Tag Archives: communication

How Social Is Your TV?

At the February Triangle Social Media Club event I had my eyes opened to the world of “social TV.”  The speakers were Gregory Ng (@gregoryng), Tim Arthur (@timarthur), Damond Nollan (@damondnollan) and the MC was Ryan Boyles (@therab).  The panel showed what their entertainment centers consisted of, their top 5 shows and one guilty pleasure as well as shared insights, wants and desires of social TV.

Social TV integrates social networks and television, movie and music habitsThe rise of digital enabled devices has allowed for greater integration of social networks and websites with our TVs.  All four on the panel had a gaming device such as Wii or Xbox to stream video but the setups were different in other areas.  For instance Damond’s strategy was to reduce his monthly entertainment expense while allowing everyone in his household to have their own streaming device.  While Greg preferred to subscribe to Direct TV for sports as well as the ability to watch live events as they happen.

The presentation embedded at the end of this post gives a great view into the different setups.  The panel also listed their favorite shows and guilty pleasures.  All four panelists picked “The Walking Dead” as one of their top 5 shows.  While I’m not a fan of Zombie genre, I was interested to learn why they were enthusiastic.  The show had a big following and even the largest cable debut of the season.  Combined with fan chats, celebrity after show appearances; The Walking Dead created a community of fans and a forum.

That’s where social TV has real potential.  It’s one thing to check in to a show and share that on Twitter and Facebook.  This can lead to shared interests among your social circle.  But where it takes off is creating a true fan community that works similar to bulletin board forums of the early 90s.  Ryan explained how super fans create private blogs on Tumblr with their own language and rely heavily on aliases.  Most best practices posts will tell you to be authentic, but in the world of social TV DISQUS did research that showed that alias communities had greater interaction and participation.

What does all of this mean to marketing and advertising folk like me? It represents a new opportunity to build relationships with fans in a new way.  While Ryan recanted GaryVee’s mantra of “marketing ruins everything” it does not have to.  The panel discussed how media companies can build respect and report with users versus just selling to them.  For instance, what if a social TV app could provide live channel notifications and share that among friends?  The idea that sharing old school living room experience allows for more intimate content and engagement with a global audience is truly unique.

Tonight the Oscars is being broadcast and I’ve already seen hype around the fact that this will be the most social and interactive award show to date.  That’s an easy claim if the majority of last year’s activity was Twitter and Facebook chatter.  But as social TV develops there is opportunity to engage fans and talent in real time.

I want to thank Ryan for hosting the panel and sharing the presentation on his SlideShare space as well as the other panelists for sharing their frank and honest views on the tools, technology and changing landscape of social TV!  Plus Greg’s guilty pleasure of “I Didn’t Know I was Pregnant” was classic!  Also I was finally able to meet Tim Arthur in person after several months of chatting on Twitter and blogs and found out that we have many similar interests including Breaking Bad and Californication, two of my favorite shows!  Also thanks to WNCN NBC 17 for hosting the event and studio tour from Kim Green @producingk.

How Online Marketing Drives Offline Success Infographic

This infographic from KISSmetrics shows and provides case studies on how online marketing can drive offline sales.  It’s a great starting point when working with all types of business, large and small to determine where to start your digital and social media planning to meet business goals.

Click on the graphic below for an enlarged view:

online offline social media

View an enlarged version of this Infographic »
 

About The Author: Sean Work is the marketing coordinator at KISSmetrics. Follow him on twitter (@seanvwork) and ask him for a free cup of coffee :)

Marketing Lessons from The NFL

The National Football LeagueWe’re halfway through the National Football League (NFL) season and this is the time of year that I love.  Temperature is cooling down, leaves are changing, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the holidays and the NFL season is in full swing.  There’s a reason why NFL football is the number one sport in the United States, well-done marketing!  Everything you need to know about marketing can be learned from watching and studying the NFL.

Talent Acquisition

The NFL devised the draft in 1935 to acquire the top college players and have held a draft every year since 1936.  Since then it has become a prime time television event and the model for other leagues to acquire talent.  Even though there are several rounds, the first round and top dozen picks get more media attention and millions of dollars for the picks than some companies in a single year.

Branding and Merchandise

Official NFL jerseys sell from $80-150 depending on the team and player.  Watch or attend any game and you see a large portion of the fans wearing them.  Go to any sports bar on a Sunday and you’ll see even more.  In addition to jerseys, team logos appear on just about every product and each one pays a licensing fee to the NFL for the right to use or risk serious lawsuit from a team of high price lawyers and copyright infringement from the feds.

