Category Archives: Digital Marketing

Establishing a Company Voice

Speak Your Company VoiceThere are about 1.7 billion websites on the internet. That is about 1.7 billion businesses that are constantly talking online. However, only about 200 million of those websites are active and many of them are saying the same thing in the same way. That’s why it is so important that companies establish a unique voice and utilize every resource that they can to shout it from the rooftops.

One of the best resources for companies to gain an advantage over the competition is the use of a company voice. This is a term that seems to get thrown around a lot, yet many companies do not fully understand what it means, how to identify one, or how to build their own.

More Than Just Words
A company voice obviously involves the words that are said, but it is so much more than that. The tone of what is said is arguably just as important as the words themselves. Although the words are what delivers the message, the tone is what is used to establish intent and set a company apart from its competitors.

In fact, it was first established by Albert Mehrabian in 1967 that the words that are being said are actually a significantly small portion of communication. He proposed that the act of communication was comprised of three distinct parts: the words being spoken, the tone of the words, and the body language accompanying it. In his system, the words spoken accounted for only 7 percent of meaning, while tone accounted for 30 percent, and the remaining 55 percent was body language.

While this is not a perfect comparison for business today, considering the internet did not exist in 1967, it is still a relatively accurate model of communication. Taking this model into account, trying to base a company voice strictly off of words is not going to get you anywhere. It takes so much more than that, which is why so many companies fail to develop a signature voice.

Identifying a Company Voice
There are many professionals who are likely reading this right now and thinking that it does not apply to them. That might be entirely true, but there is a better chance that your company does not have the voice that you think it does. Here is a great test to figure out whether your company has its own distinct voice or not.

If you go on to your website or social media accounts and cover up the logo of the page and posts, you should be able to show these to someone familiar with the company, and they should immediately be able to tell what company these belong to based on the voice of the content. If they struggle to figure it out or are not able to identify it at all, then there is a good chance that your company is lacking the voice that you thought it had.

Almost just as bad as not having a company voice is having multiple, often conflicting, company voices. This can occur when the company voice is being portrayed by various employees and takes on their own voice rather than the overall company’s. For example, if the tone of the content that can be found on the company website dramatically varies from the tone of content that can be found on its social pages, there is a good chance that the company voice is really just the voices of various employees. This will once again make it hard for people to identify your company based on the voice of the content since there will be no consistency throughout the company’s various online channels.

Finding Yourself
There is a common cliche that you have to learn to love yourself before you can learn to let others love you. Well, a similar thing can be said for the world of business and finding a company voice. There is no way that a company can share a voice with the public if they do not first sit down amongst themselves, and figure out exactly what their voice is.

This process starts with an internal reflection of what makes your company unique and embracing that fact to establish a company voice. This goes far beyond how your company’s products are different from your competitor’s products. It should include things like what is different about the office culture that you have created at your company, how your employees are unique, and how your business practices set you apart. All of these things are part of who your company is and should, therefore, be an integral part of your company’s voice.

When completing this evaluation of your company, it is important to come away with things that are not cliche. After all, this is not someone interviewing for a job, it is a company attempting to establish its unique voice. So it is wise to try and stay away from typical descriptors such as honest, dependable, cutting edge, and revolutionary. Ironically, using these words is anything but cutting edge, since a large portion of businesses will integrate this as part of their voice.

Once your company has completed this exercise and has come away with several important indicators of what makes you unique, it is essential that you write these down and keep them handy for future use. After all, in most companies, the communications will be handled by a designated communications worker, which is likely to see some turnover throughout the years.

As new employees or multiple employees become tasked with handling certain sections of corporate communication, they need to have the tools necessary to be able to display a consistent voice across all platforms. So by having a physical, or rather digital, copy of this voice style guide, these employees can work to make sure that what they are writing up falls in line with the company voice.

Shout It From the RooftopsShare Your Company Voice Everywhere
Once a company has a concrete idea of what they want their voice to be, it is time to start shouting it from the rooftops so that the public can be introduced to their new voice. Companies should then begin including this voice in everything — the about page on their website, product descriptions, email subscription confirmation messages, voicemail greetings, face to face communication, and more.

