Contact Info: (714) 595-0963, lpapagni@marketingiw.com

Marketing Initiative Worx Certified as a Women’s Business Enterprise

Posted by Liz Papagni in News and Announcements | 0 comments

WBENC announcement
We're so proud to announce that Marketing Initiative Worx has been recognized by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Women's Business Enterprise. WBENC’s national standard of certification is a meticulous process including an in-depth review of the business and site inspection. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51% owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women. Owned by Liz Papagni, Marketing Initiative Worx is the very picture of a Women's Business Enterprise. "I'm honored to be part of such an incredible organization," Liz says. "I'm so proud of what the WBENC stands for." By including women-owned businesses among their suppliers, corporations and government agencies demonstrate their commitment to fostering diversity and the continued development of their supplier diversity programs. They also benefit from the certified company's connections to other woman-owned businesses throughout the country. As excited as we are to be certified by the WBENC, this doesn't change anything about the service and expertise you've come to expect from Marketing Initiative Worx. We'll just be able to share that service and expertise with a wider range of clientele. WBE Seal CMYK_WBE_09.07.16_v1

Managing Your Brand Across Multiple Platforms

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Management | 0 comments

manage your brand Today’s consumers use a staggering amount of screens. In fact, it’s estimated that Millennials use three screens at any given time, and Generation Z spends time on five or more screens. In other words, if you want your message heard and seen, you must figure out how to reach these buyers on tablets, phones, televisions, laptops, and desktops.

Let’s Get Social

Not only must you become adept at multi-screen marketing, but you also have to determine which channels to use. Your target audience spends time in specific places online, and understanding where they are will help you market efficiently and effectively. For instance, Facebook may very well be considered the universal social media platform, with users from age 18 to well over age 65 calling it home. However, even though 79% of internet users are on Facebook, it doesn’t seem to resonate as strongly with younger audiences. Sure, teens are still on Facebook, but they prefer to share information on disappearing messaging sites like Snapchat, which boasts 79% of teens’ use. Marketers who want to reach teens are more likely to build an audience here than they will where parents see their kids’ activities. If you’re trying to reach women, Pinterest is still the powerhouse. While the social platform may not have as many users as Facebook—only 36% of users between 18 and 29, and 34% of users between ages 30 and 49 use the site—of those users, 45% are women. It’s a good bet that you’ll build a solid female base if you’re marketing through Pinterest.

Crafting Your Message

Knowing who will receive your message on each platform is just half the battle. It’s important that you create messaging according to the audience you will find on each platform. For instance, if you’re posting on Facebook, you want to create content that poses a question. This prompts more engagement, which drives your posts to the top of users’ feeds. Twitter doesn’t work that way. Hashtags are the best way to reach new audiences, but you don’t want to go overboard. This allows users to search by topic, which could lead them straight to your door. Proprietary hashtags are fun, but they’re only useful if you’re popular enough to prompt a search with that hashtag. Consider introducing one across several different tweets to build some recognition, but only in conjunction with more widely used search terms in your industry. If you’re trying to reach a younger audience with Instagram, remember that imagery is your best content strategy here. In fact, you’ll only have a few lines of text visible on each post (though you can include as much as you like—just don’t expect people to read it). Then, of course, there’s Snapchat, which has the shortest number of characters available, so your message should be almost entirely in the image you use. Short, snappy, and to the point is the best option here, considering you’re most likely dealing with an audience that has the shortest attention span to date—eight seconds.

Determining Which Is Best

You should know your brand well enough to understand which platforms work best for reaching your intended audience. Sometimes, however, your potential customer base is just too large to put in tiny baskets. If this is the case, segmenting is your only option. Create specific messages for each platform, with copy that’s crafted to speak to your intended audience there. For instance, if you’re working to reach consumers over the age of forty, then Facebook is probably your best bet. Millennials still love Instagram, so images or short videos with brief captions could help you bring these buyers into the fold. And if you also happen to sell to Generation Z, you know they’re likely on Snapchat. An influencer campaign could help you get the attention of teens. As you can see, the exact same message across all platforms will hit some and miss others. That’s why it’s important to understand your audience and your tools. If you need some help, we’re always here for you.

3 Tips to Amplify Your PPC Marketing

Posted by Liz Papagni in Marketing Strategy | 0 comments

ppc marketing Pay-per-click advertising is just one aspect of the wide range of digital marketing tools available to you, but—in the right hands—it can certainly be one of the most powerful. Unfortunately, PPC marketing can also be one of the most expensive, especially if you make costly mistakes that impact your return on investment. Because PPC is such a powerful tool, many want to jump right in and reap the benefits right away. Google makes starting an AdWords account super easy, which might lead users to believe that creating campaigns will be easy, too. Before you attempt pay-per-click advertising, there are a few things you should know.

The Bidding Process

Ensuring that your company shows up in Google searches requires knowledge of search engine optimization. Remember: your competitors already have AdWords accounts and have been bidding on the keywords associated with your business. If you want to beat them in the bidding war, you have to be thorough. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying top dollar for some keywords when others could bring similar results at a much lower price. First, consider any trademarked words and phrases, as well as any other terms you’ve branded. You’re less likely to experience competition for these terms, but you’ll only receive traffic from searchers who are already familiar with your brand. Next, consider industry-related terms. These are the words and phrases that you’ll compete the most for, so be creative. Long-tail searches are less likely to be bid on by competitors, and they’re also more likely to bring you buyers who are ready to convert. For instance, if you sell shoes, and someone searches for “red patent leather pumps,” that buyer already knows exactly what she’s looking for and probably has her credit card at the ready for when she finds what she needs. Finally, bid on competitor keywords. This is where you’re likely to find some customers who weren’t already familiar with your brand, and then you can win them over with your unique selling proposition. This is a trickier process, so wait until you’re more familiar with PPC before you attempt it.

