Experiment, be Creative and Have Fun!

I just tried Garage Band, Apple’s music production program, for the first time – and it was a blast! It is a very intuitive program to use, and only a couple of times did I need to search for help on doing something. It took about six hours to create my first song from the thousand or so loops and sound effects available in Garage Band, but now I have it down to about 2-3 hours of creative fun before uploading my latest song to iTunes. (I now have composed 10 songs).

I had created a digital art piece for my online art gallery, (https://2-gary-greer.pixels.com/index.html?tab=galleries), and then deconstructed it to combine my original music and with my digital art into a relaxing grooving instrumental music video. See below:

Let me know what you think and if you think there is a market for a 30-40 minute creative video of something like this. Get out of your comfort zone and be creative – and most of all, have fun!

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Is Social Media Marketing a Cost-effective Way to reach new customers?

Social media networksHere’s the million dollar question: If you invest money in social media marketing, how many leads will you generate or products will you sell?  Hmmm – What social media does most effectively is create brand recognition and keep your name in front of the people you’re trying to reach.  And, of course, through that process it should definitely have an impact on your sales – if you use a call-to-action directive. But it also has an “unseen impact” not just direct-response sales or leads.

Seinfeld TV showAn unseen impact? The popular TV show “Seinfeld” was often referred to as a “water cooler show” because the morning after a new episode aired people would chat about it with their co-workers. So, even those people who never watched an episode of “Seinfeld” learned about the Soup Nazi, puffy shirts, shrinkage and sponge worthy. They became part of our culture at that time … and still are!

The same water-cooler-type moments hold true with social media. When people see something on social media that strikes their fancy, they’re likely to share it on their social media and or mention it in real life to friends or associates.  It could be a restaurant, a video, or a new store that opened in their neighborhood.

include social media plans for mobile devicesHow does that water-cooler-type moment help you? Even if the person who saw it on social media isn’t a buyer at that moment, when they mention it to a friend who is in the market for that product or service, there’s a good chance that friend becomes a potential customer. But guess what happens when your survey asks this new customer how they heard about you? Their response will be: “From a Friend.”

Justifying the costs and value of social media: In these cases, you won’t be able to make a direct connection to your social media campaign, yet your social media campaign is what prompted the sale. People who follow you on social media will often share your interesting posts or tweets with their followers. Then those people can share it with their followers, and so on. Ideally one or more of your followers who shares your post has a really large following of their own.

It’s a numbers game. The number of people who see your post through this sharing process has now exponentially increased and somewhere down the line you’ll have new customers as a result.  This all ties back to your social media marketing, and an ability to tell your story so it resonates, but there’s no way you’ll ever know it!

If you’re selling a big-ticket item, social media is a way to build brand equity with prospective customers and a way for prospective customers to learn all about you and decide whether they want to do business with you. That’s why the quality of your posts is so important and needs to be professional, as you’re continuously building trust and credibility with your followers (and their followers) whether you realize it or not.

Social media marketing

All those people see your posts again and again – like the drivers passing the billboard – and when the time comes to do business, you’re the one who comes to mind!

best practice email campaignsCall to action: If you can’t devote the necessary time to it, you might consider finding a professional whose job it is to make you look good – by taking the time to post quality content and interact with your followers. Gary Greer comes to mind, at 727.409.2326.

You’ll benefit from what social media has to offer – building your brand and keeping your name out in front of the people you want to reach – even when the impact is unseen!

 

Are you a political news addict? Here’s how “the addiction” engages the audience.

CNN news I am a political news addict, and I’m trying to kick the habit. There I admitted it. News addiction? I did some research – and here’s the most powerful drug ever: the visceral gut feelings of outrage relieved by the most powerful emotions of all . . . the thrill of your tribe’s victory over its enemy and the ultimate triumph of good over evil. Movies and TV shows use that psychological formula to engage the audience – so why the news?
Because it’s done for ratings: The outcomes of news debates are carefully fixed by the producers – whether you watch CNBC, CNN or Fox news – it’s fixed so the home team has the best chance to win. That keeps viewers coming back again and again, which means more advertising dollars. How to apply that addiction to social media marketing? Stay tuned, it’s a little later in this blog.
Neuroscience has known for years that “news junkies” or “political junkies” were in fact addicts… junkies …who got their addictive dopamine hit from the emotional roller coaster of unbridled outrage followed by the dopamine releasing experience derived from the thrill of watching the victory over your ideological enemy tribe.
Does your product appeal to everyone? Does your product have an enemy you can identify? Can you target a specific demographic that can emotionally side with your product versus your competitions product or service? Can you develop a tribe-like addiction to your services or products?
Are you or your client are willing to play an aggressive role, like a politician or news channel, and possibly at the expense of “your brand?”  If so, then just maybe you can create addicts to your services or products. I’m not condoning the approach, just engaging news addicts …

3 ways to create a better blog title, the difference between a good and bad blog title, and why should you care about a blog title?

best presentationsTo pull in your audience, create a compelling title to your blog that is On Fire!

3 ways – 1. List a “number” of reasons, 2. offer comparisons or concerns, and 3.  the “why should” approach. They are effective because they make a very specific promise of what’s coming.

