It seems there’s a Facebook-related headline every week and for many reasons – Keep in mind how Generation Z connects today. But where does that leave TV when it comes to reaching out to audiences? Here’s my take on Facebook and its role in advertising:

While the industry debates Facebook’s worth, its necessity, and its value in digital advertising, it is becoming increasingly clear to me that it will indeed become a strong contender for “the most effective advertising medium” sometime in the near future.
The last bastion of traditional advertising, the TV, is often deemed to be a time-waster for most consumers. Brands purchase viewership based on TRPs and in their attempt to reach the right audience, they fail gravely by picking the most popular soap or reality show to make their point. No surprise, these brands need a reality check themselves!
With TV advertisements, it is difficult to measure the size and makeup of the audience that views them. Since most ads are purely aesthetic they often provide NO measurable performance metric to represent the consumers.
Facebook, on the other hand, seems to have hit the nail on the head. It guarantees audience reach and frequency of ad delivery along with direct links to the seller’s products. You can target real people, not anonymous cookies, who actually take interest in buying a product like yours.
Also, Facebook allows advertisers to reach out to the desired audiences, the self-identified fans across highly targeted age ranges, genders and geo-locations. It gives them the ability to: connect with their consumers, convince them and build a relationship that’s essential for a self-generating sales funnel. To add to that, advertisers can reach to their fans’ friends, and friends of friends, and possibly reach out to their competitors’ fans. The Facebook ad options appear to be endless.
Even though TV and Facebook ads may have similar target audiences, Facebook increases the possibility of actually reaching the desired audiences. It is worth mentioning, as well, that the real impact of Facebook is in its ability to cut down television budgets.
In the meantime, for those who want to maximize brand engagement and consumer advocacy, I would recommend you coordinate your Facebook and TV efforts well and make the most of this giant social media network for effective advertising.
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It is no surprise that the current online marketplace is greatly suffering with a supply-and-demand imbalance. The demand for quality content, specifically videos that are entertaining yet informative, far outweighs the supply.

And while there are many reputable brands producing quality content and videos for their advertising, there are a host of “less-than-savory” options as well. You’ll find everything from no-name websites to forced pop-ups, auto-plays, and bogus micro-sites being used by millions of online marketers, possibly with lower budgets,striving to keep the clock ticking (i.e. generating leads and increasing their sales revenues).
video ads
Image by ajstarks, Flickr CC
Brand marketers use a number of incentives for their consumers – FREE subscriptions, giveaways, downloads, ad walls, graphics, etc. But among them, one that is particularly intriguing to me is Incentivized Video Ads – a strategy through which brands “pay” their consumers for viewing their videos.
Facebook users can now earn Facebook credits in exchange for watching video ads in games.” No doubt, this is Facebook’s way of enabling brand advertising for its users but what I really wonder is – how can incentivized views lead to more effective digital advertising today?
Engagement advertising giant, SocialVibe, raised $20 million in March.
“What we’ve learned from millions of interactions is people like free stuff and now Facebook users can earn credits simply by participating with the advertiser to get that free stuff,” said Jay Samit, CEO of Social Vibe. “This kind of advertising satisfies what brands have been looking for – an opt-in experience with a reach greater than TV and highly targeted.”
Apart from being an obvious “idle money-making avenue,” I have come to realize that Incentivized Video Ads help in transforming the way the brands can connect with consumers on the most influential space, the Internet, and they are doing it on the consumer’s terms.
However, I fail to agree that incentivized viewership is necessarily always a winning option:
  • What happens to the quality of the views?
  • Are these views just as valuable?
  • Are these viewers really consumers?
  • Is it the audience that the marketers really want?
In my quest to finding the right answers, I continue learning. Do you think Incentivized Video Ads will compromise the quality of video content?
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Online Branding

The word ‘branding’ once referred to corporate logos, packaging and commercial jingles.  In the online world that has come to be known as Web 2.0, things have changed, however.  Today, effective branding is less about ‘selling’ to customers and more about ‘telling’ them:

  • Who you are – the background and experience that make you qualified to solve the needs of your prospective customer better than your competitor
  • What you do – the benefits that your company brings to its clients.  For example, a security camera installation firm might say that it sells “a safe workplace.”
  • How you do it – the methods you use to deliver the benefits you promise so that the satisfaction of the customer is guaranteed

How to Use the Internet

The Internet offers a gold mine of opportunity for establishing credibility and creating an audience of enthusiastic fans and followers.  Even the most basic web site is an effective brand-building device. That’s because a web site does a much better job of building relationships than any other form of marketing communication with your customers.

