Go Engage Your Audience

Go Engage Your Audience

Branding, Marketing, Social Media
On your mark. Get set. Go. Go engage your audience like the organizers behind the TD Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race are engaging theirs. This popular road race, founded by the legendary runner, Joan Benoit Samuelson, in 1998, had to cancel its August 1 edition this year due to the pandemic. They decided not to go forward with a virtual version of the race, either. But they are doing something very smart and strategic to celebrate the race and engage everybody who’s a fan of it. They’re asking people to design their own version of the race’s start line on their driveway, take a picture of their artwork and share it on social media with the hashtag, #TDB2B10K. After the three most creative designs are selected, a winner –…
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Panera’s Free Coffee Offer

Panera’s Free Coffee Offer

Marketing, Restaurants
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as free coffee. Panera Bread has been offering free, unlimited coffee through Labor Day for a while now. All you need to do is sign up for it on the bakery-café’s website or app. Have you taken advantage of this ridiculously awesome offer yet? The consumer in me says it’s such a great deal! The marketer in me says it’s such a great campaign! In the infancy of the initiative, they were using Twitter to say they needed 500,000 votes for #FREECOFFEE4SUMMER to make the offer a reality. That got their audience’s attention - and the necessary votes. This subscription offer is classic direct marketing, signing up constituents for free, hoping to up-sell them,…
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Don’t Set It and Forget It on Social Media

Don’t Set It and Forget It on Social Media

Branding, Marketing, Social Media
Automating the publishing of some of your content on social media is a smart strategy. Automating all of it, not so much. Using an automation tool helps you maintain a continuous, uninterrupted presence online, but you don’t want to rely on it too heavily. You want to include plenty of authentic, real-time content in your social media stream, posts that show you have a personality, not just a pulse. You want to be conversational and opinionated, not simply factual, which is almost impossible to pull off if you’re simply setting it and forgetting it. Personalizing your messaging is where you’re going to see the biggest gains on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the like. The more engaging, the better. Don’t forget the social on social media. P.S. Don't have time…
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This Is the Time to Show the Human Side of Your Brand

This Is the Time to Show the Human Side of Your Brand

Advertising, Branding, Leadership, Marketing, Social Media
In these uncertain times, countless brands are adjusting their advertising and marketing messages. What about you? This is not the time to think you can just set it and forget it when it comes to communicating with your customers and constituents, especially on social media. This is not the time for your canned sales pitches. This is the time to reach out to your audience and ask how you can help them. During this pandemic, your business may still be in operation, but your focus should not just be on your bottom line, it should be on doing what you can for the greater good. This is the time to show the human side of your brand. This is the time to speak honestly about how the health crisis is…
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Staying in Touch With Your Audience During the Coronavirus Crisis

Staying in Touch With Your Audience During the Coronavirus Crisis

Advertising, Branding, Business, Leadership, Marketing, Social Media
Al Roker is delivering his morning weather forecasts for NBC’s TODAY show from his kitchen. Late-night talk show hosts like Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel are presenting new DIY incarnations of their shows from home, too. Popular musicians and celebrities of all kinds are live-streaming on Instagram, Facebook and almost everywhere else on social media, performing hit songs and connecting with fans. They are doing whatever it takes to keep the show going on, making a huge positive impression on viewers and listeners during these difficult days. Brands and businesses can be doing the same thing, too. In fact, some of your most meaningful communications could be taking place during these tough times. Your customers and prospects will appreciate hearing from you. But they don’t want marketing and sales pitches,…
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How Marketers Can Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak

How Marketers Can Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Advertising, Branding, Business, Leadership, Marketing
Amid the rapidly worsening coronavirus outbreak, marketers, advertisers, brands and businesses might need to adjust, if not pause their messages to consumers. It is important to be sensitive to the seriousness of this situation. The economy may be threatened, but lives are at stake. Take a look at any of your existing marketing campaigns and make sure to bring them up-to-date. Authenticity is always a priority in marketing, but now more than ever, what you say to your audience is a representation of how you feel as a brand. Business must go on, but think how you might be able to do things in a better way. Think like CVS Health. They announced today that they will deliver prescribed medications to customers for free. That's a win-win situation if ever…
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How Close Are You to Your Customers and Prospects

How Close Are You to Your Customers and Prospects

Customer Service, Mark Schaefer, Marketing, Social Media
In business, we want to think of our customers and prospects as relationships, not transactions. We want them to like and respect us, to think so highly of our businesses, brands, products and services, that they’re loyal to us forever. We want them to feel close to us, to know that we’ve got their backs, that we’re listening to them, that we care about them, that we want them to be happy with everything they get from us. I recently read a blog post written by Mark Schaefer in which he talked about something called parasocial relationships. That’s what I’m talking about in this post and the accompanying video. As Mark explains in his post – which you can read here – a phenomenon that started out in the ‘50s,…
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