Here are  two blog topics by a law firm client of mine, (one on elder law, the other on estate planning), and both topics use three different approaches to create engaging titles.

List Approach: 

  1. 3 ways the elderly are now protected by law
  2. 5 reasons to review your estate planning now

Comparison or Concerns:

  1. Are the elderly better served in civil or criminal cases?
  2. The pros and cons of estate planning

“Why Should…” titles:

  1. Why should we care about elder laws?   
  2. Why should you worry about your estate’s assets?

Best shark photo ever?

Here’s the National Geographic Photo of the Year for 2016, (supposedly). This is a pretty dramatic effect and it would be a great photo – if it was real. This is a  pretty good attempt at visual impact, but I’m sorry to say – it’s Photoshop art. Can you spot the clues to this being a fake photo? Give it a try, my 7 clues are below the photo. Are there any other Photoshop clues you can spot that I missed?

Great white shark photo

1. The strong lighting is coming from the left on the shark but the lighting is subdued  on the surface of the water, no strong highlights on the waves – so they just don’t match up to the lighting on the shark.

2. Note the waves coming straight up out of the water – with that weight and volume there should be a swelling up or surge of water surrounding the dramatic waves, not just cut straight across.

3. Because the shark is so smooth and sleek, there wouldn’t be a large cotton-like puffs of water pushed above his head– they would be trailing more behind him.

4. A bloody mess. I’m thinking this shark had to swim pretty fast to jump this high, so it seems reasonably that the blood around his mouth and nose would have been washed off from that much effort.

5. With the sharks mouth partly open I probably would have made streams of water flowing out of the corners of his mouth.

6. The color of the background is much easier to work with when just a simple fade from light blue to medium blue is used. Looking through the wave at the color of the sky behind the left lower side of the shark’s body, it should match the sky behind it – it’s slightly a different blue color.

7. Water surges would flow up based on the drag of the force shooting up. The dramatic waves flowing up don’t quite match the shape of the shark. A little short on one side, a little wide on the other, and in the middle there isn’t a part of the shark that would cause that large water surge to drag up.

Anything I missed?  If you liked this, please share it with one or more of the social media buttons below.

Online Gallery for Artists of All Types and Mediums …

I recently created an online gallery of my creative images from the past few years and it’s divided into 6 categories:

Gary Greer Artist Gallery

1. Digital Art (creating images using Photoshop), 2. Abstract Symbolism (acrylic paintings on stretched canvas), 3. Photography (images primarily captured on my iPhone and some have a bit of Photoshop enhancement), 4. Fantasy and Romance (a combination of using 3D software and Photoshop), 5. Steampunk (gears and the Victorian future), and 6. Illustration (commercial art used in company literature).

One of the cool things about this site is that it visualizes for you what an image looks like when printed on canvas, steel, beach towels, pillows, greeting cards and even shower curtains! (And many other decor items too). The company hosting the site takes care of the printing, shipping and payments – easy-peasy!

Check the gallery out at: Greer Galleries

 

How technology lowers our productivity and provides “short-burst” branding opportunities in social media.

Social media marketing

Have you noticed in the past few years how much shorter the lines are now at the grocery store, traffic light, doctor’s office, and restaurants?  Or, do the lines just seem shorter because you are now secretly enjoy waiting so you can browse Facebook, messages, emails or Twitter, with the thought, “What will I get?” When we unlock our smartphones, we subconsciously crave for variable rewards or something to occupy our minds. This yearning for variable rewards makes us refresh social media feeds and email inboxes – repeatedly.

social mediaHere’s an effect you may not have been aware of: According to neurological scientists, 10 minutes on social media can raise oxytocin levels by up to 13 percent, (a generosity-trust chemical in our brains). That’s a hormonal spike equal to what some people experience on their wedding day! People of all ages are addicted to the euphoria effect of their smartphones.

social media marketingPeople use their smartphones everywhere. In elevators, for instance,  I’ve seen people miss getting off their intended floors because of checking Facebook postings.  It’s the norm to use smartphones as we wait at banks, gas stations and even Starbucks.

Does social media technology decrease productivity or are we simply filling what was empty non-productive spaces in our lives?

social media marketing smart phonesIn a world where we brag about 24/7 connectivity, our phones keep buzzing. But we rarely receive calls. Social media notifications, useless emails, and instant messages have made us ‘multitaskers’.

But multitasking reduces our productivity by up to 40 percent. Each time we are interrupted, it takes us several minutes to refocus. Before those refocus minutes are up, we get distracted again. Is it not surprising that these are the least productive times in the history of mankind?

trump tweets

This social media phenomena  also provides opportunities for short-burst marketing and re-branding. The most famous re-branding person of our time? Donald Trump. He uses Twitter to “re-brand” his adversaries. It use to be, “Don’t judge people by what they say about themselves, but by what they say about others.” That still may be true for some, but unfortunately social media has made many believers in stories people want to hear or hope to believe.  Social media can now quickly cast false and deceptive re-branding of people and companies.

As a marketer, please consider taking the truth-road.  Check Snopes, PolitiFact or other “fact checking” websites before passing along juicy tidbits that could falsely re-brand companies, products or people that worked so hard to create value in their brands.

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