Nothing is too small to fall in line with the company voice, since anything that does not match up with this established voice can be confusing to customers. If you need help establishing your voice and aligning it with your brand, Glint is here to help. For more information, email us at agency@glintadv.com or give us a call at 817-616-0320.

The Evolution of Consumer Purchase Behavior

Shopping_Behaviors

Way back in the year 2010, smartphones had only just started gaining popularity, and the first tablets were being unveiled. The stores that were scattered all across the country were regularly filled with motivated shoppers looking to spend some of their hard earned money. Nowadays, this is a sight that is usually only seen during special events like Black Friday with more and more purchases being made without ever stepping foot inside of a retail store.

While this is not necessarily a bad thing, it is worth taking a look at how consumer purchase behavior has shifted over the last decade.

How Consumers Found Companies a Decade Ago
There were a couple of valuable marketing insights known as the first moment of truth and the second moment of truth. These terms were first coined by P&G almost 15 years ago and were groundbreaking concepts when they first emerged. They referred to the process in which a consumer forms opinions regarding which companies they will develop loyalty towards.

In the world of business, brand loyalty is everything and accounts for an average of 65% of the business that a company gets. Therefore, if a company is not able to develop a close enough link to its customers, then its amount of repeat business will sharply decline.

This first moment of truth occurred when a consumer first encounters a product on a store shelf. They would use their senses to analyze the product and then decide whether or not to purchase it. Once they purchased it and brought it home, they would arrive at the second moment of truth which was determined when the consumer used the product and evaluated its effectiveness.

These two moments of truth would combine to form an opinion of the product, and therefore the brand, in the mind of the consumer. They would then use this opinion to judge whether or not they would continue to use the company’s products or not. With the rise of digital technology, these moments of truth no longer exist in this order.

How Consumers Find Companies Today
Although the first and second moments of truth are still more or less relevant, there is now a moment that occurs before either of those begins. It is what Google deemed the zero moment of truth. Instead of the first experience that a consumer has with a product being when they engage with it in a store, it now starts by looking at a screen.

Mobile Shopping on Phone

It is estimated that about 81% of all purchases begin with the consumer doing an online search, which is the zero moment of truth. This means that consumers are researching a product before the retailer even knows they are in the market for it, and they have to evaluate it on a picture and information alone. However, convincing a consumer to consider a product based off of only a picture and some basic information is only a small part of the challenge. The bigger struggle is getting the consumer to engage further with the product your company is offering.

When a consumer does an online search, they are using keywords to try and come up with the results that best relate to what they are interested in. The search engine results page is then presented to them with a list of different companies. If someone’s company is near the bottom of that first page of results, or on another page entirely, then it is very unlikely that it will be considered by the consumer. So even before a company has to worry about winning over the loyalty of a consumer, they have to worry about getting in front of a consumer.

How Consumers Decide Which Company to Choose
As previously mentioned, the end goal of a company is to get the consumer to form loyalty to their brand. A significant component of developing loyalty is being able to trust the company. If a consumer feels like they cannot trust a company in any way, then chances are that they will never have loyalty towards them.

Trust is something that exists on a multitude of levels, so much so that even most consumers do not fully understand how they decide whether or not to trust a company. When it comes to doing anything that is at all risky, such as deciding which company to give their business to, consumers tend to rely more on their intuition than anything else. This can make it tricky for companies to figure out how to best display their website, products, and overall company image.

That does not mean that all hope is lost when it comes to knowing how to develop trust between the company and its consumers. It just means that it will likely require a bit of trial and error. Companies should be putting effort into the obvious factors, such as website security certification and detailed return policies, but they should also be paying attention to less obvious factors as well.

While we have all been told as kids not to judge a book by its cover, that is exactly what many consumers are doing. They took a look at a company’s website for a few seconds and might read a couple of lines of text but are mostly just taking in the aesthetics of it before clicking away. So while having descriptive company and product information is important, the font type, background color, and images used tend to be even more critical.

The Consumerism Power Shift
A decade ago, companies had a much stronger influence over whether or not consumers bought their products and services. Simply plastering their name and image everywhere was usually enough to get a lot of sales. However, in the age of digital technology, that power dynamic has shifted, and it is now in the hands of consumers. Showing up with a decent product is no longer enough to win over the hearts of consumers.

