“…the future comes apace…” – What Is Ahead for Emerging Media?

The world of emerging media is changing rapidly and will likely continue to do so in the future.  Look at blogging – what started as a simple web log of ideas and thoughts of individuals has turned into an amazing marketing tool for businesses. What does the future hold for emerging media?

Opportunity.

Here is a short video of the opportunities ahead:

Companies will find that their opportunities will grow as more people adopt more and more technology.  Being in the right place at the right time with the right message will allow companies to connect with their consumers.

Whether it is wearable tech or a smart appliance that talks to your smartphone, new technology is growing as companies make new discoveries each day in how their consumers use not just technology but also how a consumer uses their product.

What do you see for the future of emerging media?  What challenges do you think marketers will face?

Advertisements

“I’ll write it: follow me…” The Power of Blogging for your Business

 

Many businesses have blogs as another way to connect with their consumers.  What is a business blog and how do businesses use them?  Why do they have a blog when they already have a website?  Business blogging is another way to reach consumers, and most businesses should have them to show their customers just one more side to the company.

What is a Business Blog?

Blogs themselves, according to Cio.com, are a “contraction of Web log, which is a website where users post journal-like entries that are displayed in reverse chronological order, with the most recent posting at the top of the page” and have various different topics.  There are food blogs, where users post recipes and cooking pictures, writing blogs where the subject is writing and publishing, mommy blogs about homemaking and childcare, and computer blogs about computer developments and repair. Pick a hobby or business, and there is likely a blog about it.

Business blogs, however, differ just a bit, although the format of reverse chronological order often stays the same. Hubspot.com defines business blogging as a “marketing tactic that uses blogging to get your business more online visibility.”  The way that visibility is found is through the content created through the blog.  Have the right content on your blog, and it is likely that someone will discover your business and services through the blog post, and from there, what your business has to offer.

Why is a Business Blog Important?

A business blog will allow customers to find you on your website.  How does this happen?  Through content!  A blog allows you to post content related to your business. The customer can then find you through that content.

For instance, if your business is a building supply store, you could write a post about remodeling a kitchen. In that blog post, you could include “cost-saving,” “contractors,” and “timelines” in your blog post about remodeling a kitchen.  Someone doing an Internet search for “kitchen remodel timeline” could likely stumble upon your post and discover the fact that your building supply store will deliver to their residence and work with their independent contractor.  Posting advice about how to keep costs down during a remodel, tips about doing a remodel, or even a “look-book” post for dream kitchen remodels will have people continuing to visit your site, even when they are not necessarily remodeling.  If they hang out on the site long enough, it is likely that they will become a customer.

How to Use a Business Blog

Blogging just to blog will not work for a business.  Businesses must blog with goals in mind; business goals, marketing goals, and sales goals.

Business goals should first start with your business itself.  A blog is just another way to sell your company and your products to a consumer.  Since this is the first goal, your blog should reflect your company’s values.  The Content Marketing Institute states that your blog must display your company’s “loves, core values, and driving principles” to your consumer through what you post.

Marketing goals may seem like a no-brainer.  Post often and the people will come, right?  Well, not exactly. First, you must plan what kind of goals you want to reach.  Want more customers?  More B2B click-through? Build your reputation?  Remind people of your existence because sales have been slumping?  Figure out what goals you want by answering the question: “What do you want your blog to do for your business?”  Once you have those goals, then you can move onto content.

You must post the right content to have people find your blog.  Post content that is relevant to your field.  If you are running a marketing business and are hoping for more customers, posting a general blog post about your company’s history may not help, but posting something like “Ten Reasons Why Your Small Business Could Benefit from a Marketing Plan” could draw some customers to your doorstep.  Include a link to services, and you may find yourself with new customers asking about small business marketing plans your company may be able to offer them.   Think like the customer.  What is your customer searching for when they are looking for your business?

Sales goals can be tied in with marketing goals.  Are you interested in selling more of a particular type of product or service?  Go back to what your customer might use or need, and then write a blog post highlighting that product or service in relation to what your customer needs.  Make a case.  Back to the kitchen remodel example.  If you have an overstock of kitchen cabinetry you’d like to sell, creating a blog post highlighting the benefits of this particular line of cabinetry for someone on a budget, or even someone with a short timeline, may generate some sales after your blog post highlights the reasons why particular cabinetry is perfect for their project.

