Category Archives: Industry News

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.

The Benefits of an Agency vs Hiring an In-House Team

Benefits of Utilizing an Agency

As many business experts and gurus will tell you, part of being a success in business is recognizing that you can’t do it all.  Developing the skills to delegate is critical. This allows you to have the opportunity to not only take unneeded work off your plate but to use your employees/team to the best of their abilities. Overall, this means more efficiency and fewer headaches.

However, the delegation strategy does have its limits, namely when your business has a task in front of them that’s outside the skillset of your current team. This isn’t an indictment of your team, but a basic reality, especially when it comes to something like marketing. For example, effective web copy and content requires knowledge of writing, while on average, many workplaces need more people with effective writing skills. In the same vein, creating visual content may require knowledge of graphic design, which your team might not have.

At this point, most businesses are at an impasse and have to make the decision on whether to hire an in-house team to handle these tasks or delegate a step further and bring on an outside agency. The notion of having your own team to tackle these specialized issues may sound good — but for most businesses, the agency is the better option. Here are some of the key reasons why.

How Using An Agency Helps You

A Better Financial Setup

It makes sense to try and start with the bottom line, right? Part of the reason that businesses start putting together larger advertising and marketing campaigns in the first place is that they believe they are going to get a return on their investment. Part of the issue here, though, is that a lot of people don’t understand what that actual investment is in the first place. At first glance, you may think that having your team will actually save you money, right? Not necessarily, at least—not if you want the best. Look at some of the average figures for key marketing positions:

  • Marketing Manager Salary: $120,000 per year
  • Social Media Manager Salary: $50,000 per year
  • SEO Manager Salary: $60,000 per year

Depending on the size of your business and your needs, you may actually need someone in each of these roles, as well as people to work under them, which means even more financial investment. On top of that, you’re not factoring in the cost of setting them up with the tools they need to do their jobs. For example, a basic ad campaign may require a stock photo website subscription and Adobe Creative Suite. SEO experts need keyword research platforms like Ahrefs to create an effective strategy. Combine all these together, and you could be paying thousands on tools alone to support your teams.

By comparison, while you may be paying a monthly fee to an agency, that fee is inclusive of both the work of the agency, as well as their tools. If you don’t anticipate constantly putting out new campaigns, you’re virtually guaranteed to pay less overall to use an agency rather than getting a team of your own together. Some businesses try to have their cake and eat it too, working with solo freelancers or bringing on less experienced candidates to fill roles on their team. This has its drawbacks as well.

Better Financial Set-Up

Stronger Pool Of Talent

Just to be clear, there are many qualified freelancers out there to help with your marketing. The issue is that while they may not cost as much as an employee, good freelancers know their worth, and you will have to pay substantially. In addition, it may be better to bring on an agency’s team to try and handle your workload rather than to try and put it on one person, no matter what their qualifications.

The same thing applies for people who try to get the best bargain possible when trying to fill out their own teams. Yes, that fresh college graduate or person getting back into the workforce may be willing to be your SEO manager for $30,000 rather than $50,000, but what expertise are they bringing with them? Ultimately, if you get cheaper talent on your team, but end up not being happy with the work they do, then you’re losing money. This isn’t just due to paying the employee you brought on, but having to bring on another one to fix what they started. Not all small businesses have the budget to take that loss.

Stronger Talent Pool

Time Saved

Going hand-in-hand with this is time. The fact of the matter is that building an effective team from scratch takes time, no matter what type of skills they individually bring to the table. You need to figure out how to manage them, how they will communicate with each other, and take the time to bring them up to speed with what their product is and how you want it advertised.

With a marketing agency, you save a lot of this time because the procedures have already been established on their end. All you need to do is start by explaining what you want.  They will have the skill set to put the rest into action. The only other time you need to spend is giving approval for the final product.

Industry Insight

As a final point, an in-house team can easily fall into the trap of getting tunnel vision. Inside the company bubble, people may only be exposed to certain materials or frames of thinking, when diversity in mindsets is proven to be a benefit. This is a place where an agency can help. Because an agency is an outside entity, there’s less of a reticence about presenting potential issues or suggestions to issues they see with your current marketing. What you choose to do with that information is up to you, but having it is the key.

Another thing that you get when working with an agency is a better awareness of trends that may affect your marketing. Your in-house team will have their noses to the grindstone, and while this is great, it means there’s little time to stay on top of trends and technology. For example, could a Google algorithm change affect your SEO strategy? Is a new form of advertising taking hold of your target demographic? Agencies need to know this to compete, and they can share this wisdom with you if you retain their services.

What Should I Look For In My Agency?

