by Karisa DanleyImage

As the mother of 2 girls, I have spent their early years encouraging them to be outside, playing with friends instead of watching TV, playing video games & being on the computer. I have set rules to keep computers in the common areas of our house and discouraged social media at young ages. We were the last of their peer group to have Wii, DSI & any of the “I” products.  I’ve tried to keep them a bit sheltered as to what is out there until I felt like they were ready.

As you may have guessed, just as it is difficult to keep your kids from recognizing the McDonalds sign, so it is with social media & technology. It’s for this reason my current position as the Director of Interactive Marketing, seems so ironic to me. My past experience was more in the traditional roles of advertising, but going back to work for an ad agency where digital marketing is the name of the game, has proven to bring a whole new element to what I knew and needed to know. Now, my kids are watching me on the computer in the evening, on Facebook, Pinterest, reading blogs & more. It’s exciting to plan campaigns involving an array of mediums and how social media can bring it all together by filling in the missing pieces, getting your brand in front of a whole new demographic. I love it! Social Media is about promoting a company’s brand and culture through new technologies and non-traditional platforms all while interacting with current and potential customers. What works for one business may not work for another. Discovering the right mix is like a giant puzzle and there is not a cookie cutter answer. But when people start interacting with the brand, success is achieved, and that for me is when social media becomes fun.

What do social media analysts do while their friends are pinning vacations, recipes & outfits?

The first thing each morning, usually early morning, they spend their time checking all social media channels for each client. Just because my lights may be out for a few hours, social media lights are never out. There is real time sensitivity to this activity, so timeliness is priority.

They spend time researching stories, writing blogs, planning campaigns and reaching out to clients to ensure strategies are on track. A portion of their day will be spent on reading trend reports to stay in touch with the latest technologies.

Just as will any marketing position, reporting is a huge part of any campaign. Analysts track basic stats, but also monitor conversations happening around the brand on and off pages and structure responses that are in-line with the company’s response.

What I have found now that I have a pre-teen, is that this job not only allows me to work with companies promoting their product, but it has opened up lines of communication about safe social media, the pros and cons. My daughter actually feel I know what I am talking about – shocking! Some parents may have the intentions of monitoring their kids on social media, but honestly, it is time consuming. This allows me to stay ahead of the trends, if I’m keeping up with my job, and play a role in something that is and will continue to be a large part of all our lives.

by Caroline Englestad

Caroline

There are times, at 3am when I wake from a deep sleep with a great campaign idea, my heart pounding. It is at times such as this that I think, why do I do this? This is insane, and yes, it IS mad and yes, I have often asked myself… why? Advertising is a thankless profession. We are the bad guys, the ones who ‘bend’ the truth to make people look good, to sell products no one needs. We know how to take a product or a service and ‘spin’ it to make it more appealing to the public. If you truly believe that, then you only have part of the story, there is so much more.Being a real ‘Ad man’ is SO much more than just throwing a TV commercial together about what somebody sells and putting it out there to the masses, ‘hoping’ it is well received. Agency life is very different from just ‘peddling’ media. Typically when I take a client on, I have already researched this client and their company. Is this company, at its core, a company I would want to do business with? Would I buy anything from them? How do they treat their customers? How committed are they? Is their heart in it? Are they ready? Because if the answer is a resounding no, to any of these questions, then the alarm bells go off… this will NOT be a good fit for either of us. A business must be ready to invest time, energy, and yes… money. If a business owner is willing to do that, then I will invest the same time, energy, blood, sweat, tears (yes, there are tears) and sleepless nights to ensure this company succeeds. I am their partner, I will celebrate with them jubilantly on the mountaintop and on the flip side, and I will walk one step ahead of them through the valley.

It all starts with an idea … (albeit at 3am!) one does not know when these ideas will come but they DO come and eventually I sit round a table with my colleagues and this raw idea is then cultivated, a group of people with very different views, talents and flaws come together to hash out this idea over strong coffee and eventually this seed materializes into a fully grown campaign, with all the elements working together, every piece carefully considered, planned, researched and agonized over.

The Pitch: this is a tricky time for an Ad Man. By the time I get to this stage I almost always know my client and what they need. I use the word ‘need’, they don’t always get what they ‘want’. If a client ‘wants’ to put his small children in a TV commercial, this is not what he ‘needs’ (undoubtedly he is the only one who loves his children, the viewer just finds them annoying) I am only pitching a campaign that I emphatically believe in, and not out of some self-indulgent pride but out of a genuine need to believe it will work. Putting everything on the line requires COMPLETE confidence.

The public are fickle, what works one day, won’t work another. The public get bored very easily so we strive, we change, we constantly evolve and we steer our clients through the ever changing ocean of ‘what’s hot and what’s not’. The client does not see what we put into a campaign, and ultimately if the campaign fails, it is the ‘Ad Mans’ fault, if the campaign is a huge success then we are just ‘doing our job’, thankless … yes, which brings me back to my first question , why do I do it ? Easy…when I have worked day and night on a campaign, when I have agonized, researched, eaten junk food, cried, bitten nails, paced the room, argued with my boss and finally… finally, taken a fledgling idea and made it into something great, when I hear people talk about it, when I see a business owner proud of their business, when I see a business flourishing, I can close my computer down and leave my office, go home to my children and tell them that I have done my best , that I gave it everything I could and my conscience is clean … well, until the next junk food binge anyway!

YouTube has turned into an incredible search engine for people to find funny, engaging videos that can tell visual stories about your business. YouTube user demographics are evenly distributed between men & women as well as all ages.
YouTube has become more than just a place to house millions of videos. They have made is easier for video creators to have subscribers. Get creative with your videos. Use them to educate, review products, tell a story, and take people behind the scenes or answer questions. A series of videos is a great way to keep people coming back for more. YouTube’s Channel discovery feature recommends channels based on existing subscriptions & viewing behavior.

If you haven’t considered using YouTube as part of your social media plan, now is the time. Below are a few key points to consider to get you started.

  • Create a branded channel by customizing it using specific colors, information and links to your website and other relevant social media pages. YouTube is great way to showcase your company culture, newest products and services and expertise so when people search for keywords related to your business, your videos appear.
  • Optimize your channel title and channel description using relevant keywords related to your business. Start your descriptions with a full url and be descriptive and key-word rich in your video titles & channel title.
  • Keep your videos short, sweet and professionally produced if possible. 60 to 90 seconds should be enough time to get your message out there and ensure you’re keeping your audience’s attention. The only exception may be your how-to videos.
  • Make sure your videos can be found by posting on other platforms.
  • Participate with others on YouTube. This means answering comments just as you respond on other social media platforms. Spend time engaging with others and visiting the competition to keep up with what they are or aren’t doing so well.

YouTube is a great place for any business. So go ahead and start your video camera now!