw in a photo of the building and the boss, and – whoo-la, done! That said, if you look at the analytics of your site or your client’s sites, you will discover that the “About” page many times is the most viewed or searched page in the website.

When consumers go to websites they want to buy not just a product, but connect with the company and it’s brand. They want to know who is on the other side of the screen when visiting a site. Marketing and networking - the face behind the blogIt’s not just about price, but also about the company. Some of the most popular products and companies also have the highest priced products and services. People are willing to pay extra for great value – Apple Computers, Lexus and Louis Vuitton come to mind. Too often the company’s info in their “About” section is sterile and shows little personality or brand. Businesses of all sizes need to spend time and resources putting up pictures that reflect their team and culture, and writing the “why” behind the company and its products –  so customers perceive their products are the best value.

Photoshop Tricks to Create the Desired Image

The portrait of this King and Queen was scheduled to be taken on a backyard dock with the island in the background. But as fate would have it, on that Saturday a front was moving in and the wind gusts were 35 to 40 mph – playing havoc by blowing tree branches, light stands, hair and robes. With no time to reschedule, the photo (using an iPad), had to be moved indoors, requiring me to be a little creative with the final portrait in the steps shown below.

Photoshop Portrait

The backyard trees and pond needed to have details enhanced.

Photoshop Before-Trees

Moving all of the lighting and props to the living room made for a better controlled environment (lesson learned). The Queen is holding a fluorescent light tube which will be the background for inserting Queen’s Elizabeth’s scepter .

Photoshop best example

Then the two photos needed to be combined as well as the additional touches described below.

Before photo PhotoshopIf you need Photoshop effects done at a very reasonable price, to enhance or create attention getting images, please shoot me an email at ggreer@tampabay.rr.com or or call me at 727.409.2326 to discuss a project – big or small.

The Best YouTube Content for Social Media Blogs

First, lets start with 5 key YouTube demographics:YouTube videos

1. There are over one billion unique YouTube visits each month
2. Each month, over 6 billion hours of video are being watched
3. Every minute of the day, over 100 hours of video are uploaded
4. More than 1 billion views each day are on mobile devices
5. Adults ages 18-34 watch YouTube more than any cable network

How-to YouTube videosContent Strategy: How-to, Tutorial and
Help content videos.

For many products and services, how-to videos are going to be incredibly valuable to your targeted customers, as they may find them just based on searching “how do I do this or that?” A tutorial not only helps your audience learn how to better use your product, but also provides ideas on how to use your product in novel ways. Another approach is to help your site visitors learn how to do things that may not be directly related to your product, but are highly relevant to their interest
s.

YouTube video blogFor example, one of my clients sells an adjustable filet table for boats. Though I have created YouTube videos directly related to their products, I also linked and embedded a video on “Secrets to Fillet a Fish.” It’s related to their product, yet another way for the site visitors searching for “how to filet a fish” ends up on that filet board blog page with the YouTube embedded video: http://tacomarineblog.com/2014/09/04/the-secret-to-filleting-a-fish-clever-taco-marine-adjustable-filet-tables/

Because the link to the video on the other site is of similar content, it is considered a high-value link to search bots and helps SEO rankings . Plus, the fish filet video content is incredibly relevant to the site visitor, but not actually the company’s product. This is a tactic called: think horizontally.

No hook, just a SEO tip: Taking the time to fill out the information about your YouTube video is the work that will get better search results. You spent the time creating the video, now spend that little bit of extra time to properly SEO it: Keywords in the title, description, tags and (if possible) provide a transcript of each video. Every bit of relevant information you can add to your YouTube upload gives you more opportunity for people to find your video and makes it accessible for all types of users and search engine bots.

YouTube Analytics offers the equivalent of Facebook Insights for your videos. You’ll find numbers on engagement, discovery, and demographics: http://www.youtube.com/yt/playbook/yt-analytics.html

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