Selling through Social Media

Selling on social media
Video can be an incredible delivery mechanism for selling on social media

You know you need to be visible on social media. You know you need video content. What you don’t know is how does all this help you sell your product or service?

Reaching your demographic has never been easier. The different social networks give you the ability to key in on gender, age range, interests, location, etc. Educating through social media has proven a powerful sales tool. Creating a compelling video to communicate this message has shown to be the preferred choice by social media audiences. But just how do you go about putting all of this together?

Ooh, ooh, I know this one…

We’re able to offer social sales video marketing packages. This is a turn-key marketing solution revolving around a production that is targeted directly to your demographic and produced to be delivered through social media. To discuss your project, just give us a ping, ring or ding.

Where to Begin with Internet Marketing

where to begin with internet marketing

Are you hoping to start some internet marketing initiatives but unsure where to start? You’re not alone. Frequently, we receive inquiries from companies expressing an interest in online marketing but have no idea where to begin. I jokingly advise to start from the beginning. Ha ha.

Sometimes you’re too close to your business. You are unable to see your company or brand the way others may. Working with a marketing consultant can help you see through other perspectives. We like to start by identifying your strengths. What does your company do really well? It’s easiest to build some momentum by playing up your strengths. Next we like to identify a demographic to target. Gender, age range, geographic location, hobbies, etc. are all excellent demographics to notate. Next we discuss the media. This is determined by considering your media budget, type of people we are targeting and your product or service. Video can be great at explaining your product or service as well as allowing viewers to “feel” your brand, however, you may only have a budget for a 1-page website and custom graphics to use on social media for boosting and promoting.

Finally we determine the outreach channels. With social media, it’s never been easier to reach your exact target audience. Also what’s great about paid advertising on social media is with many packages you only pay for the advertising when someone clicks on your ad to learn more!

By starting small and working to build momentum you can get with the times and use the internet to get new business. Contact Atlanta Idea Studio if you’re stuck or would like to discuss media production or advertising options.

How Great Ideas Are Born

HorseCamelThere’s an old saying that goes, “A camel is a horse designed by a committee.” This saying has been used for years in the advertising and marketing world. It holds a lot of truth though. I know, because I can’t tell you how many times I’ve designed logos or been involved with the creation of a brand and the deciding factor on what the image is going to be is left up to a committee. You know how it goes, one person shows it to his wife or another to her husband for their opinion and then it starts the “let’s booger it” up syndrome. In the end more time, money, and an ugly horse is born!

Pride is a terrible thing. It ruins the best of everyone and everything. When someones pride gets in the way, it can suck the life completely out of something creative. Don’t get me wrong, you’re always going to need someone to be the decision maker, but the best leaders know that the way to be great is to put great people in charge of what they’re the best at. I hate to see leaders that just want to have their thumbprint on a project and end up making a poor decision. Remember it’s about what’s best.

When it comes to creating a great idea, whether that’s a logo, video, marketing campaign, or whatever, it has to start with a great team. So maybe I’m against a committee deciding the fate of how their brand will come to life, but I’m not against people working together to create the best “whatever” out there.

Sure, many great ideas have been given birth by one person, BUT I strongly believe we were designed as humans to work better together. This is why when you’re building a creative team, you put people together that are like-minded, ones that can work well together. The kind that will push each other to think deeper, and that will be honest and transparent with each another. Ones that enjoy being with one another and build off each others strengths.

I think we were pretty fortunate to find a good blend of creative thinkers and doers here at AIS. Sometimes my favorite part of the job is seeing where a script goes. You always need a starting point. You can talk about ideas all day, but to get anything done, someone has to put “the pen to paper” so to speak. In our case the magic happens once the initial idea is formulated into a script. We gather as a team to brainstorm and you’d be amazed at how putting the right people in a room together can cause such an amazing energy that one good idea turns into many great ones!

So how good is your idea? It could be just a few right moves away from being great!

Why Are Diamonds So Expensive? (hint: marketing)

marketing solutions
why are diamonds so expensive?

Did you know that contrary to popular belief, diamonds are not rare? Nor do they possess very much intrinsic value and aren’t considered a sound investment? Why then have men been spending 1-2 months salary on an engagement ring for nearly the last half dozen decades? One word: marketing.

