Blog : Audience

Your corporate advertising is not for your benefit

Your corporate advertising is not for your benefit

Purpose-driven marketing is a way for brands and businesses to bond with their target audience through their content based on shared need and interests. The ability to connect with your audience is more important than anything you have to say.

Any purpose-driven brand knows how to present their values and it’s “why”. The best brands we know have stories to tell and are relevant to their purpose.

Purpose-driven marketing is more than just content. There’s a “why” behind every brand or company’s content. That is why their content connects people on an authentic level. The content that is created is much more than just sales and marketing. It comes with a bigger meaning.

While most brands are familiar with giving back, they aren’t always familiar with creating content that will both engage their audience and drive them to participate. Success comes from developing content in an organic way that brings mutual benefits to all that are involved.

We all like to feel like we are apart of a bigger audience, and that we’re making a difference in the world. That’s why 6 out of 10 millennials have said they chose to work for an employer based on the sense of purpose. Having a purpose-driven brand has become beneficial for businesses due to:

  • Aligning leaders and team members around a common purpose, mission, and culture.
  • Attracts the right type of customers, employees, partners, and investors who believe in your values.
  • Motivates you and your team to be more productive.

Many brands have collaborated with other brands to bring a higher awareness to their cause. This is where purpose marketing shows the cause but also allows a connection to be made.

Dove is a great example of a brand that utilizes purpose-driven marketing. Their missions have been to empower women through self-esteem and confidence. Their “why” is to make a commitment to women’s well being, yet to also show customers that they’re more than soap and moisturizers.

Dove has stated for their self-esteem project, “At Dove, we have a vision of a world where beauty is a source of confidence, not anxiety. Our mission is to ensure the next generation grows up enjoying a positive relationship with the way they look – helping girls to raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential. Their message comes with a purpose other than just selling bath products.

Purpose-driven content marketing is important for any brand or company that wants to engage with their audience. The audience or target customer’s impact on this content is driven by a cause that is spread throughout larger audiences but also promotes the brand in a positive, relatable way.

Ad blocking: Who will pay for the Web?

Ad blocking: Who will pay for the Web?

Display advertising has long been the driving financial force behind the Internet. Ads pay for the consumer’s seemingly endless appetite for the content they consume each day. The market forces created by profit margins and the ever increasing power of market leverage are staggering. Together, they have driven advertisers to peruse an ever-evolving set of techniques and technologies to grasp either the user’s attention or information.

A growing opinion amongst users is that internet advertising is out of control. It occupies too much space, data, time, and invades too far into our privacy. Users have now been given the opportunity to block most of the advertisements that fill their screens. A critical problem created by blocking all of those advertisements is that ‘no ads equal no cash flow.’ With this new shift in power, who will pay for the web? How will the current economic model of the internet survive?

At the heart of the issue lies the following dichotomy: while practically everyone wants free access to almost all internet content, they want to yield profits from their own internet endeavors. They don’t want to have to pay, however, they do want a pay-day. No matter how you cut it – there is no free lunch. If you are on the internet, you are paying a price to someone.

With this cost in mind, several questions come to mind. What is a just and equitable compensation for ‘free access’ to content?  At that point of full and just compensation, do the data harvesting and advertising behaviors of the advertisers change accordingly?

There is no question the internet is a capitalistic environment. Publishers should be compensated for their efforts and content. The question then becomes ‘what is a reasonable price for their product?’ Should users be given a price or simply subjected to endless mining of their resources and data simply in exchange for access to content? These questions have established a blurry synergy established between the users and providers. How many advertisements are enough? At which point has the consumer fairly compensated the publisher for the content they have consumed? When has enough data been mined?

In the past few years, a growing debate has given rise to the concerns of excess. It is virtually impossible to access any online platform without being, for the lack of a better description, attacked by advertising or silently data-mined. The scary part of the equation is that while consumers are aware of the advertisements that are flashed endlessly in front of their face, they have no clue as to the nature, amount, or depth of the data about that is silently harvested behind the screen.

