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August 2016

How Hot Will Your Brand Be Tomorrow?

The hottest newest brand or brands attract a lot of consumer and media attention. When they’re hot. But whatever is hot today is rarely still hot next quarter.

 

Updates, fads and trends are coming faster and more frequently.

 

That’s why former hot brands like Dell soon get crushed by Microsoft. And Microsoft gets toppled by Apple. And Blackberry moves out of favor as iPod comes on the scene, and so on.

 

At FocalPoint, we think there is a lesson in all of this for the rest of us. As soon as a hot brand becomes exceptional, it’s hard to grow, move ahead and make changes. Why? Because the ‘wow’ is working too well for you at that moment, and it’s hard not to drink your brand Kool-Aid.

 

We think brand evolution and flexibility are the best responses to the ever-changing, fast-paced competitive marketplace. So we work with our clients to continually improve our client’s brand. Even when it’s hot. This is particularly true in today market.  I just came from a speaking event where the subject was in part how the product lifecycle has changes and you really do need to be reinventing your product or service while it is still a hot commodity.

 

We want to be sure our clients’ positioning re-earns attention and re-connects in new ways so it stays in line with what’s important to their customers.

 

We make it a point not to drink any brand’s Kool-Aid here.

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Big picture. Small steps

Spearheading a new product launch or marketing initiative? Although all of us understand change is ubiquitous and needed, it does seem to be in our very nature to resist it. And that we all do, in big ways and small.

If the marketing launch you are undertaking is massive, here at FocalPoint, we recommend taking small steps from the gate. Here’s what we mean:

For instance, separating communication about the initiative from action. Start by outlining what’s changing and provide a clear “why.” Customers, staff, senior advisers and folks on down the line – even the voice in your head – all need that.

Follow that first step by parsing out a series of additional ‘bite-sized’ steps, and attach a dateline to each. This way, you can provide those in your organization with a chance to taste success one step at a time, and build confidence along the way.

Every couple of weeks, provide a status update and remind your team (and your customers, as appropriate) of the big picture.

Breaking any big marketing change down into smaller elements while keeping the big picture in mind can help everyone in your organization appreciate the ultimate goal, gain positive momentum and contribute to its ultimate success.

Does Facebook Live Make Sense for Your Business?

Should your business use Facebook Live?

That’s a good question.  And one that I am going to help you answer.

I have talked in the past about live video streaming services such as Periscope and Meerkat.  But what many of these channels don’t have that Facebook does is a large audience for your business.  Especially the small to medium sized businesses.

Why Facebook Live Is Important

If you have been doing any type of social media marketing over the past few years, odds are you have spent time and money growing your Facebook brand page.  Well, just this month Facebook started making its Live feature available to ALL brand pages (previously it was just celebrities and larger companies like Mashable) which means you now have a new way to reach your audience.  And it’s not just a new way, it’s a way that gets 3X the amount of engagement vs. regular posts.

Needless to say, Facebook Live isn’t something to ignoreBut is it something that makes sense for your Internet marketing strategy?

Should You Invest Resources In It?

If your business or brand hosts events, then the answer is yes.  If your company is in the business of news, then the answer is yes.  Or if you are the “spokesperson” for your brand or business, then the answer is yes.

Beyond that, I think it’s up for debate.  As with anything, just because the technology exists doesn’t mean you should use it.  Where I think Facebook Live can really be an asset is when it’s utilized as an extension of something you are already doing.

For example, let’s say you regularly answer FAQs from your clients/potential clients on social media and your website.  Well, Facebook Live can enable you to offer a more personalized, unique way to answer these questions.  Now you’re not just providing an answer in text, you’re doing it on video, LIVE, where the user can see your face and understand your expressions.

What I am getting at is the point that Facebook LIVE is a great way to HUMANIZE your business.  It’s not rehearsed.  It’s not over-produced.  It’s real people connecting with real people and as the saying goes, “people buy from people, not companies.”  So if adding the “human” element is something that makes sense with your brand/online marketing strategy, then I think it’s worth attempting.

WTHR Facebook Live

Facebook Live Example

Let’s take WTHR for example.  You see personalities like Angela Buchman and Chuck Lofton on the air, but do you feel like you really KNOW them?  You may know a scripted version of this weather team, but using Facebook Live WTHR can share what goes on behind the scenes.  How storm systems are REALLY analyzed, what the temperature is like in the studio, what news reporters have for “breakfast” when breakfast is a 2 AM.  To sum it up, you learn about the PEOPLE behind what you see on screen.  And more often than not, those are the ones viewers really feel connected to.

The image is a screen shot from one of WTHR’s Facebook Live broadcasts.  In 6 minutes, they had 1.5K viewers and over 100 comments.  By the end of the broadcast, it was more than 3K views and 3oo comments.  This was nearly 40% more than anything else they posted on their page for the week.  Sure, they are in the business of news and have the on-air talent, obviously, but if you have any type of audience on social media – the same engagement rules apply.

Here’s The Deal With Facebook Live For Business

Look, live video isn’t anything groundbreaking, or new.  And it’s definitely not something for every business.  Maybe less than half of the businesses out there.  But I do think Facebook Live deserves some attention.  Why?  Because it is Facebook.

Until now, other live streaming services just haven’t had the audience or ease of use that I think Facebook has.  I believe it’s already the core part of most people’s online marketing strategies and adding a new feature to that is way more useful than the thought of taking on another social network.

Needless to say, in order to make Facebook Live (or any type of video for that matter) work, you need to have the right people on camera.  If your CEO or President is incredibly boring in real life and doesn’t come off well in a video – then going live on Facebook might be a complete disaster.

On the other hand, if your CEO is charismatic and has a great story to tell or isn’t afraid to jump on camera to answer questions from customers in real-time, then Facebook Live could be an awesome tool to add to your online marketing strategy.  I’ll leave you with this…

The other big opportunity with Facebook Live is that hardly any businesses are doing it right now.  Sure, it’s new and newness will wear off.  But when it comes to social media marketing and online marketing in general – aren’t we all looking for a way to break through the noise?  Especially a way to do it that doesn’t cost us marketing dollars??   Well, right now, this IS the way.

Need Help?

Focal Point can help with your Internet marketing strategy.  We can help you determine if tools such as Facebook Live are right for you.  Contact us online today!

*Photo of The Rock from TechCrunch

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