Advertising

Ads are everywhere but the uniform and the field.  The NFL knows that if they slap logos on the teams and the field of play it cheapens the game and could create backlash among fans.  Yet we see ads everywhere else and placed without all the tackiness of NASCAR and European Soccer that slap ads anywhere on the vehicle and athlete possible.

Special Events

The Superbowl, do I really need to explain this? It’s the most watch sporting event on the planet, every year.  Commercials cost a million dollars and can give you exposure for to launch a company.

Timing

Humans love routines and a consistent time and date makes it easy to build a regular routine around a sporting event.  The majority of the NFL games are played on Sunday and usually at 1 pm local time.  Even with Monday Night Football and the second-half Thursday night games, most fans get their fix starting at 1 pm on Sunday.  For the uber-fan you have primetime games on Sunday and Monday and the occasional Thursday night game.

Analysis

Instant replay was once a TV feature has now become part of the rules.  This year we see automatic review of scoring plays to eliminate error.  While I’m not a fan of instant replay as it slows the game down and takes out the human element, it is an analytical process that helps ensure accuracy.

Crisis Communications

When Hank Williams shouted Obama is a Nazi on Fox News ESPN cut the cord before the NFL had to step in. ESPN knew that the NFL does not need Hank Williams to sell MNF and realized his time had come.  Smart move and thank you!

Social Media

Early on the NFL realized that players tweeting during games would be a distraction and issued a social media policy banning tweets and social media messages starting 90 minutes before the game and lasting until after the game finishes.  Instad of waiting for an incident the NFL realized that a clear, concise policy was the best way to keep the attention on the field for players and staff.

Recognition

Only a half dozen players, coaches and contributors to the game get elected into the NFL Hall of Fame every year making it an honor and priveledge that most players aspire to.  Instead of flooding the Hall with great players, it’s reservered for the best of the best.  Wonder what it means to the inductees? Watch any induction ceremony and you’ll see a full range of emotions.

Word of Mouth

More water cooler chatter on Monday mornings is about football and specifically NFL football than any other topic on a regular basis.  How many times have you heard, “did you watch the game?” on Monday morning?

 

Mobile Site, App or Both?

Do you need a mobile site, smartphone app or both?With mobile usage and traffic growing by huge numbers recently there is a rush to create mobile friendly versions of your website.  But it does not end there, what about a iPhone or iPad app?  What about other smartphones: Droid, Blackberry, etc? Just thinking about it can make your head spin!

I’ve had many discussions with my peers and others about what the best choice is and always come back to the same answer.  It’s contingent on your customers both current and present.  Here are the questions I find myself asking those seeking advice on mobile marketing.

  1. Should you have a mobile website? The answer to this one is easy, yes! At the very least having a mobile site gives your brand a presence that can be viewed on mobile devices. With the continued growth of smarthphones and our demand for information, having a mobile website just makes sense.  What you should do with your mobile site plan is determine what information is necessary to have on it.  You don’t need everything your main website has.  Two key items I find are a must are easy to find contact information including your phone number and your location addresses so people can call and find you on the road.
  2. Does your company or brand need an iPhone app? An app is different from a mobile website in that it does more.  An app should have some functionality that mobile users need and provide value for mobile users.  Creating an app because everyone else is doing it is a waste of money.  Plus people will download it, use it once that’s it.  Do some creative brainstorming around your product and service and ask what simple tasks would I use on a smartphone.
  3. What about an iPad app? If your website is good then it can be viewed in Safari or Opera browsers on an iPad and you don’t need an app.  But if you can come up with creative uses mentioned in the previous point above, then maybe you have the basis for creating an iPad app.
  4. Should you design for Apple iPhone, Droid or Blackberry? The answer to this question depends on your customers.  Are they iPhone or Droid users? Or even the last of the BlackBerry die hards?  Google Analytics has a Mobile report that shows how many visitors are viewing your site and the device they are using.  Another way to find out is put a survey on your website or create an email campaign and ask them.
As with any interactive project flesh out what your requirements are after brainstorming.  Don’t just tell your agency you want a mobile app or site, tell them why it’s important to your business.  They will appreciate it and most likely you’ll get a better end product.  Also if you’re seeking proposals from several vendors a good requirements doc makes it much easier to get accurate price quotes and a finished product that makes you and your customers happy!