Category Archives: Marketing Tips

Why bother with YouTube? The benefits of online video

I was asked to answer a Quora question about the benefits of YouTube. Here is my reply. You can read more specific details about the benefits of YouTube on the Fletcher Prince Slideshare account
Fletcher Prince on YouTubeAs you may know, YouTube has been around since 2005, and since then, there have been tremendous benefits to posting on YouTube, but those have changed slightly over the years, as YouTube has changed. The incentive for posting depends on your objective. I’m just going to address the benefits and not the caveats and potential drawbacks for the purpose of this answer. The benefits far outweigh the drawbacks, by the way.

YouTube dramatically increases your visibility and by extension, credibility (as long as your videos are well done).  My clients have definitely seen benefits from posting videos on YouTube, as have I.

Benefits for Businesses

If you have a business, posting well-executed, relevant, informative and brand-enhancing videos on YouTube is a low-barrier-to-entry marketing tactic that will increase your search engine results online and is a proven reputation- and business-booster. CEOs turn to YouTube to gather information on businesses.

Having a presence on YouTube can differentiate your business from the competition online and the videos are easy to add to your business website.
Not only can you showcase your products or services, you can extend the value of your products or services by providing additional and helpful information to your customers or would-be customers.
I think one good rule of thumb is to try and keep your content 80% helpful/informative and 20% promotional.
Benefits for Nonprofits

If you have a nonprofit organization, YouTube has demonstrated results in leading to additional support and funding. People are visual and naturally respond to the power of storytelling — there is no better way to tell the story of your mission than with video.

Keep in mind that YouTube has a program for nonprofits and acceptance into this program will provide you with branding and advertising benefits at no cost to the organization.
Benefits for Individuals
If you are an individual, depending on your objective, YouTube can be a fun way to share your interests and passions, and make connections with other people who feel the same way, or who might benefit from your expertise. I’ve felt a great sense of accomplishment by sharing my tips for raising a child with autism on YouTube and people from all over the world have reached out to me for advice. That makes me feel like my struggle has had a wider purpose.

And YouTube is a form of creative expression. Most people find creative expression gratifying, whether it’s through art, music, writing, dance, etc . Creating videos is just another way of sharing what you are about, your experiences, and what matters to you. A very human impulse ūüôā

Conclusion

Those are my thoughts on the benefits of YouTube. You can find more tips on the Fletcher Prince Slideshare page. Remember, YouTube is a powerful medium and the adage “Anything worth doing is worth doing well” definitely applies to YouTube video planning and production! Thanks for asking me to answer this question and let me know if you have any other questions about YouTube!

 

The Business of Valentine‚Äôs Day

valentines-day-clipart-3Are you getting ready for Valentine’s Day? You’re not alone — more than half of Americans wait until the week before to buy presents and cards.

Here are some fun factoids about this special day….

Valentine’s Day is big business

  • Although Americans spend more than $13 billion on Valentine‚Äôs gifts each year, the National Retail Federation predicts they will spend more than $17 billion this year.
  • The average of amount of money spent by a Valentine’s Day shopper is over $130.
  • 83% of Americans will share and enjoy candy with each other on Valentine’s Day.
  • Valentine’s Day is the number one sales day for florists. Red roses make up 63% of sales.
  • 151 million Valentines (cards) are exchanged. Half of those are given to children.
  • People send more than 15 million email valentines each year. Remember, first class postage stamps just went up to 49 cents on January 26.
  • 40 million heart-shaped boxes of candy and other confections are sold for Valentine’s Day.
  • 40% of smartphone owners will use their phone to shop for Valentine‚Äôs Day.

Women and Valentine’s Day

The numbers indicate that women take Valentine’s Day very, very seriously.¬† VERY seriously. If you love a woman, consider yourself warned!

  • Only 14% of women in a relationship don’t expect to get anything.
  • Women buy 85% of Valentine‚Äôs Day cards.
  • 36% of women buy flowers, and 14% of women send flowers to themselves on Valentine‚Äôs Day.

Men and Valentine’s Day

The numbers also indicate that maybe men deserve a little bit more attention on this special day…

  • 47% of men in a relationship think they won’t get a gift for Valentine‚Äôs Day.
  • 74% of men say they will buy a gift for their significant other
  • 47% of men expect to get a card.
  • 83% of men would rather get chocolate than flowers.
  • More than 30% of men plan to spend more this year than last year.
  • 73% of flowers bought on Valentine‚Äôs Day are bought by men.
  • While 20% of men say they would love to get sports tickets for Valentine‚Äôs Day, most (70%) say they would just be happy to have sex.

