Categories
Business Marketing

The Power of Brand-Driven Storytelling

Brand storytelling is the art of using a cohesive narrative to connect your brand with customers. The key to successful brand storytelling is to clearly communicate your brands’ core values in a way that resonates with consumers.

A recent study found that 55% of people consider buying a brand if they love their brand story. Of those people, 44% will share that story with others, and 15% will immediately purchase the product.

It appeals to consumer’s emotions

It is scientifically proven that human emotions are impacted by stories. Our emotions play a significant role in our daily lives, which also affects our buying decisions. When your brand tells a great story, you are speaking to the underlying reasons why a consumer might buy your product or service. A successful brand story goes well beyond just talking about the product, it’s about making a connection with your audience.

It humanizes your brand

In a heavily digital world, the human element can sometimes get lost behind a brand. Think about the emotions, values, and ideas your company offers to consumers and incorporate those elements into your brand story. A great brand story is always authentic and knows how to relate to consumers on a personal level. When consumers see that your company is made up of real people, it helps to build trust and customer loyalty.

It makes your brand unforgettable

Your brand story can give your company a unique edge and stand out in the crowded marketplace. With so much competition in the digital space, it can be very difficult for brands to stand out. It’s not enough to have a good product or service, you need to have a story that sets your brand above the rest.

Studies have found that storytelling will not only increase your brand favorability to your audience, it can also be up to 22x more memorable than facts. So rather than just sharing facts about your product, tell a story that clearly communicates your company values.

Using storytelling to get to $1 billion

The Dollar Shave Club exploded into the retail market with the launch of a hilarious video that creatively told their brand story with a direct aim at one of the biggest razor blade providers in the world- Gillette. This startup company tapped into a 30 billion dollar industry with Gillette owning about 70% of it. In March 2012, this video was released and went instantly viral – getting more than 12,000 orders in the first 48 hours. Just five years later in 2016, the Dollar Shave Club was purchased for $1 billion.

The Dollar Shave Club brand story was ingenious because it not only built a brand that inspired customer loyalty but it also simultaneously disrupted the brand story of a massive company. The Dollar Shave Club proved that brand storytelling  isn’t about the massive budget, it’s about the strategic brand narrative – one that communicates a meaningful message that immediately resonates with consumers.

Categories
Business eCommerce Marketing

Marketing in the Covid-19 Age

To say that 2020 is a unique time for businesses around the world is an understatement. There is no playbook for a health crisis such as COVID-19. This global pandemic has significantly altered consumer behavior and attitudes, ultimately changing the way people interact with your brand, find your site, and access your products. The ever-changing cultural window of COVID-19 is requiring brands to create at significant speeds just to keep their content relevant to the consumer.

Challenging times like these require marketers to be extremely nimble and develop an actionable plan to optimize business performance. This is where smaller, more agile agencies such as Spectruss have the upper hand. At Spectruss, we have the ability to quickly pivot in our marketing strategies to help businesses adapt in changing circumstances. By closely monitoring data, our team can test, learn, and adjust in real time to ensure your brand messaging remains relevant and your advertising efforts are correctly allocated.

As a marketing agency who has worked closely with brands during this time, we have found that businesses who quickly adapt their messaging, digital, and e-commerce strategies set themselves up for success. During this time of social distancing, our team implemented new digital solutions for our clients, allowing them to continue to serve their targeted audience in a unique way.

Social Media Campaigns

With the stay at home order sweeping the nation, cosmetic surgeons and medical spas were drastically affected, as they rely on face-to-face consultations with patients. For one of our clients, Refine Aesthetic Studio, we launched a social media campaign that offered virtual consultations for their clients. Utilizing digital technology gave the studio the ability to continue to help their patients, even with their office doors temporarily closed.

E-commerce

As consumers stay home and shift their shopping habits towards online, it was imperative to quickly provide an e-commerce solution for our client, The Furniture Shoppe, a high-end furniture store in the Chattanooga area. Our team took immediate action towards building a beautiful, functional e-commerce website which significantly increased the store’s online presence. This not only gave our client a solution to continue sales during the lockdown, but also created a platform that would maximize their revenue intake for years to come.

During this constantly evolving time of consumer behavior, it is imperative for businesses to quickly adapt. While we all hope that things go back to “normal” soon, companies must be prepared for the lasting impact on the consumer landscape. Brand messaging, digital, and product strategy may need to significantly evolve in the post-COVID-19 age.

