Category Archives: Branding
“If you build it, they will come,” is a fantastic slogan for inspiring a baseball game in Field of Dreams, but not all the bright lights of Hollywood are able to fix some of the submission for crowdfunding. In haste to create a revenue source for their dreams, hundreds of people everyday eagerly post projects on sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Crowfunder, and IndieGoGo.
In truth, most projects are a little like Tom Cruise screaming “show me the money” in Jerry Maguire.
Apologies for the digression into movie history!
First – Lets Talk About Crowdfunding Demographics
Although GoFundMe boasts “over $75 million dollars raised since 2010,” the reality is that most projects that fail to receive funding lack the six essential social media elements that create a strong approach to answering the most basic marketing questions.
Indicators show in a study by American Dream Composite Index the demographic for crowdfunding as:
- Age. Individuals ages 24-35 are much more likely to participate in crowdfunding campaigns; those over 45 are significantly less likely to back campaigns.
- Gender. Men are much more likely to take a risk on an unknown startup.
- Income. Those earning over $100,000 per year are the most likely to invest in startups through crowdfunding.
- See: http://bit.ly/crowdfunding_demo for more in-depth information.
Next – Habitual Behaviors of Crowdfunding Investors
In truth, there are three levels of crowdfunding investors:
- Level 1 – Initial Investors: These investors are the people who buy in early because they love the concept or idea. These people usually also enjoy the reward connected with the contribution and the ability to say they helped fund the idea. These are the early adaptors of most markets and technologies.
- Marketing Motivation: Making your crowdfunding campaign sharable and rewarding is very important to this type of investor as well as creating a steady update stream for monitoring growth such as pictures, video, and social media.
- Level 2 – Get On Board Investors: These investors are interested in watching the project progress to see if it will be viable. For them, the burden of proof – even if it is slight – is overwhelming. These people need to see some justification for investment through either press coverage or other investor interest.
- Marketing Motivation: The stream of social media with newsletters combined by way of press releases, images, and video help move an investor to get on board while they can because these options open the door to sharing and seeing others participate in the growth process.
- Level 3 – Home Stretch Investors: There are two types of home stretch investors. First, the Finalists are people that have just found out about the project through a friend / family member or a “Get On Board Investor” with a stubborn streak who decided not to be left out at the last minute. Second, the Secret Santa’s are the people who dig deep to invest a little more to the project in order to push it over the top.
- Marketing Motivation: Investors are attracted by being a part of the winning team. These people are usually not new to the project or crowd sourcing in general. The marketing needs to accept these advanced investors with special rewards and recognitions with contests, informational presentations, and product placements in social media. For example, ask for their opinion on color selection, optional features, and functionality that allow them to claim some ownership in the production or outcome.
Finally – Let’s Get Social!
These six essential social media marketing strategies touch each type of crowd funding investor in the wheel-house of their marketing motivation:
- Social Media Share: Social media avenues help build an input channel for potential investors and build an audience accustomed to sharing viral information. At the same time, certain social medias like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and blogging creates searchable content for Google.
- You Too YouTube: Youtube is the number two search engine in the world. Is that enough reason to have video as a part of a crowdfunding campaign? Yes! Without doubt. More importantly is the video evidence of each successful step of the process. From the initial demonstration of the product or service to latter stages of development, video has the ability to gain buy-in instantly because investors can see that the product actually works and how it works.
- Picture Perfect: Outside of the initial design sketches or ideas, most projects have the basic pictures of drawings or images taken with a camera. Seriously, it is time to shine up those images because a picture is truly worth a thousand words. When a potential investor can see someone using the product to solve a problem, there is the advantage of being able to become a part of the situation and the solution.
- Good Newsletters: Without a good newsletter, a crowdfunding campaign fails on several levels. First, this is the best way to stay in connection with funders to update progress. Second, newsletters are sharable from one investor to others with a simple click of a forward button. Third, newsletter gives potential investors the opportunity to answer MAYBE if they are not ready for YES and would decide NO. Lastly, a newsletter engages investors and keeps the project in front of them so they can fund again if needed or necessary.
- Press the Press: One huge often overlooked social media strategy is approaching the press through magazines, newspapers, and industry related bloggers. Armed with a strong press release that explains the best of the project, coverage from the media – online and offline – can give great exposure, fantastic links, and high level creditability to any project. Most investors will trust a review from the New York Time or a respected industry blogger.
