Marketing Made in USA Products to Baby Boomers

September 6, 2013

3 reasons your American-made brand should target the “me” generation

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Baby Boomers are more interested than ever before in buying Made in the USA products. That may be a large part of why the American-made movement has grown so quickly in recent years. If you are marketing a Made in the USA product, be sure you are taking the time to understand the motivations of your largest market. Here are 3 reasons why:

They Have the Buying Power

Baby Boomers are the largest consumer group in America. Even in a recession, they still account for a whopping 40% of total consumer demand. Boomers control 70% of the total net worth of American households, own 80% of all money in savings and loan associations, and spend more money disproportionately to their numbers.

They Actively Seek Out American-Made

An April 2012 Gallup poll revealed that baby boomers are much more likely to buy American-made products than their younger counterparts. The survey polled more than 1,000 adults and found that 53% of people between the ages of 50 and 64 seek out products made in America when shopping. Conversely, only about 20% of shoppers under 30 actively shop for Made in the USA products. Baby Boomers are reaching out with open arms to embrace the Made in America movement. Be sure your brand is reaching back.

They are Conscientious Consumers

Baby Boomers have a long, proud history of being cause-conscious, and they vote with their wallets. To them, buying American is no longer just about blind patriotism. It is a socially conscious choice that helps keep jobs in our country, stimulates our economy, and lets corporations know that they will not stand for the pollution, human rights abuses and poor quality that foreign manufacturers accept as part of trade. I even found a baby boomer advocacy website that sums up all of the reasons why socially conscious boomers are buying American: http://www.babyboomergold.com/2012/08/made-in-america-a-critical-response-to-economic-conditions-in-america/

It’s worth checking out, because these are also great selling points for your American-made product.

Baby Boomers as a group are loyal to buying American-made products, and they have the money to back it up. If you are marketing a Made in the USA brand, and you don’t already have a fully integrated strategy for reaching this target market, I hope I have convinced you that it is time.

Questions or comments? I’d like to hear what you think. Contact me at Frank@claycreativeresults.com.


Marketing Made in the USA Products Regains Popularity

August 20, 2013

5 reasons “American-made” resonates with consumers

Over the last two decades, Americans have had little interest in USA made products. Almost everything Americans were buying (includimarketingmadeintheUSAbrandsng the little flags we waved on the 4th of July) was cheaply produced in foreign countries like Taiwan and China, and the trade deficit continued to grow. Luckily, that is beginning to change, as American-made products are suddenly regaining popularity and driving sales. And it’s not just about sentimental patriotism anymore. Here are 5 reasons today’s consumers are looking to buy products that are made in the USA:

Job Creation

According to a Boston Consulting Group survey released in November 2012, over 80% of Americans say they are willing to pay more for Made in the USA products. 93% sited wanting to keep jobs in the USA as the main reason. It’s not hard to understand that after years in a recession and rampant unemployment, Americans are starting to feel the consequences of importing more than we export. Now Americans are voting with their wallets and making smarter buying decisions in order to tip the scales back in our favor.

The Environment

Many consumers take an interest in simplifying the supply chain, reducing our carbon footprint, and protecting the environment. For this reason, locally sourced products very popular. In a global economy, American-made is the equivalent of locally sourced, and consumers feel good knowing products are made “in their own backyards.” More importantly, America has stricter environmental laws than countries like China where there are unacceptable levels of pollution levels from manufacturing plants. That makes buying American an easy choice for environmentally conscious consumers.

Human Rights

The same consumers that are concerned about the environment are also concerned about protecting human resources. They understand that many countries exploit their own people, including children, to make a profit.  When consumers buy American, they can be more certain that proper labor and fair trade laws have been followed.

 Better Safety Standards

Some foreign countries do not set even minimum safety standards for the products they manufacture. For example, China ships tens of thousands of toys that contain poisonous lead paint to the US every year.  When consumers buy American, they have more peace of mind knowing that standards are in place to protect them.

Higher Quality

Many consumers have finally grown tired of cheaply made foreign goods, and they are willing to pay a premium for quality, American-made products. When marketing Made in the USA products, a focus on traditional craftsmanship and quality is key.

As you can see, the new Made in the USA market is more sophisticated, informed and socially conscious than ever before. To drive sales, you’ll want to ditch the old approach of appealing to patriotism and spend more time providing quality information about your manufacturing processes, company heritage and high standards.

