Image Marketing Consultants Advise You To Get On YouTube Today

Thinking about creating a “how-to” video? If not, you should be. The company reports over 100 million hours watched in 2015.

YouTube “how-to” views are continually growing, in fact 70% year over year. It’s an opportunity for brands big and small to get “seen”. Millennials are the key drivers of this growth and Google cites that 67% state they can find a YouTube video for anything they want to learn. It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s at their fingertips.

The most popular “how-to” searches are related to home-improvement, beauty and cooking videos. However, don’t let that discourage you if your business or product does not fit into one of these categories; video is still a powerful SEO tool that all brands should be using.

Watch this short video on the best way to create your own video. Enjoy!


Your Customers Want Good News, Explains Image Marketing Consultants

Even though here along the Northeast Corridor the weather for Easter probably will be chilly, those we at Image Marketing Consultants talk with plan to do something special outdoors.  Yes, it has been a harsh fall and winter, Sandy followed by Nemo.

Your customers or, if you are a professional services firm, your clients want a fresh start.  This is an opportunity for you to resonate with them emotionally by highlighting messaging, providing promotions, and sponsoring special events that assure them that the world is a good place to be and full of joy and opportunity.

The most simple way to do that, of course, is through your decorations.  The impact of that could be profound if you invite the community to participate through volunteer work for fundraising or a contest.  For example, a bakery in Central Connecticut can donate its window for those in the neighborhood to showcase their renditions of renewal and those enjoying the display can make contributions to the United Way.

More complex is to design promotions which help clients not only save on their fee with you but also improve their business operations.  For example, the graphics firm will not only create a logo with a spring discount but also give a complimentary tutorial on the most effective designs for communicating your unique branding.

This season also aligns with your passing on your own good news.  Send out a press release on how much your boutique has grown since the recession ended or the 10 new products you have launched.  Create a video of a walk-through of your facility, explaining what the equipment does.  Then you can place that in your Media Center on your website, Facebook, and as a link on your blog and Twitter account.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for your marketing, public relations, partnership, special events, and social media needs, 203-404-4868.


Your Narratives May Be Holding You Back, Warns Image Marketing Consultants

There was a business which positioned itself as the best friend of the frugal.  Its mission statement described how it pulled out all stops to supply the budget-conscious with the best quality at the best price.  The enterprise did well.

Then a relative who had studied design introduced into the chain upscale merchandise ranging from Coach-like pocketbooks to hand-crafted earrings.  Those sold like hotcakes at premium prices.  Yet, the business considered stopping the line because it conflicted with the mission statement.  In short, what the business said about itself or its narrative was getting in the way of more revenue and profit, with not a lot of heavy lifting.

As the economy keeps changing and organizations find themselves with new challenges and opportunities, their narratives can be holding them back.  They might have adopted a risk-averse stance, for example, in hard times.  Now that times are better for them those narratives about staying the course are constraints on growth.  A bakery whose story is about total indulgence is hesitating in introducing heathy desserts.  A writing firm which has been serving small business and promotes that in all its marketing material feels it cannot bid on larger accounts.

In short, your organization’s story about itself or its narrative can have more negative impacts than any competitor might.  Here are four tips on how to break the hold of the past on your present:

Identify your narrative and determine if it still is accurate. Remember that everything changes.  You organization is continually reconfiguring itself and you might not have realigned your marketing materials, including the mission statement, to what is really happening now.

Calculate the risk of adding or deleting elements from your story. You might be considering adding “luxury you can afford” to your identity as an ecommerce company providing the best bargains of the web.  The risk could be reduced if you phase in the phrase, along with the merchandise, “Including some luxury items you can afford.”  Consumers are more apt to accept change that is introduced in small bites.  Ask for feedback on the addition or deletion. Consumers love to express their opinion.

Conduct small experiements. Even a mom-and-pop business can do test marketing.  All that takes is to conduct small experiments which do not disrupt the rest of the business.  For instance, the bakery can restrict one shelf to healthy desserts and promote them in a muted way. If that turns out to be too quiet a launch, then the counter person can offer complimentary samples to customers and an employee dressed like a vegetable or fruit can distribute flyers about the introduction in the neighborhood.

Host a special event, all the better with partners. Stage celebrations to include consumers in what’s new which stays. Special events are becoming increasingly in demand because Americans, after so many tragedies and disappointments in the 21st century, want to come together and enjoy being with each other.  Also, they are weary of digital connecting.  The bakery which is grossing one-third of revenues through healthy desserts can orchestrate a celebration in the neighborhood.  The theme can be taking care of ourselves.  That can be done in partnership with other healthy players such as the yoga studio, gym, farmers’ market, and chain drug store.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation on your positioning, marketing, public relations, partnerships, special events, and social media, 203-404-4868.