Overall, blogging can be a great tool for businesses, so long as it is used in the correct way.  Do you blog for business?  What would you recommend for a new blogger?

“There’s magic in the web of it” – Enchanted Objects and the Internet of Things

pablo.png

The Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is defined by Oxford Dictionary as “The interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data.” The devices vary and offer many different concepts for use in the business and domestic worlds.  Devices like the Nest Thermostat and the August Smartlock work with the Internet to give you access to devices that make life a little easier:

In business, many people are discovering that the IoT has numerous applications that may provide businesses a way to reduce downtime for their productions and services.  The IoT will allow businesses to collect information about their products in real time and use the data to know how the product is running,  how the consumer is using it, and what the equipment may need.  Using predictive analytics, businesses will be able to prevent equipment  breaking down before it happens, predict when a machine will likely need service or a part, and even allow customers to control changes in service according to weather patterns or employee use.

The IoT is a growing concept among businesses, but what does it mean for the average consumer?  How will an average consumer use the IoT in the future?  The average consumer will find the IoT thanks to devices that they already own and use in their daily lives.  Business Insider states that IoT connected devices will include  “kitchen and home appliances, lighting and heating products, and insurance company-issued car monitoring devices that allow motorists to pay insurance only for the amount of driving they do” among other things that consumers will be able to incorporate into their lives.

Enchanted Objects

Enchanted objects are deeply connected to the developing Internet of Things because they are connected to the IoT.  Enchanted objects can be defined by what they do for humans without any effort on the part of humans:

enchantedobjectsposter
Periodic table of Enchanted Objects from EnchantedObjects.com

The production of devices connected to the IoT are only limited by man’s imagination.  How many devices are able to be connected?  Baby clothes, pill bottles, fitness trackers, door locks, wallets, or even pens.

What are your thoughts about the Internet of Things and Enchanted Devices?  Do you think that this is a natural progression for technology?

“My reasons are most strong” – Top Ten Reasons to Love Social Media in Marketing

pablo

1.Social Media is present. – See things as they happen. Watch as conversations around your posts develop and mature over time. See what your consumers and clients are saying as they say it.

2.Social media is measurable. -You can track which messages are received the best by your followers. Data is present in almost every form of social media. Analyzing that data will give you actionable information to react to, whether that is discovering that sharing more photos will boost your click through rate or offering promotions as part of your posts will net your company more followers and likes.

3.Social media is fast. – Get your message out to your consumers faster without delays or airing schedules. Social media allows you to share things with clients and consumers faster than traditional media or news sources. If an event happens that paints your company in a bad light, you can use social media to respond and reassure your consumers all in one place hours before the evening news or newspaper.

4.Social media is able to put you where the customers are. – You can reach large amounts of people at the same time!. Social media gives you one more channel to allow consumers to discover your products or services without leaving the social media sites they already use.

5.Social media is global. – Anyone anywhere in the world can find you and follow you. Reach consumers in every country in the world through a social media site.

6.Social media is flexible. – There is a platform for everyone. Microblogging, blogging, pictures, videos – whatever the consumers would like to see, social media can do. The only limit is your imagination in how to use a particular platform to reach your consumers.

7.Social media is easy. – Almost everyone can use social media for their businesses. The platforms already exist, so no need to set up something special to try to reach consumers. No need for forums or listservs when your Twitter or Facebook account will serve the same purpose in getting out your message.

8.Social media is conversation. – Businesses can start a conversation with their followers and get in the minds of what they are really thinking. Hashtags and content tagging give consumers ways to find the content and allows you to link conversations as they happen. Follow the conversations through the content to find out what is really on your customers’ minds.

9.Social media is a way to see what your competitors are doing. – “Spying” is easy on social media. Discover what your business competitors are doing (or not doing) on social media and follow their trends and conversations to find out what is working and not working for them. Know why their customers love them and follow them. It may give you ideas about how to approach your own customers for the same products or services.

10.Social media is “digital word of mouth.” – Followers will share things with their own friends and families. This is probably the most powerful part of social media. Given the right motivation, enough people can share your message through “digital word of mouth” that no other advertising may be necessary. Find those passionate about your product or services and watch as they share that information with their own followers. Those followers may share that information, whose own followers may also share.

What are your favorite reasons to use social media in marketing?

