Super Bowl Ads: Hits and Misses

At every Super Bowl, there are winners and losers, and we’re not just talking about the football players. Brands are also competing, not for a trophy, but for viewers’ attention. Each year there are over 111.3 million viewers tune in, making Super Bowl Sunday an epic opportunity to advertise your brand to the public.

1. Tide: “It’s a Tide Ad”

Tide and David Harbour had everyone fooled. The pair teamed up to poke fun at every stereotypical Super Bowl commercial in every product market. Not only did the ad convey the brand’s core message, that your clothing will be spotless if you use Tide, but it also had viewers wondering if each subsequent commercial was actually going to be a Tide ad rather than what it seemed to be.

2. Amazon: “Alexa Lost Her Voice”

Often times, brands get so caught up in making people laugh or showing off their celebrity ambassadors that they forget to show the audience the product, service or brand they are advertising. Amazon managed to do both of those things but still keep the commercial focused on the product and that’s why this ad worked so well. Bringing in relevant celebrities to voice Alexa and make us chuckle is the perfect combination for a Super Bowl commercial.

3. Doritos/Mountain Dew: “Doritos Blaze vs. Mountain Dew Ice”

Both Doritos and Mountain Dew are known for their funny, eye-catching and sometimes absurd Super Bowl ads. This epic lip sync battle between two superstars, Peter Drinklage and Morgan Freeman, with cameo appearances from the artist who sing the featured songs, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot, showcases the opposing flavors of the sister brands’ new products while entertaining the audience.

4. Fabreze: “Bleep Don’t Stink”

Febreze takes one of it’s products obvious uses and puts a humorous spin on it. Although the product wasn’t actually mentioned, this commercial worked because the innuendo was clear. Dave’s “bleep don’t stink”, but yours does, buy Febreze.

5. E-Trade: “Old People Working”

This commercial is creative, funny and clearly delivers the call to action: open a retirement account. While this ad is really targeting a much younger audience than the ad portrays, having the elderly people be the subject of the commercial drives the point home while using a more humorous take on the advertising scare tactic.

Not every commercial can be a winner. There will always be Super Bowl ads that just miss the mark. Here are a few of the ads that didn’t perform as well as they could have:

1. Coca Cola: “Diet Coke Twisted Mango Groove”


This was cringe-worthy. The awkward dancing spokes girl made the viewers feel almost embarrassed for her and did not convey any real message about the brand or product, making this commercial a flop.

2. Bud Light: “The Bud Knight

Bud Light has been pushing the “Dilly Dilly!” ad campaign successfully since 2017. Although the medieval-inspired ads have been a consumer favorite for quite some time, Bud Light’s Super Bowl ad under the same concept did not do well. The ad felt tired and didn’t add anything new to the “Dilly Dilly” story that the brand has been telling.

3. Groupon: “Who Wouldn’t”

Although Tiffany Haddish is always fun to watch, this Groupon comercial wasn’t. The purpose of the advertisement was apparent and but the humor and story line that went along with it felt forced.

If you need help making your brand stand out, visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

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#marketing #advertising #superbowl #superbowlads #superbowlcommercials #branding

Creating an Email Drip Campaign

Consumers are bombarded by advertising content nearly around the clock. Your marketing messages will get lost in the crowd if you don’t take the time to personalize the content. Email drip campaigns are a great tool your company can utilize when trying to generate more leads, nurture qualified leads, and optimize your time.

What is a Drip Campaign?

A drip campaign is an automated workflow used to nurture leads through the sales funnel by dispersing specific marketing information to prospects over a long period of time. This helps establish credibility and brand recognition. If these drip campaigns are set up properly, you will only have to send out one initial email. The actions (or lack of) by the recipient will determine what content and how much content they receive. The best part? After the initial email, everything is handled automatically.

