Archive for January, 2012

Instawho. Instawhat. INSTAGRAM!

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Photo credit: Techcrunch.com

Photo credit: Techcrunch.com

“Sharing is caring.” You’ve heard this said as a life philosophy before, and it is also what makes social media so powerful. But beyond the world of sharing status updates and re-tweets, photo-sharing is quickly becoming the preferred method by consumers and brands alike. Enter Instagram, the world’s hottest photo-sharing app. Instagram, an app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch, lets users take photos, apply one of a number of filters, and share them with the world via social networking platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Tumblr and Flickr. This much-buzzed-about app has grown a user base of 10 million in the past two years, and with the pending release of an Android version scheduled for the near future, that number will undoubtedly keep climbing.

Part of Instagram’s appeal is its potential as a marketing tool. As social currency becomes an ever more important factor in the marketing world, apps like Instagram will be a vital way to connect brands with consumers. Like Twitter, Instagram utilizes hashtags, so photos of a specific topic are easy to find. The same hashtag can be applied for both Twitter and Instagram, so marketers can quickly measure a program’s traction across multiple social networking services. But it’s Instagram’s core function of photo-sharing that is most important. At a time when consumers are doing their best to cut through clutter, a simple photograph is now the quickest way to convey a specific message.

What’s even more interesting about Instagram is how it has been leveraged for more value. For proof take a look at Brooklyn-based tech shop Breakfast and their location-based product Instaprint. Instaprint is a tangible product that scours Instagram in search of specified hashtags or locations and then prints out the collected photos in a vintage style that mimics Polaroids. The Polaroid-esque prints can then be customized and branded, making them perfect for the experiential world. Forget photo booths and step-and-repeats — with Instaprint, the consumer is the photographer. Now any consumer at any event can proactively engage with the experience. They can print a branded photo onsite, add comments to it and share the final product across their network. Sure, a cool vintage-style photo looks nice on the fridge, but a consumer who uses Instagram to become an advocate for a brand looks even nicer.

So what’s it all mean? It means that a picture really is worth a thousand words. It means that the connection points between consumers and brands are expanding in every direction, and Instagram is on the frontlines of that expansion. When consumers share their Instagram creations with their friends, they are making a statement for all to see. Tie in our clients’ brands and that’s what we call an “Instawin.”

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Written by Fredo Montes
Fredo Montes

January 25th, 2012 at 7:05 pm

A KD IV Christmas: Delivering Online Engagement (and Shoes)

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Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant poses for a group photo with fans and winners of the new Nike KD Coppers in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec., 23, 2011.  (Photo by Alonzo J. Adams)

Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant signs pairs of the new Nike KD IV Coppers for select fans in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec., 23, 2011. (Photo by Alonzo J. Adams)

This past December, NBA superstar Kevin Durant (KD), with the help of MKTG INC and Nike Basketball, set out in his conversion van to give away pairs of his Nike Zoom kicks, known as the “KD IV Copper.”  The shoe’s unique copper colorway was developed for his Christmas Day matchup with the Orlando Magic.

KD gave away the highly anticipated shoes to fans at three different locations. The twist? No one knew where those locations were ahead of time.

To match KD’s humble demeanor, MKTG INC avoided in-store chaos with a grassroots approach that built a groundswell online. KD posted teasers about the activation via Twitter, giving fans a heads up that they’d need to keep their eyes open to score a free pair.

By featuring destinations from KD’s ‘Basketball Never Stops’ commercial, MKTG INC tied the programming to the brand, while giving fans an intimate experience with their local star.  KD tweeted the destinations in real-time, as fans flocked from all over Oklahoma City for a chance to win a pair of the KD IV Copper and meet the NBA’s quiet superstar.

The response on Twitter was overwhelmingly positive. Over 6000 related tweets were posted over the course of three days, all with one recurring theme: Kevin Durant is awesome (and generous). In fact, a Santa hat-wearing KD made ESPN’s Top 10 Plays on the night before Christmas, spreading Christmas cheer and wishing all a good night.

Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant poses for a group photo with fans and winners of the new Nike KD Coppers in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec., 23, 2011.  (Photo by Alonzo J. Adams)

Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant poses for a group photo with fans and winners of the new Nike KD IV Coppers in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec., 23, 2011. (Photo by Alonzo J. Adams)

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Written by Stephanie Rudnick
Stephanie Rudnick

January 18th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

10 Tips for a Pop-up That Really Pops

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Pop-up Pretties

Pop-up Pretties

Photo credit: Business Insider

It’s looking more and more like the pop-up is a “trend” that’s here to stay. But no two pop-ups are the same, and not all are created equal. Here are our tips, originally pubbed in Business Insider, for creating pop-ups that really step up.

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Written by Michelle Heller
Michelle Heller

January 18th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

Google+ Brand Pages: New Kid on the Blog

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Photo credit: The Muppets Google+ Brand Page

Google+ has been heavy on the + these days. With its new brand pages, it’s not only the latest platform to enter the competitive social media arena — it’s setting up to be a real powerhouse.

Just compare it to Facebook — when Facebook launched in 2004, it took three years to gain 25 million users. Google+ achieved this in one month. How’d it manage that? Its established suite of widely used platforms (Gmail, Google Docs, Gchat) sure helped spread the + word. Another motivator is the first-mover advantage: Digitally savvy brands now have a new opportunity to show themselves as innovators by being among the first to establish their Google+ presence. Marketers won’t want to miss that + boat.

But one of the biggest brand drivers in this sphere might be the great features of Google+. These include:

That World-famous Search
Unlike on Facebook, Google+ brand pages directly integrate Google search, thus increasing a brand’s visibility across the Web. Since Google owns more than 60% of the search market right now, that’s a powerful selling point for brands who want to improve their search optimization. Plus, if a user recommends a brand page, that action is shared on his/her Google+ profile, visible to his/her friends.

Speaking of Those Friends
Google+ is built up of more than 40 million users — early influencers every one. An enterprising brand will take this rare chance to craft personal relationships with the kind of super-consumers who are every marketer’s dream.

Uncluttered
A lot of Facebook folk report feeling inundated with updates. For brands that means your activity is more likely to go unnoticed. Not so for the clean and uncluttered Google+, which focuses on only the most relevant content.

Google+ Hangouts
Google+ Hangouts allows users to host a live audio/video chat with their audience. Video chat’s obviously been done before, but never on a social media platform, and marketers are seeing it as a great way to video-connect, say, entertainment talent with a large group of fans. Major brands like Dell are already considering using Hangouts as a customer support line, and, most recently, the Dalai Lama used Hangouts to chat with Desmond Tutu. And hey, if it’s good enough for the Dalai Lama, it’s good enough for your brand.

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Written by Michelle Heller
Michelle Heller

January 5th, 2012 at 11:19 am