Tag Archives for " guerrilla marketing "

last year

Anticipation builds audience – Marketing Hack #28

Anticipation can build an audience

Anticipation = Excitement = Engagement

We’re all looking for ways to expand our audience, but it’s not about the quantity of followers (I know shocking). It’s about the quality of people who consume our content online.

Imagine if I had 100,000 followers that we’re 70-75 year old, female asian women who love knitting. I’m sure these ladies are the sweetest group of followers ever, but how many of them do you think are in the market to hire a visual content creator and advertising photographer in the US, who specializes in making mind changing videos and product photography? I think you’d agree that a more valuable audience would be a 100 designers, advertising execs, production people and content creators, right?

Well I’ve forgone the asian knitting circle and produced a video for the première Design high school in the US, which happens to be in Miami. Year after year it cranks out a group of World Class fashion designers, architects, filmmakers, industrial designers and graphic artists.

Why do this work for a high school?” you may ask “it’ll be years before those kids are in a position to hire a professional photographer or commercial cinematographer.” I gotta hand it to you–you’re right, however there are 25 years worth of alumni that are in that position and being that this was for the 25 year anniversary, you could feel the anticipation for this event by the alumni, faculty, staff, parents, community and supporters. So how do you capture their attention? I’ve got two words for you: Anticipation. (OK that’s one word, but I’ll say it again – anticipation drives excitement, which gives you engagement).

How to build anticipation

Many people knew about the creation of this video. From the school administration and faculty, who helped us find the right alumni to interview to engaged parents and  excited alumni giving suggestions, from the world-class executive producer, who helped me put this together to the current students, who we filmed in their class rooms. Everyone knew something was up.

Of course it helps that the event is built on anticipation as well, that there’s an 25 year anniversary involved, that the person featured in the event and video is one of Miami-Dade public schools top educators. You still gotta build anticipation. Let me tell you about a local event I worked on, although the principles apply to any size audience.

Keep it under wraps

You can talk about it, you can Instagram behind the scenes shots of the project (check out my IG feed and let me know which of those images are your favorites), you should make a quick 16 second edit for IG, but the one thing you can not do is share the video. With anyone. Not with the people featured in the video, not with the people you’ve interviewed, not with anyone who does not absolutely, positively have to watch it – like your producer and one person who has the authority to approve it.

Every time you share it with anyone outside of that circle, you lose some anticipation.

In the end 5 people saw the video (outside my immediate family) before we premiered it at the event: my exec producer, an associate producer, myself and the assistant principal from the school (we wanted to dot our i’s and cross our t’s to make sure there was nothing that the school would object to) and one other principal from another school, who has no connections to this school – I wanted one unbiased opinion.

Teasers build anticipationTease it to influencers

5 days before the event launched, a short teaser video goes up on social media and is featured in an email blast to everyone at the school and the community, who is invited to the event. Many people came to me in the days leading up to the event saying they are excited to finally watch the final version.

Control you content

As soon as we had picture lock on the edit, the password protected Vimeo link, used to collaborate with my production team, went dark. Downloads were never enabled and even the AV team got their copy for the show the evening of rehearsal day – barely 24 hours before the event – with explicit instruction, that the video was embargoed until the actual first showing. It wasn’t even used in rehearsal – I had created a special clip for that.

Strike the iron while it’s hot

Once the cat’s out of the bag–so to speak–share your content as broadly and as quickly as possible. In this case the official copy of the video was on social media, less than 90 minutes after the live showing – I had to get home from the event and had the first comments soon after.

Share it from one central place

Figure out where you want the attention, which followed the anticipation, focused on. Release your content in one place and then share that place with everyone – in this case I embedded Vimeo link on one Facebook page and shared that page with my other pages, the schools page, the alumni page, the PTSA page and key influencers.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the share

I’ve done the same for other social media launches. Don’t be afraid to ask certain people (especially those that take the time to like or comment on your content to share it with their followers. Be polite and nice about it, thank them for their contributions, but ask for the share straight up–oh and don’t do that with each one. Pick 2 or 3 a year, find the audience that loves to share the anticipation and go for it.

last year

Everybody loves discounts … Marketing Hack #27

Marketing Hack 27

Who doesn’t like to save money? Look people are reading your blog, following you on social media and listening to what you have to say, because you’re the expert, right?

Share how you do things

  • Share what programs you use – I use Capture One for all my RAW image processing.
  • Share what services you use – I use PhotoShelter to host all my online image galleries and website.
  • Share what backend you use – SalesForce is my CRM backbone.
  • Share what equipment you use – My gear practically lives in ThinkTank bags.

[Full disclosure all these links are affiliate links, that give you discounts or gifts and may have some financial benefit for me to, BUT I used all these products for many years and I love to tell you about them.]