Categories
Events Marketing

Why Brands Should Embrace Experiential Marketing

In today’s world, it’s harder than ever to get the attention of consumers. Brands are always looking for new ways to stand out against all the noise and truly engage their customers. An increasing amount of businesses are turning to experiential marketing, which offers immersive, memorable campaigns that help deliver a brand’s message without distractions.

So, What Exactly is Experiential Marketing?

Experiential marketing has been a buzzword over recent years and is gaining increasing momentum in the marketing world. This powerful campaign strategy brings a whole new light to the way consumers experience a brand.

Experiential marketing focuses on direct engagement with consumers by using creative interactions to leave a lasting impression. These experiences could include a live event or a pop-up installation. Its central focus is to provide consumers with a live, engaging experience.

Many brands have found huge success in experiential marketing. Check out some great examples of successful campaigns below.

JetBlue- The Icebreaker

Who doesn’t want to take a trip to the beach in the middle of freezing cold winter? JetBlue airlines used this opportunity to promote their new direct flights from New York to Palm Springs in a very clever way. They put various summer-themed prizes such as beach attire, golf clubs, and free tickets to Palm Springs inside a huge block of ice and told passing New Yorkers that anything was up for grabs.

A social media campaign was launched along with this unique experiential strategy, resulting in a huge success for JetBlue. Everyone loves free stuff, right? Giving away prizes in a unique, creative way gave consumers an engaging experience they wouldn’t forget.

Gatorade Combine

The Gatorade brand is widely known for its close association with professional sports. To create an engaging experience for consumers, Gatorade used experiential marketing strategies to test individual athletic abilities in the form of a combine. A combine is an examination of athletic skills that athletes must complete before going to the professional league. Gatorade worked with a number of companies such as Xbox, Kinect, and Sparta Science to create electronic stations that executed interactive combine tests for each participant.

The results for the Gatorade combine tests provided accurate information for consumers, giving them data and knowledge to apply to other areas of life whether it be workout routines or dieting. Experiential marketing proves extremely impactful to consumers when it not only offers entertainment but also valuable information.

Red Bull- Stratos

The whole world held its breath when Redbull performed a record-breaking, supersonic skydiving jump. Known for its bold actions and involvement in extreme sports, Redbull decided to take its marketing strategy to new heights – – 24 miles about the earth’s surface to be exact! Redbull developed an experiential marketing campaign known as “Stratos” and partnered with Felix Baumgartner, a skydiver from Austria, to accomplish this incredible stunt.

Redbull streamed this event on YouTube and received over 8 million views (the highest viewing traffic of any live stream broadcasted on Youtube!) Don’t be afraid to think big and push the limits with your marketing strategies. Leave a lasting impression on your consumers by using the power of suspense and giving your audience something new to experience.

Categories
Business

Spectruss Launches Video Production Services with Recent Hire, Nick Friend

A Chattanooga-based marketing agency expands in-house services for clients

 

Chattanooga, TN – July 9th, 2018– Spectruss, a marketing agency based in the Chattanooga, TN area, is thrilled to introduce Nick Friend as the Director of Photo and Video Production for the agency’s growing client list. This new addition will expand Spectruss’s wide variety of offered marketing services

Nick Friend joins Spectruss with an extensive background in filmmaking from major sets like Terminator: Genisys and Planet of the Apes, and Jack Reacher, as well as TV shows like True Detective, VICE, and Togetherness. From pre-production all the way to final delivery, Friend is in charge of making sure that Spectruss’s vision, along with their clients, is realized through photography film, and videos.

“I’m most excited to be a part of a close-knit tribe of ambitious professionals. Having worked freelance for most of my career, I’ve found absolute value in the people with whom I work. I think that the people that we meet and the places we go inspire the stories that we tell. I truly believe that progress can be dangerous but comfort is always lethal, so I’m really excited to join a new team and contribute to new and challenging projects, ” said Friend.

The Tennessee-based filmmaker takes an organic, collaborative approach to content creation. Above all, he believes that story is king and with a good story, comes great content. Here is the link to his film reel, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fptkqqoekrM.

Prior to Spectruss, he specialized in original, thought-provoking films and videos for brand and companies across the country. Friend has a Bachelor’s degree focused in documentary film from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, with a minor in creative writing.

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ABOUT SPECTRUSS

Spectruss is a Marketing agency based out of Chattanooga, TN that specializes in Marketing Solutions utilizing custom website development, graphic design, photography, online and print advertising, social media management, review management and data analysis. Its mission is to exert passion through every project, design, or website development they touch.

For more information about Spectruss, its clients, and services, visit https://spectruss.com.