For more information about marketing American-made products, contact frank@claycreativeresults.com



Use Video for Integrating Your Digital Advertising and Marketing Communications

January 31, 2013

HOW TO MARKET YOUR BRAND WITH ONLINE VIDEOS

Remember story time? The late night bed time reading that kept you alert before sleep or the engaging class room story with picture books and sound effects made by your teacher. The years have faded away since then but the stories live on. That’s our goal at Clay Creative…to tell the story of your brand to make an ever lasting impression on your audience.

film_countdown_postcard-p239939635109173100envli_400The great part of this business is that story time never ends and it’s our job to keep your audience turning the pages inside the book we call your brand.

Chapter 1: Why use video to tell the story of your brand?

Integrating video into your online marketing efforts is vital for your growing business. Todays generation is driven by an urge to express their interests, hobbies and point of view and social media is the vehicle for most of this expression. Words are the ultimate force behind conversation but photos and videos are taking their place and are becoming much more search engine friendly.

  • Video helps your customers relate to you on a more personal level
  • Video connects with people on a deeper level: The audio and visual representation of your products and services will make stronger connections than wordy descriptions or pictures.
  • It is more common for search engines to pick up on key words in your video and this results in higher SEO rankings.

Chapter 2: Tell stories with videos to make life easier for your audience.

Prospective customers tend to know very little about you and have come to your site to learn how you can help them. They are strapped for time so you must make their navigation experience as easy as possible. Videos can accomplish what paragraphs of text can in 2 minutes or less.

  • Your video must provide value to the viewer and the best way to do this is to teach them something new. 
  • Create FAQ videos to answer the most commonly asked question about your products and services. For example, if you are a bakery, you may record an answer on “The best cakes to bake for catering to large parties or events”.
  • Record a video on how to best use your product or service or to highlight product benefits. Apple consistently uses video to tell the story for every new product release and it works by engaging the viewer and alluring them to the bells and whistles of their latest technology.
  • Pick a focus for your video and do not try to explain 15 things in 60 seconds.

Chapter 3: How to differentiate content for B2B and B2C

The content and strategy of your video must be tailored to your audience and this depends on whether you’re targeting businesses or consumers. The key point to acknowledge is that businesses are people too. Remember businesses that market to other businesses are relationship driver and businesses that market to consumers are product driven. Here is a list to understand the video content you should use depending on your audience.

  • B2B videos should outline your company objectives, mission statement and history.
  • Focus on product attributes and services for your B2C videos.
  • B2C marketing is usually more products driven so focus on appealing to the emotional side of the consumer.
  • B2B sales are usually longer cycle sales so it’s important to be in-depth in describing your company’s core attributes and success stories.

Use video to tell the story of your brand and highlight your products and services but remember to use the visual medium with a mixture of all types of media. Pictures and shared content can be used to support your video. Our brains are hardwired to make a story out of all of the information we consume so give your audience a reason to connect with you on an emotional level. With content sharing at its highest peak companies must embrace visual story telling through media. Recent research from ROI shows that 44% percent of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures and videos.

Please take our short poll:


3 Tips On How To Grow Your Business With LinkedIn

January 3, 2013

USING LinkedIn TO EXPAND YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT ON A PROFESSIONAL PLATFORM

The rapid emergence of social media networks and tools in the last five years signifies the need to enhance the sharing of information for both personal use and branding. There have been many social apps that have failed to impact the social media world and we can argue that it’s a result of not carving out a major niche.

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Look no further than Instagram for quick mobile photo editing and sharing (aka combining the digital camera with the smart phone to bring out the professional photographer in all of us), Twitter for allowing us to communicate with short phrases during an era of information overload and Facebook for becoming our online social diaries and connecting us to our friends and family.

The major theme carried throughout every social media tool is ‘sharing’ but each tool/network emphasizes a particular niche to separate itself from the rest. Before LinkedIn, an online social network for professional use did not exist. Founded a year before Facebook in 2003, LinkedIn has become the most popular social media distribution channel and more marketers are using this media channel for content distribution, according to recent findings from the Social Media Examiner.

Here are 3 ways your business can use LinkedIn to turn connections into leads:

1. Create a clean, concise and easy to navigate profile

Your LinkedIn URL should be customized to strengthen branding and make more searchable. With your name in the URL, it is more likely for your profile to rank for searches for your name because search engines look for relevant keywords in the URL. To convert your random digitized URL into a personal link of your company name:

  • Go to the “Settings” link at the very top right of your LinkedIn homepage and select the “Public Profile” link under the “Profile Settings” heading. Once selected you can now enter your new custom link.

Before developing your network and creating connections, be sure to optimize your profile to 100% completeness and link your business website to your LinkedIn profile and blog. Encourage every employee of your company to include a link on his/her LinkedIn profile to your business website.

