Infographics, Videos And More: The New Face Of Marketing
10/10/2013 @ 2:28PM Drew Hendricks, Contributor
I cover what entrepreneurs are looking to learn.
Tal Siach of Visual.ly
The field of marketing is always evolving, incorporating new technologies in order to wow customers and make an impact. As print and media marketing has given way to social media efforts, many businesses have spent so much time focusing on reaching customers through Twitter and Facebook FB +0.12%, they’ve missed the next phase of evolution in marketing.
Interestingly, much of this phase centers on the visual. It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, though, since marketing and advertising have always relied heavily on visual media such as TV ads and billboards. But to remain competitive, it’s important for businesses to understand how each of these technologies can push campaigns to the next level.
Illustrations that combine both information and graphics to convey information date back to the 1600s, when an infographic depicting the rotation of the sun appeared in the book Rosa Ursina sive Sol. The Internet has allowed for the rapid growth of infographics to convey ideas in a relatively small space.
But having an infographic for the mere purpose of following the latest trend is bad for your marketing strategy.
“There are so many infographics that no one sees, let alone wants to share,” says Tal Siach, a co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Visual.ly, a marketplace that brings together creative teams to produce top-quality visual content. If you put an infographic out there that’s based on bad data or wrong information, for example, chances are your intended audience will catch on and your strategy will backfire. “Many people don’t realize that the best infographics are collaborations,” Siach says. “If you put your project in the hands of experienced data journalists and designers, you’re one step closer to success.”
Before you take on your first infographic, be sure you have the original, accurate data and content you need to communicate an interesting and informative story. The idea is to make an infographic that others will want to pass around. And ensure your visuals are as eye-popping as possible. Make it fun and informative and you’ll have served your purpose.
The overwhelming popularity of YouTube doesn’t lie. The marketing industry is now realizing the power of a viral video, as evidenced by the recent use of YouTube to market the release of the remake of the movie Carrie. The challenge will be to find ways to continue to shock consumers to get attention in a market that is beyond saturated with interesting videos.
Social video-sharing site Vine has created an opportunity for businesses to reach out to a younger, more eclectic crowd. The site has caught on with a core group of users because of its ease-of-use. As other services find ways to help consumers easily create and share short video clips, look for marketers to find ways to reach those consumers, as well.
Consumer excitement speaks volumes about a product, and marketers are learning that if they can find a way to get people tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming, they can build a fast social following. In this new marketing era, customers will increasingly become a part of the process as marketers host contests that encourage social media users to post pictures, tweet their adoration, and share short, fun videos that market a company’s brand for them.
Wendy’s is the perfect example of this. The innovative company has found ways to use Vine, Twitter, and Facebook to introduce new products. The fast food chain is creative with its campaigns, as well, inviting customers to tweet about its new pretzel bacon cheeseburger using the hashtag #PretzelLoveSongs. Wendy’s then compiled the tweets into one interesting love song that it used in a commercial, titled Wendy’s Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger Love Songs Vol. 1.
With retargeting, a user’s online behavior is used to deliver ads specifically geared toward their own interests. This retargeting could be based on items a user has previously purchased or viewed. The efforts are effective, with recent research showing that three out of five consumers admit to having noticed ads on sites when those ads were for products they’ve viewed elsewhere.
But is retargeting customer-approved? Results from surveys on the issue are mixed, with some consumers stating that they would prefer seeing ads for products that apply specifically to them, while other consumers are bothered by the fact that their online activities are being tracked. Many businesses are realizing the benefits of retargeting via e-mail, basing suggestions on previous purchases. This is especially effective if the customer has developed an ongoing trust relationship with the retailer, who then is seen as helping the customer, rather than invading that customer’s privacy.
It’s no longer sufficient to simply post a blog every now and then. Savvy marketers are realizing the value of being seen as an “expert” in a certain area or subject. Google GOOG +0.55%’s Authorship has enhanced this, allowing one professional the ability to appear prominently in search results for a given topic. A wedding disc jockey that posts on great songs for each facet of a wedding could gain attention as couples are searching for that perfect “first dance” song.
To put it into perspective, as of 2011, 27 million pieces of content are being shared each day. This creates fierce competition for each individual message being shared, resulting in each individual business struggling to find ways to be heard. These business will continue to find ways to deliver personal messages using the same retargeting used for ads, providing each consumer the information he or she needs at a given time.
Social Media Fluidity
Today’s consumers are tasked with keeping up with multiple social media accounts, from LinkedIn to Pinterest to Facebook and Twitter. Marketers will be increasingly challenged to find new ways to create fluidity between these marketing channels, as well as other campaigns. It will no longer be acceptable to auto-post the same message on seven or eight social media sites and hope for results. The same event will be marketed through a poll on one site, a video on other, and a fun photo or straightforward post on another.
This cross-channel promotion will also extend to a business’s print and media advertising efforts. Consumers are already responding to hashtags on popular TV shows and commercials and businesses are learning to incorporate social media into each of their campaigns. A TV commercial might invite viewers to visit a company’s YouTube channel to follow a character’s adventures or a movie poster might provide a hashtag to allow fans to play a game associated with an upcoming release. These fun interactions between different promotional media are a great way to reach customers in an increasingly competitive market.
From one year to the next, the field of marketing grows, with businesses stepping forward to embrace those changes. By staying abreast of current trends, marketers are able to find new, innovative ways to introduce their messages to the masses, growing customer bases while having fun at the same time.
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