 

Categories
Marketing

Why Use Video Marketing?

Video marketing is here, and it’s here to stay

Today, video marketing usage is rising rapidly among brands and marketers. Having a strong video marketing strategy plays a crucial role in the success of your outreach and branding efforts. It’s one of the most effective ways to thrive in your industry and attract more clients. This is mainly because it’s the fastest and easiest way to learn and retain information. Hubspot recently reported that 99% of those who already do use video, say they’ll continue to do so in 2018 and 65% of those who don’t currently use video, say they plan to start in 2018. What does this mean? That video is here to stay.  Think about this: A Facebook executive predicted that the platform will be ALL video in less than five years, and we already see that coming true. 

Other reasons why marketers rely on video:

  • 97% of marketers say video has helped increase user understanding of their product or service.
  • 95% of people have watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service.
  • 76% of businesses say it helped them increase traffic.
  • 83% of consumers would consider sharing it with their friends.
  • 80% of marketers say video has increased dwell time on their website.
  • 85% of people say they’d like to see more video from brands in 2018.

How to use it to your advantage:

Live Video/ Live Streaming

  • 82% of consumers prefer live video from a brand instead of social posts.

Live videos give a unique perspective on the behind-the-scenes of our company. Here you can live stream interviews, internal and external events, Q&As, presentations, and encourage engagement with viewers by commenting with questions.

Video Tutorials/ Demo

  • 91% of customers have watched a tutorial video to learn about a product or service.
  • 79% of customers would rather watch an explainer video to learn about a product than read text.

Showcase how your product or service works. Here you can take someone who is unfamiliar with your products and walk them through how it works to allow prospects to fully grasp its value and potential.

Brand Video

  • 81% of people have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

A solid brand video is the best way to increase relatability and trust by showcasing your company’s vision, mission, value, or products and services. You can even display your employee’s individual passions to allow viewers to connect. The ultimate goal is to build awareness around your company and attract your target audience.  Check out the Spectruss video.

Case Study and Customer Testimonial Videos

  • The top three most effective video types are product demo videos (49%), tutorial videos (50%), and customer testimonial videos (51%). (Forbes)

One of the most effective ways to build trust is by showcasing your happy and loyal customers. Describe the challenges and how your company helped them meet their goals.

Expert Interviews

  • 94% of marketers who use influencer marketing find it an effective practice, and can generate up to 11x the ROI of traditional advertising.

Find the influencers or thought leaders in your industry and conduct short interviews on camera. This is a great way to build credibility and establish authority with your target audience.

360-Degree/ VR Video

  • 90% of Americans believe that content will be better in 360-degree video than in a traditional one.
  • 59% of businesses that used VR video for marketing purposes said that is was an effective marketing tool.

Virtual reality allows viewers to navigate and control their experience. Brands should consider leveraging virtual reality at conferences and industry tradeshows.

When creating your video, think about these questions:

  1. Who’s your target audience?
  2. What’s the goal?
  3. When and where to share your videos?
  4. What’s the budget?
  5. Are there additional creative requirements?
  6. Who will be featured?
  7. How long should it be?
  8. Is it a series of videos?
Categories
Marketing

Content Marketing: 10 Editing Tips

A few tips to better your editing skills

 

As the content manager, editing is an integral part of my job and is expected to meet high standards. At first, this role was intimidating because I know everyone makes mistakes. After editing hundreds of pieces and learning from past mistakes, my fear turned into confidence. Within this process, I discovered ten editing tips below from hard-learned lessons that can improve your editing skills.

1. Start with technical errors

Here is where you extensively check for spelling and grammar. I recommend using grammar-checking apps like Grammarly.

2. Pick up some of the proofreading tricks below:

 

Switch up the time and setting you’re reading in

Isolate each sentence

Have someone else read it

Read out loud

Change up font type, size, or color

Point at the screen as you read

3. Check consistency

Overall, your content messaging should be consistent throughout your piece. Read through your content and eliminate any unnecessary words that don’t make sense. Sometimes these words are used to express a thought or used repeatedly.

4. Have style manual handy

Having your preferred style manual by your side is extremely helpful during uncertainty.  I personally use the Associated Press Stylebook as a reference guide.

5. Double check EVERY name, link, fact, stat, etc.

You never want to misspell someone’s name, especially a client’s name. Incorrect information can be misleading and audiences will question your credibility. The only way to uncover these preventable mistakes is to question and check everything.  