The list goes on and on, but you can do even better, than just saying – hey this is what I use to do my job: contact the companies and ask for discounts when your audience starts using their services and products, after getting introduced to them by you.

Isn’t a 10% discount or a $15.- savings worth clicking through your links? I think so. It doesn’t take that much time to set this up and sometimes you can also get something out of these deals for yourself (a discount on next months bill, a check for commissions you’ve earned).

One word of caution–actually two:

  1. Let your readers know that they are clicking through an affiliate link. Just a short note at the end of the blog post, tweet or post; the last thing you want is for your readers to think that you’re taking advantage of them. I don’t want to break the trust that my audience has placed in me for a few bucks. If I’m excited about a product I’ll share that.
  2. Promote products and services you use and know. Maybe I’m don’t write on a big enough blog, but the products and services I push are the ones I use. The ones that help me do my job better. I go after these sponsors, affiliate links, what ever you want to call them. These are also often the same companies that give me door prizes for the live workshops I teach.

You’ll find these links in blog articles I write or on the sidebar of my blog. Sometimes I’ll use them in Social Media posts or on forums when someone asks a question,  where I can help give a solution and a discount.

If you wanna get all fancy, use bit.ly links to help track how people are using your recommendations and to help remember what the links are; I can’t remember the PhotoShelter affiliate link for the life of me, but http://bit.ly/DepuhlPS is easy.

Now go to your favorite software site, you most used cloud service, … and share why you love to use them with your audience. And figure out how to get them a discount; your audience will love you for that.

3 tips to give all your clients front row seat: Marketing Hack #26

10,000 clients sitting in the front row (all at the same time)

Wouldn’t it be great, if a potential client could come along on one of your productions and have a front row seat to see how you work, get a behind the scene glimpse of your workflow and get a feel for your personality on a shoot?

Yeah, I know it’s impossible, but wouldn’t that just be an awesome marketing opportunity? Well although it’s not possible to offer that front row seat to ten thousand clients (or even 10) on set with you, here’s the next best thing you can do:

Let your clients come along for the ride

If you take a little bit of time during a shoot, your clients can join you –front and center– virtually anywhere in the world, no not in person, but online.

Here’s a few ways you can put every member of your target audience, specifically your clients and prospects, in a front row seat of your next shoot:

Instagram/Twitter/Facebook
Instagram is visual, it’s quick to produce and you can easily broadcast the photos to your fans on Facebook and your followers on Twitter. Come up with a memorable hashtag that you use in all the photos and let your target audience experience how you run a production from the virtual front row.

Putting your client in a front row seat via InstagramCase in point: I posted only 18 images to Instagram on my recent trip to New York. Here’ how they break down: 5 travel shots, 5 behind the scenes shots, 4 food shots, 3 shots from NYC and one shot of my packed camera bag. I posted these shots over the course of 4 days and got audience engagement on all 3 social media channels, from people in the business, current and maybe some future clients.

You don’t have to flood your social media accounts with content while you’re shooting. A little bit goes a long way. You can check out all the photos on my Instagram account @photosbydepuhl, follow me and catch the next series of bts images (check out #adventuresinfilmmaking).

Remember to tag clients, people you’re interviewing or photographing to make it easy for them to like, share and retweet your visual content (just make sure you ask their permission first).

Why We Love Awards (And You Should, Too!): Marketing Hack #25

Awards. Go after them

Who needs awards?

Awards. I’ve mentioned them as Marketing Hacks before (#4 and #5). They need a lot of preparation – press kits, BTS (behind the scenes) photos, bio’s, ect. for movie submissions and printing, mounting and shipping for print competitions. They are time-consuming and can get expensive – entry fees can range from a couple bucks to several hundred dollars per image or film. Who’s got time for awards?

Awards may actually hurt your feelings. Actually submitting awards to a contest is a pretty emotional experience – especially, if your work ends up in front of a panel of live judges. You’ve toiled and labored to create this image or that film, only to have it rejected by an anonymous group of people, after having paid money for the privilege. Who needs that?

Let’s take a look at some benefits awards can bring to your work:

Benefit #1: Learn from awards rejection

If you don’t want to get any better, then please stop reading. No seriously. You’re just gonna get pissed off. Still with me, ok – here it goes: Listen to the judges. Ask them why work got rejected, many times you will not get an answer, but sometimes you can strike gold. These guys and girls are comparing dozens or hundreds of works. They are looking at the state of our industry at this point in time. If you win awards–great–more about that later, but let’s look at loosing and trust me you’ll do more of that than winning.