Traditional marketing communications are monologues; they only go one way from seller to prospective buyer.  Online, however, you can establish a dialogue.  A website includes mechanisms such as ‘Contact Us’ forms, message boards, forums, and most recently blogs that invite existing and potential clients to get to know you…communicate with you…and tell you what they need so you can provide the solution.  That’s good for them and for your business.

An Humanizing About Us Page

About Us PageIn a business world where the focus is on transactions and the bottom line, an important element can get lost…the human element.  Whether for business or pleasure, humans want to connect with other humans.  A company’s ‘About Us’ page puts a human face on an otherwise technical, dry, and impersonal web site and helps cement a relationship with prospective clients.

Many web sites hide their identity, putting a wall between themselves and their visitors.  This is a mistake.  While it’s true that not every customer wants to know more about you, still, you shouldn’t disappoint those who do. A powerful ‘About Us’ page could yield higher conversion from those who encounter it.

Social Network Profiles

Social Network ProfileWhy does a person shop at one business rather than another or buy one product instead of another?  While price is one factor, today’s customers are interested in the culture of the businesses they buy from,  They are also heavily influenced by the opinions of peers and ‘people like me.’ This is the reason that social media marketing – should be on every company’s ‘Things to Do’ list.

New stats from Nielsen Online show that social networking had overtaken email in terms of worldwide reach. According to the study, 66.8% of Internet users across the globe accessed social communities (also called member networks) last year, as opposed to the 65.1% who used email.

Because they allow you to share pertinent information for the rest of the world to see, social sites are the #1 way to get your message out to a global audience at practically no cost.  The virtually ‘free’ delivery system provided by the Internet means companies can invest their resources in the services of a social media expert with the skills and knowledge to deliver results.

At sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook, if what you post on your profile page is truly valuable, you instantly become a ‘trusted resource’ and your audience will do your marketing for you. Your message or video – along with your brand identity — can easily go viral and reach a cascading number of people as your interested visitors and fans send your link to millions of their friends and they pass the word on to their friends and so on.

Corporate Blogging

Corporate Blogging

Google does it. Microsoft does it. And some of the most influential CEOs in the world

doit for their companies because they know how powerful it is. What is ‘it’?  It’s blogging.

A business blog can be written in one of numerous styles, or a combination of these. One huge benefit is the ability to inform your customers of any changes, new products, latest offers and much more. This, in turn, can lead to direct sales.

Depending on your company or business model, corporate blogging, like an About Us page, makes a company feel more human to the world.

Additionally, a company blog is a way for your company to become engaged with and by the online community. A well-written blog can gain popularity which can lead to thousands of people subscribing to your feeds…and being exposed to your advertising and marketing messages.

People love to frequent blogs and pass their time reading the same ones on a regular basis. Captivate your audience with compelling content and you’ll receive a growing list of market leads. Remember that individual blog readers generally prefer a personable style but if your operation is a business-to-business one then you’ll need to vary your style accordingly.

A blog is simple to set up. Often the only thing required is to install a software application on your Web site and tinker with a few settings.  Furthermore, the cost of integrating a blog onto your web site is extremely modest…especially if you have an IT pro on staff.

But even outsourcing the task is a modest expense, given the ROI. A blog could become one of the most powerful marketing weapons you have in your arsenal and the money you spend might just pay a salesperson for one day’s work.

Twitter – The New Frontier

Twitter Branding

Twitter, the most famous micro-blogging site, allows its members to communicate in abbreviated, high-impact messages of 140 characters.  Today, Twitter has roughly 6 million users and is projected to grow to 18.1 millions users in 2010.  It is the ‘next wave’ in social media marketing.  To succeed, you should have a marketing plan in place to acquire new followers.

One thing to do is include your Twitter handle wherever you would place your website URL and contact information.  If you have a company newsletter, you can write about on Twitter and link to your profile or put it at the bottom of your template, so that each email has a link to your account.  You should also include your Twitter information on the last slide of any business presentation and tell people that they can follow you on Twitter

Article was published as: “Online branding offers credibility”


Online Branding Credibility

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