Friday, October 31, 2008

How Social Media is Impacting the Election

In light of the election this coming Tuesday, I thought I would take a few minutes today and look into how new media has been affecting the election.

We all know how intense this years Presidential Election has been, with both Democratic and Republican parties vying for votes by any means possible. Over the past months both parties have been on the campaign trail promoting themselves in traditional ways: town hall meetings, rallies, television and radio ads, debates, and the list goes on. While this year’s election season has been full of these more traditional approaches, there has been a heavy shift towards using social media to woo voters as well.

The Democratic campaign has been reaching out to voters through social media tools and mobile marketing techniques thus giving it the nickname the “Social Media Election”. Social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace have brought the campaign to new heights in promoting the candidates and engaging voters, especially among younger demographics.

MySpace has been a hot spot for members to communicate about the election, who they’re voting for, and what they believe it. In addition to this, one of the best things MySpace has done for the election is allowing users to watch and participate in the debates as volunteers.

Twitter has also been a great place for people to get information, as it keeps followers updated minute by minute about what is going on in with the candidates. Facebook has been a great place to get involved, as it has created pages, groups, and even various applications which remind people to vote.

The Obama campaign has really taken the use of social media to the next level, having created an application for the overwhelmingly popular iphone that allows you to organize the contacts in your phone by key battleground states, receive updates about what is going on in those states, and helps you find/contact the nearest Obama headquarters to get your friends involved and voting.

The fact that both parties have been using social media so much in their campaigns is a testament to how fast the world of Social Media Marketing is growing and impacting our everyday lives. These social media applications being used by the candidates have no doubt allowed for a much more interesting election, and have also engaged voters in new ways than ever before.

Don’t forget to voice your opinion through the various social media outlets and to vote on Tuesday!

Monday, October 20, 2008

How DVR is changing Advertising

While catching up on my DVR last night, I started to think about how much this great commercial-skipping device has changed the entire advertising industry as we know it.

Commercial advertising was once considered one of the most effective ways of pitching a product to consumers with creative, eye catching and visually inviting advertisements. However, although commercial are still an extremely popular means of advertising, advertisers are beginning to realize that there are millions of dollars being invested into TV commercials that for the most part are going unwatched.

This new television era of DVR has caused a shift of power from Advertising Agency to viewer, and is affecting commercials of all kinds, including infomercials. Since more viewers are using DVR services fewer commercials are being watched from beginning to end. In fact, there have been studies done which have calculated that no more than four seconds of a commercial are being watched now; a direct result of digital television recording.

With the millions (and rising) of existing DVR users, Boston Advertising Agencies are now being challenged to create new ways to reach to viewers. One of the best examples of this is the increased use of product placements in TV shows and movies. It will be very interesting to see how Boston Advertising Agencies, Boston Public Relations Firms, and also Boston Marketing Agencies are going to adapt to this major industry wide shift, and try to stay ahead of the technological curve.

Friday, October 10, 2008

YouTube and Publicity

YouTube is a video sharing website where users can upload, view and share video clips. YouTube was created in February 2005. The free service uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips and music videos, as well as amateur content such as videoblogging and short original videos. Youtube's instant and continuously growing large scale popularity has been used as a route for free publicity and high priced advertising. The viewers it reaches are a large network varying by age and interest, so companies know their efforts in reaching the desired demographic (or interest group) will not be futile. In January 2008 alone, nearly 79 million users had made over 3 billion video views.

Now, using this internet service as a mode of publicity has proven quite successful. Especially in the music industry. For example, Soulja boy, a young Hip Hop artist who's musical ventures and creations started-and continue- as Youtube video posts. Now the young artist has been signed to a label and continues to perform and produce his music around the world. He used sites like Youtube and MySpace to link back to his own official site and build a fan base. Boston Public Relations firms can use and learn from this example as it is a very relevant viral marketing tactic. Many Boston Marketing Agencies and Boston Public Relations Firms have used this technique by posting commercials and ads on the Youtube site free of charge and then tagging the appropriate client keywords.

One of the biggest benefits from using services like Youtube is increased returns to scale. That is the power that lies within Youtube. So, now that Boston Public Relations Firms have realized this valuable publicity tool, they have begun to exploit. Take into account the increasing costs of advertising, free publicity in the form of viral web is the way to go if a company is not trying to spend on TV ads but still reach the same target audience.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Mobile Marketing

In addition to Viral Marketing gaining popularity in the Interactive Marketing world, Mobile Marketing had become quite a hit as well.

Mobile Marketing via SMS and MMS are taking over and redefining the very meaning of marketing. SMS is becoming a notorious technique for improving customer engagement by almost 100%. One of the most popular ways that Boston Advertising Agencies promote brands though the use SMS along with MMS is to engage customers in competitions where prizes or discounted products are awarded.

In addition to generating high customer engagement, one of the greatest benefits of Mobile Marketing is that is allows very detailed demographic information about an individual to be collected, which results in highly targeted campaigns. When you effectively reach the right audience your chances of them investing money, buying your product, recommending your product, and returning as a satisfied customer increase drastically.

Mobile Marketing is one of the greatest tools available to Interactive Marketing Agencies today, and the highly specialized targeting makes it one of the most effective.