Investigate Sitelinks

You can set your PPC ads apart from competitors with this tool, which is just an easy-to-add extension for Google AdWords. This is a cost-efficient way to clarify and narrow down your ads for anyone who’s searching for the products you sell. Let’s take a look at the red shoes search from earlier. A query through Google for “women’s red shoes” brings back two ads. The first, from ModCloth, shows four additional links at the bottom, giving the searcher the chance to further refine the search. sitelinks example This is Sitelinks at work.

A/B Test Your Campaigns

Not even the most seasoned PPC marketing experts can predict exactly what will catch a buyer’s eye. What works with one campaign could achieve dismal results with the next. This is because buyers’ needs change, and so do the trends. To always get the best possible results, create two versions of your campaign. They should be identical except for one piece, such as the headline. Run those two ads at the same time for two weeks, and then examine which had better results. If headline B worked better, then use that headline and then change something else, such as the image used or the copy in the body of the ad. You’ll never achieve perfections because, as we said earlier, buyers’ needs are always changing. What you can do is ensure that you’re always presenting the best possible option at that time to your buyers. Pay-per-click can be daunting, but you don’t have to go it alone. If you’d like some help developing powerful and relevant PPC marketing campaigns, give us a call.

3 Branding Goofs That Could Change Your Image

Posted by Liz Papagni in Brand Management, Brand Strategy | 0 comments

branding goofs Have you ever seen messaging from a well-known brand that made you shake your head in confusion? Maybe one of your favorite companies released a product or service that just didn’t fit the brand you’ve grown to know and love. A departure from your brand mission and vision could happen if you’re not careful, and the result is always confusion among your buyers and fans. In most cases, this departure from the brand is an attempt to grow or to stay relevant during changing times. To avoid these mistakes, you must first know what they are. Let’s take a look at some flubs that could change the way your audience perceives your brand.

Inconsistent Messaging

Your brand messaging takes place across several different platforms, from your social media and website to your print materials and videos. In many cases, the differences found on each medium boils down to the people responsible for those individual platforms. For instance, the writer of your website content may not have any say in the copy used for your advertisements or video scripts. The social media manager might not be aware of the copy used for your retargeting ads. On top of all that, your website designer and graphic designer may be two separate people who have created their own interpretation of your brand’s aesthetic—and the two visuals could differ enough that recipients of your brand message aren’t sure which message is true to your brand. The solution comes in two parts: first, a style guide that lays out your preferred language choices, fonts, colors, and other imagery. Second, there must be one person directing all messaging that reaches the public. This director may not do all the work, but they should see everything before it goes out, so as to ensure all messaging is consistent and on brand.

Changing With the Times

Trends changes at a blistering pace, and a brand that doesn’t keep up with the times could find themselves woefully out of touch within a short amount of time. Does that mean you need to update your logo and imagery every time the trends change? Absolutely not. Brands that do adopt the trends as quickly as they change will eventually find themselves without an audience, as buyers struggle to keep up with the changes their favorite brand is making. Instead, develop something that will stand the test of time. Using every one of the latest trends will make your brand look dated within no time, resulting in yet another brand refresh. It’s important to approach any brand refresh carefully, and only after fully examining your brand’s effectiveness. If you feel you’ve lost touch with your target audience, then perhaps a brand refresh is in order—just not every six months.

Trading Relevance for Visibility

Reaching a wider audience is any brand’s dream, but you can’t give up everything you stand for to get your fifteen minutes of fame. The problem is, you may not even realize you’re trading relevance for visibility until it’s too late. Some of the biggest mistakes you can make include major social media faux pas, introducing or attaching your name to confusing products, and participating in guerilla marketing that backfires. Social media faux pas can happen before you even realize it. Have you read any of the horror stories about companies that jumped on a hashtag bandwagon, only to realize later they were associating their brand with something totally irrelevant? One of the most cringeworthy is the Kenneth Cole Twitter account, where the brand constantly shoves a foot in its mouth. In this case, we think perhaps the brand likes the notoriety too much, but it’s not something other brand should emulate. As for attaching your brand to the wrong product, look no further than the Fyre Festival debacle. Kendall Jenner is definitely a brand, and her connection to the Fyre Festival as an influencer was damaged—perhaps irreparably, since she also has to deal with the Pepsi commercial fallout, too—when the festival went belly up before it began but after fans had already arrived! As for a backfiring guerilla marketing campaign, there are probably too many to even mention. Some are excruciating to watch, while others just prompt a grimace. The movie Forgetting Sarah Marshall launched a campaign that irritated every real Sarah Marshall out there, as they installed posters with mean messages to the Sarah Marshall character in the movie. Lines like, “My mother always hated you Sarah Marshall,” and “You suck, Sarah Marshall,” prompted all the actual Sarah Marshalls out there to react with their own posters directed to the creators of the movie. Your company’s brand is your most invaluable asset. You’ve worked hard to develop this image and to build an audience that understands your values. In all cases, put your brand first. You could avoid some of these crazy mistakes and keep your image intact. That’s a lot more valuable than fifteen minutes of fame. If you’d like to explore marketing initiatives that don’t put your brand in danger, give us a call!