Twitter’s Periscope Celebrates One-Year Anniversary

Periscope one yearLive streaming is one of the most exciting and dynamic media around. Currently leading the pack is Periscope which just celebrated its one-year anniversary

The Twitter-owned Periscope thanked it’s users in a post, which also stated that 200 million broadcasts have been created on Periscope and over 110 years of live video are watched every day on iOS and Android.  Not too shabby, but Periscope remains number 1 mostly due to lack of rivals. However, that may change soon.

Periscope won an early battle against Meerket which had the wisdom to move on to something else and just announced it is moving away from live streaming.

Other contenders are looming on the horizon.  Facebook launched Facebook Live earlier this year. Snapchat recently announced 8 billion video views a day.  And the worst keep secret on the Internet is that Google is developing a live streaming app called YouTube Connect.

While live streaming are great ways to share our kids birthday parties, the fun we are having at a concert or when we witness breaking news, it is also a perfect tool for businesses.   Here are some tips:

  1. Pull back the curtain – Periscope is raw, personal, and unpolished.  If you work at home, show the kids running through the room while you’re on a conference call or show the battle you have with the cat over your office chair.  If you work in an office, let people see what an office meeting is like or introduce your team.  This helps people feel like an insider, and it can be fun, for you, your team, and your viewers.
  2. Product demo – Photos can’t show a product like a live demo can.  Showcase how the product works or how it looks.
  3. Training – Show, don’t tell. Use Periscope to show people how to do something.
  4. Live events – Periscope during events to share the fun and information with viewers who can’t be there.
  5. Live Q & A – Take questions from views and answer them live.  It can keep you on your toes and help address issues that your viewers have.
  6. Interview an expert – If you’re at a conference or have an expert or senior executive visiting your facility, ask to do a short interview them on Periscope.  Don’t forget the experts in the office next door who can also do a good interview and provide solid expertise.

The beauty of the Twitter/Periscope connection is that it’s great to announce your live streaming on Twitter to give folks a heads up and let them know the topic you’ll be covering.  Then tweet again when the live streaming begins.

Periscope is a great place to jump into live streaming, but keep an eye on other avenues. Live video and video of any kind are great ways to connect.

Say “Hello” to the Echoverse

It had to be done. When hiking the Grand Canyon, I couldn’t resist yelling “Hello” to hear the echo. So I cupped my hands around my mouth and yelled as loud as I could.  My voice bounced around and around me.

The same thing happens in the world of marketing communications. We cup our hands around our latest marketing message, and send it out with gusto.  But the real fun begins when the message echoes off the walls of all the types of media our target market consumes.

Newly published research in the Journal of Marketing gives insight about how our messages bounce all around our target market.  The article outlines what  the researchers call an “echoverse,” which forms a complex feedback loop (the echo) between corporation’s brand communications, news media and user-generated social media (the universe.) These elements reverberate and echo one another, just like my voice around the walls of the Grand Canyon.

Here are some of their findings:

  • A personalized Twitter strategy, focused on responding to individual customers, may be more effective than using social media as a promotional medium.
  • Of no surprise to anyone, negative news travels fast and wide between media and word-of-mouth.
  • Press release can be surprisingly effective.
  • Traditional advertising bypasses the echoverse.
  • Use of both online and traditional offline marketing elements are important.

In addition, the research suggests that corporate communications and consumer communications about a corporation or product have moved in inverse directions.  Corporate communications has gone from one-to-many (advertising) to one-to-one (Twitter). Consumer word-of-mouth communications have moved in the opposite direction from one-to-one (conversations) to one -to-many (social media).

The authors of the research acknowledge it’s limitations since it focus on four leading U.S. financial institutions and Twitter was used as the proxy for social media, but it does provide insights that are transferable to other industries.  If you’d like to read more, see  Brand Buzz in the Echoverse, in the March 2016 issue of the Journal of Marketing.

Carousel Advertising Added to Facebook Mobile

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 9.40.43 AMFacebook has added carousel advertising to mobile after nearly a year on desktop.  Carousel advertising is one ad that has up to 5 sub ads to scroll through.