Check out what my friend and fellow photographer Chris Winton-Stahle (@WintonStahle) has to say about the benefits of loosing in a recent Chicago Tribune interview:

The constructive critic a judge could give you is invaluable, if it lines up with how your clients judge your work. I try to get an explanation of why my work didn’t win every time I enter a contest and loose. Set realistic expectations. I get about 1 in 10 requests answered.

Consider the awards competition you enter: If I enter an architectural photo in a competition put on by wedding photographers, they may not be the best people to get comments from, so you may be throwing your time and money away here. If it’s a panel of architects, professional photographers and art buyers from that field, their advice on why the photo didn’t win is invaluable – if you can get it.

Benefit #2: Awards validate your work

For some reason the phrase “award-winning photographer” holds some weight with clients. Now hear me out, you won’t get hired because you won awards, but all thing being equal, if it’s you bidding against another photographer, the win may factor into the clients decision on whom to hire.

The more prestigious the award, the more bragging rights and weight it will carry. Winning an Oscar, Grammy, Tony, Emmy is definitely more valuable than winning Bob’s dry cleaner’s photo contest. Local film festivals are easier to get screened in than national or international ones. The more well-known the awards are that you win, the more value they add to your work. On the flip side these are harder to win to.

Benefit #3: Use your awards to market your brand

Branding is what MarketingHacks are all about, right? You want to burn your brand into their brains as many times (and as unobtrusively as you can (if you’re not sure why that’s important, check out How to master social media: Read a Book.) Awards give you a great excuse to put your best work in front of your target audience. Who can get upset at you for letting people know you won!

The work that accompanies your awards is typically your best work too, which is why you want to put that in front of your clients anyway, right? Hey the last award I won, we put together a whole marketing campaign, based on that one award: How to fire a marketing broadside at your target audience.

Awards can be rewarding

Chasing awards for awards sake–in my opinion–is not worth the cost of entry. However they can help you get better, let clients know that your work merits recognition from your peers and they can offer a great opportunity to market your brand.

last year

Marketing Hack #19: Start a discussion in a LinkedIn group

2 ingredients needed to get hired

Last week I got hired by an agency owner. Turns out a branding agency referred me, although I had not worked with them. However a motion graphics shop had referred my work to that branding agency, although I had never worked with them either. We were joking about this on the job–you know what the agency owner told me? “That’s how I got your name, but your website showed me that you can get my job done.”

We all have a website that showcases our work. Extra points for an active blog that gives your target audience a behind the scenes peek at how you work. A vibrant social media presence has never hurt anyone either; so that’s the content side of your business

Where do you find your audience?

Content is only half of the equation. Without an audience, it won’t make a difference – actually that’s not correct – without the right audience it won’t make a difference. So how do you get your name out there? (Mutual friends that introduce you to a Motion Graphics shop, who pass you along to a branding agency, whose owner recommends you to an ad agency is not really a viable business model, in case you were wondering.)

LinkedIn Groups make a great place to find your audienceFinding your target audience is a lot easier today, since everybody is online; which also makes it a lot harder, since all of your competition is online as well. How do you then go about getting your brand out there? One great place are LinkedIn groups.

Everybody is already here

Start a discussion in a LinkedIn group of – and here’s the secret – of people who are potentially looking for your work. I won’t post a discussion in a group devoted to plumbing. That would be a waste of time and would basically be the same as the ad agency owner calling me to fix her leaking water heater. No. She calls me, because I can meet her need for a photographer. Come up with a topic that interests your clients – again it does me no good to start a discussion on water heaters in a group of photo buyers.

Earlier this year I started a discussion asking if personal work mattered to photo editors. It got some great response from members of the group. Do this consistently and you’ll be on their mind, if they are looking for a photographer.

last year

Marketing Hack #18: Write a gear review (or two)

People love to peek behind the scenes and you’re the one who can give them access to your world. Let them peek behind the curtain so to speak and share how you make your images, your movies, your ______________ (fill in the blank with whatever it is that you make).

Part of that creation process is the equipment that we use and as you know, nothing is a stronger validation than a review of a piece of gear created by someone you trust, when you’re looking to acquire a piece of gear.

So whether it’s a review of the hard drives I use on location (ioSafe rocks) – or if it’s talking about the big, solar-powered battery I rely on when I’m shooting off the grid (GoalZero has some incredible products) or reviewing the little one to keep my cell phone topped off (Bushnell makes a cool one).

As an aside, once you’ve written or filmed a review or two and some recommendations, you can go to the equipment manufactures and ask them if they could use a customer testimonial video or guest blog post that’s a review of their products (trust me they love a well written or creatively shot review from one of their customers).

Cinematographer takes ioSafe drives to extremesAnd if you do it often enough, they’ll come to you and ask you to create a review for them, like ioSafe did a few months ago.