Bluntly, this is the price of doing business. If you access the internet, you will pay the piper.

There is a growing backlash over the increasingly invasive nature of net advertising. At the forefront of this battle are two corporate giants – Apple and Google. One corporation has built their business model upon the mining of data, the funds generated through online advertising, and content management. The other has provided the consumer with the ability to limit the access of that reach.

The recent release of Apples’ iOS 9 and OS X operating systems include “content-blocking extensions” (AKA  “ad-blocking software”). If users can now effectively remove advertisements from the ‘free web’ who will pay the bills?

This clash of titans was eloquently described in a recent posting. I’ve posted an excerpt from it here:

The central philosophical dispute over ad-blocking goes something like this: Publishers have no right to force readers to be exposed to certain kinds of ads or allow numerous third parties to collect their information without a prior agreement; readers have no right to read or view content that they don’t pay for in one form or another, be it with money or data. What is not in dispute is that if ad-blocking becomes ubiquitous (and there’s nearly every reason to think that it will be!) it will be devastating for publications who derive much or all of their revenue from advertising—which comprises most of the professional publications on the internet. When Murphy first posted about “an hour with Safari Content Blocker in iOS 9,” he asked, rhetorically, “Do I care more about my privacy, time, device battery life & data usage or do I care more about the content creators of sites I visit to be able to monetise effectively and ultimately keep creating content? Tough question. At the moment, I don’t know.” (With the impending release of Crystal, it seems he’s resolved that tension.) When I spoke with Chris Aljoudi, lead developer on uBlock, an extension that tells users how many third-party scripts are active on a webpage, and asked how sites should sustain themselves if all of their ads are blocked, he replied, “I’m not an expert on whether it’s a business model, I don’t think we need to know as developers of a tool like this.” Even if they don’t have solutions, “users need to be able to control what they are forced to come across,” Aljoudi said, using the example of nytimes.com, a website for which no known mandate of visitation exists.                                                                                                                                                                                                      – Casey Johnson writing for theawl.com

In order to provide “free access” to content, publishers rely upon heavily inserting code scripts that too often invade users space, take control of the window, or harvest an unknown amount about data about the user. Providers do this to pay the bills. A broader question for everyone is ‘how and when can equity be found for all parties at the table?’

At Colure, we are well aware of this consternation and provide a balanced approach to advertising:
The way we differ from our competitors is that we help our clients with a balanced advertising portfolio. Within this picture, display or PPC advertisements would only be a single component of the greater picture. We also recommend SEO, app store optimization, blogging, syndicated or sponsored blogging with influencers. Digital PR is critical; let us not forget our recommendations for social media with content management. At the end of the day, we move forward to find a proper, working balance between the needs of our clients and those of the public.

Communications with your client and their customer base is an ever evolving game of chess. If you would like to discuss your project needs, contact our project managers.

The importance of responsive web design for mobile devices

The importance of responsive web design for mobile devices

In a mobile environment, it is critical to provide users the finest quality user experience (UX). Web browsing must be experienced as a seamless transfer of form and function across all platforms. Consumers demand a fluid environment regardless of which device they hold in their hands.

To meet this consumer demand, Responsive Web Design (RWD) was crafted to provide fluid mobility to web content. Designer Ethan Marcotte was concerned with the collective elegance of both the internal code and the external page. He largely crafted the concept and practice.

RWD is the practice of building a web page able to display cleanly on any screen and any device, of any size. To the user, this means the media may be displayed a bit differently, graphics look slightly different, and there may be an alteration of function. But for the most part, the web page you saw on your desktop will display on your mobile phone.

A design problem:

Sadly, for many websites this is not the case. A non-RWD site may look perfectly fine on a desktop. That same site may become ‘user-hostile’ when viewed on a smartphone. Certain content may extend beyond the width of the screen (a common occurrence if it’s held in the vertical position). Some content and media may simply not display on different devices. Navigation throughout the site on a mobile device might be troublesome for a user because the design elements aren’t found where users expect them to be.

