New Media and YOU – Farewell

imageAlas, our class is coming to its semester end, and sadly, so is our blog :-/ But fear not! We will not leave you hanging. Over the course of the semester, our blog has featured various social media platforms and how your business/organization can use them to connect with your audience. Before we go, let’s go over some of the key points that similarily spanned across our posts. These are good things to keep in mind no matter what platforms you are using.

Social Media Tips Recap

  1. Be in dialogue with your audience
    The Web 2.0 is all about user-generated content. People like to be part of the process, so always show them that you’re open to that. Respond to comments as best you can, hold contests, and show you’re listening.
  2. Use tags
    Whether it’s hashtags, keywords, or @mentions, use the platform’s tagging capabilities. It makes you more searchable and increases chances of popularity and reach.
  3. Choose platforms wisely
    Finite resources makes everything a challenge. We have so much to do in limited time with limited money and limited people. Make sure the platforms you’re using to reach your audience has matching demographics and psychographics. For example, a small motorcycle accessories business might have a tough time on Wanelo, but Facebook and Instagram would probably have better results.
  4. Be transparent
    Many of our tips have suggested to do things like featuring employees or showing how a product is made. It brings the audience to the other side, and they feel included. Let them in on what your organization is about. Trust from your audience and the feeling of belonging goes a long way.

Blogs To Follow

We don’t want your knowledge of social media to end with this blog. So, here are some other blogs and sites we think will serve you well:

Personally, we really suggest Bill Crosby and Social Mouths – they’re fun blogs and full of great information. All of the above sites are great though.

Thank you to everyone who has followed, reposted, liked, and commented on our blog. We appreciate interacting with you and receiving your support.

~ Katie, Amy, Myah, Carley, Staci

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YouTube and YOU

iTunesArtwork@2xSo many people, musicians, actors, and businesses have thrived because of the viral potential YouTube has. One big reason is because YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine, behind Google. Another reason is that seeing is believing – we love seeing things, not being told about them. But what if you’re not a video guru? Luckily, with today’s technology and tech-savvy youngsters, it’s not too difficult to find freelance help at a reasonable price.

This post isn’t about how to produce videos, but it’s about how to use YouTube for PR and advertising for your business. So if you’re at the stage where you’re ready to use YouTube, here are some tips to help get the best results.

If you’re not sure whether or not YouTube is for you, check out Reel SEO’s statistics and Pros and Cons of YouTube – it might help you make an informed decision.

YouTube Tips

  1. Create a Branded Channel
    Just like you brand your name in other platforms, having a channel that is cohesive will help brand your business. A customized channel gives you the opportunity to showcase your company’s branding with specific colors, information, and links to your other media platforms. Viewers can also subscribe to your channel. It’s a feature of YouTube Social Media Today points out is often overlooked, but it shouldn’t be:

    Your YouTube channel is basically your house for the videos you create and upload, the videos you have selected as favorites, and those that you have organized into a playlist. A customized channel gives you the opportunity to add and showcase your company’s branding with specific colors, information and links to your website and/or relevant social media pages. A channel also gives viewers an option to subscribe to your content with the click of a button.

    Additionally, choose a user name that reflects your brand for your channel URL.

  2. Humanize Your Business
    It’s something that’s little, but don’t be afraid to introduce staff members to add authenticity. Show results of someone using your product/service. Show your business in action! Hold contests, answer questions, have vlogs.
  3. Have a Purpose to your Video
    Capture3
    Just like every other advertising and medium out there, content is king for YouTube. Make sure your videos are created to engage and draw viewers in. Business Reader has a couple central ideas you can focus your videos around.

    • Advertise
    • How-To’s
    • Product Demo
    • Entertain/Connect with Audience

    As long as you remember to keep each video on one idea and don’t drag on beyond that, you’re headed in a pretty good direction. No one like a long, aimless video.

  4. Make your Videos Findable
    There is so much content out there in the Internet world. There is a heck of a lot to compete with. So how do you stand out in an ocean of similar fish? Optimize how you are found.Social Media Today has three ways to make yourself findable.

    • Title: Make the first few words of the title the good ones. Make sure they’re the key words related to your video. A little trick – add a colon and rephrase your title for max effect.
    • Description: Start the description with a URL since that will never be cut off. Then, describe away.
    • Tags: Include any and all related keywords. Even think of all the weird obscure words other people may think of. Our brains all operate a little differently with the semantics of language
  5. Advertise
    There are numerous ways to straight up advertise on YouTube, but this obviously costs money. If this seems like something your business wants to do, consider some options:

    • YouTube Homepage: a large spot at the top YouTube’s homepage for interactive advertising (…this method might break the bank)
    • TrueView: the ad, normally 30-60 seconds, lets the user skip the ad after 5 second. The advertiser only has to pay if the entire ad is watched.
    • TrueView In-Search: (formerly promoted ads) a smart way to advertise before a video with keywords related to your ad.
    • In-Search Video Ads: just like a Google search, your video will appear at the top based on the keywords in the search
    • Display Ads: text ads that show up on the sidebar or at the bottom of the video.
  6. Don’t Exist in a Bubble
    All other new media platforms have the expectations to react and respond promptly to current events. That’s what Twitter is all about! There’s been a good handful of times I learned about a big event via Twitter before hearing it on the news. YouTube should be treated the same. Acknowledge what is happening in the world, and if a crisis occurs within your business, address it. It humanizes your business, and it adds a nice personal touch.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Next Week

We’ll look into Instagram next week. If you have any opinions or questions about YouTube and advertising, feel free to comment.

