Great stories happen all around you everyday. What milestone did someone or something reach that you would tell a friend about? What made you go “ahhh,” “are you kidding?” or “wow”? What is trending in the media, the calendar or your community that is being celebrated, or acknowledged in your retirement community? What acts or heroism came about during a crisis?
One of the best ways to decide if you have or know of a story that you think might have media interest is to ask yourself: “If I told this story to a stranger at a large party, would they be interested?” If the answer is “yes” you probably have something powerful to garner the interest of the media.
So now that you know you have a great story, it is important to convince a few more people that you in fact do. When we create a story at IVY, we ask ourselves: So what (why is your story important)? Who cares (who would enjoy learning about this subject)? And what’s in it for me (does this make the editor/producer look good; will it engage their viewers/readers)? Answering these questions will help you compose your story that will achieve the greatest exposure possible and will minimize the dreaded self-promotion that media rejects.
Your next step is to determine how to substantiate the story. Think about who can corroborate your account of the events that happened? For example, if you have a terrific presentation, get a quote or two from people who attended and enjoyed it. You should have at least one or two quotes to achieve this important verification of the story.
Now you can start writing! Keep your facts towards the top of the story and make it as timely as possible. Weave quotes into your content. Be sure to include a standard “stock” paragraph about your community that gives the reader a bit of background about your community and of course a contact name, phone number, website and social media sites to view more information. Next, establish the links you need to embellish the reader’s experience and find photos and/or video to further enhance your story. We always try to own the photography — as that is often the most important part of reader’s/viewer’s experience.
Your next step is to decide who should know about your story both internally and in the media. You may need to rewrite the story for several different venues: social media, your blog, the website, different publications and media outlets. If you are lucky enough to get into the mainstream media with a story that will be written and produced by the sponsoring media, always offer to get photos for their stories. You may only have a few paragraphs about your community in their two page spread, but having the photo will give you much greater presence that those communities who do not have one.
With the past few weeks of nicer weather after an extreme Chicago winter, all eyes are on spring and the sunshine ahead! Flowers are blooming, city dwellers are emerging and dogs are walking. However, there is one more important aspect of spring and that is to take a step back and evaluate your marketing efforts. With Q1 behind us, this is a good time to review where the company has gone and how this aligns with your strategic business goals.
As the main rule states, the customer is always #1, so first consider your engagement – have you utilized all consumer touchpoints (collateral, social media, website)? Why do your customers engage or buy from you? Are they repeat customers?
Is your website still producing leads and is your viewership consistent? If not, immediately make changes. Then, google your company and see what others are saying about you. Review Yelp or other review sites and respond to comments (both negative and positive). Update your email distribution list.
Ensure your brand message is strong. This can be as simple as employee or friends/family feedback or as involved as focus groups or revitalizing advertising campaigns. Confirm that your content for marketing is relevant and intriguing. Since content is key to driving inbound traffic and leads, deliver a consistent message.
Review online profiles. Are they utilized to the fullest extent? Is the brand messaging you’ve just reiterated strong? Update the information as needed. Include as many links to your site as possible. Find a way to utilize these customer testimonials. Let others do your bragging!
If you haven’t yet, establish measurable goals. Good luck with your spring cleaning!
With the influx of social media, mobile marketing, online advertising, some in the field think email marketing is dead. They’re dead wrong. With the right message, email marketing is even more effective than ever before.
Be consistent with your email marketing. Coordinate a schedule to send the e-blasts and stick to it giving the readers something to expect and appreciate. Stick to a design that works to increase brand recognition. Don’t forget to build your list at every opportunity you can: tradeshows, sales calls, promotions, etc.
Email marketing is still very valuable. Email still proves powerful social influence, according to a study by SocialTwist. Over an 18-month period, SocialTwist monitored 119 referral campaigns from leading brands and companies. The results showed a significant advantage to email’s ability to convert new customers compared to Facebook and Twitter. Of the 300,000 referrals who became new customers, 50.8 percent were reached by email, compared to 26.8 percent for Twitter and 22 percent for Facebook.
Here are some key objectives every email communication must possess:
- Timeliness – with the influx of messages to our inboxes, try strategically sending messages around days and times when other companies aren’t. This will make your email stand out.
- Value – what’s in it for the consumer?
- Call to action without being pushy
- Personalization – ensure this is the preferred type of communication for the recipient
- Share features incorporating social media
- Ensure the email is viewable on mobile devices (Stats say 48% of email is now opened on a mobile device)
To know if your email marketing is on the right track, review analytics including open rates and clicks. Is your list growing? Are your social outlets growing due to your communications? Do you know how many purchases are being made from your email?
We love the 10 Simply Awesome Examples of Email Marketing on HubSpot.
A logo, a graphic mark commonly used by brands, businesses, organizations and even individuals helps with instant public recognition. Logos are either icons/symbols or are composed of the name of the organization. Consider first-class brands like Apple, Starbucks, McDonalds and one of the first instincts and associations with them comes down to the bitten fruit, golden arches or mermaid. Is your brand identity so strong that people can identify it merely from a logo?
We believe that a good logo should incorporate the following:
- Simplicity to allow for easy recognition
- Be able to work in all kinds of sizes for design purposes
- Timelessness – will it still work and align with company objectives in 10 years?
- Appropriateness for the intended purpose (utilize typeface and images that speak to the brand)
- Differentiating factors to set yourself apart from competition
If your logo doesn’t have easy recognition within your field, it may be time for a change. Ask yourself if it looks outdated or too trendy? Or has there been a change within the company to expand offerings? Keep in mind this can be a very daunting and expensive task. Some brands have gone through a complete rehaul just to find out the consumers lost the connection and worst sales plummeted.
The infographic below (made by glow new media) displays logo evolution for the following brands: Internet Explorer, IBM, Nokia, Ford, Apple, Pepsi, Microsoft, Cannon, BBC, Kodak, Atari, Volkswagen and British Airways. Let us know which is your favorite logo featured in the infographic by leaving a comment below.
Check out this fun logo quiz from Business Insider and try to guess the brand without words.
Evolution of Logo Design by Glow New Media