How video marketing can increase business sales

by Luci Lopez

@lucilovegood

It’s no surprise that video is a powerful tool for sharing information. It provides visual elements and tone that text alone cannot convey.

After participating last week in a public relations tweet chat that discussed the state of digital video, I researched ways in which video serves as an effective medium for public relations and marketing. Especially with new video platforms, such as Vine, Snapchat and Meerkat, video possibilities have reached new heights for agencies and businesses.

Retail Touchpoints, an online publishing network for retail executives, reports that consumers who view a video are 174 percent more likely to purchase a product. But publishing a video for the purposes of using video will not automatically increase sales for a business. Weebly’s Inspiration Center offers five video marketing tips for your website.

video-marketing

Videos should be short. As of 2015, the average attention span is 8.25 seconds. Keep content short and concise. “Get to the point quickly with a specific message that will help you reach your target viewers before they tune out,” Wirthman said.

Generally, videos should no more than the length of a video news package – three minutes. This should give you enough time to share your message while still keeping your viewer engaged.

Just as a brand monitors social media engagement and audience response through analytics, the same should be done for video marketing. Find out what is working and what isn’t. YouTube, for example, offers analytics services to help your brand.

How will you tell your story through video? Weebly suggests using a popular song or parody as ways to engage your viewers. You could also use video as a way to talk about what your business does for others. “Describe your product’s impact on the planet…or the way it improves people’s lives,” Wirthman said.

Words are still just as important in video as they are in print. Use words that provoke feelings and be true to your mission.

It’s Sunday, May 10. Do you know where your mother is?

by Luci Lopez

@lucilovegood

Mother’s Day is soon approaching and Hallmark has released a new campaign called Put Your Heart To Paper that brings all the tears. Sentimental Mother’s Day ads are nothing new, particularly for greeting card companies, but the ad agency finds a way to still create a heartfelt concept.

The series from agency Leo Burnett features testimonials from people talking about their mom, expressing love and appreciation. The interviewer challenges them to find ways to thank their mom with out using the words “thank you.” This sparks sincere responses and even a few tears from the respondents. “With her actions every day, she teaches me what it means to love someone,” one daughter said. “She feels that I can do something amazing. Even if I can’t see it, she feels that I can,” said one son. All the while sons and daughters are gushing over their moms, the moms are in another room watching and hearing everything their children are saying. When the son or daughter is crying, so is the mom. The ads end with Mom joining her child or children and responds to what she just listened to. Watch one of the ads below:

I have to say, I’ve seen better Mother’s Day ads. Put Your Heart To Paper’s Mother’s Day ads still make me reflect on how awesome my own mother is, but it’s been done before – over and over again. Adweek agrees, “It’s almost impossible not to be moved by this stuff. Which, of course, is the whole point. Still, the basic concept – thanking those you love – no matter how well intentioned or executed, feels tired, simply because it’s been trotted out so much lately.”

What’s different about this campaign, though, is that one ad features a transgender man’s relationship with his mother.

Hallmark also used the Put Your Heart To Paper campaign to celebrate Valentine’s Day, asking couples old and young to share how they feel about their significant other without using “I love you.”

All I need in this life of sin is me and my Lilly (Pulitzer)

by Luci Lopez

@lucilovegood

For three months, Lilly Pulitzer has been advertising and promoting the April 19 release for its limited edition Target collection. Commercial ads show an extravagant pool party showcasing many of the 250 products designed exclusively for Target, including drinkware, beauty products and bathing suits.

Pulitzer’s colorful prints were also used as an invitation to the special collaboration.

target-lilly-3

Thousands of fashionistas across the U.S. woke up bright and early Sunday to snag their favorite Lilly Pulitzer for Target pieces. But many shoppers left Target empty-handed after a quick sell-out. Even those who tried purchasing the products online found them to be sold out as well. And as Mashable said, people are pissed.

Many took to social media to express their frustration for waking up as early as 3 a.m. only to find items sold out and will not be restocked. Others were angry at people who purchased a haul of items to sell on Ebay at an extreme cost, defeating the purpose of affordable luxury brands.

Target responded to customers with the following tweet:

The collaboration gave trendy shoppers on a budget access to $38-dresses that usually run upwards of $200. The #LillyforTarget hashtag resulted in Twitter users complaining that racks were empty within 10 minutes of Target stores opening. According to Mashable, “The Lilly Pulitzer collaboration has become Target’s most buzzed-about launch on social media.”

The collaboration’s hype also caused Target’s website and apps to become inaccessible because of an overwhelming amount of online traffic. Target has spent the day responding to upset consumers via their AskTarget Twitter account, addressing questions about restocking items and website inaccessibility.

Target has previously collaborated with Italian luxury designer Missoni in 2011 and faced a similar situation where its website crashed and brick and mortar stores sold out within minutes.

Harry Potter moving pictures become reality in advertising

by Luci Lopez

@lucilovegood

Who can forget the breaking news of Sirius Black escaping from Azkaban in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban? It was hard to ignore the front page of The Daily Prophet that featured a frightening photo looping his shrieking expression.

Now, advertisers have the opportunity to use what I call “The Harry Potter Technique” as a new marketing strategy. The technique is actually called cinemagraph, which is a mix of still and moving imagery, and Facebook is encouraging marketing to welcome the new ad format. Instead of scary cinemagraphs, advertisers are using the form as way to elegantly showcase their products to intrigue consumers.