With all this said, it’s clear that an agency offers a faster and more effective way for companies to get marketing and advertising initiatives off the ground compared to hiring and training an in-house team. With this mentioned, it’s also important that you do your due diligence in choosing what type of agencies you work with. Ideally, you’re going to want an agency that not only has a proven track record, but also is known for helping put together effective content in your niche. This is what makes Glint Advertising a perfect match. Whether you are still in those skeletal planning stages or ready to take action, we have the expertise and experience to make your advertising plans a reality. Reach out to us for a free consultation today.

Sports Passion Rewarded with Gold!

Eastfield College Sports Award with Glint Advertising

When Eastfield College provided glint the opportunity to rebrand the athletic department and sports brands for their school, we were excited to get to work. After months of research and concepting, the new brand came to life, and we were incredibly satisfied with the result. The sharp blue and orange colors connected with the existing college brand and the bold bee graphic correlated well with the intensity and passion needed in sports. The cartoonist approach also helped maintain an approachable feeling that could connect with audiences of any age.

Confirmation quickly came that we weren’t the only people that thought it looked great and hit the mark! The design was entered into a sports advertising competition with an astounding result. The brands were assessed by a panel of national sports marketing and advertising professionals based on creativity, marketing execution, and impact. We had high hopes for a positive result in the competition, so high in fact that our hopes were validated by winning the gold medal in our category.

“As an agency, we were ecstatic for our client, and that the hard work of our team was recognized with this honor in the rapidly growing area of sports advertising and marketing,” said Craig Lloyd, President, Glint Advertising. “Furthermore, we are grateful for the opportunity that Eastfield college provided us. We hope to continue receiving recognition for Eastfield and our other clients that showcase the talent and quality in our partnerships.”

Glint has been helping clients define, refine and hone their brand strategy and image since 2000, we would love to talk with you. Email us at agency@glintadv.com or better yet, give us a call at 817-616-0320.

Customer Journey Mapping

The Science Behind Cave Paintings & Storytelling

One of the oldest forms of human communication is not language, but rather storytelling in the form of cave paintings. For years, scientists believed storytelling to be strictly entertainment. But, as more great minds studied the science of storytelling, they discovered it to be an instrumental aspect of human and technological development.

Customer Journey

Listening to stories allows us to learn from other people’s failure and success, and even experience events we haven’t already experienced for ourselves. Take the above painting, for example; one can gather that this is a warning to the hunter, “Big prey can be dangerous, watch out for their horns.”

Storytelling is What Makes Customer Journey Mapping Invaluable. As a business, it is imperative that you take the time to step into your customer’s shoes and see the world through their eyes, experience their problems and feel their feelings — it’s a difficult perspective that can best be accomplished through the art of storytelling or in marketing, Customer Journey Mapping.

Customer Journey Mapping is the process of telling the story of your customer’s experience from Point A to Point B — in other words from the initial point of contact, through the transaction and finally to fostering a long and healthy business relationship.

You Need an Outside Perspective. This marketing and consumer behavior process is something that is practiced by the world’s largest brands and something you should consider utilizing within your own. But, in order to carry it out effectively, you should bring in an outside perspective that has no bias towards your customer base. At Glint, we have been conducting Customer Journey Mapping for years with brands interested in better understanding who they are selling to.

Our process of discovering the customer journey map is a story that consists of 4 parts:

1. Discovery.
Every relationship begins with an introduction of the plot and characters. There are two characters in this story — your brand and your customer. We work to deeply understand these two characters. Understanding you as a brand comes down to branding (which you can read more about here), but understanding your customer takes stepping into their shoes and seeing the world through their eyes.

2. Engagement.
After understanding the characters in the story, we need to understand how they interact and engage with one another. In other words, what is their relationship? And, how can we make this relationship better, more interesting and more valuable?

3. Conversion.
In a love story, often times relationships are unconditional. This is not the case in marketing and business, relationships are very conditional — your customers are paying you their hard earned money for value. They are paying you on the condition that you are providing value. During the conversion stage of our process, we discover what those conditions are. We then figure out ways to meet and exceed these conditions.

4. Reward.
If the reward section were in a story, it would be the finale, the end… the happily ever after. This is the section we sit down with you and answer one question — how can we make your relationship with your customer one that will last for years to come? Often, this is accomplished through ongoing value your brand provides in the form of rewards of some type.

Take Some Time to Better Understand Your Customer.

If you are interested in understanding your customer better, give us a call at (817) 616-0320 or send us a note here. If you haven’t take the time to step into your customer’s shoes, you need to… it’s what keeps you in business.