“You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else.” The Fight Club quote Chris Brogan opened up with in his Personal Branding Tactics acted as a screaming wake up call for my personal brand. How have I been setting myself apart from the rest?
One of the main takeaways from reading about effective personal branding is, basically, what we were all taught as kids: to be honest, make good friends (“but keep the old…”, or however that song goes) and share…
(Basically, be genuine, open and a REAL person)
Don’t hide behind your brand or spend time trying to sound like a more advanced writer. You might end up like this guy, if you do:
Gary Vaynerchuk’s speaking style in this video was a perfect example of this. Did it contain casual or slang terms that usually aren’t used when promoting your personal brand? Yes. But was it stuffy and boring? No.
There’s no denying that he has that passion so many of us are currently searching for. I highly recommend watching one of his videos if you haven’t already.
So Gary fired us up…now what?
Barry Feldman and Michael Hyatt’s Personal Branding Tips give us some great tips and reminders for getting started with a personal brand. And they all seem to have one thing in common: YOU…it all revolves around you being you, not someone else. (“Define YOUR audience, Show YOURself, Find YOUR voice”…see a pattern here?) Bottom Line: Your personal brand is just that…personal. How does that quote by Oscar Wilde go again?
Make Good Friends: (or make lasting connections through trust)
Jacob Cass’ story in this TEDx video reminds us that the power of connections can go a long way. In his case, it found him a new job when he was in a time crunch. Jacob tells us that he received an incredible response from his connections after posting on social media and his blog. But would he have had a similar response had he not nurtured these connections or provided helpful information to them at one point or another? Probably not.
How do we nurture our connections, though, to make them last? We listen and engage with them. We collaborate with them, always giving credit to them where credit is due.
Share: (Share great content, and don’t be afraid!)
Chris Brogan suggests that we “think of way upon way to contribute and be useful.”
We can do this by sharing interesting and relevant content to our networks. Jenni Hogan’s advice (in Kelly Clay’s Personal Branding Secrets) of applying a filter of values (her three values are: “impact, inspire, and inform”) is an excellent way to always remember your audience when sharing content.
In this same article, Porter Gale reminds us to stay focused by making sure the content we share reinforces our passions, goals and objectives. I may be guilty of the stereotypical Instagram post with a filtered photo of my dinner from time to time, but this does nothing for my personal brand. Sure, I might get a few followers from them but, from the looks of their Instagram names, they probably won’t be following me too much longer when they see how infrequently I post healthy food pictures. At the end of the day, find what makes you tick (in a good way). What fills you with joy and passion? The answer to this question can make a world of difference if you actively incorporate it into your own personal brand.
Note: The following company analysis and blog post example is taken from an Integrated Marketing Communications plan, created for BullHorn Media, as a graduate level project.
BullHorn Media is a spinoff company from Pro One Video, owned and operated by Mark and Lisa LeGrand out of Orlando. Mark and Lisa have an extensive professional videography background, having been in video production since 1993 and starting with small wedding videography. They have recently begun to work with larger corporate clients and, as a result, created BullHorn Media, so the two types of clients could better be differentiated.
The target audience for BullHorn Media would be corporate clients, small or large, looking for a video production company for either short term or long term needs. Clients do not necessarily need to live in the Orlando area, as they could be travelling in for a trade expo, convention, etc.
Steven Jolly, owner of SRJ Marketing Communications, explains the importance of an Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) strategy with 6 important steps to keep in mind (detailed further in Steven’s article):
The following is suggested blog content to be used in the 4th quarter of 2014 – to promote the BullHorn Media tag-line, “Amplify”:
Amplify Your Brand
Exactly how beneficial is it to amplify your image with quality videos that engage your viewers or consumers? Maybe we’re biased, but check the facts:
Forbes revealed that 75% of business executives watch business-related videos each week, and of those, 50% went on to make a purchase for their business, after viewing.
Whether you are looking for high-quality video to capture a corporate event or are a small non-profit organization in need of a professional video to enhance your mission, video can speak volumes to help your organization amplify their message.