How to set up a Drip Campaign

You start by setting up a workflow that maps out the series of automated triggers and actions. For instance, if a lead opens an email, clicks within an email, visits a page, or fills out a form, these triggers will activate specific follow-up actions. Then, based on these triggers, different rules will be set in place for that lead.

For example, you are sending out an RSVP email for an upcoming event.  If a lead clicks on an “RSVP YES” button for the event, then they will be added to a list titled “RSVP YES” and 4 days before the event they will be sent a reminder email. But if they did not click on the “YES” button, then one week later they will be sent an email reminding them to RSVP for the event. This type of workflow can be tailored to all sorts of marketing campaigns.

Here are a few examples of different types of email drip campaigns:

1. Top-of-Mind Drips: these types of campaigns drive awareness and keep your message in front of your audience. Suggested content includes specific landing pages, infographics, case studies, newsletter recaps or any other information which will increase brand awareness.

2. Educational Drips: Provide relevant information on the unique products or services offered by your company and how they can help. These types of campaigns are great for prospects who don’t know what specific offerings would cure a pain point. Note: Campaigns that are too promotional — all about your company with no educational value — will turn away potential leads. Suggested posts: Case studies, how your product or service is applied in the real world, and infographics.

3. Re-engagement Drips: These are used to win back the interest of cold, unengaged or former leads. A great type of email to put in this type of drip is a case study showcasing current client work.

4. Competitive Drips: Target competitor’s clients with the various benefits of switching services. You see this all the time with phone companies. Suggested content include any statistical information, case studies and testimonials.

5. Promotional Drips: Entice leads with limited-run promotions and special pricing. The pressure of a limited-time offer is a known champion when it comes to converting leads into customers. A reduced price or free add-on may be just enough to make a sale.

6. Region or Industry Drips: Use a specific campaign to target various regions and industries. Tailor information and articles so that is resonates with a specific target audience. We recommend using this type of campaign if your company targets many different industries or personas. Slight personalizations go a long way in email marketing.

 

Now that you know about a few of the different types of drip campaigns, put them to use in your email marketing. Not sure how to begin? Brand Iron is ready to help automate your marketing. Get started by filling out the form below or visit brandiron.net and give us a call: 303-534-1901

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#marketing #emailmarketing #dripcampaign #email #workflow #automatedmarketing

Defining Your Brand Voice

Every brand has a voice, but is it the right fit?

Start by thinking of your brand. What person or image comes to mind? Is this voice and personality communicated throughout the tone of your brand?  If not, it might be time to rethink your brand voice.

A brand voice should be distinguishable and is a critical step when it comes to defining your positioning and messaging in a way that appeals to your target customers. It isn’t about a creation of a non-human voice, but how you package and display your content, copy and creative. Combined, these elements create a tone which is communicated to your audience and puts a face to your company.

To start, you need to know who your target audience is and what makes them tick. Develop personas that define their unique personality traits and buying habits. Figure out what they care about tailor your content to appeal to them. Your brand’s voice will play an important role in developing this customized content. By first understanding your target audience you can build a brand voice that speaks directly to them.

Next, you should come up with attributes and adjectives that you want your brand voice to portray. Think about what you want your brand’s tone, style, and attitude to feel like. The voice need to be real and accurately reflect the personality of the company and the people behind the brand. Once you have determined the attributes of the brand voice, it is time to apply the voice to the creative look and feel.  

Marrying the creative look with the brand voice is where the magic happens and brings the whole package to life. When these two elements are combined just right, you create a powerful and wonderful brand that connects with your target audience and brings your brand to life! To find out more or if you need help developing your brand’s voice visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to get started.

 

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Tips For Setting Up A Seasonal Marketing Campaign

Tis the season for seasonal marketing campaigns. What will your company do to prepare for the holiday season?

The holidays are fast approaching, which means new opportunities for seasonal marketing campaigns. Over the next few months companies will be preparing for the seasonal rush. This year holiday sales are projected to top $1 trillion. Your company should take advantage of these opportunities by setting up a seasonal marketing campaigns. Don’t wait, because these opportunities will come and go before you know it.