Companies now have to be active about engaging with consumers and finding out what it is that they want to see in a company and product. They should then do their best to reflect those desires in their operations. Consumers are also becoming more able to assess whether or not a company cares about its customers or what it is doing. Therefore, a company cannot be trying to fake passion because consumers will see right through that.

Overcoming this may require making changes to a company’s staff, culture, and brand that can be reinforced by the majority of employees portraying passion around what they do. When an employee is miserable at their job, then it is bound to show up in the work they do. Once that work is put out into a product for consumers to see, they will be able to sense that lack of passion, and it will hurt a company’s chances of getting the sale. So in many ways, earning the business of consumers starts with developing a healthy workplace where employees are happy and have a passion for what they do.

The world of consumerism is an ever-changing one, and just like it has changed over the last decade, it will continue to do so in years to come. If you have questions or need help positioning your product or business, please contact Glint by emailing us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

How to Create an Employee Spotlight for Your Marketing

When it comes to advertising, one of the most common complaints customers have is that marketing campaigns and materials aren’t personal enough. The ultimate goal of marketing is to entice a customer to make a purchase or some other form of conversion. However, no customer wants to feel like they are being treated like a statistic rather than a human being, which can happen with poor marketing campaigns.

Even if we remove the emotional aspect, there is a potent argument for implementing a human element in marketing. Different demographics of potential customers all have different needs and concerns when it comes to what business they choose to patronize. Successful marketing shows that you are thinking of the people and also thinking about the issues. This approach adds a layer of authority to your product or service.

With all of this said, there are a lot of different elements that you can employ to build a personal connection. Perhaps one of the strongest, though, is using a person.

An employee profile or spotlight is a compelling piece of marketing that uses a single person’s accomplishments, personality, or background to help establish credibility for the business. However, there are some best practices you need to implement to use this effectively. Here are some that you need to consider.

Who Should Consider an Employee Spotlight for Marketing
You’ve probably seen some examples of employee marketing, although chances are it’s not about a typical employee. Major companies use CEO branding in one way, shape, or form, whether it’s traditional marketing, like a commercial that tells the story of how their CEO got to their position, or a digital tactic, like using social media to share an article relevant to their audience.

Some companies even take this to the next level by writing an interview article with a CEO as a form of thought marketing. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking this is the only option you have out there.

Let’s start with the example of a medical group. The group may have several different doctors on board, with a clear business goal of serving as many patients as possible. However, if you were to flip things to the patient’s perspective, the goal becomes to find a practice with traits like:

  • Experience in the field;
  • A caring bedside manner;
  • An efficiently run office;
  • Compliance with all medical standards;
  • Coverage by their insurance.

In a way, the doctor (and their skills) is the product, which makes a medical group the perfect fit for an employee profile. By focusing on a specific doctor at the practice in their marketing and branding, the practice can take their experiences and accomplishments and co-brand it with the practice itself. In addition, marketing can answer some of the critical questions that any prospective patient might have, like how experienced the doctors are, and so on.

Medical groups are far from the only business models that benefit from this type of marketing. To illustrate this point, take a look at an advertisement for real estate in your area when you get a chance. The most prominent things you will see in the ads are the for-sale properties and the agents. Again, this is because consumers place a premium on trustworthy and skilled agents when deciding whom to partner with when selling their home or buying one. Other business fields also operate under the same principle, some of which include:

  • Law firms;
  • Wealth management firms;
  • Tax professionals;
  • Sports management.

In general, the profiled employee is someone prominent. However, there are other options here. For example, some companies in niches with bad press may want to project a positive image of themselves through marketing. By profiling an employee who may be lower on the chain of command, they have the chance to portray their company as a good place to work and buy from.

A company specializing in making furniture may share a profile of someone working in their factory, showing things like the fact they are well-paid, have a future with the company, and are happy with their job. Every employee has an impact on your company’s brand identity Crafting a spotlight lets you take control of it.

Crafting an Effective Employee Spotlight
At this point, we can move on from the theory behind employee spotlights to the mechanics of creating one. There are four main steps that your marketing team will need to consider, and they are as follows.

Choosing a Purpose
We’ve been talking about the different reasons why a company may opt to market themselves with an employee spotlight, but which of those reasons applies to your situation? For example, is your goal to grow credibility with your audience because you are new, or are you a larger company that wants to maintain a positive connection with long-time customers? Knowing this will affect the tone and format of your spotlight.

