All Hail the Visual Revolution!

Livestreaming on a Smartphone

Advancing technologies continue to accelerate our access to information, social media, content, shopping and every other thing we do on our latest devices. As such, it is more important than ever to make a great first impression. In fact, it’s critical because chances are you won’t get a second chance at a first impression.

ROI Research conducted a study on “Participant Behavior and Social Engagement”, and discovered users are most likely to engage with a brand through pictures and videos. To better understand the scope of the findings, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam recently told the National Association of Broadcasters that video makes up 50 percent of his company’s wireless traffic. By 2017, he fully expects that two-thirds of Verizon’s traffic will be video!

Internet usage is increasing exponentially, projected to nearly triple just in the first half of this decade. The clulprit: video. By 2015, it is expected that there will be one million minutes of video — the equivalent of 674 consecutive days of viewing — crossing the Internet every second!

Faster connections, more ways to get connected and this insatiable hunger for new content increase the nearly limitless possibilities out there for savvy brands who take advantage of this increasing consumer desire for visual content. Because of it’s vast popularity, Internet video can help add “ooh” factor (possibly even “ew” or “oooooh” factor) that is capable of capturing the attention of the modern consumer.

Compelling people to respond favorably to your marketing and branding efforts is a science that requires some level of understanding the psychology behind how the human mind works. One thing researchers have known for quite some time is that most people tend to remember more visual than written information. We retain more of what we see than what we read. Think of all the places you’ve lived in your life. Chances are very good you can picture them in your mind easier than you can recall the street addresses. That’s just the way the human mind is naturally wired.

Compounding this bit of biology in the modern world, is the Internet and this exploding era of digital information and content consumption is changing the way the human mind works.

Studies show that technology is rewiring our brain’s neural circuitry, heightening skills like multi-tasking, complex reasoning and decision-making. In a world where our brains are evolving to the changing ways we are consuming data, brand marketing decisions are better made when they factor in the human desire for visual content.

Are you utilizing video and photography for your business strategy? Comment here or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Thanks so much for reading!

To learn more about  StrategyJQ and our servicescontact us - we look forward to speaking with you!

 

 

Pinterest: Vision-Boarding for Fun and Profit

Pinterest has become a treasure trove of marketing and branding mojo, as well as a valuable weapon to carry on your ninja toolbelt

Winning the Branding War Through Social Media: Ford, JetBlue and Taco Bell

At StrategyJQ we believe that conversation is steeped into every piece of business and marketing plans. Today, we wanted to highlight some examples of companies that are participating strategically and effectively.

BRANDING 101: What Building a Brand Means Today

Brand“Once upon a time…,” is a perfect way to start a fairy tale. Insert one princess, a kingdom and a bad, evil thing trying to turn it all into rubble and you’re off to the races. Here, let’s try to write our own fairy tale…

Once upon a time, brands were built out of brick and stone…

It’s quaint, I’ll give it that. The only problem is that it has no bearing on the reality of today. If you don’t like it, go ahead and complain on the Internet. Once you’re done blowing off steam, go see how much good that does you? Did you effect change? Did anybody even listen? How many “Likes” did you get?

And if you don’t feel like enough people listened, maybe, just maybe, it’s because your “brand” isn’t big enough.

Sure, I could make some cornball “size doesn’t matter” joke — if that’s what you’d like, we can pause for a second for a few harmless yuks — but just take a moment to think about this: in today’s world, EVERYBODY is a brand!

Yeah, it’s nuts. It’s Andy Warhol on acid, because now everyone who gets (and desires) their 15 minutes now has the ability to turn that tiny bit of attention into a “brand.”

Branding was something you used to have to earn — with a damp sweat rag mopping your brow with one hand as you wielded a trowel with the other. It’s different today and I’ll tell you why.

In the past, branding was the act of creating trust. Today, branding is all about creating a sensation. 