The sociological impact of Valentine’s Day

  • Nearly 62% of Americans agree that celebrating holidays like Valentine‚Äôs Day brings happiness in tough economic times.
  • 10% of marriage proposals are made on Valentine’s Day (about 220,000).
  • 85% of men and women say sex is an important part of Valentine‚Äôs Day
  • An average of 11,000 children are conceived each year on Valentine’s Day. This is a long, holiday weekend, and Valentine’s Day is on a Friday, so that number might be a wee bit higher this year. Hospitals, take note.
  • More than half of women (53%) said they would end their relationship if they didn’t get something for Valentine‚Äôs Day.¬† The requests for divorce lawyers goes up 40% in mid-February every year.

Weird but true…

  • In Japan, the custom is for women to give chocolate to men, rather than vice versa.
  • South Koreans who don’t receive anything for Valentine’s Day eat black noodles on April 14 (Black Day) to mourn their single lives.
  • It is illegal for Muslims to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Saudi Arabia. Red flowers may not be sold on this day, and non-Muslims can only celebrate behind closed doors.
  • On February 14, 2011, Malaysian officials arrested more than 100 couples for illegally celebrating Valentine’s Day.

 

Happy Birthday, Facebook!

7655276690_51e104dd07Can you believe it? Facebook is ten years old today.

Mark Zuckerberg — along with co-founders Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin — launched Facebook while attending Harvard University in 2004.

Facebook now employs more than 6,300 people all over the world. The company has an annual sales revenue approaching $8 billion, with a net income of $1.5 billion.

Just how popular IS Facebook?

There are more than a billion Facebook users, and guess how many people use Facebook on an average day? 757 million! To give you an idea of how many people that is, that’s more than twice the total population of the United States. And 81% of those users are outside of the U.S. and Canada.

Facebook factoids

Facebook is the second most visited website on the Internet.¬† Here are some interesting new stats from Pew Research Center…

  • Despite what you may hear to the contrary, teens 12-17 are still quite active on Facebook.
  • Half of all adult users on Facebook have more than 200 Facebook “friends.”
  • The average number of Facebook friends among adults is 338.
  • 64% of Facebook users visit the site every day.
  • 44% of people “like” something their friends post at least once a day.
  • 31% comment on a post at least once a day.
  • As many as 25% of Facebook users say they never update their Facebook status.

Facebook Pages

Facebook Pages was introduced in 2007, presenting brands and organizations with a way to engage with followers. That’s when we started our Fletcher Prince Facebook Page and started building branded Facebook Pages for our clients.

Do you have a Facebook Page? The average number of fans of a Facebook Page (in the category of Pages with 1,000 followers or less) is now 327, up from about 130 a few years ago.

The top five brands on Facebook in the U.S. today are Wal-Mart, Target, Amazon.com, Samsung Mobile USA, and Subway. Wal-Mart also has more “Likes” (what we used to call fans) than any other Page on Facebook.

Nonprofits do well on Facebook. 57% of Facebook fans say they liked a nonprofit on Facebook to show their support of the nonprofit to their friends. But 43% un-liked a nonprofit if it posted too many updates asking for money.

President Barack Obama is the politician with the most fans/likes on Facebook. Eminem is the celebrity with the most fans/likes, and Family Guy is the show with the most fans/likes. The most popular museum on Facebook is the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).

The day that gets the most engagement on posts on Facebook Pages is Thursday, with photo updates getting the most likes of all (results vary, depending on Page category and content). Updates that pose questions generate the most comments on Facebook Pages.

The 2014 Color of the Year

swatch-cardFor more than a decade, Pantone’s Color of the Year has influenced product development and purchasing decisions in multiple industries, including fashion, home and industrial design, as well as product packaging and graphic design.

The company has just announced that PANTONE¬ģ 18-3224 Radiant Orchid is the color of the year for 2014.

Radiant Orchid blends fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones. In design and fashion, it pairs well with olive and hunter greens, turquoise, teal, light yellows, gray, beige, and taupe.

In selecting the color of the year, color experts at Pantone examine trends in films, art exhibitions, travel destinations, and society, among other influential factors.

‚ÄúWhile the 2013 color of the year, PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald, served as a symbol of growth, renewal and prosperity, Radiant Orchid reaches across the color wheel to intrigue the eye and spark the imagination,‚ÄĚ said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute¬ģ.

‚ÄúAn invitation to innovation, Radiant Orchid encourages expanded creativity and originality, which is increasingly valued in today‚Äôs society.‚ÄĚ

We are all for creativity at Fletcher Prince! What do you think of the Color of the Year?  How might you use it?

Small Business Saturday marketing trends

SHOP_SMALLNovember 30th marks the fourth annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers.

