Thursday, May 21, 2015

Don’t Waste Your Summer

You can feel it in the air, quite literally, that summer is here. The weather is heating up and the humidity is rising like it’s nobody’s business. Even though it technically begins on June 21st, also known as the Summer Solstice (you’ll thank me later when you get that trivia correct), society has begun summer after Memorial Day. The “Summer Sales” ads have been airing for a few weeks so we’ll take some liberties in announcing that summer is here…now what?

Whether it is for you or your kids, make sure that you don’t waste your summer! It can be so easy to blink and it be Labor Day. I know what you’re thinking “my job won’t give me 3 months off for summer, how can I take advantage of summer?” The best ways that I’ve found to work in summer fun with actual work is do the little things. Take your lunch break outside underneath some shade, go for an early morning run in the cool air, do family activities at night and on the weekends.

The last one in that list is the most important. Make time for family time. Your kids are out of school and want to find fun things to do! Go to a baseball game, head to the lake for a day, take a mini 3 day vacation over the weekend. Or, if you are looking to stay at home, have a picnic in your backyard for dinner, grill out with friends, go to a park in the evening and play some sports. The possibilities are endless and the weather (other than the dreaded 2:00-5:00 pm 100 degree weather) usually is very pleasant and allows for great fun.

Your kids are also a huge part of your summer plans. If you work in the day, make sure that they aren’t sleeping away their summers. If they are old enough, try to get them to go apply for a summer job, put them in camps for a few weeks to get active, and something that my mom would do during the summers would be give us a chores list. **Gasps** Yes, chores lists are a great way to get your kids to learn responsibility in the summer. If they are going to be home for the day make them a list before you leave and give them an incentive to get it done before you get back. They will learn responsibility and ownership of their things and it will help them serve you when you are not home.

Above all, make sure you and your family are using their time efficiently during the summer and not wasting days. Don’t get into a “lazy summer” mindset because it is very hard to break out of. Grow closer to one another in your family and make time for lasting memories. Don’t forget a camera and the sunscreen!!   

Don't forget to share this article with your favorite friends and family.  They may need some help this summer!  Have a super summer!

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Super Bowl 2015 Commercials - Did they make an impact?

"The average 30-second Super Bowl commercial can cost as much as $4.5 million. To some advertisers, it's worth getting their brand in front of more than 112 million viewers, which is the number that watched last year's game." - ABC

Click Here to Watch:

My favorite was the Budweiser Lost Puppy Commercial.  I was not only touched by the soft music, but the friendship between the puppy and horses.

Which Super Bowl Commercial was your favorite and why?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dr Pepper's Creative Team Should Receive An Award!

Viral videos may appear to be up to chance at times, or have large budgets behind them, but sometimes a great story can spend years on the Internet because it includes some very important qualities.

+Dr Pepper  has created a very emotional story that not only includes a cute homeless fur baby, but a happy ending too.  The first time I saw this video on Facebook, I knew that Dr Pepper had created a viral video just as +Budweiser Brew House  has created many beautiful emotional viral videos in the past.  When you feel an emotional tie to the story, you continue to watch it through its entirety to see the ending.  If the story hits you personally, then the possibility that you will share with your friends and family is greatest.

The following are a few tips that can help someone create that viral video that will be shared through the Internet for years to come.

Making a video that people enjoy and want to show their friends.

Dr Pepper shared a story that included a cute homeless fur baby walking through his town looking lonely, dirty, and unapproachable.  Something that all rescue groups can emotionally tie themselves too as they see this on a daily basis. It also hits the hearts of every person who doesn’t volunteer to rescue, but donates funds to help heal the hearts of the homeless fur babies.

Shorter is sweeter

Did you notice that the video was less than 1.5 minutes?  They were able to tell a story, without words, using a variety of short video clips, and even a happy ending that we were all looking for.  Make sure that you video is less than 1.5 minutes.  We are in the immediate gratification era that doesn’t want to be kept on a line waiting too long.  Shorter the video the better if you are able to get your story across with some emotions included.

Sharable and likable

Do you believe that Dr Pepper created a story that is likable by many people?  Fur babies are loved by many and are usually the best viral videos per marketing experts.  Using a specific breed for the video gives us the idea that the fur baby is homeless without having to use a true homeless fur baby.  We also think he is homeless through the video clips that include the daily walk through town and the other doggies moving across the sidewalk when he walks beside them.  The happy ending is the most important so that people get excited and want to share the video with others.

Even though there was not one word used in this video, we can get a feel for the emotions that not only the fur baby had, but the Dr Pepper truck driver.

Reel your viewers in with a story

Did Dr Pepper reel you in to the story line?  I know I was watching with my complete attention to make sure that the fur baby was going to be ok.  I even got worried when I saw the shelter sign and wondered if it was a no-kill shelter.  Seeing the happy fur baby jump up in the car at the end was a relief and emotional jolt that I felt.  It even made me write this blog post the very minute I finished watching it and sharing it on social media.