Now there’s nothing wrong with trust. In fact, trust is a foundation that weathers the ages — a foundation that will remain in place when the occasional hurricane passes through. Trust is what will bring you repeat business and loyal customers. We’re talking the trust that your brand will deliver the goods.

The only problem is that nowadays, trust isn’t always enough to bring them across your threshold the first time. In a world that offers more choices by the second, to get ‘em though the door the first time, the second time and everytime after that, you need a better cheese.

Go ahead and blame the Internet, but we live in a short-attention span world. Through our desktop and mobile browsers we voraciously devour information like Blue Whales inhaling great draughts of krill. If that wasn’t enough, we are also bombarded left and right by advertisements and messages. We, as humans, don’t shrink away from it. No, when given the opportunity, we consume even more. We can’t get enough and we can’t get it fast enough.

And because those consumers in the expanding customer base you desire drink from the firehose of information known as the Internet, your claims of quality will only get you so far. Because hyperbole on the net is like a shovel in a horse stable, there will be those in the demographics you covet who won’t know the difference between your claims of being the best from those being made by Joe who started yesterday in his basement, regardless of your pedigree. There’s only so many times you can rest on your laurels before the message gets lost in the cloud.

All those billions upon billions of bits and bytes flying around the world every second of everyday make up the shifting sand of the Internet. What you did yesterday may have been great, but it’s already been swallowed up and forgotten. Your fairy tale “happily ever after” may only last till the next page refresh.

But fret not, friends. It’s not all bad news. In today’s blink-and-you-missed-it world, however, there is one saving grace for the beleaguered marketer: conversation.

Building a brand today is all about inspiring people to talk about you. 

And in that respect, the Internet has given Joe in his basement the same opportunities to brand-build as any built-in-stone company. His reach may lack because he hasn’t been around as long, but his ability to get people talking about his brand exists. All Joe has to do down there in the basement is whip up something worth talking about… a sensation.

You can stand on your soapbox and shout all you want, but today if other people aren’t talking about your, your brand, and all that brick and stone you used to create it, is as good as invisible. Small brands come and go because while they may inspire people to come through the door that first time, they lack the resources, credibility and creativity to get enough repeat business to stay alive.

Branding today is not about creating one good idea or one good slogan. It’s about building a platform from which great ideas come from time and again. To make dollar one, you need faith more than you need trust. Faith that you are worth pulling out a wallet or checkbook that first time. Faith that you are worth talking about in an online status report that my friends will “Like.”

Because the Internet has given us all access to realize our own fairy tales, Joe in his basement can have a “once upon a time” by getting enough people to talk about him. However, the way you build a brand today is by maintaining or re-establishing your place in the conversation. True, not all succeed, and it’s not for for a lack of huffing a puffing or the machinations of a wicked witch in the woods. If you’re looking for a happy ending to your brand-building efforts, you need to constantly create the kind of sensations capable of inspiring others to tell your tale to others.

What does Branding mean to you and your business right now? Comment here or on our Facebook and Twitter pages. Thanks so much for reading!

To learn more about  StrategyJQ and our servicescontact us - we look forward to speaking with you!

 

 

 

SJQ Guest Post: The State of Video – Win the War for Attention with Video by Mark Yoshimoto Nemcoff

While it may be intimidating to get started, video enables the creation of deep connections and relationships with your audience/customers through this very personal medium.

The State of Video – How Brands Can Use Vine as Part of an Overall Content Strategy

You’ve heard of Vine, Twitter’s newly-released video sharing app — and you may have heard just enough about it to wonder who on earth would ever use such a thing or even care about it.

We’re an xPotomac Sponsor!

xPotomac

xPotomac

A couple of years ago I spoke at the last BlogPotomac – a Happy Capitalist in a sea of non-profits and government agencies – and had a blast, so I jumped at the opportunity to sponsor Geoff Livingston’s new conference, xPotomac.

xPotomac – where the Digital Future meets Business – will be held on February 25, 2013 at the Source Theatre in Washington DC. 8 sessions will be presented by the likes of Greg Verdino, Andrew Keen and Jennifer Cansalvo, in a tight format of 15 minutes per speaker and 30 minutes of Q&A. Sound fantastic, right?

