The Truth About Earned Media and Business

This is going to seem rather harsh.  But it's honest and time tested. Byron W.Moore  Shutterstock.com 

There are two realities for those of you who are endlessly writing press releases and offering up news items for the broadcast media hoping that they will notice you and offer your business some air time:

  • They Don't Have Time
  • It's Not Going to Happen

I know, that's pretty blunt but it's reality.  Reality unless you live in a small community with a single broadcast outlet or have a brother that works as the News Director in a larger city.

If you live in a community of any size the only way in which you'll see the broadcast trucks converge on your small business is if something dreadful happens in your lobby.  "If it bleeds...it leads."

In addition, if you work for one of the top employers in your community or if your business holds sway with regard to potential advertising you've got a much better shot.  

Now, don't blame the broadcast media. They are limited on time, talent and interest.  Often, even when the media shows up to do a business story on a small business, the final cut may not be the correct message or at least not the message that you were hoping for.

It's reality.

So, now what?

Nobody can tell your story better than you.  As my friend Dan McCue wrote recently, "Few will tell our story for us. Fewer will get the story right. That is why we blog."

There are endless ways in which you can do a better job telling your story.  Blogging is one, video is another, connection points in your community is yet another. Offering to become the "expert in your field" is yet another.  But, it all takes more work than picking up the phone or writing a press release.

We think if you are serious about your story...tell it and control it.  Let the broadcasters chase sensational while you chase business. (Photo Credit: Byron W.Moore / Shutterstock.com)

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We've Got Work To Do...

Yesterday I had the pleasure of addressing 40 leaders from the world of Woman work to do
tourism in Central Iowa. The program was 5 in Twenty-Four "Five things any business can do in 24 hours to maximize its brand."  These are all low cost to no cost proven methods of marketing.  And, yes, they work.

When I got to the part regarding social media and asked how many in the audience had incorporated a blog into their marketing strategy seven hands went up. Seven out of forty.

There is work to be done and here are four solid reasons why blogging should be one of your marketing tools:

  • Blogging Gives You "Voice": Sure you have a website but what is your "back-story"?  What nuggets can you share with visitors poking around on the Internet that will drive traffic back to you?  We think...plenty.
  • Blogging Offers Another "Touch Point": Again, you should want to maximixe the ways in which you reach out to consumers. A well crafted blog does just that.
  • Blogging - A Quick Alternative: We get it. Changing your website two or three times a week is a pain.  However, creating a blog that tells the story only you can tell is quick, easy and interactive.
  • Blogging Improves Your Skills: You have a story to tell and by sitting down and sharing those stories you will improve your story-telling skills.  And, remember, people react to...stories.

Thank you, Central Iowa Tourism Region for your warm reception!

If your business, for profit or non-profit, isn't incorporating a blog into your marketing efforts you could be missing out on...opportunity.  What do you think?

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business, The News Hour. Our Twitter Handle is @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Consumers Ignoring Your Marketing Message?

The published study from Pure360 in the United Kingdom titled, Man Noise"Confessions of a Shopping Nation" tells us that three-quarters of UK consumers actively ignore all types of marketing messages and 59% feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of marketing information.

Those are pretty big numbers.  But, it gets worse.  The study also found the vast majority of consumers, 64%, said that social media and the Internet in general have very little influence on their purchasing decisions.

What's going on?

Noise.

Noise because most companies have really no idea on how to connect with consumers.  We see it everyday. Each Tweet or each Facebook Post has a "sales message" attached to it. There is very little creativity in the message.  Zero ability to understand organic marketing. It's all...noise.

At the end of the day it is no surprise, to us, that consumers are tuning you out.  They don't want to be force fed...noise.  They want a brand they can trust, real people they can communicate with. They want a product or service that isn't shouting but...helping.

How do you do that?  Three suggestions:

  • Stop Selling - Start Engaging:  If over 20% of your social media posts are about selling something you are creating noise.  Stop it...today. Tell the back-story of your business. Share interesting images, video and stay light;
  • Share Information:  If consumers are seeking information about a wide range of products and services become a voice of assistance and not a carnival barker.  Move your blog to one of helping folks better understand your area of expertise;
  • Do It Well: Just because you know everything about "Self-Weasel-Winding Torque Inducers" does not mean that you know how to market them.  Get some help for crying out loud. Marketing/Advertising companies do this every day. 