Video can capture an audience and keep their interest, if captured in the right way. Because of this, it is important to consider a few things before meeting with your videographer:
What is the purpose of your video? Consider your audience, whether it be internal employees or consumers.
What message are you trying to send? Perhaps your organization is celebrating its 50th anniversary at their annual nation-wide convention – this would be reason to celebrate! Alternatively, your non-profit organization could be in need of an inspirational message, providing a mission in the Orlando community – this might be a more serious mood, as a call to action for viewers.
Get more for your money: maybe your organization could use video footage to make two separate videos that have different purposes. Talk with your videographer about ideas and plans for each so that accurate footage is captured.
These are just a few items to begin thinking about, before discussing your organization’s video needs with a videographer (although they will be prepared with all of these questions for you, as well).
Amplify your image by providing your viewers with captivating videos. Establish a long-term relationship with your videographer in order to consistently promote the same message and professional style.
We maintain a long-time relationship with The Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association (FNGLA) and, as a result, consistently provide fresh video content for publishing across FNGLA’s multiple social media channels and website. Check out our recap of the 2014 (FNGLA) Landscape Show:
Tags for blog post: Amplify, Videography, Corporate Image, Event, Videographer, Non-Profit, Video Production, Orlando, Florida, Brand
When developing a strong communications plan, it is crucial to take into consideration how effective your IMC strategy is. But how can this be determined? There are many tools to be used, but they all provide one thing: analytics.
For those in the marketing and communications industry, analytics can be your report card: how did your efforts pay off? What areas need improvement? It is imperative to use these analytics to measure your reach, not only to plan for the future, but also to adjust current strategies and content.
Measuring analytics can help with knowing your audience…picture yourself as a comedian: (that’s a scary image, at least for me!) Comedians must know their crowd to be able to feed off of them. They’re telling this great story, and then reach the punch line…only to hear crickets chirping. They’ll probably stray from stories similar to this in the future, providing humorous content comparable to what has been successful in the past.
While it is important to analyze all platforms in an IMC strategy, we are only going to focus on two today: Facebook and Email marketing. We will use Facebook Insights and Bronto to analyze “ABC Company”.
Brief company background: ABC Company is a health-oriented organization based out of Central Florida. In addition to their Facebook page and bi-weekly email newsletters, they have a Twitter account, Pinterest page, and YouTube channel.
Note: The following screenshots are from May 2013: therefore, some aspects of Facebook Insights and Bronto may have slightly changed since these screenshots were taken. These screenshots were distributed as an assignment. Therefore, I do not have full access to the actual company’s analytics.
From this overview, we see that ABC Company has 880 Likes, or fans, and reached 340,325 friends of these fans. (The “Friends of Fans” metric is no longer used in Facebook Insights today, as it was not found to be beneficial to page owners.) Additionally, we see a 50.54% decrease in the number of fans talking about ABC Company.
Looking at the Overview chart, we see that there was a slight spike in the total reach around May 7th. From the size of the dot (which represents the number of posts within that time period), we can gather that the spike was generated from one single post. Although not shown in the screenshot, we can then scroll through the list of posts underneath, with their individual reach statistics, and see which post, from May 7th, garnered the small spike in total reach. Let’s say this post was a tip on how to incorporate physical activity while at home with a napping baby. We can make a note to include similar posts that cater to our existing crowd.
Although it is not in the main time range of which we are studying, we can see that June 2nd’s post about National Cancer Survivor’s Day managed to be the most viral of the posts on this current list. However, the post with the most engagement, reach, and sharing was May 29th’s “Join us tomorrow morning in the…” Because these are not my own, I can only guess that ABC Company was planning a health-related event at their establishment, or in the Central Florida community. This reached 509, engaged 13 users, and had 10 sharing the post on their newsfeed. Virality of this post (percentage of those who liked, commented, or shared) was average for this company, but it still created a buzz and should be noted for future content planning.
The demographics portion shows us that more women are reached than men, and the average age range is 25-34 for both men and women.
Geographically, ABC Company mainly reaches Central Florida cities of the US and, consequently, the vast majority of viewers speak English, with the second largest language being Spanish.