Marketing around the holidays may seem easy since there is tons of content to share, but this flood of content can make it tough to get your message seen. We put together some tips for you to keep in mind while preparing for the holidays.

1. Time is of the essence: Timing is everything during the holidays! We advise you to start early and end late. Each year people start preparing for the holidays earlier and earlier. Shoppers are not only looking for inspiration, but they are actually making purchasing decisions far in advance. Establishing a touchpoint calendar early is important to provide your audience enough information to make a purchase decision before the holidays. So plan in advance and be thoughtful with each marketing touch.

2. Set up posts that “drip” into each other: This means creating posts that build off of each other. Radio stations use this type of drip all the time when they want listeners to tune in at a certain time. For example, you may create a post that only contains teaser information. The goal is to pique your audience’s interest so they want to learn more. You can use a countdown to tell your audience exactly how much time they have before a target date or tell them to stay tuned for the next round of information. These drip posts work well for contests or promotional information that contain time sensitive information.

3. Create a seasonal special: Use the holidays to your advantage by setting up seasonal promotions, contests or limited time offers. Prepare for these promotions with introductory posts or sneak previews that set up and frame the larger campaign as well as grab the attention of your audience early. If promotions and specials aren’t enough, try running a photo contest or something out of the box to set you apart from all the holiday discounts.

4. Quality over quantity: This may seem obvious, but during the holidays it is more important than ever to only share information that is essential to your audience. The frenzy surrounding the holiday season means people are bombarded with content. Make sure that you don’t overwhelm your audience with promotional content during this time as it may do more harm than good.

5. Don’t forget about smaller holidays: Everyone tends to focus on the big holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving but overlook the smaller holidays. Holidays like New Year’s and Valentine’s are a great opportunities to keep a marketing campaign alive and your company on your audience’s mind.

6. Support a charitable cause: This time of year is called the season of giving for a reason. Supporting a charitable cause is a great way for your company to give back to the community that supports your business. Rally your team and followers to get involved and give back in some way, either through volunteering, donating. Don’t forget to spread the word of these actions through social media and press releases.

 

Use these tips and tricks to take the holiday season by storm. Brand Iron can help you prepare a seasonal marketing campaign. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help.

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#seasonalmarketing #holidaycampaign #tipsfortheholidays #marketingfortheholidays #marketingtips #seasonalcampaign

10 Tips for Companies with Small Marketing Budgets

How to get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Are you a small business that doesn’t have the resources to spend on marketing? No worries –– there are plenty of ways to maximize your marketing efforts on a budget. Marketing is an area that small business owners don’t want to ignore. It helps you put your brand in front of your target audience and grow brand awareness in order to close sales. We put together some tips on how to stretch your marketing dollars while strapped for cash.

1.  Social media: Ramping up your company’s social media is an easy way to build brand awareness. Sharing original and repurposed content is an great way to distribute engaging information, while gaining a loyal following.

2. Website: A well-designed website is crucial for any small business. It is important that both the frontend and backend are designed correctly to create a clean, direct and easy-to-navigate site. Since your marketing efforts will be driving people back to your website, the website must be able to can handle the traffic by redirecting them to important pages. Don’t forget to have a form and/or call-to-actions so you can capture leads and connect with them!

3. Sales deck: Sales decks are a shortened version of your company’s pitch deck. It should properly package your company showing long-term goals, any important statistics, and how you will reach those goals and objectives. Most small businesses are constantly talking to investors and trying to get funding, so having a strong sales deck is worth the investment.

4. Informational video: Creating an info video is a great way to visually explain your services, product offerings, or process to your audience. These videos can be short whiteboard videos, self- promos, tutorials, you name it. Once you create the videos you can share it on multiple platforms.

5. Press release: Nothing is better than free media. Submitting a press release announcing a launch or new product line is an excellent way to get your brand out in the light.