Why Shoppers Are Shopping Small

The trend for shopping small is increasing, with 35% of consumers stating that they like to shop at local small businesses, up from 27% last year. New research indicates why shoppers are drawn to small businesses for their holiday shopping

  • 57% believe it’s important to support local businesses
  • 49% are attracted to unique merchandise
  • 39% say local businesses offer personalized service and suggestions
  • 25% say area businesses typically offer good prices

Retailers Get Ready for Small Business Saturday

With five fewer shopping days between Thanksgiving and Christmas in 2013, many small business owners say they’ll be pulling out all of the stops to get customers into stores during the holiday shopping season.

For many of the small business owners who are aware of Small Business Saturday, the day will be a part of their promotional calendar. Of those small business owners incorporating Small Business Saturday into their holiday plans, 70% say Small Business Saturday will be helpful in attracting new customers. Additional findings from the surveyed owners reveal

  • 67% will offer discounts
  • 39% will collaborate with other small businesses to promote Small Business Saturday
  • 36% will offer coupons for future offers or discounts
  • 33% will offer a gift with purchase
  • 33% will rely on social media most to promote Small Business Saturday to their customers
  • 32% are starting their holiday promotions earlier than last year
  • 21% will increase the number of employees working on Small Business Saturday

If this doesn‚Äôt make you run out and buy stamps…

how to send holdiay cards image

…I don’t know what will!¬† I’ve got a compelling statistic to share with you today that may change the way you communicate with your clients this holiday season.

Let me ask you a question.  How many email holiday greetings did you receive from businesses, associations you belong to, and nonprofits?  Okay, and now how many greeting cards did you receive from them in the mail?

Did you get more email greetings than mailed ones?  Has your company opted to email holiday greetings instead of traditional cards?

Did you think that was the right decision? Well, you might want to run and buy some stamps…now!

According to a new study, people prefer traditional cards sent through the mail by businesses they frequent (86%) to emailed versions (7%).¬† And that’s a big increase from last year in 2012 (80% vs. 12%)./¬† If that whopping statistic is any indication of related preferences for B2B communications — and my guess is that it is — then we all better stock up on greeting cards!

The truth is nothing really beats direct mail for impact any day of the year, and when it comes to the holidays, people still skew traditional and heartfelt.

While email greetings are terrific (especially if they include a holiday greeting video, which can increase the open rate by 50% and more), a beautifully designed card conveys the message to the sender that his or her relationship is valued by your company or nonprofit.

Your friends at Fletcher Prince would be happy to help you design a custom holiday greeting card to mail to your clients and customers this year.

Holiday Stamps for Business Greeting Cards

pr13_083Speaking of holiday mail, the 2013 holiday stamps are now available from the US Postal Service.

The whimsical Gingerbread Houses Forever stamps sheet feature images of four different gingerbread houses set against a bright blue background. The houses were designed by gingerbread house architect Teresa Layman under the direction of stamp art director Derry Noyes and were photographed by stamp artist Sally Anderson-Bruce.

Recommended Mail-By Date

Be sure to mail your greeting cards no later than December 14 to ensure holiday delivery.

 

93% of marketers are using online video now

Extra effort can make your video worth watching.

Extra effort can make your video worth watching.

Yes, you read that right!  eMarketer just released the stats. 93% of marketers used video for online marketing, sales or communications in 2013, up from 81% in 2012.

Why has online video become so popular as a marketing tactic?

  1. It works like a voodoo charm.
  2. It’s unique and attention-getting.
  3. It is easier and less expensive to produce now than it once was.
  4. It plays well with others: email, ad campaigns, blogs, Facebook, websites, Twitter, and, of course, YouTube.
  5. And anyway you slice it, it looks pretty darn impressive.

Some of the most popular reasons marketers are turning to online video include explaining new products and services, generating sales leads, and increasing SEO, to name a few.

But what if you are still a newbie?  How should you get started with online video for your company or nonprofit?

Well, in my opinion, when you are experimenting with a new marketing tactic, the best approach is to pick a low-risk project that may also be a bit fun. That doesn’t mean that you invest less than 100% in effort and planning.¬† But while you are in the learning and experimental phase, pick something that is perhaps not critical to your marketing efforts.

That might be, for example, a holiday video, like a Thanksgiving message.¬† It’s easy to do and it’s heart-felt.¬† You can embed it in an email and send it to your clients or customers.

Now is an excellent time to start thinking, long-range, about your video marketing plans for 2014.  I would love to have that conversation with you.  And if you would like help with video production, we do that, too.  Be aware that this study indicated that professionally produced video yields better marketing results than amateur productions.  Our prices start at $1200/video with substantial discounts for multiple video packages.  So let us lend a hand!

 

When PR and marketing work a little too well…

Not a huge fan of Miley Cyrus’ new image – but commentator David Johnson has a point — she and the people behind her brand crafted a strategy, carried it through, and stayed on message. That’s the¬† PR/Marketing lesson for today.

Also interesting: Twitter played a big part in bringing her to the media forefront.