If you’re interested – and you should be – today’s the last day to get 10% off ticket price using the code January.  There will be no February code, so if you have friends who are interested, now is the time.

So – come to xPotomac on 2/25 and make sure you introduce yourself! Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Pitch Refinery SJQ Scholarships

 

Great Speakers at The Pitch Refinery

Melissa Pierce (Disclosure: Melissa has work with SJQ in a few capacities, we’re big fans!) has created something incredible – The Pitch Refinery! This Chicago conference, on September 22nd and 23rd, focuses on teaching people how to tell the story of their business, by a fantastic slate of speakers and mentors.

It blows the hackneyed “Elevator Pitch” into the 21st century!

Pitching is one of the most important work that StrategyJQ does – it’s how we get business. And it’s never easy, but it could be easier and a lot more fun! 

SJQ has bought 2 VIP tickets as scholarships for The Pitch Refinery to make  available to people who really want to go, but may not have the resources right now. As per The Pitch Refinery Blog:

“There are two scholarships available. Scholarships are open to anyone whether you are a student, an entrepreneur, or just interested in refining your presentation skills. If you are able to travel to Chicago and attend Pitch Refinery September 22nd and 23rd, but were previously deterred due to the financial burden of ticket prices. Please apply for the Pitch Refinery StrategyJQ Scholarship. 

Apply here. Scholarship winners will be announced September 4th.”

 

This conference is going to be amazing, and now you have one less excuse. Go see what Melissa has created with The Pitch Refinery and make something great of your own!

SJQ: Redesigned

StrategyJQ has almost reached the 2-year mark (I can’t believe how quickly it’s passed!) and it’s time for a refresh! I’ve been working with my design partners, Green Ball Media for a few months on the redesign and today it’s finally live!

It was important to me that what I, and SJQ, focuses on should be immediately accessible to anyone who lands on the front page, and that users should be able to find whatever they’re looking for quickly.

A website, especially in the Age of the App, doesn’t get you hired immediately – but it’s a great introduction to who you are and what you solve for your clients. The new StrategyJQ is a great first impression!

Let me know if you agree!

Working with Intent

This doesn't work.

I’ve been talking about Intent a lot in the last couple of weeks. In conversations with friends, client trainings and even with my accountant. When I hear myself repeating a specific word or phase consistently, it’s time to examine why.

Being Irish-American, we place a lot of faith in, well, faith, luck and fate. It’s a charming, romantic notion – and lazy as ifreann. Lazy, because it takes no effort, planning or skin in the game. No investment.

What I realize is that when I’m speaking about intent, I’m talking about building relationships and trust by communicating with purpose. That a content strategy for a client means nothing without the business objectives, goals and intent behind the words – that teaching a company about having a “voice” is about more than personality.

Intent is an action, it moves you forward – intent reaches –>

  • What am I really asking for?
  • How do I want to be perceived?
  • How can I show myself more clearly with these words?
  • What choice can I make that moves me (us) forward to the objectives

A company that’s doing this incredibly well on Instagram is Kate Spade (katespadenyc). As the name suggests, the photos that are shared on her stream are filled with images of her stores, trends and new must-haves. It’s also filled with the color and feel of living in New York City during each of the different seasons – they know who their customer is and who she wants to be. Each photo creates the opportunity for this customer to share in the moment and see herself in it. To be the person already living that life – and the high volume of comments show that a lot of people want to be, want to know and want to connect with that person and w/KateSpadeNYC.

It’s easy to teach a company how to make status updates, YouTube videos and moment share – it’s the intent behind those that’s takes a “voice” and creates an opportunity for your audience to not only see the human face behind the words, but hopefully themselves within the connection.