Stones in the Internet Marshmallow

Marshmallow_ChallengePutting stones in advertising and marketing marshmallows is what SMS has been doing for more than thirty-five years, and with communication advancements such as cloud technology coming to the fore, the Internet is actually beginning to resemble a big, interactive marshmallow with virtually everyone concentrating on Internet promotions. This means it’s time for SMS clients to add a few stones to their web initiatives to “fetch up” visitors and make their company and products more memorable.

We’ve come up with a couple of economical ideas that are working for some of our clients, and they can work for you as well. Call these the “stones”, if you will:

MiniMobileSites ™ – Low-cost mobile sites are essentially “mini” versions of a company’s existing site and are accessible by smart phones and tablets. They can feature advantages and benefits of products and product lines, display up-to-date supply inventory, and most importantly, keep your message in front of clients and prospects wherever they may be.

VidiShorts ™ – Low-cost video shorts can be easily incorporated into existing web sites to educate and bring a higher level of interest to your products. Also, a series of VidiShorts can be displayed in a loop at trade shows to attract attention and/or made available via QR codes in any area of your booth for later viewing.

We think these stones can get you and your products more attention and increase retention times in the minds of prospects. After all, that’s what good marketing is about.

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The Press Release: Not Just a Thing of the Past

bullhorn-softwareAs we approach the halfway point of 2014, it might be a good time to consider using a selection of press releases to highlight newer products and services, as well as create a more visible, corporate market presence. Many believe that press releases can only be used for new products, and that’s not necessarily true. Any product that has not been the subject of a release for a period of six to twelve months is suitable for being “released” once again into its appropriate marketplace(s).

Many SMS clients successfully use press releases to support their mature product lines, and they utilize other marketing tools and techniques, along with releases, to push newer products into the marketplace. Releases continue to be an important – and ongoing – marketing tool.

Video and Animation: Priced to Move

old-improvedSMS has re-structured some of our video and animation pricing to reflect the many new ways videos are seen and used in today’s markets. Producing a video today requires a far more flexible approach to collecting images and arranging them for viewing on multiple platforms of presentation. Due to improvements in affordable image manipulation and the increasing breadth of Internet viewing experiences, wider production value ranges are becoming usable for company marketing initiatives. As a result, the cost to get your message moving puts a smaller dent in your budget.

For example, the company literature photos and existing footage sitting somewhere in a back closet can often be dusted off and used again. As well, new life can be breathed into photos and footage captured to document an application installation or instructional seminar by cleaning them up and animating them around the screen. Another example would be short clips or “spots” that use a cocktail of new and “old” imagery to promote products and services on social media channels such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. With the right hands on the right tools, anything previously created can be polished afresh to fit the right presentation.

By taking this approach, more of our clients will be able to use video on their web sites to enhance and support their company’s key selling messages and showcase their strengths and capabilities. As always, adding video improves website visitor impressions by making them influential and lasting, leading to stronger customer relationships.

Five Things to do if You’re Responsible for Your Company’s Marketing: Pt. 5

5. Invest a Set Amount of Time Each Day or Week to Social Media – Of course it’s nice to have a blog or a presence on Facebook®, MySpace®, and Twitter® where you can have a direct dialog with your customers and prospects, but these marketing vehicles, while not needing a lot of start-up time, should have a dedicated human capital investment. Sure it’s a lot of fun to set up the look of your site – picking complementary colors, pictures, and the latest font design – but just like the leather scent of a new car quickly losing its smell after a few months, your new blog will soon need regular upkeep and maintenance. If social media has, or will have a place in your marketing plans, make sure someone in your organization is responsible for its upkeep or hire a competent ad agency, with its own full-time social media personnel, to keep abreast of pertinent social media trends, your competition’s activities, and to perform ongoing updates for yo

Five Things to do if You’re Responsible for Your Company’s Marketing: Pt. 4

4. Use Discounts Only as a Last Resort – While there are many deals out there, be careful not to quickly discount your products and services. Customers are very smart, they know if they can buy your widget for the sale price of $100 today, there’s a pretty good chance they can buy it later at the same price whether you are having a sale or not. Before you offer a discount try to think of other ways to add value to your product or service?

 

Five Things to do if You’re Responsible for Your Company’s Marketing: Pt. 3

3. Update Your Website – Many people do or don’t do business with you before you even know it. How? They look at your website to check you out. It’s like asking your friend about an upcoming blind date… “Is he cute?” What’s your website saying about your company? Is it ugly? Maybe it’s time for a makeover.

 

Five Things to do if You’re Responsible for Your Company’s Marketing: Pt. 2

2. Send a Letter – While e-mail remains a very popular, convenient, and inexpensive way to communicate, it’s becoming extremely inefficient in generating new business. Impenetrable filters block out anything remotely looking like spam. And if your e-mail uses a weak headline, you can be sure it will remain in junk mail purgatory forever. The bottom-line – If your e-mail doesn’t immediately strike a chord with the recipient it will probably get deleted without ever being opened no matter how great your offer may be. Why not take the time to write a well-crafted letter and send it via the United States Postal Service. By sending it snail mail it will stand out, resonate, and more likely get opened by its intended recipient.