joi, 22 septembrie 2011

The 5 Most Viral Facebook Campaigns

Before Facebook came along, viral marketing seemed like more of an abstract ideal than an achievable form of promotion. If anything, the social network has raised the bar: Now the proverbial Holy Grail is getting people to voluntarily circulate your message in their status updates.
Note the use of the word voluntarily. Using spamware to circulate a message in people’s status updates actually backfires, risking damage to any brand that attempts to try such a tactic. It’s a surefire way to piss off not only fans but also Facebook’s security team, which will kick you off the site.
Alas, we have yet to see a viral status update meme involving a for-profit brand succeed the way some non-profits have gotten their message across. And several of the most widespread repostings of status updates on the site have just been fun –and that’s largely why they spread.
Some preach that successful viral marketing requires you to think outside of the proverbial box, so with that in mind we’re going revisit the messages that spread the most on Facebook to see what band managers might extract from these success stories.

Breast cancer awareness

No one knows for sure whether this campaign originated from Facebook’s own female communications staff. It started with direct messages that women forwarded to each other explaining the goal of promoting breast cancer awareness: post as a status update only the color of the bra one wore that day, and don’t publicly explain what the post meant. The riddle aspect to it added fun to something that people perceived as a good cause, even though I doubt it actually motivated anyone to go get a mammogram.

Commit to vote

This campaign less than a week before the November 2010 election spread to 316,857 users within the first couple of days. Viral marketers would classify this message as an invitation to action. Plus, this application offered a very compelling reason for people to share with friends, and avoiding specific political parties and candidates maximized the appeal.

Haiti moment of silence

We still don’t know who started this successful campaign in January 2010, although it’s possible Facebook might have had a role — getting the site’s management involved is one of the most effective ways to “seed” or start a viral marketing effort. This one also included a call for action that inspired people to share with their friends. One could argue that the broader message about helping Haiti continues to live on, based on the frequency of postings on the topic.

Like my status and I’ll

The origin of this viral reposting remains a mystery, partly due to the fact that several variations on “Like my status and I’ll” spread. Most started with those same five words, followed by a promise such as: “I’ll tell you if I’d kiss you,” “I’ll tell you my first impression of you,” ”I’ll give you a random nickname,” “I’ll tell you what animal you remind me of,” “I’ll tell you what color you remind me of” and so on. All included an invitation and a bit of suspense — people clicked on like in order to learn whatever was promised, and reposted because they thought it was fun.

Urban dictionary

Reposted status updates invited friends to look up their own names on the urban dictionary and share the definition. Nearly all the definitions of people’s names involved bawdy humor — I noticed that five out of the seven definitions of my own name make me sound like someone fun to date. It’s easy to see why 1,045,658 people “like” this reference material’s page on Facebook, because sharing funny content seems like a core activity on the site.
Which messages do you think were the most viral? How might you seed your own viral marketing campaign?

miercuri, 14 septembrie 2011

What Is Cross Promotion ?

Cross promotion is a form of advertising that involves two or more parties. It's a good way to have other people help you promote your music or product. What happens is each party helps to promote the other party's product or service. A good example of an effective cross promotion campaign would be Visa. They tend to use this technique a lot. What they do is mention a store or whatever in their commercials. Let's say it's a dot com. will make a good example. Their commercials will talk about all that you can buy on "," and what a great place it is for buying that product. Then their ads will mention the Visa credit card is some way, shape, or form. In turn, "" will recommend that their customers use their Visa cards to make any purchases from the website. There will probably also be ads, and maybe even credit applications.

There are several different forms of cross promotion, but this is the most common. Basically what you are doing is getting other companies to promote your product. There's really not a lot to it once everything is setup. The up coming Olympics is another example of cross promotions. Companies will help to promote the Olympics by calling themselves "Proud Sponsors of the 2002 Winter Olympics." In return, they will get to not only place ads and banners around the various events, but use the brand name of the Olympics to add credibility to their product.