In the Reach chart, we can see the spike in virality of the May 7th post, mentioned earlier, with a steady increase starting at the end of May. The organic reach remains the same, changing only if a large increase in the number of Likes were to occur. ABC Company does not incorporate paid Facebook advertising, so the Paid reach remains at 0. The Unique Users by Frequency shows that almost 3,000 users visited ABC Company’s page, with about half returning for a second time. Knowing that we have almost 900 likes, there could be room for improvement here by giving users more of a reason to engage with the company.
The Page Views chart shows us that ABC Company receives about twice the number of page views (number of times visitors accessed the page), as unique visitors (number ofindividuals who visited the page).
The total number of tab views shows us that users are more engaged in ABC Company’s posted content more than the About Me section. If ABC Company is a brick-and-mortar establishment, they may want to utilize this section to provide physical address, contact information, store hours, etc.
The demographics of users talking about ABC Company are displayed here: we can gather that, like the reach demographics discussed earlier, Central Florida users between 25 and 34 (the majority of whom are women) are most likely to talk about ABC Company.
The last chart demonstrates the number of fans talking about ABC Company. There was a steady decline in this chart, until the end of May. This could be due to the June 2nd National Cancer Survivor’s Day post. ABC Company can use this information to develop content in the future, possibly including additional health recognition days like this one. The more fans that continue to talk about ABC Company, the larger the viral reach will be.
The overview above shows the data collected from a May 21, 2013 email sent by ABC Company. Of the 2,624 emails sent, only 18 came back undeliverable. So, of the 2,606 emails received, 25.4% of consumers opened the email. Of those that opened, only 10.9% clicked through.
This email data, along with a 0% conversion rate and 17 contacts lost, shows us that ABC Company should drastically increase their email marketing efforts.
ABC Company knows their audience if they are frequently checking Facebook Insights, along with other social media analytic tools. This data can be used to create email newsletters that subscribers will want to open and read, maybe with valuable family health tips, fitness workout regiments, etc.
First and foremost, ABC Company should consider a new approach to their email marketing strategies. Increasing the open and click through rate should be their first priority. ABC Company should pay close attention to what their audience most responds to, and what posts their audience shares with friends to determine what content gets the best response. Facebook Insights show a steady increase in audience response, so they are on the right track with Facebook. However, to engage in a more IMC approach, ABC Company should consider including links in newsletters and posts to their other social media platforms.
In an effort to boost results across their multiple platforms, ABC Company could utilize their YouTube channel to create health and fitness videos and share on their multiple social media channels. This could also be included in their bi-weekly newsletter. Pinterest could be utilized to collect fitness workout techniques, healthy recipes, or tips for boosting the immune system – these Pinterest boards could then be tweeted, posted, emailed, etc. to their audience in an attempt to further engage and promote sharing.
We saw that ABC Company received great response to a post encouraging fans to join them for an event. Knowing this type of post is seen and shared more, ABC Company should begin planning similar events.
ABC Company should be catering to their younger, mainly female audience – which they seem to do, from the Facebook data provided. Providing interesting content about health is key: especially in the newsletters.
The following is an overview of a possible campaign idea for ABC Company:
“One Month to a Better You”
ABC Company could host group workouts, recipe swaps, healthy food samples, etc for the duration of one month. This could include posts with a healthy-eating routine, paired with week-long workout routines that target certain muscles. The workout routine should be able to be tailored for multiple age ranges, fitness capabilities, and weight groups.
“Ready to renew? September is National Self Improvement Month. In honor of this, we will be hosting weekly yoga classes and cooking demonstrations. One month to a better you!” (with link to detailed blog post)
#Orlando, Ready to Renew? For Nat’l #SelfImprovement Month, you won’t want to miss this! <bit.ly.shortenedurlhere>
Film local gym instructors giving tips for working muscles out properly. Shoot video for a re-cap of a cooking demonstration or yoga class to promote the following week’s events
Begin promoting National Self-Improvement Month one month ahead of time, including details of classes and cooking demonstrations, shared recipes, success stories, etc. Continue promotion throughout September, then provide a feature article re-capping the highlights of the month.