Choosing an Employee
In some instances, like in law firms, selecting the employee to feature is a no-brainer. In other cases, though, you may need to choose from a pool of handpicked employees, and you want to select wisely.

While you can’t possibly forecast the future, ideally, you want someone committed to the company for the long haul and has an established social media presence they are willing to maintain. The reason for the latter is that if people see your marketing materials, want to look up the person, and have difficulty finding them, it can cast a negative image on the business.

Crafting a Narrative
Creating a narrative is essentially the culmination of everything we’ve talked about until this point. What is the customer dilemma you are trying to solve? How does your product or service solve it? What are your company’s brand values?

The narrative is how you weave all this together in your advertising. Going back to our doctor example, you may provide a bulleted list showing how long the doctor has been practicing medicine, as well as a list of relevant awards. This approach instantly solves the customer’s concern of finding a doctor who is credible in their field.

Creating the Materials
One final thing you need to decide on is the method you will use to present your employee spotlight. For example, a digital ad can be relatively inexpensive and may attract a decent amount of traffic, but communicating your narrative in a limited space may prove difficult unless you plan with this in mind.

Whether using traditional marketing like a commercial or radio ad or content marketing through an article or podcast, you want to know the formats your audience is likely to use to ensure your spotlight has the maximum relevant reach.

Getting Outside Help With Your Employee Spotlight
By taking the time to use an employee or employees as part of your marketing campaign, it may be tempting to try and put other elements of said campaign in-house as well. For example, maybe you think that you can have someone in your company write up the copy or design the visual materials for your marketing as opposed to using outside help. On paper, some companies do this to save money, but that’s not always worth it.
All the tips we mentioned that go into crafting a strong employee spotlight are best accomplished when working with a skilled set of marketing professionals. Depending on the size of your business, you may not have the expertise or means to reach that level with your existing staff. The good news is that you can still make this happen with the knowledge of a skilled marketing agency. Experience and knowledge is what makes Glint Advertising a perfect match for your marketing. We can help you create an employee profile that mirrors your business objectives while establishing a personal connection. Reach out to us for a strategy session today.

Can Virtual Reality Help Your Business and Sales?

Virtual Reality Group

Technology has changed how customers find and interact with businesses. The internet has made it incredibly easy for people to search for and find products they are looking for. This gives customers the opportunity to look for things on their terms. They get to be in control.

If you want your business to be found, you have had to change how you advertise and market. As a business owner, you know full well the work that went into developing a website, creating content, and then making sure that content was search engine optimized. You no doubt have social media pages and interact with customers using those platforms.

You know how to use technology to your advantage, and you may feel pretty confident in your marketing plan and tactics. However, just when you are starting to get comfortable, the game is going to change—and once again, technology is going to play a role. This time, you’ll need to figure out how to use virtual reality to connect with customers.

What Is Virtual Reality?

In essence, virtual reality is the creation of a digital world that can immerse a user. When a person is in this computer-generated world, they can explore and interact with the elements there. This act is usually accomplished with specific hardware and software, such as virtual reality goggles and computer programs.

Virtual reality is often associated with gaming, but other industries have successfully used this technology to interact with people, including museums, education, and NASA, among others. The great thing about this technology is that it gets people involved and interacting, and that is how virtual reality will help your business.

How Is Virtual Reality Utilized?

What virtual reality can be used for is only limited by the imagination and the constraints of technology. With the most common application being gaming, this technology is used to create worlds and places that allow the user to explore and interact with the environment, often in an entertaining fashion to achieve an objective—essentially winning the game.

However, in other industries, virtual reality can be used as a training tool. For engineers or mechanics, this technology is a great way to immerse employees in work that will need to be conducted every day at the job site without needing to spend the money to send them to the job site or to create a replica of the workspace.

Law enforcement and military training also rely heavily on virtual reality for their people. This is beneficial because it allows individuals the opportunity to be put into dangerous situations without actually being in trouble. It’s an excellent way for them to figure out how they would react and act in dangerous situations so if they encounter it in real life, they have the necessary skills to be successful.