- Web Ready: Many projects rely on crowdfunding websites for information and interaction with potential investors; however, a website devoted just to the project and marketing materials can be a useful tool in encouraging fast communication with press and reliability for investors. With a minimal space and restrictions of a crowdsourcing project guideline, a website gives project owners room to spread out to share information instantly.
Realistically, crowdfunding is just like selling a service or product WITHOUT the service or product on-hand ready to ship. In many cases, the marketing must work harder to convenience potential investors of the value proposition.
Last Stop – The Crowdfunding Mentality
Even as Kickstarter touts that there are over $606 dollars pledged every minute with over 50,000 people funding more than 10 projects, there is only a 43% success rate with some categories significantly skewing the curve upward.
If you want to see the stats for Kickstarter – http://bit.ly/kickstarter_data.
Consider this – As the link above shows, if your product or service is in the realm of frequently successful categories for crowdfunding, it does not mean that the road is easier. In fact, it probably means that your social media needs to be more on track and targeted to reach the audience segmentation.
Without proper social media marketing, potential project owners should consider buying a lottery ticket instead of working through the process of creating and executing a crowdfunded marketing campaign.
In networking events all across the country, from Chamber After Hours to professional luncheons to business mixers, there are always those people to meet and greet everyone. Often referred to as the “movers and shakers,” the truth is these people are in possession of the networking personality. You know, the networking personality is that set of charismatic characteristics that turns everyday business people into born promoters and marketers to help grow their contacts and enhance their connection based.
While this may seem like good fortune for those lucky few, the truth is the networking personality is only a matter of practice of these few simple rules:
- THIS IS NOT PROM – GET OVER YOURSELF: This is perhaps the hardest rule for people to overcome. Many people stand on the outside of groups during networking events waiting for someone to come up and speak to them. In truth, the only person who ever talks to them is the servers passing around food or drinks. The purpose of a networking event is meet people. It is expected. Every time you approach someone and extend your hand, you are taking a risk, but most people receive an approach very well and appreciate the effort.
- “NO” CAN BE GOOD: In most people’s minds, hearing NO is the ultimate failure in networking; however, in some cases, hearing NO can be a ground breaking opportunity to disengage early and move on to an introduction that will lead to businesses. In this case, it is very much like buying a house. You will know quickly if the person in front of you is a good contact for you. There is no tragedy if both of you disengages and moves on to new connections. Be professional, ask for their business card, and move on!
- TAKE INSTEAD OF GIVE (Business cards): There are two problems with giving out a business card without being asked. First, you are spending money with every business card you give. Save your business cards for the people who are great leads. Second, if you give someone your business card, this means they are responsible for the contact. Receiving a business card gives you the opportunity to stay in contact and makes your responsible for the correspondence. Even in cases where the person is not a good contact, ask for a business card for net-weaving (see below).
- PRACTICE NET-WEAVING: INTRODUCE (3) AND CONNECT (2): At any business event, the goal is always to make connections and introduce yourself to other decision makers. Net-weaving is a great way to keep your placement in the minds of those who are currently contacts as well as make new contacts by connecting people around you. At every event, make it a habit to introduce three current connections and connect two new connections to others. Why? It is simple – when you are interested in other people’s business you stay in their mind.
- YOUR NAME TAG IS YOUR FRIEND: There are three very common mistakes to wearing a name tag. First, most people with pre-printed name tags tend to forget to wear it. Just like wearing a shirt or shoes to a networking event, your name tag should always be in the right place. The second most common mistake? Putting your name tag on the wrong side. Your name tag should always be on the right shoulder because people’s eyes travel up your arm when you extend your hand to shake hands. Third and final note about your name tag? Invest a few dollars in a pre-printed name tag. Often times, writing your name on a white tag is hurried and looks unprofessional as you try to squeeze your name and company into the little 5×7 sticky paper. It is worth a few dollars to have a clean, branded name tag that is easy to read and associate.
- BE KNOWN FOR SOMETHING – A DISTINCTIVE SIGNATURE: Establishing a moniker for your appearance or a staple that people can lock in their mind is vital to the networking personality. In a place where everyone is wearing a golf shirt with khaki pants or a simple black dress, it is easy to be “the person who always wears __________.” For women, it might be a scarf or a hat. For men, it might be a bow-tie or a cleaver shirt pattern. Either way, connecting something about your person to your brand makes people remember you all the more.