The following images are examples of the types of pins ABC Company could use during this campaign:
Note: The following post is for educational purposes only.
This week, I followed the Cosmoprof North America Trade Show event before, during, and after it took place. To gain a better understanding of what exactly Cosmoprof is, I did a little front-end research by checking out their various social media platforms, looking over their website, and signing up for their newsletter.
Here are the basics:
Cosmoprof North America, organized by North American Beauty Events (NABE), Professional Beauty Association (PBA), and Bologna Fierce, is an annual trade show held in Las Vegas each summer. Over 900 exhibitors, from 37 countries, participated this past week and 26,000 visitors from 104 countries were in attendance.
These numbers really surprised me. What a great opportunity to reach and expand an audience! The audience is already persuaded: they’ve made plans to attend, purchased airline tickets and lodging, and probably mapped out the booths they would like to check out. Should be as simple as pie, right? Not so much.
Event marketing does not stop at ticket purchases. There are a lot of other factors and statistics involved in event marketing through the website and media. It takes much thought, careful planning, and a strong team to be able to cover all aspects of the event thoroughly. So, how does Cosmoprof measure up?
A Review of Social Media channels listed on Cosmoprof’s website:
Cosmoprof’s Facebook page currently has 5,133 likes, which is only 11 likes higher than before the event. They used their Facebook page to promote the event beforehand, but did not post as frequently as I would have thought.
There were a good number of posts promoting the event beforehand, however they were not consistent. A promotional post was put up on July 9th, and then nothing was posted again until the second day of the event (July 14th). During the event, a total of 8 Facebook posts were put up, between July 13th – 15th, with an average of 3 likes per post.
The content on their Facebook is mainly what others have to say about the trade show, through a blogger’s review, video, etc. They only made a few plugs about the vendors that were participating.
Cosmoprof’s Twitter page had 2,716 followers before the event, and 2.727 followers after – (oddly enough, the same growth as their Facebook page). Regardless, I noticed this platform was much more heavily used than their others.
In what looked like an attempt to call out almost every vendor booth in attendance, Cosmoprof sent a rush of tweets in a short time frame on July 15th, giving a brief description of what products the vendor was showing, along with their booth number. They started these tweets out with hashtagging the vendor’s booth, which did not prove to be very effective. After a while, they continued to tweet booth numbers, leaving off the hashtag. I did not see very many other hashtags used by Comsoprof, other than from others’ tweets that were retweeted.
The Twitter content mainly consisted of these vendor tweets and retweets. There has only been one tweet since the trade show ended on the 15th, and it was to congratulate the winner of the Discover Beauty Award.
Prior to the event, Cosmoprof’s LinkedIn page had 2,422 members – which increased by one member to 2,423 after the event (I was that member).
Daniela Ciocan, Marketing Director of Cosmoprof North America, was the main content contributor within the private group’s dicsussion board. She provided strong content with links to blog posts or articles about Cosmoprof’s success and brand marketing information that could be beneficial for their vendors. Daniela has not yet posted a wrap-up or re-cap of the 2014 trade show.
Cosmoprof’s Instagram button on their website will take you to Web.stagram, an Instagram web viewer, however, clicking the Instagram button, above, will direct you to the actual Cosmoprof Instagram page. Cosmoprof currently has 2,866 followers.
Oddly enough, Cosmoprof’s Instagram channel is not used nearly as much as their Twitter page, however, they received the most audience response on their Instagram posts than any other social media channel used. Like Facebook and Twitter, hashtags are rarely used by Cosmoprof on Instagram.
Their content posted through Instagram is different from Twitter and Facebook – it has a bit less of a business-oriented presence, and more of a casual “friend” feel. (See the Marketing Director enjoying a cigar below)
Cosmoprof’s Pinterest follows along with the trend we are beginning to see: there are only 52 pins across 7 boards. Cosmoprof has gained one Pinterest follower from the beginning of the show to the end, for a total of 275 followers. Although no hashtags are used to increase the number of possible viewers, their boards contain relevant, and up to date pins about Discover Beauty, blog posts, fashion, and beauty tips.