According to Facebook, carousel link ads drive 30-50% lower cost-per-conversion and 20-30% lower cost-per-click than single-image link ads.  The key is to create a story between the ads to entice viewers to want to scroll rather than a row of ads. With all the advertising we are constantly bombarded with, a well-done carousel ad will make users want to interact and interaction means additional attention.

Instagram also offers carousel ads.  Click here to see a demo video.

Successful Meme Icon To Be Retired From Advertising Campaign

Most Interesting ManThe Most Interesting Man in The World ad campaign is coming to a close. The face that launched a thousand memes is taking a one-way trip to Mars.  No joke.

The enormously successful campaign isn’t going away.  Sales have nearly tripled since the campaign began in 2007.  Dos Equis, owned by Heinekin, obviously know a good thing when it sees it and will continue with a new Most Interesting Man in the World after it retires Jonathan Goldsmith, the uber-suave actor who has played the character.

The new face is yet to be announced. It will be interesting to see how the campaign fairs with the change.

If you’re interested in make your own meme of The Most Interesting Man in the world or other well know memes, click here.

Update 3/28/16: reported that Goldsmith is turning his attention to Make-A-Wish Foundation Vermont, helping grant wishes for children with life-threatening illnesses.  He really is the most interesting man in the world.

The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

According to eMarketing’s latest ad spend projection, digital ad spend will nudge ahead of TV in 2017.

According to the projections, TV ad spending will total $72.01 billion, or 35.8% of total media ad spending in the US in 2017. Meanwhile, total digital ad spending in 2017 will equal $77.37 billion, or 38.4% of total ad spending.

The report says TV will continue to grow by 2% in the near term, but by 2020, TV’s share will drop below one-third of total spend.

The digital growth is driven in large part by mobile which is expected to represents 63.4% of total digital ad spending in the US this year.  This isn’t surprising in light of the fact that in May 2015, Google reported that mobile search had surpassed desktop. Of course, we don’t need Google to tell us mobile is a tsunami of online activity.  Just look around any restaurant at all the people on their smart phones.

Marketing To All Five Senses

I recently met a friend at Weber Grill Restaurant for lunch.  As I walked toward the entrance I was greeted by the smell of charcoal burning. Despite the fact that it was about 35 degrees out and there was snow on the ground, somewhere in the back of my lizard brain I felt the sunshine of a summer’s day with kids laughter nearby.  There were friends setting in lawn chairs chatting while a gaggle of men surrounded the grill (as they always do) at a backyard barbeque.

Never mind that the smell disappeared once I walked into the restaurant. The feelings and emotions of a lazy, lovely summer day were firmly planted in my mind.

Welcome to sensory marketing.

Too often marketers rely only on the visual to get messages across, ignoring the power of the other senses. However, research has shown that the other senses can sometimes invoke stronger reactions. For example, one university experiment found that giving pencils the unusual scent of tea tree oil dramatically increased research subjects’ ability to remember the pencils’ brand.

As an added bonus to marketers, consumers don’t usually perceive sensory marketing as advertising, so they don’t view the reaction with the cynical “advertising filter” most of us have.

So, don’t forget to give your customer’s other senses something to do.


In Defense of “Me”

dreamstime_7591762There’s probably some psychological term for it in some obscure medical journal somewhere.  I’m talking about the abhorrence of the word me. I feel sorry for me.  It’s a perfectly fine word, but somehow it’s become a pariah to be avoided at all costs for fear of sounding…I don’t know…unlearned maybe.

To avoid me, many people use myself instead. Here’s an example of a recent email I saw.

“If you have questions, please contact customer service or myself.”

I’m sure the writer thought myself sounded smarter than the sad, little pronoun me.  However, me is the correct usage there and myself is well…wrong.

The basic rule for using myself can be summed up in one word – don’t.  I say don’t use it because 95 percent of the time, we get it wrong.  OK, so I made that statistic up, but I’m sure if I actually did a content analysis, 95 percent would be a low estimate.

