Back to Basics: Pick the right medium.

Marshall McLuhan famously said, “The medium is the message.” But what exactly did he mean? Well, we won’t get into that today; however, the quote lends itself to advertising quite well. Because the medium you end up using dictates your message.

Whether you are using billboards, radio, television, print or online, each one is good for different types of messages. The following is a best-use list of which medium is best for what messaging.

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AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Back to Basics: Seven tips that lead to great copywriting.

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However simple it may sound to you, copywriting is a hard task. But with time and practice, you can be a great writer. And deliver great ads. We’ve scoured the Internet and the agency to see what causes the most frustration for designers, account executives and our proofer (thanks for having our back, Megan) when it comes to copywriting mistakes.

Here are the top seven responses:

Not including a call to action
Including a call to action (CTA) on your advertisements seems like something you learn on the first day of school, but unfortunately it can happen.  CTAs do not always have to be full sentences, they can be as simple as including a phone number. As a writer, you need to provide your audience with something to do. You have all this great copy that pumps a consumer up, but forget to give them a way to act on it. Shame on you copywriter.

False sense of urgency
Creating urgency in an ad is a skill in itself. That’s because people really just don’t like to do what you ask of them today; they’d rather complete it tomorrow. Why should I sign up for the seminar today if it’s three weeks away? In order to have a real, genuine sense of urgency, you have to provide people with reasons why they shouldn’t put off what you need them to do. Maybe you do this by telling a touching story that makes them act or maybe you give a reward to the first 100 people to register.

Use of buzzwords
Ah, buzzwords. Buzzwords are great for confusing people. And that’s about it. Do you ever read something that is full of words you think are made up or misused? Those, my friends, are buzzwords. Confusing the consumer is definitely not going to make them buy from you. In fact, they probably won’t even finish reading the ad. Use plain English. Here’s an example.

Buzzword version:
I am going to utilize my robust bandwidth to double down and be pro-active about our content.

Plain English:
I’m going to use my time to focus and write new blog posts.

See? Simplicity rules.

Longwinded descriptions
This goes along with using buzzwords. The shorter the description the better it is. The next time you go to write something, pretend that you are giving an elevator pitch. Keep it short and sweet with just enough information to get your point across. Nobody is going to read paragraphs of irrelevant information about your new hospital wing or product. Just tell the consumer why they can’t live without it.

Relying on spellcheck
Spellcheck is great. But it doesn’t always catch everything. Common mistakes and misspellings are what the software excels at, but context isn’t really a strong point. Language is complicated and relying on a program to realize you used its when you meant it’s will cause errors. Take the time to read what you wrote over a few times. Run spellcheck, read it over and then read it over again.  That way you don’t have an unhappy client on your hand when you provide them an ad with simple errors.

Not writing to your audience
Finding out who your audience is and writing to that audience is one of the most important parts of copywriting. In order for your ad to be effective, you need to know who you are writing for. An easy way to figure out who your audience is and how to reach them is to do research. A quick search will give you some general information and the best ways to make a connection with them. An older audience may not be as comfortable signing up on a website as they would be calling someone, whereas a younger audience usually doesn’t want to interact with people at all. Using research will help you effectively reach the audience.

Listen to the client
When you meet with your client, go into the meeting prepared to listen and ask for clarification. Make sure you know what they are really looking for. One way to do this is by asking questions. Clients don’t mind questions at all; in fact, it can show that you are listening and interested in learning more. If your client is asking you to explain a new product to the consumer and not sell it, do just that. It might be hard not to sell, but do what they ask first.

Let us help you
If you need some help reaching your target market and getting some results, we can help. Visit our website and see how we help our clients reach their targets. And see the cool work we do at acrobatant.us. Or if you prefer talking it over in person, give us a call.

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Press Release: Acrobatant Launches HC MarketSmart, The Cost-Friendly-Option for Small Hospitals.

There’s a new name in healthcare marketing: HC MarketSmart. And it couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. With shrinking budgets and a need for proven success, healthcare marketing is changing. HC MarketSmart is a new business providing a mix of quality, customized, affordable advertising options in a short time frame. It’s all powered by AcrobatAnt, a local advertising and marketing agency with years of experience.

Designed with ease of use in mind, HC MarketSmart is an online marketplace that offers small to mid-size hospitals robust campaign options that easily fit within a limited budget. The campaigns are designed to get results—trackable results—so marketing directors can easily report their success. Plus the campaigns can be ready for market in far less time than developing a custom campaign. There are several campaigns for multiple service lines, and the campaigns include traditional media and online options, including custom microsites.

