Category Archives: Digital Marketing

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.

Why Marketing Matters For Co-op Success

Co-op Marketing Fort Worth

For many businesspeople, marketing is one of the scariest parts of actually running things on their own. A lot of people become entrepreneurs or rise in a larger business due to their dedication to the niche or type of work, not marketing itself. As a result, there are a lot of unknowns, and as we can see, there are many high-profile marketing blunders that can not only drain your wallet, but cut into your customer base.

But what if there was a way to try and minimize this risk, and find a way to pool resources for advertising that can stand up against the larger names in your niche? What if there was a way to potentially use the audience and name of one of those larger niches to increase your own chances of success? This is the basic principle behind co-op marketing, something that may help get your business to the next level.

The Basics on Co-op Marketing

In essence, the idea behind co-op marketing is a smaller company putting money into an advertising budget, and having that money matched by a corporate partner. One of the biggest examples of this is car dealerships. If a car specializes in a certain carmaker’s offerings, they may get some advertising money from the carmaker themselves. The reasoning from the carmaker is that they have someone out there supporting their brand, so it makes sense to try and put some money their way.

Think of it this way: it’s been proven statistically that there is a growing interest in local advertising as opposed to massive corporate advertising. This is for a number of reasons, from cynicism on the part of the consumers to a basic interest in supporting local businesses. From the larger advertising partner’s perspective, it makes sense to try and financially support a smaller company’s advertising efforts. They still get the sale they want, but target a consumer who may tune out their commercials or radio ads.

There are other common examples of co-op marketing you may see every day without thinking. For example, in a shopping center or mall, you’re likely to see advertisements for each retailer in said center. In addition, they may also put out advertisements in the local newspaper for popular holidays or other times where there’s a significant spike in shopping. Again, this works to the benefit of the larger company. It’s a lot easier to advertise your product to certain groups in certain regions if you have first-hand knowledge of what they like. No one knows this better than local retailers.

Digital Marketing Dallas

Why Bother With Co-op Marketing?

Co-op marketing is a very versatile option, but at this point, we’ve only covered the benefit to the larger companies working with smaller ones. However, the smaller company also sees a variety of different benefits from entering a co-op marketing partnership.

The major benefit, especially for small businesses, is how co-op marketing can drastically reduce the potential money you need to set aside for marketing endeavors. On average, a manufacturer will pay anywhere from 50% to 100% of the cost of placing a local ad. Not only does this allow you to reap the benefits of exposure to a larger audience, but also not have to worry about affecting your cash flow to do so.

Speaking of exposure, this tends to work in two different positive ways for the smaller company. For one, there’s the sheer matter of volume and reach, the fact that more advertising dollars mean that you can put together a more extensive and effective campaign. However, working with a larger brand and having your name associated with theirs also lends an air of legitimacy to your business. The sight of your business’s name next to an internationally known manufacturer is a clear sign of success.

Another way that the smaller businesses benefit is from knowledge and osmosis. Large, global companies pour massive amounts of money into studying advertising and their consumer base in order to get an idea of what they respond to most. This allows the smaller companies a chance to learn some effective strategies for a fraction of the cost.

As a final add-on point, while these are the most common co-op marketing relationships you see, it’s also possible for multiple small businesses to try and band together to do something similar. For example, two non-competitive businesses with a history of working together may pool together advertising money for a campaign which highlights both. The trade is that you don’t have the benefits of the resources of a larger company, but there is more freedom in what you can do, which we will get to in a moment.

Co-op Marketing

The Key To Effective Co-op Marketing

When it comes to co-op marketing, what many people describe as a drawback is the fact that you’ve committed to the advertising standards of whatever entity you choose to work with. This can play out in terms of:

  • Having a certain standard of advertising quality
  • Utilizing only a specific type of advertising
  • Hidden requirements
  • Limits on what the advertising money provided by the larger entity can be used for

This isn’t always a bad thing. Remember, larger companies make a lot of investment in understanding what works in advertising, so it may behoove you to try and follow their lead. However, no one wants to be caught off-guard, so the first thing you want to do in co-op advertising is getting a clear understanding of the rules with an attorney.

The other important piece of this is making sure that your company’s internal structure is ready to take on the added workload of a proper advertising campaign. Many smaller companies may have a small ad here or there, but it’s a big step up to regularly produce print or web advertising, even if you have the money. Make sure you have the marketing personnel either on staff or hired to do the bulk of the actual planning and formulation.

Another important key is making sure that you have open lines of communication with all the members of your co-op. This is going to be essential for a variety of reasons. For one, you need to be able to understand quickly whether or not your partner approves or does not approve of any advertising material before you send it out. In addition, communication makes it easier for them to give you general advice as needed. However, don’t think that you’re bound to whatever they say. For example, digital marketing is essential for advertising success. If you read or learn about a concept that you think makes sense to use, bring it up. Remember, larger companies want to use the up-close experience their smaller partners have as well.