In 1938 the company that would later be known as De Beers had to come up with a solution to a problem it was facing. The amount of people buying diamonds for engagements were diminishing. This was due in part to the Great Depression but also simply because many smart and prosperous women wanted to be different and preferred a different stone.

De Beers launched a campaign that would “forever” change our perception of a relatively worthless rock. Until the mid 1900’s, diamond engagement rings were a small and dying industry in America. The European market was in a similar downward trend, however, engagement rings consisted of about 75% of De Beers sales. The retailer hired a Madison Avenue advertising agency, N.W. Ayer, led by Gerold Lauck. After market research, it was determined that since over 90% of engagement rings were purchased by young men it would be crucial to inculcate in them the idea that diamonds were a gift of love: the larger and finer the diamond, the greater the expression of love. Similarly, young women had to be encouraged to view diamonds as an integral part of any romantic courtship.

So what did Lauck advise? He suggested that De Beers market diamonds as a status symbol:

”The substantial diamond gift can be made a more widely sought symbol of personal and family success — an expression of socio-economic achievement.”

“Promote the diamond as one material object which can reflect, in a very personal way, a man’s … success in life.”

After seeing success from the shift in how diamonds were being marketed, De Beers went on to suggest  a man should spend one month’s salary on a diamond ring. This worked so well they arbitrarily decided to increase to two month’s salary. Sound familiar?

Now that we see how a successful marketing campaign can pay dividends for a company even decades after its creation, isn’t it time to give your marketing efforts a closer look?

Note: Excerpts were taken from Rohin Dhar’s article “Diamonds are Bullshit“, have a read if you’d like to see more on diamond price fixing and such.

 

Groundhogs aren’t funny

Groundhogs aren't funny

In the 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, Bill Murray plays a weatherman named Phil, who finds himself living the same day over and over again which happens to be.. well…Groundhog Day. At first he uses his dilemma for selfish gain, but in the end he sees how he can change people’s lives with acts of kindness which transforms him forever. Good moral. Now, this might not be my favorite Bill Murray movie, but there’s not much I don’t like that Bill Murray has done. He’s a brilliant actor in my book and has great comedic timing. So what’s my point?

Here you have a good story idea, with a funny script, but let’s say that the lead was Tom Selleck instead of Bill Murray?…Now you’ve got a completely different movie but the same script. I mean Three men and a baby was cute (I guess), but let’s let the man do what he does best, solving mysteries and driving a Ferrari in Hawaii. This is why it is so important when choosing the right talent for your video.

Good talent ain’t cheap, but it’s more about who is right for the job than who is the most expensive. Here’s just a few tips to help when booking talent for your video project:

  1. Use both talent agencies and your network when searching. Talent agencies will have some of the best professional talent out there, but remember you can also post jobs via social media networks and sometimes it will play to your advantage. Plus, it can give you a little exposure for your upcoming project. Don’t forget agencies take or add a % to booked talent.
  2. Get auditions. You might be able to see someones photo or even watch their reel, but you’ll never know if that person is right for the job unless he/she reads your script on video. Most talent agencies will do this or you can get the talent to do a “self-audition” via smartphone or camcorder. It will save you time and money for sure!
  3. Don’t go with the first person you see or hear. There is a sea of great talent and I know from my own personal experience that I thought we had the right person right off the bat, but really the perfect talent for the job was the last person we saw.
  4. Be open to interpretations. You may be the writer or director, but sometimes it’s the talent’s interpretation of a line or script that makes it really sing.
  5. Set a budget. Obviously if you don’t have a budget for talent, you’re not going to get what you want (most likely). Be realistic with your budget. Remember that the talent carries the idea so you may need to put more money towards this than another line item.

Remember these are just some some simple steps to take next time you’re hiring talent for your video project. Happy Groundhog’s Day!

Cost versus Value

Video production cost and value
Video production cost and value can greatly vary depending on your goals

Often times when shopping, we place too much emphasis on cost and not enough on value. A friend once said “you never save money by saving money”. That phrase has always stuck with me.

