Parfait

The semester is coming to a rapid end and with that comes the flood of client projects. One, in particular, was very special. This client was Parfait. We developed both a content marketing plan and a social media plan for this client. Content marketing is a great long term marketing strategy as it is something that will keep your customers engaged with the brand. It moves away from a hard sell type of content and towards something that reaches your customers on a personal level and helps to drive customer loyalty. The 80-20 rule is still a large factor.Content marketing speaks to that 20%. It also helps to increase your search engine ranking and social media traction. Want to learn more? The Content Marketing Institute has a great read on why this type of marketing should be at the core of all of your marketing plans.

Parfait is a local frozen yoghurt and speciality coffee bar in downtown Kingston. Their appealing storefront and prime location on Princess street draw a student and a young business professional crowd. They use high-quality products and locally sourced ones when possible. Their largest competition is Menchies due to their strong online presence and current downtown location. Their biggest issue is awareness, they have only been in business a matter of months.

Our strategy to help solve the issues of awareness is a content marketing plan that focuses on customer loyalty, trust, and engagement. Ultimately, these customers will become brand evangelists and continue to spread the word about Parfait. For now, the focus of the strategy is to reach the target audience as a friend and helpful source. To achieve this we developed content that is helpful and the target audience can relate to. It speaks directly to their pain points. This content is meant to help them either with tips and tricks, making them laugh or teaching them a new skill. that for both targets are a busy life. They are on the go either with school or work.  A full editorial calendar was developed to demonstrate the type of content that would be used. Some examples can be seen below.

Blog

Blogs are a great way to communicate larger messages. When done right they are extremely engaging and easy for the reader to share with others. They increase search engine ranking and increase social currency. They can really be about anything and are a great way to pad any content marketing strategy. They plant a seed in a customer’s mind that will be shared with others either online or through word of mouth. If that isn’t enough, 77% of internet users read blogs. (source) This particular blog post is directed at students. It talks about ways to survive the first month back to school. It will be posted mid-way through September and talk about different activities or things that make school life survivable. It is short and sweet but gets the message across in a funny way.

To read the post, click through here.

Infographic

Infographics are great shareable content that teaches the user something. They are very engaging and easy to understand thanks to the design elements and don’t take up a lot of the customers time. The infographic that was developed for the client targets both students and young professionals. It shows them how to properly tie a tie. This content is very useful and helps to ease some morning stress.

infographic

Video

Videos have become one of the most popular ways to share content over the last few years. They are engaging and easily shared. With features on Facebook like autoplay, it makes it easy to increase views and draw in an audience as the video begins for them to see. Our video focuses on the holiday season. Both of our target audiences can be engaged with these style videos. During this time of year, people want to see happy and heartwarming video content. This video fits perfectly into that description. People are also more forgiving about production value and really want to see content they enjoy watching.

Memes

Memes are a hugely successful trend that brings a humorous human element to social media in a way that has not been done before. They bridge social media, human emotions and pop culture together to create extremely engaging content. These memes will be released in November to bring a smile to very stressed students as they prepare for finals. The memes below relate to student life in a humorous way. They are easy to share and very easy to engage with.

meme-3 meme-2

meme-1

All in all, this has been a challenging learning experience. After 2 years of focusing on primarily promotional marketing, moving 100% away from that too strict content marketing took a lot to get my head around. But I know see the huge upside of content marketing for all businesses, not just Parfait.

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Perception

Someone recently told me that the way that I show I care about people is wrong. For a while, I thought about it and considered the way that I show I care. But here is the thing about love and affection, everyone shows and perceives it differently. It’s like marketing that way. If two people who have had different life experiences, different interests and different mindsets sit and watch the same advertisement they will get different things out of it.

nin_seethings

I mean it makes perfect sense marketing like love and affection is not a perfect science, it is not even a science at all, really it’s an art. One that is not perfect and never will be. For marketers this can be an issue, how do you get 1000 people who all are different to understand the same message? Frankly, you don’t. In my opinion, this is way diversity in messaging comes into play. Once you understand the way your audience communicates, you can develop one message that can be shown in many ways.

Then all of sudden your message is understood by 990 people instead of 500.

Just something to ponder,

-M

Why I cannot stand Apple’s new ad

Apple; the world’s leader in creating a cult-like following.  Yet their latest makes me want to gag. Maybe that’s the point but frankly, it’s weak compared to their normal high standards and emotional appeal strategy. The video below features James Corden, The Late Late Show Host, pitching ad ideas to Apple execs.  He is great. The ideas are wild and outlandish but the lady with the iPad ruins it with her awkward and clearly placed and scripted banter. You’ll see what I mean below.

It makes me sad to see this obvious slide from their former glory. I have always marveled at the advertising creativity to come out of this company and hopefully this is just a tiny bump in what is to come. Maybe they’ll even bring back to glorious Mac vs. PC ads!

-M

Have we gone to far?

I will soon work in an industry that tries to reach people at all hours of the day regardless of where they are. But where does that stop? When is enough enough? When is the point where we say “okay that’s enough, we have invaded to much?”

Recently I read an article that was predicting the future of advertising and where we might end up. It was scary. Currently one of the few places left where we don’t have to see ads is in our sleep. Well sadly that may be no longer. In fact, according to a Dutch production company, that may be the next frontier of advertising.

Do I have an issue with this? Absolutely, dreams are our bodies way to process what has happened during the day. It is a natural process that can tell you a lot about your overall health. My sleep habits were what ultimately lead to my anxiety diagnosis. Those dreams are special places that are not to be disturbed. There is a line and ALL marketers need to be very aware of it.

So please, to those who came before me and currently have a stronger voice than I do; put a stop to this before it becomes more than just a short film.

Find out more here.

-M

 

The Magic of Story Telling

Today in class we watched a video on story telling and the power it has on human emotions. The video showed a TED talk. A very powerful one at that. The talk was given by the creator of many of my favourite childhood movies including Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Wall-E and A Bug’s Life. His Name is Andrew Stanton.

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Now, as a marketing student and someone who loves to write, I am a story teller. I love to be able to make people feel things and have them engaged with what I am saying. This talk hit home for me. It is one of those talks that strikes something deep inside you and inspires you to keep going. To keep telling the stories and trying to spread wonder.

Here is the talk if you want to watch it. I would recommend taking the 20 minutes out of your day and indulging in something intoxicating.

Maybe it will evoke your soul the way it did mine.

Let me know what you think

-M