Because there are several different companies or entities putting their money together for co-op advertising, it’s that much more important that you put together a proper formal strategy that allows everyone to benefit. This means not just recruiting professional help for putting together branding materials, but also at the thought stage. This is where Glint Advertising is so helpful. We understand how advertising has evolved, as well as the mechanisms that drive consumer response. Whether you’re ready to start a campaign or just want a consultation, we are here to help guide you down a path of successful marketing and advertising strategies.

Essential steps to properly engage with your target audience

Audience Engagement To successfully grow a business, you need to connect with the target audience associated with your growth plan, especially in cases where you are starting a new business. You’ll need to have a firm idea of who your customer base is as this is half the battle in getting your brand noticed. You also need to be aware of how to properly engage with your audience and how to strengthen and maintain the relationships you form with customers, to keep them onboard and attract new customers.

In the article below, we’ll go over the critical steps you need to take for effectively identifying and adequately engaging with the right audience for your specific products or services.

Researching Your Target Audience
To properly engage with the audience for your brand, you need to know their precise interests and who they are. There are many things you should be considering when researching the perfect customers for your products or services. The most effective approach for accomplishing this is to develop a market segmentation plan.

Market segmentation will allow you to find the key factors driving your target audience. This research can include many things depending on what you are trying to sell, but generally, it comes down to a few things for most businesses:

Geographic Segmentation: Depending on your services this can be a significant factor and defines precisely where your customers work and play.

Demographic Segmentation: Things like age, gender, job, and income. These are big for everyone and are things to focus on in any marketing strategy.

Psychographic Segmentation: These are the more niche factors, like lifestyle, personality, and customer values. All crucial things to consider for any business.

Once you’ve been able to answer these questions and those unique to your business, you’ll be well on your way to understanding your audience fully. Once you do, you can properly engage with them to increase brand awareness and overall sales.

Man Looking At ROI

Engaging with Your Audience
Now that you have a firm idea of who you are trying to target, we can start engaging with them. Building a relationship with a customer takes time and effort and gaining a customer’s trust is beyond valuable. Customers who are loyal and trust the brand they are buying from will provide you with repeat sales and word of mouth marketing on social networks and within friend and business groups.

For these reasons, it is a good idea to focus on customer service and engagement, two things that go hand in hand when it comes to marketing.

When engaging with your audience, whether it be email, a social post, or replying to a customer on the phone, keep these things in mind:

Be Consistent: If you are only hitting your goals with your engagement every once in a while, you won’t make it very far. While people do remember the good things, they really remember the bad, so make sure everything is always consistent with your brand. Consistency in brand applies to service, the tone of voice, and graphical style. Customers want to feel like they know you, if you are constantly changing it up, they won’t get that feeling from your business.

Be Accessible: If you are going to take the time to engage with your customers via comments, content efforts, email, or in-store, you need to be doing it in a way that resonates with them. An excellent way to accomplish this is being accessible. Accessibility means making your content and messages easy to understand, and if you can, engaging and entertaining.

Be Personal: When communicating with your target audience, avoid sounding like a robot. Go out of your way to act as if you were talking to a friend. Cater all your responses directly to the needs and personality of the person you are dealing with. Communication is a great place to show your dedication to your customers.

Lady Choosing Technology

Use the Same Platforms Your Customers Do
If you are planning to utilize social media and content marketing to try and boost engagement as you should be, then you need to know where your customers tend to spend their time online. Discovering relevant channels will be another step you’ll have to take when doing your research for your target market. If you are running even the best content on the wrong platforms, you are just wasting valuable time and money.

If you are planning on creating your content marketing via social media, be sure to research each platform and find out which your customer base is using, and which would best suit the type of content you want to be using.

For businesses that are trying to tackle emails, personalizing your emails to your target market will be key to success. If your customers don’t tend to interact with their inboxes much, something the younger generations can be known for, then you can also be wasting your efforts here.

If your customers are coming to your website to engage with your business, it would be best to focus the bulk of your efforts into this area. Website content can be the best way to market, as it is completely under your control, where on social media you may have to fit your content into specific guidelines.

Plan your tactics accordingly in this area, and you’ll be well on your way to success. The core steps to engaging apply to all tactics, but make sure you are selecting the appropriate platform, and researching everything before you begin creating content.

Your Business Needs to Engage with Its Audience to be Successful
For you to thrive in highly competitive spaces, you need to be setting yourself apart and building loyalty with your customers. If your audience doesn’t have a good reason to pick you over the other guy, they may jump ship.

Give them excellent customer service, engage with them appropriately, maintain a consistent brand, and you’ll be sure to see improvements in all areas of your business. If you need help engaging customers with your branding, advertising, or marketing, please let us talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

Creative Messaging Is Key To Success

Creative Success Messaging Graphic

When it comes to marketing in the online space, it can be easy to get lost in a pile. Think of the digital environment as a community of brick and mortar stores, not unlike what you see outside in the real world every day. In fact, the online shopping industry alone is growing 3x faster than traditional storefronts. Unsurprising, now that about 51% of the population prefer to shop online over visiting a store in-person.