This is a great way to promote your product, but it might not be as easy for the unsigned artist to get going. What you'll need is a radio station or music store to help you out. Set up some sort of cross promotion with one of these types of companies that will be mutually beneficial. If it's a music store, you could have them give away certain promotional items like T-shirts, key chains, etc. with each of your album sale. In return, you would display a banner or something at your shows.

With radio stations, you might be able to set up some sort of On Location spot. This will bring people into your shows, and also allows the radio station to give away their own promotional items. These are just simple examples. Unfortunately, I can't devise a plan for you. Some things you just have to do yourself. 

The problem with cross promotions and indie artists is the fact that many of these companies won't take you seriously. You're probably going to have to prove to them that you can reach a decent sized audience. You're also going to have to prove that they will benefit from this deal. That will not be easy. The On Location spots with the radio stations may be a bit easier. You may have to pay for it, but it definitely will get people to your shows. If you are going to try this, prepare for a few let downs. This isn't easy to set up, but is definitely worth the time. Good luck

Attract More Customers Through Cross-Promotion

 Offer a reduced price, special service, or convenience if customers buy products from you and your partner.

Print joint promotional messages on your receipts. 

Drop one another's flyers in shopping bags.

 Mention one another's benefits when you speak at local events or are interviewed by the media.

 Hang signs or posters promoting one another on your walls, windows, or products.

 Share inexpensive ads in local shopping papers or a nonprofit event program. 

Promote your partner's products during their slow times, and ask them to do the same for you.

Pool mailing lists and send out a joint promotional postcard. 

Encourage your staff to mention how your partner's products can be used with yours.

Put one another's promotional messages on Lucite stands on counters or floor stands in waiting areas.
Give a joint interview to local media. 

Use door hangers, posters, flyers, or postcards to promote special offers for one another's products.
Give your partner's product to your customers when they buy a large quantity of your product, and ask your partner to do the same. 

Encourage your staff to mention how your partner's products can be used with yours. 

Co-produce an in-store or office event - a demonstration, celebrity appearance, free service, or lecture.

Use door hangers, posters, flyers, or postcards to promote special offers for one another's products. 

Give your partner's product to your customers when they buy a large quantity of your product, and ask your partner to do the same.

Internet  Cross Promotion Ideas

Advertisement: Banner or Link Exchange

You can post advertisement links or banners on each other’s sites. Look for people or businesses that share similarities with yours or are at least interesting to each other’s site visitors. For instance, if you sell party supplies, partnering with a party planner makes good business sense. Your goal is to be relevant.

Link It Up
Rather than leaving a long comment on a blog post, create an article around it and link back to their post.  You’ll add content to your own blog and you’ll be offering a little link love at the same time.
  When you are active in the blogging community you are consistently reading other articles and are aware of the topics.  Keep those in mind when you are writing your own articles and link back to them.

Guest Blogging

Most website owners allow 1 or 2 “do follow” links within the text and a bio with links  so the visitors can click on it for more information.

Share each other’s audiences and tap into one another’s insight.  It’s a win for everyone if done well.
Write website content and blog for each other. This is something that does take a little bit of your time but the rewards are great.  By contributing to a blog in your same niche you’re establishing yourself as an expert in that field as well as building links back to your site.

Blog Rolls
Much like link exchanges, but blog rolls have a more prominent place than an advertising text link and show your visitors that you recommend this other person rather than took money from them to gain that spot.
Blog Rolls provide your readers and Google a way of figuring out what you’re all about by who you read and look up to.

Blog or Product Reviews
  You see the big guys promoting one another all the time.  You always know when there is a new marketing or affilate product launch coming up when you see the same information coming from a group of people.  They have their own clubs they have created, so you know it works to create a mass viral effect.

Comment Club
  Another smart idea is to form a group of bloggers in your niche that will agree to leave comments on each other’s articles.  Honestly, I think this should be something we are all reciprocating without forming a club, but it may give us the motivation to kick it up a notch.