- IF YOU JUGGLE, YOU LOOK LIKE A CLOWN: Over and over again, business struggle with the presentation of their materials. Especially true of women with purses or bags, digging for a business card or, worse, giving someone another person’s business card is incredibly unprofessional. If you have to dig for a clean, crisp business card, then it says that you do not have your act together. HINT – keep your business cards in your right pocket and the business cards of others in your left pocket. With this habit, you will automatically be able to produce a business card at moment’s notice.
- SOCIALIZE LATER – MEET THE PEOPLE YOU DON’T KNOW: It is easy to fall back into the waiting friendships of people who you know and feel comfortable with at a networking event; however, socializing is not the goal. Your goal is to get out there and meet the people who you are not connected. Take the time to gather your senses and really get comfortable with those who are not in your business circle while using those opportunities to connect with familiar people through net-weaving.
- EVERYTHING IN YOUR HANDS ARE OBSTACLES: At many networking event, food and drinks are supplied as part of the entrance fee. Although this is done with goodness to allow people to relax, everything in your hand presents an obstacle to shaking hands, giving business cards, and interacting with others. If you have set down a drink or ask someone to hold a plate of food, then you are not presenting the most positive professional appearance before those people who are thinking of doing business with you. Clear your hands and streamline your interactions.
- THE BIGGEST FAILURE – FOLLOW UP: Many times, when people leave networking events, the handful of business cards end up on a desk or thrown away. The most important thing about the networking personality is the plans for how you will connect with the leads you develop during the event. All of the dynamic character and outreach of the networking personality will be wasted if you do not follow up immediately with people while you are fresh in their minds.
There are many reasons to work on building the networking personality. If the cliché is true about first impressions being the best impressions, then creating a dynamic lasting connection relies on claiming a unique presence in the mind of each person encountered at the event. After all, there is no point going to a networking event if people don’t remember you have been there.
Pinterest is the growing fade among business owners – but few know exactly WHY they are using Pinterest (except that everyone else is using it!) and how it can help grow your business.
Lets take a step back and examine 5 ways your pins can bring you social media traffic and boost your SEO efforts.
Enjoy the video and tell us what you think….remember, if you have a question or would like for us to make a video to help you navigate the social media jungle – email us at info [at] magicmarketingusa dot com!
Dont forget to PIN us – http://pinterest.com/magicmarketing/
In every Facebook fan page campaign; there are three phases that go together like the 3 Musketeers – the group of sword fighting men, not the candy bar. Those three phases are planning, design, and execution. Even in the most carefully planned and designed Facebook fan page, the execution is the place where most people fall flat in gaining and maintaining an audience of customers. In fact, when executed incorrectly, a Facebook fan page can have your nearest and dearest friends avoiding you in the supermarket!
Most people don’t make these mistakes on purpose (although there are a FEW that I have kindly noted the mistake and then UN-LIKED when they persisted). These are usually the people who see me out at dinner and tell me that their Facebook fans have dropped over the last month. I shake my head sadly…knowing the answer is probably one of these five mistakes that will turn LIKE into DISLIKE on Facebook:
Tag Lightly – Never Hit Too Hard. In every Facebook class, we discuss the ways to tag other people and Facebook pages to draw traffic to your own Facebook page. Sometimes, without understanding the effect, people over-tag certain Facebook pages or people in an effort to get attention (or just because they don’t understand the result!). Every time you tag someone or a Facebook fan page, it posts your content on their page. Even with the best of intentions if done too often or in too many places, it is tag-spam (the equivalent of email spam!).
Example: During a recent social media party, we allowed all of our Facebook fans to post a link to their Facebook fan page to get the community connected. We asked in return that the posters go to each other’s Facebook fan pages, LIKE their page (to build fans), and leave a hello from the visitor. One person took this to heart! She went to all 87 pages that participated and tagged our Facebook fan page as the referrer. Her posts showed up 87 times on our Facebook fan page! We had to delete them as they went down for pages and pages of 87 link-backs from the tags!
Our next post will discuss Facebook Faux Pas #2: Tresspass Posting!
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, customer service, facebook, facebook badge, facebook vanity URL, How to, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, social marketing, social media, vanity URL, Viral Marketing, web marketing
Ready to get rid of your prision number for your Facebook fan page?
Here are the criteria:
- You have to own the facebook fan page (or be admin of the facebook fan page!)
- You have to have atleast 25 fans or likes.