This means we can apply a lot of the same tactics to both areas. A key difference to keep in mind though is that there is a lot more business in the digital community of stores then there are on a street and it is a lot harder to see all the business available in an online environment. This serves as a strong reminder that your competition is a lot larger than may you perceive when you just think of your local competition.

What tends to be the biggest factor of change when moving from physical to digital is not how we engage, but where. This is why you can find so many digital marketing agencies focused on things like behavioral targeting, banner ads, and automation. What most fail to take into account is that these companies are only providing you with where you’ll be shouting your message from, but if your message isn’t engaging, it won’t matter how many places you are displaying it.

The success of your marketing efforts, be it traditional or digital, will come down mostly to the strength of your message, creatives, and content.

Credit Card Computer Screen

Your Key Message and Why It’s So Important
Your key message is one of the most important aspects to consider. The first question you should be asking yourself is what your key message is. Organizations of all types have key messages intended to help them get across why you should use their product or service. While you likely could form a pretty long list around this, it’s best to whittle it down to one key message you want to use to define your business.

Essentially, your key message is what you want to be known for, and this message needs to be consistent across all your marketing materials and brand.

This will provide a certain level of control over how people talk about you, as we give them one simple thing to focus on. Having control of the conversation about your products or services can be invaluable if you push forward a clear and effective message about what you provide.

Tone and Style
As part of a consistent brand and key message, we need to make sure we have established a consistent tone and style. Your tone and style should fit in closely with your key message.

Writing is arguably the most shared form of content. Even if you are running image-heavy campaigns, you will likely find yourself in need of some written work for captions and social media posts. Whether you are writing for your company blog or just updating Twitter, you need to be sure you have the same style and tone all throughout.

Contrary to popular belief, tone and style are not the same things. A style is best applied to short, catchy sentences, great for social media posts. A tone conveys authority, it’s the vibe you give off and the feeling you get when you read something written by someone who knows their stuff. These two things intertwine and will eventually end up creating what we call your voice.

So, does it all matter? Absolutely. We are trying to convey a consistent message and to do that we need a consistent style, tone, and voice as well. They key to a great brand voice is first and foremost consistency, but being creative and different is key to standing out amongst the competition.

Search on Mobile

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
If you take a moment to consider what actually makes you click an article, pick a video game, or buy a certain food item, you’ll likely come up with two answers, convincing written copy, like an article headline or catchy phrase that sticks with you, or the visual content associated with it.

Visual content accounts for so much of what your customers will perceive that it is arguably more important than your written content. Having the two work seamlessly together is the makings of a great piece of content.

To do this, we need to keep our images in line with the rest of our message. This means it should match our style, tone, voice and key message. This is going to require us to get pretty creative with our message and find ways to convey it visually.

The key to producing great image content is to focus on these key aspects while keeping your overall brand in mind at all times.

Capturing the Viewers Attention: Before we can start to convey our message to our target, we need to have their attention. Strong, eye-catching visuals that scream your message are perfect for drawing people into your other content. Afterall, 93% of communication between people is visual and 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual.

Claiming a Spot in Their Memory: What do you want people to walk away with? If I’ve viewed your ad, what types of things should invoke me to think about it again? The answer to both these questions is found in your key message and brand voice, as we want them to walk away with that being the takeaway point. Creative imagery can be far more effective than body copy for achieving this, as people tend to remember visuals more clearly.

Why Creativity is So Important
Being creative with your brand voice and key message is key to success. In a world where it gets harder and harder to compete and get noticed, you need something to make you stand out. A common mistake is to check out competitors and copy what they are doing, and while this can prove to be valuable, it can also hurt your overall exposure. Being unique is key to standing out amongst the crowd. If you plan your key message creatively, the rest should follow suit much more easily, setting you up to emerge at the end with a truly unique and creative brand that will stand out amongst your competitors, both online and offline. If you can achieve that, you’ll be well on your way to overall success.

None of This Changes Between Digital and Physical
The takeaway here is that no matter where your advertising is operating from, your campaign and business will benefit from creative messaging. We are trying to create a consistent voice and message for our brand, which means it needs to extend to both the online and offline spaces. It doesn’t really matter how targeted your ad is if your brand message is speaking to an entirely different group then you are targeting.

It’s important to distinguish that while digital and physical spaces require different strategies on a whole, your message should remain in use and unchanged. This makes implementing creative messaging into your materials a universal approach for both markets. In short, your message doesn’t change depending on whether you’re online or not, what does change is how you get that message delivered.

If adding a layer of support to your branding, advertising, or marketing would be beneficial, we would love to talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

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