It’s like having an exercise partner.  You both want to get fit, but sometimes without that accountability of knowing someone is waiting on you it’s way to easy to put it off.  Having a group of commenters will keep you accountable and actively involved.

Bookmarking Buddies
  Digg, Delicious and StumbleUpon are great ways to get traffic to your site…IF they are being bookmarked.  Without an active base of friends or subscribers it’s nearly impossible to make it to the front page of a bookmarking site.  There are certain guidelines you must follow in bookmarking etiquette to keep from looking spammy, so don’t go overboard.

Cross Promotion References

^ Chris Blackhurst, Evening Standard, 26 July 2010, Get ready Channel Five, Richard Desmond is on his way

    ^ a b Contemporary Marketing, By David L. Kurtz, H. F. MacKenzie, Kim Snow. p521

    ^ Shada, Andrea L. (2008), Cross promotion and the Disney Channel: the creation of a community through promotions, Bethel University Press.
^ Picard, Robert G. (2005), Media product portfolios: issues in management of multiple products and services, Routledge. p116
    ^ a b The Ownership of the News: Report, Volume 1, Great Britain: Parliament: House of Lords: Select Committee on Communications, 2008. p58

    ^ Sweney, Mark (27 July 2010). "Channel Five chief reassures staff as experts question strategy". The Guardian.

 ^ Soares, Eric J. (1991), Promotional feats: the role of planned events in the marketing mix, Greenwood Publishing. p.155

Tent pole

n. something, such as a commercial undertaking, a story franchise, or a fictional character, that serves as primary support (for a company, television program, etc.), especially a blockbuster movie which compensates for a studio’s flops.

duminică, 4 septembrie 2011

Tools for Building a Business Mobile App

In a world where there’s always “an app for that,” more small businesses see the value in creating their own mobile apps. The technical know-how necessary to develop an impressive app and the cost of hiring a professional developer, however, have discouraged the production of many would-be branded applications. Affordable do-it-yourself alternatives give all companies — even those with minimal tech expertise — a way to create their own apps.
Even the code-illiterate can build passable apps using these four new platforms.

1. Bizness Apps

Bizness Apps focuses on industry-specific features. If you’re building an app for a restaurant, for instance, its builder might suggest that you add a menu and a specials feature. If you’re building an app for a gym, it might recommend a weekly workout planner.
It’s a difficult platform on which to customize beyond color choices, but it’s a tool that’s incredibly easy to use.
Platforms: iPhone, iPad, Android, HTML5
Price: $39 per month for the iPhone app plus $10 per month for an iPad, Android or HTML5 app.

2. Mobiflex

MobiFlex, while not the prettiest of the app creators, will integrate with back-end data sources and incorporates functions like the phone’s camera, speech recognition and GPS into its native apps.
There’s a better chance of creating and releasing a useful app with these features, but users also have a steeper learning curve than some of its competitors.
Platforms: Android and iOS
Price: A one-time setup fee of $99 plus a monthly fee of $25 for up to 50 users and two pages.

3. AppMakr

If your main objective for creating an app is to distribute content, AppMakr might be a good choice. Publishers such as The Atlantic and Harvard Business Review have made apps using the platform.
Other than adding content through multiple RSS feeds, uploading a photo gallery and sending push notifications, its code-free apps can’t do much. One appealing aspect for content creators, however, is the option to serve ads through several networks.
iSites, Swebapps and App Co offer similar approaches for content distribution apps.
Platforms: iOS
Price: Free

4. Red Foundry

Red Foundry offers options for the intermediate coder and newbie app builder alike. More advanced users can choose to design their apps with an xml-based coding system instead of using the startup’s template.
RSS feeds are the focus of the free version of the product’s point-and-click app builder, though it’s easy to add other extras like photo galleries, maps, social feed and commerce options like a Paypal donate button.
What’s most obviously distinct about the platform is its test-as-you go app,Viz. After you load the program onto your phone, you can use it to test your app as you build it.
The platform also makes widgets that show analytics, social activity and push notifications from your app that you can add to your desktop.