Include your company’s most popular keyword phrases in your company’s personal profile. For example, if you are doing an online ad campaign, match the phrase of your ads to your company description profile to present a consistent image to any potential customers.

2. It’s All About The Groups: Join Them, Create Them and Promote Them

  1. Join groups comprising of likely suspects who can later be turned into prospects. Some groups may be closed off to the public; most will be open to all LinkedIn users.
  2. Create a group for your industry, not your company. People are more likely to join a group when it’s not simply for fans of your company. A group is no good without members so use these tips to promote your group within your LinkedIn network:
  • Invite coworkers, past colleagues, and customers to join and start discussions.
    Use your existing network to get your group started.
  • Promote your group on Facebook, Twitter and your company blog.
  • Include LinkedIn and your personal URL in all of your marketing efforts. The next time your company attends a conference, a good idea is to display a QR code to send spectators directly to your LinkedIn group page.

3. How To Make All Of Your Connections Count!

When your profile is complete and your connections are fastened its time to share your areas of expertise to generate queries from prospective clients. LinkedIn has become a major player among the content sharing social sites and you must use the share feature to educate and inform your connections. Share links to interesting articles, best practices and case studies that demonstrate your company expertise.

LinkedIn has increased the amount of channels to share information through and connect with thought leaders. The content shared on LinkedIn is more valuable than a “status update” and members are encouraged to keep content more professionally focused.

As a group leader for your company, take advantage of LinkedIn’s questions and answers. Ask good questions, ask for the opinions of others, provide your unique insight and feedback on as many discussions as you can and contribute content that creates conversations.

Forming connections on LinkedIn and expanding your professional network will help you navigate through job related roadblocks throughout your career and is the major benefit of Linked in for individual use but businesses are starting to see the value it provides for increasing brand awareness and generating new leads.


WordPress Data Report On Clay Creative Results For 2012

December 30, 2012

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for our blog. It is exciting to see our blog grow over the years and we are thankful for another successful year in providing creative insight and marketing tips.

Were releasing our yearly report as a way to say thanks for being part of the Clay Creative online network.

Follow us into 2013 and have a Happy New Year!

 

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 3,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 7 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.


A Guide To Engage Your Audience With Facebook Advertising

December 19, 2012

3 TIPS ON HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE SOCIAL MEDIA SIDEBAR

There are now over 1 billion people using Facebook and it costs over 1 billion dollars annually to keep this world connecting social media giant afloat. If my math is accurate, Facebook could charge its users just one dollar a year to access the site to keep things running smooth but this plan would oppose their original idea of keeping Facebook free, so they turned to advertising.

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If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. This massive reach is a great benefit for marketers and advertisers to expose their brands to the masses but advertisers are attracted to Facebook’s ingenious way of collecting rich detailed information from it’s users to develop precise and accurate advertising messages that provide a high ROI.

Facebook Ads are gaining popularity among local businesses and research shows that the top reasons they continue to use them include ease of use and the ability to start and stop campaigns.

To develop a social media strategy that raises brand awareness and engages your audience you must dig deeper into the Facebook platform and create more than just a brand page. I’ve compiled a list of the Facebook advertising tools and methods to help guide your marketing efforts on the most popular social network.

1. Your first objective is to decide what your Facebook advertising should accomplish.

Do you want to gain more likes, drive traffic to a website, highlight a special offer or advertise an upcoming event? Once you’ve checked this off your list you need to know how the advertising works. Here is some background into Facebook’s approach.

2. Advertising on Facebook may seem like a tedious task but it’s easier than you think.

Facebook users share a lot of information that makes it simple to target a narrow audience. Where they live, their hobbies, political views, their favorite restaurants, birthdays and what they “like” is rich data that you will use to create your ads. Facebook also targets their ads based off information they get from other people. For example, a bicycle store might show an ad about a bike sale to the people who visited the bike stores website.

Targeting with Facebook Ads allows you to advertise to the right people based on their real interests. You can even target people who are friends with people who already “like” your Page. This social context will show up around the ad,” says Grady Burnett, VP of global marketing solutions at Facebook. “A study from Nielsen shows that on average, people are 68% more likely to remember seeing an ad with social context than without, twice as likely to remember the ad’s message and four times as likely to purchase.”

QUICK TIP: A cost-effective way to generate new likes for your page is through the Facebook email list tool.

3. The image is your main hook

When you create your Facebook ad, approach it like a print execution and include informative graphics and clever copy. The design and content of your Facebook ad needs to appeal to a specific group of people and fulfill a certain need. Be sure to create various ads to run at the same time to test which ad recipe receives the highest click-through rate.