- You can only set your vanity URL once! SO make sure it is SEO and people friendly!
Now…check out this Facebook Vanity URL: Claim Your Name video!
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, customer service, facebook, facebook badge, facebook vanity URL, How to, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, social marketing, social media, vanity URL, Viral Marketing, web marketing
Many people ask about how to get a facebook badge on their blog or website.
Facebook Badges for Websites and Blogs will walk you through the process of getting the code you need for your website or blog.
If you have any questions about how to maximize your social media efforts, please email us at questions (at) magicmarketingusa (dot) com.
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, customer service, facebook, facebook badge, How to, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, social marketing, social media, Viral Marketing, web marketing
Do you have a clue what is killing your marketing efforts? Whether you are a small business or large corporation, it is likely at least one of these customer service issues is planning the death of your marketing dollars!
Recently, I had occasion to travel across several states on business and pleasure. Traveling provides a unique opportunity to view the world of customer service from the good, the bad, and the ugly. While noting that the holiday season brings out the worse in both customers and customer service, it was particularly apparent that most companies do not take enough time to think through the rationale of integrating customer service into the marketing department instead, as is traditional in most case, into the sales department.
As an even bigger offense, if for some unfathomable reason, customer service is a department unto themselves because the divide between performance and evaluation increases at alarming rates. Without doubt, more marketing dollars are needlessly wasted each year on ineffective customer service than any other marketing endeavor. Clearly, the most preventable cases the murder of marketing dollars is easily fixed by addressing these five customer service issues:
Man-Handling: Many times, service representatives react with overzealous pressure on customers. Upon asking to be left alone (clearly) to browse for shoes, I was continually followed and addressed by a sales person. When I requested, pointedly, that the sales lady go away, she did only to be replaced by another salesperson from the same charm school. As a result, my shopping experience was ruined and I left the store.
Cow-Towing: For some service reps, good customer service is equated to bowing and scraping before the buyers. The buyer feels horrible that the company or the service individual is fawning over them like an entourage following the diva of the week around the store. With a strange mixture of discomfort and annoyance, the customer exits the store as quickly as possible.
Passive-Aggressive: Interestingly enough, in the past few weeks, I have encountered this behavior in several professional settings. When asking for a call number in the library, the Librarian literally snatched the paper from my hand to go get the book from me with a curt, “that is my job!” As I stood in shock staring at her back, it seemed an odd sense of customer service that resounded of policy filtration. In another case, I was seriously asked, “What do you want?” Looking around a large, brand name bookstore, I humorously ordered, “a double cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate shake.” In both instances, marketing dollars are wasted as customer service is isolated from the rest of the company structure. NOTE TO CUSTOMER SERVICE WORLD: The customer does not care if YOU are having a bad day, so that excuse does not fly for me.
Know-Nothing: In contrast, customer service employees that know nothing about the product or services offered by a company are the worst waste of marketing money. When customers fill the store seeking details about services or directions to products, a customer service representative should at least have general knowledge. If the product or service base is so large that no one could have a strong working knowledge, the product specialist should be assigned to aid the customer. I watched as a bookstore employee advised a beginning PhotoShop7 (yes, I know….groan from the audience….PhotoShop7!) to buy the PhotoShopCS3 Bible because it was about the same thing. Needless to say, I stepped in to advise her to look online for a copy for a Dummies or 24-Hour book appropriate to her version of Photoshop. “What’s the difference?” she asked me politely. “About $75, years of needed Photoshop experience, and the frustration of trying to follow a book that does not represent your software,” I replied with encouragement.
Techno-Interruptus: Shopping for a new cell phone urged me to add one more criminal act of marketing murder to the sphere of customer service. Although I do admit that technology is a wonderful thing for business, it might well be the worst thing ever created for customer service. Encountering service reps texting or talking about a party on their cell gives the worst impression of a company and completely sends me toward the door. If that customer service rep adds a deep resounding huff of “you are bother me” to the mix, then I might ban the store from coast to coast from my shopping experience.
In most cases, customer service initiatives can enrich the return on investment for every marketing dollar spent by a company. Marketing expenditures can lead to increased sales and heightened positive brand awareness with the help of informed customer service force as part of the marketing team.
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, customer service, email marketing, How to, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, social marketing, social media, Viral Marketing, web marketing
At least once a week, someone writes to ask me why their email list is dwindling in readership and subscription rates are dropping. Almost without exception, the answer can be narrowed down into one of four mistakes. Although it seems to be in fashion to let the instant connection of social media bleed over into email marketing efforts, this mentality poses the problem of overexposure and violation of spamming laws.
