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Marketing… or Just Plain Story Telling?

Story Telling

I just read an interesting article on about the art of story telling and it’s significance when it comes to business and it’s use as a marketing tool.  I think that as entrepreneurs we can often get stuck on our products and perhaps the numbers associated with them.  Take for instance a flashlight… if I were selling it I might highlight some of the features – the battery lasts for 10 consecutive hours, the light’s brightness is 500,000 candle power, the light is water proof, etc.  These are all great features, but do they really sell the product?  On the other hand if I can tell a story: Bob was hiking in the Alaskan wilderness in the dark and fell through the ice along with his trusty flashlight.  Luckily the water wasn’t deep, and because his flashStory Telling Firelight was still lit on the bottom, he was able to retrieve it and use it to gather some firewood quickly in order to warm himself when he was in immediate danger of hypothermia.  If Bob had a different flashlight, he would have been wandering aimlessly in the dark trying to find adequate firewood to start a desperately needed fire to warm himself.  Bob would have frozen to death and perhaps never have been found in the middle of this remote Alaskan wilderness.


 The Power of Story Telling

Hopefully you get my point, features of products may appeal to our intellect, but often our intellect isn’t as great a persuader as our emotions when it comes to making a purchase.  Stories touch our emotions and really good stories help us to relate to them.  The article I read gives a particular Kickstarter example of the power of story: One individual started out looking for $10 to make potato salad and yet made over $55,000 because of the story behind their idea.  Another question you might be asking is how does this relate to internet entrepreneurship.


 Story Telling and Content Marketing

One very effective means of reaching potential customers in the e-commerce world is content marketing.  Because we are all bombarded daily with various ads and other marketing techniques we have developed filters to help us eliminate and ignore most marketing ploys.  The marketer has to take a new approach to reaching consumers.  Instead of hitting consumers with mind numbing ads, why not create content (and this often means stories) that users will relate to and want to read or view.  According to the article, 2014 was “the year of the story,” and though we are now in 2015 I don’t see this trend letting up. If anything, I believe the power of story will only become more prevalent as consumers filter out more and more traditional marketing attempts.  This is good news for those of us who choose to use content marketing in our blogs, on our product pages, and in our e-commerce activities.  So next time you are tempted to talk about a products features, instead try and tell a story that your target market can relate to and see if the results don’t go beyond what you’ve expected.

To read the related article to this blog click here. Story Telling Could Bring Your Brand to Life and Strengthen Your Marketing Impact.

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Why Blog for Your Business?

Blogging used to be an online journal, a diary per se, for people to write about their thoughts and lives, but in recent history blogging has become an incredible business tool.

Almost every business out there has some kind of web presence now, even if they don’t all have their own personal websites, and in a world where it has become easy to find what you want when you want it through the internet, businesses have to make their websites stand out.  Blogs do that for entrepreneurs, particularly internet entrepreneurs who can’t rely on brick and mortar stores to draw potential customers in with window displays and sale signs.  Blogs keep potential customers coming to your website even when they don’t plan on making any purchases, and also make your customers feel as though they know you and can trust you.

One characteristic common to most entrepreneurs is that you know how to sell yourself, whether it be to potential investors, customers, or suppliers.  It can be difficult to sell yourself to potential customers, specifically in the realm of internet entrepreneurship because you aren’t meeting face to face with customers and the only impression that they get of you is from your website.  Your blog lets potential customers feel like they know you and shows that you are knowledgeable in your realm of business.  Blogs keep foot traffic moving through internet business’s websites and builds strong customer relationships.

For more reasons why blogs are worth your time and incredibly important to a business, as well as for information on Podcasts and business, check out this article from Entrepreneur Magazine.

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The Perfect Palette

The Perfect PaletteThis blog post is a shout-out to any designers out there, artistic or not.  One of the biggest issues for anyone working with anything that needs to be visually appealing (painting a home, making a flyer, designing a logo, editing a magazine, etc.) is finding the right color palette.  For some people, thinking of   a palette is a challenge akin to wrestling a crocodile.  But whether you’re trying to find a third or fourth color to fit the mix, or searching for that initial inspiration, Design Seeds provides hundreds of  drool-worthy, beautiful palette suggestions.