6. Blogs: Writing original blog content is a easy way share the voice of your brand. You can write blogs about specific products and services, industry trends, tips, or anything you think your audience will find interesting and share it on multiple platforms.

7. Repurpose content: Don’t create more work for yourself. For one example, if you’ve written content for a press release, repurpose it by turning it into a blog or a social media post.

8. Never. Stop. Networking: You never know where your next lead or sale is going to come from. Follow up with leads, and show them you’re interested in doing business together. Go to networking events and use business cards that you collect to help grow your email list. It’s worth taking the time to make genuine connections.

9. Business Cards: You may not think of business cards as marketing per se, but this is an easy way to get you and your business recognized. A clear and well-designed business card can make quite an impact and go a long way in helping your marketing efforts.

10. SEM/AdWords: Running a paid search engine marketing campaign is a cheap and effective way to promote your brand. With Google AdWords PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad. The key is to solidify strong keywords that will drive people to your website.

With these 10 tips, you can maximize your marketing efforts which will help grow your business. It takes time and resources to make your marketing work for you but if you keep these nine things in mind you’ll be off to a great start! Brand Iron is here to help you develop a strong marketing strategy that will elevate your brand in the market. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how we can help!

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The Benefits of Targeted Touchpoint Marketing

How to effectively engage with your audience. 

In today’s world, we are bombarded with content and information everywhere we look. As a business you only have seven seconds on average to capture the attention of your audience before they make the critical decision to either keep reading or move on to the next thing. Making contact with your audience, which is called a touch, must be both interesting enough to keep your audience reading and frequent enough to nurture, and eventually close, a qualified sales lead. Generally, it takes 7-15 quality touches to move a prospect to the point of closing.

Fifteen touches may seem excessive, but it will help generate and nurture more qualified leads, and it’s generally spread across a year. Consumers are used to having access to mass amounts of information and expect to be given all the facts before they reach the final decision-making stage. Targeted touchpoint campaigns help grow your brand’s reputation while nurturing leads by giving them information relevant to them. Here are some ways you can effectively communicate with your audience and expand your brand’s reach with these different touches:

  • Blogs
  • Calls
  • Case studies
  • Direct sales
  • Email marketing
  • Networking
  • Press releases
  • Social media
  • Website traffic

Incorporating a variety of these touches in your marketing calendar gives your company a significant advantage to actively engage leads and eventually close sales. We’ve seen warm leads slip through the cracks and fall out of the sales funnel because they have not received enough valuable information to make a decision. It’s important to stay in front of your audience by educating leads through consistent, attention-getting touches.

Brand Iron can help you stay in front of your audience with targeted touchpoint campaigns that identify, attract, and develop brand awareness among prospective leads. Visit brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901 to see how our services can help!

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#marketing #branding #targetaudience #emailmarketing #socialmedia #blog #directmail #pr #blogs #targetedtouchpoint

Utilizing Automated Marketing to Generate Leads and Nurture Relationships

You’ve heard about automated marketing, but have you ever thought about using it for your own company?

A Great Place to Start: What is Marketing Automation?

Automated marketing is a tool that allows you to automate, streamline, and measure your marketing actions to increase revenue and operational efficiency. In a nutshell, it allows you to optimize your time by streamlining the marketing processes through automation while still personalizing content and nurturing relationships with your audience. By measuring and tracking tasks, you can create campaigns tailored to meet the needs of your market segments. An automated approach is used by marketing departments for repetitive tasks such as email campaigns, social media, or other actions on websites.

When your company launches, it is easy to maintain these one on one relationships with your audience, but as your company starts to grow, it is impossible to keep up and manage these relationships without any help. That is where automations helps.

The goal of marketing is to generate more leads, close on potential clients, and drive revenue for your company. Automation helps generate leads by driving traffic to specific landing pages, allowing you to track and convert leads. It also allows you to shape campaigns according to the various touch points and call to actions of the end users. Since the automation can be tailored specifically for market segments, it feels more like a give and take relationship rather than a hard sell.