Google+ and YOU

When you think of advertising, Google+ might not be the first thing google_plus_logothat comes to your mind. Facebook and Twitter have such a stronghold on this notion. However, there are people on Google+, and they just might the kind of people you need to be targeting. According to Mashable’s infographic, the primary users of Google+ are single male students. If your target market is along those lines, then consider these tactics.

Google+ Tips

  1. The Ultimate SEO
    Every smart business knows importance of being searchable on the internet – Search Engine Optimization. Naturally, Google is looking out for its own social network. CaptureRandfish has an excellent video talking about why every marketer needs a Google+ strategy. In his video, Randfish points out that if you have a G+ account and someone linked to you on G+ searches you on Google, your G+ profile will list above all other content. Imagine how much that will help your SEO endeavors!

    To show an example, I searched “Paul Levinson,” a book author I am connected to on G+, and a snippet of his profile showed on a majority of my results page. Watch Randfish’s video for more information on how your profile can improve SEO for your business.

  2. Create Circles with Meaning
    G+ circles improves the quality of your audience. By choosing people relevant to your business (based on demographics, topic, and income) to be in your circles, you can increase the power of your network. Set up a criteria for each circle and follow it. Unbounce has a great infographic on how to use G+ effectively (seems like G+ is the hot topic for infographics).
  3. Hangout with your Audience
    “Hangout” is probably G+’s standout feature that allows multiple people to video chat at once. Roger Friedensen, president and CEO of Forge Communications points out how Hangout can help a business:

    Hangouts offer an amazing opportunity for businesses to engage in a highly personal way with clients, customers and industry-thought leaders. Plus, employees in remote locations can hold team meetings to brainstorm with one another from an interface that affords them immediate and easy access to share and collaborate on most of the information materials they might need, such as documents and spreadsheets.

    A drawback of Hangout is the technical limitation. Video chats take up more bandwidth than normal internet usage, so someone who has a bad connection can miss out on the Hangout or have a bad experience.

  4. Brand your Name

    Branding is crucial for a business/organization, and Google+ can fuel that. Social Media Online has 64 branding strategies that you may want to consider implementing. No, not all 64 – but pick and choose some strategies you think your business can manage.

    Google-Plus-Branding-Strategies

Getting Started

If you haven’t created a page for your business and you want to, use WikiHow to take you through setting up a profile.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Next Week

We’ll look into YouTube next week. If you have any opinions or questions about G+ and advertising, feel free to comment.

Superbowl Ad Recap

Ads and Social Media

Well, the 49ers almost made it. Ugh, so close. I could hardly sit still watching the 4th quarter. However, it’s fair to say the first half of the game was rather dull. Luckily, I was preoccupied playing “ad bingo” until things picked up.

This week is going to have a little less structure and a little more free-form talk. We just want to pull out some things we noticed this year with the Super Bowl ads. There were some funny ads, some grandeur, and others just icky (yes, Go Daddy). Also, Dodge’s “God Made a Farmer” ad had us Midwesterners all up in a nostalgic tizzy.

But what separated this year’s Super Bowl ads from the past? The emphasis on social media, the interaction between consumers and the companies, the attempt to connect – that’s what was different.

Twitter was King

According to Marketing Land, there were 52 national TV commercials during the Super Bowl. Of those 52 ads, 26 mentioned Twitter – that’s 50 percent! Facebook only got 4 mentions, and Google+ was left in the dust with none. But isn’t G+ reportedly the No. 2 social network in the world? Hm, interesting.

Let’s take a look into Twitter then, since it was the hot topic.

Hashtags

While 26 ads featured Twitter, did their hashtags actually work? Did Subway’s clunky hashtag “#15yrwinningstreak” find its way into onto our home feeds?

Super-Bowl-Hash-Tag-Infographic

^^Those are pretty good numbers for Doritos and CK, and as Sysomos mentions, the two ads that used their own name as a hashtag had better results.

If we look at those numbers on their own, thousands of tweets for Doritos looks great, but if you consider the millions of tweets in America every day, that’s actually a pretty small number. While many tweets were about the Super Bowl or the advertisements, few people actually used the designated hashtags.

That doesn’t mean people did tweet about the Super Bowl ads. Taco Bell received 215,000 tweets after their funny “Viva Young” commercial – and they didn’t use a hashtag.

So maybe the mentions of Twitter in the ads didn’t quite work, but Twitter mentioning the ads sure did.