Do your research on your competitors to find out which images in your market receive the highest click rate. You need to figure out what image best represents your brand, product and service. The image is what grabs the attention of the Facebook user and is what influences the most clicks. Here are the technical specs for the image of your Facebook ad:

  • The image can’t be larger than 110 x 80 pixels
  • The image must have a 4:3 (or 16:9) ratio
  • The image can’t be larger than 5 kilobytes

Enforce your call to action with the title text

Facebook pages are cluttered with distractions but the ad placement on the page is in your favor. Fixed on the right side of the screen and as a result of our reading style from left to right, these ads are hard to miss. The important part of your message should be in bold placed on top of the image and the body text should introduce your brand and describe the offer.

You can say a lot within the 135-character limit but don’t feel obligated to use all the space. Engage your viewer with a bold remark about your brand or ask a question. There is enough rambling on Facebook so make your ad bold and make it pop.

Develop multiple ad combinations to find out what works

Think of your ads being displayed to a focus group the size of a billion people. One benefit of advertising on Facebook is the ease of testing your ads with your audience so take advantage of swapping your ads and try new designs.

Create at least 4 ads for each campaign and run them for a couple of days then review your Facebook ad statistics to see which performed the best. It’s recommended to then create a new ad similar to your best performing ad and apply a few adjustment. Facebook’s ads are social ads and have a very short shelf life because they target specific people whom are repeatedly exposed to the same messages. The best way to prevent “ad blindness” is to refresh, re-try and deliver new ads on a set routine.

Use Facebook ads to kick-start your new Facebook page and grow your fans or to drive traffic to your website. What ever your ad does, remember to think of each click as the beginning to your campaign. Give your audience more to keep them coming back. The click is a doorway to your social media world and your brand/product/service so invite your audience in and treat them to your social snacks.


Enhance Your Direct Mail Campaign With Digital And Social Media Tools

December 5, 2012

THREE WAYS TO SOCIALIZE YOUR DIRECT MAIL CAMPAIGN TO ENGAGE YOUR RECIPIENT

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Digital applications, smart phones and social media are hot off the press channels these days for delivering your brands message to a precisely targeted and massive audience but they do not gain the trust and loyalty of consumers like traditional direct mail. You must first earn the trust of your audience in order to build relationships to increase your ROI and recent findings show direct mail is the best place to start.

Marketers must look beyond the reputation of direct mail as “Old school, outdated and expensive” because U.S consumers rank it as the top choice to receive brand communication materials in various categories ranging from health to household products, to household services, insurance and financial services, including credit card offers.

The magic happens when you pair the trusted channel of direct mail with the high reach of digital marketing. Together they create a ripple effect and engage your audience on many platforms. Imagine direct mail as the tiny pebble that makes a splash and social media outlets as the ripples that keep your message flowing.

Here are 3 ways to blend your next direct mail campaign and social media strategy together to expand your reach and earn the trust and attention of your audience.

1. Highlight your social media outlets in your direct mailer

You’ve spent plenty time managing your social media channels like Facebook and Twitter so show them off and include your social media icons on your direct mail pieces. These social media badges let your audience know you’ve established an online presence and social media is a transparent tool to instill trust in your brand.

2. Give more to your audience on your thank you page

The benefit of direct mail is the high amount of contact points you can integrate into a direct mail campaign. What happens after someone responds to your call to action? You have caught the interest of the person at this point so give them the option to learn more about your company. Embed a company video about your products and services on the thank you page and lead your audience to your company website.

3. Increase response rates with QR codes and personalized URL’S

Be sure your direct mail piece includes a call to action involving smart phone technology. If your objective is to drive traffic to a special offer, then include a QR code for the message recipient to easily obtain the offer. Make an offer too good to resist and people will share it on their social networks. Although it’s intuitive to think people will keep the offer for themselves, market trends show that consumers are likely to share deals and offers to cut costs and save some cash. Based on a survey of more than 9,100 respondents 75 percent of respondents would sign up for direct mail letters from a retailer if it would yield savings of 25 percent or more. An additional 67 percent would “like” a Facebook page and 17 percent would Tweet a deal. Those who socially share these deals seem to experience the largest savings.

Personalized URLs are a great way of getting the most out of your mailing list and allow you to include the recipients name in the URL. These create an engaging experience and create a personalized connection.

Consumers are personally connected to their digital devices and post, share and tweet without boundaries, making the digital space a war zone of information. The information is personal but consumers are becoming more dubious towards digital advertising. On the contrary, direct mail remains the trustworthy channel that you should use to kick-start your next campaign so follow these tips to maximize the reach of your offer.