 

What Does Automated Marketing Look Like?

Someone once explained automated marketing to me as the same as growing a plant. You need to plant the seeds, which is the initial outreach from the company to the audience in the form of an email or social media post. Next you need to give the lead (seedling) water and light by delivering customized, value driven information to the specific audience.This is done through specific campaigns that trigger an automated action depending on the customer’s response. Finally, we hope to have nurtured the lead well enough and grown it to the point of being an actual paying customer. Nurturing a plant or a lead is not a guaranteed process, and it is important to tailor interactions based on the evolving needs of your audience.

Concepts to Keep in Mind when Using Automated Marketing Techniques

1. Segment your lists into sectors

You can segment your list you can communicate directly to your audience’s wants and needs. Build personas to represent segments.

2. Test your email lists and timing.

When you send emails is equally important as the content in the emails.

3. Keep your content relevant.

4. Track your results.

5. Whittle down your email lists.

It may seem important to have a large subscription base, but the active subscribers are going to be the quality leads.

6. Allow your subscribers to manage their preferences.

7. Always include a specific call to action.

 

Brand Iron is here to help you automate your marketing, improve lead generation, and optimize your systems. To talk with us regarding automated marketing or any of your marketing needs, visit www.brandiron.net or call 303-534-1901.

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The Importance of Captivating and Branded Content

At Brand Iron, we are big believers that content is king. Creating engaging content that captivates, educates, and entertains your audience goes a long way toward making your overall brand more approachable and more desirable.

But what happens when you go that extra step further? What happens when you incorporate your brand into the content itself? We’ll tell you: only good things. It brings the added benefits of positioning your brand within a given topic, giving it some personality, and tying it in with something people want to be associated with.

For example, take this Pin from Smirnoff. A “red white and berry” branded vodka infusion for your 4th of July celebration not only sets the mood for some festive fun, but it also ties in your (not so American) brand with the most revered of American holidays:

Here are some fun facts about general content marketing and the benefits for those who harness it:

  • Content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders.
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than outbound marketing and it generates more than three times as many leads.
  • When content marketing adopters and non-adopters are compared, the adopters have conversion rates that are nearly six times higher.
  • Email content offers the largest overall reach: For every $1 spent, email gives back a whopping $38 in ROI.
  • 73% of major organizations hire someone to manage their content marketing strategy.

Here at Brand Iron, we’ve learned the power of content and how effective it can be. Even the occasional branded quote, tip, hint and fun picture can go a long way toward garnering attention for your media and your brand.

Give it a shot. Tap into captivating, branded content and harness the power yourself!

Leveraging a proven branding process, modern technology and analytics, Brand Iron elevates brands toward their Achieve Anything. Contact us today at 303-534-1901 for info about how we can help you with your content and beyond!

7 Technology Savvy Ways to Generate Business Leads

Companies are always on the lookout for the most effective ways to generate solid leads for their business. With the advent of technology in virtually all business sectors, some formerly “speculative” methods and tools are becoming the new tried-and-true.

The question we must ask ourselves is this: are we effectively harnessing technology to help produce leads, ignite business and grow revenue? Let’s take a look at some contemporary marketing strategies that can substantially increase your business agility, and the technology tools that make them possible.

1) Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)

Make sure you are utilizing a CRM system to improve your relationship with existing customers, find new prospective customers, and win back former customers. CRM systems allow you to house and manage your contacts and effectively view and manage your pipeline, ensuring improved customer relations, better external and internal communication, and an in-depth understanding of your customers’ needs and behavior.

Tools: SalesForce, Act, Insightly

2) Email Distribution Software

Email distribution tools allow you to send out marketing emails in “blast” fashion, i.e. a whole lot at a time, from an address associated with your company. The software then provides analytics and immediate notifications of who bites the lure and when, allowing you to jump faster on qualified leads and up your conversion rates. These tools are great for narrowing and categorizing your targeted audiences, tracking and optimizing your distribution methods, and improving communication with your customers.