“All the better; we shall be the more marketable” – Mobile Marketing

pablo

Smartphones are becoming pervasive

According to an article from the Pew Research Center, global smartphone usage increased to 54% of the population. This percentage increased to a median of 87% in advanced economies alone.

Mobile Marketing

With all of this growth in mobile device ownership, mobile marketing is also growing. In fact, mobile marketing is very much “as you like it” – fitting in where companies had never been able to go before. More and more companies are going where the customers already are, or rather, where they know they can reach them: through their mobile devices. A Forbes.com contributor, Kimberly Whitler, notes in her article about mobile marketing that it is the closest a company can get to the consumer. The consumer is carrying around a device that will deliver your message straight to them. Some will even invite you to do so through opting into a loyalty program.

Mobile Marketing and Loyalty Programs

Companies are using apps to connect to their consumers. These apps offer different levels of benefits for the consumer, whether that is offering coupon deals when they enter the building, discounts on regular purchases that are tracked as customer favorites, or even rewarding customers with loyalty points when they return to the store or purchase a product through the app in store.

What aspects of mobile marketing do you think are the most useful to marketers?


 

“…I’ll make a ghost of him that lets me.” – Augmented Reality in Media

Augmented reality is everywhere, and it is becoming more pervasive throughout our modern society. According to Merriam-Webster.com, augmented reality is “an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device.”

What does this mean for people wanting to reach their customers where they are at?

The ability to appear where they are!

Image result for augmented reality
An augmented reality image from Cohlab.com

Imagine that you are walking down the street and your mobile phone chirps at you.  A quick look at your notifications shows that you just passed your favorite retail store a few steps back and they sent you a digital coupon for forty percent off one purchase.  How likely would you be to turn around and enter the story to cash in a on a great deal?

Receiving digital coupons is just one application for augmented reality.  Ever wonder what a piece of furniture would look like in your home while in the store?  IKEA is working with augmented reality to allow customers to preview furniture in their homes before purchasing it.

How do you see augmented reality growing in the next few years?  Is this just a fad, or are we simply getting started?

“Brevity is the soul of wit” – Useful Twitter tools when space is limited

According to Twitter, the social media website is “a service for friends, family, and coworkers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent messages” in 140 characters or less. The reason for this seemingly arbitrary number is that the 140 character limit will allow status updates to fit into a text message, making the Twitter message (known as a “Tweet”) short and to the point.

What do you do if you have more to say than what will fit into 140 characters?  What if you want to include a link in your post, or a quote that is just over the limit?  Lend me your ears (well, eyes) and discover some tools I use to get around that limit and still convey the message I want on Twitter.

Links

Links can be rather long these days, especially if the original URL is long. A useful tool when using links in a Twitter post is Bitly.com.  This website allows you to shorten the link to a smaller link that will still go to the same destination. Bitly will even allow you to customize the links with branding (i.e. – adding your company name or initials at the end of the link), track the number of clicks the link receives, and also see analytical data of how the link was received in view of time of day and how it performs versus your other links.

Quotes

Sometimes, you can find the perfect quote for your campaign and type it up, only to realize that it over the character limit in Twitter.  What to do?  Pablo by Buffer is a great little tool that allows you to create images to use as you wish online (and images get more attention on Twitter!). You can choose a ready made template or start with a blank template.  They have 600+ pictures you can search or you can upload your own. Here’s one I made in just five minutes:

pablo.png

Are there any tools that you use on Twitter?  If so, which one is your favorite and why?

 

“…there begins new matter” – Emerging Media is Growing

Emerging media is a growing field; it seems that there are new ways and modes through which more and more people can be reached, whether through their computer, their mobile phone, or wearable technology.  Emerging media is extremely effective in reaching a large number of people due to the proliferation of technology and how it is used.  People check their devices constantly, and this constant attention means lots of reasons to reach out to where people already are.

People are using emerging media daily; one person may check the news headlines on Facebook while another may use the mobile phone to take a peek in the refrigerator while shopping. Another may discover the most amazing paint color scheme on Pinterest while another person finds pictures from their favorite celebrity.  A doctor may even use wearable technology during surgery if emergencies appear. Social media accounts are acting universal accounts for services like games and apps.


Social media and other emerging media are quickly becoming ubiquitous and will continue to grow as users and companies find new ways to use it.