There are dozens of ways to connect with consumers but noise is not one of them.

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business, The News Hour. Our Twitter Handle is @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

Thanks for reading!

 

The Perfect Customer

I was buying some things for the office and, not exactly sure of the Happy Customerspecifics of what I wanted, I let the owner guide be to the right items. That adventure got us talking about "The Perfect Customer".

"You know", he said, "We had a meeting not long ago where we started writing down the qualities of the perfect customer. Now, don't get me wrong, we would sell our products to anybody that comes in. However, the perfect customer appreciates the relationship we build and our product knowledge over price. If somebody were to say to us, 'I can get that for a dollar cheaper over at the big box store.' We would match the price but if it is always about price vs. value and building a solid relationship.  Well, we'd rather spend our time with those perfect customers."

I get it.  If you live by price...you die by price.  There is always somebody that can beat or match your cost. However, when you focus on product knowledge and work at building relationships with your customers you'll keep them for a very long time.

That's the real value in The Perfect Customer...

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business, The News Hour. Our Twitter Handle is @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

Thanks for reading!

You...Polished?

I'm talking shoes and personal branding. Polished Shoes

I get it.  If you work in a cube or in tech or you're a professor or you are independently wealthy you can get away with looking unpolished...maybe. However when you're working on your personal brand and you're wanting to rise to the top of your game; spending a little time making sure you've got a polished footing helps.

And, this extends beyond the job interview.  Because once you have the job you want to continue to move up...right?

Amy Glass is a trainer and coach at Brody Communications Ltd. of Jenkintown, Pennsylvania, and an expert on presentation skillsbusiness etiquette, professional presence and interpersonal communication. She said in a recent interview with Peter Vogt of Monster, "Your image matters because it shows your attentiveness to detail and gives recruiters an idea of how you'll represent their company to clients, both internally and externally," Glass concludes. "The visual message you send makes a big difference in how you're perceived..."

That last line is all about personal branding and, in our mind, personal branding starts with polished shoes.  

It's the little things...

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business, The News Hour. Our Twitter Handle is @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

Thanks for reading!

Teeny Tiny?

It's a design thing.  Child Magnifying Glass

Over time we've collected thousands of business cards. Thousands. Recently we've noticed a trend that may impact how people make a connection with you or your business.

Teeny Tiny Fonts and Other Issues

While the name of the company is prominent, good luck being able to read the email address, phone number...etc.

Connection...that is the point of a business card.  Right?

Some simple things to remember:

  • Not Everybody has 20/20 Vision:  When your potential client/customer must use a magnifying glass to see your contact information. Not good;
  • Artwork: We get it because we too are into creating stunning designs. However just because it's cool looking let's not over-shadow the contact information;
  • Clarity: I'm looking at a business card, right now, that has three (3) Twitter addresses. Three...really?
  • Stock: We get it, you are trying to save money. However your business card is such an important touch point. Try to have them printed at a printer, on heavy card-stock and try to refrain from printing them in your office.  Trust us, it's an investment;
  • Does It Work:  If you have a QR Code on your business card, make sure it works and points to something useful, descriptive and informative.

Hey, we're just trying to help.

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business, The News Hour. Our Twitter Handle is @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

Thanks for reading!

Adding Value

The other day I got a call from a group asking if I might be able to speak 5in24 Image to them about advertising and marketing and specifically my presentation on "Five in Twenty-Four - Five Things a Business Can Do in Twenty-Four Hours to Boost its Brand".

"Be happy to do that!" And we settled on a fee arrangement.

I then asked if they would like my one-page handout, in advance. That's pretty standard in the speaking industry.  But then I put the icing on the cake:  "How do you market the event and this session?" They told me they send out a newsletter and emails.  I then offered something of added value: "Would it be helpful if I produced a video invitation focusing on the reason why people should attend?"

They were surprised.  "You would do that?"

Of course...it is adding value to the already secured business relationship.

Which begs the question:  Once you've secured the business transaction what added value can you bring to the relationship that will move it above your customers expectation?

We think it's a wise business decision.  What added value can you take to your customer?

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in the Des Moines Metro and the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour. On twitter we're @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

Twitter Etiquette?