The reason for a responsive website design is to present users with a flexible interface. Without a responsive design, you risk losing potential customers who can’t figure out how to use your website or simply offending those who won’t accept its less-than-professional rendering on a mobile device. Either way, you lose face and revenue.

To create a responsive website, you’ll need the assistance of a design team who appreciates the desires of your company and the needs of your audience. Contact Colure to discuss your mobile design needs.

Protecting Your Brand Identity

Protecting Your Brand Identity

The increasing digital nature of the world has been a blessing to marketers. SEO-focused blogging and social media marketing have allowed companies to focus awareness and dramatically increase their profits for little cost. At the same time, the consumer-focused nature of this digital world has also threatened one thing, brand identity.

Establishing Your Brand Used to Be Simple

Before the internet placed so much power in the hands of consumers, your brand identity was in your hands. Businesses could control the messages about their company. They could control content, ensuring the perception of their brand remained positive and on-point.

A Plethora of Voices

Today anyone can go to social media and criticize your products and brand. They can write a blog posting that ranks higher in Google’s search results than you’d like. Control has left the hands of the marketer. The issue is multiplied in the service industry, where review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor and Angie’s List – all designed to improve customer experience – can seriously threaten your brand’s credibility and identity.

The consumer has a direct voice to connect quality to value. Now branding efforts must address both macro and micro management strategies. Companies must be responsive to individual voices of dissatisfied consumers, while focusing resources toward broader quality efforts and branding.

This is the price of doing business. Rightfully so, consumers can now put their mouth where their money is. The business community must do the same.

What Can You Do?

Successful companies leverage positive reviews into word-of-mouth advertising. This remains the single most effective type of advertising today.

If your company is being battered with negative reviews, what can you do? Here are a few ideas to start:

  • Find them. Use focused social media searches to discover what consumers are saying about your company. 
  • Respond diligently. Once you’ve found complaints, don’t just dismiss them. These reviews are actively read by consumers. Consumers are often more likely to embrace a review than an advertisement.  Respond to the feedback openly and solve the issue. Deal with it.
  • Improve. Don’t just make empty promises. Empty lip-service is the worst response you can provide to a complaint. If you have an issue, deal with it. If you get called on the carpet because of poor service – deal with it. If the customer is upset – deal with it. Don’t dismiss the complaint, resolve the issue. Even if it costs you a few dollars and a bit of time – solve the problem. At this point, damage from the mismanagement of a complaint only escalates.
  • Grow from your mistakes. Learn what the consumer wants. It’s that simple.
  • Take feedback. Make this an opportunity to improve your brand – your customers will thank you for it.

Contact Colure’s marketing team. Discover the art of crisis management. Learn from a team that can help you properly manage your corporate image.

THREE NYC TECH CONFERENCES TO ATTEND IN 2015

THREE NYC TECH CONFERENCES TO ATTEND IN 2015

New York City hosts some of the most incredible high-tech trade shows each year. 2015 is no different! If communications and media are your trade, we have the inside track. Here are a few trade shows in New York City custom-fit for advertising and multimedia professionals:

Three outstanding tech shows in NYC for 2015:
  • New York Business Expo and Conference – October 27. This exposition creates a platform for business owners and industry insiders to come together and network. It will be taking place at the Javits Center. The conference is intended to be a place where ideas are shared, connections are made and relationships are built. All organizations, from Fortune 500 companies to startups should attend, in order to experience the networking opportunities and business education from accomplished professionals.
  • Ad:tech New York – November 4-5. This is an integrated conference that unites the marketing, technology and media communities. They explore opportunities and address key problems in the related industries. This convention will be held on at the Javits Center. It provides industry professionals with a sneak peek at both new technologies and new directions that industries are moving toward. Ad:tech provides a place to connect, learn and integrate different industries with prominent technologies.
  • Content & Communication World – November 11 and 12. This conference is designed for those interested in media, entertainment and communications technologies. CCW’s 2015 conference will take place at the Javits Convention Center. Topics discussed at CCW include problems and solutions with content management and creation, as well as new and revolutionary technologies in the market. With big-name sponsors like Sony, Cisco and Canon amongst others, it’s no secret that CCW is a great trade show to attend if your interest lies in media, entertainment and communications technology.