Make it easy to be publicized

I mentioned sharing the video on social media channels, but I used the original YouTube link instead of sharing the post that I found on Facebook. After you have made a compelling video with a great story, share it with people who would care about what you have to say.  Encourage them to share it with others and you have started the ripples of virality!

Dr Pepper made sure that the commercial was posted on their YouTube channel, shared on all Dr Pepper social networks, and will be using this on TV to drive more Internet shares.  When I posted this video on my blog, I was able to use the ‘embed’ button found on YouTube.  This is a special setting that must be set when you create your YouTube channel.

They made sure that this video was tagged and named for easy Google searches.  If someone didn’t see a post on the Internet, but wanted to find it with a search they would be able to find it easily.

Make sure you are allowing anyone and everyone to find your video or see your video on social networks, blogs, websites, etc.…  If they can’t find it, it won’t be shared or go viral.

I challenge you to write a script for your viral video and begin working on the publicity plan for the video launch.  Don’t create a video without a plan to launch it or you won’t get the publicity that you so desire.  Plan ahead and you will be excited about the results.

Don't forget to share this article on your favorite social network.  Your network of friends, clients, family, and others may need help with their fall marketing.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Look Back To Plan Forward - John C. Maxwell

Happy New Year!  What did you do to welcome 2015?  Throw a party? Toast at midnight? /spend time reflecting on the past year and creating a plan for making the most of the new one?

Researchers have discovered that transitional times (like the new year, or the beginning of a season) naturally motivate us as human beings to make changes and try new things.  That’s probably why we make New Year’s Resolutions, vow to lose weight, and go back to the gym, only to find it full.  It’s a natural time to “turn over a new leaf.”

For many years, I’ve used this time of year to look back on the previous 12 months and evaluate my experiences – as a leader, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and business owner.  I’ve often said that experience alone isn’t a good teacher.  But evaluated experience is.


Read more….. 

Found on The John Maxwell Co. 'The Leadership Wired Blog' 
January 7, 2015

Monday, August 25, 2014

Take Advantage of The Back To School Marketing Mania!

And just like that, it is August and your kids are quickly trying to squeeze out any last bit of summer they can before the bell rings on the first day of school in a few weeks. The reality is setting in and time can feel like it is flying by, don’t let it happen. Heading back to school can be a huge opportunity for your business to use social media for marketing! Shape your marketing campaign around your business and find how your company can fit into the back to school rush.

I know what you’re thinking….“my company has no connection to schools at all how can we possibly connect with students heading back to school”

You would be surprised at what can connect you to the Back to School rush on social media. A simple quote that is about education, back to school, or school activities with a hashtag like #backtoschool can get your company out there and showing the community and your followers that you care about those going back to school. Most of your clients probably have kids so a post saying “good luck to those students heading back to class this week” would go a long way.

If your business does have a connection to heading back to school, then make sure you narrow your focus on social media to posts about it over the next few weeks. It is never too early to start posting about back to school deals, offers, and potential opportunities that go on during the school year. If your company caters to students during the school year, be sure you aren’t waiting until the school year starts to let them know about your company and what it offers.

This time of heading back to school is too soon for some, not soon enough for others, but is the perfect time for your business. Get proactive in your marketing campaigns and utilize this month to grow your client base and connect with other in your community.

Don't forget to share this article on your favorite social network.  Your network of friends, clients, family, and others may need help with their fall marketing.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Make Your Twitter Picture Count!

Social Media applications are constantly trying to improve and update themselves and try to stay one step ahead of the competition. One feature that has been on +Twitter for a little while is how you can post pictures. In the past, you would have to click on the link for the picture to show up. Now, the picture is automatically shown with no link to click. How can you as a marketer utilize this to have a positive impact on your company?

One key mistake that many people commit is putting too many words on the picture. The picture should be there to reinforce your post. If you want to see a great example of what to look for in twitter picture posts, look at +ESPN’s posts on the World Cup. They have a short blurb about an event that occurred in a game followed by a graphic that jumps out at you. There aren’t a ton of words that will make you lose your attention, but you know exactly what they are talking about and are intrigued to see what is going on. The colors pop at you and the picture of the player/team makes you want to visit or even watch some games on the tv. Either way, numbers soar for +ESPN and advertisers love it.

To make a big impact, keep it simple. In a world that is all about the now and trying to be 4 steps ahead, people will not waste time reading long things on twitter. Twitter was created to be quick. Thus the 140 character limit. Keep that in mind when adding an image/infographic to your post. People will not have the attention span to stop scrolling and read the entire thing. They want something that pops out that they can see and connect with something else and want to see more of.

Use images that trigger emotions. The World Cup example is great, ESPN shows pictures of soccer players/fans being extremely emotional, this then makes the viewer feel one way or another about said emotion. The connection is made and the curiosity is piqued. Be sure to know your target audience on Twitter and the emotions that they need to be feeling towards your product/company!

Twitter has changed its image sharing that can bring gains to you and your company if used correctly! Make sure to keep it simple and to build a connection with your target audience. And be sure to be on the lookout for anymore changes that they might throw your way in how images are shared!

If you enjoyed reading about the post above, share with your friends on your favorite social network.  Your comments are welcome below!