AcrobatAnt was founded by five advertising industry veterans, Angela Lawrence, Danny Sadler, David Downing, Diane Davis and Hal Collins. It’s a full-service, integrated marketing agency that serves a variety of national, regional and local clients, including Mazzio’s and Saint Francis Health System. The agency specializes in strategic planning, brand development, advertising, digital and media. AcrobatAnt’s work has been recognized at the international level and has also won many national, regional and local awards.

To customize your own campaign, visit HCMarketSmart.com

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Effective Social Media Tactics Part Three: Post Event to Do’s

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We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events.

After the event is over, the real work starts. From putting together reports to thanking everyone who attended, preparation for the next event starts with how you ended this one.

Provide a good summary of the event
One way to make sure attendees get the most out of the event is to put together a post-event summary that highlights the key points that were brought up by speakers and workshops at the event happened. This can be distributed through social media and more traditional routes.

Prepare a report on social media interactions
This report should highlight how many people interacted with the event on social media leading up to, during and after the event. Include the impressions earned, new Twitter and Facebook followers and engagement. These numbers can give insight as to how social media worked for your event. They also provide you with concrete numbers to show how well you performed. Also, you could make a page dedicated to showing off which key influencers had the most mentions, tweets and other vital statistics.

Thank attendees and influencers
This goes without saying, but thanking attendees and key influencers can help make sure you get some repeat customers and also keep a good pool of people coming to your event. Key influencers can turn into speakers at future conferences and events.

Build from mistakes
It is always great to have an event that went off without a hitch, but if something did go wrong or maybe the caterer was late for a lunch, use it as a learning experience. Onsite events can be hard to get perfect every time, but when they are, they are truly a great experience.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Effective Social Media Tactics Part Two: Onsite Social Media

Onsite Social Marketing

We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events.

So you’ve done all the preparation and are finally ready for the event to take place. What’s next? Well, being onsite is a big responsibility and your goal is to make it a memorable experience for not only the people there, but also the people on social media. Your presence on social media can help make the event a success. Here’s how you can do it.

Create a memorable experience for attendees
It doesn’t matter if your event is a week long or one-day, creating a great attendee experience is very important. From the event layout to securing industry-leading speakers to providing quality food, all of those things can help an attendee remember the event and walk away feeling like they didn’t waste their time.

Position the event as a leader
Positioning your event as a best in business event is something you can accomplish through tactful social media posts and use of promoted posts. It is important to get industry leaders and known people onboard the event. If you can get people in the industry to retweet and share your posts, then it shows that your event is something to attend.

Engage with attendees onsite using social media
Whether you use Facebook polls or tweet chats, getting attendees talking about the event on social media can help with exposure.  Providing details of what is going on and who is speaking next, or what time the social is happening can give people who didn’t come a virtual experience. By providing people who couldn’t make it with an idea of what is going on, hopefully they will attend next time.

Build loyalty
If you put on an event that allows people to have a good time while also learning from industry leaders, then you can bet that many attendees will not only return the following year, but also tell their friends in the industry to not miss out on the event.  A successful event can also do wonders to increase followers and fans, this helps you secure an even larger market share and improves your reach throughout the year.

Download a case study
See how we engaged with attendees onsite during the smart grid industry’s leading event DistribuTECH. By employing the techniques we’ve covered and even a few more techniques, we help make DistribuTECH a yearly success. Download the case study here.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 


Effective Social Media Tactics Part One: Event Preparation.

Event Preparation for Social Media

We have put together a four part series focusing on how to drive digital engagement for onsite events. 

There is a lot of planning and background work that goes on during the months, weeks and days leading up to an event. Here are some of the techniques and best practices we have developed over the years to make onsite events successful.

Establish a unique hashtag for the event
A unique hashtag can be useful in many ways. Unique hashtags are useful as they allow you to easily monitor mentions of the event on social media and also track the reach and how many impressions were made on people during the event.

Identifying and interacting with key influencers
One of the first things to do when starting to plan for an event is to get to know key influencers related to the event or industry. This gives you additional information when writing and developing content for the event. Also, by searching out key influencers you will be able to familiarize yourself with the industry, gain first-hand knowledge and add valuable assets by gaining their support.

Generate buzz for the hashtag and event
Once you have established what the hashtag for the event is going to be and sought out key influencers, the next step is promoting that hashtag in social media posts before the event. This gives the hashtag exposure and at the same time provides you with more engagement during the event. Promoted Posts and Tweets could be utilized here to make sure you reach your target audience.

Boost registration and social media growth
Great event preparation combined with social media know-how can boost event registration and result in more followers and likes. A pre-event contest or promotion conducted on various social media channels can help the event gain more exposure and lead to greater likelihood of people within the industry attending the event.