6. Look for passive voice

This is commonly known as a bad writing habit. You always want to try writing in active voice. Eliminate passive voice by making the subject do the action. For example, “Tickets may be purchased at the gate.” is passive. To be active, say, “Purchase tickets at the door.”

7. Cut down the number of words, but not ideas

Check to see if you’re using words exactly the way you intended. Start cutting down words with adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions.

8. Keep a list of past mistakes

A list of your editing mistakes isn’t there to remind you of failure. It’s there to remind you not to make those same mistakes again.  A successful writer can identify their editing weaknesses, and having this list in front of you can help reinforce them.

9. Use Command + F (Mac) or Control + F (PC)

This simple feature can save you from making a mistake at the hit of a button. All you do is press Command or Control + F, type in your problem word or phrase,  let your browser take you to the word in your piece, and swap it out with the correct one.

10. Finish where you started

Check spelling, grammar, and confirm names one last time before publishing. And again. And again.

What are your favorite editing tips? Share them in the comments section below.

 

Categories
Marketing

The Ultimate Content Marketing Plan

You have an important message.  You have a website for people to see the message and take action.

The only problem: Nobody goes to your site to actually see the message.

You could advertise.  However, that has it’s own set-of challenges.

This is why you need a comprehensive content marketing plan!

What exactly is content marketing?

According to The Content Marketing Institute:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

 

Content Marketing Plan

The important part about content marketing is that you want to create something of value for your ideal customer.  This piece of content cannot be just some ebook or blog post using generic content.  This content needs to be so amazing that it get’s shared within the audience that you are trying to attract.

Examples of Amazing Content Marketing:

  1. Lego Club Magazine by Lego
  2. Food & Family Magazine by Kraft Food
  3. Lauren Luke makeup videos by Lauren Luke (eBay seller)
  4. Health Hub Magazine by Cleveland Clinic
  5. The Furrow Magazine by John Deere agricultural machinery (began 1895!)

Aside from being a time-tested way to attract customers, millenials are especially attracted to content marketing.

After you develop content for your site, you now need a marketing plan to promote the content.  Use the checklists below to get some ideas on how to promote your content.

Content Marketing Plan

Once you have organized your content for sharing and optimized your headline to grab attention, you need to focus on marketing your content.

Here are some questions to ask:

Are you going to promote this content to your email list?

Are you going to syndicate this content to other sites?

Can you submit this content to any online forums?

Does the content mention other individuals and companies so they can promote the content?

Have you used social media meta tags?

Can you make slides outlining the content and put on SlideShare?

When do you plan on publishing the content?

What is a “content upgrade” you can offer so people can give you their email and get something of value?

Are you talking and promoting other people’s content?

 

Social Promotion

Social media is extremely important in sharing your content.

You want to produce content that not only gets viewed but also gets shared across social media.  It will take time to figure out exactly what type of content will get shared on the different types of social media platforms

 

Here are a few questions to consider.

Are you connecting on Twitter with your audience?

Are you using sub-reddits to add value and build a following?

Are you active in Facebook Groups that are relative to your company?

Are you active in LinkedIn Groups that are relative to your company?

Do you mention other experts when sharing on social media?

Are you scheduling your social media posts to when your audience is online? (Hint: this is REALLY important)

 

Promotional Tools

If you really want to leverage content marketing and are not prepared to work full-time, you need to leverage tools so you can be productive and efficient with promoting your content.

Here are a few resources you can use:

Use a tool like Buzzsumo to see what type of content is getting shared the most on social media that is relative to your subject matter.

Use a sharing tool like Snip.ly to add traffic back to your site no matter whose content you are sharing.

Use a tool like Paper.li if you are interested in curating an internet style newspaper that is relative to your audience.

Use Click to Tweet so your audience can easily share your content on twitter.

Use Buffer to schedule your content promotion on social media sites.

Outreach

The best part about content marketing is you control who talks about your brand.  Well, you at least control the start of the conversation.

Below are some action points after you publish your content?

Remarket to past visitors.

Reach-out to traditional journalist who publish content within your niche.

Curate content from other and republish on your domain.

Send direct messages to influencers on LinkedIn.

Reach out to people who share content similar to yours.

 

Summary

 

Hopefully these checklists will help you produce more engaging content with your audience.  Content marketing can easily become overwhelming.  The most important thing to remember is to take action.

Don’t try and implement everything at once.  If you attempt this nothing will actually get done.  Just focus on implementing one thing on the checklist.

If you need help creating content or want to talk about different ways you can attract more customers to your business, contact us at Spectruss by phone or email.

423-800-8633

[email protected]

Have a great day!