You can make the review be a periscope live broadcast or write a blog post about the gear both are great tools to take your audience behind the scene. Remember that your ultimate goal is not only to share from your experience and help people find tools that they may have not known about before; but at the end of the day, you want to let your target audience know, that you are an expert when it comes to utilizing the correct gear for the job.

last year

Marketing Hack #17: Link your postcards to the cloud

MarketingHack 16: Postcards from the cloud

Probably the single most important reason to use Marketing Hacks, is to stand out from the crowded field of visual noise bombards our all the time. Social Media, Email campaigns, TV ads, junk mail, pop up ads, the list goes on and on all clamor for our attention – some are specifically focused on your target audience, others aren’t.

Shock and Awe marketing (with help from the cloud)

How do you stand out? You need a to fire a full broadside at your target market to be seen. A single email, blog post of Facebook status update won’t cut it. It has to be shock and awe marketing, but I’m not talking about content that’s designed specifically to be crude or offensive – I mean your content has to hit your audience on many channels at the same time – Here’s a sneak peek at cutting through the digital clutter from my upcoming blog post I wrote for the American Society of Media Photographers blog strictly business called “How to fire a marketing broadside at your target audience!“:

How do you compete against this onslaught? Go old school (with a twist): send a handwritten post card. Clients appreciate knowing that they weren’t part of an automated campaign, filled in their <FIRST NAME> <LAST NAME> and thanking them for the opportunity to bid on a photography job for <THEIR COMPANY>. A handwritten thanks gets noticed (…) So where’s the twist I mentioned earlier? [Spoiler alert it’s in the cloud] Well on the back of the post card is a link to a landing page on my website, that goes to a web page with the same image, …

You can read about one specific channel I’m using in greater detail now and if that image looks familiar to you you’re right! It featured in Marketing Hack #12 (and you just remembered another shot from my broadside marketing campaign.)

Postcards to the cloud

Connecting postcard to the cloud

I’m a commercial photographer – which means I only shoot B2B and I’m creating a postcard campaign for my business that’s targeted specifically toward small business owners and boutique creative agencies. I wanted to share how I’m automating my snail mail marketing:

This printed mailer is connected to the cloud via custom URL.

I’d specifically love to talk to you about what happens after my customer receives the postcard. Of course it has my URL on the front of the card – actually the face of the card (minus the tagline) is a copy of the front page of my website.

However the real magic happens on the back (which is where we connect to the cloud) – the normal elements are all there – my address, the award the image has won, copyright info – none of that is anything special, however the last paragraph is:

It includes a link to my blog (in human readable form – blog.depuhl.com/product-photo-story), which leads to a landing page specifically designed for this mailer (it also includes the real review that this client posted on LinkedIn):

See the form? It connects to the cloud.

Here’s what it does for my clients

That page is the link between the real world and my online presence. The page captures email address, first and last name, automatically adds those to my email mailing list and returns the client to my blog homepage and writes a personalized email series I wrote about this shoot, with links to these three posts:

– how I plan and estimate product photography shoots

– how I scout the locations for a product shoot

– how I actually photograph one of these productions

These posts include, bts photos, descriptions of apps used, recordings of periscope live streams, a short video of the shoot, ect. (I’m still working on building more content for this series). Ok so that’s what it does for my clients.

Here’s what it does for my business

On my back-end in the cloud, it automatically enters the captured information [email, first name, last name, landing page version] from my email list (MailChimp) to my Customer Relationship Management service (SalesForce) via Zappier automation, which also sends an SMS to my phone letting me know that someone has subscribed via this specific mailer.

In the end my customer gets:

  • the post card with my contact info
  • a personalized interaction with my brand
  • introduced to my blog that talks about photography, cinematography and marketing
  • a personalized email with links to content, that talks about how this image is created

I get:

  • a new subscriber to my list,
  • a new lead for my product photography
  • an alert that someone just signed up

The beauty of this is, that now that this is all set up, it will happen automatically every time a potential customer types that url (blog.depuhl.com/product-photo-story) into their browser and fills out their contact info. This campaign is specifically marketed to current clients I have, who hire me to photograph very simple product photography and need to think about creating photographs that actually tell a story and to small businesses and creative shops that don’t think of me as a photographer, who can create this type of imagery.

The post cards are ordered (VistaPrint is having their semi-annual 50% off sale – one thousand 4 color postcards with b/w print on the back, run about $100.-) the landing page and email auto responder are created and once the cards mail out, it’ll be interesting to see how this campaign performs.

If you want to experience what my customers will see, you can click-through blog.depuhl.com/product-photo-story, and take the journey.

I’d love to hear any comments about how this process worked for you.

 

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