In both instances, avoiding these email marketing blunders can help reach customers and avoid losing potential sales:
1. Customer Centric Information: The most common unfounded belief is that customers are waiting to receive an email about what YOU are doing. So many times, business owners focus their newsletters and emails around promotions and marketing of events. In truth, giving readers information to help them solve a problem or answer a question makes you an expert in the mind of your customer.
2. Permission is Precious: The worst offense any business owner can make when using their email list is forgetting that email is not the same as social media, even if that is how you gained permission to use someone email for contact. If you want to keep your email marketing list strong, then ask yourself these important questions before you hit the send button—
- Does it serve a purpose for my customer or is it just marketing for my business?
- If I had to call my customer on the phone instead of send an email, would this message be adequate reason?
- Would I be annoyed, as a customer or business owner, to receive the same email in my inbox?
- Would I stop to read it and start to anticipate the next email?
If the answer to any of these questions is a resounding NO, then take a few minutes to consider how to correct the problem before sending the email. By remembering that every person on your email list can remove their name by simply clicking a button or report you to your email provider for spamming, the goal of providing quality email marketing messages mixed with strong informational content will keep your readers both interested and involved.
3. Time is of the Essence: Many business owners’ loose subscribers merely due to the amount of email they send to their list. Sending email two or more times a week can lead to overexposure and be a huge reason that email recipient lists drop in numbers. Instead of sending several emails a week, it is better to schedule your emails on the same day of the week and set a time for delivery. For example, print out a calendar and mark all important marketing events. Then, back up several weeks and plan to send email blasts on consecutive Tuesdays very early in the morning. By sending on the same day every week or month, you teach your customers to anticipate your email connection instead of resent it.
Note: Studies show that email promotions sent out early Tuesday morning achieve better results because Tuesday is a breather day in the work / activity schedule for most people and early morning puts your emails at the top of the inbox.
4. Your Partner, Your Problem: Partnerships have become very common place between small businesses. Although cross promotion can be very valuable in reaching out to new potential clients, it is vital that the “special offers” be more valuable to an email list than to the business owner. By sharing partners with your email list, you endorse the services or goods of your partner to people who trust you. If you send them an offer that is not specific to their needs or solves a problem they encounter, then they will click the unsubscribe button.
Although many business owners slip into the mentality that the loss of subscribers is acceptable because they are not interested enough to purchase, this is a waste of marketing dollars and can cost the restriction, or possible loss, of an email marketing database.
Plus, without argument, eliminating these four errors from your email marketing will help you achieve your real goal in engaging in email marketing: increased customer loyalty and higher sales conversions.
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, customer service, email marketing, facebook, How to, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, social marketing, social media, Viral Marketing, web marketing
The main reason most people join Facebook is to find long lost friends and connect with family. In many ways, Facebook is the online meeting and tracking place for friends and family. For best results with finding friends and family with Facebook, joining specific network will allow you to see the people others who identify themselves as part of that network.
Find your friends, co-workers, and family members on Facebook by:
- Log into your Facebook account and go to the Settings tab in the blue bar at the top right. Go to the Account
- Settings in the drop down menu.
- On the right side of the screen, there is a text box to type the social media network you want to access.
Specific social media networks can include:
- Schools / Universities (such as Clemson University or XYZ high school)
- Work / Companies (such as IBM or Twitter)
- Cities (such as Baton Rouge Louisiana)
- Associations / Organizations (such as Marine Corps or Direct Marketing Association)
- Keywords / Interests (such as “women in business” or marketing)
- Professions (such as marketing managers or coaching)
Fill out the rest of the required information . When you press the “Join Network” button, you will receive an email requiring you to verify your email address.
NOTE: You will have to provide an email address to access the network and confirm your identity.
To gain additional opportunities to connect with friends, family, and co-workers, use the search box at the top right of the screen to type in keywords from the social media networking list above. This will give you a list of group pages and fan pages to connect with people of similar interests.
Now that you know how to find your friends and family on Facebook, get out there and start connecting!
Tags: Advertising, blog marketing, Blogging, brand, Branding, Business, business practices, customer service, facebook, How to, Marketing, pull marketing, push marketing, social marketing, social media, Viral Marketing, web marketing