Pair Design Seeds with Color Picker, an app for  Google Chrome (or Mozilla, or any other internet browser) and you have a match made in heaven.  Color Picker allows you to point out any color on a web page and reference it in the color spectrum computers have in common.  So pick a palette you like, and easily re-create it in whatever program you are using.

Hapy Designing!


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Kobe Vs Messi: Viral Ad Sensation

Video advertising can be a key factor in adding worldwide acceptance or awareness of a brand. A prime example of this can be seen in a recent, particularly-successful ad featuring two of the world’s biggest sports stars.

We have all probably seen it by now: the Turkish Airlines commercial featuring Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Barca midfielder Lionel Messi. In the commercial, the two athletes fiercely compete for a young fan’s attention and adoration while on a Turkish Airlines flight. The athletes’ tricks include juggling, spinning basketballs, and even balloon-animal-making. The funny commercial has garnered incredible amounts of popularity and success, bringing in huge amounts of brand awareness for Turkish Airlines.

The commercial has 100 million hits on YouTube and reached 20 million views faster than Gangnam Style. Its remarkable success demonstrates the importance of video advertising on the internet and its huge potential for sudden and explosive popularity.

Now obviously, not all e-commerce sites can afford to put two of the world’s most famous people in their video ads. But on a smaller scale, the same concept applies. Making a creative, recognizable, and fun video ad can exponentially increase the awareness for a business, no matter its size or marketing budget.

More information on the famous commercial can be find in this Mashable article.

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Facebook Home

Facebook Home: the idea is to bring content right to the user, without he or she having to check apps on the device.  Facebook itself described Home as software, not a new device, that places realistic communication at the center of the phone to focus on the person, and not the communications channel.  It does this by making your Facebook cover feed your phone background, and allowing chatting “on top of” other apps.

I read about Facebook Home before its release, and must admit my first thought was, “I’ll never get that.”  I believe in the lofty ideal of integrating personal communications with the services offered online, and through apps on smart devices, but I doubted Facebook could effectively meet that need.  Seeing the above commercial promoting Facebook Home did not change my mind, but it could partly be that I have a love affair with my iPhone and the word HTC makes my ears fold up.

Forbes points out that I may be underestimating Facebook Home.  Austin Carr of Fast Company said, “Facebook has woven traditionally disparate content and services together into a single, unified experience.”  Second, and most importantly, Home may be disruptive to the mobile communications industry by making free VoIP calls (Voice Over Internet Protocol; calls over the internet) as easily available to users as Facebook’s other offerings.

Not to sound like a broken record (if you read my other posts), but the cost of free communication is abandoning privacy.  Facebook could further map one’s social activities, in addition to tracking web browsing, app use, and physical location.  This would allow Facebook to build a customer profile that any marketing agency would kill to have.

So what is the conclusion on Facebook Home?  It could become wildly successful, as it seduces users into putting Facebook before any other app.  It could be a wolf wearing sheep’s skin, but no matter what, Facebook Home is leading mobile users like you everywhere into a new era, where competitors will all fight to be the app at the center of your phone.

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Primetime Is Still Primetime (From an Advertising Perspective)

As one could easily imagine, there has been a dramatic shift in TV-watching over the last several years; namely, many people have stopped watching TV on the actual TV. People are now frequenting sites like Hulu to keep up with their favorite shows, rather than plopping down on the couch and clicking the remote. But here’s the big question: what does this mean for advertising? Historically, the most expensive, competitive, and effective ads were on TV during primetime hours. Is this “primetime phenomenon” done, now that people can watch their shows whenever they please? The answer to this question is a decided NO.

Even with the shift into online viewership, primetime is still primetime. It is still the most effective time to advertise, even if the advertising has shifted to websites, as opposed to commercial breaks on TV stations. In an article by Ryan Lawler, this continuance of primetime importance is explored in depth.

According to this article, people are more likely to watch their shows online during primetime, click on ads during primetime, or even be positively affected by ads during primetime, as compared to almost any other time of day.

Basically, the shift to online viewership has not killed the primetime commercial; rather, it has just changed where it is being aired. This is just one example among many typifying the near-universal shift to e-commerce.

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