“Downton Abbey” – Image Marketing Consultants Advises on Marketing/PR Opportunity

“Downton Abbey” returns to PBS on January 6th.  Americans have fallen in love with this idealized version of the past, ranging from formal dining every evening to cooperative arrangements between the employer and employees.

Clients and prospects ask us at Image Marketing Consultants how they can leverage this amazing bit of pop culture for marketing and public relations.  Well, there are infinite possibilities to capture the good spirit and style of the series and use those to bond with customers and prospects, get the attention of media, and produce engaging material for your own social media.

For example, eating establishments can christen a certain dish or snack after a character in “Downton Abbey.”  A fine chocolate or elegant dessert could be listed as “Mary’s delight.”  In addition, there can be an evening a week designated for serving all the courses the family at the Abbey traditionally eats.  Formal attire required. Invite the media to sample the sweet fare and settle in to an old-fashioned dining experience.  Owners can also promote this special event through their social media.  Have members of staff live blog and tweet, video tape, and take photos. Some of those can be takeaways for guests.

Another approach is to partner with one or more other businesses and nonprofits for a contest to depict in print, digital, video or audio the specialness of “Downton Abbey.”  Through this kind of alliance the prizes can be significant and the media could be attracted to the story. There are also fun ways to play with this meme on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, and Google+.

A third suggestion is to declare a “Downton Abbey” day or retreat in the workplace in which management and labor try fresh ways of becoming an authentic team.  That could include guest speakers, panels, and role playing.  Your communications department can generate plenty of internal coverage on this experiment.

Every so often, a bit of pop culture embeds itself into the national consciousness.  That won’t be forever.  Yes, it’s a use it or lose it.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation about your marketing, partnerships, public relations, special events, and social media, 203-404-4868.



Holiday Marketing: Thinking Outside the Usual Box

Black Friday is a week from today.  That means businesses will be competing aggressively for sales.

One of them – Toys R Us – has come up with an outside the usual box tactic for getting shoppers’ attention.  That’s having children anchor its TRU News Network to describe the hot toys of the season.  That simulated news is being run on television as commercials as well as through social media such as Facebook.  The target audience is anyone who needs to know what kids really want as that special gift.  They will get that information straight from the kids themselves.

The genius of the tactic is that it turns expectations upside down.  The good news is that it doesn’t take rocket science to come up with your own out of the box approach.

That can be as simple as playing with traditional colors.  Instead of green holiday trees for your business, you have black ones decorated with white ornaments.  Another could be a public interest message not to overspend.  The Federal Reserve reports that the average credit card debt for households is $7,150.  That could attract more than just shoppers.  The media could show up.  There are endless possibilities for special events such as Santa Claus or Mrs. Claus working out with a personal trainer at your spa.  In addition, you can always run a contest for the worst kind of promotion for the holiday season.

Marketing need not be expensive.  A good contrarian idea well executed could cost you pennies per acquisition of new customers or more purchased by current ones.

Kate Sirignano, founder of Image Marketing Consultants, invites you to a complimentary consultation for marketing, partnerships, public relations, special events, and social media, 203-404-4868.


TV & Online Video – Where to put your marketing dollars, advises Image Marketing Consultants

“Kate, I read that when Mitt Romney made his speech in prime time, there were 23 percent fewer television viewers than four years ago when John McCain spoke.  Am I wasting my money advertising on television here in Connecticut?”

With so much change in media and so many more choices, Image Marketing Consultants is receiving an increasing number of questions like this one about how to spend marketing dollars.  The answer to this business owner is: It depends.  That means that for every promotional campaign, B2C enterprises have to start from square one in investigating options, their costs, the probability of success, and how to test out tactics before making a significant commitment.

Television advertising, for example, may seem to some B2C enterprises to be too much to risk in terms of dollars and possible conversions.  They have a hunch that it would be cheaper and more effective to create their own online videos to distribute on YouTube and through their own digital platforms such as their website, blog, Facebook fan page, and twitter account.  Not so fast, at least not in isolation.

For example, personal injury law firms have to dig around for how their most successful competitors are navigating the marketing mix.  A major personal injury lawyer who started out in Connecticut and now dominates New England emphasizes television and ads on public transportation and billboards.  His web presence is just developing.  Therefore, a competing firm could view digital as the space to pounce, not attempt to compete toe-to-toe with him through other mediums.

Image Marketing Consultants recommends: Slow down, study the terrain, experiment.  Monitor results.  Approach marketing as the work in progress it has become.

Kate Sirignano, Millennial founder of Image Marketing Consultants, provides complimentary consultations in Marketing including Advertising, Partnerships, Public Relations, Social Media, and Special Events, 203-404-4868