Download a case study
Our case study on DistribuTECH’s “Be a WinAIR” contest has valuable insight on how a well prepared pre-event contest can boost registration and gain exposure to help make your event go off without a hitch. Download the case study here.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Meet the Ants—Kelly Fiddner

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You ran a marathon in Paris? Tell us about that experience.

I’m an absolute Francophile, so being in Paris was like visiting the mother ship. There’s nothing like meandering through the different arrondissements. Incroyable! You have the road to yourself, 40,000 other runners and thousands of Parisians cheering you on. Running next to the Seine? A dream come true!

 

What did you do as a teen that you hope Mia doesn’t do?

I was incredibly shy and not confident when I was young, so probably my biggest wish for her is to be confident in the choices she makes and in the woman she will become.

 

When did the obsession with recycling and living green start?

Being mindful of the things and people around me has been an evolution. I totally missed the whole hippie culture, so I’ve labeled myself a 21st century hippie chick. I’d give anything to live in northern California, own an organic farm or vineyard, do yoga and surf every day.

 

What’s the biggest change you’ve seen in healthcare marketing in the last 12 months?

A true interest in digital marketing. And it’s about time!

 

How do you decide what to feature in the healthcare blog?

Healthcare marketing departments have so many irons in the fire and so many internal and external parties to satisfy. In ConsumerFocusedHealthcareMarketing.com, I try to pinpoint their struggles from 30 feet and from 30,000 feet, finding smart solutions to make their lives easier.

 

How do you develop a content strategy?

I start by asking “why,” as in, “Why are we in business?” If we can answer that, the “what” or the content strategy will unfold.

 

Describe the shift from push advertising to pull advertising.

I equate push advertising to using a megaphone to talk to your audience. It’s a one-way monologue with one purpose—to sell product. Pull advertising is a completely different mindset. To pull an audience in, you have to compel them; and to compel them, you have to know them.

 

What’s the difference between content marketing and brand journalism?

Custom content leverages an organization’s intellectual property collectively to provide value, help and resources to its audiences. Brand journalism leverages current events and news by hijacking it and creating relevant brand content around it. Great content marketers do both.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Only Mad Men Like Advertising; Customers Want Content

4934882110_87025eb586_oMarketers who are driving growth and building stronger brand connections with their audiences are doing so by providing value outside of a purchasing need. 

 

As we’ve discussed in our last few blog posts on content marketing, consumers have crept into the driver’s seat and have virtually shut off the world of traditional marketing as we know it. It doesn’t matter whether you sell to businesses or consumers—a buyer is a consumer and vice versa; their behavior is what they’ve acquired in their retail experiences.

A consumer’s brand experience begins online.

Marketing’s dependence on mass promotional campaigns with goals of reach and frequency are being replaced by messaging, information, tools and interactions that target, position and differentiate you from your competitors. This shift in thinking is much different than the promotional marketing efforts you’ve traditionally launched to publicize your product or service or your brand as a whole.

If you remember, we defined content marketing in a recent post, Content Marketing Is Just Old-School MarComm, as:

the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.”

Selling needs to be kept under the radar. What you’re trying to do is build your case and establish trust with prospective buyers. Make it easy for your buyers to buy from you. Make them want to buy from you. People buy from people they know, like and trust. So get to know your customers. Be likable. And by all means, be trustworthy.

Content marketing helps you get found by the people who matter to your business.

Think about the different types of content that contribute to your buyer’s journey. How can you capture attention and inspire them?

Here’s a simple example of the difference between “promotional marketing” and “content marketing.” Let’s use healthcare marketing, which is one of the industries struggling with the move from promotional marketing to content marketing.

Which of the below scenarios is an example of content marketing?

  • Running an ad touting your joint replacement surgery center
  • Creating a video that provides tips on how to treat knee pain after jogging

The print ad is promotional marketing because it will appeal to very few people who need a specific procedure—joint replacement surgery—at the time they see your ad. The content marketing example is the knee pain video because it will connect with a far broader audience who suffer from knee pain.

Understand that content marketing as a philosophy alone will not ensure success. If you take the idea of creating a video on knee pain and run a search for “knee pain video,” it will more than likely result in over a million hits. In order to show up through all of the clutter, you have to create a relevant, compelling program that differentiates you.

How do you begin? By asking the same questions a marketer would normally ask:

  • What are our goals?
  • How do we measure success?
  • Who is our primary audience?
  • What are our differentiators?