Tools: Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor

3) Marketing Automation Software

CRM and email mass distribution software are only the beginning. Marketing Automation integrates it all into one streamlined system that helps you manage and schedule complex digital marketing campaigns. Lead generation, nurturing and scoring, targeted audience segmentation, scheduled social media campaigns, customer lifecycle marketing, cross-selling and up-selling, customer retention, and marketing ROI measurement are all benefits of utilizing this behemoth of marketing technology.

Tools: Pardot, Eloqua, Sharp Spring

4) Webinars

Putting on a webinar is a great way to showcase a skill or topic and educate your audience about a particular subject. You can use this tool to help qualify a prospect and turn them into a true, bonafide lead.

Tools: Google + Hangouts, Webinars OnAir, Skype, GoToWebinar

5) Online Surveys

Using a survey is a great way to connect to both customers and prospects alike. By targeting your surveys toward specific audiences, you can even help convert prospects into leads.

Tools: Survey Monkey, ZOHO, Survey Gizmo

6) Commercial Social Networking

Just about everyone understands the importance of social networking these days. This is just another way to beef up your networking database and connect with influential people and targeted markets.

Tools: LinkedIn, AngelList, Beyond

7) Database Development

Using a database development tool to locate targets and get their information added to your database is crucial and a great way to connect to your desired prospects.

Tools: InfoUSA, NetProspex, AggData

At Brand Iron, we think it’s critical to figure out what you are trying to accomplish with your marketing activities and then take a detailed look at the best technology tools that can help get you there. Map out when and how you are going to use these tools, then get going. It’s never too soon to start generating more leads and driving revenue.

Marketing Yourself As An Alternative Investment

 

Marketing lives in a completely separate world from Private Equity, Real Estate Investment, and Venture Capital. However, each discipline is a different exposition of core strategic thinking. Two industries, each faced with a vast sea of competitors, deciding how to stand out from the crowd. After years of picking up new investment firm clients, it’s still difficult to change their minds when it comes to effective marketing. Let’s start with a few basic initiatives that alternative investment firms need to take to heart.

Competing For Investment $$$

First things first, you have to know where you stand. Alternative investments have a hard time defining their competition. It’s nice to think that your brand is an island in itself, untouchable. However, alternative investments not only compete with other alternative investments of all types but also against traditional investment firms as well. Your company is competing for dollars against all of these other players and in order to grow, you have to know what you’re up against.

Brand Strategy Shouldn’t Be An Afterthought

Branding an investment firm is just as important as branding any other company. Firms need to engage people in order to answer the age old question of “What’s in it for me?”. Try adding a splash of life to a dry brand story. It might surprise you how intriguing a well thought out investment philosophy can be. If you’ve got an airtight message, you’ve got it made, as long as you can communicate it effectively.

“If you’ve got an airtight message, you’ve got it made, as long as you can communicate it effectively.”

Find What Really Differentiates You

From a marketing perspective, finding what differentiates you is easier said than done. What if you have 645 years of combined experience? So does nearly everybody else. Your track record of sound investment decisions is unbeatable? Give me a break. Take some time to dive deeper and consider the little things that seem insignificant. Transparency is a scary word, but baby steps can bring you a long way in the eyes of the public and your potential portfolio investments.

Play In The Hay

Economic markets affect all of us. For investors making smart marketing moves, this public interest denotes two things. Firstly, the potential for content creation is infinite for your industry. From blog posts to podcasts and more, people always look for the most up-to-date financial information out there. This leads to my second point, which gives you, the creator of this content, the prestigious title of financial expert. Capitalize on your investment cred and create engaging content that puts you and your firm at the top.

For investment firms, marketing initiatives of any kind can make a huge impact on the industry, and for the most part, are long overdue. Communicating the message of who you are and what you believe is key, and if you’re worried, Brand Iron is always happy to help.