When it comes to museums, virtual reality allows visitors to check out their collections and displays from the comfort of their own home. People who don’t have the opportunity to fly to Paris (or don’t want to deal with the crowds) still have the ability to see the art that is housed there. This could be a great way for students to experience history and culture without having to leave the classroom.

Virtual Reality and Your Business

When trying to attract new customers, you have to offer them something more than a great brand or products—although this will ensure you’re successful and stay in business. You have to connect with them. You have to relate to them on a personal level, as well as teach them something about your business.

Social media is a great platform for the connection part because it was designed for conversation. If you’re just posting links and ads and hoping that the customers will come, you’re doing it wrong. You have to offer them something they want. You have to engage them in some way.

Virtual reality gives you the opportunity to be engaged with your customers. It gives them a way to interact with your company and be involved. Of course, developing a program that is beneficial to your company and customers might not be as easy as it sounds.

The Limitations of Virtual Reality for Your Business

There is the cost to think about. Virtual reality is gaining in popularity, but it’s still pretty pricey to develop an app and then get customers interested in the app. Your business would have to carefully weigh the cost of development against the prospective return of investment and decide if it’s worth the investment.

In addition, for people to experience virtual reality, they have to have a headset and be connected to a computer. This hardware will add to the cost of developing a virtual reality program, and not everyone has headsets sitting around their house. Supplying it for customers would also add costs to the plan, perhaps making it out of reach for a lot of smaller businesses.

The program that you develop also has to be interesting and attract people. This will probably take some research to discover exactly what things people are interested in and how you can make it work to highlight your brand and products. If you create a long, interactive commercial, it’s doubtful people will find it engaging or exciting. You want your message to be engaging and clear.

As the technology becomes more advanced and headsets evolve (currently, wireless sets are being improved so that wires don’t interfere with the user’s experience), it’s possible that virtual reality will be more widespread and used by more people around the world. This could be beneficial to businesses and the worlds they create for customers to interact with.

Other Technologies That Could Be Used

Pokemon App on Phone

In addition to virtual reality, augmented reality is also a technology that is used to interact with customers. Unlike virtual reality, this technology does not require the person to be connected to a computer or use a headset. In most cases, all they need is their phone.

Augmented reality superimposes digital information onto the real world. Again, the most common use of this technology is for gaming, but it could be adopted and modified for your business.

Like virtual reality, developing an augmented reality campaign would require coming up with something that customers would want to interact with that still gets your message across. The goal is to connect and create lasting relationships with people who are or could be customers and finding the right way to do that has its challenges.

Virtual Reality Is Worth a Shot

Virtual reality may have some limitations at the moment, but no marketing plan is perfect. There is the potential that any ad campaign, blog post or social media post could fail and not attract or interact with customers the way it was intended to. That doesn’t mean you should give up on any of these ideas.

Kid with VR headset

If a lot of businesses aren’t currently using this technology to interact with customers, then the frontier is wide open. You could lead the way and develop ideas and worlds that no one else has seen before and push your business and brand to the front of the pack with your innovation. Is it risky? Maybe a little, but the results and sales could be beyond imagination.

At Glint Advertising, we have the expertise and professionals who can help you with these needs. Contact us today at 817-616-0320 or sales@glintadv.com to see how we can develop a virtual reality campaign to increase your business and sales.

Relevancy of Video in 2019

Video Relevancy in 2019

As a business, it’s important to stay up to date with all of the latest marketing trends. Thanks to technology, they often change quickly and without warning, leaving you and your message in the dust.

Take heart, though. Just because the trends change, that doesn’t necessarily mean your old marketing ventures are no longer relevant. It’s important to incorporate those into your plan, but you’ll also need to add new techniques. In 2019, it looks like video will become more relevant.

The Impact of Video

Your brand is continually evolving, and your marketing plan needs to reflect that. Appealing to customers means you have to connect with them, and that can be accomplished by using video. Video creates an authentic, immediate, and real interaction with audience members. This can be incredibly beneficial.

Statistics show that 75 million people in the U.S. watch online videos. If you mention video in the subject of your email, you can see a click-through increase rate of up to 13%. Practically half of all videos are watched on a mobile device. It’s predicted that by 2019, 80% of internet consumer traffic will be video traffic.