When looking for professional services, the same rules apply. Many of our eventual clients reach out inquiring about a particular service and have a budget in mind. Once we discuss and identify the scope of the project, they are able to understand what all is involved to pull off a signature production or a brilliant marketing strategy. More times than not, the actual cost to pull meet the expectation is greater then originally anticipated. The reason is simple. Most of the time that goes in, occurs on the front end. For video work, this is in preproduction or discovery phase for marketing strategy. We like to pretend we’re the client and get a full understanding of what obstacles we’re up against.

When price shopping, always be sure to compare apples to apples. Make sure you set clear expectations and understand the process that is involved to deliver the solutions you desire. We have on more than one occasion been called in to clean up anthers mess.

Reputation Management

reputation management
Pit bulls are perceived as a vicious breed

Social media can be an incredible tool for building your business. We all remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge in the summer of 2014. The challenge generated over $100 million in donations in a single month. To put that into perspective, the organization took in $2.5 million for all of the previous year. Another lesser known success story comes from Fiskars. The company best known for making scissors and other craft tools created “Fiskateers” a brand ambassador community program to help build brand loyalty. This initiative cut into their competition (pun intended) by increasing online mentions, increasing sales and creating relationships between Fiskars and its customers. You can see the success story here.

The downside of social media is that anyone can say anything about your brand. Many companies are proactive by utilizing a reputation management service to share positive information with the public. This approach can prove invaluable when defending against a jaded competitor, disgruntled employee or resentful ex-wife.

Atlanta Idea Studio can assist with creating a reputation management strategy and also with the corresponding media to propel it.

Why Dollar Shave Club got it right!

When it comes to shareable or “Viral” type videos, most of us have one or two faves in mind. You know those that leave some kind of lasting impression on you…for at least a day or two. Whether good or bad, funny or sad, some kind of emotion is triggered and you want to share what you’ve seen with your social peeps. Personally, I tend to lean towards the humorous ones, and one of my all time favorites is the Dollar Shave Club spot. Unless you live under a rock and don’t own a computer, you know exactly what I’m talking about! I know…why am I’m writing about something that went viral a few years ago? Well, because when it comes to going from script to production and on a tight budget, these guys got it right!

So why did Dollar Shave Club get it right? First off, founders Michael Dubin and Mark Levine saw a need and created a solution. I don’t want to get caught up with why this is so important when developing a product, and then taking it to market – but still it’s an important fact. So let’s really dive into everything from script to final product. With savvy marketing wit, Dubin created a script that is humorous and fluid from beginning to end. With a budget of only $4500 (from our findings), Dubin had to be creative in the “how, where, and who” of the overall production budget.

1. When you are producing a video you always have to consider the creative or idea which becomes a script. This can cost thousands of dollars from an ad agency or creative production company. In this case here’s a guy that could already write comedy. Lots of money saved right of the bat!

2. Taking script to video means you need a production company or at least a good videographer to film it. Not only someone to shoot, but also someone to direct is just as important. Finding the two in one will save you some $$ for sure! If you’re not experienced behind a camera…do not attempt. There’s a reason why Dollar Shave Club’s spot looks professional. Dubin hired a friend named Lucia Aniello, who he had studied improv comedy with in New York, to direct. She did it for next to nothing Dubin says in an interview with Fortune. More money saved.

3. Making himself the talent was huge when it came to getting it right for this video. Not only was Dubin trained in improv comedy, his confident character and tone proved to be perfect for the script and in the end saved them hundreds if not a couple of thousand dollars in talent costs.

4. Location was extremely smart and strategic in this case. Some people may not think about this, but having multiple locations (especially anything outside) can make or break a budget. Why? It’s not necessarily the rental costs involved – however this is true, but just moving from one location to another and setting up takes a lot of unexpected time. Sometimes a one day shoot turns into two or three because of multiple locations. With DSC, they staged everything in a warehouse. Brilliant! You don’t have to worry about the weather and everything can be controlled in this type of environment. Plus it gave a “home” image to where your razors are coming from.

5. The last point I’m going to make is attention to details. When I watch this video, there are so many small things going on in the background that makes this hilarious! I’d say it’s things like seeing a toddler shaving a man’s head while Mike says “It’s so gentle a toddler can use it.” Or even the opening scene where Mike has all the random crappy products in packages on the wall behind him. In this controlled environment Dubin could add in humor by reinforcing it with an object(s) on the wall or background. Genius.