The Cosmoprof website contains all information that is needed to plan a trip to the Cosmoprof North America trade show. Almost anything a vendor or visitor might need is hidden within this website. Cosmoprof does an excellent job of describing the special guests that will be speaking at their event. Their interactive exhibition floor plan is user-friendly and very helpful as well. This is the platform where Cosmoprof shines, compared to their social media efforts.
Cosmoprof North America “News Flash” contains great blog posts for those in the beauty business, and does an excellent job of sharing published posts across their social media channels.
Cosmoprof could stand to use more marketing tips when it comes to their social media channels. The platforms that they use are not used to the best of their abilities: for instance, Twitter is the king of hashtags: they need to take advantage of this missed opportunity to reach prospective visitors for future events. Pinterest is a perfect platform for sharing beauty tips or ideas for beauty businesses: this channel should be utilized more. I was surprised to see how little was posted across all channels during the actual event. I assumed content would be posted frequently during the event to take advantage of the opportunity to reach a large number of interested consumers.
On the contrary, Cosmoprof does do an excellent job of sharing what other bloggers and attendees have to say about the event, which fosters a positive and caring relationship with consumers by giving them some spotlight. They made a point to call out many of their vendors on Twitter, suggesting visitors stop by their booth and showcasing their products. Other than links to blog posts, and vendor spotlight, very little content was posted to promote the event: the occasional promotional offer for registration was posted, but Cosmoprof only seemed to promote Vegas and various trade show lodging options on their website.
IMC: Present with Cosmoprof?
I signed up for the Cosmoprof newsletter two days before the event began, in hopes that I might receive a newsletter between then, and writing this post. Unfortunately, I received nothing…not even a “Thank you for signing up!” email. I signed up again, with a second email address, in case this was a fluke, and still have not received anything. Therefore, I cannot accurately report on the content of Cosmoprof’s newsletter.
However, their website contains a large list, showcasing articles and write-ups from other media affiliates, about the trade show. They have also included their own press releases, as well. This, along with the fact that they do have a newsletter, leads me to believe Cosmoprof does make an effort to engage in an IMC strategy.
The Cosmoprof logo is consistently used as a profile picture across all social media channels, and the majority of images used are professional and clear.
I noticed that the usernames on their social media channels are inconsistent, which could prohibit consumers from finding their profile. For example, on Facebook, Cosmoprof is called “Cosmoprof North America”, while on Twitter, it is called “@Cosmoproflv.” Cosmoprof could change their Twitter handle to “@Cosmoprofna” to avoid any possible confusion.
Overall, Cosmoprof makes much of an effort to promote their vendors and share Trade Show event reviews written by others. 45% of trade show attendees only visit one trade show, per year. Therefore, it is crucial that Cosmoprof engage with their attendants to ensure they remain at the top of their list. Their social marketing strategies could stand to use some additional content, with a goal to increase fans and followers engagement through added IMC efforts. They could achieve this by using relevant hashtags, such as #cosmoprof, #beautyprofessional, #beautytips, and more. Cosmoprof should also make an effort to share more than their blog posts across each of their social media platforms. Sharing an instagram picture on Twitter or Facebook could encourage fans to follow them on additional platforms.
With so many international attendants, Cosmoprof should also make an effort to promote the venue and any hotel or restaurant sponsorships/partnerships to assist attendants with travel plans and information about the Las Vegas area.
After further analyzing Moosejaw’s website and various social media platforms, I found that they use both push and pull marketing techniques, but could stand to use more.
On the Moosejaw website, push and pull techniques are used in various ways. A Live Chat window pops-up (push) as you browse their products, asking if you have questions or need help finding something. A carousel of coupon deals (push) rotates on the home page, offering special deals and free shipping on orders over $49. Moosejaw seems to have multiple deals going on at any given time, and will offer buy one get one free (push) on certain Moosejaw brand items, as well. After browsing their site, I added an item to my cart. They provided a link to a YouTube video, with a product review by the the Moosejaw staff (pull) as well as customer reviews (pull). After leaving the website with an unpurchased item in my cart, I received an email the following day urging me to go back to their website to complete my purchase (push).