Trade shows are excellent places for small businesses, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts to grow professionally. Discover the power of networking and form relationships that will assist in the growth of your company. Seek what interests you – most likely there’s a trade show or conference that caters to your interests. Stimulate your mind and your resume. Come to the Big Apple and take a bite of out of the latest tech shows on earth!

Audience retargeting in social media

Audience retargeting in social media

Advertisers use the practice of ‘audience retargeting’ in order to market a product to the most relevant audience. Social media has become one of the most vital parts of modern society because of its focused ability to meet this need.

The practice of retargeting allows companies to specifically target consumers who have previously demonstrated an interest in their goods or services. Manipulated content allows companies to place their brand freshly into the audience’s mind.

It is significant to focus on consumers who are truly engaged with a brand. In order to grow a business, it is critical to interact, stand out and appeal to your audience.

Facebook is extremely successful in terms of rebranding. They have access to critical data covering a fifth of the entire population of the planet. Because of this powerful information, they are able to place a specific ad in front of a specific person at a specific moment.

The data entered on Facebook pages such as personal preferences, searches, interests, and likes is identified, indexed and stored. Once the information is processed, they match commercial clients to your interests. It is not coincidental that as you search the web for a new computer, ads from electronic companies begin appearing.

The concept of retargeting is essentially a cycle. It begins when a potential customer visits a website and make a request. An association is established between that person and certain markets. As that person continues to ‘surf’, greater amounts of detail about that individual is gathered by various groups. As that person spends time on the internet, much of the commercial results surrounding that person will be molded to their tastes. The cycle both begins and returns to the individual.

By placing focused advertisements in front of a specific audience, companies are able to achieve a couple of critical goals. They maximize the effectiveness of their advertising budget. They’re able to place their advertisements directly before the audience most apt to make a specific purchase decision.

In the end, retargeting is the main tool used to manipulate consumer traffic towards your website. Contact Colure’s marketing staff to discuss the most effective exposure for your company. 

Why Content is Critical to Your Audience

Why Content is Critical to Your Audience

Relevant content is critical to grabbing your audience on an emotional level because they’re searching for answers to their questions. If your content is nothing but bologna, you will lose your audience in a matter of seconds.

So, how do you engage your audience? Take the proper steps to ensure valuable and easily readable content

Three things you need for strong content:
  1. A goal: Provide a focal point of the article. All ideas will contribute towards this central theme.
  2. A voice: Define your point of view and express yourself in the content. Make your statement and provide examples to support your statement. People will need to understand why they should believe what you think.
  3. A lesson: Remember, you are the author. You may not be in a classroom, but be sure to enrich your readers. Be sure that they gain something from reading your work. You are educating and entertaining them by providing information they may not have.

The average Internet user will view a web page and determine whether to continue reading or visit another website in approximately 8 seconds. Even if the user stays longer than those 8 seconds, they have the tendency to skim through, reading only about a quarter of the article. Your content needs to stand out and grab their attention quickly. You must understand your audience.

A short attention span is a dangerous thing. Like the bull that charges a red flag, Internet users flee when they are distracted. They’ll begin to scroll down the page to see a picture or a video. If they notice that the article is going to take 10 minutes to read… Bon voyage! They’ll be gone in a flash. Why would they waste their precious little time reading an elongated article, when they can go visit another web page that tells them what they want in half the time?

Quality content is critical to your audience because it’s the only thing that engages your reader.

Contact Colure to discuss your project’s content, vision and scope.