Facebook and Instagram are catching on to this trend, and are giving advertisers the option to buy cinemagraph ad space on the social media platforms. With Facebook and Instagram’s new auto-play and auto-loop video feature, one ad executive says it will help brands posts cinemagraph ads because users don’t have to click to play the video, and the ad repeats automatically.

Artist Kevin Burg, co-creator of the cinemagraph, says the technique is effective because people can’t stop staring at them. It’s hypnotic. Isolated moving photos are a creative way to lure in customers.

ermilio-bow-429 louboutin-sparkle-1-429But while cinemagraphs (say cinemagraphs one more time) are appealing to look at, is that enough for users to purchase the product? No, it isn’t. Sequential messaging, in which consumers see an ad on one platform then see it on a different platform at a different time, increases the chances of people buying the product. “Given how seamlessly consumers move from one device to another, so too must the ads,” said Garett Sloane from Adweek. Initially seeing the product on Facebook, then seeing a follow-up ad on Instagram the next day is more influential to consumers than showing the product just once in a mix of competitors and other ads.

What you need to know about SEO

by Luci Lopez

@lucilovegood

Since hearing about search engine optimization, commonly known as SEO, a few years ago, I’ve been intimidated by how complex it sounds. Last week’s SEO presentation left me feeling more confused, so I did some research to see if SEO can be broken down in a simplified way. Here’s what I found:

SEO is used to improve a website’s search engine rankings by finding out what keywords or common search terms your audience searches for. Then, implement those keywords to important parts of your web pages. The keywords will increase your rank on Google, which owns about 70 percent of the search engine market share, depending on your site’s competition. A clear explanation of SEO and how it works (with pictures!) can be found here.

Cartoon image explaining SEO

Adding key phrases to your web pages will help Google find your website so it can be included in the search results. This is known as on page SEO. “Search engines want to do their jobs as best as possible by referring users to websites and content that is the most relevant to what the user is looking for,” said Victoria Edwards, who works with SEO and social media. To determine relevancy, search engines look at content, performance, authority and user experience of a website.

A helpful tip to remember is to include the keywords in your homepage because 75 percent of users never view the second page of search results, according to Point Blank SEO, a link building website. But avoid overusing keywords on pages or buying links. Search engines will see that as a way to trick them and won’t include the website in the search results.

Establishing a website that has high-quality content will encourage other websites to include links to your content, also known as off page SEO. External inbound links tell Google you have authority in your industry, which will also increase your search result ranking.

SEO is a cheaper alternative to increase your company awareness and revenue to its fullest potential. Learning fundamental SEO will benefit your business as well as search engine users.

Knorr Shares The Flavor of Home In New Ad

by Luci Lopez

@lucilovegood

Knorr seasoning is never nonexistent in a Hispanic household. The chicken bouillons remind me of my mom’s Spanish rice, and we always had side pasta at the ready for last minute meals. So when I moved out of my parents’ home, Knorr was one of the first purchases I made to make my apartment feel like home.

The company recently released a new ad campaign, Flavor of Home, from agency DLKW Lowe that’s theme is all about “bringing the flavor home,” proving that Knorr’s reminiscent feeling of home and family extends to more than just my culture. The almost three-minute film features a daughter who has moved to the Arctic to work as a dog-sledding guide. While she loves her job, she misses her family in England. Knorr sends her mother to the Arctic to surprise her daughter with a home-cooked meal. Watch below to see how the taste of home makes for one powerful campaign.

Knorr conducted research before filming the well-executed spot and found that “82 percent of respondents said that the taste of some foods reminds them of childhood, while 77 percent said food is always a part of life’s most meaningful moments.” The results of their research are evident in the ad, and the film also corresponds with the company’s purpose:

“At Knorr, our purpose is to bring flavor to people’s lives. We believe flavor is more than just about food, it is about emotions, life’s meaningful moments and loved ones, and of course the delicious food we enjoy with them. Flavor is something to be celebrated.”

The ad is being praised for focusing on the story of bring family together than blasting the product everywhere. In fact, the story solely focuses on the mother and daughter and preparing the home-cooked meal. The Knorr logo and brand is only mentioned and the beginning and last bumper, proving a powerful ad isn’t about showcasing the brand, but about how it connects with its audience.

How to Conduct a Social Media Audit

by Luci Lopez

@lucilovegood

When creating a social media communications plan for your business or for yourself, a great place to start the assessment is through a social media audit. Hootsuite offers a downloadable audit template to help determine what content is working and what isn’t. Their six-step process tells you what to look at when conducting an audit, such as making sure your social media profiles align with your brand.

After creating a spreadsheet that lists all the social media outlets you’re currently using, perform a Google search to see which of your social media profiles pop and if there are any impostures. Next, evaluate your social media account and how effective the content is. Identifying these attributes will help with the branding and creating business goals and objectives.

In the video below, Hootsuite shares important questions to ask yourself during an audit:

The frequency in which you post content, such as blog posts and Twitter and Facebook posts, can influence social media performance and engagement. If you’re spared for time, Bufferapp has a 15-minutes social media audit checklist to keep you on track. Content crafter Kevan Lee says examining other brands that excel at social media is an effective way to compare your performance, as is analyzing which type of content receives the most engagement. Look at which posts are being shared the most, and which have the most reaction, good and bad. This will tell you what content needs to be adjusted.

As boring as an audit may sound, it can greatly effect your brand’s image and boost engagement with your audience.