Knowing that Twitter is mainly a large pull technique in and of itself, Moosejaw does very little to “push” consumers to their website via Twitter. Su Butcher explains the pull marketing technique within Twitter: “With apparent ease you can go and find people who are talking about the things you want to talk about, listen in, and then join in when you’re ready. In that way it is similar to a huge cocktail party, happening 24/7, all around the clock, all around the world.” In the past few weeks that I have been following them, I have not received direct messages or tweets, and have not seen the Moosejaw twitter account actively reaching out to their followers to purchase items. They simply engage in everyday, usually humorous, conversations with them or discuss related outdoor events going on in their surrounding community.
Moosejaw’s Facebook is used in a similar method to Twitter (mainly pull techniques), where the company engages their fans/followers through their humorous posts, pictures, and videos. The deals and coupons that appear on the company’s main page are also posted periodically on their Facebook account. The Moosejaw Pinterest account shows product images, with hashtags and links to their website (pull). I noticed that many of the Moosejaw employees have their own Pinterest board on the account, with the freedom to pin and post their interests and likes, as it relates to outdoor equipment – therefore, creating relatable personalities behind the brand (pull).
Fresh content seems to be posted periodically. It appears that Moosejaw posts on their social media platforms about once or twice a day, and posts similar content across all platforms. For example, if they are offering a special deal, the consumer might see it posted in various ways, across all platforms. (See example images below)
Moosejaw does have fresh content on their blog, however it is hidden in their website, making it difficult to find. In addition to linking their blog from their main website home page and advertising new posts on social media platforms, I believe Moosejaw could still develop more fresh content to engage additional customers, and grow their audience (most of their posts are promotions or cater to a specific age, thus hindering chances of expanding to an audience outside of this realm). According to Ian Mills, Co-founder and CEO of Magicdust, “Think about what your customers are interested in. While current events or popular TV shows may seem off topic to your business, social media is a great way to show your customers that you are in touch with their interests.”
Just recently, I took a survey from Moosejaw (to earn $10 off an online purchase), with questions pertaining to the effectiveness of their mobile site. When accessing the Moosejaw website from a mobile device, it appeared to be a simple and clean page, with many of the traditional webite’s features taken out of it. It has an easy to navigate appearance, with the ability to call headquarters, create a live-chat with someone, shop & view your cart, etc. The main page of the mobile site, like the website, has social media link/share buttons across the bottom of the page. They could take this one step further, and provide a “Share” button after purchase, to urge consumers to share their new purchase with their friends.
As mentioned above, Moosejaw should not bury their blog in the “Moosejaw Madness” section of their website, especially since this has fresh content that viewers will probably not have seen on their various social media platforms. I would recommend that they add a “Share” button to the end of the purchasing process, allowing customers the opportunity to share and promote their new purchase with their friends on social media. Another recommendation would be to move the “Top Searches” function to the top of the webpage. It is currently at the bottom of the webpage in small print (making it very difficult to find). Even though the brand contains a search bar at the top of the page, this “Top Searches” feature could help those consumers who are not sure of what they want, and are looking to narrow their browsing a bit more.
Our lecture mentioned that it was good practice to provide a live feed of Facebook from the brand’s website. Moosejaw currently has button links, urging you to follow or “Like” them, and a Twitter feed but should consider adding a Facebook feed to their website. Last, I recommend that their website be more compatible with all devices: many of their promotional images were not displayed as vector images, therefore making for blurry or grainy images.
Overall, Moosejaw maintains their brand ‘s image well, especially with being on the smaller scale, in regards to outdoor equipment companies. Not only do they offer great deals on outdoor equipment, they manage to successfully sell their own line of outdoor gear, and have some fun with their advertising, while at it. They have maintained a special following of outdoor enthusiasts who engage with them on social media, and are pleased to see real people behind the brand.