Power Outage

Forbes had a clever line about the power outage – “Call it the Super Bowl of real-time marketing.” Usually viewers are wrapped up in the game and ads, but the power outage slowed things down. Since there were no commercials during the outage, people grew bored, pulled out their smartphones, and started chatting on social media – about the game, the ads, and who pulled the plug.

Smart advertisers knew what to do with the outage with a spike of tweeters online. Companies like Walgreens, Oreo, Tide, and Audi hit the Twittersphere and capitalized the opportunity by tweeting clever lines about their product and the outage.

The power outage was the epitome of real-time marketing.

tide-super-bowl-black-out-tweet

Oreo-dunk-dark-tweet17

Wrap Up

Maybe Twitter was more popular this Super Bowl because of its immediacy and simplicity. A consumer can tweet without talking too much attention away from the game. But why did Facebook lose so much attention? And why did Google+ receive no love for the second year in a row? Let us know what you think, and we can toss around ideas.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

The World at Our Fingertips

mobiledevices

Apps, Ads, and the Mobile World

Mobile devices are clearly the reason new media has exploded in today’s society. Users can do almost everything with the swipe of their finger, no matter where they are. iPhones have countless apps available for fun, business, and everything in between. Tablets now come cell-service ready for constant Internet access. Society is going mobile, and advertisers are catching on.

We’re Not All That Different

All traditional media rely primarily on advertising to make money, whether it’s for profit or just to cover costs. Television, magazines, newspapers – they all need advertisers. Well, unless they have insanely generous donators. New media runs the same way. Websites cost money to built, host, and maintain. Apps require time to develop. They need money.

Advertisers are starting to go beyond basic Web ads and looking at mobile devices and apps. But just like every other aspect of life, there are pros and cons. If you are considering whether or not to pursue mobile advertising, then keep reading.

Pros and Cons of Mobile Ads

Pros

  • Ads don’t have as much competition
    Because mobile web pages and apps are designed to be more simple, a lot of the distracting extras are left out. Facebook advertisers have found that more people will actually click on the ads in the app because they stand out more.
  • More people are going mobile every day
    604 million. Yup, that’s a lot of Facebook users on the mobile app or mobile website. That number grows every day. While not every advertiser can afford a place on Facebook, it at least illustrates the growth. The number of app downloads is expected to grow to 32 billion. Facebook is just one example. Check out this video from Google that explains just how mobile we really are:

  • Free apps sell more
    Everyone loves Angry Birds. Well, I don’t personally, but I know a lot of people do. One reason so many people love it (beyond its normal awesomeness) is that it’s free. As a broke college student, there are few words more valuable than “FREE.” Many users are willing to put up with interrupting ads if it means having a free experience.

Cons

  • Information overload
    Too much of anything can be a bad thing. Always remember that “content is king,” and too many ads can be overbearing and unappealing. While mobile ads are so quickly on the rise, there eventually is a limit – but advertisers may not know the limit until it’s too late.
  • No cookies
    On a desktop PC, advertisers can narrowly target its audience. How? Well, the Internet uses cookies to collect information about the users. Using a fancy algorithm, advertisers can use that information to advertise to exactly who they want.
    cookiemonster

    Apple said “no no” to this. Their devices don’t allow third-party cookies, so it’s harder to pinpoint an audience. But put it into perspective. All traditional media advertising operate on “best guess” research, and it works pretty well. It’s just not pin-point accurate.

  • Lack of rich media
    Steve Jobs is just such a trendsetter, isn’t he? Well, since he gave the thumbs down to Adobe Flash Player, almost all mobile devices are phasing out support for it. While HTML5 and CSS3 are great, Flash has a few more tricks up its sleeves for design capabilities. Advertisers have to find a way to catch its audience’s eye without using Flash.
  • Multiple platforms
    Just like desktop PCs, there are a million fish in the sea. iPhone 4, iPhone 5, Andriod, iPad, Windows tablets – there are many platforms that have different resolutions and setups. It can be a pain to satisfy all platforms, so decide if you’re up to the task.

Go More In-Depth…

We never want you to feel limited to only what we’ve posted. Here are a list of other articles you can check out:

Wrap Up

Remember that the purpose of this blog is to help you understand the new media world better through the eyes of PR/Advertising. Through dialogue, we can discuss and share what’s working, what’s not, and what to expect. New media is changing our world, and each week we want to explore it.

Stay tuned for next week’s post. If there’s something that interests you or you want us to talk about, let us know.

Our Very First Post

Welcome Welcome!

Glad you could join us for our very first post. We are a group of communication students from North Dakota State University working together to learn about new media and its technologies. We’ll focus specifically on its impact on PR/Advertising.

Components/Purpose of the Blog

  • Weekly blog posts
  • Post about new media and its relationship with PR/Advertising
  • Dialogue-centered learning for us AND you
  • Incorporate videos/images whenever applicable (everyone loves that more than boring words, right?)
  • Connect our readers with other resources to learn about new media and technology
  • KEEP YOU INTERESTED! We really don’t want to be a dread. We’re fun people – promise.

Feel free to follow our blog at the bottom of the page via e-mail. We look forward to talking with you!