If you want to use myself, here’s how.  Myself is a reflective pronoun, as in “I see myself in them mirror.” A reflective pronoun is the object so it can never be the subject. In other words, the subject of the sentence is the one doing something, and the object is the one having something done to it.  If you don’t want to dissect your sentences, generally, when you use the word myself the word I will also be in the sentence.  For example:

  • I’m going to treat myself to a spa day.
  • I see myself going to Hawaii one day.
  • I did the shopping by myself.

Myself can also be used to add emphasis to a sentence.  You might say, “I myself saw the bridge collapse.”

Now let’s take a look at the much maligned meMe is an object pronoun, which means it refers to the person the action of the verb is being done to or it is the person to whom a preposition refers.  Because of that, me isn’t likely to be at the beginning sentence, but that’s not a hard and fast rule.  Here are some examples:

  • They warned me it was time to go.
  • Please call customer service or me with any questions.
  • The committee wants to hear from you and me tomorrow.

Will you join me in my campaign to elevate the status of me, and return it to its rightful place? I can’t do it by myself.  I will take you and me.

The Power of the Right Word

Not long ago, I was running through the neighborhood when a boxer came barking and charging across a lawn right at me. I knew I couldn’t outrun the dog and figured running wouldn’t help me so I turned to face him and backed away.

I had heard once that “no” is a universal work that all dogs are familiar with, so I mustarded up my deepest, strongest, alpha-dog voice and said, “NO!”  The dog stopped in his tracks and turned his head, clearly confused that I knew the magic word.  He then glanced around him, like he thought his owner was nearby and he was being punked.

He turned back to me and turned his head to the other side.  I repeated “NO!” I don’t think dogs can shrug their shoulders, but if they could he would have just before he turned around and walked back to take up sentry duty on his porch.

It’s not only our canine friends who respond to the right word, so do we. Words are powerful.  The right word unleashes a tsunami of power. The right word has the power to persuade us, make us cry and make us laugh.

Concrete, specific words transmit so much more information than general words.  For example, there is a big difference between eating “food” and eating “three scoops of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate chip ice cream.”

Don’t settle for just any word.  Use the right word.  The results will be powerful.

Write. Write. And Rewrite.

I used to teach college English and a common complaint was that students can’t write.  It’s easy to blame texting or emails or watching too much TV, but that’s really not it.  The fact is, this has been an issue for as long as anyone has been keeping track.

When I was in graduate school I wrote a paper about writing at a college level.  The one consistent factor – whether it was 1880 or 1980 or today – is that college professors complain that students don’t know how to write.

I think the problem doesn’t lie with students but the way we teach writing, or don’t teach it.  In secondary school, we focus a lot on grammar.  Granted grammar is important, but grammar alone doesn’t teach you to write.  It’s like teaching someone to run a table saw and then expecting them to be able to build a house.  You need more than grammar to write well.  In fact, there is some literature that suggests writers who stop and start their writing to pick at grammar tend to be poor writers.

Grammar is a lot easier to grade than writing.  It’s easy to grade someone on whether or not they can identify a noun, but it’s a bit more complicated to grade on things like style and tone and proper use of transitions.  While I was teaching college, we had a meeting with instructors from across several disciplines.  One exercise we did was to have everyone grade the same student paper.  The grades for that same paper ranged from an A to a D.

Not only is grading papers harder, but it takes a LOT of time if the instructor gives meaningful comments.  I also found that many students view comments and critiques of their writing as an attack on their person, in ways that marking a problem as incorrect on an algebra test isn’t.

So how do we teach people to write?  Back in the 1800s, it was believed that all you had to do to learn to write was to Latin.  The only problem is Latin isn’t English.  Today’s methodology doesn’t seem to be working that much better gauging from some of the business emails I’ve read lately.  Most colleges require woefully few papers, so students aren’t getting the practice and instruction they need to get better at crafting clear writing.

Here’s how you learn to write.  You write. And then you rewrite.  Granted you may not learn to write like Shakespeare or Jane Austin or Hemingway or (fill in the name of your favorite author), but you can learn to construct clear and understandable communications.