So am I telling you for only $4500 you can create a video that will launch your product to a whole new level and make you a millionaire? Chances are…no. Sorry. BUT if you take tips from the Dollar Shave Club you might be able produce a marketing video that ends up doing you and your business a lot more good than bad and shaves you in dollars!

If you have interest in creating your own product video, drop me an email at todd@atlantaideastudio.com

Rebranding

Branding

I was looking through a box of older electronics in my hoarding room and came across packaging for my mobile wallet SIM card. I shook my head thinking about how forces beyond our control can sour the brands we create. In this case, ISIS, rebranded to Softcard.

“It can be expected that the costs associated with this rebranding process will be significant,”said Jordan McKee, senior analyst, mobile marketing and  commerce strategies, with Boston-based Yankee Group. “Walk into any AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile store today and take note of the Isis branding, then multiply that across all locations. It will be no small cost to transition to a new brand.

There are other reasons to consider rebranding. Rebranding can give your company a fresh start with a new strategic focus. Every virtual and tangible asset created is an opportunity to connect with your clients and remind them who you are and what you stand for.

If you would be interested in speaking with us about creating a brand or rebranding your company to signal the shift to a strategic focus, give us a ring. I wear size 10.

IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD WEBSITE AS IT RELATES TO VIDEO

It just happened again. Someone sent you a viral video of the “next greatest product” and you think to yourself, “I should’ve thought of that!” OR “I’ve got good ideas. Why don’t I create a product and sell it online?” Right? So you start daydreaming about that “next great thing” and suddenly you think of it! Yep, your Golden Goose! So maybe you have some money put aside and you decide to actually produce your thingamabob and try to take it to market. You’ve asked friends and family, maybe a random stranger here or there what they think – and you get nothing but positive feedback. And now your like, “let’s make some dough!” but how? Oh I know, you’re going to sell it on your website, because that’s where people are buying these days….on the internet. You remember seeing an ad on TV or maybe on YouTube of a web company that you can build your own site because it’s so easy! That’s it! “If I build it, they will come….and they will buy! Buy! Buy!” So you spend the next few nights up late figuring out how to use the design platform within your template site. Great. “Looks good enough to me!” you think to yourself. “Now what I need is one of those ultra memorable, viral videos to spread the word and sell my thingamabob. So this might actually feel a little out of your comfort zone and you think, “I’m not sure I can come up with something shareable or even know how to produce a great video in general.” You do a quick Google search for marketing video production company, and based on the look of their site, and their work….you make a decision. Now, let me just say we all get crazy ideas from time to time. Even if you’re not the most creative person in the world you still think of ideas. It’s fun and it’s just a part of being a human being. But I want you to look at the last statement in the previous paragraph. “…and based on the look of their site, and their work….you make a decision.” I realize that you should never judge a book by it’s cover, but I do. Most of us do. So what’s my point? The point is if you’re willing to put in your VALUABLE time, and your VALUABLE money, into your VALUABLE idea, why would try to attempt to do something you know nothing about? Meaning, you’re a professional something, and certainly you wouldn’t expect someone who knows nothing about your line of work to come in and do it the right way…correct?

I know this sounds like I’m bashing and trying to take away your fun, but really and truly in the end if you want to sell your thingamabob, and save money in the long run, seek professional marketing, design, and production help. We’ve seen too many times the same scenario, and products fail because they try to cut corners and do everything themselves. If you hire a professional to produce your videos, then why wouldn’t you hire someone to create a professional looking website?

So what is the importance of a good website as it relates to video anyway? Well for one, your website is your “home base” so to speak. What’s the point of hiring a creative video production company to produce a stellar video if it ultimately sends potential buyers to a website that looks like it’s from 1997?! If you want your thingamabob to shine for all to see, then put it on a gorgeous home that helps make it look even better. We’ve had an experience with a client one time where they were ready to spend thousands of dollars on a video and outdoor advertising, but their site was dated and not functioning correctly. Buttons were sending viewers to wrong places and, their Donate Now button didn’t even go anywhere! For a non-profit this is huge, because how are people gonna donate to the cause??! Again, a decision to let someone internally (who didn’t know anything about web design/development) have free reign in the end cost more money.