Once you determine the answers, you will want to think in terms of providing relevant messaging and content to an audience that may not have an immediate need to buy today. Focus on driving actions unrelated to making a purchase, like signing up for a seminar, requesting information, downloading a case study or white paper, or participating in a webinar. In other words, you are striving for engagement.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

 

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Townsend via flickr

Smart Moves for Getting Started with Content Marketing

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Smart marketers understand that today’s consumers have virtually shut off the traditional world of marketing and choose messaging that makes them stop, think and behave differently.

 

It’s no wonder then, that content marketing are now a cornerstone of inbound marketing efforts in business and consumer marketing. So what do you need to get started? This is the first question of many that marketers ask themselves.

For starters, a carefully planned strategy and well-coordinated implementation is required to be successful. In the content marketing efforts we manage for clients and ourselves, we’ve discovered six components that are imperative in getting started on the right foot, regardless of the business you are in.

  • Establish target market. Who will you talk to? Everyone? Think again. That net is much too wide. Is your target a specific age group? Parents? Medium-sized businesses in a specific revenue bracket? This is one of the initial steps to take before one piece of content is created. Establish who your target audience is for your content marketing plan and base it on age, location, income and other demographic information.
  • Create reader profiles (or personas). This technique is fairly simple. Start by identifying the attributes needed for someone to be your customer. The goal is to describe who you will attempt to write for or who might already be reading your content. Going through this exercise will help to personalize your writing, identify ways to connect with your target audience and create more practical content with their needs in mind.
  • Determine digital distribution. How are you distributing your content? Before you create it, decide where you will host, publish and post it. A website or microsite is one of the more common platforms because you can disseminate content through a blog, photo gallery or downloads such as ebooks, videos, podcasts, etc. From it, social media should play a major role as distributor, as we advise in Content Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing, as it can extend the reach of your content and foster authentic conversations with your customers and prospects.
  • Research keywords. What words do users type when they are searching for your products or services? It’s of the utmost importance to do the research and choose words with the highest number of monthly searches and the lowest competition.

For example, “urgent care” is a phrase with lots of competition, but in spite of the amount of monthly search volume, it isn’t practical to incorporate into a keyword strategy. A good tool to use is Google’s Keyword Planner; it will help you find “long-tail” keywords and phrases such as “urgent care for children in Tulsa, OK” that will garner better traffic results for your site.

  • Think like a publisher. Publishers use editorial calendars to monitor dates and buying cycles, track specifics of content ideas and keep content consistent and relevant. It also allows you to see connections within your content, get ideas on how you can repurpose it and ensures you have key information for SEO.
  • Report, analyze and adjust. One of inbound marketing’s biggest benefits is the ability to track and measure your progress to see what’s working. Then you can adapt to optimize results.

These are the critical components to put in place that will ensure you are on the right path for success.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Content Marketing Is Not Social Media Marketing

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Marketers have always needed to find ways of conveying important information in useful and entertaining ways and social media is the communication workhorse that can effectively and efficiently do it.

Social media didn’t create content marketing.
Content marketing has been around as long as people have been selling services. What started as published content on the Web, progressed from text to rich content like videos, infographics, e-books, etc. Now that there is more content out there than anyone can reasonably find and consume, we’re applying personalization technology to filter the barrage of information coming at us from all angles into meaningful, relevant, digestible chunks.

Different animals.
There is plenty of overlap between content marketing and social media marketing, but don’t forget they are two different animals with different focuses and objectives. In social media, the hub of marketing activity lies within the networks themselves, with content being placed inside the networks. In contrast, content marketing’s focal point is your brand’s own content hub, like your website or a product-specific microsite.

 The goals of content marketing are consumption, then behavior. The goals of social media are participation, then behavior. – Jay Baer

 Social media is used by customers and prospects to communicate among themselves and sometimes with companies. Communication in social media is much less structured; it’s conversational and can be reactive. Therefore, its strength lies in brand awareness and customer satisfaction and retention.

 Social media is the new telephone. Content marketing is the new brochure. – Jay Baer

Content marketing is a tool companies use to educate, inform and entertain customers and prospects by creating attention or causing action that moves them down the buying funnel, resulting in leads, sales and advocacy.

A powerful match.
Think of social media channels as the tentacles that can extend the reach of your content and foster authentic conversations with your customers and prospects. Despite the differences between the two, there is a vital interdependence that can make or break a digital marketing strategy. We’ve always needed to find ways of conveying important information in useful and entertaining ways, we’re just using technology as the vehicle to do it.

 

AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
AcrobatAnt.com
1336 East 15th Street Tulsa, OK 74120
918-938-7912

Photo credit: Thanks to mkhmarketing via flickr for the wonderful graphic available under the creative commons license.