If you have a video on your social media, it will generate 1,200% more shares than text and image will. If you have videos on your Facebook Page, it can increase user engagement by 33%. Embedding a video on your website can increase traffic up to 55%, and having one on your landing page can increase conversions by 80% or more.

In addition, it has been shown that 95% of viewers retain a video message businesses send better than when reading text, where only 10% retain the message. Approximately 75% of businesses are planning on using video to increase their brand awareness. Hopefully, you’ll be one of those businesses.

If you’re not using videos to market your business, you are seriously falling behind.

Get with the Times

Uploading videos are incredibly easy with the number of platforms that exist. YouTube is user-friendly and has launched the careers of numerous individuals and businesses that have used it to garner fans and gain exposure. Ask our Business Director, Ryan Noel, about this. He was previously one of the pioneers of video marketing on a national level with YouTube.

With Facebook adding live video feeds (YouTube has this feature also), it’s easier than ever to connect with people in real time and have them comment in real time, creating a connection and relationship that can’t be beaten.

The attention span of consumers is getting shorter, so getting them engaged quickly is important. There’s also an abundance of information on the web, so if they don’t find your message interesting, they’ll find something else that is.

Videos are a great marketing tool because they are often short and entertaining. If the vast majority of people are watching videos on their mobile devices, that probably means they are checking these things out while they are commuting to work or while away from home. Use this to your advantage to appeal to new and existing customers.

How to Create Effective Videos

Making Video

Just because you add videos to your social sites or your webpage doesn’t mean that you’ll see an increase in traffic. Remember, audiences have a short attention span and you have to create something they find interesting and worth watching. If you don’t, they’ll find someone who can—and they have numerous options to choose from.

A few things to keep in mind when creating videos is to keep them under two minutes long. These seem to get the most engagement. If you’re creating a series of videos, end each one in a cliffhanger so it gives audiences an incentive to watch the other ones. You may also get more engagement and views if you ask questions or “tease” what the video is about in a short caption.

Some other things to consider when creating videos include the following.

  1. Tell a story — No one wants to listen to a sales pitch, and you’ll turn off audiences incredibly quickly if this is how you develop your videos. Instead, tell them a story and appeal to a customer’s desires and needs.
  2. Develop an exciting and interesting title — This will be the first thing that grabs a viewer’s attention, so make it something worth clicking on. You’ll also need to include relevant keywords so that it will show up in search engine lists.
  3. Keep the content interesting — Your video can and should teach the audience something new, but don’t make it boring. If your video feels like a movie that would be shown in school, it’s probably not exciting enough to keep anyone’s attention.
  4. It should be mobile friendly — Remember, half of the people who watch videos are watching them on their mobile devices, so your video will have to be able to be downloaded and have the right parameters so people can view it on their phone.
  5. Include your URL — If people are interested in your video and they like what your company offers, make it easy for them to find you on the web. Include your URL in the video or in the comment section for easy access and clicking.
  6. Don’t forget the call to action — Just like your blog posts call for people to act, your videos should too. You’ll have to decide what that call to action is depending on what your video is about, but include it at the end so customers feel the need to move forward and click on your website link.
  7. Use customer-generated content — One of the easiest and best ways for a company to find new customers is through word of mouth. This means that customers who like your products will go out and tell their friends and family about you. This can also be accomplished through videos and potentially reach a larger audience.

It’s not enough to have videos on your social sites or websites, they have to have a purpose and be created with intent. You should already be doing this with your blog posts and other marketing material, so taking the step into video shouldn’t be too difficult. If you’re not sure the best way to approach this task, contact Glint and we will help you put your best foot forward.

Your Marketing Plan for 2019

The new year is upon us. Hopefully, you’ve been putting together your marketing plan and deciding how you are going to engage and appeal to audiences in the coming year. There’s still time to tweak those decisions and add video to the list if it hasn’t been already—and it really needs to be added to the list.

Video Marketing

Diversifying your marketing strategy will give you the opportunity to appeal to current and new customers and will keep you from getting lost in the busy world of the internet. With more people turning to technology to find information, giving them what they want in fun and interesting ways is imperative. Videos are just the ticket.

At Glint Branding, Advertising, and Consulting, we have the expertise and professionals who can help you create videos that will engage and create a relationship with your audiences. Contact us today to see how we can help you with your video needs and increase your customer base and sales.