We've found, over the years, that Twitter can be a wonderful tool for Men Bowing finding and sharing information.  We use it and encourage our clients to also spend some time using it...well.

Which brings us to "Twitter Etiquette" and some suggestions on how to get a little more out of your experience. These are observations from years of experience...here we go:

  • Be Nice:  It should't even be in the Tip List but man, some folks think that because it's only 140 characters they can say anything. We can all disagree but bad language and hateful tweets won't help your personal or business brand;
  • Re-Tweeting:  If somebody take the time to RT one of your posts we think it's neat to go back and say, "Thanks for the RT!".  It's being nice.
  • Engage:  If somebody asks a question or makes a comment about your post you really should answer back. Ignoring the conversation can just be rude (see above);
  • Following Back:  This is tough because we only have a limited ability to keep up on all the conversation.  However, as a rule, it's polite to follow back even if it takes you some time to get it done.
  • Think About It:  It might sound like a cool thing to say at 1:00AM but in the daylight you might wish you had not pushed the "send button". You've heard the stories of how folks have been fired for using poor judgement...right?

Five quick tips on Twitter Etiquette. You might have your own and if so, feel free to share.

Thanks for reading!

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines and is the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour.

What Keeps You Up at Night?

There are lots of things that might worry you but competition shouldn't be Man Insomina one of them.  How can I even suggest that?  Here's a real life example:

Long ago, in another world, I programmed a new radio station that was taking on the "established" Top-40 signal in the market. There's lots of "moving parts" when you attempt something like this and, of course, there was plenty to worry about including:

  • Music Selection
  • Music Rotation
  • On-Air Talent Hiring/Training
  • How Many Commercials Per Hour;
  • News Load;
  • Promotions;
  • Public Speaking;
  • Community Involvement;
  • Exterior Advertising;
  • Logos;
  • FCC Compliance;

And the list goes on and on.  Plenty to keep me awake at night.  

However, the one thing that didn't keep me awake was our competition. After listening, off and on, for a day I never...never took the time to listen to what they were doing again.

It didn't matter.

Sure, at station meetings some of the staff would start in on what the other stations in town were doing or wern't doing and my response was always, "Let's pay attention to what we're doing.  We do that and we'll win."

And, that is exactly what happened.  Within 14 months the "other station" switched formats and our station was billing a million dollars a year.

This isn't to say you shouldn't be aware...but your focus should be on your product or service.  Perfecting and performing at the very top of your game.  And, after all...it's the only thing you can control.

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is a full service advertising agency based in Des Moines, Iowa.  You can connect with us on Twitter @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here

 

So, You Wanna LinkUp?

We have this "love/hate" relationship to LinkedIn.  We love the  Linked In No Photo
opportunity to connect with individuals from all over the world and in different fields. Reading their original thoughts helps us grow and learn. The "hate relationship" is nearly equal. Most of the posts (90%) we see are not original thoughts.  They are posts written by others that our LinkedIn connections think are good...and nothing wrong with that. However what do YOU think? What do YOU have to say?  So, here's some quick tips to enhance your LinkedIn experience.

  • Your Photo - No really.  LinkedIn is considered a "professional resource" that means a photo of your cat might not be the best. However, a photo of your cat is better than no photo at all.  Post your photo.
  • Contact Information - Post it. If, for some reason we need to make a phone call to your office it might be a good idea for you to post your phone number...unless you're really not interesting in making a real connection. Same goes with other contact pieces.
  • Think Original - If you do a blog or have an opinion in your business world...post it.  We understand it's tough if you work for someone else. But, if you can post original thoughts...do so. It helps.
  • Read the Content - LinkedIn offers up content that tends to be in your professional space. (Amazing what they know huh?) Take some time to read it...some great original ideas.
  • Don't Simply Recommend - We LOVE it when a person recommends any of our crew.  However, at the same time it's better to reach out and comment on more than just "Say congrats on a new job".  Which BTW is often not really a "new job".  LinkedIn has some issues when you update your profile. (See they don't know THAT much!).

You have some LinkedIn Tips too?  GREAT!  Feel free to make a comment and thanks for reading!

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We're Insight Advertising, Marketing and Communications a full service advertising agency that is also the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour heard Monday through Friday on 1350-KRNT and in podcast form right here.