According to this author, tweet activity is a factor to sponsors and advertisers now, and MC was the topic of more tweets than any other performer during the MTV Video Music Awards program.

So, we’ve got another example of how branding works, and how to leverage Twitter.¬† PR-wise, it works.¬† But is everything about PR?¬† For that matter, is everything about being successful and a household name?

Doesn’t the music still matter?¬† Or is that a really naive thing to say? Is it really all about twerking now?

It makes me sad to think of all the musicians who have dedicated years to learning and perfecting their craft — who put all their creativity into music, making untold numbers of sacrifices along the way, and they are eclipsed by someone who wiggles their bottom.

I know the music industry is competitive and branding is nothing new to performers. Still, I have to wonder: at what price did her current success come?  Will she look back at this time and have regrets about the damage she did to her credibility as a musician?  Or is it all about the money?

Sometimes, I think what we learn and apply in PR and marketing can work a little too well, you know what I mean?  It can take on lightning speed.  Her transformation was meteoric. Perhaps that was the intent.

To illustrate, here are two videos.¬† One is from less than a year ago, December 2012.¬† To me, then she had an image that she could own. Her voice is not spectacular, and the song is Dolly Parton’s, but she could have built on this.

And this is Miley, today… Her look and sound seem like a formulaic, success-built hybrid of Madonna/Gwen Stefani/Lady GaGa.¬† Her voice is still unimpressive, she can’t dance, and the video is gratuitously salacious.¬† She has all the presence of a little girl walking around in her mama’s shoes.¬† But she offers shock-value.¬† She got views.

The thing is: where does she go from here?  This is flash-in-the-pan marketing, and the only way to maintain it is to just keep dialing up the shock value.  Musically, she has nowhere to go, unless she metamorphoses once again, because this is all packaging.

I just question whether a 20-year-old is in the position to make these kinds of life-changing decisions.  Maybe she is.  Someone in PR and marketing is advising her.  Is this responsible?  I hope they can live with the results.

A great business card is a powerful budget marketing tactic

Business cards on bulletin boardI’ve asked some of my favorite bloggers to guest blog and provide us with some of their favorite creative and affordable marketing tips.¬†

Check out what Deborah Brody has to say about making the most of your business cards.

In this age of smart phone bumps and cloud-based contact lists, it may seem a bit old-fashioned to advocate for the business card.  But the business card should be the ace player in your budget marketing arsenal.  A business card is cheap (relatively speaking), portable and useful. It gets your information right into the hands (and hopefully, databases) of the people you connect with. Done well, a business card keeps you connected with your prospects and brings you business.

However, not any old business card will do. You should spend time (and money) to get this little piece of marketing real estate done right. If someone picks up your business card from a pile of cards, it should be immediately obvious who you are and what you do. Following are some tips to make the most of your business cards.

Spend the money to get professional graphic design. You could do this as part of a letterhead and/or logo package, if you are just starting out. You aren’t like everybody else, so why have a non-customized card? Make sure to use your colors, logo and maybe even an image.

Print your cards professionally, on good paper stock. Nothing says unprofessional more than flimsy cards printed on your ink jet printer. There are many online, digital printers that will do your cards for a fraction of the price you would pay a traditional offset printer, while making them look spectacular.

Make the best use of the space you have. This means using the back of the card, perhaps to list your services, provide your bio, offer a discount code or even have a version of your card in a different language.

Include as much information as possible, thinking of what would be relevant to someone looking to do business with you.

Information that must be on the business card includes:

  • Your name and title
  • Organization or business name
  • Website
  • Email address
  • Phone/Mobile
  • Address
  • Tagline and/or short description of what your organization does (if not obvious from the name)

Other items you may consider adding:

  • Twitter handle
  • LinkedIn information
  • Testimonials from clients
  • Skype information

Finally, a word about design: Some folks get uber creative with their business cards, and in some cases, that helps to bolster their brand or show off their design chops. However, weird card shapes may be a conversation starter or be more memorable, but they are less likely to fit in conventional card holders or card scanners. Keep that in mind. Same goes for the layout. I prefer a horizontal layout, since that is how most cards are read.

Deborah Brody, principal of Deborah Brody Marketing Communications, is a marketing writer and consultant. Read more at www.deborahbrody.com and follow her on Twitter at @DBMC .

2013 will be the year of mobile

For years, pundits have been proclaiming that mobile will finally deliver on its promise of being a major marketing and PR channel, and until very recently, that promise hasn’t materialized.

Well, all that has changed, as you’ve probably noticed.¬† And according to the folks at eMarketer, 2013 will truly be the year of mobile, whether the message is on smart phones, iPads, or readers.

Check out this interesting presentation from eMarketer, which is chock-full of stats and examples.

%d bloggers like this: