Tag Archives: Advertising

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.

Snap Stock Is Out

Photo Credit: HowToStartABlogOnline.net 

Snapchat, Inc, just released their IPO and people are going crazy over Snap stock. If you haven’t heard of Snapchat by now, then there’s a good chance you’ve been living under a rock. Snapchat is today’s most popular social media application among millennial’s. The app focuses on disposal content that you can share with friends between 1-to-10 seconds, or upload content to your ‘story’ that will stay active for 24 hours. Snapchat was initially created with the sole purpose of exchanging nude photos of one another, and though the app is still infamously known for that, Snapchat offers a way to capture raw moments in life. Most of the moments individuals now share with each other are strange objects, unique scenery, and of course, food. A popular phrase has even been coined, “if you didn’t Snap it, did it really happen?”

But what makes Snapchat so popular? Snapchat encourages sharing personal moments with close friends, despite not physically being with them. Snapchat is widely popular with millennials and centennials due to their love of sharing moments and experiences. Now, combine that attribute with the ability to share 10-seconds worth of content, appealing to the short attention that humanity has developed, is a recipe for success. Snapchat has managed to take all the positive aspects of each big-name social media platform. Further, they’ve incorporated them all into one social media application – photos, videos, filters, emojis, artistic doodles, and text without it permanently being stuck on the web. However, there’s still the option of screenshotting a snap, so think twice before you send that risky photo. Researchers have also found that the way individuals interact accounts for Snapchats success among its users. Interactions are not ‘transactional’ like a text message, or as impersonal as a status update on Facebook and Twitter, but rather more ‘conversational,’ and it has the ability to place users in the exact moment an event occurred.

With all of these amazing features intertwined within Snapchat, some may wonder how does the social media app make money. Snapchat has found an interesting way to disguise ads between Snaps, and stories. Individuals are likely to see ads when they shuffle between stories. However, these ads are not your typical 30-to-60 seconds long. They are shorter, much shorter. They can range anywhere from 5-to-10 seconds long, and the best part is that they can be skipped by users. Contrary to many people’s belief, millennials are less likely to pay for an application than any other generation.

Another reason why Snapchat has become so popular over the years is due to its relevancy. Twitter has an endless stream of tweets, and users often move on to another application before they get a chance to read a tweet from someone they care about. Meanwhile, Facebook feeds are either filled with people that you don’t often consider close friends or click-bait. Click-bait is a coined phrase that describes an interesting title, but redirects to an uninteresting page when clicked. The unfortunate case of Twitter and Facebook is that users spend a lot of time trying to find that small sliver of content that is relevant and interesting to the user. Snapchat is much different. Yes, there is a lot of content on Snapchat that is waiting to be found, but Snapchat allows you to follow, view and receive content from the people you care about. Snapchat even has a section called Discover which is news-like content, and even that section can be editable. Users can select which publications, new stations and TV channels they want to view.

The last reason why Snapchat has become so popular, and probably the most important, the application is just downright fun to use. Users can attach goofy stickers, funky lenses that add a mask, manipulate the structure of your face or add geofilter sliders that indicate which city or location you are in while Snapping. Even the Discover aspect of Snapchat, which is probably the least interesting part, is still more engaging than Twitter Moments – a similar news like attribute.

Team members of Glint regularly use Snapchat, so we decided to conduct an internal survey:

What is it about Snapchat that you like the most?
“I love Snapchat because it allows me to capture raw moments of life. Anyone can record an event and add effects to make it look more appealing, but with Snapchat, the moment itself is appealing; not the effects added to it. It’s authentic and unfiltered. I love using Instagram, but every photo and video I come across looks like a glossy imitation of reality.”

What don’t you like about Snapchat?
“I do not like how you can screenshot users content. I have had friends screenshot embarrassing photos I have sent before, and it would be great if Snapchat could remove that feature. Hint, hint, Snapchat.”

What do you use Snapchat for?
“Initially, I used Snap to send photos and videos, but as Snapchat evolved, so has the way I use it. I now use Snapchat as my preferred method of communication. I use it to for text messages and phone calls. The best part is that the app allows me to add a personal touch to my message specifically tailored for whomever I’m sending a message to.”

Would you ever stop using Snapchat?
“The first step to recovery is acceptance, and I accept that I’m addicted to Snapchat, but I can only see myself stop on the off chance that my friends stop using it. There would be no reason for me use an application if my only form of interaction was viewing other people’s stories. I like sending and receiving content from friends.”

There’s no doubt that Snapchat will become a household name like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It’s interesting to note that Facebook saw the potential of Snapchat just after a year of its creation. Facebook offered Snapchat $3 billion dollars to buy it out, but to many people’s surprise, Snapchat declined the offer. Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars in 2012, and Facebook has made Instagram the number one photo sharing application in the world. Facebook may have had a different plan for Snapchat, but no one is complaining about the potential fate of Snapchat under Facebook control. If you haven’t used Snapchat yet, we encourage you to experiment with your friends, and if we have one recommendation it would be this: if you’re not willing to risk that Snap being screenshotted then don’t send it.

 

 

What Do You Notice?

Are subliminal messages in advertisements real or are people trying to see something that isn’t there? Are advertisers that good to make you think you see something you don’t? What about supraliminal messages? Subliminal messages are most commonly known in advertising and appeal to your unconscious mind, but there is a second type of message known as supraliminal messages. Supraliminal messages are designed with a purpose and appeal to the conscious mind to give a bigger impact on what the brand provides. Within this blog, you will be able to see the difference between the two types of messages.

Just like advertisements, you might see an image hidden within a logo. Since the logo is a key piece to making a brand successful, if you see a hidden image there is a purpose behind it and typically relates to a service or product the brand provides. Hidden messages within logos are referred to as supraliminal messages because they can be picked up by the conscious mind and are clear, direct and outright, making them more powerful.

FedEx incorporates an arrow between the “e” and “x” to show the speedy delivery they offer to their customers.FedEx_logoTostitos uses the two “t’s” to represent people and the dot from the “i” to make a bowl of salsa, showing two people coming together to share tortilla chips.

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The Hershey’s Kisses logo also has a hidden image. Between the “k” and “i” the shape of a sideways chocolate kiss can be seen.

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Hidden images within logos are specific branding elements that brands use. The supraliminal messages within logos add power to the brand’s key attributes and positioning, and the conscious mind can find the images. Finding a hidden image in a logo is much easier than an advertisement. The trouble that comes along with subliminal messages in advertising is that no one knows if they’re truly supposed to be there or not, and they are only to be picked up by your unconscious mind.

Skittles was caught in the subliminal message controversy with their packaging of the Berry Explosion flavor. A skittle was placed in front of the word explosion causing it to read “Sexplosion.”

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Other advertisements don’t seem to have a sexual message until they are manipulated. Heineken beer released an advertisement that had a suggestive image when it was flipped upside down.
Heineken

The most common subliminal messages found in advertisements refer to sexual images. Apparently, hiding unicorns and rainbows within an ad isn’t as much fun for the artist. The artist rarely reveals if they put sexual images into the ads on purpose or if it was pure coincidence and people are looking too hard.

Every once in a while, an artist does hide an image in the ad on purpose. In the mid-1980s, Coca-Cola released a campaign in South Australia that said “Feel the Curves” which featured the new bottle design and ice cubes on the bottom of the image. In one of the ice cubes, the graphic designer drew a sexual picture as a joke. This joke took a turn on him a year later when it was brought to Coca-Cola’s attention of what the ice cube was showing. The artist of the ad was sued and lost his job. After discovering the drawing on the back of a truck, Coca-Cola recalled thousands of posters and destroyed them. In this instance, it was not the brand that was responsible and instead, they were the ones deceived by subliminal messages.

14-sexy-innuendo-filled-food-ads-that-somehow-got-publishedAn old Benson & Hedges ad is one of the more controversial ads that is known for a claimed subliminal message on the woman’s back. Just above the man’s hand, a sexual image is seen. People say this image was in the reflection of the lights to match the words “soft” and “hard” used in the copy but no answer as to if it was on purpose or not has been revealed.

the-original-ad-is-on-the-left-subliminal-parts-are-highlighted-on-the-right

James Vicary introduced subliminal messages in 1957 when he said he had flashed “eat popcorn” and “drink coke” during movies at the theaters, and claimed that concession stand sales went up. By flashing the phrases on the screen for 1/2000 of a second, popcorn sales were claimed to go up by 58% and Coca-Cola sales to go up by 18%. Five years later, James revealed that the study was made up, and he had no actual evidence to support his claims.

Without evidence and with a confession, people still believe that subliminal messages in advertising exist. The idea of subliminal messages has caused research to be conducted over the years without an agreeable decision being made as to if they are effective or not.

The University of Utrecht conducted a study over subliminal messages in 2006. After their experiment of flashing “Lipton” on the screen during movie clips, they suggested that subliminal advertising was only effective with brands that the majority of people were familiar with, and in this experiment, if they were thirsty or not.

On the other end of the spectrum, BBC Research and Development conducted a similar experiment. The research team gave each person a bag of chips and put the word “Lipton” on the screen briefly during short film clips they were watching. At the end of the clips, each person in the group was asked to pick between two drinks: Lipton Iced Tea or water. Researchers found that the group was split down the middle, and there was no effect of wanting Lipton Iced Tea more.

Both subliminal and supraliminal messages exist. With subliminal messages, sometimes they are approved and other times they are not. Supraliminal messages are clear with their intentions and are noticed by the conscious mind, unlike subliminal images. Even if subliminal messages exist, the effectiveness of them is still up for debate. What side of the argument do you fall on?

If you have questions about branding and how your business can build and sustain a true competitive advantage, reach out to Glint at www.glintadv.com or give us a call at 817-616-0320. From large scale real estate developments, to hospitals, retail stores and credit unions, Glint has been helping clients define, refine and hone their brand strategy and imagery for over 16 years.