December 03, 2008

Online Marketing Tips Video: Engaging Your Audience

By Li Evans

I know it'd Wednesday, but still working on fixing the kinks with my software.  Let me tell you, Adobe CS4 Premiere Pro is a memory hog!  More so than CS3 - big difference.  I wrestled with things till very late last night and decided to finish it up today. 

This week we've got 3 tips on how to Engage Your Audience.  Whether its your blog, your community or even MySpace or Facebook, these 3 tips if put into a social media strategy can help you interact, and engage the members of your audience and maybe even turn them into evangelists!

Full "Engaging Your Audience" Video Transcript After The Jump...

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips Video: Engaging Your Audience" »

October 05, 2008

Getting Your Audience to Listen - Turning the Mundane Into Extraordinary

By Li Evans

Airlinestewardess "Attention ladies and gentleman, if you would reach forward into the pocket in front of you and pull out the safety instructions card, we will now go over the safety features of this aircraft....."

How many times have you heard that?  How many times do you tune it out?  How many times have you put your headphones on and turn up your iPod (if you're still sitting at the jetway), concentrate more on chapter 4 of the book you brought on board to read, put the ear plugs in and drift off to sleep as soon as that steward picks up that telephone intercom and starts reciting that safety speech on any major airline that you travel today?

"In the event of a water landing, your seat cushion can be used as a flotation device...."

Continue reading "Getting Your Audience to Listen - Turning the Mundane Into Extraordinary" »

August 13, 2008

When Blogging & Reviewing Can Get You Banned from a Cruise Line

By Li Evans

Biggest WhinerHave you ever been on a cruise where someone complains about every little thing?  Maybe the ice cubes aren't cold enough?  They didn't like the free gift they got each night, or maybe those towels weren't properly folded into a perfect swan?  Maybe the captain's bow tie wasn't tied right at dinner?

In search, we all know the power of the written word.  As bloggers we know the value and the impact a review can have.  Just look at how tech companies bow at Michael Arrington's feet to have him review their products, services or websites for TechCrunch, as an example.  TechCrunch's opinion can make or break a website or service.

But what about those customers who never seem happy, never easy to please, and always seem to complain just to get the next freebie, percentage off or deep discounted vacation?  What about those customers who always use the written review as a "weapon"?  Do business have the right to fight back?  Can they?  How in the world do you fight back from a customer who seems like a "troll", who's word jeopardizes your business?

Continue reading "When Blogging & Reviewing Can Get You Banned from a Cruise Line" »

June 08, 2008

How Do You Find Your Audience?

By Li Evans

Boy looking for something more, Photo Credit Flickr User Poofy"I get I need to go where my audience is, but how do I find them?"

I hear that question quite often, not just in my Social Media Training Classes, but from clients and even friends who are just venturing out into this world of online marketing.  "Where is my audience, how do I find them?!"  is asked, over and over again.

The other night I was sitting in the McDonald's drive through waiting on my  fries to be handed to me, and I saw classic car, after classic car pull by and then park further up in the parking lot of this McDonald's.  By the time I got my fries and went to pull out of the parking lot, over half the parking lot was filled with bright, shiny chrome, classic, muscles cars and some antiques, too.  There was even a smaller group of souped up imports forming as well.  Then it dawned on me, I saw this happening on really warm, clear Saturday nights in the summer at this McDonald's before.

There isn't a sign promoting this congregation of car enthusiasts to come to McDonald's, and McDonald's doesn't do anything to promote it either (perhaps though they should!).  So how do these car owners who love to hang out and discuss engine blocks, chrome and how fast they can get to 60 mph know to come to McDonald's when the conditions are right?

They asked a friend.

Unless you ask, you won't find your audience.  They aren't out there with signs pointing to them saying "Hey! I'm here come talk to me!"  And one word of caution, seriously, no matter how cool an advertising agency might claim that to be in a pitch to you, don't tread down that path. 

My Dad's 1965 GTO ConvertibleAsking a friend, and receiving a response is a form of word of mouth marketing.  You are taking the recommendation of your friend to go hang out with your fully restored 1965 Pontiac GTO Convertible (AKA "The Goat") at the MickyD's and that you'll get along with the crowd there because you have something in common.  You trust your friend, how or why would he steer you wrong?

The same goes for finding your audience online.  Ask your most loyal customers!  Say you are sneaker company launching  a new soccer cleat line and you want to know what's most important in a Soccer Shoe.  Stop and ask your loyal customers "Hey we're trying to find people who love Soccer to get their opinion on helping us develop a new shoe, is there some place you go online to talk about your love of sports (or Soccer)?"

You might be amazed at the feedback. 

There are other places you can ask too.  Ask a search engine, although they don't give impassioned responses as a human would, a search engine can return a list of forums or communities related to your interested, if you ask the right way.  You can ask your blog audience, Facebook friends, or even your Twitter followers (when twitter isn't down that is) and find new places every day.

The point is, you can't expect your audience to tell you where they are.  You have to ask, if you don't ask, you'll never know that they are hanging out at the local McDonald's on a Saturday Night!

*Top Photo Credit, Flickr User Poofy
Check out the other photos in this user's photostream!

May 22, 2008

What American Idol Can Teach You About Marketing

By Li Evans

American_idol_top_3_season_7 I'm not an American Idol watcher.  But as a marketer, and one who loves social media and word of mouth marketing, there's nothing greater than seeing this powerhouse show in action.  Some of the time, the "Wisdom of the Crowds" works out, sometimes it does not.  Sometimes the crowds are with the judges and sometimes, the judges are just so way off base (and I'm not talking about Paula's weird & wacky actions).

This year was the first year I have actually not seen one episode of American Idol.  Usually I at least watch the first few episodes that feature the rather "quirky" performance, hey they turned out William Hung, so it can't be that bad, right? It's it's not unusual that William Hung's awful talents grab the nation by storm, he had a story, his story was "hey I gave it my best shot" and "thank you".  Two things that seem so rare on the entertainment world.

David Cook was this year's American Idol winner.  Interesting thing about it this year was that all three judges (that'd be Scowling Simon, Ever-So-Cool Randy and Whacky Paula ) the night before pretty much were crowning David Archuletta as the winner.  However, the crowds had a lot to say, 97 million votes later David Cook's story and talents appealed to the masses more than his 17 year old competitor's.

The thing that makes American Idol such a powerhouse, and such a "sensation" year after year, is that it's good at telling stories.  So good that sometimes it's the stories behind the contestants that propel the winner into the top categories, or even to fame if they don't win.  Sometimes those stories help the contestant win the hearts of their local audiences, too, as in the case of Temptress Browne of Philladelphia.

Continue reading "What American Idol Can Teach You About Marketing" »

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